Just last night, Blackmagic Design released a firmware update for their Pocket Cinema Camera that we've all been waiting for since the day the camera was released several months ago, a firmware update that gave the minuscule camera the ability to shoot compressed RAW CinemaDNG files directly to the internal SD cards. With the recently released update, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing comparison videos of the BMPCC's ProRes shooting mode and the newly possible RAW mode. Here's the first of these videos:
This video comes to us courtesy of filmmaker D.L. Watson. Check it out:
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/79231766
Despite the fact that the rain in this video makes it difficult to analyze the results with a critical eye, the 12 bit RAW still looks a hell of lot better than the camera's native ProRes, especially in terms of fine detail and dynamic range. Without any post sharpening or denoising of any kind, the (lightly) compressed RAW from this tiny little camera looks just as good as its bigger brother, the original BMCC.
It appears that one of the major drawbacks to the RAW shooting option on this camera will be the moire. From the video it's pretty easy to tell that the sensor (combined with the fact that the camera doesn't have an optical low pass filter of any kind) is extremely sensitive to finely detailed portions of the image to the point of extreme moire. Just like we all learned to avoid certain shooting situations with our DSLR's so as to avoid aliasing and moire, we'll have to do the same with the BMPCC.
Of course, the RAW recording option on this camera is limited immensely by the relatively small and slow SD cards, so it certainly won't be ideal (or even practical) for most projects. However, the immediate jump in image quality that can be had from the RAW shooting mode is certainly substantial, and could very well be used to great effect given the right circumstances.
What do you guys think of the video? Let us know in the comments!
Link: D.L. Watson -- Vimeo