Portability meets performance with this itty bitty camera. Videographer, Bradford Hill took the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera for a test run, here are his thoughts on the camera's usability.
- Price of $995 for the brains of the camera
- The camera boasts 13 stops of dynamic range, for under $1000. This feature in technology is a major component to high-end cinema cameras. It preserves more detail in your image highlights and gives you a flatter less contrast image. Which is great for color correction, allowing the colorist more room to achieve different looks in post.
- Lossless CinemaDNG RAW or ProRes 422 files recorded to fast SD Cards.
- Lightweight but solid body design made of magnesium alloy.
- Choice of Shutter angles.
- Customizable Metadata entry.
- Film or Video dynamic range recording modes for two different stylistic ways of shooting. Film gives you the flatter, wide dynamic look and video gives you an HD video essentially.
- Supports a variety of lens mount adapters, which are cheap and give you a broad range of cheap & acceptable lenses.
- 2.5mm LANC Remote jack is cool to have with this camera if you are doing shoots that require this device.
- Includes Blackmagic Design Davinci Resolve Lite, their entry-level color correction program.
- 2.88X crop factor.
- Short battery life (about 1 hour) and you can only charge them in the camera (Batteries cost $15 but again you must plan ahead as you can’t be charging a battery & using camera simultaneously.)
- Four ASA (ISO) settings 200/400/800/1600 (not horrible but something to consider for varying shooting conditions.)
- Lacking frame rates- Covers ranges of 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29,97p, up to 30p (if BMD put a 60p frame rate in this camera, it would be one of the top competing cameras on the market.)
- The lightweight & compact body is only good for saving space, the small design makes it near impossible to hold a steady shot handheld over a longer focal length.
- Formatting cards only on computer (I didn’t find that be a huge problem, it just requires more planning and consideration on the users end.)
- Recording formats will give you huge file sizes, which will require more cards and probably a faster computer. (Must use Extreme Pro SanDisk 64GB)
- Input connections are not protected/covered – which over time could easily build up dust & dirt collection.
- I didn't rely on the internal microphone at all; the resulting sound was very low & thin. Preferably it is best to not use the internal microphone and to use an external recorder.
- Shooting handheld is near impossible, use a tripod or get a cage if you want to keep a steady shot and/or be able to pull focus at the same time.
- No PL or EF Mount options so you must get lens adapters.
- As an entry-level camera, you can expect to spend at least an additional $1,000 on lenses, memory, batteries, external audio recording, tripod/shoulder support.
I could see this camera catering to the educational market, because it’s price is so low and the amount you can learn about film & video from the camera is huge. Despite having to own Micro Four Thirds lenses, essentially every student in a class could have a camera & the powerful Davinci Resolve Lite color correction software installed on their own computers, which happens to be a free download.
Mac OS X : http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/detail?sid=3948&pid=11735&leg=false&os=mac
Windows : http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/detail?sid=3948&pid=11735&leg=false&os=win
At its core, the BMPCC is a powerful cinema camera and requires the user to know the basics for best control. It is best suited in a professional cinematographers hand, but not a good choice for an amateur.