October 10, 2013

Dave Dugdale Reviews the Blackmagic Pocket Camera & Compares It to the 5D Mark III & RED EPIC

Video thumbnail for youtube video Dave Dugdale Compares the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera to the 5D Mark III and RED EPIC - No Film SchoolThe new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is starting to be reviewed around the web, and this time we've got Dave Dugdale taking a look at just the second camera from the company. Dave compares the Pocket to his Canon 5D Mark III as well as a RED EPIC, and reviews the camera from a learning perspective. Much of the review focuses on the camera's log ProRes shooting mode, but there is also an interesting bit about Magic Lantern later on in the review. Check it out below.

Since RAW isn't out yet for the camera, Dave mentions there will be an additional review when that is enabled:

I know there could be many issues that might arise from allowing third parties to access source code, but it would be a genius move for Blackmagic to do something like that. Not only would it bring back some favor with those who have lost faith that the company can deliver a solid product on time, but it would actually allow Blackmagic to focus on more important things -- like hardware -- that have seemingly given them the most trouble. Without Magic Lantern on the Canon DSLRs, I'm sure many would have already moved on from that company to something more feature-rich.

We can all dream, but there are any reasons why that would not happen, including the fact that code is shared among all of their cameras, and opening up something like that also means your competitors also have access to it. Apertus is attempting to do something like this with their Axiom camera (and a whole lot more), but it's a bit different when profit is an important factor for a business. There are some very simple additions that an open source team of coders would probably be able to solve -- like audio meters and better focus aids. Unfortunately it may take a while for Blackmagic to implement those features, among others. At this point both of their cameras should really have the ability to format cards in the camera, and while it may come eventually, it would be really interesting to see what a worldwide team of dedicated people could do with the hardware.

We'll have our own thoughts on the Pocket camera very soon. Check out more reviews over on Dave's site, Learning DSLR Video.

Link: Blackmagic Pocket Camera Review Compared To DSLR and Red Epic -- Learning DSLR Video

Your Comment

80 Comments

Great review !
Thanks,
Tim

October 10, 2013 at 12:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

8
Reply

Maybe the source code doesn't have to be released out to the public. Rather, just to particular developers with an agreement that the code me kept confidential. If Blackmagic were to make a deal with Magic Lantern, wherein they work together as partners exclusively, maybe that's a safer alternative.

October 10, 2013 at 12:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Sotto

I think that would be amazing if they released the code, or at least allowed 3rd party firmware. I would be very, very surprised if that happened. Even if they documented the firmware that would help the community to developer 3rd party software.

October 10, 2013 at 12:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

Also, does anyone have suggestions for online color grading courses?

October 10, 2013 at 1:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

I learned DaVinci Resolve from Color Grading Central by Denver Riddle. It's basic but helps with quickly getting started. For more of a complete training I recommend DaVinci Core Training by Alexis Van Hurkman who also wrote the Color Grading Handbook.

A big help is to start by using a LUT with a preset look that brings back the saturation and contrast and adjust from there. I love the one by Captain Hook:
http://www.captainhook.co.nz/blackmagic-cinema-camera-lut/

Juan Malera also made some good LUTs that look like film emulations similar to FilmConvert.
http://juanmelara.com.au/print-film-emulation-luts-for-download/

October 10, 2013 at 2:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

4
Reply

@casey thanks thats some great information

October 10, 2013 at 6:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
JAYEEE

good question, I'd like to know as well

October 10, 2013 at 6:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Chris

Great post. Of course the solution to the color correction and grading issue is to bring a color chart along on your shoot. That saves a TON of time and headache

October 10, 2013 at 1:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Stephen

Excellent review. I think the mention of Magic Lantern is spot-on. It is the only reason I haven't jumped ship to something like the BMPCC. One of the other things covered, and this is something that I haven't seen other reviews cover, is the learning curve (pun intended) for grading. I'm glad Dave covered this as it is sometimes difficult enough to piece together some footage, much less spend exponentially more time trying to grade the image just to have something useful.

My takeaway is this: BMPCC is the perfect intermediate step from DSLR to "big boy cameras". As much as Magic Lantern is pulling Canon's offerings along, it is only a matter of time before companies like Black Magic offer more appealing mass-market products. I see the BMPCC as the first warning shot and this *excellent* review covers that rather well. Good job, Dave!

October 10, 2013 at 1:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
Adam Schaefer

Do you have to grade every single shot or is there any other way?

October 10, 2013 at 1:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

14
Reply
Miha Horvat

You can save a still that keeps all your nodes, and you can copy that onto other shots.

Or just use Captain Hook's LUT across all clips if you are in a rush.

October 10, 2013 at 3:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

13
Reply
Fresno Bob

Hi from Romania
I've just received my BlackMagic Pocket. I have to tell you that I'm quite proficient with grading: I use The Foundry's Nuke as I feel that daVinci is not advanced enough.
So, what can I tell after two days of testing the BMPCC: it's just a m a z i n g. Full stop. There are some drawbacks that hopefully will be solved with an update: for instance if you press play to see what you've filmed, then you cannot return to shooting mode unless you turn it off or hit "record" - an option which is inconvenient as it actually starts shooting. However, it holds my settings as I'm turning it off and on.
A note for all those having problems with log and cinema mode. Try using a proper read node. In Nuke, you should be carefull to select the appropriate color space when you read or import the footage. In daVinci, if I remember from BlackMagic tutorials, you shall select the appropriate color space as well when you import clips. If you read them incorrectly, then your image will be washed out.
However, color correction is one of the simples things to learn. Buy one of Steve Hulfish books from Amazon (you better add Ron Brinkmann's book on compositing) that is a mere 30$ and bang! in a week you'll do wonders with your footage.
Now, once that we have the perfect video beast, let's start doing those amazing movies that it was designed for! Ok? Roll, baby, roll!

October 10, 2013 at 1:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

11
Reply

Do you have to grade every single shot or is there any other way?

October 10, 2013 at 2:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
Miha Horvat

Davinci not advanced enough for colour grading? What? I use nuke too but it's far behind in color abilities, for compositing is a bulldog!

Well I found MKIII's image more detailed in the comparison

October 10, 2013 at 2:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
Alex Mand

Well, in Nuke you can isolate any shade or color you want, you can have zillions of nodes correcting parts or specific shades, curbes after curbes, color spaces trasfers and corrections and back to your default, you can have whatever masks you want, either defined by roto or by combinations of channels, you can combine with merges so many ways, you can track the masks via traditional trackers, planar, make them projections after camera solve, apply so many combinations of opperations that daVinci will never dream of. Of course, all comes to less speed and serious computing power - but hey, it's hight end production.

@ MIHA HORVAT and yes, in nuke you have to grade each shot separatedly. however, you can save any buch of opperations as gizmos or simply collapse the nodes and copy and paste them over other footage. this color correction is supposed to be done in the finishing phase, after you've refined all your cuts - you'll not grade all the shot footage.

October 10, 2013 at 3:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

Some starting idea why Nuke is very capable of handling serious color correction: http://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1707325
And here are some more technical reasons: http://www.fxguide.com/featured/the-art-of-digital-color/
I would argue that to this moment, Nuke is the most capable software in the world to make the most advanced color correction, even if it's main purpose it's not this - but compositing (I agreee here). There is no single color correction that you can imagine in any software - be it Photoshop, daVinci, you name it - that one cannot reproduce with ease and even more control and refinement in Nuke. Even more, in Nuke you can reach, from the point where the other packages are left without resources, new limits and make wonderful images close to gorgious.
I'm talking as someone who finished and tested the images in a proper theater, delivering a DCP and testing it on different cinema projectors (Doremi, Sony) and different screens (pure white, silver tinted, etc.)
Not to mention the fact that is disregarded by almost all who are reframing their shots: 99% of the software packages are altering pixels and subpixels when moving or stretching or scalling the images. Nuke is one of the few (I'm not sure about Flame though) that gives the flexibility of seeing what is under the hood of any transformation operation and choosing according to the desired end-result.

October 10, 2013 at 4:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

Interesting thought but I have never heard anyone complaining about the capabilities of the various color grading softwares in the market. For a professional colorist, speed and accuracy are two of the most important things. Having an easy pipeline, working with good grading tools such as the davinci grading board and being able to work with the producer/director or cinematographer int eh room simply wouldn't be possible if I have to work with the infinite number of options and tools nuke offers. I think davinci resolve etc. are quite sufficient and I never heard any complaints about dcp's and all the codecs I rendered to.

October 10, 2013 at 4:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

9
Reply
MoritzD.M

@ MoritzD.M
Right, Nuke it's not known for speed, while daVinci flies where Nuke learns to walk. But the I have this feeling that once the door to infinite options for color was opened, directors will start to demand it. The idea of speed grading will be reserved for lower end products as maybe TV and indie movies; the others will stick for the best, even if it's a little intimidating in the beginning.
Well, actualy I have the feeling that my points are besides the main subject. The idea is that Blackmagic delivers something that can easily be seen in the "normal" color conditions: it's a mere 4-5 clicks away, or even just a saved preset.

@ DLD All-I compression is still a highly compressed codec. The jpeg compression is prone to artifacts - just zoom in any picture made with a Canon and you'll recognize the squares that are the bricks on which the images are build. What is more, all Canon and Nikon are delivering 4:2:0 color information in 8 bits of depth...if you want to understand quickly what does that mean, watch each color channel separatedly (especially the red and the blue - oh, the blue.... - well, if your software of choice let's you do that). It's quite complicated to explain it here, but as I said, just invest a mere 40$ in Ron Brinkmann's "The art and science of digital compositing" (a book that it's not about special effects, but about how images are dealt with in cameras and software). It's a better investment than another filter or I-don't-know-what new lens you might have in mind for you camera.

October 10, 2013 at 4:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

'DaVinci is not advanced enough?" Not a smart thing to say. That tells me you really don't know how to use DaVinci at all.

October 13, 2013 at 10:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Razor

Isn't this kind of redundant with the 5DMarkiii's continuous RAW shooting though? I understand comparing the H264 vs. the ProReq that comes on both camera's but well yeah with Magic lantern Canon shoots RAW now and it gives us more for post than H264.

October 10, 2013 at 1:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
A person

it's a difference in price though. mkIII is more than 1000$, it's 3X times more

October 10, 2013 at 3:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

5D Mk III is what, three years old? Dave probably should have compared the Pocket Cam to canon's most recent model, 70D, @ $1,300, which has an All-I and Phase Detect AF. And, obviously, it is also a decent stills camera, which is Canon's main line of products anyway. As a dominant industry player, it tries to appeal to the widest markets possible. BMD can pick and choose their niches, which they do very well.

October 10, 2013 at 4:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
DLD

Any camera that can record moving images can be used for stills, even if there is no special button for that. Because that is the idea behind: any stream of images is made on the individual images :-)
So, if you know that you want stills, just use a very short exposing time or a small shutter angle. Then all the frames making your movie will be "freezed" as if you've made a raw of stills, as in continuous shooting mode.
All you have to know is the logic behind the process - and bang, you'll be able to use any camera regardless their marketing blabla.
And extracting a image from a movie it's very simple. Blackmagic even comes with a small software that does exactly that: grabs stills from the shots :-)

October 10, 2013 at 4:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply

Not sure I agree on Nuke VS Resolve, but I do agree with this, the Pocket Camera's IQ, and the fact that people need to learn how to color or shoot Video mode on the camera (which is quite good) until they learn.

Taking stills with it is the same as doing whatever the heck you want with the camera: people get married to titles and, for whatever reason, can't seem to break away from them. Pocket Camera = I can't put anything on it because it's built this way!

It's a sensor in a tin can... that's all that it is. The majority of us can't be so narrow-minded and un-inspired that the name of a camera mandates that it can only be that thing.

In fact, I know we're not, seeing as how the usage of the DSLR -- seen early on as a totally incapable tool designed for stills, has become a chapter in the history of cinematography... motion picture.

October 10, 2013 at 4:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Kholi

What I was saying - because I don't disagree with anything Kiki or Kholi said ... besides, I simply don't know enough to argue on the specific grading software points - is that Canon and Nikon try to be all things to all people. Go to the photo specific forms and read posts moaning about having the quality of their equipment compromised by the "useless video" features. And, so with the bigger names, you get a bit of both at a given price point, whereas a niche manufacturer like BMD can concentrate on its much narrower target audience. Now, it remains to be seen whether Canon and/or Nikon will introduce a line of video specific products that will be lower priced than the C-series. There's been a sprinkling of rumors about a Canon Q-line of cameras, which could be a hoax or something two years removed. Sony - and not BMD, due to its low manufacturing volume - set the bar with their 4K prosumer camcorder at $4,500-$6,500 range. That's where its chief competitors are aiming and that's where they will be sooner rather than later.

October 10, 2013 at 6:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

9
Reply
DLD

As a professional Photographer first and a (student) cinematographer second I have to disagree.... There is no way that making still images with the BMPCC can even close to compete with a camera like a 5D when making still images... not even close to a cheap DSLR.... The BMPCC is a great little video camera and i do desire one.... there are a lot of times when people stop you from taking pictures or video because you have a big camera or one that looks "Professional" and that low key incognito that the BMPCC gives you is a highly desirable advantage.... but it will not replace a traditional photo camera....

October 10, 2013 at 6:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

Who said anything about competing, though? We just said that you can use it for stills if you want.

October 10, 2013 at 6:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
Kholi

Also, let's be realistic: the only difference is resolution of said stills. Color, DR, etc. All there.

The only thing missing's the resolution, but we weren't actually comparing anything at all. Not sure why that came up.

October 10, 2013 at 6:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

4
Reply
Kholi

It maybe came up for me because its an argument I have been having with myself.... And you are technically right... But not when it comes to handling and speed.... and that is more what I am referring to.... The thing is that if you do both stills and video (like I do) you will still be better of with a 5D.... especially if you do both at the same time.... BUT then you can buy a BMPCC AND a 70D for the same amount of money.....

October 10, 2013 at 6:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

It's true it can take stills but 2 megapixel stills are not really for printing anything big. The reason still cameras has so many pixels is not only marketing. It's because you need to print big sometimes. If you want to print a letter sized (about A4 in Europe) print you will need a 5-6 megapixel image to get perfect detail. You can of course use a two megapixel image and make a nice print too but it won't be the same. And of course you can enlarge the prints but it won't look that good on a film poster. In my opinion resolution is not so important for film, but as a pro photographer I know how important it really is to have a few extra megapixels. Many filmmakers today also work with time-lapse and stop motion projects. They need the resolution. For those projects Canon, Nikon, Pentax or other brands are perfect.

October 11, 2013 at 5:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Martin

And Jan du Preez is right about handling and speed. A still camera is designed for taking stills. Ofcourse it's quicker in it's response when you use it. DSLRs camera bodys are also better built and can work in rain, cold and so on.

October 11, 2013 at 5:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Martin

3 years? 5D Mk III was released in March 2012.

October 11, 2013 at 3:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Markus

Hmn. Have to be expert in grading. That would explain all the horrible pocket footage out there then.

October 10, 2013 at 2:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Ed

takes less time to learn grading than reading all the new camera reviews day after day :-)

October 10, 2013 at 4:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

3
Reply

boOm!

October 12, 2013 at 10:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

6
Reply
alex

First I have to say that this is a really interesting and well done review.
I would only like to drop in a few notes:
Rolling shutter: since the black magic pocket and production camera are using a global shutter sensor, there shouldn't be such a thing as rolling shutter. Rolling shutter is an issue related to the way the pixels are being read on traditional CMOS sensors which do it line by line, a global shutter solves this problem by reading every pixel at the same time.
Slow motion: as already mentioned, the file size of the video file of a prores image (4:2:2 and 4:4:4) is way bigger than the one of a h264 image. This size is measured as a transfer rate in mbs per second. The data is simply harder to process and therefore stands in the way of proper slow motion. I think it is pretty pointless to compare this codec to the one of an iPhone or h264.
Color temperature: a decent option would be to take full advantage of the camera and record in raw which allows you to change the color temperature in every increment you like and even prores gives you a valid option of readjusting it later in post if you aren't too far off!

October 10, 2013 at 4:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
MoritzD.M

The black magic pocket camera doesn't have a global shutter, only the production camera does.

October 10, 2013 at 5:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Dose

Pretty sure the 4k cam is global shutter, not the pocket cam.

October 10, 2013 at 5:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

Moritz, I'm not sure you've paid muh attention to the blackmagic pocket camera, because the pocket does not have a global shutter. Now regarding color temp, the pocket does not have raw at this time.

October 10, 2013 at 7:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
David

Much*

October 10, 2013 at 7:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

3
Reply
David

I have to confess though that Blackmagic 2.5 k has some better image quality than the Pocket. But the form factor, the ease of replaceable batteries and the use of less expensive flash cards that I can insert in my laptop without any other adaptors - that were enough reasons to prefer Pocket. The loss in resolution is not perceivable to the common spectator or client - it's just a matter of fuss between the technical freaks as us :-)

October 10, 2013 at 4:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

13
Reply

Really am impressed by this camera... but hate that, as it is, it requires extra stuff to function well. Really appreciate that blackmagic has released updates to fix image issues... I sure hope they fix the audio issues as well!

October 10, 2013 at 5:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

9
Reply

You do not have to shot Log. You can shoot Rec709 on the pocket camera. That might help a bit in post for those who do not want to grade.

October 10, 2013 at 9:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

It's going to be an uphill battle getting people to remember that even the video mode on the camera is still 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes, and looks really good when exposed within a range.

October 10, 2013 at 9:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Kholi

i feel like all of the "complaints" Dave has are because he doesn't have a film background. Like white balance. Even when I shoot digital I approach it like film. Its either tungsten or daylight. And ISO is the same. I look at a scene and I rate my camera for that scene. I use a light meter...like any decent DP should.

These "complaints" are what people are referring to when they say that shooting digital has made people "hacks" and "lazy".

October 10, 2013 at 9:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Jerome

Couldn't agree more, Jerome!

It isn't as if we bought film stock balanced for a hundred different colour temperatures!

This is easy work with just 3200K and 5600K, and maybe with the one addition of 6500K for fluorescent, it could easily do all we need. How close can we get with the infinite choice dial without measuring colour temperature independently anyway?

October 10, 2013 at 11:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
B S Kumar

You are totally right. You have to be used to work with high DR footage to value this camera...This camera is small but not a toy and it means business...

October 11, 2013 at 4:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
Augusto Alves d...

i like cameras that have good skintones at the point of shoot. notice most recent films, people look like oompa loompas.

October 10, 2013 at 10:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

8
Reply
Idaho

Not feeling this pocket camera at all........just another gimmick if you ask me......we'll see what most have to say 1 year down the road about this camera. the high point about this camera is the cost.....this is just my opinion.

October 10, 2013 at 11:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Al

@ Al
The introduction of color to film in 1935 with KODACHROME was just another gimmick too. And cost is very important, otherwise each would fly a hellicopter and feed our cats with caviar.

October 11, 2013 at 12:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

I'll get back to you in one year.

October 11, 2013 at 7:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Al

This is another review that shows the 5Diii has inferior in video. But does it make great video? Yes it does. It's just that some other cameras that cost less make better video than it. Hair and leaves are a dead giveaway for picture quality. BMPCC won for both.

This review also shows again how fantastic the Red is. The cost is very high for a Red. But the big movie makers don't care a bit about how much it costs. They want that image. Little blokes want it too. BM looks like a pretty good second best.

I can't use the BMPCC for my needs, live streaming. That ungraded picture it streams is just awful. A low cost camera for live streaming with an excellent picture still is the Panasonic x920. GoPro would be fantastic---but that fish eye foils it! I'm curious about the cost of the Panasonic 4K coming out in November. Hoping it's the low cost 4K I am looking for.

October 11, 2013 at 12:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Gene

They need not open up the source code itself, but offer an interface for open source "additions". From this BMD can learn from what people added and under a commercial open source license model decide what and how they will add to their main code. This allows them to maintain main code control but experiment with plug in code.

One main thing we all need to see us 48p and 50p modes with experimental compression techniques or uncompressed record. With new flash memory alternatives, like crossbar, this will be available sooner, even 4kp100 recording will eventually be possible with the right camera. This is the biggest drag on the cameras, and if Red or any other big brand were to decide to release a cheap cinema competitive camera against these cameras there sales would go down. If BMD were to release a 50p+ versions it would affect Red sales. As long as the competitor releases a better camera within $1k-2k, that is plug and play (,not requiring extras apart from storage and lens).

BMD on their part could offer convenient and streamlined on camera software features and hardware accessories to complete directly with Eng and prosumer camcorders.

October 11, 2013 at 3:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

6
Reply
Wayne Morellini

@DLD

There used to be significant design compromises with having video on stills, but even cheap sensor companies like Micron overcame that and now their former Aptjna sensor company licenses this to Sony. It was the stills who were behind, otherwise we would be behind Signs with their no compromise SD video resolution, and they would have had the money to improve the x3 sensor. ;)

It is the video features on stills that is severely compromised and behind. Olympus wants us to buy their m43 cameras, at what data rare, at what resolution, at what frame rate, but in m43 they are talked about like a top company. When people realise there need not be much of a compromise to have high quality video on stills they may stop complaining.

October 11, 2013 at 3:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Wayne Morellini

Olympus may have compromised video quality due to their agreement with Sony. Plus, anything above 1080P and 24 fps drains the battery faster and requires a superior and more expensive internal cooling. And, if someone wants a stills-first camera, that's an unnecessary diversion of engineering expertise, funds, etc. Which is why, IMO, pretty soon you will be seeing more video-first DSLR/Mirrorless type cams with the video geared sensors, greater dynamic range and the absence of moire. For stills, the latest developments are reaching the degree of diminishing returns. These new sub-$1,500 releases like EM-1 and K3 can do almost everything a $3K-$5K unit can and the only real step up from there is into the medium format. In the video realm, on the other hand, there's still ways to go to match the pro sector.
.
@Markus, March, 2012 it is. Still, a year and a half in this industry and at this time is at the very end of its product cycle, at least, as far as the H.264 @28-38 Mbps goes. Even the $1,200 70d is all-I. Sure, as Kiki says, it's still compressed but it's not as compressed as 5D Mk III. And it costs a lot less to boot.

October 11, 2013 at 9:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
DLD

I have a $59 full HD p25 camera that does around 23 or 24 Mb/s which is vastly superior to most Olympuses, a little hacking it could record or hopefully output Raw . What I'm doing here I've done in the past in that sector, the consumer sector, presumed sector and low cost cinema camera sector. In all those cases they were either grossly overpriced or grossly underperforming equipment until we kept on pointing out how it could be done better, which spurred them onto doing better. It is not a matter of hard physics so much as will and political strategy to dominate and control markets for more profit. Sensor technology can get great still and motion image at resolution now. One of our successes Red, is showing this with Dragon, the Nikon V series shows it near the other end. The heat issue, apart from poor sensor tech, is often poor compression tech chips, the chip in that $59 camera I mentioned being from one industry leader, ambarella. So if the pricey camera overheats at fullhdp25 blame the technology and the company, or environmental factors. Even a $500 camera should be able to do Raw ultrahdp24/25, even ultrahdp60 h264 at 100Mbits/s+ (The old v1 uses a 4kp60 sensor).

October 12, 2013 at 1:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
Wayne Morellini

The don't need to make public the entire source code to deliver a great leap forward, simply having a public API would be a HUGE improvement! And letting people being able to specifically tweak the user interface, just that alone would be handy in making it more user friendly.

October 11, 2013 at 4:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

That is what I meant, except they could also use the code under the license.

October 11, 2013 at 4:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Wayne Morellini

It doesn't maintain settings between changing the battery. It really needs to turn on asking if to use default settings, last settings or a preset settings including custom presets, and default to last if no selection is made after a few seconds. Such presets should be up front to quickly select from record screen.

There needs to be normalized color modes to select from neutral to saturated color. The camera decides best fit and records it adjusted, or records a meta data track with suggested adjustments alongside unadjusted track. This would give an option for quick footage turn around.

October 11, 2013 at 4:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Wayne Morellini

Nice review but a little amateur from my point of view. BMPCC is not an amateur camera...it is a small cinema camera that shoots high DR images so it has to be looked at from a pro point of view. High DR images have to be graded...if you don´t want to grade images why would you even buy it? True you can use the video DR included but there are many DSLR´s doing it...You mentioned issues with focus but I don´t agree...High dynamic range footage have soft focus but you have focus assist methods onboard.
1- Push twice the center nav button and you´ll have magnifying to help focus.
2- Auto focus works great and if you don´t touch the focus button again the focus will be dead on.
The 2 comparisons between BMPCC are not right. The first one you compare 5D shooting with a low quality codec to prores which is used on th BMPCC. The second 5D 14bit raw to prores so you´re comparing apples to oranges. Still BMPCC resolution and skin tones are light years away from the 5D. BMPCC has true cinematic imaging. Whe I grade both footages 5D one just totally falls apart compared to the quality of prores. Now we start seeing differences from DSLR video capable cameras and a cinema camera even if it is a "baby" camera. Don´t get me wrong I use 5DIII and I love it but can´t be compared with the BMPCC.

October 11, 2013 at 4:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Augusto Alves d...

@Augusto

The reason why is probably because at that price point it is going to capture a lot of consumer interest, and he shows this is not simple like the little Canon but requires a lot of work, effectively warning off people thinking that it is a Canon alternative. The irony is, that af this price they have to tap into the presumed and consumer markets to make manufacturing volume, but the simple firmware consumer features are not there to do this, including three levels of difficulty for consumer, pro res and raw modes. This should be child's play for them to include, even I could specify the setup.

The truth is that most pro work doss not want to grade footage, most happens outside the film industry, and low grade film work can get away with one of three looks, the color fall the neutral, the dull/gloomy, with ability to tint towards a color as a special affect. This can all be done in camera automatically according to mode and tint selected, as even sub $100 cameras can do. A lot of stuff I don't want to grade, but other stuff I do. Pro-res with auto color is probably a great effective footage handoff format, especially if you maintain the ability to regrade if they don't like something on a scene, using the two achenes I specified. For a lot of real world low end videography work, you want to shoot scenes, shove them together and render it out quickly. By concentrating on the smaller cinema market you effectively throw away 90% of the market. The high end consumer market allows you to effectively double sales again, at least. The run and gun, shove and burn features through prores are good for that market to.

In the end cameras that can be both sold as quality consumer and professional tools can greatly undercut the rest of the market and dominate. BMD is not at this stage yet, they would just get bad reviews in the consumer press, but they have cameras in this price range. They need to find an good experienced consumer camera interface designer, look at features and find out how to do them or hire an experienced consumer camera engineer. I suspect there might be a few ex-Sanyo employees floating around in the States for a start in consumer. The company that took over the Kodak camera branding, that makes GE and RCA I think might be an effective avenue to a manufacturing partner.

October 12, 2013 at 12:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

3
Reply
Wayne Morellini

@ Wayne Morellini
You keep insisting on consumers.

But BMC is competing with RED and not with camcorders - be them Sony, Olympus, whatever. I do think that if they can sell their BMC cameras with the same success as RED, then they have a strong market ahead. So don't worry about market share, as I suspect you are not a market guru.

If you are displeased with BMC and find it hard to use it, then that's a sign it's not a camera for you. Simply head for something that fits you.

From a pro perspective, any flashy but unnecessary additions, like "saturate look within camera" or "lower codec for quick workflow" are just complications that will never be used, but will even cause mistakes.

From a pro perspective, to grade low-contrast footage is just 7 to 10 clicks away. It's not a problem, but it is what we look for: the power to change and analize image in deep.

It's like one would complain that a formula-one race car has no parking sensors or GPS navigation systems.

For me, and a lot others, what BMC offers is what I was looking for years: a very simple to use camera (I mean, a camera with a very simple menu, because I want to focus myself on framing, and moving the camera as the director needs - and not spend minutes to find I-don't-remember-where-is-hidden-that-stupid-setting), equipped with only the necessarily pro features (resolution, color reproduction - that is 10 bits, not only the 4:2:2 - keep this in mind, will you?, raw and/or S-log profile), small enough to use lighter equipment in order to use it with smaller crews and be able to place it in places where otherwise you would have to modify walls or use expensive or heavy gear, and a good price to make filming less a matter of spending on expensive gear but more a matter of creativity and having a good story and working with actors and affording to go where you think it's ideal to shoot.

October 15, 2013 at 1:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

I am from Germany, I have ordered the BMPCC in April, but I have to cancel now, because I can't wait any longer, have to leave Germany towards my house in Thailand for wintertime. The problem with blooming/black dots was solved, I have no understanding for further delay, it is getting ridiculous!

October 12, 2013 at 7:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

4
Reply
Markus

Speaking of 4K, Best Buy now has a Panasonic 4K tv on display. That makes 3 manufacturers at 4K there, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic.

Some people are insisting it will take 'decades' for 4K to become part of the American mainstream. What are they thinking?

October 12, 2013 at 7:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Gene

Gene, have a look at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution

There are19 brands listed for TV alone. Wiki is a useful source to keep up to date, helpful people often list products and updates on it. You get some though that don't perceive the value of this and try to ruin it for people, making Wikipedia not a deposit of all useful information, but more just what they like to think is significant.

October 12, 2013 at 11:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
DIY

Thanks for the link. I will be following it.

It's odd to me how some people are saying big business is pushing 4K on the consumer. I don't see that happening. I do see people stopping to sit at the chairs by the 4K tvs in Best Buy and watch. There is a clear difference from 1080p. 1080p used to look great. 4K is making it look flat. Sales of the Samsung 4K at Best Buy is going well, better than the Sony. Sony looks clinical compared to the Samsung. The guy at Best Buy said there's about 7 a week of the Samsung being sold. They view the sales of the 4K tvs the same as high end 1080p tvs in that they expect to sell, on average, 3 a week. So 4K sales are good.

I heard yesterday that Sharp has an 8K prototype camera. I did know they had a 8K tv prototype. Didn't know about the camera.

October 12, 2013 at 1:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
Gene

Hmm, they have been out of it for years, any link Gene?

8k is a bit overkill as most eyes will nicely integrate 4k with normal screens, but for higher end use or for stills it is great. I've been approached to do a 8k camera before, but without the budget it was tall order technically, soon it will be cheap. Red had better watch. they have been very good at the direction they gave been going, but it is not the only direction, somebody could drop an 8k camera on them fur a tenth the price using new developments.

October 12, 2013 at 11:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

6
Reply
DIY

I agree that an 8K camera could put not only Red in second, but everyone else. And it's there for any of the big names to go for. I think they should not stop with 8K either. I have read, somewhere, didn't save the link, (should have!), that 16K is feasible with currently known materials.

October 13, 2013 at 12:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

6
Reply
Gene

Gene, if you search on the Sony site you will find mention into 16k plus holographic camera research. The extra resolution probably us for the holography, but I suspect that might yield 2k resolution, but do not know enough.

October 13, 2013 at 1:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
DIY

Thanks for that DIY.

October 13, 2013 at 1:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

3
Reply
Gene

I have a hunch that they guy that told me meant that Sharp has an 8K tv prototype not an 8K camera prototype. There's so much new tech coming out it's easy to have a momentary slip of the brain like that.

October 13, 2013 at 12:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Gene

I don't have any link to the 8K camera news. I had not heard about before until yesterday. I heard it word of mouth.

Here is a video from 2 1/2 years ago about the Sharp 8K tv prototype

[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U7e_quvkPQ ]

October 12, 2013 at 11:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Gene

From Japan: 8K camera with a 2.5 inch, 33 megapixel CMOS sensor, made by Astrodesign/NHK. Will be used for 8K television broadcasting. They want to do it not only at 8K but at 120Hz in real time. And there's people on this blog arguing that 4K is decades away for America. Sheesh:

http://www.cinema5d.com/news/?p=20105

October 13, 2013 at 12:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

7
Reply
Gene

More about the 8K camera and H.265

[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhLLjrkSroQ ]

October 13, 2013 at 12:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Gene

So that is where Astrodesign got their camera from. I wonder what the price is. Red is not far off 8k and I suspect Imax will be happy to use it.

October 13, 2013 at 1:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
DIY

Thanks for the interesting exchange today DIY.

October 13, 2013 at 2:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Gene

You are welcome Gene,

October 13, 2013 at 9:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
DIY

Indy Mogul review of BMPCC, with some comparison to the GH3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvcjc26q58w

October 12, 2013 at 4:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

4
Reply
Gene

FWIW, 5D MK III is being offered at a steep discount at this very moment on several fairly reputable online retailing sites. As is GH3.

October 12, 2013 at 9:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
DLD

@ Casey , thank's alot!
Great article mate, keep it up!

February 24, 2014 at 5:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

0
Reply