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):
Coming soon to the Pocket....RAW pic.twitter.com/0FX528DZqD— John Brawley (@brawlster) October 11, 2013
And about the compression and sample DNGs:
@fenner403 The compression is variable. Anywhere between 2.0- 2.4mb per frame— John Brawley (@brawlster) October 11, 2013
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?
[via 4/3 Rumors]