Tag Archives: BMPCC

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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).

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

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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
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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

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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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BlackMagic Design FancierStudio Fancier Studio cage pocket cinema

Though we are seeing dozens of BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera cages already available, if you're looking for a complete kit with Form-Fitting Cage, Top Handle, Cold Shoe Mounts, and a set of 15mm Rails, it's hard to beat the price of this new FancierStudio BMPCC Cage. Just under $120 and Free Shipping (for Prime members) via Amazon (click here).

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find-price-button FancierStudio BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera Cage

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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.

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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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45 Comments

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 www.dvestore.com, and not many other people will have this camera in the coming months.

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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.

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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).

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

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras Currently Available on eBay



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