August 29, 2018

Blackmagic Releases More Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Footage - Day & Night Skin Tones

New BMPCC 4K footage shows off skin tones in different lighting scenarios. 

Blackmagic Design is releasing official videos of its much talked about Pocket Cinema Camera 4K to the public. We first saw Mark Wyatt's "Naturevideo exploring the lush Vancouver landscape. There are now two new videos offering a look at how the sensor reacts to skin tones. "Models Walking in Daylight" and "Models Walking at Night" were both shot by cinematographer John Brawley

Here's what Brawley had to say about his experience:  “The whole point to this daylight test was to see how the camera handled skin tones. We were shooting these scenes later in the afternoon, so I was at ISO 1000 or 1250, so it was at the lower ISO for this camera. I understand this gives more in dynamic range, so you have a little bit more highlight-headroom there. When I look at those shots now, I am really impressed at how good the dynamic range is. It is great to see all of that detail I was seeing was actually captured in those shots.”

For the daylight video above, the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K recorded in Apple ProRes 422 HQ using Olympus Pro 25, 45, 1.2 micro and Olympus Pro 12-100 F4 zoom Micro Four Thirds lenses. When thinking about MFT's cinematic quality, Brawley mentions, “I don’t think people realize how easy it is to make things look cinematic with Micro Four Thirds! I know that there are a lot of people who like that 35mm full frame look, but it’s still very easy to get images with an out of focus background with the Micro Four Thirds sensor. I found it a great 4K sensor and really good compromise for a small camera that still gets really, really good looking pictures.” 

In the second test, the cinematographer recorded at the same compression code with ISO 1000 and 1200. The Olympus Pro F4 zoom 12-100 MFT lens did the bulk of the work. Brawley notes, " What I wanted to achieve was to test the dynamic range, but to still come up with some really great looking images. Having that higher dynamic range and a high bit depth file means you have a lot of wriggle-room to correct anything that needs to be balanced. This extra range lets you manage and massage the image to get you into a really nice place. You’re not fighting the codec or the dynamic range of the camera.”

When it comes to options, he notes, The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K gives you a ton of options. If you want to take it warmer, darker or cooler, you now have so much latitude in terms of dynamic range and depth of color. With this camera, you just have so much extra choice, because you can take the image wherever you want. And that’s the truly great thing about having such a vibrant and high precision image!”

We reached out to Blackmagic to see if any further videos will be released in the coming days and an expected ship date. They could not comment on the former and did not provide an exact date but confirmed September, which we reported on earlier. 

BMPCC 4K Tech Specs: 

  • Full size MFT sized sensor
  • Native 4096 x 2160px resolution 
  • 13 stops of dynamic range 
  • Up to 25,600 ISO 
  • Carbon fiber polycarbonate composite body
  • Built-in SD, UHS-II and CFast card recorders
  • USB-C expansion port for external SSD or flash disk
  • Features full size HDMI output
  • Professional mini XLR
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Built in 5” LCD touchscreen
  • 3D LUTs 
  • 4th-gen color science
  • Supports remote camera control via Bluetooth

Your Comment

23 Comments

Um...models walking at night? I guess "night" is used loosely here. It makes me wonder what they're going to call shots that happen after the sun goes down. It looks good.

August 29, 2018 at 6:44PM, Edited August 29, 6:48PM

0
Reply

Is this a joke? Looks crazily like cheap video. A little surprising.

August 29, 2018 at 7:15PM

0
Reply
rnfr
81

I'm not mad at the camera, as much as I'm mad at BM for hiring such weak cinematographers for handing over such mediocre footage. Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked about the camera, but disabling comments/ratings on youtube and NOT allowing the audience to chat about this on a platform where it's being released is kinda silly.

Also, Yeah, not "models walking at night" ... this is not a night or low light test at all. Come on BM, give us something to sink our teeth into!

August 29, 2018 at 8:34PM

0
Reply
Bryan
74

"weak cinematographers", Can we see your work Bryan?

I agree the title makes no sense, and it was sloppy for BM to title it that. But in all fairness the DP said he only had the cam for a short time before he had to go back to shooting his network show.

August 29, 2018 at 11:22PM, Edited August 29, 11:34PM

0
Reply

Then they should have hired a different DP. This is unacceptable footage. Also, cool your jets with the attack towards Bryan, he wasn't suggesting that he be the DP.

August 30, 2018 at 12:04PM

0
Reply
avatar
Chris Kas
Jack of all trades
379

The issue isn't with the cinematographers, they were asked to shoot test footage on a limited time and budget, not a flashy promo video.

August 30, 2018 at 4:01PM

2
Reply

"Unacceptable footage" that's funny, I can only hope it's sarcasm.

August 30, 2018 at 6:56PM

0
Reply
avatar
Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1617

Exactly, it's so annoying that they disable comments, afraid of what? plus these "models" have tons of makeup on the face, the foundation pretty much even out the all the skin tone. Just take some footage of real people, sans makeup.

August 29, 2018 at 11:32PM

0
Reply
Sam
88

The camera isn't out yet so you'll probably see a lot more stuff when it is. John Brawly is far from a weak cinematographer, were you expecting a horror film or something? These are camera tests and the one in the woods looks amazing and showcases the selling point of this camera, dynamic range.

August 30, 2018 at 4:45AM

0
Reply
avatar
Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1617

I have also decided to be upset with Bryan, mainly for reasons unknown.

August 30, 2018 at 10:59PM

0
Reply
avatar
Joseph Arant
Writer
119

I have nothing against John Brawley, but this is not "models walking in daylight" or "models walking at night."

It's more like "models walking towards a light with a window in the background and a giant mirror on the opposite wall to bounce all the light around the room" and "models sitting sitting on a couch with a few lights pointed at them and a window that you can sort of see that there is a sunset"

But that said images and skin do look good, but I want some original RAW clips please.

August 29, 2018 at 11:42PM

0
Reply

BMPCC 4K has superior features before ever. Videos used in this blog shows, how sensors of camera react according to skin tones. This camera made Day-night cinematographic easier. The creative lavish company has all these cameras to shoot horrible and black magic related videos, you can see here: http://www.creativelavish.co.uk

August 30, 2018 at 1:09AM

0
Reply
Creative Lavish
Manager
81

Um...models walking at night? I guess "night" is used loosely here. It makes me wonder what they're going to call shots that happen after the sun goes down. It looks good.

August 30, 2018 at 3:33AM

4
Reply
avatar
No Film School
CEO at Yes Film School
260

They have a new sample footage:
https://youtu.be/mIAfxj7nd9k

August 30, 2018 at 10:24AM

0
Reply

Happy to see footage from the camera but the test is a little lack luster. No shade on JB but I don't think he had the time to do a proper test. I don't get the over the camera light nearside for a day interior exposed above the ambient window light. That is textbook ehhhhhh cinematography at least for the current styles out there.

The lack of tonality and pigment is a little concerning but its a cheap camera so I guess you can't expect that much. Its funny some one said that theres too much make up. There actually isn't enough, the shine on the models is rough for that hard light.

August 30, 2018 at 10:53AM

0
Reply
Indie Guy
1119

What does 'lack of tonality and pigment' even mean?

August 31, 2018 at 9:17AM

0
Reply
avatar
Álex Montoya
Writer/Director
364

try google

August 31, 2018 at 7:00PM

0
Reply
Indie Guy
1119

I think he means tonality and pigment aren't scientific or technical terms. They aren't measurements of color bit depth, filter array processing protocols or compression or encoding level or procedures. Criticism of a camera's image is often cloaked in non- technical terms, based on subjective perceptions that aren't informed by actual hardware limitations. This camera records in raw with full color bit depth, so the only limitations versus larger more expensive cameras with larger sensors is mostly due to differing post processing workflow, or inferior in-camera encoding algorithms or image processing chips...data processing capacity inside a camera is due to differences in image processing hardware and firmware precision, so it's best to keep comparisons between cameras to tangible material and technical differences, not intangible artistic terms like tonality...

September 1, 2018 at 3:27AM, Edited September 1, 3:27AM

0
Reply
Conor Liam Bolton
Writer/Director
14

I know its sounds smart to say full color bit depth, but that also doesn't mean anything. 12 bit is a container of the possible colors that can be recorded. If the sensor groups different colors as the same color you cannot undo that even with 12 bit. It is possible to make different colors the same color, but you cannot take two pixels of the same exact rgb values and adjust one without adjust the other. It looks to me that BM has chosen to group the skinctone values of the negative into too small of a range, that even with a rec709 transform, subtle hue differences within the skin get lost. This could be how BM graded the footage, but that would be even worse though. I think the trick in the demo is perceived sharpness. They have made the perceived spatial fidelity (tech term!) really sharp that kinda tricks the brain into thinking that the image is life like even though the skin tones are uniformly unreal.

September 3, 2018 at 12:59PM

4
Reply
Indie Guy
1119

What a poor test... BM isn't doing itself any favors with these "camera test" videos.

August 30, 2018 at 12:08PM

0
Reply
avatar
Chris Kas
Jack of all trades
379

Why do you think so?

From my point of view, this camera has a very good image and really nice dynamic range (see wood example, with details in shadows while sky not blown out).

At the given price point, this camera is a no-brainer.

September 1, 2018 at 2:29PM

0
Reply
avatar
JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
1804

Videos shot by amateurs with old BMPCC look far more filmic than this new BMPCC 4k footage. I think its way too sharp or perhaps its grading. I hope BM doesn't stop making old BMPCC cuz it's the real pocket cinema camera.

September 1, 2018 at 2:49PM

0
Reply
avatar
Chahal Sandeep
Independent film maker
74

Too much complaining here. BM is giving independent filmmakers options, with its disruptive products.
This is 4K RAW with XLR input (mini), a battery that can be removed, recording to external media (see-yah Atomos), a flexible mount (hello SpeedBooster). We should celebrate this moment! Now everyone (Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Red) are going to step it and offer something competitive (Kinefinity). Do people not get that?
And all for $4000? No wait, $1700. Sorry again. It's $1295-did I read that right?

September 3, 2018 at 9:25AM, Edited September 3, 9:30AM

2
Reply
avatar
Sathya Vijayendran
Writer/Director/Editor
320