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Guys, I'm looking to purchase a BMPCC, but want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. Am I better off with it or the BM micro. I can't afford any of the other BMCCs. Or do you suggest a Sony/Panasonic MiniDV camera?

Thanks

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Micro needs a lot of accessories to work right, the pocket is pretty good from the get go.

 

Panasonic or sony in that price range will be 8 bit 4:2:0 50Mbps long GOP compression, which looks like crap. Pocket camera is 10 bit 4:2:2 Pro Res 220mbps or 12 bit RAW.

 

There are really no down sides in the sub $1k price range, to the pocket camera.

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The Pocket has a built in screen and terrible internal batteries, you will not be able to shoot long on these so you need a ton or you need an external battery solution. Also both cameras are very light so you will want something to add some weight or stabilization for hand held if you do that.

 

The Micro accepts Canon LP-7 batteries which are very common and can be got from 3rd party vendors very cheap, the camera will last a lot longer on these. You would need an external monitor, but the Micro has a full sized HDMI port vs the mini hdmi on the Pocket which is incredibly prone to breaking, even in the best of situations. You also gain the ability to shoot up to 60fps RAW vs the 30fps on the pocket.

 

I think if you are willing to pay for an external monitor the Micro is a much better camera. It has the exact same sensor, but is better in many other ways. I feel like either camera needs some kitting out no matter what, so id go with the Micro for its improvements over the pocket.

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The pocket camera batteries are VERY inexpensive: https://www.amazon.com/Bundle-Battery-EN-EL20-Infochip-compatible/dp/B00E9AKB0G/ref=sr_1_16?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1470073945&sr=1-16&keywords=EL20+battery

 

If you run the built-in display at between 50-70% brightness and use a viewfinder adaptor, you will save a lot of battery life. Once you learn how to manage the battery system, it's not a problem. There are tricks like NOT turning off the camera between takes, like keeping a few batteries in your pocket since they're so cheap, like letting the camera record for longer then it needs to be, since it actually saves battery life.

 

When you use an external monitor, you are now using two batteries for the job that one can do. Also, external monitors which allow "viewfinder" ability, are very expensive.

 

The great thing about the Blackmagic Pocket camera is that it LOOKS like a still camera. So you can take it places, most video cameras can't go. The moment you "kit it out", is the moment you loose that ability. The MICRO can only be used kitted out, as it doesn't have any monitoring system. In my opinion, the only reason to own one of these super small cameras is for it's all-in-one capability, so you can be portable, so you can go to places most video cameras can't go.

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I needed a decent digital sensor for my Super 16 Zeiss 12-120 zoom (modified 10-100 T2) so I picked a BMPCC up a couple years ago and I love it. Makes a great accessory for my lens. :)

 

It does eat batteries, but not too much of a problem if you buy 10 and have them laying around (plus 2-4 chargers). Anytime the camera is on a tripod I will just plug it in.

 

I would also look into a cage if you are going to rig out the camera any more than just a simple MFT lens. Wooden Camera makes a great one. Also a Zacuto clip on viewfinder is an excellent and inexpensive accessory.

 

Images are excellent for color correction, I love working in ProRes and even the raw files...lots of data to work with.

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BMPCC can be found cheap secondhand, the BMMCC is too new to have much chance of finding it secondhand for cheap.

BMMCC has to have an additional screen, but... it has a bigger battery which means having an external battery pack like with the BMPCC is not so essential.

Biggest positive for the BMMCC is the 60fps slow motion! BMPCC maxes out at 30fps.

Otherwise the BMPCC's only advantages is being extra stealthy, and a lower price.

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Don't forget the upgraded HDMI port on the BMMCC compared to the super fragile micro HDMI on the BMPCC. That port is that cameras Achilles heel.

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Don't forget the upgraded HDMI port on the BMMCC compared to the super fragile micro HDMI on the BMPCC. That port is that cameras Achilles heel.

 

That's another reason a cage is so important for the BMPCC...you can put on cable locks that make the HDMI port less of an issue. In fact, that's probably the only way you could use that port on a real set.

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For fear of getting into a BMPCC argument, I'll just say this: The BMPCC has its quirks. Sub $1000 it's hard to beat for picture quality - but if you have some money to spent I'd suggest a GH4 w/ Atomos Flame to get 4k 10-bit 4:2:2. Plus, the GH4 has a larger sensor. Of course, that setup will run you close to $3,000 or thereabouts, and will pretty much require a professional camera rig - losing the 'small' advantage the micro/pocket have.

 

With the Micro, you'll need an external monitor. I just recently purchased the BM Micro. In my opinion, it's a mechanical improvement over the pocket. Yes, it requires a monitor - but the camera feels more like a professional camera, it seems better built, the batteries are MUCH easier to get to, and it doesn't have that unprofessional point-and-shoot look. I still think I can get better picture quality off my GH4 w/ Atomos though, but that is just my preference - and given that the GH4 setup is 3x as expensive, I'd expect some improvement anyway.

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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