Monthly Archives: August 2013


Now that more people have received the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of comments and questions about solutions for poor battery performance.

At the time, I had just a few days to work with the camera and needed to come up with a quick solution, so I ran over to the electronics store and fashioned up a DIY adapter cable to work with my Tekkeon MP3450i batteries (love these things).

[Note] Tekkeon may already sell an adapter tip to fit the BMPCC directly. I had no time to test.

I wasn't quite sure how long each battery would last, but during a full day of shooting I only needed one battery (and it wasn't even drained at the end of the day). I'm not saying this is a perfect solution, but it's one that I had to work with and can guarantee it does work quite well while we're still waiting for other affordable solutions from companies.

Tekkeon-1 Tekkeon-2 Tekkeon-3 Tekkeon-4

Tekkeon-5 Tekkeon-6 Tekkeon-7 Tekkeon-8
Click Images for Larger View

Here are a few images on how I created a cable with a female connector to one side, and the correct male barrel on the other. This charges the battery inside of the BMPCC as well as powers it. The next time I have a chance, i'll actually do a full test on actual run time.

find-price-button Tekkeon MP3450i 5-12V Battery Pack


Planning on purchasing a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera? Or maybe you decided to go with a Panasonic GH3, or the new Panasonic GX7. These cameras (especially the Pocket Cinema Camera) have quite a crop so I suggest looking into some wide lenses.

Here's a deal on a lens that I highly recommend for such cameras with a crop - The Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye. Typically this lens will run for $299 dollars and you can see that here (via Amazon) and also here (via B&H).

Right now for the next few days the Bower branded (same exact lens) 7.5mm Fisheye Lens is just $199 + 4% Rewards saving you more than a cool hundred bucks. Deal ends in a few days.

find-price-button Bower 7.5mm Fisheye Lens for Micro Four Thirds BlackMagic Pocket Cinema / GH3


New 3D renderings of the CagePro were added today showing that the final design will now accept threaded filters for use with CPL or ND. The top handle of the CagePro has also been modified with additional accessory mounting points.

CagePro Canon Battery LP-E6 Powered GoPro Hero3 Cage Top Handle Bump
Latest renderings CagePro GoPro Hero3 Canon LP-E6 Powered Cage

If you're not familiar with the CagePro, it's a new GoPro Hero3 Accessory Cage that houses a Canon LP-E6 battery used to power up your GoPro Hero3 for over 5 hours of continuous run time. It started out as merely a concept with working prototypes but was quickly 'Bumped' right into production on it's first day.

You get more information and can follow the product development over at


Sony has been on fire lately releasing new camera models almost every month it seems. Today Sony has announced two new cameras available for PreOrder - the Sony Alpha A3000 DSLR Camera and the new Sony Alpha NEX-5T Mirrorless Camera.

The mirrorless camera market has been a very hot topic lately and we'll see if the new NEX-5T is going to give them a bit more hold in this space. I don't know about you, but I personally feel Canon and Nikon had better start stepping up their game in this space.

Sony Alpha A3000
Sony Alpha A3000 DSLR Camera
Sony NEX 5T Sony NEX-5T
Sony NEX-5T Mirrorless Digital Camera

Sony A3000 DSLR Camera Overview:
The Sony Alpha A3000 DSLR Camera features the form-factor and familiar shape of an SLR within a highly compact and lightweight design. Its ergonomic grip, electronic viewfinder, and Multi Interface shoe offer a wealth of support for intuitive operation and stability while shooting. The A3000 utilizes a 20.1 megapixel APS-C-sized Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and BIONZ image processor to produce high resolution still images and full HD 1080i/p video in multiple frame rates with marked low-light quality and sensitivity to ISO 16000. The image processor also contributes greatly to minimizing overall noise levels and allowing for full-resolution continuous shooting up to 3.5 fps.
>> Continue Reading at

Sony NEX 5-T Mirrorless Camera Overview:
The Sony Alpha NEX-5T Mirrorless Digital Camera is a versatile and compact mirrorless camera that features a 16.1 megapixel APS-C-sized Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and BIONZ image processor to produce high resolution still images and full HD 1080i/p video in multiple frame rates with marked low-light quality and sensitivity to ISO 25600. The image processor also contributes greatly to minimizing overall noise levels and also affords a wealth of speed throughout the camera for recording up to 10 fps in Speed Priority Continuous mode.
>> Continue Reading at

Sony 16-70mm F:4
Sony 16-70mm F/4
Sony 18-105mm F:4 oSS
Sony 18-105mm F/4
Sony E 50mm 1.8 Prime Lens
Sony 50mm F/1.8 Prime

In addition Sony has 3 new lenses available, the Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, E PZ 18-105 f/4 G OSS lens and the E 50mm f/1.8 Mid-Range Prime lens. Through the growing line of high quality E Mount lens options, this is just another reason many consumers can adapt quickly to Sony NEX mirrorless cameras over brands like Canon or Nikon. Yes I know you can adapt huge bulky full frame lenses, but that pretty much defeats the purpose of going with a smaller camera body.


Ok, now that the BMPCC is out of the way, it's time to move on to our regular scheduled programming. To start out this week, Benro is sponsoring this brand new Benro A48TBS4 Classic Aluminum Monopod with S4 Video Head Giveaway.

Product Overview:
The Benro 438T Classic Aluminum Monopod with S4 Head combine to offer photographers and videographers near-tripod stability with the benefits of flexibility and superior mobility. This machined aluminum support reaches a height of 73.2" and closes down to 27.6". Twist lock legs make operation secure and easy in any weather as does the foam grip and wrist strap. The system's most striking feature is the folding 3 feet at the bottom of the first section; they're indispensible in slippery conditions or with longer lenses. The base of the feet allows tilting for accurate leveling.
The Benro S4 Head features a large interchangeable pan bar handle that makes smooth 360° panning easy and allows a tilting range of + 90 / -75 degrees. Locking drag control allows you to match the head's tension to the weight of your camera. The head comes with a sliding quick release plate with both 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 camera screws as well as a video pin. The integrated bubble level aids in setting up level horizons.
That's right, one of you lucky readers can register to win this popular video monopod. For more information about this product giveaway, register at the webpage.

Benro Video Monopod Giveaway
Benro A48TBS4 Classic Aluminum Monopod with S4 Video Head Giveaway


Let me start off by apologizing for sooo many BMPCC posts in the last week, but for the record i'm just as tired blogging about the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera as I am hearing about it. The reason I had to get all of this information out quickly is because yesterday I had to send the little guy back to the, and not many other people will have this camera in the coming months.

BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera w/ Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 IS - photo credit Dion Wong

So this should be the last 'video review' you'll get from me for a while. In this video I thought about doing a wrap up and summary of things you already knew and some things you probably didn't know about the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

There will of course be many occasions (at least for me) where ProRes and RAW are just overkill for storage and post work, so other small cameras like the Panasonic GH3 (sale ends in two weeks BTW) or Canon 5D Mark III are more beneficial offering high quality with smaller file sizes and longer battery life. The BMPC camera also does not double duty as a fast stills camera, so many will still end up carrying a second body around just for that reason.

Keiko Alingas w/ @GearAddix BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera Shoot - photo credit Dion Wong

I'm not saying this isn't a a great camera, in fact i'm still excited for my Pocket Cinema Cameras to arrive. I think the size, quality, features, and price of this camera make it a tool that many professionals would love to have available to them. If you can afford the BPMC and the few items it requires to work smoothly, then by all means go for it. If they unlock the RAW features, this camera will be (dare I say) 'a game changer'. I think i'll end this article here since most of my thoughts are already added in the video (above).

find-price-button BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera - DVEStore Preorder

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras Currently Available on eBay


If you caught my recent video shot entirely on the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, you'll probably find quite a few wide angle shots. That's because I tried very hard to include only native MFT lenses especially the Panasonic 7-14mm & Rokinon 8mm Fisheye.

For anyone looking to adapt non-MFT Lenses (without a speed booster) to the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, here's what it will look like through a full frame Canon 5D Mark II, Panasonic GH3, and BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

[Note] In the field of view test, some of the images may appear soft, this is not the fault of the camera. The Rokinon 85mm on a BMPC will be at an approximate 240mm focal distance, and with a Variable ND filter on the lens, things go soft. It's best to use good quality static ND Filters.

In other parts of the video a Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 was used throwing it somewhere close to the 600mm focal range. Since an ND Filter was not used, results were much sharper from the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Judging from the distance of the 5D Mark II, the tripod was quite a distance away. Using the Rokinon 35mm and 85mm lenses, you can tell there is quite a crop factor to the smaller BMPC - more than you would get from a GH3. The BMPC has even more crop than from the original BlackMagic Cinema Camera. That's something to keep in mind if you plan to work in tight spaces. Invest in the right glass, or look for a Speed Booster / Focal Reducer (found here on eBay).

Products Used

Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 3
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 2
Panasonic GH3
Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 1
BlackMagic Pocket Cinema
Rokinon 35mm GH3 Pocket Cinema BlackMagic Canon 5D Mark II III
Rokinon 35mm
Rokinon 85mm GH3 Pocket Cinema BlackMagic Canon 5D Mark II III
Rokinon 85mm


Have you ever 'Bumped' a Project? Well I guess there's a first time for everyone. It's a step towards answering the question 'How do you know when a good idea is really a good idea?" The concept is simple. A project/product is presented and if enough people think it's a good idea then it moves into actual manufacturing.

We'll get more into that later, but for now check out this CagePro - A GoPro Hero3 LP-E6 Battery Powered Cage.


The CagePro houses a GoPro Hero3 camera using the skeleton case and plans to use an LP-E6 battery (yes a Canon DSLR battery) inserted into the cage to power up the Hero3 over a USB cable hidden inside of the casing. More battery juice is great for extending the run time when shooting video, and when working with time lapse photo projects. The concept has been proven and working prototypes are already in use (seen here).

It's close to reality, but to drive this project over to manufacturing, it doesn't require funding, deposits, or any type of obligation. All it takes is a bit of social feedback from you in the form of a Like or Tweet, a 'Bump' if you will.

Bump Project Cage Pro

So what do you guys think about this product? Hit or miss? BTW, you can possibly win a CagePro simply by leaving a comment over at the project page.

If you'd like to see this for sale on the market, check it out at


I know this very particular Pocket Cinema Camera I have in my hands may have some weird internal noise, but when using an external mic it actually sounds pretty darn good. Yesterday I had a few hours to play with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, but I decided to try something different.

I had a Rode VideoMic Pro connected to the Pocket Cinema Camera and BOTH Audio & VIDEO were captured from the HDMI output directly to the Atomos Ninja 2. I did not use an SDXC card in the camera. I also only wanted to use Micro Four Thirds lenses instead of adapting larger Canon/Nikon lenses.

BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera
(somewhere in this mess is a Pocket Cinema Camera)

First problem, I have no spare batteries for this camera. Any current Pocket Cinema Camera owner will tell you how poor a single battery is. You'll be lucky to get 20 minutes of run time out of it. So I DIY'd my own battery cable to connect to my Tekkeon Battery Pack as an external power source. I was able to run all day and my Tekkeon didn't even take a hit. So that's why I needed rails to mount my battery.

I didn't have enough SD card storage, so I decided to bring out the Atomos. With a 240GB Solid State Drive, I could capture hours of footage. Plus I was curious how capturing from the HDMI would turn out.

Rode VideoMic Pro Atomos Ninja Atomos Ninja HDMI Recorder 10 bit 422 BlackMagic Pocket cinema
It looks ugly I know. Believe me, I never want to use this camera in this configuration, but I am waiting for extra gear to use this camera.

Now that I had all of this extra weight, I added a Top Handle with an LCD Mount. The rig was heavy enough that I needed to bring out a heavier duty tripod. In the future, I simply plan on just stocking up on a dozen batteries so that I don't have to mount a power source to the camera. If I can get enough SDHC / SDXC media cards, then I can get rid of the Atomos Ninja.

Without all the extra junk, I can get rid of the rails, carry a smaller Tripod, and finally make it a truly pocketable Cinema Camera. Moral of this story - get a lot of batteries and SD cards if you want to stay pocketable.

Pocket Cinema Camera Pocket Cinema Camera BlackMagic Design Atomos Ninja Rode Videomic
Shooting Parrots with Panasonic 45-150mm

So here's some footage I shot yesterday while making plenty of mistakes. Focusing was difficult on the LCD Screen especially in bright daylight. I tried to rely on the built in Focus Peaking feature (green lines) but I can tell many of the shots were out of focus.

The on screen Zebra lines helped let me know what was blown out, but there was no indicator if the shadows were being clipped. At times I would use the false color feature on the Atomos to help judge, but even that screen in daylight was difficult to use. An LCD View Finder or external EVF will definitely help when working with this camera.

Panasonic 7-14mm Rokinon 8mm Fisheye
I couldn't use my ND Filters on these Lenses. Panasonic 7-14mm & Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye

I carried two very wide lenses a Panasonic 7-14mm & Rokinon 7.5mm fisheye. These lenses are sharper at a wider aperture, but because these don't come with a threaded mount, I could not use an ND Filter. I tried stopping down the aperture to F/22 but in the end the footage was very soft. I guess to use these lenses, you'll need to carry around a Matte Box.

Micro Four Third Lenses for Pocket Cinema Camera

7-14mm Pocket Cinema Camera
7-14mm F/4
12-35 BlackMagic Pocket Lens
12-35mm F/2.8
35-100mm Panasonic Pocket Cinema Camera BlackMagic Lens
35-100mm F/2.8
Rokinon 8mm Pocket Cinema Camera
7.5mm Fisheye

The Audio in this video was from a Rode VideoMic Pro (no preamp) directly into the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera (set to 0). The audio was sent over the HDMI and recorded into the Atomos Ninja 2. I thought it sounded pretty darn good for no preamp. If you see closeup footage in the video that's typically from the Panasonic 35-100mm F/2.8, or Panasonic 45-150mm. The wider shots are on the Panasonic 7-14mm and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye. I definitely need more practice working with this camera.