New Footage From The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

June 1, 20133 Comments

Pocket in Kurnel from John Brawley Tests on Vimeo.

The footage looks great coming from such a tiny camera. below is from Johns Vimeo page describing how he shot and edited the footage. Pair this camera with the active MFT mount and add in those great Lumix OIS lenses and you will be shooting video everywhere you go. Why wouldn’t you?

I’ve been in deep pre-production for the second series of Puberty Blues. We start shooting from Monday and it’s always really hectic in the last week of pre. I’ve been pulling together my kit from the wonderful guys at Panavision and even though we shot with the Alexa last time a lot can happen in 12 months ! We’re up to V7 in the Alexa and the first season was shot using V4.

Also since then, Blackmagic have announced two new cameras. So far on the second series of Puberty Blues we have two Alexas, A C300 (for surf footage in the water and slow mo) three BMCC’s and now a BMCC pocket. I’ve been shooting a lot of tests this week and unfortunately I can’t share most of those with you, but I was able to steal a few minutes to shoot with the pocket with the SLR magic 25mm lens.

I was also able to “volunteer” my B camera focus puller Frank Hruby to model for me in the same lighting setup.

Friday was our last day of pre and the guys from Panavision shouted us lunch so I took the camera along. The camera was being passed around here but it had the 25mm SLR Magic on and was set around T2.8.

I travelled with setup director Glendyn Ivin to our favourite little spot in Kurnel to shoot sunset. He had our C300 and I was shooting with a BMCC EF, but I also managed to shoot a little behind the scenes of us working as well. Perhaps not the most interesting of subjects, another BMCC, but it’s what I could manage !

Earlier in the week I took my camera team from Puberty Blues out to dinner and had the pocket there with both the 12 and 25mm SLR Magic lenses. Again, the camera was being handed around and everyone was having a go.

This footage was shot at ISO 800 and I did have to bring it up more than a stop (using the Antler BMCC plugin – see below) so it does look a little noisier than I’d like. I’m sure if I’d shot at ISO 1600 it would be better. The restaurant was very dimly lit with just few small practical bulbs above us.

So it’s not ideal but even in this tough scenario the pics are still nice and I know you’re all keen to see low light and the SLR magic lenses. And I think it turned in some nicely useable pictures.

This was all posted in FCPX and I didn’t go to Resolve at all. Instead I used Nick Shaw’s awesome BMCC LUT plugin for FCPX.

The great thing about Nick’s plugin is that you can very easily do a quick conversion of BMD FILM originated material and get a great look with very little effort. Mainly I pushed the saturation a little more, but otherwise I didn’t really do much grading beyond what Nicks’ plugin does and I did it without leaving FCP.

As amazing as Resolve is, if you want a fast workflow and aren’t happy with the BMD “VIDEO” lut that the camera does then you can easily just shoot FILM and use this plugin to get a very fast workflow in FCP for delivery with a minimum of grading effort. PLus if you needed to grade later in Resolve, you can still go back the FILM originals.

So as yet, I still can’t make this available for download, but we’ll be looking to get some camera originals out there in the near future.

What I think we are seeing here though is that the pocket definitely has the same DNA as the BMCC in terms of dynamic range and “look”

Enjoy !

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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (3)

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  1. Dale says:

    Looks like a great little camera… I’d love to have one as a second camera. Could be a nice way to ditch the Go Pros!!!

    • Erik Naso says:

      I think to many people are looking at the camera in the wrong way. It’s not a all out cinema camera it’s a nano cinema camera. I can shoot all kinds of high quality footage with this little guy. We live in some crazy times right?

  2. It looks like a great option for the 16mm look and, with the right Speed Booster, a great MFT+ camera for projects where discretion is a must or the space is almost inexistent… however, the BM Production Camera really captivated me… if the quality of the image, namely the 4K RAW, is as good as expected, I’ll have to buy it in the near future. Who’s going to say no to that? Sure there are some issues (for me: battery and design) but who cares about that when we can easily live with it by making a few adaptations and still get an amazing 4k image under $4k (even the price tag and image resolution sort of match?

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