Before and After BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera – Monterey Bay

Over the weekend I spent a day shooting with a new BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera out at Monterey, CA. This time around I was prepared with 6 batteries and over 200GB of space with compatible SDHC cards. Needless to say, my time spent with the camera was much more pleasant than my very first experience. The video below is an example of the footage straight from the camera along with an image that had basic contrast + saturation added.

The shots were mostly handheld, with an LCD ViewFinder (not yet released product) attached to help me with focusing and while working in bright daylight. An LCD ViewFinder is a must have with this camera! Below is the same video without the ProRes crop.

I had a pretty decent idea of the lenses I wanted to take out with me, so I settled on just the Panasonic 20mm F/1.7 pancake, Panasonic 12-35mm F/ 2.8 OIS, and Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye. BMPC users on a budget should really look into the Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye and the 12-35mm F/2.8 as part of their everyday kit. The fisheye doesn't look overly distorted and offers a decent wide view angle for cheap money, while the Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS is a great overall lens that will offer fairly stable shots completely hand held.

 Suggested 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

find-price-button BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera - via

find-price-button BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera - via B&HPhotoVideo

18 thoughts on “Before and After BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera – Monterey Bay

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Hector - For my tests I just wanted to run very light weight, but the Tokina 11-16mm should look very nice on this camera. You just need to have a very expensive adapter to make it work - the RedRock Micro LiveLens or MetaBones.

  2. Hector

    Footage looks great!

    How do you think a Tokina 11-16 (yea the APS-C one) would look - with the adapter of course?


  3. Emm

    Post author

    @andrei - I can't mention it right now it's just a prototype, but I will soon. At a recent show seems like there will be a few options. Zacuto will have a new one for the BMPC also.

  4. andrei

    Hi, nice video!
    Would you share more about the viewfinder ? I find it really difficult to see anything on the screen in bright sun light ):

  5. Bill Voelker

    Hmm.. no reflection on you video skills, but it isn't exactly blow-your-socks off quality. It looks quite soft like from a typical Rebel line, especially compared to hacked GH2. Colors seem rich, but it's hard to tell given the circumstances.
    In a meanwhile I look forward your future tests.

    Bill Voelker

  6. I really love the camera design, light, manageable but alas it cannot do what I need from a camera in this price range "Slow motion up to a 120fps rate", I do wildlife documentary video's and am hoping to one day have such a compact (less expensive) rig at my disposal. I do not need the 4k (would be nice but to far out of budget), cannot afford anything from RED or even that great new Sony . . . my wants far out pace my dollars!
    I enjoy the blog, thanks for your work on these . .

  7. Austin

    I love the quality of the Black magic cameras but just wished they were put in more ergonomic bodies. The black magic image quality and prores in the body like the canon c100/c300 or panasonic af100 would be awesome.

  8. I want to see this thing balanced on a Zenmuse for aerial work!! Has anyone tried it yet? How does it compare to a NEX 7 in term of body size?

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Miguel - It can easily fall out of focus, but because the sensor is naturally sensitive to low light, you end up stopping the aperture down all the time (unless you use an ND filter). I also chose lenses that don't have a very wide aperture. I know some people are obsessed with shallow depth of field, so maybe i'll do another sample with everything just shallow.

  10. Miguel

    Nice picture, nice DR, but it seems really hard to throw the BG out of focus, even with longer lenses, isn't it?

  11. I would love to see this camera's low light performance comparing to say GH2 as it has similar price point. Would it be possible to do low light test comparing this camera with others cameras?

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @Phil Hover - I agree, too much motion blur at 180. This video was shot at 180, but I am slowly experimenting with other angles.

  13. Mike C

    Not sure what it is, but I must be truthful in saying that even the boosted image on the right looks far worse than a typical DSLR image. It looks like it was shot with a prosumer video cam. It's low light and diffused through another piece of thick aquarium glass, but the prores dynamic range should be able to handle that. I certainly had high hopes for this guy, but there are too many weird likenesses to a DSLR type form factor without the benefits of being able to just go and shoot some photos. The lack of a 'chin' is quite unappealing too when wanting to throw it on a standard rig.

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @Jon Brumbaugh - I have not used Colorista II. Right now i'm just using the color controls in FCPX.

  15. Good point, the prores in the BMCC has been tricky to get used to, can't really trust the zebras (even at 90% at times). Just curious, have you tried using the exposure controls in Colorista II?

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Jon Brumbaugh - Unfortunately this is still only ProRes and I find the highlights blow out and I can't pull them back down. If this camera gets RAW, then I should have more to play with in post. You can see one sample around 1:24 with the Black Bird on the sand and how bright the sky is in the background or at 2:35 with the Albatross artwork. I was not able to get any of that information back.

  17. SO glad you pointed this out. Contrast and saturation is a must for Film mode for this sensor. Also, you may want to experiment with exposing more to the right with this cam. I know my BMCC mft loves to be fed an insane amount of light, and it helps keep the blacks almost totally free of grain. Thanks again!

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