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Samuel Berger

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - CONFIRMED! BMPCC 4K!

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I imagine that I will be skipping it for the C200.

The C200 is already out of date really... It's a shame Canon purposely restricts their cameras capabilities.

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The C200 is already out of date really... It's a shame Canon purposely restricts their cameras capabilities.

 

I'm not sure it will ever really be out of date, unless 8K as a new standard really happens. So it doesn't have a 10-bit codec, I know, but transcoding is something that's just going to start getting faster and faster.

Where I think the C200 has a problem is in its pricing. I don't see Canon making it cheaper any time soon. I'm not sure that the price is fair, even though the camera would be one I'd likely use for 20 years.

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I'm not sure it will ever really be out of date, unless 8K as a new standard really happens. So it doesn't have a 10-bit codec, I know, but transcoding is something that's just going to start getting faster and faster.

Where I think the C200 has a problem is in its pricing. I don't see Canon making it cheaper any time soon. I'm not sure that the price is fair, even though the camera would be one I'd likely use for 20 years.

So you've got two options with the C200... decent bitrate Jpeg2000 12 bit 4:2:2 RAW or low-bit rate Long GOP 8 bit 4:2:0.

 

Just to remind you, the low-bit rate Long GOP MPEG codec is designed for web streaming, not for camera original. The reason why manufacturers include it, is because the ASIC that does the encoding is cheap. Owning anything that has that codec, is basically telling the manufacturers that you're ok with them using it. If we boycott cameras that use that codec, they will have no choice but to license a different ASIC. This trend is already happening, but it's taking a long time because people keep buying these cameras and sticking external recorders on them, making the small-size pretty pointless.

 

Do you wanna know how much it costs them to put Pro Res HQ 4:2:2 into a camera? Less than $100 USD. So you're telling canon that you're OK with them not spending the extra $100 during the design and manufacturing process to include a decent codec. It's a moral principle to never give manufacturers who skimp like this ANY of your money. As I always say, if Blackmagic can do it with the original pocket camera, they can for poop sake do it on a multi-thousand dollar camera.

 

Also... 20 years? Na, it won't last that long. Very few people seem to know this, but CMOS chips actually do decay (due to heat) to the point where the dead pixel mapping can't function anymore and you start to get dead pixels showing up on screen. This won't be too much of a problem with bigger cameras with HUGE heat sync's like the Arri Alexa's or even Ursa Mini Pro. However, the smaller more compact cameras, they do have a huge problem with this. Funny enough, Canon has the worst problem with this and there are literally thousands of 5D and 5DMKII's floating around with boatloads of hours, with dead pixels that can't be mapped out. Canon also won't do anything about it past a certain threshold (year vs hours), not even if you give them money. I guess if you don't use the camera much in 20 years, maybe it would survive, but honestly with how disposable things are these days, I doubt it. Sure it's true that you could probably grab anyone's mini-DV camcorder from 20 years ago and it most likely works, but then again that was a different time.

 

With the speed/progress of technology, I bet the C200 will be completely out of date in 5 years. Not for resolution, but for acceptable bandwidth (and HDR technology) for commercial deliverables because that's the next big sticking point. Shooting on your own for fun, it doesn't matter... but if ya plan to do commercial work, I'd be scared.

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Ugh that is painful. But, I do love the colour science and footage I see from the C200.

I went through this problem last year. I ended up not buying anything as a main camera and made no progress as a filmmaker. Renting cameras would never work for me because of the sporadic nature of my productions (mostly due to the Seattle weather).

 

What I want to try and do this year is concentrate on the writing aspect of my films. I have about five feature film ideas that I never seem to have time to finish writing.

 

Worst case scenario, I'll shoot the movie on my BMD Ursa Mini 4K with only an Angenieux 25-250.

 

You know, last year I shot some test footage and my favourite images came from my BMPCC. Looked a lot like S16. But I imagine it wouldn't look great blown up to a movie screen.

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You know, last year I shot some test footage and my favourite images came from my BMPCC. Looked a lot like S16. But I imagine it wouldn't look great blown up to a movie screen.

Well, if you have the money to do a theatrical release, you can afford to rent a decent camera. Also, I've seen my own pocket footage on the big screen as it's been included in a few documentaries over the years that had a very limited theatrical run and it looked fine. The last feature I cut was released in 1080p and I saw it on the big screen, it too looked fine. Remember, the vast majority of theatrical content is still finished in 2k due to the expense of 4k VFX. So yea the pocket is fine... the 4k pocket is also fine.

 

I mean if you're shooting your own productions, it doesn't matter how physically big the camera is really, as long as it has a decent imager and codec, the rest isn't a big deal. The problem with the original 4k blackmagic imager is FPN and sharpness, two things that make the camera unfortunately an issue to work with. Heck, the 2.5k cinema camera looks MUCH better over-all.

 

I do think the original pocket camera is long in the tooth these days. I got my kit in fall of 2013, so they'll be 5 years old in a few months. They're literally falling apart, mostly because I never put a cage on them (which I think is a necessity with these cameras) and I've lent them out to other people who have damaged poop over the years. Even though both cameras have loose lens mounts (Imager and lens are in line, it's just whole optical block to body is loose) and loose tripod mounts (both easy to fix) they both function totally fine. I'm pretty much done with them tho, they are phenomenal cameras for the price and they look great for what they are. However, I can't shoot anything for a client with them, which makes me as a filmmaker worthless to everyone BUT people who shoot on film exclusively.

 

Honestly, I think there are two solutions to this conundrum;

 

1) Stick with a low-end camera like the 4k pocket for a few years for fun and get your resume built due to the low cost nature of the camera and lenses.

2) Get a loan and buy a Red Dragon or Alexa XT, both are dropping in price substantially. Then buy some cheap PL mount glass like the Rokinon Xeen's to go along with.

 

When (if) ya move to So Cal, having a decent camera package is an instant way to get work, but there really are only two cameras people care about; Red and Alexa. Everything else is, well... for lack of a better descriptor; ignored. I have friends with C300MKII's and even F55's who can't get work with those cameras. Yet, my friends with Dragon's and Alexa XT's are flooded with work, just from owning the cameras (and advertising them on share grid and other places). I personally wouldn't invest in an Alexa Classic or Plus, 2.8k is not what people want, but the 3.2k Pro Res out of the XT I believe will be sufficient for most productions for a long time, especially if you just blow it up to 4k like so many shows do and have done in the past. I just think the Alexa color science is by far the best and everyone is after someone with an Alexa as if they're rare or something.

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"Well, if you have the money to do a theatrical release, you can afford to rent a decent camera ..."

 

Yeah, that's what I reckon. Save up your money and rent, if you want to shoot a feature. Unless you want something to practice on. If I got serious I'd go to one of the rental houses.

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What I want to try and do this year is concentrate on the writing aspect of my films. I have about five feature film ideas that I never seem to have time to finish writing.

 

Worst case scenario, I'll shoot the movie on my BMD Ursa Mini 4K with only an Angenieux 25-250.

 

It would be a good combo, a moderately so so camera but paired with epic glass! (you'll have something to go wider than 25mm though?)

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It would be a good combo, a moderately so so camera but paired with epic glass! (you'll have something to go wider than 25mm though?)

 

This kids' Youtube show is shot with the Ursa Mini 4K and Angenieux 25-250.

 

 

Unfortunately I don't own any other PL lenses.

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Can my Fuji 6x9 cameras shoot movies too? If they did, it would be IMAX quality!!!!

 

There's a camera that shoots 65mm and look like a Eyemo...just a little bigger...can't remember what it's called but probably about 15 seconds per 100 foot load!

 

Since this camera only has 8-12 exposures, you'd get a half of a second of glorious IMAX quality.

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When they said September, I expected September 30th, AKA, October. They have made that mark, and a lot of people already have production models in hand. It's a slow roll out, and if you didn't pre-order it might still be a month or two before they come in stock for immediate purchase. I still haven't received mine yet. Just like I said, they'll make their release date (which they did, more or less), but it will have backorder issues.

Although I will say, every bit of footage I have seen from it has impressed me ten-fold. The two I ordered will definitely become my A and B cams, with the two pockets I have being used for C and D cam footage / B Roll. The camera is begging to be rigged out, and I would not use it 'hand-held' or try to be discreet with it.

A better name would have been 'Blackmagic URSA Micro' or something rather than trying to be an upgrade on the pocket camera. IMHO, the pocket has little to nothing in common with this camera.

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A better name would have been 'Blackmagic URSA Micro' or something rather than trying to be an upgrade on the pocket camera. IMHO, the pocket has little to nothing in common with this camera.

I hope there is a URSA Micro Pro! Even if they just use exactly the same sensor.

Imagine how good the BMPCC4K would be with built in NDs, SDI outputs, genlock, etc

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When they said September, I expected September 30th, AKA, October.

 

yep, September 30th, 2019 ? sounds reasonable by BMD standards :lol:

 

I used all the money for scuba equipment anyway so maybe will look for the Pocket next Autumn when it actually arrives to the shops near me B)

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I used all the money for scuba equipment anyway so maybe will look for the Pocket next Autumn when it actually arrives to the shops near me B)

Ohh do say? I love scuba equipment! hehe :P

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Will this new version mean that the original BMPCC becomes somewhat obsolete and possibly affect the value/availability of S16-suitable lenses eg. on Ebay?

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yep, September 30th, 2019 ? sounds reasonable by BMD standards :lol:

 

I used all the money for scuba equipment anyway so maybe will look for the Pocket next Autumn when it actually arrives to the shops near me B)

Is already shipping

 

Well it looks like some folks are getting it and scalping it. Interesting. Some are asking for $2500...

 

WHOA! A 100% mark up?? Ballsy!

 

Will this new version mean that the original BMPCC becomes somewhat obsolete and possibly affect the value/availability of S16-suitable lenses eg. on Ebay?

They'll probably come down a little if no other appealing and popular S16 camera comes out.

 

However the BMPCC already pushed prices of S16 lenses so high, that even after coming down a little, they'll still be much higher than they used to be.

 

And S16 lenses on a BMPCC4K still would be covering much more than 2K, so they'll still have a lot of appeal on the new camera too.

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Has anybody shot anything more than test footage on the BMPCC4K?

Because I'm slowly comping to the point where I'm looking for something to have on hand for smaller projects and it looks like the BMPCC4K could be the answer. Of course I need to thing what will happen the next time I expand so I need to think about compatibility for the future with lenses and stuff.

 

Anyway thanks for the info and best regards

 

Vital

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I'll be getting one soon... but gotta wait a bit until the prices aren't crazy. There just isn't enough inventory yet to just buy one without paying a premium.

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I'll be getting one soon... but gotta wait a bit until the prices aren't crazy. There just isn't enough inventory yet to just buy one without paying a premium.

 

Yeah I know what you mean. I've been working with a dslr and its been OK but I'm seeing the need for something a little better just to save time and improve quality without spending even more time to try and get the quality. That's why I'm looking for a little insight first hand from someone who has used it.

 

It's not expensive but it's still a lot of money if it's going to give me what I need hehe.

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Well, none of the DSLR's shoot decent quality video. The best out there, even if 4k is still 8 bit 4:2:0 200Mbps Long GOP Mpeg files, which are basically the lowest-end compression possible. Ya can't do great stills and great video in a package like that, you gotta go with one or the other. The ASIC's (which are the integrated circuits that encode files) are either tuned towards video or stills. The camera would need to be A LOT bigger to run a hybrid system and nobody has bothered to do it yet. Even the H6D-50c/H6D-100c, which are the highest end Hasselblad's record in the same format as the lowest-end DSLR.

 

Where Canon's imager and color science blow the doors off anything blackmagic makes, the Pocket 4k does seem to have a marketable quality bump over not only it's predecessor, but also the URSA Mini 4.6k. Also, if your color science is baked in or even in log mode, difficult to decode because the MPEG noise tears the image to shreds, what's the point ya know?

 

With Blackmagic design, they use Pro Res, DNX or various RAW recording standards which are "lossless" in quality. This means, with a log gamma curve, you can make adjustments to the highlights and blacks, which won't reveal compression artifacts, since they just don't exist. Yes, Pro Res and RAW formats are heavy on disk space, but they're also very easy for the computer to playback because the playback engine is multithreaded, unlike .h264's which isn't. So for instance, my 3.46ghz double CPU, 12 core, 24 thread editing bay tears through 4k Pro Res footage like it's no problem, but struggles to playback 4k .h264 media in real time. This is because the codec is not efficient, it's designed for web streaming in small file sizes, not for camera original and post production. This is why people edit in "proxy" mode most of the time because they have no choice. I edit with camera originals most of the time due to quick turnaround's and being able to see the final output all the time.

 

So yes, if you take a look at the big picture; price vs performance vs post production, the Blackmagic Cameras are a good "compromise" and having played with the new Pocket 4k 2 times now, I can attest to how good of a job they've done with the camera. It's been 3 years in the making and even though it's got some issues, I think for the price people can ignore them.

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Well, none of the DSLR's shoot decent quality video. The best out there, even if 4k is still 8 bit 4:2:0 200Mbps Long GOP Mpeg files, which are basically the lowest-end compression possible. Ya can't do great stills and great video in a package like that, you gotta go with one or the other. The ASIC's (which are the integrated circuits that encode files) are either tuned towards video or stills. The camera would need to be A LOT bigger to run a hybrid system and nobody has bothered to do it yet. Even the H6D-50c/H6D-100c, which are the highest end Hasselblad's record in the same format as the lowest-end DSLR.

 

Where Canon's imager and color science blow the doors off anything blackmagic makes, the Pocket 4k does seem to have a marketable quality bump over not only it's predecessor, but also the URSA Mini 4.6k. Also, if your color science is baked in or even in log mode, difficult to decode because the MPEG noise tears the image to shreds, what's the point ya know?

 

With Blackmagic design, they use Pro Res, DNX or various RAW recording standards which are "lossless" in quality. This means, with a log gamma curve, you can make adjustments to the highlights and blacks, which won't reveal compression artifacts, since they just don't exist. Yes, Pro Res and RAW formats are heavy on disk space, but they're also very easy for the computer to playback because the playback engine is multithreaded, unlike .h264's which isn't. So for instance, my 3.46ghz double CPU, 12 core, 24 thread editing bay tears through 4k Pro Res footage like it's no problem, but struggles to playback 4k .h264 media in real time. This is because the codec is not efficient, it's designed for web streaming in small file sizes, not for camera original and post production. This is why people edit in "proxy" mode most of the time because they have no choice. I edit with camera originals most of the time due to quick turnaround's and being able to see the final output all the time.

 

So yes, if you take a look at the big picture; price vs performance vs post production, the Blackmagic Cameras are a good "compromise" and having played with the new Pocket 4k 2 times now, I can attest to how good of a job they've done with the camera. It's been 3 years in the making and even though it's got some issues, I think for the price people can ignore them.

 

Thank you for the insight. It's exactly what I'm looking for. Right now I need something that might not be the best but good enough to work with and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

I think the BMPCC4K could be it. It's good enough to serve us for a a year or two while we get the funds to buy something else and then can still use it as a B camera of some projects.

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