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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount
|Price:||$995.00 & FREE Shipping|
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- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera lets you use the most incredible range of Micro Four Thirds lenses. This product does not include a lens; compatible Micro Four Thirds lenses are available separately.
- High Resolution Display: The extremely high resolution 3.5 LCD allows you to monitor while shooting and review recorded files on the SD card. The high resolution screen makes it easy to focus accurately and lets you zoom in to 1:1 size so you focus precisely every time.
- Record to SD Cards: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera features a built in SD card recorder that captures stunning ProRes 422 (HQ) and lossless compressed CinemaDNG files to fast SDXC cards. As an open format, it's compatible with most popular NLE software so you get a digital camera that's perfectly designed for post production workflows.
- Open File Format: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera records into high quality ProRes 422 (HQ) and lossless compressed CinemaDNG files so you retain fine image detail with wide dynamic range for amazing images. One of the few cameras to support true open file formats, so you're not locked into a strange file that your editing software can't handle.
- Ultra Portable Design: The camera features a lightweight, elegant design that fits into your pocket. Produced from magnesium alloy for incredible strength, it includes a high resolution LCD for precise focusing and a built in SD recorder, so you get a complete solution without the need for expensive accessories.
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|Display Size||3.5 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||12 MP|
|External Memory Included||No|
|Item Dimensions||7.28 x 11.61 x 14.37 inches|
|Item Weight||0.78 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||5.92 Watt Hours|
|Lithium Battery Voltage||1 Volt|
|Lithium Battery Weight||40 grams|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/200 of a second|
|Operating System||All Windows Server Versions 2000|
|Platform||Not Machine Specific|
|Shipping Weight||1.75 pounds|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080p|
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera from Blackmagic Design is a compact Super 16 format camera designed for digital film production. The Super 16 sized sensor has an effective resolution of 1920 x 1080 and is capable of capturing 13 stops of dynamic range. The Pocket Cinema Camera records Full HD video in either the lossless CinemaDNG RAW or Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) format. The active Micro Four Thirds lens mount can accommodate a growing range of MFT format lenses as well as a host of excellent legacy lenses via optional adapters. Blackmagic Design has packed all of these impressive features into a remarkably compact (5 x 2.6 x 1.5") and lightweight (12.5 oz) magnesium alloy chassis.
Top Customer Reviews
The following are what I feel should have been labeled on the box when it was shipped
1. Only 94 mB/s or higher speed memory chip can be used. Otherwise you may get dropped frames even if it records. I have tried Sony and Sandisk Extreme Pro, both worked fine. I am sure most people get this one just by Googling.
2. The one that really got me was that you need to reformat the card with a PC and the format must be exFAT, not other formats. I've found this information extremely difficult to find online and hidden in the manual. I thought the camera was broken, the error message NO SD will not turn off and the record button won't work. Finally after some major tinkering, I reformatted the card and everything started to work beautifully. This is normally a no brainer for a consumer camera or any pro camera so it caught me off guard.
3. My next problem was that none of my video players would play the clips and I have tried a lot of them, not even my Vegas Pro would import the ProRes .mov format. I tried downloading DaVinci Resolve 9 on Blackmagic-design website. It was free but the bad news was, I couldn't get it to open or import a file. I have loaded and reloaded it on 3 of my PC and only one worked after hours of tinkering. This is a major manufacturer's oversight as they could have made it much more user friendly and transparent to the user.
4. The next puzzle was that the video appeared washed out. I later discovered the reason was because it records in log format. Blackmagic adapted this format because it is easier to grade color during post editing. After I color graded the footage, it had more detail than the 5D Mark III. The 13 stops of dynamic range seems to be as advertised.
Rolling shutter feels to be a bit better than the Canon 5D. I can pan the camera faster now. It does not show in Youtube that well due to the compression. It is as expected, the sensor is dedicated to video not still. Oh, it does not take still photos, it is not designed for that. The BMPC handles moire quite well. Check out the unedited footage in Youtube by searching "Turbo Ace Matrix Quadcopter and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera unedited aerial footage". For in-depth review of the video quality, try using the Google Chrome browser and set resolution to 1080p.
The dynamic range of 13 makes the video sharper with more detail than any of the DSLR including my 5D.
More noise shows in low light condition with the same ISO compared to the 5D. Again that is expected from a smaller sensor.
It is much smaller and extremely light weight compared to the DSLR
After color grading the video is extremely sharp but you can't replay instantly and expect great colors.
A very nice selection of Micro 4/3 lens at great savings. I recommend the Olympus 9-18mm zoom.
Price is unbelievable for the quality it produces
Apple ProRes comes in handy for editing
Solidly built, it is mostly made of metal
Auto focus does work somewhat and it comes in handy under sunlight. It is a bit slow but not a big deal as I shoot mostly in manual.
Battery is a Nikon 7.4V EN-EL20 Type Lithium-Ion easily obtainable at great price.
It is hard to find a wide lens due to the smaller sensor
Shortage of functions in the camera, no in-camera format, not a big deal for me.
No dial, makes it cumbersome to change exposure.
Run time is short and requires constant battery change. I wish the battery is twice the size because it isn't heavy anyway.
30fps is max, hope there is 60fps someday.
No exposure or histogram so you will need a light meter. But at 1/3 the price of a 5D, I can't complain.
Not user friendly, takes a while to get everything working
No audio meter but that may change with the new firmware
Wish it has the more popular mini HDMI port instead of micro. Micro HDMI is not as popular and it was painful to find a small right angle one to work on my Matrix quadcopter.
Finally, do I recommend this camera and should the average Joe buy it? Only if you really care about video quality and have the patience to put up with the initial setup. The final production quality is stunning so it is well worth it for me. Blackmagic has excellent technology and provides tremendous value but lacks in customer interface and proper documentation. In the end, it delivers the quality I want and that is why I am giving it a 5 star. I only had the camera for a few days and for those who wish there is more in-depth coverage of video quality, please bare with me as I will be adding them later. I will also be doing more Youtube reviews and post them here for your reference. Great work Blackmagic and thank you for watching.
*Super 16mm Sized Image Sensor
*Active Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount
*13 Stops of Dynamic Range
*Records Full HD 1920x1080 CinemaDNG RAW
*Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) at 220 Mbps
*Compact Design (5" Long and 12.5 oz)
*3.5" LCD Display with 800x480 Resolution
*Uses SDXC and SDHC Memory Cards
*EN-EL20 Compatible Rechargeable Battery
*HDMI, LANC, 3.5mm Audio Input and Output
Sensor Size 12.48 x 7.02 mm (effective)
Effective Resolution 1920 x 1080
Dynamic Range 13 stops
Lens Mount Active MFT
Recording Media Removable SDXC and/or SDHC cards (exFAT or HFS+ format)
Recording Formats Lossless CinemaDNG RAW
Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) (QuickTime MOV)
Recording Resolution 1920 x 1080
Frame Rates 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p
Bit Rate 220 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
Video Output Micro HDMI type D (x1)
Digital Audio Output 2 channels, 48 kHz and 24 bit (embedded in HDMI output)
Analog Audio Input 3.5mm stereo mini jack (x1)
Analog Audio Output 3.5mm stereo mini jack (x1)
Remote Control 2.5mm LANC (x1) for record START/STOP, iris control and focus
Computer Interface USB 2.0 mini B port (for software updates and configuration)
Power Input 0.7mm DC jack for power and battery charging (x1)
Display Type Integrated LCD
Display Size 3.5"
Display Resolution 800 x 480
Built-In Microphone Integrated stereo microphone
Built-in Speaker Integrated mono speaker
Mounting 1/4"-20 UNC thread (x1, on top of camera)
1/4"-20 UNC thread (x1, tripod mount on the bottom)
Supported Software Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, Nuke - The Foundry, Adobe Photoshop, DaVinci Resolve
Operating System Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or later
Windows 7 or later
Power 12-20 VDC
Battery Type: EN-EL20 compatible, rechargeable lithium ion battery
Battery Life: approx. 1 hour of continuous recording time
Charge Time: approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes when the camera is off and approximately 2 hours when in use
Operating Temperature 32 ~ 104° F (0 ~ 40° C)
Storage Temperature -4 ~ 113° F (-20 ~ 45° C)
Relative Humidity 0 ~ 90% non-condensing
Dimensions 5.04 x 1.49 x 2.6 (128 x 38 x 66 mm)
Weight 12.52 oz (355 g)
-Image quality: WOW! The images coming out of this camera are incredible. The detail is lovely.
-Codec: 95% I shoot in raw DNG which is leaps and bounds better than h264. The amount of information in the ProRes HQ codec is fantastic, but raw has that extra bit of magic in it (this is my experience). It allows for so much more flexibility in post regarding color grading.
**UPDATE** As of July 17, 2014, Blackmagic Design has updated the firmware to allow for more ProRes options: ProRes HQ, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT and ProRes 422 Proxy all in 10-bit. So, what does that actually mean? Higher recording times, but more compression (HQ having the least amount of compression and Proxy being the highest compressed format). Don't let the compression scare you because even ProRes Proxy is still superior to H.264. With Proxy, you can record up to about 3 hours and 45 minutes on a 64 GB SD card. Also, I can't stress enough to not skimp on cheaper SD cards. Stay with the recommended cards from BMD!
-Dynamic rage: 13-stops. Enough said.
-Focus peaking/zebras: These are VERY helpful. I set zebras to 100% and ETTR (most of the time) for maximum dynamic range. Focus peaking is also very helpful. The autofocus is pretty lame, so I don't bother with it.
-Form factor: Okay, so most people don't like the form factor, but I love it. You can rig up a small camera to be big, but you can't make a big camera smaller. Get my point? I can put my panny 14-45 OIS, grab some extra batteries and just shoot with that if I am on vacation or walking around town. I can "blend" in with crowds easier as it just looks like I'm holding a point-and-shoot. I can also rig the crap out of it with a follow focus, matte box, EVF, etc if I needed for a production environment.
-Sensor: there is a con to it (explained below). Why is it a "pro," as well? Lenses! There are lots of old lenses out there than can be utilized with this sensor size with the correct adapter. Adapters can be ~$20 all the way up to ~$650.
-Active MFT mount: Using my 14-45 OIS (has physical OIS switch), I can utilize the stabilization if using handheld. With adapters, like the Metabones speedbooster, the lens options are virtually limitless.
The shortcomings (for me); battery life, storage, file sizes, light, camera controls.
-Battery life: I am not the first, and won't be the last to say that battery life on the little EN-EL20 is just sad. Buy some extra batteries for your walk-around-town/minimalist setup--they're cheap. Another option is to purchase an external battery solution. Yes, you can spend lots of money getting some sort of V-Mount setup, or you can buy something like an AnkerPro external battery with the correct adapter, and you'll have power for hours.
-Storage: This camera DEMANDS fast SD cards and lots of storage. Let's remember WHY: 12-Bit Compressed raw DNG or 10-bit ProresHQ 422! These files are HUGE but contain loads of information for color grading. **Reiterating the firmware update here; you can avoid the huge files by recording in ProRes LT or Proxy.** Tip:Go to Blackmagic Design's website for approved SD cards before you start spending money.
-File sizes: As previously mentioned, the file sizes are very large--prores or raw. Make sure you have a FAST hard drive with lots of storage. That being said, make sure your computer has enough horsepower to edit the footage from the BMPCC (especially if using Resolve Lite).
-Light demanding: This is NOT a low-light camera, nor should you expect it to be with the super-16mm sensor size. However, the noise pattern is much more pleasing to the eye than any DSLR.
-Camera controls: I wish I could control the color temp with the navigation buttons instead of having to go through the menu options. ASA is not a huge deal to me as I always stay at 800 (native ISO) and use the aperture and variable ND for exposure.
So, why did I end up buying this camera? Well, I understood the shortcomings, I knew how I would use it, and it fit my budget. This camera fits most situations that I will be shooting. Is it for every situation? NO! There isn't a camera on the market that is best for ALL situations. Again, get the camera that fits you, your objectives, your aptitude for editing, and your budget. This camera fit the bill for me, and I absolutely love it. Hope this helps someone.