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_f1.8_dc_hsm_a_02_1024px
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.

Clicking on the links and purchasing through them for our affiliate accounts at Adorama, Alien Skin, B&H Photo Video, SkylumSmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Unititled’.

  • 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

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 ‘Balloons’ [Extreme outdoors lighting test, by Andreas Neumann]

“Andreas Neumann talks about using the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K for the first time. ‘Balloons’ is Andreas’ extreme lighting test as he constantly shoots directly into the sun, wide open. ‘Balloons’ documents the camera’s performance from 5am in the morning into the height of the midday sun.

“I shot this test at Temecula in California, shooting from dawn until midday. This was a challenging environment for any camera, because I was constantly shooting into the light, or with the sun directly behind people’s faces. The detail I got was incredible. You can see everything reflecting in my wife’s Chanel glasses. You can actually see reflections off the ground, the balloon above, and the sky in the background. The camera really did capture everything I was seeing. I love shooting directly into the light wide open, and with this camera you could safely do that. I was totally amazed at what the micro four thirds sensor could handle. It seemed like the same quality as the URSA Mini Pro with the full sensor. I was also very surprised at how well the back-screen performed in bright sunlight, where I could truly see every detail.”

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.

Commentary

The footage keeps on coming as US moviemaker Andreas Neumann shows off the low-angle, low-level lighting capability of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K with this video shot with Rokinon 24, 50 and 80mm cinema prime lenses.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

Help support ‘Untitled’

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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.

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Rokinon Cinema Prime LensesB&H

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K ‘Models Walking at Night’ [Second clip from the BMPCC 4K with skin tones, by John Brawley]

“John Brawley shares his experiences with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. ‘Models Walking at Night’ is his second camera test where he was checking out the camera’s higher dynamic range and color accuracy.

“What I wanted to achieve was to test the dynamic range, but to still come up with some really great looking images. Having that higher dynamic range and a high bit depth file, means you have a lot of wriggle-room to correct anything that needs to be balanced. This extra range lets you manage and massage the image to get you into a really nice place. You’re not fighting the codec or the dynamic range of the camera.”

“The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K gives you a ton of options. If you want to take it warmer, darker or cooler, you now have so much latitude in terms of dynamic range and depth of color. With this camera you just have so much extra choice, because you can take the image whereever you want. And that’s the truly great thing about having such a vibrant and high precision image!”

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.

Commentary

This is the second in a series of three videos by Australian Director of Photography John Brawley that explore some of the capabilities of Australian-based Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pockets Cinema Camera 4K, due for release sometime later this year.

Mr Brawley is an exponent of the benefits of shooting video in Micro Four Thirds, and has an extensive collection of Olympus M43 lenses.

In this series of videos, he is using various lenses from the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro collection to great effect, not so hard to do given the manual clutch focus mechanism on these lenses for easier focus pulling and pinpoint manual focus accuracy.

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’.

  • 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
  • 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

Blackmagic Design: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K ‘Models Walking in Daylight’ [First footage from the BMPCC 4K with skin tones, by John Brawley]

“John Brawley talks about the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K for the first time. ‘Models Walking in Daylight’ is his first camera test where he checked out the camera’s ability to handle different skin tones.

“The whole point to this daylight test was to see how the camera handled skin tones. We were shooting these scenes later in the afternoon, so I was at ISO1000 or 1250, so it was at the lower ISO for this camera. I understand this gives more in dynamic range, so you have a little bit more highlight-headroom there. When I look at those shots now, I am really impressed at how good the dynamic range is. It is great to see all of that detail I was seeing was actually captured in those shots.”

“I don’t think people realize how easy it is to make things look cinematic with Micro Four Thirds! I know that there are a lot of people who like that 35mm full frame look, but it’s still very easy to get images with an out of focus background with the Micro Four Thirds sensor. I found it a great 4K sensor and really good compromise for a small camera that still gets really, really good looking pictures.”

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.

Commentary

This is the first in a series of three videos by Australian Director of Photography John Brawley that explore some of the capabilities of Australian-based Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pockets Cinema Camera 4K, due for release sometime later this year.

Mr Brawley is an exponent of the benefits of shooting video in Micro Four Thirds, and has an extensive collection of Olympus M43 lenses.

In this series of videos, he is using various lenses from the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro collection to great effect, not so hard to do given the manual clutch focus mechanism on these lenses for easier focus pulling and pinpoint manual focus accuracy.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

Help support ‘Untitled’

olympus_m.zuiko_pro_17mm_25mm_45mm_f1.2_primes_hero_1024px_60%
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 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
  • 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
  • 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

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!

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

Help support ‘Untitled’

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.

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
  • Blackmagic Design Mini XLR Cable for Video Assist/4K (Set of 2, 19.5″)B&H
  • Canon CN-E 24mm T1.5 L F Cinema Prime Lens (EF Mount)B&H
  • Metabones Micro Four Thirds adaptersB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Rokinon 50mm T1.5 AS UMC Cine DS Lens for Canon EF MountB&H
  • Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art LensB&H

Which Prime Lenses Should Olympus Make Next for Its M.Zuiko Pro Professional Zoom & Prime Lens Series?

Micro Four Thirds rumours website 4/3 Rumors, sister site of Fujifilm rumours website Fuji Rumors, has uncovered an interview by Japanese digital camera site D.C Watch with the designers of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro prime lens about further such professional quality M.Zuiko Pro lenses to come. The interview is a good read even in its machine-translated English version

First f/1.2 maximum aperture prime lens in the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro professional-quality lens series, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro. Olympus has already designed the next two f/1.2 primes, with more possibly to come.

The interview’s most promising revelation is that Olympus has been actively listening to customers and so the prime lens side of the M-Zuiko Pro series will soon be gaining a second f/1.2 maximum aperture lens, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro.

The 4/3 Rumors folks previously reported that Olympus had already designed two more fast f/1.2 primes, one of them being the 17mm. I wonder what the other is?

A very quick snapshot made with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro lens wide open during an Olympus camera event in Sydney. Even a very brief hands-on with this lens and several others in the M.Zuiko Pro range confirmed their high quality, solid construction and appeal as sturdy professional-standard lenses for stills and video.

I am an unrepentant former Leica M-System rangefinder lens user from my magazine, newspaper and corporate photography days and became accustomed to the idea of mechanically superb, optically extraordinary, near-indestructible, colour-matched prime lens sets.

Although I did not manage to build a Leica lens lineup as well-populated as the one illustrated below, I came close and happily relied on them for many years. Each focal length was just right for the tasks for which I bought it and each earned its place in my lens kit again and again.

Three Well-Spaced Lens Lineups

Contemporary videography and stills photography make more demands of lenses than stills photography as I practiced it during the analog era ever did. Now that we are in the midst of the 4K era and Panasonic’s Lumix GH5 is introducing us to 6K video through its video-based 6K Photo functionality, optics must be sharper, better corrected and more highly resolved.

I am now a zoom lens convert thanks to the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro and its f/2.8 sister zooms in the 7-14mm and 40-150mm focal lengths but they have their limitations when shooting in available darkness.

That essential three-zoom lens kit needs to be supplemented with matching high speed prime lenses when light is in limited supply and when bokeh and subject against background separation is an essential storytelling element.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro fills the gap in the middle of the focal length range and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro, with that focal length being my most relied-on of all time, will be a welcome second.

I would love to see several other M.Zuiko Pro primes make their appearance soon and the obvious focal lengths would be 10.5mm, 14mm and 42.5mm. The latter would clearly benefit from an f/1.2 maximum aperture though it would not be absolutely crucial for the wider two.

I know that Olympus makes some excellent prime lenses in its Premium lens range, but the M.Zuiko Pro lenses are a leap above as professional instruments able to endure some of the most challenging conditions in which documentary photographs and movies are made.

I have non-M.Zuiko Pro lenses for less challenging work, but my Leica days raised the bar high and the M.Zuiko Pro zooms and prime lenses approach that high standard.

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  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
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Stolen! Veydra’s Inventory of Veydra Mini Prime Lenses Gone in a Flash

Veydra proprietor Ryan Avery has reported the theft of over 200 Veydra Mini Prime manual-focus cinema lenses purpose-designed for Micro Four Thirds hybrid cameras and camcorders from his premises in Los Angeles.  Please be on alert for the sudden appearance of heavily discounted Veydra lenses in your area and email Mr Avery if necessary. 

The current Veydra Mini Primes T2.2 cinema lens lineup featuring, from left, 12mm, 16mm, 19mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. All can be used on Micro Four Thirds cameras like the Panasonic Lumix GH5 while a subset can work on Sony E-Mount cameras. C-Mount versions are also available.

Veydra Mini Primes are the only purpose-built cinema-quality native Micro Four Thirds lenses, with five out of the current seven-strong lineup having the same dimensions for fast, easy swapping in and out of follow focus rigs.

Being colour matched, Veydra lenses have the same colour rendering characteristics, eliminating the need for painstaking, time-consuming shot-by-shot colour matching in your non-linear editor or colour grading software.

All Veydra lenses have a common front diameter allowing for industry-standard 77mm diameter filters and step-up rings, 0.8 pitch cinema gears for follow focus devices, constant volume focus, constant T-stops and are available in metric or imperial measurements. Their specifications exceed 4K resolution.

Empty shelves in Veydra’s storeroom. Looks like they raided the vending machine too.

Given they are the product of a small, independent design and manufacturing team, Veydra Mini Primes are a remarkable achievement bringing true cinema-quality lenses within the reach of self-funded, low-budget independent moviemakers.

A six-lens kit of Veydra M43 lenses from 12mm through to 85mm costs about the same as one major brand Super 35 cinema lens adapted with, say, a Metabones Speed Booster.

A Super 16 feature film marriage made in heaven?

Given the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5’s 5-axis in-body image stabilization, recently put to the test by Gordon Laing of CameraLabs, non-stabilized lenses like the Veydras have become even more attractive, especially when making feature films. Consider a Veydra, GH5, 8Sinn cage and Fotga follow focus combination as below, for example.

Although Sol March of Suggestion of Motion suggests that we not rely too much on stabilized lenses, some documentary moviemakers like Rick Young of Movie Machine are fans of stabilized zoom lenses such as Panasonic’s Lumix G lenses.

One thing is certain, stabilized or non-stabilized lenses, cinema primes, stills primes or zoom lenses, whichever brand they are, the advent of in-body image stabilization on the GH5 is a game changer permitting even wider lens choice and I hope that Fujifilm follows suit on IBIS with its rumoured Super 35 “best APS-C camera for video work”.

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Image Credits:

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.