Black Magic BlackMagic

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As amazing as this little camera is, it's annoying that the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera requires extra juice just to make it run for more than 40 minutes. I tried the Switronix Pocketbase (seen here) which works, but I personally grew tired of the form factor, and how it blocks access to the SD Card (battery door) so I decided to DIY my own adapter.

The BMPC DC input uses a 12V power source, so i've decided to use a 12V battery plate that i've just added the proper 2.5mm OD x 0.7mm ID barrel adapter tip to. It's hardly DIY since all you have to do is cut off the tip and replace it with the proper sized DC Plug.

These battery plates will take a certain battery and step the voltage up to 12V. I've even tested the guts against a Sony 7.4V battery, and it works great, but decided to go back to the original battery plate because of it's slim profile. If you dig hard enough you can find many of these battery plates online dedicated for common Canon LP-E6, or Sony L Series / NP-F Type batteries.

You can see how handy it is to have a cage for mounting accessories on the BMPCC. I could either keep the battery off to the side, or relocate it to the rails with a clamp. There are many great cages on the market, but in the video i'm using the Shape Cage for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Shape Cage BlackMagic Pocket Camera Shape Cage BMPC Shape Cage BlackMagic Pocket Camera Rig
find-price-button Shape Cage for BlackMagic Pocket Camera + Top Handle + 15mm Rail Base

If you stuck with the Canon BP battery plate + Canon BP battery + DC Plug, I would say this entire DIY project will run $50 dollars or less and take you less than 5 minutes (yes that total cost even includes the battery). It's much cheaper than other off the shelf products in retail stores right now to power the BMPCC, and I find it to be a clean and simple solution.

Here's the 12V step up Battery Plate i'm using which takes the Canon BP batteries typically used in the older GL2 camcorders. Eventually i'll track down a cheap Canon LP-E6 battery plate or Sony L Series plate and use these guts to step it up to 12V. Here's my current parts list below if you want to tackle this for yourself.

Canon Battery BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera
find-price-button 7V step up 12V Battery Plate for Canon BP Battery12V BP Plate

Canon GL2 BP battery for BMPC BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera
find-price-button Canon BP Series Batteries for GL2

If you're looking to DIY your own power cable for the Pocket Cinema Camera, the specs for the power plug from BlackMagic Design are 2.5mm OD x 0.7mm ID which you can find on eBay. To keep things small (unlike my current adapter), I suggest going for the right angle tips (found here).

DIY blackmagic 12V power battery 2.5mm 0.7mm right angle dc male plug cheesycam
find-price-button 2.5mm OD X 0.7mm ID Male DC Plug

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Exciting news! BlackMagic Design has finally released new firmware today for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. This update adds lossless CinemaDNG RAW support to the Pocket Cinema Camera. Due to to the high data rate, they recommend using the Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB SD card for recording RAW (found here).

The lossless CinemaDNG RAW will work in DaVinci Resolve and applications from Adobe like Photoshop and Lightroom. However, the Preview and Quick Look feature in OS X is not compatible and you will not see a proper image (at this time).

What’s new in Blackmagic Camera Utility 1.5
• Adds CinemaDNG RAW recording support for Pocket Cinema Camera

To download the firmware visit the BlackMagicDesign.com Support webpage at http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support

When they were first released, inventory was scarce, but it appears these #BMPC BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Cameras have been in stock lately. Here's a few links if you don't already own this camera.
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find-price-button BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera - via B&H


Blackmagic_Design_964117
find-price-button BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera - via Amazon

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The BlackMagic Cinema Camera can run a short time with it's internal battery, but it's really designed to use external power. I've shared a few options on this blog, but here's another option to power the BMCC off of a 14V battery adapter using Sony BP-U60 / BP-U30 batteries. If you already have these batteries from your Sony EX-1 camera, this is a great little add-on.

This battery adapter has a 1/4-20 threaded screw to attach to many rigs or cages, or can be mounted to the optional 15mm clamp. If you don't have batteries, you may want to look into the adapter plates that are bundles with a battery charger. You can find these products via eBay following the links (below).

Sony BMCC BP-U30 BP-U60 battery adapter wall charger BlackMagic CInema CameraBlackMagic Cinema Camera 14V Battery Sony BP-U60 adapter
find-price-button Sony BP-U60 BP-U30 Battery Plate 14V for BlackMagic Cinema Camera

Sony BP-U30 batteries BlackMagic Cinema CameramVp2MjLn2FYklJnCLkpFYVg
find-price-button Sony BP-U30 / BPU60 Batteries

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If you love building and tinkering, here's a look at another fun little project idea from ServoCity.com. They've added a new low friction channel slider that has very low tolerance, can accept a decent load, and that slides over their lightweight aluminum channels. In this video they have assembled a drive system that pulls the carrier through the channel, to work as a video slider.

These aluminum channels can be purchased in various lengths if you're looking for longer or shorter runs, and the motors can be swapped out for faster or slower RPMs depending on your project. The overall design allows these motors to pull quite a bit of weight even vertically, but if you're looking to carry heavier camera systems, just make sure to look into the channel slider that wraps around all four sides (here).

Slider_Kit_with_Phone_MountSlider_vertical_with_phone_mount

Now if you're looking to do some tinkering of your own, I highly suggest taking a look at the dozens of videos showing you step-by-step on how to build these projects at the Servo City YouTube Channel.

For more information about the Slider Kit A, take a look at their Channel Slider Kit product pages which shows examples and a list of parts required to assemble.

ServoCity YouTube Channel
ServoCity.com Precision Building Systems

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Just a tip in case BMPC shooters out there are looking for a very short HDMI cable to work with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. I found this 1.5 foot Micro HDMI to HDMI online and took a chance. The cable has been working fine across a few different monitors and EVFs I have. The short cable keeps things tidy with my SmallHD DP4 EVF on the BMPC.

BMPC-HDMI-Cable-EVF-SmallHD-DP4-2BMPC-HDMI-Cable-EVF-SmallHD-DP4-3
BMPC-HDMI-Cable-EVF-SmallHD-DP4-4BMPC-HDMI-Cable-EVF-SmallHD-DP4

Amazon reviews are a mixed bag, but overall it's still 4 out of 5 stars. If you're looking for a shorty micro HDMI for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, I can safely say this one works great on my setup.

BlackMagic Pocket BMPC Micro HDMI Cable EVFMicro HDMI Cable BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera
find-price-button 1.5 Foot Micro HDMI Cable for BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera

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For those of you shooting with the BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera [or looking into the Production Camera 4K], here's a quick and closer look at F&V's new BMC Cage. Assembly is pretty simple, and the final product fits nicely around the BMCC without obstructing any of the ports, doors, buttons, or screen.

At approx. 1/2" thick frame, the cage is rock solid and thick enough to mount accessories to any of the available 1/4-20" or 3/8" threaded holes over the top and along the sides. The frame can be adjusted to a wider setting if you need additional clearance around the sides. Unfortunately neither the Base or Advanced Kits come with a set of 15mm rails, so you'll need to provide your own.

Although there are cheaper BMCC cages available, I would say the build quality of this new F&V BMC Cage is at a very professional level, could easily match any of the more expensive brand names, yet the F&V BMC Cage Base Unit starts at just $369. More information about the BMC Cage (found here).

F&V BMC Cage BlackMagic Cinema Camera Cage img_2729 img_2692
find-price-button F&V BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera BMC Cage

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Here's a few more BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera related tidbits of information. If you're looking for another inexpensive option for SDHC media, the Transcend 16GB/32GB SDHC 600X UHS-I (found here) / or the the Transcend 64GB/128GB SDHC 600X UHS-I (found here) media seems to work.

[Update 11.06.13] There are mixed experiences on some Transcend Cards experiencing dropped frames. Transcend has yet to respond to the comments.

transcend 16GB 600X blackmagic pocket cinema cameraTranscend 32GB 600x SDHC BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera
find-price-button Transcend 16GB/32GB SDHC 600X UHS-I

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find-price-button Transcend 64GB/128GB SDXC 600X UHS-I

If there is one single lens to choose for the BMPC, I would have to go with the Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 lens. This lens can maintain that constant F/1.8 aperture through it's focal range crowning it as the 'World's Fastest Zoom Lens'. It's obvious why this lens has been on constant backorder since it's release.
Sigma 18-35 LiveLens Redrock MFT GH3 Pocket Cinema
find-price-button Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 - B&H

Sigma 18-35 LiveLens Redrock MFT GH3 Pocket Cinema
find-price-button Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 Canon - Amazon (in stock)

The Sigma 18-35mm is available to fit a variety of cameras, but unfortunately it's not available in a direct MFT (micro-four thirds) mount. So to control the aperture you'll have to look into something like the Redrock Micro LiveLens MFT Active Lens Mount.

Without power, it's a high quality EF to MFT lens adapter to be used with manual lenses, but when powered up it can control the aperture settings in any electronic EF Lens. A must have for anyone who shoots with Canon EF lenses on MFT cameras like the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, MFT Cinema Camera, or even the popular Panasonic #GH3 (currently on sale).

BlackMagic Pocket Cinema RedRock Micro LiveLens EF MFT Adapter
find-price-button RedRock Micro LiveLens EF MFT Adapter - via B&H

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Here's an overview of the new Switronix PocketBase power solution for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera that runs from common and affordable Canon LP-E6 batteries.

Though it is functional and probably the most affordable off-the-shelf power solution for the BMPC (currently), I can't say that it has all it's bells & whistles in place. The LP-E6 batteries don't have an actual lock, which might be a concern when running around with a BMPC in hand.

In order to get to your SD Card, you'll need to get the camera off the PocketBase by first removing the left side battery to access the unusual thumb screw. I think anyone using this will quickly add some type of QR system. If all of this is too cumbersome, at least the entire PocketBase can be relocated a short distance from the BMPC with the provided long cable.

powerbase-canon-battery-blackmagic-pocket-cinema
find-price-button Switronix PocketBase for BlackMagic Pocket Camera

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Here's a couple of handy products to help make shooting easier with the new BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. First up is a new external power solution from Switronix called the PocketBase.

pbase_w__camera

The PocketBase allows you to power the camera up to 5hrs with two LP-E6 type batteries, while simultaneously charging the removable internal battery. By keeping the internal battery inside the Pocket Camera during operation, you can then hotswap the attached LP-E6 batteries within the PocketBase for continuous camera operation. The Switronix PocketBase is available now (found here).

powerbase-canon-battery-blackmagic-pocket-cinema
find-price-button Switronix PocketBase for BlackMagic Pocket Camera

Next product is a must have when working outdoors or when attempting to pull focus from the little LCD Screen of the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. The new Kamerar MagView is an affordable LCD ViewFinder solution that attaches to the back of many different cameras. One model will fit the BMPC specifically and shares many of the same high quality features found in the Kamerar QV-1 LCD View Finder. Should be available this month, estimated price under $50 US.

Magview copy 2
Kamerar MagView LCD View Finder

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