Tag Archives: Pocket Cinema 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 BlackMagic Design announced several new products this year at NAB2014 (as seen above), one question was - Will they continue to support fixes/bugs for previous cameras? A recent response from the Blackmagic Design Forum points to yes. A few notes included

1. New debayering for shooting directly to ProRes or DNxHD on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and MFT
2. Improved MFT lens support on the Pocket Cinema Camera
3. Compressed RAW support on the Production Camera 4K
4. Autofocus support for EF lenses on Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and Production Camera 4K

There are a few other improvements with hints to audio level metering and histogram displays among other comments about some requests that may not be possible to fix over at the Blackmagic Design Forum (Found Here).

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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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If you're working (or planning to work) with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPC you may quickly realize the LCD screen can be very difficult to work with outdoors. Other cameras may not be as bad, but can still use a little help blocking out ambient light.

One quick down and dirty way to block glare is to simply attach one of these inexpensive folding LCD Sunhoods. The design was originally used for flip out LCD screens on your Panasonic GH3, Canon 60D, T4i, C100, etc. The sunhood attaches via two simple straps stretch over your LCD (or BMPC camera body). It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than nothing. Starting at around $10 dollars, these sunhoods are available from 3"-4.5", and if you're specifically looking to use one with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, you will need the 3.5" size (found here).

BlackMagic Pocket Cinema BMPC Sunhood Shade LCD View Finder
find-price-button 3" / 3.5" / 4" / 4.5" LCD Sunhood

Your basic sunhood will assist with directional glare, but won't completely block out all incoming light. It also will not serve as a second point of contact for added stability - what LCD ViewFinders are popular for. There are literally dozens of great LCD Viewfinder products on the market, many that you've already seen through this blog so I won't go too much into detail here. If you have a specific camera in question, just leave me a comment.

Now while a few companies like Zacuto and Kamerar have announced LCD View Finder loupes that attach to the back of the BMPC, they are not available just yet.

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Kamerar MagView LCD View Finder

Another option available now are EVFs (electronic view finders). The benefits to working with an EVF outside of blocking bright light, is that screen can be relocated to a more ergonomic position on a Shoulder Rig, or can articulate to offer better shooting angles when mounted on a Cage system for example. Depending on the EVF, many can also offer additional overlays such as Focus Peaking, False Color, Zebras, and other waveforms to help you with focusing and judging exposure.

Some of the more popular EVFs that range from $600.00-$1000.00 on the market are the Zacuto EVF, SmallHD DP4, and Cineroid EVF (available in different models).

Zacuto EVF
Zacuto EVF
SmallHD DP4 EVF
SmallHD DP4 EVF
Cineroid EVF
Cineroid EVF

If you're looking for uber budget, you've probably heard about the most affordable Seetec (a.k.a Feelworld) 3.5" HDMI EVF starting at just $250 (found here). Now before you decide to dive in to this unit, there's a few things you need to know. This lower end EVF CANNOT DISPLAY THE SIGNAL from a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPC due to it's uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 HDMI output.

The more affordable EVF systems are typically just HDMI, so this same information will apply to the larger BlackMagic Cinema Camera #BMCC. If you purchase an SDI to HDMI converter, you can use many of the more affordable HDMI EVFs, but not the Seetec version. In fact one person complained about how a cheap SDI to HDMI converter did not work with the BlackMagic Cinema Camera, but didn't realize it was really his monitor that didn't work. He didn't rule out the monitor because it worked with other cameras. In summary the SDI to HDMI converter was working properly, but the HDMI monitor they chose did not work with the feed.

Hopefully this bit of information will save you guys the pain of making a purchase only to find out it doesn't work. If you want an EVF for the BMPC, you'll need to at least look at the other high end displays. As far as a cheaper EVF for other cameras, YouTube member Shawn Barner provides a nice 26 minute detailed run through of this Seetec product.

For other mirror-less and DSLR cameras like the Canon, Nikon, Panasonic GH3, Sony, etc, the Seetec can really help if you're on a budget. Over the last year, several people have been using this EVF successfully. While not quite at the level of the more professional EVF systems, this EVF is still a great start for those who need a small lightweight portable screen to shade from the bright glaring sun, and to relocate a video feed to a more ergonomic placement on a shoulder rig. Available via eBay around $250 US (click here).

Affordable Cheap EVF LCD View Finder CheesycamEVF LCD View FinderLCD EVF View Finder HDMI
find-price-button 3.5" Seetec HDMI EVF Electronic View Finder

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Double rainbow two BlackMagic Pocket Cinema cameras Cheesycam

Well if there are any questions about whether the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera pre-orders are actually shipping, here's the order I placed on the first day they became available. I've also caught several Tweets of others who have already received their item as well. I was lucky to have spent some time with camera to be well prepared for these new shipments, so it will be easy for me to get started shooting as soon as I unbox these bad boys... Or maybe I should just give one of them away??

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find-price-button BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera - via DVEStore.com

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

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Like many other people out there, I preordered my BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras (while I was at NAB) the same day they announced it. With only a few cameras trickling in every week, it could be months before my name is up next. Fortunately, I had the chance to the BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera today thanks to DVEStore.com.

Apparently, the folks at the DVEStore has a few of these, with still a fairly reasonable small list of preorders to fill. There's a good chance the DVEStore will complete their list of preorders before larger retail stores can even scratch the surface with theirs.

If you're curious about seeing how long (or short) that list is, I suggest sending them an inquiry. The website can be found here: http://DVEStore.com.

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

Ok, now on to the next point of business. The BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera I have here is on loan. I have a short amount of time with it, but I've already reached out to a few friends to see if they can put it through the paces. We've planned a long weekend of travel and shooting a variety of footage with this camera.

I needed to buy additional bits just to get going on this camera (more info on that later), and also rented a few bits I think people will be interested in. The Pocket Cinema Camera does not shoot RAW (CinemaDNG) at this time, but the ProRes files are still impressive. A firmware update will add CinemaDNG capture.

We plan to shoot very short clips and upload them for you to download and play with (color grade). If you have any general questions about the product, leave some comments while I have it. Once I send this little guy back, I doubt I'll be seeing it again for several months. Over the next few days i'll be adding some additional information about working with this camera, so keep following...

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

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