March 10, 2015 at 5:27PM, Edited October 26, 9:32PM

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Blackmagic Pocket vs. Blackmagic Cinema for savings

Hey everybody. I've been doing some research because I've been thinking of investing in the BMPCC, but it seems like, in order to make up for the camera's shortcomings, it's necessary to invest at least another $1000. This is to make up for the tiny monitor, the lack of stabilization due to the size, filters to make shooting outside feasible, etc. The BMCC is available now for around $2000, and I was wondering if it'd actually be cheaper in the long run (or comparable), due to not having all of the flaws that the Pocket has to purchase this instead. Or am I deluding myself because the BMCC looks awesome?

16 Comments

Have you asked this at bmcuser.com website?
( there are several thousand Blackmagic camera users on this site )

March 10, 2015 at 6:54PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31360

I didn't know this website existed. I'll post it there as well, thanks. Still, if anybody has any input here, too, that would be helpful!

Andrew Elkins

March 10, 2015 at 7:20PM

I currently have a BMPCC, while it's a great idea to have an external monitor it's not entirely needed if you're shooting indoors. Other than that the only real downsides of the BMPCC are; battery life (batteries are pretty cheap), very few iso/asa options (the BMCC has the same problem), lack of a delete function other than in camera formatting, the camera mic sounds like garbage so it's only useful for synching in post (BMCC audio is a bit better but still not usable), and the crop factor (this can be nearly solved with an adapter). On the upside it has better dynamic range than its more expensive brother (13 stops on BMPCC/BMCC vs 12 on BMPC), the cards required can be bought cheaply, and the video codecs used by it look great. Keep in mind that the storage cards for the BMCC are significantly more expensive, you're still going to need an external power solution, and rolling shutter effects both of them. To get the Black Magic Pocket operational will require an extra $300-$600 depending on which lens adapter, how much storage, and how many batteries you buy. To get the BMCC camera operational it will probably cost an extra $400-$1000. Both are great cameras for shooting narrative content, but it really boils down to what your personal needs are and what your budget is.

March 12, 2015 at 2:55PM

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Caleb E. Carrow
Director of Photography,
197

Thanks, Caleb. My budget is around $3000, and I will be using the camera purely for shorts at the moment, but hopefully in the future for features. So your thoughts are that much of what is necessary for the BMPCC is also necessary for the BMCC? I was thinking that if I got the pocket, I'd purchase a metabones, a cage, a monitor and an external battery, and then lenses of course, whereas if I got the BMCC, I'd simply buy lenses. Buy you think that the battery/monitor/metabones are not any less necessary for the BMCC? In other words, the BMCC has pretty much the same shortcomings as the BMPCC and it's delusional for me to think that, by the time I'm shooting, I'd have spent a comparable amount of money regardless of which camera I purchase?

March 12, 2015 at 3:30PM

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I'd suggest checking out a RJ Lens Turbo instead, is what I use with my BMPCC. Much cheaper. And just as good, so long as you haven't screwed yourself over and got Canon lenses! As that would be a mistake. I've got Nikon F mount lenses mostly, which means I've got plenty of flexibility in adapting them and is why I could go with the cheaper RJ Lens Turbo instead. As for monitor, the BMCC screen is a little better than the BMPCC, but ideally you'll still be wanting a monitor for that too. Ditto batteries, both need battery solutions. At least the BMPCC offers you more flexibity in how to go about that.

David Peterson

March 15, 2015 at 9:39AM

Yes, both cameras have similar shortcomings, in my opinion. I have and use both the pocket and the BMCC (and love both!), but tend to reach for the Pocket more often than the BMCC. Yes, both have crap battery and monitors that are useless in daylight, but on the pocket at least you can change the battery, and can choose between a bag of extra batteries or an external power source. And you can stick a micro 4/3 lens on it, and take it with you on a two week hike to India, (no way you could do that with the BMCC) or you can build it out to a fully functional cinema camera with a speedbooster, a monitor and external power.

March 15, 2015 at 7:21AM

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Ola Røyseland
Short film Creator
86

I say no, go with the BMPCC. As you'll have to spend a similar amount on a BMCC anyway to overcome its unique shortcomings. For instance, if you come from a DSLR/mirrorless background you might very well need to upgrade a lot of your support equipment to cope with the extra weight of the BMCC.

And as somebody who uses both, I much more prefer the lighter weight of the BMPCC at the end of an all day long shoot! And they give practically the same image quality (except for a very tiny difference in resolution).

March 15, 2015 at 9:36AM

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David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2427

Personally, if you're going to invest in a good camera I would go with the BMCC, especially for features and shorts. However, you will have to buy a lot of accessories for the BMCC like ND filters, stabilisation, SSD's etc.

March 16, 2015 at 3:28AM

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Tatjana Hamilton
Director of Photography / Cinematographer
195

The Pocket isn't good for shooting features, The only real advantage of going with it is price and size if your comparing it the BMCC.

March 16, 2015 at 5:05PM

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Caleb E. Carrow
Director of Photography,
197

BMPCC - lighter and uses SD cards as opposed to SSD cards. SSD cards are finnicky. Our video team at church has run into a handful of problems with the SSD cards (in general) - never mind their use with the BMCC.

March 17, 2015 at 1:55AM

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If you factor in that you get ultrascope and resolve. The price of the cameras are the same.
Either camera you need another thousand bucks to make it ideal.
i didnt really enjoy shooting with the bmcc much.
too heavy, too bulky. weird ergonomics.
id much rather rent a red package if i needed a better camera.

March 17, 2015 at 10:55AM

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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
1147

BMCC is light better.

March 17, 2015 at 3:52PM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7719

If you're getting hired for work, the BMCC will get more requests than the BMPCC. For whatever reason, producers will never ask for the pocket, even though the image looks great.
Overall, the more expensive a camera is, the more work you'll get with it. It makes no sense, but that's the world we work in.

March 17, 2015 at 10:30PM

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Jon Kline
Director of Photography
157

i dont think producer ever ask for any blackmagic camera. The days are gone that they want to shoot on a "Red" also.
It's pretty much expected the dp or director will chose the best camera for the job under the available budget. sometimes you have to give your reason of choise but most of the time not really.

Kazu Okuda

March 19, 2015 at 7:33PM

If you buy a BMCC you are still going to have to invest more money to make it field ready. No one can answer your question because we do not know what you are using the camera for. listen to the user who recommended you go to bmcuser.com.

December 29, 2015 at 6:42PM, Edited December 29, 6:42PM

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Walter Wallace
Spokesperson/Entrepreneur
1179

May I ask if someone could explain a bit what this crop factor really means? On the metabones website, it says after using the speed booster, crop factor for BMCC and BMPCC will respectively become 1.53x and 1.75x, while the former means full-frame. In effect, after using the speed booster, is there any noticeable difference between these two? Thanks a lot for answering!

March 10, 2016 at 11:21AM

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Jan
99

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