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Henry Truitt Harshaw

Thoughts about the new blackmagic pocket cinema camera?

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I'm anticipating it being the greatest thing since sliced bread as I have one ordered & counting the days when it's (supposed to) shipped. I wanted to step up from my Canon T3i and was eyeing upgrading but didn't have much of a budget. This showed up and was within my budget and should be a serious improvement. One thing I will miss is the view screen being fixed.

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Having messed around with it at two trade shows, my excitement has been subdued quite a bit. We all know the positives; 4k shooting, better connectors, more robust housing, different storage options, M4/3rds mount, larger imager, better built-in mic's, high speed recording, better battery solution, etc.

 

However, I'm struggling with these things:

 

First off, one of the great benefits of the original pocket is how small it was. The new one is nearly twice the size, easily bigger than most DSLR's and heavy too.

 

Second, the old camera had a super 16mm sized imager, which meant you could use all sorts of cool older glass. This new imager is larger than even a GH5's imager, so no more Super 16 glass. At "2k" cropped mode, the glass still won't work, according to Blackmagic.

 

Third, the imager is WAY too crisp. This camera has the same issues the original BMD4k camera had, which is a very unnatural sharpness to the image. The great thing about the older camera was how soft the image is, it just looks very cinematic and the new camera doesn't have that look at all.

 

Fourth, the only people who need a big display are people working indoors, everyone else is screwed with that big display. So until someone comes out with a viewfinder adaptor, (which I doubt will happen due to it's size) the monitor is kinda worthless. The fact it STILL doesn't have any tilt, makes it even more of an issue.

 

Fifth, the battery life seems to be only slightly better than the original camera. So at best, I could do 41 minutes off a 64gb card at 1080p with the old camera on a single NEW battery. This new camera can only record around 50 minutes with a new battery at 4k. I'm assuming the stand-by issues are resolved, but still they really should have gone with a more robust battery solution.

 

I'll probably still pick one up, mostly because my pocket cameras have been around the world since I bought them in 2013 and they're pretty beat to poop. I'd love to nab something to replace them with and this maybe my only choice.

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My personal viewpoint just for the sake of discussion...

 

I'm coming from a Canon T3i to the BMPCC4K so size & weight won't be much different. I keep my iPhone with me almost all the time so I have that convenience. Quality is OK for the purposes of what I would want from something I could keep in my pocket.

 

I was adapting Nikon manual focus 35mm lenses to my Canon and will do the same with the BMagic. I have a Bolex (several actually) if I want to shoot something with that look or use those lenses.

 

Image is going to be different than with the Bolex, the Canon, or the iPhone . Now I will have more options if I'm wanting a specific look.

 

I also will miss the flip out screen. Am already looking at external monitor options.

 

I'm already making sure to keep enough charged batteries & empty media on hand as well as charger. After shooting a bit with a 100' 16mm rolls, and dealing with having to stop & rewind the camera every 27 seconds, it's a step up to be able to shoot for 40 minutes before having to swap out a battery or a card.

 

You & I are on the same page regarding getting one because it fills a need rather than because it's perfect. For the price, you could likely find 2 of the original BMPCCs used but well cared for if you like that form factor and your current ones are beat up. Always option :)

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I've been interested in owning a blackmagic camera for some time now. I think I'll pull the trigger after the first run of stock and see all the reported bugs. Blackmagic is pretty good about listening to customer feedback and correcting problems pretty fast. I just hope they ship in Sept.!

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I"ll probably pick one up eventually; as that's the way the winds are blowing. Was looking at a Gh5 originally, for the 10bit, but I feel the BM is a better choice on the whole. But not going to do ANYTHING until I see some kind of test footage from the camera (even though I've seen it at trade shows, I find waiting a bit is a better call).

Probably all in I'm looking at around 10K for a pacakge that's usable for my needs as they are; but we'll see once it's here and all the add ons come out

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My thought:

 

The specs are incredible at the camera's price point...which means something has to give. What flaws will we find that BM had to sacrifice on the manufacturing, design, etc to reach the price point?

 

Fixed Pattern Noise plagued the 4K Cinema Camera, the black hole for the Ursa, etc.

 

We won't know what the issues with the new pocket camera will be, like Adrian said, until it's out in the world.

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My thought:

 

The specs are incredible at the camera's price point...which means something has to give. What flaws will we find that BM had to sacrifice on the manufacturing, design, etc to reach the price point?

 

Fixed Pattern Noise plagued the 4K Cinema Camera, the black hole for the Ursa, etc.

 

We won't know what the issues with the new pocket camera will be, like Adrian said, until it's out in the world.

 

I suspect dynamic range and moire may be bad, some fixed pattern noise present and maybe some colour shifts. anything a low-grade sensor with cheap filtration would do compared to a better one. battery life may be another issue but generally you wouldn't expect a battery to last long on any blackmagic camera anyway :mellow:

software errors are more than likely I think but reliability has not normally been the key point for the shooters using Blackmagic gear and BM will correct these with firmware updates in a year or two after camera's release :rolleyes:

 

the main problem with their camera products has been that the actual release (shipping dates) are almost always delayed so much that the technology gets a little bit outdated before the camera even reaches the end users :ph34r:

 

Personally I am waiting until someone makes a very good underwater housing for it and then will decide if it's worth purchasing or not. Underwater housings seem to be released about a year or so after a new camera model is actually shipping to the customers so it may take from 1.5 to 2 years til I would get my hands on that BMPCC4k :ph34r:

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