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2K BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, active m43, $995
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  • For those interested, here's why camera sensors give odd results with compact fluorescent bulbs.

    Web page link:

    Sunlight is a continuous spectrum but fluorescent lights have large parts of the spectrum missing. This is also why grading is so difficult. Some colours are not in the captured image.

    Spectrum of Fluorescent Light 1.png
    507 x 311 - 49K
    Spectrum of Fluorescent Light 2.png
    883 x 307 - 203K
  • @caveport

    Great chart man. I know I saw one before but have you seen the chart for Kino bulbs or Osram? I know they perform much better.

  • Here is a video that i shot with the BMPCC in ProRes. Youtube is doing something really bad to the video if you look at 4:04 and 4:29 the girl smoking shot in blue and green some big pixels show up... The original and compressed video doesn't have this problem so that's youtube. I used ProRes Proxy (35mbps) for this cause that's the best compression i found so far in order to maintain the quality and grain that i added in post. I used to like this camera till i put this video on youtube. Now i'm thinking i might need a 4k camera so i'll get better results on youtube. Would like to have you guys opinion on the overall quality(colors/details/exposure) on youtube cause the original sure looks good.

  • I'm stunned that an audience exits for this type of "music" and video. Unbelievable.

  • YouTube compresses and destroys every video. Is this the first time you've ever seen compression artifacts on YouTube?

  • @vicharris i know youtube compression destroys videos. But this one is specially bad at the timing i mentioned...

  • It's too bad YT doesn't allow you to replace your file and re-compress, without creating a whole new stream, so that you could do QC. These kinds of unfortunate glitches can often be corrected for on VIMEO by slightly altering the file you upload. It's a roll of the dice and total voodoo, and it sucks, but shuffling the bits before they get their mits on the pixels is sometimes all it takes to get a more consistent stream from them, or at least a less objectionable set of compromises in quality.

  • See my post in the Skier Hot Mirror filter thread, they work really nice on the Pocket against IR:

  • Shot this the other night using just the Pocket Cam and the SLR Magic 12mm. Pretty happy with with the combo for just handheld, low-light party situation.

  • @grierdill It seems as if you have IR pollution in your footage (which is bound to happen when using the camera without an IR cut filter in most artificial light situations).

  • I'm thinking i was so excited when Pocket was announced.But right now, just a few months later and with major's product going to be here with 4k and good DR even without prores, i think blackmagic has to give us a "pocket 2" at max next year.

    What do you think? Am i too pessimistic?

  • @renovatio compression makes a huge difference. Even 4k 8-bit 420 down sampled isn't going to provide a cleaner frame than the native pocket. When someone records 422 with a decent bit rate and codec internally, then the pocket can worry...but then I bet it'll be no where near the price of the pocket either.

  • @renovatio There are a lot of people who bought the Pocket just expecting a better DSLR/GH2-type camera, and ended up being greatly frustrated by its practical limitations and complications.

    (Such as: need of external audio recording/preamp, need of lots of batteries, need of expensive Sandisk Extreme Pro cards with only 20 mins capacity on 64 GB, need of stabilization, need of IR cut filters, need of Resolve/semipro grading skills, need of noise filtering & sharpening in post, need of Speed Booster or extreme wide angle MFT zooms for real wide angle shots, issues with the low quality TFT display, non-pixel-mapped hot pixels, moiré, mediocre-to-bad low light performance, quirky menu ergonomics, lack of fine-grained WB for ProRes recording, bad color under fluorescent light, lackluster color science with in-camera Rec709 and in Blackmagic's standard log-to-Rec709 LUTs, difficulty of good exposure using only the zebras.)

    This deep frustration is evident, every day, on the Blackmagic User Forum - and in horribly looking BM Pocket home videos uploaded to Vimeo and YouTube. Many frustrated BM Pocket owners will likely sell their camera as soon as the GH4 or competing cameras like the rumored Sony A7s will be available.

    (That said, I personally love the BM Pocket and wouldn't trade it against any other. But I also consider it a true 'digital Bolex' rather than a DSLR or ENG camera replacement.)

  • @renovatio The GH4 feels a long ways away right now, at a higher price and it's just overall a different beast. It looks amazing, but it's a pipe dream for me.

    @cantsin I agree with all that. I'd add the crummy HDMI format to the list which makes for a weak link no matter how you slice it. SDI is the way to go. HDMI is awful. On board light metering isn't great either compared to GHx. It's virtually nonexistent. I feel a handheld light meter is a necessity. ymmv. Personally though, I fucking love the thing. My GH2s are dealing with abandonment issues right now. The meds aren't helping.

  • Hey guys, I've been doing a few tests of my own. Here's what I've learned:

    Vintage Switars are REALLY vulnerable to IR pollution. I've got some stuff I've shot on tungsten where the skin tones are just destroyed. A color temperature shift gel over tungsten to boost up to daylight just exaggerates the problem.

    Modern lenses are less vulnerable.

    IR cut filters are the way to go. I laid my hands on a very nice Rodenstock IR cut filter & the problems have gone away. If you're a vintage Switar junkie like me, you'll need to track down a custom filter adapter.

    This camera loves shooting under hi CRI floursesents. I've built some DIY kino-flos and have been blown away by the results. I'll post as soon as I can. Numerous paid projects are piling up at the moment.

  • @cantsin All that and the image is still best bang for the buck though. People want all the features of an Arri Alexa in a small package for $1000. Ain't gonna happen....yet.

  • @Stylz You could argue that the BM Pocket is the miniature, cheap equivalent of an Arri Alexa. It is actually being used as a B/C cam along with the Alexa since its image can be easily graded to intercut with Alexa footage. Cine cams like the Alexa or RED even have many of the same practicality 'issues' that the BM Pocket has: need of IR cut filters, need of external sound recording, need of rigging, need of post-pro noise filtering and sharpening, limitations with low light performance or shooting at non-native white balance settings.

    These are just non-issues in cinema productions where you create controlled shooting conditions to prevent them, as people always have done when shooting on film. This is why we get the flame wars on the BM user forum. The amateur shooting crowd is frustrated and upset while the pros don't see the big deal. Which in turn upsets the amateurs who think that the pros blame their skills while the camera should be blamed.

  • @cantsin Excellent analysis.

  • plus 1000 canstin

    and they still keep comparing HD vs RAW ))))

  • You might want to elaborate on that.

  • @Renovatio

    It's too early to tell for sure, but if you play around with the GH4 clips available, I think you'll find that the codec "breaks" very quickly: the footage either clips drastically (as in one of the grades they were arguing about in the GH4 thread) or looks unnatural and (forgive me) plastic, when you push it a bit or try to alter its mood.

    And how much of the apparent clarity is sharpness, which will eventually put your teeth on edge, and how much is actual resolution? Best to keep an open mind, but I think the Pocket still delivers the best image for the money, if your interest is dramatic cinema. If not, there might be better choices, offering much more convenience and ease.

  • @cantsin I can't tell you how many threads I've seen of people bitching about image quality and these cameras. There's literally a thread over where some guy wants to know why he can't get images as good as an Arri out of his camera. He posted some examples and it was just a cluster. I actually got flamed for trying to tell him there's a difference between a $100,000 camera package and $3,000 and the need for actually lighting a scene. It was amazing. I just can't believe the complete ignorance of people with cameras. I'm amazed they remember to breathe sometimes!

  • @vicharris One thing I've observed in these forums is that people have the ability to shoot horrible footage with virtually ANY camera. Some of the RED footage in particular is just dreadful. It's not the RED of course, it's the human element.

  • @brianl Agreed. I know I've made tons of shitty images with my BM cameras. It's taken me sometime and much research to finally get a good image. Since shooting is not my main source of income, I've been able to really research and test by trial and error, how to work with these cameras.

    On a funny note, someone pointed me to that thread which I've removed myself from and they are all still berating me. It's too funny. I guess I'm the fool for thinking there's a difference :) I guess in the end it's just the users trying to justify why all their images suck and are blaming it on the camera. I stopped that long ago when I saw what came out of the GH2 when you lit properly!