Gerald Undone: Exposure Tips for the BMPCC4K & Why I Don’t Use ProRes

Discussing Blackmagic Pocket 4K exposure complications, ETTR vs middle grey, what Highlight Recovery does, and why ProRes isn’t good for low ISOs.

blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_4k_bmpcc4k_06_1024px_60pc
Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.

Commentary

With Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K being a reasonably recent release in short supply in many parts of the world, high-value information on how to get the best out of it also remains in short supply so Gerald Undone’s data on the two best ISOs is particularly welcome.

Instead of the more commonly used base dual native ISOs of 400 and 3200, Mr Undone recommends ISOs of 400 and 4000 and supports those numbers with a thorough set of tests.

Using these preferred ISOs on your BMPCC 4K in conjunction with the expose-to-the-right aka ETTR principles espoused by Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT Pro will provide optimum exposure and the most suitable footage for grading.

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Blackmagic Design: Blackmagic Design Adds Blackmagic RAW to Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/release/20190305-02

Blackmagic Design Adds Blackmagic RAW to Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

New Blackmagic Camera 6.2 update adds Blackmagic RAW to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K!

Fremont, California, USA – March 5, 2019 – Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic Camera 6.2 update which adds support for Blackmagic RAW to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.

Blackmagic Camera 6.2 update is available as a free download from the Blackmagic Design website.

Blackmagic RAW, a revolutionary next generation codec that combines the quality and benefits of RAW with the ease of use, speed and file sizes of traditional video formats. Blackmagic RAW is a more intelligent format that gives customers stunning images, incredible performance, cross platform support and a free developer SDK.

With Blackmagic Camera 6.2 update, customers using the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K now have the ability record images using Blackmagic RAW for the first time. This allows them to capture the highest possible quality images in smaller files, giving them much longer recording times with the media they already own. For example, customers can record over 2 hours of full cinematic quality Blackmagic RAW footage in 4K on a single 256GB SD UHS-II card. With Blackmagic RAW 12:1 you can even record 4K DCI images to an SD card, giving you stunning cinematic quality images on incredibly small, inexpensive cards. In addition, Blackmagic RAW gives customers an even faster, more fluid and higher quality editing and color correction workflow in DaVinci Resolve than ever before.

Once the camera has been updated, customers can choose between 3:1, 5:1, 8:1 and 12:1 constant bit-rate recording or between constant quality Q0 and Q5 recording. This lets them prioritize image quality or file size. The constant bit-rate encoding options give customers incredible images at predictable and consistent file sizes. Constant quality Q0 and Q5 use variable bitrate encoding so complex frames are encoded at higher data rates, preserving the maximum amount of detail and quality possible. Blackmagic Design Generation 4 Color Science is used for superior imaging that results in extremely accurate skin tones and gorgeous, lifelike colors. Blackmagic RAW images are encoded using a custom non-linear 12-bit space designed to provide the maximum amount of color data and dynamic range.

In addition, Blackmagic RAW features extensive metadata support, highly optimized GPU and CPU accelerated processing on the desktop and more.

Traditional RAW codecs have large file sizes and are processor intensive, making them hard to work with. Video file formats are faster, but suffer quality problems due to the use of 4:2:2 video filters that reduce color resolution. Blackmagic RAW solves these problems, giving customers the same quality, bit depth, dynamic range and controls as RAW, but with much better performance and smaller file sizes than most popular video codecs. Once files are brought into DaVinci Resolve, additional GPU and CPU acceleration make decoding of frames incredibly fast, so customers get extremely smooth performance for editing and grading.

When the Blackmagic RAW settings are changed in DaVinci Resolve, a .sidecar file can be generated or updated if one already exists. When opened in other software applications that support Blackmagic RAW, the .sidecar file, which contains the Blackmagic RAW settings made in DaVinci Resolve, will be automatically used to display the image. If the .sidecar file is removed then the file will be displayed using the embedded metadata instead. This innovative new workflow gives customers a non-destructive way to change Blackmagic RAW settings while working between different applications.

Blackmagic RAW is much more than a simple RAW container format. Its intelligent design actually understands the camera and the sensor. This means the image data, along with the unique characteristics of the image sensor, are encoded and saved into the Blackmagic RAW file, giving customers much better image quality, even at higher compression settings, as well as total control over features such as ISO, white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation and more.

In addition, Blackmagic RAW uses Blackmagic Design Generation 4 Color Science for superior imaging that results in reproducing extremely accurate skin tones and gorgeous, lifelike colors that rival those of cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars more. Images are encoded using a custom non-linear 12-bit space designed to provide the maximum amount of color data and dynamic range.

Blackmagic RAW also makes it easy for any software developer to access all this technology. The free developer SDK lets any third party software application add Blackmagic RAW support on Mac, Windows and Linux. The Blackmagic RAW developer SDK automatically handles the embedded sensor profile metadata, along with Blackmagic Design color science, for predictable and accurate image rendering that yields consistent color throughout the entire pipeline.

Blackmagic RAW features two types of file compression. Customers can choose either constant quality or constant bitrate encoding options, depending on the kind of work they are doing. This lets them prioritize image quality or file size. Constant quality uses variable bitrate encoding so complex frames are encoded at higher data rates to preserve detail and maintain the highest possible quality. Blackmagic RAW Q0 has minimum quantization and yields the highest quality, while Blackmagic RAW Q5 uses moderate quantization for more efficient encoding and a smaller file size. Blackmagic RAW 3:1, 5:1, 8:1 and 12:1 use constant bitrate encoding to give customers the best possible images with predictable and consistent file sizes. The ratios are based on the unprocessed file size of a single frame from the camera’s sensor, making it easy to understand the relative amount of compression being used.

The pristine camera native quality of Blackmagic RAW Q0 and 3:1 are perfect for effects heavy feature film and commercial work. Blackmagic RAW Q5 and 5:1 are extremely high quality making them great for episodic television and independent films. Blackmagic RAW 8:1 and 12:1 offer high quality and speed, making it suitable for productions that wouldn’t normally consider shooting RAW. Now, more customers than ever will be able to use high quality Blackmagic RAW images in an incredibly efficient way that was impossible before.

Featuring a fully scalable design and completely modern CPU and GPU acceleration, Blackmagic RAW is optimized for AVX, AVX2 and SSE4.1 enabled processors, multi-threaded, works across multiple CPU cores and is GPU accelerated with support for Apple Metal, CUDA and OpenCL. Frame decoding and image processing is extremely fast, making it super smooth for editing, color correction and visual effects in DaVinci Resolve. Another benefit of media being stored as single files, and not image sequences, is it makes media management easier and file copying much faster.

The free Blackmagic RAW Developer SDK is available on Mac OS, Windows and Linux. This SDK takes care of all the work for developers, so adding support for Blackmagic RAW to third party software applications is easy and fast. Developers get access to GPU and CPU accelerated algorithms for decoding files, along with unique information about the camera’s image sensor so their applications can accurately decode and display the files. The SDK features highly descriptive and flexible metadata options designed to support today’s modern workflows. Metadata is embedded directly in the .braw file or it can be stored in a .sidecar file. Metadata is important because it contains the Blackmagic RAW settings along with information for the slate, iris, focus, focal length, white balance and a lot more. The metadata in .sidecar files can be used on top of the embedded metadata without overwriting it. Blackmagic RAW also supports frame based metadata so customers can access values, such as focus distance, that often change on a frame by frame basis.

“Blackmagic RAW has been incredibly successful since we introduced it last fall on URSA Mini Pro,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “The new Blackmagic Camera 6.2 update is exciting because it makes this incredible new technology available to Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K customers absolutely free! They get the visually lossless image quality of RAW with the speed of traditional video workflows!”

Availability

Blackmagic Camera 6.2 update is available today as a free download from the Blackmagic Design website http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support

Press Photography

Product photos of Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, and all other Blackmagic Design products, are available at http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/images

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to http://www.blackmagicdesign.com

blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_4k_bmpcc4k_06_1024px_60pc
Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.

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News Shooter: Of Two Lands gives their initial impressions of the BMPCC 4K

https://www.newsshooter.com/2018/10/08/of-two-lands-gives-their-initial-impressions-of-the-bmpcc-4k/

“The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has started shipping, although in relatively small numbers. Florent from Of Two Lands was lucky enough to pre-order the camera as soon as it was announced and has been using the BMPCC 4K for the last few weeks….

… To me the biggest strengths of this camera are the image quality, being able to record 4K 60P with very strong codecs, great low light performance, and the price point. Also, I should mention the screen again, it is just massive. I like that I can record high-quality content without having people looking at the camera that would be normally much bigger. It allows me to get shots that I wouldn’t be able to get with a large rig….”

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K mounted in an 8Sinn cage with included cable clamp, improved lens support and Scorpio too handle, with the new 8Sinn holder for the popular Samsung Portable T5 SSD available in capacities from 250GB through to 2TB.

Commentary

I don’t expect to get to see much less try out a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K any time soon, so Matthew Allard ACS of News Shooter and Florent of Of Two Lands have my gratitude for sharing this article and the videos at Two Lands’ YouTube channel.

I have added links to other videos shot with the BMPCC 4K here as well and hope they help form a useful impression of whether this remarkable Australian camera will be of benefit to you in your own work.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

Help support ‘Untitled’

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro and Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro professional prime lenses with manual clutch focusing, brilliant for shooting video or stills where accurate focus is absolutely critical.

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James Miller’s DELUTS Releases DELUTS Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Creative Looks

https://sellfy.com/p/gg0m/

“DELUTS BMPCC4K Creative Looks, Base transforms for use with Blackmagic ‘Film’ profile for use with BRAW and ProRes.

75 Luts designed for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (This set is also compatable with Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6k & Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6k Pro using ‘Film’ profile)

• 4 Base Tranforms when working with the Blackmagic Film profile.
• 9 Monotone Creative Looks
• 62 Colour Creative Looks

Davinci Resolve Legacy .cube format Luts. For use in FCPx (Version 4 or Higher), Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe Photoshop, Davinci Resolve and many more supporting applications.

Luts supplied in x64, x33 and x17 resolution. Use x64 for Davinci Resolve, x33 for FCPx and limited adjustment layers with Adobe Premiere CC, x17 for Adobe Premiere CC general use….”

James Miller’s DELUTS Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Creative LUTs for use with Blackmagic raw aka BRAW and Blackmagic camera film profiles.

Commentary

Director/cinematographer James Miller creates and sells creative looks LUTs under the DELUTS brand, and supplies to moviemakers looking for fast, efficient ways of adding strong, emotive looks to their footage.

Mr Miller’s latest DELUTS release is aimed at users of Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K, as well as other cameras using Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic RAW raw video codec such as the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro.

Links

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Sony 128GB M-Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Cards 2-Pack, R: 260 MB/s, W: 100 MB/s

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Blackmagic Design: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K ‘Nature’ [First footage from the BMPCC 4K, by Mark Wyatt]

“Mark Wyatt talks about using the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. ‘Nature’ is Mark’s test of the camera’s 4K performance in the extreme lighting conditions of rainforests and ravines.

“The camera tests I wanted to do were in the forests and waterfalls on the outer West Coast of Canada. I was really interested in seeing how the new sensor would handle these harsh lighting conditions. By increasing the ISO to an impressive 1250 and 2500, it allowed me to capture the dark moss-lined walls and unique emerald color, yet also hold onto the highlight detail of the top of the waterfall and sky. I feel most cameras would likely struggle with this scene.”

“I had the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K for only a few days, but overall I was really impressed by it. The weight of the camera is very liberating, especially when you are used to using larger camera systems. The screen is big and bright enough to use in daylight, which I found great for judging focus and exposure. And, the colors too on the screen, were also nicely represented. In fact, I would argue it is Blackmagic’s best screen yet.”…”

8sinn_bmpcc4k_preview_03_1024px_80pc
Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K in 8Sinn camera cage with Canon 24mm cinema prime lens.

Commentary

It is terrific to see the first footage from Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K finally begin to appear.

Now we need some footage containing skin tones in order to really begin to understand what the camera is capable of!

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Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_4k_bmpcc4k_06_1024px_60pc
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens with manual clutch focussing.

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RedShark: We’ve tried the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Here’s all you need to know

https://www.redsharknews.com/production/item/5766-we-ve-tried-the-blackmagic-pocket-cinema-camera-4k-here-s-all-you-need-to-know

“This week Blackmagic Design held a launch event for the new Pocket Cinema Camera 4K in the UK ahead of the forthcoming IBC show. It was a chance for the company to show off the highlights of the new camera to a select group of journalists, and to give us an opportunity to have a very solid amount of hands on time with the new device.

One thing that stood out at the event was how proud the company was of the new camera. A lot of work has been going into it to get it just right, with aspects such as the user interface and, importantly, the colour science being a big focus of that effort. In fact Blackmagic sees the product as another leap forward in its coming of age as a camera manufacturer….”

blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_4k_bmpcc4k_04_1024px_60pc
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro standard zoom lens and mini-XLR-to-XLR audio cable for attaching XLR microphones, mounted on Benro Aero 4 Video Travel Angel Tripod Kit. Mini-XLR cable is made by Blackmagic Design for their Video Assist monitor/recorder but is also great for connecting XLR microphones to the BMPCC 4K, product code HYPERD/AXLRMINI2.

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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro and Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro professional prime lenses with manual clutch focusing, brilliant for shooting video or stills where accurate focus is absolutely critical.

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B&H Explora: Core SWX Powerbase EDGE: Big Power for Small Cameras

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/hands-on-review/core-swx-powerbase-edge-big-power-for-small-cameras

“Cameras seem to get smaller as time goes on, with more technology stuffed into every square millimeter than ever before. Batteries haven’t really kept up with that trend, with some cameras only lasting a half hour or 45 minutes on a full battery charge….

In the recent refreshing of its battery lines, Core SWX introduced the Powerbase EDGE, a smaller, sleeker, and more modernized Powerbase for today’s modern camera-scape….”

core_swx_poweredge_battery_bmpcc4k_01_1024px_80pc
Core SWX Powerbase EDGE Battery for Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.

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Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_front_lens_01_1024px_60pc
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (BMPCC 4K) with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens with manual clutch focus, great for manual focusing. I like the longer image-stabilized Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS Pro zoom for available light daily walkabout needs for video and stills and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro lens for available darkness.

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Indie Shooter: Filmmaker Jody Eldred On The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, DaVinci Resolve & More

http://indieshooter.com/filmmaker-jody-eldred-blackmagic-pocket-cinema-camera-4k-davinci-resolve/

“Filmmaker Jody Eldred has been an evangelist of Blackmagic Design products for some time now and has always been willing to give us his expert take on how best to use them. So he was the perfect choice to give us a rundown of the new Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, as well as some of the other cameras and latest updates to DaVinci Resolve and how they help support his creative vision….”

blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_front_lens_01_1024px_60pc
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (BMPCC 4K) with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens with manual clutch focus, great for manual focussing. I like the longer image-stabilized Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS Pro zoom for available light daily walkabout needs for video and stills.

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blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_4k_bmpcc4k_04_1024px_60pc
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (BMPCC 4K) with Blackmagic Design Mini XLR Cable for Video Assist/4K, Set of 2, 19.5″, HYPERD/AXLRMINI2 for audio in.

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Leeming LUT Pro Coming Soon to Level the Hybrid Camera Video Playing Field with Radically Improved Colour Accuracy for Easy Colour Matching

While we have been stunned and amazed by Australian company Blackmagic Design’s coming revolutionary Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k aka BMPCC 4K aka P4K, a a quiet revolution in hybrid camera video post-production has been brewing. 

Australian cinematographer/director of photography/director/writer Paul Leeming of Visceral Psyche Films has been radically overhauling his Leeming LUT suite of camera profile colour matching 3D LUTs whilst grading Kodokushi, the very first full-length feature film to be shot on the affordable, award-winning Panasonic Lumix GH5S high-end compact video camera. 

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The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S plus 8Sinn GH5/GH5S cage-based rig used by Paul Leeming to shoot ‘Kodokushi’, the first full-length feature film to be shot with the GH5S.
During his first visit to ‘Untitled’ Paul Leeming tested several cameras for possible Leeming LUT One custom 3D LUTs.

As we learned earlier this year when Mr Leeming dropped by our home studio after wrapping production on the Kodokushi shoot in Osaka, the Leeming LUT camera profile testing and production process has evolved courtesy of now basing it on 3D LUT Creator combined with a new footage creation methodology.

We tested an early beta of Leeming LUT Pro, successor to Leeming LUT One, against earlier versions of Leeming LUT One and were suitably impressed.

Leeming LUT Pro has delivered on its predecessors’ promise of enabling easier, faster and more accurate correction of video footage from a range of hybrid cameras and camcorders affordable for self-funded, low-budget, independent documentary and narrative moviemakers.

Leeming LUT Pro makes that possible regardless of whether video acquisition is via Rec. 709, Rec. 2020, log, flat or regular picture profile footage, and with whichever brand camera so long as Mr Leeming has tested its footage for creation of his custom camera profile 3D LUTs.

Still frame from ‘Kodokushi’, the very first feature film to be shot with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S video camera by Director of Photography Paul Leeming.
Still frame from ‘Kodokushi’, the very first feature film to be shot with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S video camera by Director of Photography Paul Leeming.
Still frame from ‘Kodokushi’, the very first feature film to be shot with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S video camera by Director of Photography Paul Leeming.
Australian director/cinematographer Paul Leeming with his Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 rig during his first visit to the ‘Untitled’ home studio..

Contemporary moviemakers often use a range of cameras on any given production, presenting a costly, time-consuming colour-matching headache during the postproduction process.

With Leeming LUT Pro, a timeline of footage from several different cameras can be colour-matched by dropping the relevant Leeming LUT Pro camera profile custom LUT onto each clip, evening their colour up for faster subsequent colour correction then colour grading for looks and emotion.

Consequently, footage from, say, a Canon EOS DSLR or Cinema EOS camcorder, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8, GH5, GH5S, any of the Sony hybrid cameras, a JVC GY-LS300, GoPro or DJI X5 Series on the same timeline will no longer be screaming out their colour science differences and will play nice together.

Application of the ETTR – exposing to the right – principle as taught by Mr Leeming on his Leeming LUT Pro website aids in exposure-matching and enhances Leeming LUT Pro’s colour-matching benefits even more.

Colour-matching footage shot on a range of cameras over time is the bane of longterm documentary moviemaking and Leeming LUT Pro makes the process more accurate, easier and faster when using profiled cameras.

For example, my current documentary production gear kit includes the Fujifilm X-Pro2, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, and I may be adding a GH5 or GH5S along with a second Fujifilm camera to backup and extend my X-Pro2.

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Paul Leeming’s Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 in 8Sinn cage with Scorpio handle.

That represents a range of picture profiles, film simulations, Rec. types and specific Rec. 709 profiles as well as HLG and V-Log without adding footage from very different cameras such as GoPro, DJI, Canon, Nikon, Blackmagic Design and more.

Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K aka P4K gives self-funded indie moviemakers like me an eminently affordable 4K UHD and 1080p HD cinema camera option as well and Mr Leeming will no doubt be creating a custom Leeming LUT Pro 3D LUT for it when he can obtain a production-ready version of the camera.

Blackmagic Design’s Grant Petty once shared his vision for the rest of us who need to be storytellers in moving pictures but don’t come from traditional storytelling class and ethnic backgrounds:

“My big thing is, if you don’t have any money, it doesn’t mean to say your brain is turned off, or you’re stupid or you don’t have ambition. From my point of view, you want to move up, you want to do great things. If you want to do that, you should be able to buy products that let you do that. That’s how you get rid of class structure. I’m trying to remove it, and just let people be creative.”

With the coming release of Leeming LUT Pro, Paul Leeming is also assisting independent moviemakers in dismantling the moviemaking class system and more power to his arm, as the saying goes.

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