New Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Footage to Sink Your Teeth Into
If you've been following the site, you probably know his name already, but John Brawley, an Australian DP, has been working with Blackmagic to develop not only the Cinema Camera, but also the Pocket and 4K cameras. Footage has been nonexistent for the 4K camera (even though we're closing in on the release date), but the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has gotten one bit of test clips so far, with another now being released. Check it out below:
Some info about how it was shot and edited:
This footage was shot at ISO 800 and I did have to bring it up more than a stop (using the Antler BMCC plugin – see below) so it does look a little noisier than I’d like. I’m sure if I’d shot at ISO 1600 it would be better. The restaurant was very dimly lit with just few small practical bulbs above us.
So it’s not ideal but even in this tough scenario the pics are still nice and I know you’re all keen to see low light and the SLR magic lenses. And I think it turned in some nicely useable pictures.
This was all posted in FCPX and I didn’t go to Resolve at all. Instead I used a beta of Nick Shaw’s awesome BMCC LUT plugin for FCPX. He currently makes one you can buy for FCP7 with the FCPX version soon to come.
The great thing about Nick’s plugin is that you can very easily do a quick conversion of BMD FILM originated material and get a great look with very little effort. Mainly I pushed the saturation a little more, but otherwise I didn’t really do much grading beyond what Nicks’ plugin does and I did it without leaving FCP.
While many have talked about this camera in the same breath as the new RAW video hack for the Canon cameras, I think they are both completely different animals, and this camera could certainly complement a Mark III or a Mark II shooting close to 1080 in RAW. We'll still have to wait and see if Blackmagic can deliver RAW for this camera when it's released, but we do know right off the bat we will at least be getting 10-bit ProRes, which is exceptional for such a cheap camera.
The sensor is much smaller than many are used to, but at 2.9x compared to full-frame, I think Micro 4/3 lenses make the most sense on this camera, unless you're going to use something like the Speed Booster -- otherwise you're really cropping into the lenses.
I think if you're looking at this camera or one of the Magic Lanterned cameras, the quality of the Pocket camera should exceed at least the lower-end Canons, as they are only capable of low resolutions in RAW at this point. Cameras like the T3i will most likely not get up to 1080 with the hack, and they can currently record the longest only at resolutions below 720 in RAW mode. Even though you're not getting audio with the Canons yet, where things might really get interesting is with the CF cameras, like the 50D, Mark II, and the Mark III. If you're willing to sacrifice certain things, like real playback, the 50D and the Mark II are right around the price of this camera, especially if you're invested in Canon lenses.
Either way, it's always good to have more options.
Disclosure: Blackmagic is a No Film School advertiser.