Tag Archives: BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera

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In the world of video, Canon LP-E6 batteries have managed to become the standard across many accessories whether it be LED lighting, Monitors, EVFs, and more. At NAB 2015 we checked out the newest version of the IndiProTools Power Pods that takes these batteries to the next level.

Indiprotools power pod canon lp-36 sony a7s
Sony A7s powered by Canon LP-E6 batteries with Indiprotools Power Pods

The Power Pods are adapters that allow you to use inexpensive Canon LP-E6 batteries to power just about everything. Mounting the pod is easy as it comes with a 1/4" tripod mount for you to add a 15mm clamp, friction arm, mini ball head, or hot shoe adapter.

For anyone shooting with the Sony A7s or BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Cameras, these Power Pods are the perfect external battery pack. In previous versions, the Power Pods had a dedicated cable built in which meant you had to choose the correct Power Pod for each application. Now the Power Pods are completely modular.

With a standard DC input connection you can easily make your Power Pod compatible with practically any device or camera by choosing the proper cable. The modular cables have a DC Voltage regulator built in-line ensuring that you don't over juice your camera or accessory even if you chose the 14.4V Power Pod to power up your Sony A7s camera that only requires 7.2V.

You may find some additional information at the IndiProTools website, and the LP-E6 Power Pods are available at B&H (click here).

indipro tools power pods canonindiprotools power pod
find-price-button IndiProTools Power Pods Canon LP-E6 Battery Adapters

NAB 2015 Platinum Sponsors

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It's quickly coming around 2 years since the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera was announced at NAB 2013, but with the recent firmware upgrades and lack of competition for a pocketable camera that is capable of RAW video for under $1K, it's still a very popular choice. Better late than never, Kamerar has finally decided to release a dedicated LCD ViewFinder for the BMPCC Camera.

Similar to previous QV-1 versions, the LCD ViewFinder attaches magnetically to a special baseplate that is a similar width to a Manfrotto 701PL plate. The QV-1 LCD VIEW FINDER FOR BMPCC, folds up to see an entire view of the BMPCC screen without crops or obstruction and full access to menu buttons.

QV1BMPCC07_large QV1BMPCC08_large

The Dovetail quick release plate does not obstruct the battery door, and offers both a 3/8" and 1/4" female thread for you to add virtually any other type of QR plate or direct tripod mount.

blackmagic kamerar lcd view finder

The Kamerar QV-1 LCD View Finder for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPCC is available now, and more information can be found at http://PNCGear.com (click here).

QV1BMPCC02_large QV1BMPCC10_large
find-price-button QV-1 LCD VIEW FINDER FOR BMPCC

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If you've been following me, you'll see that i've been putting a lot of time and energy into my BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Cameras over the past months. I've been able to mock up a few different setups using several different parts, but honestly I would love to just simplify things and shrink down my battery solution.

balckmagic pocket cinema cameras cheesycam

So in order to standardize my equipment, shrink down and clean up the rigs, I have been looking towards the Varavon BMPCC Kit. The full kit includes an armor cage with HDMI and Power cable locks, Top Handle, and 15mm Rods. They also offer one of the smallest and cleanest BMPCC Battery Solutions with a 15mm clamp.

blackmagic pocket cineme camera varavon armor cage battery

Once I attach my mini shoulder pad and two small front handles, i'd be one happy camper. My goal is to have both my BMPCCs in the same exact setup, but that gets to be expensive. I have already discussed with Varavon the possibility of a significant discount on this bundle if I can organize a 'Group Buy'. So i'm reaching out to see who wants to partake in such an event.

Now the total package $319 [Armor Cage:Top Handle:Rods] + $180 [Battery Package:15mm Clamp] + Shipping = Over $500 Dollars.

If I can get 20 orders together (limit only 20 will be sold at this discount), they have offered to sell each bundle for JUST $320 + FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE. And for kicks they'll also throw in one of their Sling Follow Focus tools too.

Once again, i'm trying to drum up at least 20 people who are interested in getting in on this bundle for $320. The have agreed to ONLY OFFER 20 bundles at this price. Start leaving some comments, and if I think we can pull it off i'll start to organize the logistics for everyone to place their order. I have until the end of next week [12.19.2014] to put this deal through - Leave Comments!

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P.S. - I'm hoping to make this 'First Cheesycam Group Buy' a success, and i'll be sure to organize more of these with other companies as well. #GroupBuy

[UPDATE 12.15.2014]: Register NOW For this Deal http://cheesycam.com/register-for-group-buy-deals-and-exclusive-discounts/

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After my recent build out with my BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Cameras (seen here), i'm inspired to use them a whole lot more. Still great cameras that deliver stunning quality and color, and now -$500 OFF! Should I get a third? [Make sure to use Use promo code: POCK500]

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera $500 OFF! Use promo code: POCK500
Bringing back the $500 OFF Promo! *While supplies last!

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I still love the look coming out of the BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras, but I'll admit that i'm pretty lazy to take the cameras out as much as I could. The batteries have incredibly short run times, the large camera files eat through SDXC cards, the tiny low resolution screen makes it hard to set focus and practically disappears under bright lights.

For me to solve this, I use an external battery, Atomos Ninja HDMI Recorder, and a better EVF screen. This adds up to a lot of parts that I still need to find a way to mount as ergonomically as possible. Throwing a few pieces together, here's what I ended up with.

Blackmagic pocket cinema camera small rig tilta cage spectrahd evf

Even though the system was relatively small, it was still somewhat awkward. After shooting for a full day, I realized the style of shooting on one particular project did not require the camera operator to move around within a few feet. So I decided a better way would be to split up the equipment, which makes the camera setup smaller, and now offers the benefit of a remote Director's monitor. Here's a video look on my new setup.

blackmagic pocket cinema camera rig

For the camera i'm using a Tilta BMPCC Cage with a Top Handle, mounted on PVGear.com 8" 15mm Carbon Fiber Rails with some short handles.

pvgear 30 percent off sale
find-price-button PVGear.com 15mm Carbon Fiber Rails


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find-price-button Tilta BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC Cage

For better focus and viewing, we're using the new F&V SpectraHD EVF Monitor mounted to an adjustable EVF Mounting Bracket.

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find-price-button SpectraHD 4 Monitor EVF

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find-price-button SmallRig EVF Holder

The shoulder pad is the flexible PNCGear.com Hybrid Pad which can be folded up to use against the chest, or folded down to use over the shoulder.

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find-price-button PNCGear Hybrid folding Shoulder Chest Pad 15mm Clamp

I'm using the HDMI output from the F&V SpectraHD EVF with a 6 foot HDMI cable over to the Atomos Ninja2 Recorder. This now serves both as a directors monitor and an external recorder which is both cheaper and larger than any SD Cards I can afford.

With the Atomos mounted in a CMR Monitor Yoke, I have room to add a 14V Sony BPU battery to power up the BMPCC for hours and hours.

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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find-price-button Atomos Ninja2 HDMI Recorder

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find-price-button Camera Motion Research Monitor Yoke

I find this setup to be perfect for the type of shooting I do with this camera, but still easy enough to disconnect if I want to run the BMPCC on it's internal battery and record to internal SDXC cards.

You can see in this BTS photo sometimes space is too limited for a tripod, and it's also nice to move the camera around instead of having it completely static. The photo shows the old rig, but I feel my reconfigured setup will now be easier for this type of workflow and shooting style.

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Here's a few first day tests using the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera with @satostudios. The samples may not make sense, but I was sampling different MFT lenses, Canon FD Lenses, and ND Filters for sharpness. Also testing out different ProRes LT vs HQ settings to see how much exposure and color difference there was when I threw a slight color grade on it. There is also a Film Grain Scan thrown over the graded footage so it will purposely appear 'grainy'. I decided that we just have to suck up all the large data and shoot ProRes HQ all the way for the rest of the project.

So while a dual operator setup may not be ideal for live events where you are constantly on the move, this setup can be beneficial when you have time to plan your shots with a crew. It keeps the camera rig small so that it can easily go from handheld, to slider, to tripod, etc. It allows you to work in very confined spaces and fairly ergonomic to switch between low angles or off the shoulder. It may also be easier to pack up your gear into two separate cases without having to break anything down.

Hopefully this may inspire some of you guys to rethink your rigs as well. Remember that this is not limited to the BMPCC. The GH4 can output 4K 10bit from HDMI, Sony A7s requires an external HDMI Recorder for 4K, and even cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III can benefit using recorders that capture to ProRes HQ. Instead of throwing everything on one rig which can quickly get heavy, oversized, and awkward to work with, it may be easier to split up your HDMI recorders, power solutions, second display, and even Audio Recorders off camera.

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So today I decided to shoot a few samples with the new FotoDiox ND Throttle Lens Adapter. The version I have mounts a Canon FD Lens to a Micro Four Thirds camera, and in these samples i'm using my Panasonic GH4. If you're familiar with 'Variable ND Filters' here's a few things to keep in mind while watching the video below (make sure you choose 1080 HD settings).

#1: Not once did I ever see the dreaded 'X' cross hatch while performing any of these tests. Even when going to it's extremes. I don't care how expensive your ND filter is, with certain lenses you'll eventually see this phenomenon when placing a Variable ND Filter to the front.

#2: Image quality did not appear to degrade as much as other ND filters when I tested my 200mm F/4 lens (which on GH4 is over 400mm). Even expensive 'Variable ND Filters' have trouble maintaining sharpness when placed in the front of lenses past 200mm.

#3: Stare closely at neutral areas like the 'whites' and 'black' areas. This filter in my eyes did not show a strong Magenta cast as most 'cheap' Variable ND Filters would. If anything maybe there's a bit of green, but nothing I would complain about for such a cheap lens adapter.

Now whether or not you have beef with the FotoDiox company is none of my business, but there's no denying that this adapter does what it claims and I think it does an excellent job for the price. There are certainly benefits to adding a Variable ND filter 'behind a lens' as opposed to the 'front of a lens' and it shows in these examples. Referencing the video above not once did you ever see weird 'cross hatching' as the nd filter rotated between it's extremes. It also maintained a fair amount of sharpness when used with a 200mm F4 lens which again on a GH4 is equivalent to 400mm+ on a full frame.

Below you'll find 'Frame Grabs' from the video, but you can click on any image below for a larger view.

Frame Grab Samples from Video with GH4 / White Balance Locked to Daylight Setting
FotoDiox ND Throttle FD Lenses

FotoDiox ND Throttle Birdhouse

FotoDiox ND Throttle Leaf

FotoDiox ND Throttle Clips

FotoDiox ND Throttle Flower

Obviously there are a few pixel-peepers who will nitpick these examples, so here's a bit of advice. If you're the type to complain about trying to get the best quality out of your lenses, then you should not be looking at Variable ND Filters. Instead you should invest in 'Static ND Filters'. A static ND Filter will always provide the best image quality over the most expensive Variable ND filters money can buy.

In summary FotoDiox is offering up a very nice solution for the convenience of using Variable ND Filters combined with a variety of Lens Adapter Mounts all for under $100 dollars. At this time, I can't speak about the quality of using these adapters for Canon EF, Minolta, or Nikon lenses, but i'm personally very very very satisfied with the results I can achieve with my sub $50 dollar Canon FD Lenses.

One of the 'CONS' of course with this type of setup is that it will not allow you to use a 'Focal Reducer' or 'Speed Booster' which might be a hard trade off for some people. So hopefully these short examples are enough reference for concerns such as a questionable loss of sharpness, color shift and or color cast. Once again take a look at the examples, and leave your comments below about whether you think the product delivers to your expectations.

FotoDiox ND Throttle Adapter
find-price-button FotoDiox ND Throttle Variable ND Lens Adapters

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Big news, right now you can save 50% OFF the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera (Body). I never thought to see a price drop this low and this soon for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera - especially following a recent firmware update. Either the new GH4 camera has affected sales on the BMPCC or could this mean there's something new around the corner..

Here's a recent press release that adds even MORE functionality to this amazing little camera. More file formats allowing for longer recording times on the same cards!

[Update] Blackmagic Design Announces New Apple ProRes™ formats for all Blackmagic Design Cameras
Fremont, CA - July 17, 2014 - Blackmagic Design today announced the immediate availability of Camera 1.8.2 software which adds three new Apple ProRes™ file formats for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K. Camera 1.8.2 update is available now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website.

Blackmagic Design camera customers have always been able to record in both CinemaDNG RAW or compressed ProRes 422 HQ formats, however now this new software update adds three additional Apple ProRes™ file formats, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT and ProRes 422 Proxy. This means customers using Blackmagic Design cameras will be able to get significantly smaller video file sizes allowing much longer recording durations on the same media card, all while preserving full frame 10-bit 4:2:2 quality.

Because this update is available to our camera customers free of charge, they simply need to download it, and install the update from their Mac or Windows machine using a simple USB cable connection to the camera. Once the update is complete, customers will see these new formats available in the camera menus.

Because this update reduces the data rate of recording, it means customers can now choose lower cost SSD or SD cards while still recording high quality video in SD, HD and Ultra HD resolutions. Using ProRes 422 Proxy it is possible to record 230 minutes of 1080HD video on a single 64GB SD drive. Selecting the type of ProRes format for recording can be set via the on screen menus and all ProRes types can be played back instantly.

The Apple ProRes 422 formats are designed specifically for multi-stream non linear editing, minimal generation loss and fast export, making them very popular video file formats for post production and broadcast. All ProRes files recorded with Blackmagic Cinema Cameras and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K can be opened directly in DaVinci Resolve 11 and Apple Final Cut Pro X™ for immediate color correction, editing and finishing.

“We are extremely excited to release this next update for our camera customers ,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “With the addition of the 3 new ProRes formats, cinematographers can now record for longer on low cost SSD’s and SD cards without sacrificing image quality, as they are still recording in full 10 bit 4:2:2 quality. Because our cameras feature a software centric design, we are very excited to be able to update our cameras with more and more features over time and make the cameras better and better! And there is more to come!”

In any case, this is a great deal and a camera I still use quite often. Here's the link to a few different places all knocked down 50% OFF.

blackmagic bmpcc camera50 off BlackMagic
find-price-button Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera + FREE Batteries


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


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

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After posting up the awesome deal going on with the BMPCC, I got a question about an external battery solution. BlackMagic Design has never made it easy to keep one of their cameras powered on for very long, and so any owner will be requiring an external power solution. If you're not into DIY, these external battery mounts from IndiPro Tools can help make your life a whole lot easier when trying to keep those cameras powered up.

Indipro tools power gridblackmagic pocket cinema camera
find-price-button Power Grid System Dual Battery Plate for Pocket Cinema Camera

The Power Grid System uses either two common Canon LP-E6 batteries, or two common Sony L-Series batteries to power up either your BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera or your larger BlackMagic Design Production 4K or original Cinema Camera. A rotating 15mm clamp conveniently attaches to your rig.

For those who want to attach XLR microphones directly to the BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera's 1/4" TRS Microphone input, another Power Grid System offers Dual L-Series battery power combined with a converter for XLR input to 1/4" TRS out (found here).

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find-price-button Power Grid & XLR Audio Box with Dual L-Series Plates for Blackmagic Cinema/4K Production Cameras

Not to be left out, there is also a Power Grid system for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera with an XLR audio adapter if you want to feed the signal from an XLR microphone into the BMPCC (found here)

indiprotools xlr power grid BMPCC XLR audio Adapter
find-price-button Power Grid & XLR Audio Box for Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras
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NAB 2014, we stop in at the Big Balance booth. This company (at this time) is only focused on and entire product line of hand held gimbal stabilizers supporting a range from Smart Phones, Compact Cameras, Mirrorless Cameras, DSLR, and more.

Many gimbal versions from Big Balance include a thumb stick to actively tilt the camera, and some with remote control capabilities when the gimbals are used in distance from the operator. You can find more additional information about these products at the BigBalance.com website (here).

BlackMagic Pocket Gimbal Stabilizer Big BalanceBRENT-MUSTANG-SMALLBROWN-BEAR-580X320-PRODUCT-SHOT1
Big Balance Hand Held Stabilizer Gimbals

NAB 2014 Coverage Sponsors

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