News Shooter: Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Review (lite)

https://www.newsshooter.com/2019/08/22/blackmagic-design-pocket-cinema-camera-6k-review-lite/

“This is a ‘lite’ review of the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) 6K. I say lite because there is no way anyone can do a proper, in-depth review of a camera in a few days or even a few weeks. To properly review a camera you need to spend a lot more time with the camera than I have so far….”

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Heavily-rigged Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (EF).

Commentary

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Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT Pro’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K rig ready for shooing a feature movie. Paul says that “
The new Blackmagic Pocket 6K is a game changer. This truly is the realisation of 6K for $6K 😮 Lens aside, this setup cost less than $6K, and for that you have a full Super35, RAW 6K shooting package with batteries, rigging, timecode sync, follow focus, monitor/recorder and more. Just nuts!”

Australian cinematographer Matthew Allard ACS of video industry bible News Shooter has just published a lengthy, in-depth though “lite” hands-on practical review of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and it makes for useful reading especially for those who own a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and are considering replacing it with its Super 35 sibling.

Blackmagic Design has pulled one out of the hat with both cameras, making them the currently most affordable cinema cameras, but not without a number of compromises.

Mr Allard has the longterm experience as an on-location news and documentary cinematographer working around the globe to write well-qualified reviews like this one and I look forward to the non-lite version of this review for even more invaluable insights.

Meanwhile Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has obtained his own BMPCC 6K and as a seasoned BMPCC 4K owner is even better qualified to opine on both cameras.

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Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT Pro in footage from his Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. NOTE: this is an uncompressed still frame from the BMPCC 6K and so will take a little while to download on some Internet connections.

These are some of Paul’s initial thoughts on the BMPCC 6K:

Let me say right off the bat, this camera is going to be my A cam simply for the fact that there’s no Speed Booster glass to degrade your lens!!! No matter how good the Speed Boosters are from Metabones (and the new BMPCC4K one is quite good), it just can’t hold a candle to the quality of the lens on a native mount. Not to mention that the 6K is smooth and sharp across the entire frame, and downscaling that to 4K is going to give incredibly clean images. Look into the very corners of this frame and you can clearly see the benefits.

This still only has my Blackmagic V4 1.5 LUT applied, plus a small amount (25%) chroma noise reduction done in Resolve to get rid of some of the tiny BRAW fringe issues that that format seems to have. Hopefully, being their own format, they will eventually figure out how to do that better without NR being required. The clip was shot 6K at Q5 quality.

Some out of the box things I like – the screen is more neutral (second gen I’m guessing, same as the later 4K’s) and I like the locking body cap which I haven’t seen anyone mention before anywhere.

Paul shared some notes on the rig illustrated above:

  • [Blackmagic] Pocket [Cinema Camera] 6K
  • 8Sinn Pocket 4K cage, rod riser and handle
  • Shoot35 Cine Follow Focus
  • Ultrasync One timecode generator/receiver
  • Atomos Ninja V 4K monitor/recorder
  • Smallrig arm for Ninja V
  • Hawk-Woods Mini V-Lok 98Whr battery and plate
  • Sigma FF Cine 50mm T1.5 prime lens (EF mount)
  • Samsung T5 SSD 1TB

Links

  • Leeming LUT Pro – “Leeming LUT Pro™ is the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table ( LUT ) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading.”
  • News ShooterBlackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Review (lite)

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  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (Canon EF) B&H
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Blackmagic Design Shares Downloadable Movies and Camera Original Files from Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and 4K

Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty continues to make good on his promise for professional-quality moviemaking to become accessible and affordable for all who want it and has raised the bar even higher with his surprise announcement of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and its Super 35 sensor and even more firmware and hardware features than its older sibling the Super 16 sensor-equipped Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. 

The affordability and cinematic feature-film quality achievable with the raw-shooting BMPCC 6K and BMPCC 4K and their associated editing and colour grading software package DaVinci Resolve have bumped high-quality moviemaking out of the longtime death-grip of the rich WASP boys’ club into the hands of self-funded independent documentarians like myself and I am beyond chuffed at this excellent development. 

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K comes with Canon EF-mount for the vast array of Canon and other brand cinema and stills photography lenses out there and supplements the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s Micro Four Thirds mount that accepts M43 and adapted larger sensor format lenses.

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Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K with Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens.
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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera rigged for heavy-duty moviemaking.

In order to demonstrate the high quality, similarities and differences between the two cameras’ output, Blackmagic Design is sharing a number of movies in various genres at its Workflow and Gallery pages, with the files viewable in-page or downloadable as camera original files and finished products.

Blackmagic Design’s absence from the recent SMPTE Australia METexpo conference and trade show in Sydney was disappointing but the announcement and imminent release of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K takes some of the edge off that.

Priced at US$2,495.00 compared to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s US$1,295.00, the BMPCC 6K is the most affordable cinema camera in its class with both BMPCC models usable stripped-down and handheld as well as heavily rigged and tripod or gimbal-mounted for Hollywood quality feature film production of documentary and narrative movies.

What next for Blackmagic Design and its noble quest to make high-end moviemaking accessible to the rest of us?

Perhaps Grant Petty might consider creating a second version of the BMPCC 6K with a shorter lens flange depth and a set of adapters permitting attaching a broader range of lenses such as those made by Fujifilm, Nikon and more.

Fujifilm’s Fujinon lenses are of particular interest given that Fujifilm’s X-mount cameras use APS-C/Super 35 sensors, the same size as the one in the BMPCC 6K.

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 cinema zoom lens. Imagine a possible variable-mount adapter version of the BMPCC 6K allowing for use of other mount lenses such as X-mount cinema lenses like this and the very affordable X-mount MicroPrime cinema lenses made by SLR Magic.

Fujifilm’s Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 and MK 50-135mm T2.9 cinema zoom lenses would be terrific to use natively with the BMPCC 6K as would SLR Magic’s X-mount MicroPrimes which now come in 12mm, 15mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 75mm focal lengths.

Imagine ever-increasing numbers of hybrid photography and video shooters relying on Fujifilm XF cameras and X-mount lenses for stills work then being able to use the same lenses on a possible future variable-mount BMPCC 6K camera.

It seems unlikely that Fujifilm would provide raw video capability on its cameras any time soon, whether via Apple ProRes Raw or Blackmagic Design’s BRAW, but Fujifilm and Blackmagic Design cameras would complement each other nicely if the latter takes up this suggestion.

Adapted lenses have their pros and cons given the variable feature sets and quality of currently available third-party adapters, but the BMPCC 6K now makes Sigma’s Canon EF-mount 18-55mm and 50-100mm zoom lenses even more appealing in their stills and cinema versions.

Pity Metabones has not seen fit to make an EF-to-X-mount Smart Adapter and a Speed Booster given the proven quality of their other adapter offerings, and the reason remains a mystery given the high potential market for them.

The same thoughts above apply to the short flange distance L-mount lenses made by Sigma, Panasonic and Leica – imagine being able to use them on a possible BMPCC 6K variant as well as L-mount cameras.

Links

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Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens for APS-C sensors and for adapting to M43 with Metabones SpeedBoosters, lens available in Canon EF or Nikon mounts. This Super 35 lens may be a great choice for the Super 35 BMPCC 6K unadapted, and for use on the BMPCC 4K adapted with the recently-released Metabones SpeedBooster for BMPCC 4K.

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  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (Canon EF) B&H
  • Canon EF mount lensesB&H
  • Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cinema zoom lensB&H
  • Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cinema zoom lensB&H
  • L-mount lensesB&H
  • Metabones lens adaptersB&H
  • Micro Four Thirds mount lensesB&H
  • Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon EFB&H
  • Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon EFB&H
  • SLR Magic MicroPrime ciné lensesB&H

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

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

Links

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Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Atomos StoreB&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and accessoriesB&H

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.

Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • 8Sinn cages and accessoriesB&H
  • Angelbird 128GB AV Pro UHS-II SDXC Memory Card (2-Pack)B&H
  • Angelbird 512GB CFast Match Pack, 2 x 256GB CFast 2.0 cardsB&H
  • Angelbird Atomos Master Caddy 4K RAWB&H
  • Angelbird AtomX SSDminiB&H
  • Atomos Ninja V 5″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • Blackmagic Design Mini XLR Cable for Video Assist/4K (Set of 2, 19.5″)B&H
  • Breakthrough PhotographyB&H – the finest brass traction-framed ND, UV and CPL filters as well as the best step-up rings (sadly only sold direct on the company’s own website at present).
  • Chiaro Premium UV Protection FiltersB&H
  • Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 Lens M43-MountB&H
  • Fujinon MK 50-135mm T2.9 Lens M43-MountB&H
  • DJI Ronin-SB&H
  • G-Technology Atomos Master Caddy 4K (1TB)B&H
  • HPRC 2500 Hard Case for DJI Ronin SB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H
  • Panasonic lenses for Micro Four Thirds camerasB&H
  • Samsung 500GB T5 Portable Solid-State Drive (Blue)B&H
  • Veydra Mini prime lensesB&H

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….”

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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.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

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.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Blackmagic Design Mini XLR Cable for Video Assist/4K, Set of 2, 19.5″, HYPERD/AXLRMINI2 – B&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • DJI Ronin-SB&H
  • G-Technology G-DRIVE R-Series USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C mobile SSD, 500GB, 1Tb or 2TBB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H – highly-recommended professional-quality standard zoom lens with manual clutch focus.
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H – excellent travel zoom with longer reach though slower fixed maximum aperture, and manual clutch focus for accurate and repeatable manual focussing.
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H – this and the 25mm and 45mm f/1.2 prime lenses below are highly recommended as top-quality, fast lenses for video production with manual clutch focus for accurate and repeatable manual focussing.
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Sachtler System FSB 4 Fluid Head with Sideload Plate, Flowtech 75 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Mid-Level Spreader and Rubber FeetB&H
  • Samsung T5 Portable Solid-State Drive, 250GB, 500Gb, 1TB or 2TBB&H

SmallRig Cage for Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K 2203 Goes Where No One Has Yet Gone Before

SmallRig is engaged in co-designing the first, to my knowledge, camera cage for Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K and it looks promising even at this early stage of the design process. 

Under the terms of SmallRig’s Co-Design practice, customers are encouraged to “share with us if you have any ideas or suggestions” and “if your idea is adopted as a core concept, you will be a co-designer of this brand-new product and get one for free once it is officially released”, a unique approach to custom designing accessories for moviemakers and photographers and a potentially rewarding one. 

smallrig_cage_blackmagic_design_bmpcc4k_01_1000px_80pc
SmallRig Cage for Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K 2203 with SmallRig Arri Locating Handle 2165, SmallRig Universal 15mm Rail Support System Baseplate 2092, SmallRig Wooden Universal Side Handle 2093, SmallRig Cold Shoe Extension 2044 and rods.
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Blackmagic Design has not yet shared any fine details about the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s photography features. Will it be capable of high resolution stills with a choice of traditional photography aspect ratios?

Given the BMPCC 4K is predominantly a cinema camera with its low resolution stills function more likely to be applied to still-frames for publicity and NLE use, a cage for it needs to focus on documentary and narrative feature production needs.

Blackmagic Design may, however, have a surprise or two up its sleeve for the BMPCC 4K’s stills capabilities such as high resolution raw files approaching, say, Panasonic’s DC-Lumix GH5 in quality, so a second, stills-savvy, cage design or a more stills-oriented L-Bracket for hand and tripod use in portrait or landscape orientation may be called for.

Time will tell as Blackmagic Design is not sharing details about the BMPCC 4K’s stills features in any detail at the moment.

Meantime I have some thoughts below about what I would like to see in the final version of SmallRig Cage for Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K 2203, and for some future accessories for the camera.

SmallRig Cage for Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K 2203

Other SmallRig accessories to extend the BMPCC 4K 2203 cage’s usefulness

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3 Legged Thing QR7-EQ Quick Release Plate, Arca-Swiss compatible, with provision for attaching Peak Design Anchors for Peak Design camera straps. I would like to see all Arca-Swiss plates have this provision.

SmallRig makes a wide range of cages, L-Brackets and other accessories for many popular hybrid, video and cinema cameras and products originally designed for one can often be applied to use with others.

The SmallRig Mini Plate with Arri Locating Hole 2171, for example, is useful for attaching the SmallRig Arri Locating Handle 2165 onto cages lacking Arri locating holes, while two SmallRig Wooden Universal Side Handles 2093 look excellent for smooth steady movements with any camera.

Being an Arca-Swiss tripod plate aficionado, I particularly like the look of the SmallRig Universal 15mm Rail Support System Baseplate 2092 as I like having Arca-Swiss plates attached to all my cameras and Arca-Swiss type clamps to all my tripods.

I would like to see SmallRig continue integrating the Arca-Swiss system into its products.

My wishlist for SmallRig Cage for Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K 2203

blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_4k_bmpcc4k_04_1024px_60pc
The BMPCC 4K accepts audio input via mini-XLR to XLR cables, and a cage will need to account for these and other audio requirements.
  • Arca-Swiss plate at base – built-in or screw-on.
  • Arri locating holes – already provided on top of current cage design, with one on left and one of right side as well.
  • Cable clamps – port-side.
  • Cold shoes – do not need to be be built-in but can be attached to 1/4-20 screw holes.
  • Ergonomic design – needs to feel good and well-balanced in the hand and with all parts easily accessible while tripod-mounted.
  • Gimbal-mountable – especially on recently-released gimbals such as the DJI Ronin-S.
  • Good balance between protection and functionality.
  • Metabones lens adapter support – should also suitable for other adapter brands.
  • NATO rails – top and sides for quick release accessories.
  • Safe, secure below-camera mounting solution – for recorders and mixer recorders such as Tascam DR-70D and DR-701D, Sound Devices MixPre-3 and MixPre-6, and so on. Given the variability of cameras’ audio recording hardware and firmware, I prefer to rely on external audio recorders whenever possible.
  • Side handles – a pair, with shutter aka release button on righthand handle, via Arri or Nato quick release mounts.
  • SD drive mount or cage – for a range of drives including Samsung Portable SSD T5, G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE R-Series USB 3.1 Type-C mobile SSD and other USB-C SSDs. USB-C mounts are not the most reliant so this needs to be accounted for.
  • Sunshade – although the BMPCC 4K’s monitor will be bright enough for viewing while shooting in sunlight, it will need to be shaded to enable easy viewing under all lighting conditions and especially to guard against glare.

Functionality and/or protection?

blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_4k_bmpcc4k_connections_01_1024px_60pc
Cages for the BMPCC 4K will require a cable clamp solution able to handle a range of cable types for all these ports.

Over the years I have observed two trends in camera cage design, protection and functionality.

All cages are designed for both but emphasize one over the other.

The best balance between depends on your needs and is affected by whether you will be shooting handheld, tripod-mounted, gimbal-mounted or a combination of two or three.

Another factor is the camera itself with some cameras built of tougher materials than others, or with easier to handle shapes and sizes than others.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is anything but a pocketable camera, unlike its predecessor the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, being more of a cross between the latter and the many and various Blackmagic Design cinema and production cameras that have now been discontinued.

Unlike many potential buyers of the BMPCC 4K, I do not find its design ugly or unwieldy, but camera cages and accessories for it will need to take into account its non-standard shape and connection requirements.

Non-standard, that is, compared to popular mirrorless video or hybrid cameras likes those made by Panasonic and Sony.

SmallRig’s cage designs tend towards functionality and place less emphasis on protection compared to, say, cages by Seercam or Tilta.

Some examples to inspire?

Although SmallRig is unique amongst camera accessories makers in working directly with its customers in co-designing its products, there is much to be learned from and be inspired by in the products and approaches of other companies including those in the list below.

8Sinn has already shared the news that its has a design for a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K in the world and other makers are also likely to have begun the design process.

Competition will hot up when the BMPCC 4K is eventually released and it becomes obvious what sorts of cages and other accessories will benefit users.

Why not get your design requests in early and take part in the co-design process with SmallRig?

Links

Image Credits

Quick and dirty dry dock image by Carmel D. Morris.

Help support ‘Untitled’

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.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema CameraB&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • DJI Ronin-SB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H
  • Sound Devices MixPre audio recorders/mixersB&H
  • Tascam DR-70D 4-Channel Audio Recording Device for DSLR and Video CamerasB&H
  • Tascam DR-701D 6-Track Field Recorder for DSLR with SMPTE Timecode – B&H

Sony: IMX294CJK Diagonal 21.63 mm (Type 4/3) Approx. 10.71M-Effective Pixel Color CMOS Image Sensor

https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/new_pro/may_2017/imx294cjk_e.html

“Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation has commercialized the “IMX294CJK” Type 4/3 back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with approximately 10.71M-effective pixels for the expanding security camera market.

The “IMX294CJK” is the first in-house image sensor for security cameras to adopt the Type 4/3 format, and realizes output of the number of pixels needed for 4K at 120 frame/s (in ADC 10-bit output mode). In addition, use of a large-size pixel achieves SNR1s of 0.14 lx*1, and use of a Quad Bayer pixel structure (see Figure 1) realizes an HDR (High Dynamic Range) function with no time difference, enabling video imaging with a wide dynamic range….”

sony_starvis_IMX294CJK_multiaspect_ratios_sensor_01_1024px_60pc
Is Sony’s IMX294CJK “Diagonal 21.63 mm (Type 4/3) Approx. 10.71M-Effective Pixel Color CMOS Image Sensor” the sensor used in the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S and Blackmagic Design Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K? Image from Panasonic UK and Ireland product page for Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H

Fuji Rumors: Fujifilm X-H1: Full English Press Release and More Images with MK Lenses

https://www.fujirumors.com/fujifilm-x-h1-full-english-press-release-images-mk-lenses/

“In case you missed it, I have google translated to English the entire press release leaked in German as well as manually translated the full specs sheet (see below). You can also download the specs sheet in English here at my dropbox….”

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Fujifilm X-H1 with battery grip and Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom, image released by Nokishita and republished at Fuji Rumors.

Commentary

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Fujifilm X-H1 with Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 X-Mount Cinema Zoom

Fuji Rumors has outdone itself on the Fujifilm X-H1 with heavily detailed specifications lists, press releases, images and size comparisons between the X-H1 and other hybrid stills/video cameras whether mirrorless or DSLR, in advance of Fujifilm’s official X-H1 product announcement on February 15.

That announcement will no doubt also include the X-Mount versions of Fujifilm’s MK Series 18-55mm T2.9 and 50-135mm T2.9 cinema zoom lenses, previously released in E-Mount versions for Sony cinema and Sony Alpha hybrid cameras in the α7 and α9 series.

I will be publishing official product photographs, specifications, and links to articles and videos by moviemakers and photographers who have been working with pre-production versions of the Fujifilm X-H1 and X-Mount versions of the Fujinon MK Series zoom lenses after Fujifilm’s announcement on the 15th and no doubt that article will be a lengthy one.

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Samsung NX1 with Samsung Premium S 50-150mm f/2.8 ED OIS zoom lens, still the benchmark for up-to-date Super 35mm hybrid video cameras, though it missed out on a fully-articulated monitor and 10-bit 4:2:2.

With the leaks by DigiCame-Info, Fuji Rumors and Nokishita, there has been much discussion and speculation at online moviemaking fora, much of it comparing the X-H1’s video specifications to Panasonic’s Lumix DC-GH5 and DC-GH5S Super 16/Micro Four Thirds cameras, and Samsung’s discontinued but still revolutionary Super 35/APS-C NX1.

All three cameras raised the bar for mirrorless video very high indeed.

This is the set of video-centric features I have been hoping to see appear in the X-H1:

  • 4K UHD and 4K DCI 200 Mbit
  • 4K 60p
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) that works in conjunction with optical image stabilization (OIS)
  • 10-bit 4:2:2
  • Battery grip with full controls for vertical/portrait orientation
  • Decent battery sizes
  • Decent body grip
  • Decent set of of well-spaced colour-matched native X-Mount prime and zoom lenses with manual clutch focus or at least linear focus-by-wire
  • Dual memory card slots
  • Exposure zebras with ability to set percentages/IRE levels
  • External recording via HDMI 2.0+
  • Full 10-bit internal F-Log
  • Fully-articulated monitor
  • Fully-customizable picture profiles
  • In-body audio-monitoring aka headphone port
  • Unlimited recording duration
  • Viable eye and face autofocus
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Is this the camera that inspired Fujifilm’s X-H1 designers? The Contax N1 autofocus analog SLR, last in a long line of Kyocera-made Contax cameras licensing the Contax brand from Zeiss, released in 2000. Kyocera also made Yashica brand cameras.

How many of these boxes, as it were, will the DSLR-style Fujifilm X-H1 tick and how much will any non-inclusion of essential features mitigate against the X-H1 in being a viable, up-to-date video camera for the sorts of productions that warrant Super 35 image quality?

Or, will that good old Australian saying, “close enough is good enough”, be applicable enough in the case of the Fujifilm X-H1?

Links

ProVideo Coalition: Review: The Panasonic AU-EVA1 4K Cine Camera

https://www.provideocoalition.com/review-panasonic-au-eva1-4k-cine-camera

“Panasonic’s $7,345 AU-EVA1 is a Super35mm single-sensor camcorder with a 5.7K Bayer-mask sensor, an EF lens mount, variable frame rates, and 14+ stops of dynamic range, recording on SDXC cards using log, HLG, and standard gamma renderings. Its compact, boxy body with removable rotating side grip is like that of the Sony FS5, but its images, menus, and touchscreen monitor make it feel more like a junior VariCam LT, with maybe a pinch of DVX200 added into the mix….”

The Panasonic AU-EVA1 4K Super 35 cinema camera, raw recording coming soon via external recorder.

Links

Rigging for the Panasonic AU-EVA1 constructed on SmallRig Basic Accessory Kit for Panasonic EVA1 2099 with a range of other SamllRig accessories.

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Angelbird 256GB Match Pack for the Panasonic EVA1B&H
  • Panasonic 128GB UHS-II SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Panasonic AU-EVA1 Compact 5.7K Super 35mm Cinema CameraB&H
  • Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EFB&H
  • Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for CanonB&H
  • Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon EFB&H
  • Zacuto EVA1 EVF Recoil Pro for Panasonic CameraB&H
  • Zacuto EVA1 Z-Finder Recoil ProB&H
  • Zacuto Gratical Eye Bundle for Panasonic EVA1 CameraB&H
  • Zacuto Gratical HD Bundle for Panasonic EVA1 CameraB&H
  • Zacuto Z-Finder Loupe for Panasonic EVA1 CameraB&H