Last month, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera started arriving at excited customers' doorsteps. With an overwhelming sense of joy, many folks went out and shot some tests, and much to their dismay, the BMPCC produced some really strange sensor artifacts, chiefly the blatantly obvious black hole artifact that appears when the camera is pointed at a bright source of light. There have also been a few cases of mysterious white orbs that are caused by a sensor misreading of specular highlights. However, the Blackmagic team has been aware of these issues, and they've announced their solutions for getting rid of them:
Blackmagic's fixes for these sensor issues are twofold. Firstly, for the infamous black hole highlights, these will be fixed completely by simply installing the latest version of the firmware (v.1.42). However, the white orb issue (which has been reported by far fewer people) requires a recalibration of the sensor. If you've experienced the white orbs, contact your reseller and arrange for the recalibration.
Here's a quick video from John Brawley showing that these issues have been fixed:
And here's John's explanation of what to look for in the video:
I've shown both the un-calibrated camera and a calibrated camera. You'll notice that it's very difficult to pick much of a difference on the mirror ball's occasional hits from the dedo. Where you'll see the hard clipping most in the first clip with the 150W dedo that's in shot and you'll notice it actually has a hard and ugly edge and kind of "eats" into the foreground flower. In the calibrated camera, you notice that the 150 lamp is still clipped or blown out. You could even say it's an orb too, but there is detail in near clipping, and you can also make out more of the flare. There's also none of the circular hard edged clipping that eats into the flower in foreground you see in the previous example. I also did some small blow ups and a large scale up as well so you can really look at the hard clipping close.
Here's another video from Brawley showing how the latest 1.42 firmware for the BMPCC fixes black hole issues:
Clearly the guys at Blackmagic are on the right track. They're finding solutions almost as quickly as the problems are being reported. This kind of immediate response has really set Blackmagic apart from many of their competitors, and it's great to see a company really working hard to make their products as good as they can be, and in a timely manner.
What do you guys think? Have you experienced any of these issues with you Pocket cameras? Are you surprised by how quickly Blackmagic was able to fix them? Let us know in the comments!