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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replies 136 Replies 136
People's Champ ,
Sep 18, 2013 Sep 18, 2013

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..there are two underwater housings in the images: a universal one currently stuffed with Red Epic in the upper image in front (weighs around 30 kg when completely empty), and that yellow thing with the orange gizmo attached (nope, that's not a ballast, that's an external monitor) in the lower image is the housing for SONY camera.

The camera housings...

Booth at a trade show?

Do you do any underwater stuff?

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Guest
Sep 18, 2013 Sep 18, 2013

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Do you do any underwater stuff?

Occasionally help cover a pool walls and floor with a black fabric, tie algae to rods with attached weights, help distribute them over the bottom, realign between takes and clean the water afterwards.

Oh, I can also desalinate wetsuits when it happens to be a salt water!

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People's Champ ,
Sep 18, 2013 Sep 18, 2013

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...help cover a pool walls and floor with a black fabric, tie algae to rods with attached weights, help distribute them over the bottom...

Wuffo?

Are you simulating ocean diving scenes?

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Guest
Sep 18, 2013 Sep 18, 2013

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Nope. Surprisingly a lot of serials and feature films may have underwater scenes. Up to several seconds long!

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Guide ,
Sep 16, 2013 Sep 16, 2013

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taking this one step further.. in history... some people with 16mm bolex cameras made fantastic movies and productions ( whatever that means here )... about a gazillion years ago...and didnt need to blame their cameras for not having the bells and whistles and be less than 10k per camera ...to make really good stuff, and make money doing it..

and I must be deflecting the real issue about now... like, I'm trying to deflect the real important " issue" of the Question posed by the expert here....

( barf )

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LEGEND ,
Sep 16, 2013 Sep 16, 2013

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you tell ME what you think should be added to your less than 10k camera that IS GOOD FOR PRODUCTION WORK

First, I'm saying these things are often necessary, or at least desirable, for event work.  I said they would not interfere with production work.  Meaning a camera that has these things would still be usable when you do have control over the scene, whereas cameras without these things make the job difficult if not impossible when you don't have that control.

Things like good quality built-in mics with limiting (not AGC); like parfocal zoom lenses with constant 2.8 or better; like Optical Image Stabilization which can be turned on and off at the push of a button; like a proper, de-clicked iris ring; like an EVF/LCD of sufficient resolution and size to pull focus; like long lasting batteries; and like the audio level meters and time remaining indicators previously mentioned.  None of these things make a camera unusable when you have control over the scene.  However, not having these things at the very least makes the job more difficult when you don't have any control over the scene but still have to get a great shot.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 16, 2013 Sep 16, 2013

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could you please define 'production' since you are eliminating 'production' for the question ?

Keeping it fairly simple, production work is where you have control over the scene, whereas event work is where you have little or no control over the setting, action, lighting, etc. yet are still expected (or at least desire) to get an image and sound every bit as good as the production shooter.

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

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Yes, the first one is shot, edited and exported at 60p.

If you tried to put a 10 second clip of 60fps footage into a 24p sequence that you created on your own, the duration would stay 10 seconds. It would just drop 60% of the frames to accomplish the task. That is obviously not what you want. So, by telling Premiere Pro that the footage is really 24p you get a duration that is about 24 seconds long. Each frame plays for the proper duration of a 24fps sequence instead of at the shorter duration of a 60fps sequence.

Apparently how you export it doesn't seem to matter on YouTube. I don't know if that is because it changes the fps to something else anyway, or if the fact that there are more frames showing the same footage, the repeated frames are not really any different than the same frames just played for a longer duration.

The third is just the interpreted footage, on the same sequence, with the speed set to 50% causing the duration to double to 48 seconds.

artofzootography.com

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Guide ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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thanks Steve.. that confirms what I thought should happen, except I haven't tried it and didn't know I would choose 'interpret' footage to make it treat the source the way I would want for slo mo.

Now, if I had only one camera and no way to record sound other than into the camera directly...and you were juggling those things and saying, " Hi , my name is Steve, and in a moment I'm going to juggle 4 bowling pins ! "  what would happen to the sound ??

guess it would have to be a voice over , but I could at least get THAT off the camera right ??  separate the sound from the 60fps thing ( unlink, export , save, do the 24fps seq, get the slo mo video only, import sound from 60fps seq saved as wav or whatever, and use that as VO ? )

or.... just record slated shot, avoid all that stupid stuff ???

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LEGEND ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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

Ah, but you've got it backwards.  It's the production designed cameras that are 'whittled down' and missing the features which are often necessary (or at least, extremely desirable) for event/documentary work.  Things like good quality built-in mics with limiting (not AGC); like parfocal zoom lenses with constant 2.8 or better; like Optical Image Stabilization which can be turned on and off at the push of a button; like a proper, de-clicked iris ring; like an EVF/LCD of sufficient resolution and size to pull focus; like long lasting batteries; and like the audio level meters and time remaining indicators missing from the BMPCC.

How does including all of those features with every camera system suddenly make such a camera unsuitable for production work?  (Keeping in mind we're talking cameras under $10,000 here, which probably are a very small minority of cameras used for film and broadcast work.)

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LEGEND ,
Sep 18, 2013 Sep 18, 2013

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Rod,

Ask if you can use your Adobe Forum "Points" for payment - maybe there IS use for them, after all?

Good luck,

Hunt

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Guide ,
Sep 20, 2013 Sep 20, 2013

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I bought a point and shoot camera ( olympus tg1 ) for shooting underwater... and tested it last year in the pool at my apt. complex. I couldnt 'focus' on anything unless there were definite 'shapes' .. like the steps that led down into the shallow end of the pool....

the shots ( it can even shoot movies ! really I'm not kidding ! ) came out kinda cool looking...if you compare it to being blind as a bat underwater in murky water.

Later on ( a couple months ago ) I accidentally dropped that camera into a big pot of stew I was cooking on the stove...

It took at least 20 seconds for me to find a utensil to fish it out and then run it under cold water in sink... I thought for sure I had kilt my camera...

BUT NOOOOOO !  IT SURVIVED !  The good Ol olympus TG1 lived up to it's claim...." INDESTRUCTIBLE " !!!!!

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Guide ,
Sep 20, 2013 Sep 20, 2013

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fuzzy.. talking about water...

I hate to say it but I worked on this thing a long time ago... and part of the set was built in a big olympic size pool...cause that is where the church basement was and the vampire lived...it was really scary

scary.jpg

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103957/?ref_=nm_flmg_cam_28

OMG !  Karen Black !  Talk about SCARY !

Anyway, the production co. bought me a wet suit so I could swim around with a panaflex for about a gazillion years in this really big stupid pool.. and get some scary shots of this stuff... ( I pray I never have to re visit this low point of my life ).
The gaffer is now a famous DP...hehe... life goes on... met him on 'royal pain ' pilot years later and boy we laughed it up...about the vampire stuff...

anyway, I found out that you do stay sorta 'warm' in wet suit but eventually you get really COLD...

I also found out that your whole stupid body wants to FLOAT ...like be flat on the surface of water.. like some kinda human LOG...

it aint easy working in water if you want my opinion....

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Guest
Sep 20, 2013 Sep 20, 2013

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I hate to say it but I worked on this thing a long time ago...

I remember, and I did watch the movie after our discussion.

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Guide ,
Sep 20, 2013 Sep 20, 2013

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really ??? !!!  wow !  You couldnt PAY ME ENOUGH to watch that movie !  hehe... good gawd, it is awful !  hehe...

nice bat icon ...that thing reminds me of ME in the 80's on the lower east side....alphabet city...

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Guide ,
Sep 20, 2013 Sep 20, 2013

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( you know, when u come outta after hour club and hit the sunlight and everyone is running to work ...and you just stepped into the 'light'...OMG !

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Guide ,
Sep 20, 2013 Sep 20, 2013

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it probably doesnt matter here.. but just so you know...the gaffer on that stupid vampire thing..JIM... continued his career ( mostly in CA ) after that movie ... he hooked up with the sick DP ( from aus or NZ , I forget ) and got some steady work in CA thru that idiot... even though JIM was from NY...

Basically this is what is going on in the film biz.. everyone lives SOMEWHERE but they work WHEREVER...

is lots of fun !

anyway, Jim eventually kept working steadily away from ny and got his accreditation ( asc? ) and did royal pain pilot as dp. where I met him after about 30 years from vampire movie. trust me, we had a GREAT relationship on the vampire movie.

Kinda like me and JIM SIMON if I ever met him on a movie set.

LOVE is the word that describes this.

So when JIM ( the real jim who works on real shows and did the vampire movie 30 years ago as a 'gaffer' ) did the DP thing on royal pains... he now gets ( I am not kidding ) a kick back on the show for as long as the episode plays on TV with the original distributer.

That is to say, ( and this goes for director and writer too ), they get points on the episodes.  Now, in reality, after about 7 years the contracts for ACTORS kicks in , where they ALSO begin to get a kick back on the episodes... forever.... no matter how many distributers buy and sell the product .

This is why you see TV episodes ( after about 7 years ) bite the dust and stop filming. Cause the producers would have to share yet MORE profit with the actors now...even if they stop shooting.... get it ??

You do realize that this is a BUSINESS ?  Luckily JIM ( the birthday boy in upstate NY ) has a clear view of this business and the programs involved in producing the products... so everyone will benefit from his experience and knowledge.

( where's that bat icon when I need it ??? ... insert here ! )

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Guide ,
Sep 20, 2013 Sep 20, 2013

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i dont watch tv stuff .. but think about all those episodic things people watch.. and the stuff you hear via PR for them...

law and order , csi, house, nypd blue, whats that one with the fire fighter guy ? in ny ? I forget.. he ran for a while...famous fireman ? tons of stuff falls into this category of episodic stuff now... even stuff like 'emergency room' or whatever the stuff is called..

You ( as the audience ) are as much of the 'product' as the people who make it.  YES ! ITS TRUE !

YOU are the reason it exists.

IF YOU DECIDE ( through your intelligence and social economic awareness ) NOT TO WATCH ... you will actually begin to get better programming and shows to watch.

IM NOT KIDDING !

think positive !

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People's Champ ,
Sep 20, 2013 Sep 20, 2013

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I don't watch any commercial network episodic series on air either.

But... there have been a few good ones on the pay channels.

- Six Feet Under

- The Sopranos

- Huff

Some even like Boardwalk Empire!

Commercial episodic series:

I have watched the first few seasons of Mad Men on DVD... I thought

it wasn't bad (I can identify with the ad agency types).

And, Breaking Bad is supposed to be good (I haven't seen it).

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Guide ,
Sep 20, 2013 Sep 20, 2013

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havent watched any of those things.. nor any tv episodes for years. sorry to say ...too busy working and having no personal schedule ( no fixed schedule for work ).  last thing i watched and had fun watching was around the early star trek stuff before I got drafted etc. ... left " home".

I've watched some stuff just to see how it got cut. see how it looked aesthetically (? ).. lighting etc.

see if I made a nice camera 'move' ... if it got left on floor or put into movie ...

other than that I'm sorta lonely and dont get a kick outta that stuff much anymore... just watching tv or movies.

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Guide ,
Sep 20, 2013 Sep 20, 2013

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I read a lot..

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Guide ,
Sep 22, 2013 Sep 22, 2013

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anyone have thoughts on atomos ninja 2 recording from hdmi dslr ???

general observations re: overall quality of hardware and recordings ??  I sorta know the specs from reading...I'm thinking I may get slightly better results from it instead of using the sd card and in camera h264 compression.

??

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People's Champ ,
Sep 22, 2013 Sep 22, 2013

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I suggest reading the reviews on the B&H page.  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/858661-REG/ATOMOS_ATOMNJA002_Ninja_2.html

But, seriously? I thought your camera had some pretty nice video capabilities from what I read. I know that the Mac folks like to record to ProRes, but the video I have seen from Nikons and Canons has all been really great quality. I have only been able to download short clips, but they looked great.

Have you checked to make sure the video exported from your camera is not compressed before hitting the HDMI port?

artofzootography.com

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Guide ,
Sep 22, 2013 Sep 22, 2013

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yeah, I was thinking of trying out the avid codec instead of the pro res, but what I like about it is that it's just less heavy compression as on the cards in camera, more time potentially ( if I swap SSD ), the result is 422 ( it only records the 420 of the camera but puts it into 422 space for editor ), less intensive for the pig to handle...although I havent had any problem with pig and mov h264...

Just thinking about it ...not about to go order anything real quick..

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Guest
Sep 22, 2013 Sep 22, 2013

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I know that the Mac folks like to record to ProRes...

Steven, this time it's not about Mac folks and their preferences, this time it's about production codec vs delivery codec (i.e. Intra-frame, 220 Mbps and 4:2:2 chroma subsampling vs Inter-frame, 28 Mbps and 4:2:0 chroma subsampling) and as a result better quality for critical colour and compositing work.

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