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First Video Comparison of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera's ProRes & 12 Bit RAW

11.12.13 @ 7:30PM Tags : , , , , , , ,

BMPCC ProRes vs RAWJust last night, Blackmagic Design released a firmware update for their Pocket Cinema Camera that we’ve all been waiting for since the day the camera was released several months ago, a firmware update that gave the minuscule camera the ability to shoot compressed RAW CinemaDNG files directly to the internal SD cards. With the recently released update, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing comparison videos of the BMPCC’s ProRes shooting mode and the newly possible RAW mode. Here’s the first of these videos:

This video comes to us courtesy of filmmaker D.L. Watson. Check it out:

Despite the fact that the rain in this video makes it difficult to analyze the results with a critical eye, the 12 bit RAW still looks a hell of lot better than the camera’s native ProRes, especially in terms of fine detail and dynamic range. Without any post sharpening or denoising of any kind, the (lightly) compressed RAW from this tiny little camera looks just as good as its bigger brother, the original BMCC.

It appears that one of the major drawbacks to the RAW shooting option on this camera will be the moire. From the video it’s pretty easy to tell that the sensor (combined with the fact that the camera doesn’t have an optical low pass filter of any kind) is extremely sensitive to finely detailed portions of the image to the point of extreme moire. Just like we all learned to avoid certain shooting situations with our DSLR’s so as to avoid aliasing and moire, we’ll have to do the same with the BMPCC.

Of course, the RAW recording option on this camera is limited immensely by the relatively small and slow SD cards, so it certainly won’t be ideal (or even practical) for most projects. However, the immediate jump in image quality that can be had from the RAW shooting mode is certainly substantial, and could very well be used to great effect given the right circumstances.

What do you guys think of the video? Let us know in the comments!

Link: D.L. Watson – Vimeo

Related Posts

  1. Download 6 ProRes Green-Screen Clips Shot on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
  2. First Full-Quality ProRes Clips from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Have Been Released
  3. RAW Support Coming Soon to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera


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  • Andrey Valentsov on 11.18.13 @ 3:49AM

    About Moire

    Guys, I’ve used BMCC 2.5K for quite a long time, and I can say that moire can be really strong with it. But the solution for it is quite simple, if not really simple!
    The thing is, that this camera is really sharp in all the channels: that’s what causing this strong moire. What does OLPF does, how does it remove the moire? It blurs your image. Every camera, which has OLPF has a slightly blurred image because of this filter. Just check why Nikon has made 2 versions of D800 and you will understand what I’m talking now.

    The good thing is that you don’t need OLPF. With modern digital technologies, you can just blur the image yourself in post, and effectively remove that moire completely. More than that, you do not need to blur all the information, you can only blur the color information, leaving luminosity information intact, which will preserve much more details, than OLPF. Even more than that — you can blur only the part of the image (the part with moire), which will give you even better results, as the rest of image will be original.

    So now you know why ProRes has much less moire — it’s because it uses 422 compression, which blurs color. It’s that simple — if you want sharper colors, you have to shoot RAW, but what is the point of OLPF then, if it will blur everything back?

    I really like, that BMPC doesn’t have any OLPF, because it gives me a choice, and when I use it propely I get better results.
    Guys, this is a small but professional camera, it’s not point-and-click. You have to learn how to use it.

  • This video with the raw conversion is FABULOUS!!! The color clarity, the sharp focus, the dynamic range and endless color cirrection opportunity’s are exactly why I bought this camera.

  • finducinema on 11.26.13 @ 2:10AM

    This website, this ENTIRE COMMUNITY is built around the modern HD-DSLR.

    These cameras, through democratization, created a wider foundation for aspiring filmmakers than has existed in the one-hundred-plus years of motion picture history.

    For independent film community it was like Prometheus delivering fire.

    And most, if not all, have some form of DSLR in our possession, because we all rushed out to get one. But, we didn’t rush to buy for shallow purposes of wanting to own the latest toy, or because of some Black Friday induced madness.

    Our haste was fueled by the burning inside. The burning that cannot be contained, that drives us to continue despite the Law of Edward Murphy fighting us every single step of the way. The burning, which forces us to use film as The Medium of creation and conveyance.

    And now, despite nearly all of us having these marvels of engineering capability in our hands for some years, it would seem many never learned how to use the goddamn thing for it’s original purpose!

    Taking still photographs.

    Beautiful, gorgeous photographs that are worth looking at, instead of just another muddled single-button-snapped-JPEG that barely merits a place on Facebook.

    It seems as though there is a general ignorance about RAW itself, across the online independent film community. So, often I’ve seen questions brought on by confusion toward the multitude of new facets RAW will introduce into our already tech-complicated filmmaking world.

    You rarely encounter this confusion in the online pro/semi-pro photography community. For example the blog FStoppers where I’ve actually seen better more comprehensive coverage of CinemaDNG than on a lot film blogs. Of Course, FStoppers CAN’T COMPETE with NFS’s coverage, they do better than most other film blogs.

    I think the main reason is photographers were working with RAW files while we were still slugging it out in the wild with our standard definition Canon XL1’s (if we were lucky). Or, in the case of a few of us (my-now-dated-self included), we were merely praying to get close to decent exposure during the 28 seconds our crank powered Bolex H16’s, loaded with Kodak Tri-X B&W Reversal, would allow.

    We, as filmmakers/videographers must now unlearn much of what we spent the last five years figuring out. Even the techniques for attaining proper exposure are different from the methods of our crushingly compressed video-stone-age.

    Photographers have had many years to learn and perfect getting the most out of this format. And they’ve spent those last few years sharing their knowledge, just like what’s done here at NFS. I encourage all of you, even those who have a grasp on the wondrous potential of RAW to take a look around some decent photography blogs. After all, when you get down to it CinemaDNG is just a bunch of Adobe DNG files and photographers been working with Adobe DNG since it came out.

    I know filmmakers are puzzle-solvers and need to be challenged to do better constantly. Well fear not, there’s a limit to what those 1-frame-per-minute folk can teach us, we’ll still have to figure out things like metadata, wrappers, organization, cross platform translation, and of course, WORKFLOW. There’s plenty of fun and discovery to be had.

    • finducinema on 11.26.13 @ 2:19AM

      And for those under the delusion that ProRes is just as good or better than RAW?! Malarkey! ProRes is great and better suited in certain shooting situations; however, it can’t touch RAW when it comes to image quality and detail retention. Also, given what Adobe has already done with compressing DNG for photographs, with virtually no loss in detail, I’m excited for the day when a RAW format will surpass ProRes, and a few more heavily compressed codecs in not just image, but speed and size.

      But, if I cannot persuade, and you are convinced the two still look identical. Just wait a short while, current color-grading software has not yet fully adjusted. Wait for the day color-grading software catches up to the new demands and rises to elevate the new abilities. Perhaps then we will have a video-editing equivalent to Lightroom. Because with Lightroom one can make an audience not just look at a piece, but feel it. And so shall we.

    • finducinema on 11.26.13 @ 2:27AM

      Also, if anyone bothers to read the novel I’ve published above, I apologize for the numerous grammatical errors and occasional missing word.

      Forgive me.

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