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So…What Do We Know So Far ?!

Let’s break things down a little bit, and take a look at all information that we gathered over the last few days since NAB 2018.I won’t be covering information available at Blackmagic Design website, as it’s just going to be waste of time, but rather take a look and hopefully answer some questions users may have that not covered on official website.

First of all let’s talk about sensor. In this chart that I made, Comparison is pretty clear. Despite 4k capability, blackmagic design pocket cinema camera 4k (bmpcc4k) is still pretty tiny, comparing to it’s older brothers.

Camera-Sensor-Comparison-Chart-for-BMPCC4k

As we can see, size wise it’s no match for giants like Arri Alexa 65, or even RED Dragon. It’s not fair comparison you may say, well it’s not! Numbers are there just to give you perceptual value of what we dealing here.


The Good, The Bad, The Beautiful

Since Friday, as first poster photo of new BMPCC4k camera leaked online, people been copying each other ridiculous phrase that the camera is ugly and blah blah blah. I find those claims to be nothing but amateur comments by people who have no idea about filmmaking. Camera resembles classic DSLR look, which many people very familiar with, this time grip looks solid, and design much more fluid than the original pocket camera.


QUICK REALITY CHECK

FEATURES:

For $1300 US Dollars you get following features. I repeat! FOR ONLY $1300 US!!!!

True 4k sensor, that record true 4k DCI Image. 4096×2160, this is not one of those marketing stunts where they advertise 4k but you get UHD instead, this is actual real 4K!!!

13 STOPS of DYNAMIC RANGE! Since camera is not out yet, it is really impossible to tell about dynamic range, however, since the release of first blackmagic camera, their dynamic range claims are being spot on! It’s not the type of the company that claims fake numbers just to get the fan base going. I am personally very convinced they are going to deliver advertised dynamic range! Just for comparison ARRI ALEXA has around 14 stops of dynamic range, and cost $35,000+ Think about the deal you getting here.

RAW + PRORES! Even some of the high end cinema cameras on the market that cost $20,000+ don’t have those formats! You get in camera RAW 4:1 and 3:1 of lossless compression, and you get Apple ProRes. Up until several months ago, Canon Cinema Series would offer H264 in camera of crappy 4:2:0 chroma sub sampling. For those who doesn’t know what it means, simply to say, you get same out of Canon t2i. Yeah! That’s right…Ofcourse C series have better sensor, but what’s the point if you have to buy additional equipment to get basic quality from the camera. For example, let’s take a look at another cinema camera that came out recently.

Panasonic EVA. Look at the specs:

MOV: 10-bit, 4:2:2
MOV/AVCHD: 8-bit, 4:2:0
Compression: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile
Bit-Rate: Up to 150 Mbps

This is what you get for $7000+ VS BMPCC4k RAW which is 4:4:4 and ProRes 4:2:2 IN CAMERA!!!!!!!!

MEDIA:

Blackmagic Claims that you can use your existing SD CARD from original Pocket Camera to record 1080p, which is really great additional bonus, because let’s be honest here, we don’t always need to record 4k. BMPCC4k uses SD cards, CFAST 2.0 and what is absolutely crazy you can even use external hard drive to record your film! Nobody ever have done anything like this!!!!! Technically that means you can just plug that hard drive in your laptop after you done shooting, and start editing from there! Unbelievable!

BAKING LUTS

You can now Bake Luts right into the video file, meaning if you on the go, you can just bake the look into video file, and once you done, all you just have to do is edit and deliver. This is another amazing feature that can be useful for anyone who needs high quality media fast.

BATTERY

Blackmagic claims that camera will work for approximately 60 minutes on single Canon LP-E6 battery, just like their Video Assist. Whether we really get 60 minutes I doubt it, but if this camera can stay for at least 40 minutes I personally will be happy. Another great perk about LP-E6 batteries, that they are widely available and very cheap. Think of those batteries like having AA

Davinci Resolve 15

This one is mind blowing!!!! Not only you getting amazing camera, but they also include FREE Studio version of Davinci Resolve 15, which now Includes, Editing, Visual Effects, Color Grading, and Sound Editing Program in 1. I don’t know how they manage to do it, but this is by far most incredible deal ever! If you ask me, only this program should cost that much money!!! But you getting in for free with this incrdible camera!


WHO SHOULD NOT BUY THIS CAMERA

If you are YouTube Vlogger, this camera may not be for you for following reasons.

  1. It doesn’t have IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) so you would have to know how to operate real cinema camera.
  2. It doesn’t have auto focus, you would have to focus manually, like the rest of us.
  3. If you don’t know cinematography or not planning on learning. This camera is serious cinematography tool, it is not for point and shoot.
  4. This will not be lightweight camera. If you planning on riding boosted board across NY filming yourself, this may not be good choice for you. Despite comfortable form factor, it is meant for control environment.
  5. For best results, you will have to color grade your footage. Despite having ability to dropb and bake LUT into the file, you would still need to touch up what you shot later. If you not willing to be taken care of that, it may not be your best choice.
  6. Build in microphone may not be best suited for final recording quality, so you may need to look into purchasing additional audio equipment.

WHO SHOULD BUY THIS CAMERA

  1. Cinematographers, anyone who is learning or current cinematographer. This camera is absolute steal for what it’s gonna offer.
  2. Film School Students! Just like mentioned above, it is amazing sub $20,000 camera that offers incredible set of features.
  3. INDIE Filmmakers, this camera was design for you! Not only you getting incredible camera, but also full package software from editing to final delivery at laughable price.
  4. Stock Footage, with such a small factor and such an incredible offer, this camera is perfect for getting stock footage. True 4k DCI in such a small factor is incredible offer.

Any More Mysteries ?

One thing that remains little bit mysterious at the time of this blog post, is how dual ISO is going to work. Despite the chart that blackmagic showed during their live event, it’s still little bit unclear how exactly camera going to perform in low light. What we do know that camera is capable of shooting 25000 ISO, which is very large number. I personally suspect that footage will not be usable anywhere around that number, however it’s nice to speculate and hope, that we can do at least 1600 ISO without significant issues.

Dynamic-Range-Chart

In Conclusion, I want to say Sincere THANK YOU to Grant Petty Blackmagic Design CEO and Entire Blackmagic Design TEAM for creating such a beautiful camera, and giving opportunity to regular people to become filmmakers. Personally I would never become a filmmaker and photographer myself without your original Cinema Camera 2.5k 


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