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 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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moving on a bit.. assuming you, Steve, are willing to help people with this sorta info...lets take this another level.. and Jim might get a kick out of this...

Let's say I shoot high speed with a camera that has some wire going to it to record sound directly to the camera...but I want to show the thing at 24 fps like a movie projector...so it looks like slo mo...

now, lets say I shoot at 60fps and put it into a 24 fps sequence and interpret footage at 24 fps.. and then EXPORT at 24 fps...( some format, who cares right now..cause that's another can of worms ).

what happens to my sound ?

For people who don't know what the F is going on from the beginning ( no film experience, no broadcast experience, etc ) all this stuff is VERY confusing and challenging. Adding to THAT with attitudes about 'what is the best camera ' when stuck on certain opinions for specific products ( events, movies, commercials, industrials, computer platforms, editing programs, etc ) is very complex to newbies....not to mention me myself...and also, I'm sorry to say , to the CEO of adobe ( may he rot in jail and not pass go )

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

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As you can hear in my 3 videos, using the camera's microphones, when you play the footage slower, the sound gets pretty funny. The same would apply to an external mic into the camera's jacks.

So the real question is, what do you want to happen to the audio? Some people just eliminate it and either use a voiceover or music, or even silence. Or for humor, play the audio the way I did.

What you could do, if the audio was important, is to make a copy of the original clip so that you could take the audio from the 60p footage and put it under the 24p interpreted footage. Obviously the audio would last 10 seconds and there would be 14 more seconds that you would have to deal with. That would make sense only on rare occasions, I imagine.

In the case of the juggling, if I wanted to make a juggling tutorial, I would use a voiceover, or, I could record right into the camera and say what I wanted to say before I started juggling. Then I could use the audio just like a voiceover. Although. keep in mind that I can mix 60p footage with 24p (interpreted) footage on the same sequence, so I could start with 60fps regular motion and audio, then go to the slow motion, using some comedic music like a calliope, and then go back to normal motion to recap the lesson and perhaps show it again in normal motion.

If the audio was of someone talking really fast, you might be able to take the footage from the 24p interpreted footage into Audition, and raise the pitch back up to where the words matched the slowed down footage, at a proper pitch, but just really slow. In other words, planning ahead could make it work. What was that fellows name that talked really fast in TV commercials quite a few years back? Slowing him down would be a cinch.

I am always willing to help with stuff like this when my camera is up to the task. I am actually thinking it is time to start a video blog (VLOG?) to discuss the things I have learned about photography and videography with a mirrorless camera like mine. Maybe because I am still close to the beginning of the "learning the basics" process, calling people's attention to the tutorials that I have found to be the best at explaining things might be useful to other beginners.

There may be some good tutorials on this subject already though. I will check around and see if some of the experts like Rich Harrington have already dealt with this.

artofzootography.com

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

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Jon Barrie has one. It shows how to interpret, but then goes on to talk about a syncing problem that wasn't all that obvious to the viewer.

This is an After Effects version of it:

artofzootography.com

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Guide ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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yeah, the 'planning ahead' thing really got my attention...your mention of it.

I think to do that you have to know beforehand what's gonna happen so the more you know the better off you are. the more time you save and the better quality you get... cause it's already known stuff ( workflow etc ).

===========

So the real question is, what do you want to happen to the audio?

=============

and the real question is, what do you want to happen to the images and the audio ( as movies etc are AV ( audio visual ) experiences.

I just saw some ad for a new movie coming out called 'gravity'... and boy was I thrilled !   All this really crazy CGI stuff was going on in SPACE ( where there is less gravity as you know )....and my favorite actress Sandra Bullock , is IN THE MOVIE !  AND it is going to be released as a 3D MOVIE !!!!!  So Sandra is going to look right AT ME IN MY FACE !  How cool is THAT ? !

Way better than that 3d movie with kermit the frog... yuck... who wants kermit in your face ? not me !

its beer thirty ! yipee !

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Guide ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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a long time ago ( seems a long time now anyway ) I worked on some movie where the camera was near Staten Island on a barge with surgical tubing type rig ( panaflex with really long lens )... so the camera could get about 1 nanosecond of 'footage' of some boats exploding ....lots of cameras all over the harbor and in helicopters and so on..

The battery park area of harbor was shut down for the movie 'stunt' and coast guard and cops and firemen people in boats were all over the place to keep everyone away from the explosions etc...

It's kinda like what people 'do' to make movies with cameras for fun.

I was having fun too.. plus getting paid which meant a lot to my ex wives especially.

anyway, I could tell you some really funny stories about this particular movie if you want...but in the meantime think about THIS.

If we are a gazillion miles away from the explosion of the boats, and sound travels slower the light... how do you get the best sound of the explosion synd with all the other stuff going on too... and the images ???  do you think running a cable to the camera would be a good idea ?? from helicopter, boats, lav mics etc ??  If you are really interested, boy do I have a STORY to tell YOU about some of these scenes... !!!   hehe.. you would love them... funny stories...

anyway, the explosion happens visually and a few seconds later you hear the " boom ".. but on movie screen it is immediate...

I became on of Jackie's fans after this movie.. he sent me xmas cards for about 10 years after this was done...he's nice.

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Guide ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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LOL.. i just watched that trailer and boy,some of it is really wanky , stupid looking... but this was early in Jackie's career in the U.S...he was already a star in hong kong etc.. but not here.. so this was one of his first us movies , if not the very first...

he did his own stunts.. im not kidding ! he was amazing as an athlete .. and he was truly really a nice guy ! no kiddding !

i hope he is still the same ..its been about 30 years...

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

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Wait 28 years and that trailer for "Gravity"

will look really wanky and stupid too!

(I saw it too today... looks cool)

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LEGEND ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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how do you get the best sound of the explosion sound with all the other stuff going on too

Foley.

That's two jabs about running a cable to the camera for audio.  Keep in mind that just because a camera can do something doesn't necessarily mean you have to do that for every single shot.  But it sure is nice when the camera can do that thing for those shots that need it.

So the question remains open to you.  How does having those capabilities make a camera unsuitable for production work?

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People's Champ ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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DetectiveFoley.jpg

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

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Notice!

This thread is marked as a question.

It is possible that your responses might be marked as Correct or Helpful.

It is also possible I might change my mind.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2013 Sep 14, 2013

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Notice!

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Guide ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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oh ... I forgot....by the way... I have no direct experience with that camera...

speaking hypothetically, can one really and truly HAVE a direct experience with a camera ??

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People's Champ ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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speaking hypothetically, can one really and truly HAVE a direct experience with a camera ??

If you do... be sure and post some stills!

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Guide ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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i LoveYoujpg.jpg

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People's Champ ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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You've gotten rid of your stubble!

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LEGEND ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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what happens to my sound ?

You generally don't need sound for slow motion work.

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People's Champ ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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You generally don't need sound for slow motion work.

True,

But sometimes using the sound of the explosion slowed way down is pretty comical. Or could actually add dramatic effect on occasion.

artofzootography.com

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Guide ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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maybe its time to watch some movies more closely and figure out how they are made... that would be a good start...

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Guide ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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here's a sample .. in midnight cowboy ratzo rizzo and john voight are walking across the st. and a cab almost hits ratzo and he bangs on the hood of the cab and yells, " HEY ! I'M WALKIN HERE ! "....

the shot is from a pretty long lens and I'm wondering.. how was his dialogue captured in sound ?  any ideas ??  do you think there was more than one camera shooting that part of scene at the same time ? 

better yet, Jim, you pick a scene of some movie you like and lets narrow it down to a very specific couple of shots...and lets discuss how it was shot, and how the sound was recorded... hows that sound to you ??  Let's get specific and tear something apart into its components...and get down to the reality instead of all this nonsense about jabs etc.  sheesh... I really dont wanna keep this up to be honest.. I have better things to do with my time etc.

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Guide ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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how odd... this is becoming similar in a way to the " hard light vs soft light " thing, which took a gazillion posts to finally get right...

lets call it semantics and call it quits... hehe... time to move on...

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Guide ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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any action movie will do.. probably.. but here's a sample of the type thing where sound is recorded during actual takes, but some cameras are overcranked on the action ...and its not foley or wild sound or recorded sound during take .. but what 'works' in the final product.. usually all sorts of stuff..

which is why there is a 'sound dept. ' on  movie crews. they win awards for their mixing and recording...called " oscars ".

they dont record to camera.

of course it could be FUNNY .. to record sound and play it back in slow motion...hehe... but isn't that what the chipmunks do ?? or vica versa ??

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Guide ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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seabiscuit..my personal favorite pony....

some shots are overcranked, but running and sound remain normal speed....the sound isnt slowed down to make a funny joke...

the pace of race is maintained even when cameras get overcranked....is kinda fun...

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Guide ,
Sep 15, 2013 Sep 15, 2013

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some of the camera angles and shots ( tracking with running horsies...etc ) may make it obvious that running a cable into camera isnt really such a great idea...

that cable might get kinda squished and maybe even become a potential tripping hazard....

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LEGEND ,
Sep 16, 2013 Sep 16, 2013

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better yet, Jim, you pick a scene of some movie you like and lets narrow it down to a very specific couple of shots...and lets discuss how it was shot, and how the sound was recorded... hows that sound to you ??

Towards what end?  Because at the moment, the only purpose I can see for such an effort is deflection of my question put to you, which is how adding features needed for event/documentary work somehow make a camera unsuitable for production work.

I will further offer yet a third reminder that we're talking about cameras under $10,000 here, which are not the norm in Hollywood production, so what Hollywood does is not all that relevant to the question.

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Guide ,
Sep 16, 2013 Sep 16, 2013

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okay, Jim...I will answer your question. I will focus on cameras for 10,000.00 or less. I will focus on features added to those cameras that make it unsuitable for "production" work.  By production I mean other than "event" work.  Let's narrow this down a little bit according to your wishes...

In other words, define 'event' when you can, and define "production work " when you can.  Meantime here

is one answer to get started...

a) adding ablity to record sound in stereo or 2 mono tracks

Gives poor performance as opposed to mixing sound and slating those takes in productions that require fixed mics hard wired and lav mics with transmitters. In this case I am speaking of boom mics , mics on podiums, and lav mics on talent, and room tone, and wild tracks.

If we assume that having the ability to record sound into camera directly  the user decides NOT to use the feature (not using a camera mounted shotgun or built in mics), it simply adds 'cost' to the camera for a feature that is only good for some event work ( eg. wedding ) but is no good for production work.

It therefore gives prospective users (potential customers ) the false sense that the camera sound recording feature is in fact good for production work which it is not. It also lowers the 'bar' with regard to quality of work done for production work if someone actually DOES use it for production work.  It is, in a word, lowering the 'quality' of work for production work.

I understand that most cameras below $10k do in fact have the ability to record sound in some fashion ( mini stereo ? ) and I'm sure some have figured out how to go from XLR to mini stereo etc...and do in fact record sound with the cameras...and it is in sync at a good bit rate etc.  The camera may have levels they can see or a headphone jack to monitor the sound live. It may have a balance control for left and right channels. None of those things IMO are adequate for production work.

So now you tell me what you think Jim and lets move on to the next 'feature' you want added to your low cost cameras without adding cost to the cameras so it's good for event and production work.

I suggest you think about chip size, raw or similar ( with cards and hard drives ), HD SDI out BNC ( dual for 4.4.4 ), and so on...

and keep it below 10k please...

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