October 11, 2013

RAW Support Coming Soon to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

It's all over the packaging and documentation, but the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, which first began shipping during the summer, does not actually have RAW capabilities at the moment. The only recording format with the camera right now is ProRes, but according to John Brawley, a Director of Photography who has worked closely with Blackmagic on the development of all of their cameras, has confirmed that compressed RAW CinemaDNG is coming soon. He's also posted some DNG frames for anyone to download. Click through to check them out.

Regarding shipping, it looks like the Pocket cameras are starting to become more available, I walked in without a pre-order and picked one up from Rule Boston Camera, and I was told that more will likely be coming in.

Thanks to 4/3 Rumors for the heads-up on this, here is Brawley on Twitter about RAW (though no definite timeline was given):

And about the compression and sample DNGs:

Brawley also mentioned that the Sandisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/s cards were working fine with RAW, but it's also possible that the Sandisk 80 MB/s cards could possibly work at certain frame rates (they are definitely working with ProRes shooting). The 2 MB to 2.4 MB per frame spec means around 48 MB to 57.6 MB per second, or 2.88 GB to 3.456 GB per minute (those numbers would be for 24fps). That would mean on a 64GB card, you're getting a little under or slightly over 20 minutes of RAW CinemaDNG shooting time. While not significantly better in terms of storage than the 1080p RAW on the Canon 5D Mark III, the fact that it is compressed makes it a bit more practical -- even if there aren't huge gains with the kind of compression they're using.

If you're wondering what these files are going to look like, here's a JPEG corrected from one of the DNGs. As shot it looks like it was overexposed by a stop or two, but everything is all there, and easily corrected without penalty:

I'm going to be messing with the camera a bunch over the next few weeks, so I should have more thoughts on how it stacks up to other camera systems, including Blackmagic's own 2.5K BMCC. Blackmagic has said that compressed RAW could also be coming for the original BMCC, which I'm sure would make plenty of people happy who have been dealing with such giant RAW files.

What do you guys think about the sample frames? Would you shoot RAW with the Pocket or just stick to ProRes log?

Links:

[via 4/3 Rumors]

Your Comment

73 Comments

Man, I'm really confused if I get the Pocket or the 2.5K. I have a 50D with RAW, but I want a dedicated video camera.

October 11, 2013 at 8:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rodrigo Molinsky

buy an Arri Alexa

October 11, 2013 at 9:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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hiram

Trololololo, buy an F65 then.

October 11, 2013 at 4:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Natt

Get an ARRI, a Red Epic with RD6K, a Phantom Flex for those must have 5000fps shots, and throw in a Hasselblad H4D for extra high resolution stills we love. It's only $200,000.00 for the set. Heck, we all have that in out pockets right now. My pocket is bulging from carrying that much around. I knocked a glass off the table when I was walking by.

October 12, 2013 at 7:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

Or buy 200 Pocket cameras — and make a MATRIX rig out of them!

October 13, 2013 at 3:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andrey Valentsov

Or just give up on cameras and buy the Zeiss 40mm f/0.33

October 31, 2013 at 6:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Shaun

Wait and see what gets announced in two years. That stuff will be amazing.

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

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Alex

I can't wait year after year, expecting the next best camera.

October 11, 2013 at 3:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rodrigo Molinsky

Several years ago, I was stuck playing "the waiting game", holding off for the next big thing to be released.

The best way to get out of it, I found, was to create "a list of demands" - a list of required specs and a price. I won't accept less or spend more, and when a camera comes out that meets those demands, I'm taking it.

For me, I wanted a stills camera that was "as good as film" for image quality, did acceptable 1080p video, was compatible with a lens system I was already invested in, and would cost no more than 2k CAD.

16 months later, the D600 was announced.
FX = same as film.
24mp = about the same as 35mm film.
14.4 stops of dynamic range = about the same as colour negative film.
Nikon = lens mount I am the most heavily invested in.
$2099 MSRP - but commonly sold for $1999.

It's way too easy to get sucked into gear porn and waiting for the next great thing that's around the corner. Just determine the bare minimum of what you need, and once it's out there, grab it and get shooting.

October 19, 2013 at 11:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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i couldn't agree more, if Humphrey Bogart would not have smoked cigs he could have been around for the portable vas camera.

November 12, 2013 at 4:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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tom

I'm extremely happy with my pocket – peaking and zebras are such a great asset for video and it has more Dynamic range than a 50D Raw I believe. Unless you really need 2.5k I wouldn't recommend the CC — you'll need to buy support, ssds, expensive battery add ons, etc, whereas with the pocket, grab an SSD and some $15 batteries and you are set. The most important thing shooting is actually doing it, and while my FS700 gets used on every paid gig, when I'm inclined to take my pocket cam along and shoot everything now, which I'd never do with the fs700.

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

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Jeremy Nelson

SD not SSD sorry

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

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Jeremy Nelson

I was thinking more about the 2.5k, now I'm totally lost! lol

Thanks, anyway. ;)

October 11, 2013 at 3:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rodrigo Molinsky

well lemme know if you want to give your fs700 away if you're not going to use it hehehe :]

October 14, 2013 at 12:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Estou na mesma duvida, vendo minhas duas adoráveis 50D ou compro a pocket! Conseguiu o cartão?

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

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Clovis

Sim, obrigado

October 11, 2013 at 3:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rodrigo Molinsky

When I looked at the still frame my first thought was they have improved the sharpness a lot but then I noticed the considerable aliasing on the railings of the buildings, and thats noticeable in a still so in motion thats going to stand out like dog balls.

October 11, 2013 at 8:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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While I'm super excited to have RAW finally, I will be curious to see if it is actually THAT much better than the currently equipped ProRes. The fact that I can only squeeze 20 minutes into my 64gb card leads me to think I'll probably be sticking to ProRes anyway for most of my work, which is more than adequate for what I do.

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

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Ryan

But it's certainly great to have your choice though.

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

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David

RAW, if you remember, is a file that stores the original sensor values. Other formats don't contain true information, they are all put into different formats. Kinda like having a graph of information (RAW) and a new article on the information (prores), where the graph will be complicated but 100% accurate, and the news article will have stupid slurs and opinion.

October 12, 2013 at 3:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tyler

If you shoot ProRes with FILM profile you get the same DR as with raw. The only difference is that with RAW it's easier to set White Balance in post, and also to change exposure (there are just 2 dedicated sliders in DaVinci for that, but not for ProRes). You still can get all that details in ProRes, they are there, but it's just not that fast.

So make sure you set your WB properly, and also check your ISO — trust zebras, but increase it or decrease, if the image looks under/overexposed. Again, changing ISO in Blackmagic doesn't change amount of details camera captures in whites or shadows, it just can help you with a good starting point for grading. With Raw you can always change ISO in DaVinci, ProRes is bit more complicated, as I said.

I prefer to shoot ProRes, as it's A LOT easier to edit and preview it on my laptop. Also takes much less space.

Also, Raw can be usefull for Green-screen work.

Good luck

October 13, 2013 at 3:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andrey Valentsov

it“s great!

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

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shuibin14

I know it is a ways away for most people but I like the distinct separation evolving again from professional and consumer/prosumer

October 11, 2013 at 9:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe

Considering that the online streaming took a step toward 2.5K, which has a noticeable improvement in resolution (hereto less evident), BMCC and the (eventual arrival of) the Production Camera seem more fit to be the A-cam. At least, that's the IQ that I would prefer as a consumer of video.

October 11, 2013 at 9:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

Very excited that RAW is coming the BMPCC. If I don't shoot ProRes and shoot RAW, do I have to color-correct every image? Is there a default setting in Resolve?
As much as I love controlling the image in photography, images aren't recorded flat in RAW photography; I don't have to CC every single one. Do I have to do this for every RAW clip recorded with this camera?

October 11, 2013 at 9:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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In Resolve you can choose how to open your raw files, basicly simulating FILM or VIDEO ProRes look of the camera.

Also, there is a dedicated LUT for FILM profile, that converts it to VIDEO ( but you can't convert VIDEO to FILM).

My Workflow is to open files as FILM, grade them, and apply VIDEO LUT at the end. You can copy this workflow for all the footage on your timeline, so everything is fast and convenient.

October 13, 2013 at 3:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andrey Valentsov

Can I pass on RAW and get 50/60fps ProRes instead please?

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

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That will never happen. Sensor overheating is too much of an issue — that's not going to change with BMD in the near future.

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

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Jeremy Nelson

You get IQ and Dynamic Range, or you get Overcrank in the under $10k market. You want both, you're going to have to step up to a much heftier camera.

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

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Jeremy Nelson

I'll shoot as soon as the have this camera in stock somewhere in the world...
First day pre-order and still nothing and no news... Oh RAW? Great, now I want my camera.

October 11, 2013 at 9:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Alexandre

Adorama has them in stock as of yesterday.

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

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Howard L Hughes

Does that mean : if I buy one I received it now?

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

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Alexandre

if you go to their store you will walk out with one. but that was yesterday.

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

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Howard L Hughes

I put an order in a while ago, just the other day I was at a camera/video shop and saw they got 2 bmpcc in (that same day) so I bought it. There out there, you make a few calls to some of the smaller stores you'll find one.

October 11, 2013 at 2:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

Hey!
What is your shop?

I've ordered my Pocket in september, and already have it on my hands.
Same for original BMCC — I've got mine in the middle of January.

I always trust Adorama.

October 13, 2013 at 3:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andrey Valentsov

See below. Thanks

October 13, 2013 at 5:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

I'd rather have higher frame rates.

October 11, 2013 at 2:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Sean

Yes,
I ordered one from Adorama yesterday on a lark, (Thinking I would be waiting a month) and two hours later, got an email saying it was being shipped,,got the tracking number yesterday evening, with it showing up next thursday.
(If I had known that, I would have paid for overnight,haha)

October 11, 2013 at 2:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Shadewalker

They should concentrate more on getting the camera to their customers when they say they will. I cancelled my pre-order for two of these. Still no sign of them three months after they said we would get them. What a load of total bullshit

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

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peter

Who promised you a camera in your hands on July 11th?

Also, are you interested in buying a bridge?

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

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realist

check the small video stores, BH et al. are garbage

I got mine today all I did was call and then walk in 3 hours later

October 12, 2013 at 12:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john jeffries

Is this compressed RAW footage still lossless? That's what was promised at NAB. The BMCC is only supposed to get lossy RAW, like the format used in RED cameras.

October 11, 2013 at 5:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anon

The compression is totally lossless. Lossy compression at higher rates may come later.

JB

October 12, 2013 at 5:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John Brawley

Thx for the info guys. Well I think I will cancel my "day one" preorder after buying it in the first store with stock. Thats just crazy and ridiculous the way they disrespect customers.

October 11, 2013 at 6:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Alexandre

This seams wrong 2-2.4MB per frame is nearly what it is uncompressed 8 and 10 bit, and he said per frame avoiding a frame rate quote. He actually said 2-2.4mb per frame, which is how you say megabits with a small B instead of a capital, that would be around 8:1, which does not seem likely.

I thought these cameras used a sensor capable of 100fps?

October 12, 2013 at 12:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DIY

http://www.digitalrebellion.com/webapps/video_calc.html

Uncompressed 10-bit 1080p would be 7.42 MB per frame, and Uncompressed 8-bit would be 5.93 MB per frame.

Keep in mind the Pocket is doing 12-bit RAW.

October 12, 2013 at 8:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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avatar
Joe Marine
Camera Department

Joe, depends on what they mean by Raw. That calculator doesn't seem to list it. Approx 2 million pixels raw Bayer at 12 bits is 3MB, 10 around 2.5, 8 around 2MB. 4:4:4 raw would be around 9MB, 4:2:2 around 6MB. 4:2:0 would be around 4.5MB.

October 12, 2013 at 11:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Wayne Morellini

I concur.

October 13, 2013 at 9:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DIY

It does not looks like correct calculator. For Mark III I have uncompressed 14 bit RAW with about 6 minute Full HD 25p on 32GB CF card. Their calculation - I would need 64GB for the same.

So I assume BM doing light compression of RAW with like 1:2 ratio. This is good! It shall be not much degraded result.

October 17, 2013 at 4:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Right the Pocket is doing 12-bit compressed RAW, Magic Lantern RAW on the Mark III is uncompressed 14-bit, so that's where the differences in size would come from.

October 17, 2013 at 7:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

Just got my pocket today :))) It's a great camera. Too bad I still have to get an SD card. The crop factor isn't as bad. The battery life, though, that's another story

October 12, 2013 at 12:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john jeffries

What lenses are most popular with the BMPCC? I was thinking of getting one for shorts, especially now that raw's in the pipeline, and would love to see if there are any go-to zoom lenses (already got a lot of primes covered).

October 12, 2013 at 3:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Malcolm

12-35 IS f2.8 would be your go to I would think — IS is extremely helpful on this camera because it is just so light and you really need it for any hand held work. You can find the lens used or direct from japan for reasonable prices on Ebay.

October 12, 2013 at 7:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jeremy Nelson

question - does the pocket camera have focus assist and could I use it on Zeiss ZF primes? (some cameras dont allow this unfortunately)

October 12, 2013 at 6:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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shaun wilson

Yes, it has focus peaking, regardless of what lens is on it. All it does is basically highlight the hard edges of the image in green dots

October 12, 2013 at 8:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john jeffries

The compression is totally lossless. Lossy compression at higher rates may come later.

JB

October 12, 2013 at 5:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John Brawley

Isn't anything less than 3:1 considered de facto lossless?

October 12, 2013 at 9:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

There are many confusing terms.

Ignore the ratio for a second.

There's lossless and lossy.

Lossless means just that. You loose nothing. Like a ZIP file. When it unpacks its exactly the same. That is to say the same as an uncompressed file. .

Lossy means you throw away some data. Generally it looks fine still and you can still get awesome results.

Then there is visually lossless. This is a confusing term to describe lossy that still looks good.

So. Compressed DNG on the pocket is lossless. You loose nothing. The ratio is typically 1.5 -1.7 to 1.

Lossy codecs like ProRes still can look great. You'd say ProRes LT is more lossy than ProRes 444. You can usually see compression artifacts with ProRes LT but ProRes HQ could also be described as visually lossless.

Make sense ?

JB.

October 13, 2013 at 1:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John Brawley

Right, John. I guess I didn't state my point elegantly enough. What I meant was that, once you compress as much as you can with the lossless ratio, you still have more room to squeeze the data and still remain visually lossless. Then, after that option is exhausted, you can dump more data still while retaining an excellent IQ, whose imperfections may be noticeable to an editor/colorist staring into a 4K monitor from a foot away but essentially too subtle for a casual audience member under the normal viewing circumstances.
.
Glad to have the info from the source though. Keep up the good work and release the (perfectly functioning) Production Camera as soon as the guys can.

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

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DLD

John, what compression ratio does it use in raw Bayer, and what are the maximum fullhd frame rates? It is a shame they could not do 720p50/60 if they could not do fullhd p50.

Thanks.

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

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DIY

Never say never but I would be AMAZED if we ever got faster frames rates on this camera.

JB.

October 13, 2013 at 1:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John Brawley

John, I know here is not the best place to ask, but still...

Blackmagic is a very good camera for timelapses: it's quite, has no flicker, easy to use. There are no moving parts, so the shutter will not break, like it did on my 2 DSLRs already.

But there is one HUGE problem: it's not possible to set a long shutter for timelapses (for example 1 second exposure with 2 seconds interval). This causes moving objects (people, trees, water), to stay sharp, which looks awful in final video (there definitely has to be a motion blur).

I don't know anyone but you, who can ask Blackmagic for this feature.
Please drop them this little message, if you can.

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

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Andrey Valentsov

Thanks, this years is not worth it then unfortunately.

October 13, 2013 at 9:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DIY

What about for the original BMCC, are we getting all this cool stuff with that camera as well?? Hopefully...

October 13, 2013 at 12:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Frank

Hi Andrey! It's located in Southhampton Pennsylvainia (25 minutes outside of Philadelphia) about 2 hours from NYC called "new York camera and video". They said they'll be getting more in shortly. http://www.nycv.com/

October 13, 2013 at 5:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

I wonder how this will compare to the BMCC; it's roughly 5mb per frame. Does this mean it records CinemaDNGs at twice the bitrate of the BMPCC?

October 14, 2013 at 11:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ryan

RAW support coming to IPhone. who CARES

October 15, 2013 at 10:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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idaho

BMCC2.5k at the moment is the only model that does Raw uncompressed, if i am not mistaken. Both 4k and pocket camera ship with compressed DNG. Blackmagic addressed this issue sometime ago, would John Brawley like to elaborate on the difference? Btw, RAW is not a difficult format to handle once you understand the workflow. I am still grating on the BMCC/Resolve 10 learning curve, but I am loving every single minute of it.

October 17, 2013 at 11:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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francis

I have cancelled my order yesterday with "magic multi media" in Munich:
I have ordered in April, right after the NAB, had to pay the full price immediately, I am on No. 6 in the list, this online reseller got only 1, in words "one"!!! camera.

Today, 18th Oct. I read at "nofilmschool" a comment from Joe Marine 7 days ago :

"Regarding shipping, it looks like the Pocket cameras are starting to become more available, I walked in without a pre-order and picked one up from Rule Boston Camera, and I was told that more will likely be coming in."

This was one week ago!!!

There is no doubt: In Germany we pay the highest price, about 1200 US Dollar, but we are the last to receive.

Germany is obviously not on Blackmagic's priority list!

Now, Blackmagic is not on my priority list any more!

October 18, 2013 at 10:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Markus

This is such an amazing camera. It's such a shame it can't record higher fps... it would be the perfect camera for me if it could do slow motion. I hope sometime soon, someone will hack it and give us 60fps. But amazing camera nonetheless!

October 18, 2013 at 3:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Try not relying on the "slow motion" gimmick/craze/hipster thing/etc.

October 23, 2013 at 3:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Marcus

Such an ignorant comment... 60p is so good for lots of things, I mainly use it for
shorts in edits. You have no idea what you're talking about. They have had slow motion on cameras since the bolex wind up cameras. Gimme a break.

October 28, 2013 at 3:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ben Ericson

Just downloading the firmware update for the BMPCC to shoot RAW - excellent news!

November 12, 2013 at 11:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Iain Philpott