Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

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    • #80431

      Is anyone taking advantage of the sale pricing for the BMPCC ($500!)?  

      What do you think I would need to complete my kit if primary use is vacation video?  (Lenses, batteries, memory cards, etc.)

      The deal seems unbelievable, but thinking that for my purposes I might do better with a Panasonic GH3?

    • #210851

      Wow thanks for the well thought-out reply!  

      I've got some soul-searching to do.  Well, BlackMagic's pricing on the BMPCC is good until the end of August, and I don't have any immediate travel plans … 4 weeks to think about it.


      Once again, thanks for the terrific answer!




    • #210850

      Hi George,

           The BMPCC is really a camera for professionals who have a specific use for it.  People who buy it just for casual use will most likely be disappointed, as it is not as user-friendly as, say, a handycam.  Also, footage that you get from a BMPCC requires additional steps in your workflow in order for it to be even remotely pleasing to the eye, as it comes out in a very flat, RAW format that requires additional color grading.  But it does come with a copy of DaVinci Resolve for that.

           That said, if you are an aspiring professional, and you want to play around with the BMPCC, then here's what you would need:

           The body comes with a battery, but you will want more than 1, as a fully charged battery won't get you more than around 40 minutes of use.  But batteries can be purchased for around $15 per.

           You need storage for your video, and the video that this camera produces comes at a high bitrate.  So you will need not only a lot of storage, but a lot of FAST storage.  Recommended is the SanDisk 64 GB SDXC Memory Card Extreme Pro Class 10 UHS-1.  Keep in mind, however, that this card will only hold around 20 minutes of video from this camera because of the high bitrate (the extrememly high bitrate is what gets you such high detail in your videos), so you will want multiple cards.  If you want to try and save a little bit of money on storage, you can try the PNY Technologies 256 GB Elite Performance SDXC Class 10 UHS-I memory card.  Based on the specs advertised by the manufacturer, it should work, but try it at your own risk.

           You need a lens.  The BMPCC has an active Micro 4/3 mount.  If you want to keep it inexpensive, you can get the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm lens for around $165.  I use this lens with my GH2, and it is adequate for what I do.  You'll also want to put an ND filter on that lens.  ND filters vary in price, but most of them are pretty inexpensive between $10 and $50, depending on what you get.  Just make sure for this lens, you get a 52mm filter.

           All of this can be purchased right now for less than the body of the GH3, so if you want to get amazing resluts at the cost of learning a new workflow, then this camera would be fun to try.  Just remember that it does have a learning curve, and it might be a little much to take in at first if you just want something to shoot with while you're on vacation.

    • #210859

      Hey brunerww,

           That's a pretty cool setup.

           As far as the shoe mount, don't you mean "cold shoe?"  I didn't think that the shoe mount option provided any power or control for devices mounted there.

    • #210860

      Awesome Bill thanks

    • #210870

      I just bought my second Pocket Cinema Camera under the current $495 deal. This camera will shortly get the firmware updates to make it a much more viable production camera: histogram display, remaining time on chip display, audio levels, etc. Recently, I upgraded my first Pocket Cam to enable more flavors of ProRes, meaning for non green screen work, you can use ProRes 442 and get MORE TIME out of each 95MB per second Sandisk chip you use.


      Well, were I to have to minimize my Pocket Cinema rig, I would get a Metabones Nikon G to M43 Speedbooster and the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, a bunch of batteries, a dual charger, a Wooden Camera Pocket Cinema cage, a good supercardiod mic to attach to the cage with 1/8 inch connection, and batteries for that mic.


      There are a few good viewfinders for the Pocket Cinema Camera, including:



      which has proven very worthy.


      This rig, plus perhaps a stabilizer from Edelkrone



      All told, this would give you a 35mm shooters' equivalent of a 31mm to 61mm zoom at f/1.0 (due to the 1 2/3 stop INCREASE from the Speedbooster,) good for capturing darker scenes.


      Finally, as the camera is native at 800 ISO and has best performance at THAT ISO, a good variable ND filter for that lens is a good idea. Things get too bright for the Pocket Cinema Camera very, very quickly in the daytime. Do not skimp on your variable ND, which is basically similar to a polarizer, but gets darker and darker as you turn the filter. The variable ND is worth its weight in gold should you wish to do a bunch of daylight shooting. Using lower ISOs on the camera truncates the quality a bit.

    • #210856

      Hi George – you've gotten good advice from mcrockett. I have both the BMPCC and the GH3 – and have taken them both on vacation – and I would say that, properly outfitted, the BMPCC is a decent travel camera.  But you will need a few accessories to make the camera usable.


      Here's what I did to get started:


      – First thing I got (after a Sandisk 95mbps card) was 4 or 5 extra $15 batteries because the camera goes through batteries so quickly.


      – Second thing I got was a $25 Wooden Camera hot shoe because it was inexpensive and the camera doesn't have a hot shoe.  I didn't have the extra $100 to spend for a cage (you won't have to buy the hot shoe separately if you get your camera on sale for $495 at Adorama – it is included for free).


      – Third thing I did was to put together a DIY LCD viewfinder because the LCD is impossible to see outdoors.  If I had it to do all over again, I would have spent the money for a $190 Zacuto Pocket Cinema Camera Z-Finder.


      – The fourth thing I did was to buy a $20 pistol grip  – so I can start and stop the camera remotely when I get my LANC cable.


      Here's what my setup looks like:

      If budget permits, instead of the DIY route, you may want to consider the $495 Redrock Micro retroFlex Rig πŸ™‚
      Hope this is helpful – and best of luck with your new camera,
      Hybrid Camera Revolution
    • #210861

      You are 100% factually correct, my friend.  That said, the name of the product on the Adorama website is the "Wooden Camera 1/4-20 Hot Shoe"


      Maybe we should write the manufacturer and straighten them out? πŸ™‚





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