BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera

People's Champ ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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I got a call from a shooter yesterday saying he plans to get

one of these cameras (because he can use the lenses from his 16mm).

He was asking for my opinion, and I couldn't offer one.

Does anyone have any direct experience with this camera?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/964117-REG/blackmagic_design_blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera.h...

http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicpocketcinemacamera

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Guide ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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Joe, the guys here .. I forget the guys name I spoke to...but he has posted here...

http://www.adkproaudio.com/

did some pretty extensive research into the BM thing, and editing the stuff.... and liked it a lot...not the pocket thing, but the first one.

Maybe your friend could give them a call...

for me on pc it was suggested I do some kinda avid codec instead of pro res..for best results...

I had to shoot stills too, or I probably woulda got the BM instead of the nikon

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People's Champ ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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Thanks for nothin', you hedgehog!

note:

Are they involved in the 'worm periscope' research for the military?

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Guide ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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hehe.. no... you warthog !  The people doing research for worm periscope are really secret people ....shhhhh, dont tell anyone !

I just wrote email to arri so I could BEG them to hook me up on phone with someone to yap about EXACTLY what I need for JUST the follow focus... nothing else...just the follow focus...( like a plate, 2 rods, the focus gizmo and a whip ).. and probably some stupid zip gear junk for the Nikkor lens.

http://www.arri.com/camera/pro_camera_accessories/ready_to_shoot_kits.html?item=176&cHash=9444496503...

Also asked if they take food stamps !

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Guide ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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Well, that was nice.. got email response and name and number to call in NYC office...for arri...

unfortunately no decision has been forthcoming re: ability to pay with food stamps , or even " trade "... like maybe I send 1000 chickens to NYC arri office instead of money...

Not that I even have a CLUE where to get 1000 chickens..but I'm just sayin.. you know.. some wiggle room....

meantime, guess what ? YES ! YOU GUESSED IT... ITS BEER THIRTY ! YIPEE !

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Guide ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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Ya know.. I'm thinking ....maybe if I had something like that BM pocket camera ....I could just hand hold it to my eye...wear a NY Yankees ball cap ( with built in sun shade visor ).. and using the magic VR of lenses and WARP stablizer stuff ( whatever in gawds name THAT is ).. I could probably shoot GONE WITH THE WIND ....

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People's Champ ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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There's no doubt there is something weird about how this looks:

BM_Arri.PNG

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Guide ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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at some point the camera head will have to get a little beefier...even with the sliding dovetail for balance...

That's a dslr fluid head..and now it's getting maxed out.. re: smooth movement ....must go up to the 35mm equiv of that head at this point...

better to be too beefy than to be wimpy IMO.

anyway, dont be alarmed.. cause that is EXACTLY what the first clients of the worm periscope thought..

The INPUT was way too large for the RECEPTION....

notice how small the worm eyeball is.. compared to the INPUT ...

As long as you got the glass out there ( F 1.8 ? )... it's good to go !

worm.jpg

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Guide ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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A geared or 'wheeled' head is even BETTER !  way more control and finesse..and can hold TONS of weight ...

Spotlight_The French Connection.jpg

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Guide ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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the dolly is called an 'elemack '...

made in Italy.

Many of these old dollies are now on the bottom of the shorelines being used as anchors for sail boat moorings.. they are really heavy...

Elemack.jpg

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Guide ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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on the movie, 'the interpreter' there was some 2nd unit photography with whats her name and I got called to work the one day at some stage in queens...and there was an elemack dolly there...and nobody knew how to use it...cause it's so old...so I got bumped up a pay scale to become the 'dolly grip d jeur ' cause I knew how it worked...

LOL.. I knew this was the beginning of my decline in the film biz... old enough to know how stuff worked that was a dinosaur...and people calling me " sir " on the set all of a sudden...and looking at some idiot game show host standing next to whats her name while she prepared herself to say about 3 lines...

maybe they met in some after hours club just prior to call time ...who knows.. but somehow margot kidder and howie mandell being together kinda blew my mind...

I mean really... what's wrong with her ??

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Guide ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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getting away from the 'event' mentality of video, one thinks of the motion picture mentality instead.. or vica versa...

what is the time limit of a 1000 ft mag of film on a panaflex or arriflex ? what is the time limit on a 400ft mag ?

the cameras for film usually have a 'crew' and not one guy doing everything.. so thank goodness someone can keep track of how much footage has been shot per mag ... per take.  There are usually many takes per shot.

The shots are slated for sound sync. Nobody uses 'in camera sound' in film in my experience.. cause it's just stupid to try and get sound from far away , from many people , into the camera via cables without mixing it and so on ( boom mics, lavs ,etc ).

Event guys love this simplicity of use and sync, but movie makers know better , and don't shoot long takes as a rule...

Also, getting into the ' look' of stuff is sorta whatever you want it to be using whatever ... like maybe add some soft filters to make my girlfriend's close up look really sweet...( no pimple on her nose ? )... again, depends on lighting and mood etc.

Everything said by Jim is from the event point of view and not from a motion pic point of view. So take it with a grain of salt.

You roll sound, you roll camera, you slate the shot, and start your little stop watch... ( this tells you the time - and time LEFT on your card )...no jammed digital slates and sound and slate.. old school... you will sync youself in editor with slate ...

if you are shooting more than 5 minutes for the take you are into an event ...not the movies... so get over it... what it looks like doesn't matter..its what you Make it look like that matters....you're already out of the world of movie making.  okay, maybe 10 minutes... a 400ft mag... so what..same deal...you're not into drama and movie making..a 1000 ft mag or 400 ???

stick with your own event driven junk Jim, and leave off with your movie looks... you haven't got a clue...

sorry, but that's the gawds honest truth...

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People's Champ ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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...some soft filters to make my girlfriend's close up look really sweet...

You have a girlfriend?

The 'share the noodle' girl?

http://forums.adobe.com/message/5625446#5625446

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Guide ,
Sep 12, 2013 Sep 12, 2013

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I was making stuff up.. about having a girl friend...

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Guide ,
Sep 13, 2013 Sep 13, 2013

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Jim, you must be learning to be very patient.. I thought you'd have deleted my post up there by now...

You okay ??

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LEGEND ,
Sep 13, 2013 Sep 13, 2013

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Everything said by Jim is from the event point of view

It would also very much apply to documentary filmmakers.  Could also apply to corporate and smaller independent productions as well.  And these are probably the bulk of the people looking to pick up the BMPCC.

I'd be very surprised if the Cohen Bros. wanted one for their next movie.

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Guide ,
Sep 13, 2013 Sep 13, 2013

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I suppose in a perfect world every post regarding equipment and solutions to problems would be prefaced by some reference to what it may or may not work with...

Also, it would be great if everyone had experience in all those categories, .... events, docs, indie, etc..

Indie has got to to the point where it isnt really a reference to low budget anymore.. as a lot of them are now big , and just dont have the hook into distribution from the outset ( so they go to festivals etc ).

Anyway, this whole thing is a big revolution ... film is nearly entirely dead now.. which is a huge change for tons of people. Imagine all those arriflex and panaflex cameras ( worth millions and millions ) suddenly being useless bodies if you can't tear out the mitchell movement and put in a chip instead ??  wow.. what a change !  all those labs dying out...geez.. it's beyond my imagination the shift of things..  At least the lenses and other access would still mostly be good to go onto digital.

Heh.. you mention cohen.. I know a guy named Craig who shot some subway stuff for them this past year with a DSLR ... so don't be too sure about what they will use or not ... hehe...

I think there were 2 reasons for that ( was 2nd unit stuff in subway nyc )...

They wanted to keep the footprint small ( no dolly, small crew ).. and they wanted to use the rolling shutter 'look' ...probably whipping camera at subway station signs etc.. as train went through stations ( camera inside express train, going through local stops fast ).

whip camera to " see " station sign...kinda like when you turn your head fast to see the signs....

That's my guess....the rolling shutter ( top down scan of chip ) woulda given some interesting effect of speed etc.

who knows.. haven't see the movie...

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LEGEND ,
Sep 13, 2013 Sep 13, 2013

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I suppose in a perfect world every post regarding equipment and solutions to problems would be prefaced by some reference to what it may or may not work with...

Any camera that works in an event situation will also work in a production situation, but the reverse is not true.  So the best 'solution' here is for camera makers to cater to that common denominator and always design their cameras (and lenses) for event work (at least any model under $10,000).

Then we all win.

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Guide ,
Sep 13, 2013 Sep 13, 2013

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I would disagree with you 100 % on that comment.. and in fact think it is a dive to the lowest common denominator to encourage that idea at all.

I believe what you think on the subject of event cameras being good for everything is based on innocent ignorance.

and things were going so well...

money has nothing to do with it...if you really think about it.. lets try to get the specs and technology correct first... and worry about money later on...

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LEGEND ,
Sep 13, 2013 Sep 13, 2013

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I would disagree with you 100 % on that comment.

Unfortunately, you're in good company on that one, as evidenced by the continuing production of cameras that aren't well suited to event work.

what you think on the subject of event cameras being good for everything is based on innocent ignorance.

I'm curious, how so?  What does a camera suitable for event work not have that would be needed for production work?

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Guide ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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I guess that would be fun to yap about but maybe another thread just for that would be good.. and other's would have to contribute who really know this stuff. I dont know about broadcast stuff as I just worked in film ...and I only worked as a grip, not a cameraman.

If I watch an NFL broadcast ( of an event ) I do know a tiny bit about those cameras but not much. Throughout the years other cameras ( film cameras ) have shot the same games..and get edited later on into NFL films of the games.. which is using different equipment and specs... some of which was for slow motion ( overcranked film ). So that's one example of an event that is using equipment and specs and tech stuff that is different for different puroposes. A film camera is a mitchell movement typically with a 180 degree shutter. There are reasons film looks like film due to that shutter and frame rate ( aside from lighting and all the other junk ).

Sound mixing and slates are another big deal. Now there are digital slates and a timecode generator can " jam" ( make the same ) the slate, sound, and camera timecodes...but before digital it was done with crystals and physical slate ( common slate for mult cameras)...so now you have lavs mixed with boom mics and whatever else is needed..mixed and slated for sync...

So regarding specs and tech stuff there are some things needed for different products and you know all this...

Picking apart what those products ARE is part of the problem. Events can be huge events or small events. Some is broadcast live and some is broadcast later. Some is film ( or was up until now where that whole world is getting digitized ). The digital 'film' stuff is still based on the 180 deg shutter and mixed sound slated.

This whole subject is huge to deal with and I don't know it all. You know more than me Jim , about event stuff for industrials and stuff like that... I never worked on that stuff.

But to whittle everything down to some common 'event' camera that is now supposed to be good for 'everything' is just over simplifying and so wrong.

Now, for example, someone here just bought a camera and will shoot video , and will try to maybe get some kind of 'film' look..and as yet is not aware of the effect of shutter speed with frame rate. In other words, the amount of blur inherent in a 1/48th shutter speed at 24 fps, compared to some arbitrary shutter speed to accomodate light level and iso...is sorta like barking at the dark...cause the basics is not understood... re: specs and tech stuff.

Yes, you're right.. the money is huge, but it's more important to understand the stuff IMO and then think about the money later...if the goal is to know stuff.

Once a person knows stuff they can better choose what they can do with what money they have, what compromises have to be made etc.

Anyway, this is a huge subject and I can't even begin to deal with it like this.. it would take a few fat books probably...and with a lot more authors than just me...

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Guide ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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This samle.. based on film camera type stuff  ( film being 180deg shutter, 24 fps ...not interlaced..but real frames of physical film)..is done with a digital camera 'based' on that ...BUT is way over cranked , which means opening up the shutter a bit...and real fast lens etc...and playing it 'back' at 24 fps ( like a film projector ).  The whole basis of the cam used is based on film, and it becomes easier to deal with how to get what you want because even though it doesn't have a 180 deg shutter it acts as if it does...the menu lets you set it just like a film camera. I'm talking about the shutter in degrees now... not just a time setting... The RED doesn't have that ( the one I tested ). You have to sorta deal with some other menu items to do the equiv. of adjust shutter by degrees. The Alexa does have the shutter menu item. Unless my brain is partly dead all this is true. 

partly why shutter stuff matters is cause other than exposure issues there's also syncing to CRT screens, flicker with some light sources and other stuff...that I have no clue about due to being kinda ignorant.

time for breakfast...

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Guide ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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I am wondering...

Lets say I shot that thing up there at 60fps ( which is of course not the fps used but lets pretend ). And I put that into a film projector which projects 24 fps....and I like the way it looks...

But NOW I want to digitize it and put it into another format to show someone on the internet...

How do I do that and what happens exactly ???

I open cs6, I start a new sequence at 1080p 60 fps...and put the file in there...( or use new item thing to match footage )...

Now I export at 24 fps and it will be slow motion with every single frame ? .. no dropped frames ? If I want compression which one gives me the closest thing to not mushing a bunch of colors and losing detail of each frame ( which is why I shot overcranked ...to get detail in slow motion ).

If the original I shot is 444 is there a way to keep that color depth ( color sampling and bit depth ? )...

I'm asking cause it seems to me that when thinking about source materials and those different types of cameras to do different types of THINGS.. then its logical that when you go into an editor ( to edit or convert or both ) there is now a 'workflow' ....which works best for what ...

That might be a good focus for some discussion here in a rational and controlled way ( not just anyone chiming in with opinions, but proven results with real exact info about what is actually " happening " in the process ).. I don't mean here in this thread, but somewhere in the forums.  It seems to me that will never happen unfortunately, but it sure would be nice...

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People's Champ ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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Rod,

Thanks for that footage. Who says human beings can't fly? Kind of makes you start to think that those guys actually earn those huge salaries, doesn't it?

If I may, let me address the 60fps to 24fps since I do that a lot. So far, mostly for practice and my own amusement, but I did use it for a little pro bono piece I just finished for my wife's school.

If you like the 60fps played on the 24fps projector, then carry that out an additional step. Don't put the 60fps footage into a 60fps sequence. Put it into a 24fps sequence. Then tell Premiere Pro to treat the footage as 24p instead of 60fps. You can then create the sequence from the interpreted clip and it will be 24p. (I use 24fps when I mean 23.976 and 60fps when I mean 59.9401 but you get the point.)

What happens is that each individual frame plays back perfectly, just for longer, with no blending of any kind, nothing duplicated and nothing left out. It is really quite nice. Now, from there, you could change the speed to 50% and it would play each frame twice, so basically the equivalent of 12fps. That is as low as I have been able to go and be reasonably happy with it on a computer screen. I wasn't quite as happy with it on a television. It was OK, but not great.

But playing each frame at the correct duration for a 24p timeline looks fabulous everywhere. In fact, while I have never used it, my camera actually has a setting to both overcrank and undercrank, but as far as I can tell, all it does is to change the frame rate, which I can darn well do myself. No need to play with some little setting to get the same effect that changing the shooting mode accomplishes.

Having said that, the shutter speed does make a difference. If I shoot at 24fps I set the shutter to 1/50 and at 60fps I use 1/125.  So obviously there will be a significant difference in motion blur. But it still looks pretty good.

Give it a try yourself. Perhaps with passing cars or something else that moves fairly quickly? Shoot at 60fps. Interpret the footage as 24p and place it on a 24p sequence. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Here is a little juggling I did for a codec test of all of my camera's modes. The first was shot at 60fps and exported to a YouTube preset at 60fps. The second is interpreted to 24p and exported at the same 60fps. I didn't mean to do that, but when I exported it at 24p it didn't make any discernable difference. I have not wrapped my head around that just yet. The third is at 50%, so the equivalent of 12fps exported to 60fps.

It looks a bit funny to me since I have lost another 30 pounds or so since then.

Edit: By the way. This is footage straight out of the camera. no color work or levels or anything.

artofzootography.com

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Guide ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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I got a little lost there...

the first one is shot 60 fps in a seq of 60fps and exported at 60fps ?

the second is a shot at 60fps in a seq of 24fps with footage interpreted to 24 fps...and exported at 60fps by mistake ? and then exported at 24fps and you didnt see difference...

the third is a seq of 24fps and with same shot at 60fps , interpreted to 24fps, but then 'time ' stuff is played with ( duration ) ????

I think what you said is what I expected would happen ...for my example of shooting overcranked to make it slo mo...

that is, I would shoot overcranked, put it into a seq of 24fps ( like as if that was my projector ), and I didn't know that interpreting footage to 24fps would THEN keep what I want but suspected that might be the case...

where I dont lose frames....and get my slo mo.  I almost dont wanna know what happens if a person DOESNT interpret footage...and exports at 24 fps....

this is the kinda thing I believe people should know in an easy to understand way.. if you feel like getting into it ...

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