Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera
Okay, so I fell into the sales trap for the 50% off BMPCC. They went fast, very very fast. Given that I just purchased a new house, getting ready to break ground for the Video/Photography studio, timing couldn’t have been worse. The bottom line, what I’ve seen with the camera definitely has many pros and cons, but overall I’m excited to shoot with it. So I’ll go over my setup at a high level because there are so many deep divers who provided some really great reviews, so no need to duplicate efforts. My shooting style is definitely going to be different than lots of other folks, but in the end, I think I have increased the production quality quite a bit with this 16mm sensor. Let’s do this…
The Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera allows you to film using Micro Four Thirds Lenses. That’s cool because with the adapter, I can use my older Canon FD Prime lenses as well as my deep 80-200mm Zoom lens (For nature and with a tripod only) The picture quality when the camera is setup up correctly is very nice. You need an ND filter shooting during the day if you want any kind of depth of field. The battery life sucks but they are inexpensive to add more. The memory cards are $100 for 64 Gigs AND you better bring a laptop to your shoot to offload that data because let me tell you, shooting RAW fills that memory card up like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
I doubt a lot of professionals would use this as an A camera, probably not even a B camera just because of the data and cost of the cards. The outfitting of the camera, well lets just say the camera body is only a PART of a setup, not the whole. Stabilization and audio are necessary; something like a fluid head tripod, slider and a Zoom audio recorder are absolutely necessary to use with this thing.
All that said, I have 2 adapters for both Canon EOS lenses and Canon FD lenses. I still retain a shallow depth of field with my 1.4 primes, not as much as on the APS-C 60D, but the image is quite beautiful.
What I really dig is that you can take these lenses, open them all the way up in low light, at ASA (ISO) 800 in not nicely lit room, capture some footage and when you go into edit say in AE, you can import and while doing so, you get Camera RAW as your initial window for input. That to me is absolutely incredible.
Exposure, detail, clarity, highs/lows, saturation, sharpness, white balance.. You adjust the first frame and import as a clip and you’re off to the races. Davinci Resolve Lite comes with the camera, but so far, I’m not a fan. Probably the only reason I’m not a fan is because I don’t yet know what the hell I’m doing with it.
In Camera Raw you can save out presets and apply it to all the clips from a particular scene and they’ll all match. The challenge thus far, I haven’t filmed enough with the camera to offer a solid opinion either way to answer the basic question, was it worth $450 and change? The only way to know is to film. I plan on making a short this week and then I’ll let you know. I’m not going bare bones on this, I’m bringing my laptop, lights, lenses, slider(s) and jib. I’ve had a story idea that hopefully I can get shot this week and edit it next week and then, then I’ll know.
Anyway, if you have specific questions there are a lot of resources out there that I found to be really helpful but if I can help answer them, let me know. Cheers!
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