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blackmagic micro cinema camera rigged
Micro Cinema Camera Rigged for Hand Held Shooting

If you're not a fan of the new BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera, this video is most likely going to bore you. So you may want to skip this post. But if you're currently shooting with the BMMCC (and as obsessed as I am), i'm pretty sure you'll find this post super helpful - especially the part where I share a little of my DIY Remote Handle setup.

First let's talk a little about 'Why this BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera?'. Simply put, it's under $1K and offers RAW video up to 60p. And it's incredibly tiny! No other camera offers this, and I love the color science. But it's not an easy camera to operate handheld as there is no screen and the menu is deep for changing small settings.

Originally frustrated with the handling and controls of this camera - my combination of parts and custom button mapping has allowed me to just grab this camera and shoot. It's now a camera I can enjoy shooting with. There's obviously no right way to rig a camera, and this is just how i've assembled it for my personal taste. For those asking, the 15mm rod above my BMMCC is held in place with a Pico Plate (below).

kamerar pncgear pico plate 15mm
15mm Pico Plate - 10% OFF Use Coupon Code: Cheesycam

If you're looking to really run small, you can opt for using native Micro Four-Thirds lenses (instead of my Full Frame Rokinon Cinema lenses) or even the Veydra MFT Cinema Primes. You can also shrink your monitor down with something lighter, thinner, and smaller like the SmallHD 501. That would really make this BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera a super portable system.

micro cinema camera size compared to panasonic dvx100a
Rigged BMMCC size compared to Panasonic DVX100a

There are some benefits to using the BlackMagic Design Video Assist as a monitor though. I can set the internal recording to RAW, but if I decide to shoot in a lower format like ProRes, I can do that from the BMVA (without having to change in camera). Or I can record simultaneously RAW (in camera) and ProRes LT (in BMVA) for some quick proxy files to share or have a backup.

By the way, the Video Assist monitor doesn't add any controls with it's touch screen. It simply works as a Monitor and an HDMI Recorder. You can't communicate with the BMMCC.

Obviously they wanted to use small batteries on this camera to minimize the weight for Drone use, but I'm very happy with my Sony to Canon LP-E6 mod. It's a great way to add extra run time without adding an external battery system like a V-Mount. And I would hate to have to use their breakout cable which is a mess, and then have to input a 12V source. With my mod, it feels like i'm just using a bigger Canon battery, and i'm still using 7V.

The battery mod also allows me to power both camera and one extra accessory at 7.4V using my SWIT battery. Instead of using the 12V input on the Video Assist monitor, i'm using a Canon LP-E6 dummy battery to use basic 7V. (I really did put a lot of thought into this setup).

Hopefully the video explained how i'm creating changes in the camera in a way you can understand. When you join the two wires together from the analog PWM input, it sends a signal to change a setting. This works on many of the options, but not everything. For some items (like iris, focus) you'll need true PWM. The other 'con' if you will is that you can't go backwards. Not really a big deal as it's still much easier than diving into the menu for every small change.

I really wish BlackMagic Design would expand these PWM options to include changing FrameRates and changing from RAW to ProRes. That would really complete this camera, and many companies can create simple remote handles to control almost every aspect. They allow the use of S.Bus which means you can expand even further from the 4 basic analog inputs and control up to 18 more settings through a single channel input.

In any case, i'll stop rambling and hopefully this post has been helpful to other BMMCC shooters. If you're thinking about picking one up, it would be great if you consider DVEStore.com as they were the ones who put this camera into my hands to study, spend countless hours on, and share this information with you guys.

VIEW-ITEM BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera RAW ProRes 60p

Oh and BTW, i'm far from done. I'm already designing an entire rig around this camera based on my setup, including a remote handle to operate some of the settings i've show in this video. A complete rig that will allow other BMMCC shooters to just add a camera + monitor and start shooting with similar ergonomics as a camcorder. So if this is something you're interested in seeing, simply like or share this post. It will let me know if it's something I should spend some time on.

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Currently the Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses are available in 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm. Just recently they have announced a new 14mm and 35mm expanding this set of most affordable Cinema Prime lenses on the market. We were able to get some hands on time at the WPPI show in Las Vegas.

xeen cinema prime lens bundle
Learn-More-sm Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses


Some might see this as overkill, others may see it as an incredibly versatile solution. Especially for those opting to move into the new Sony Camera systems (A7sII / A7RII) that have poor battery life, you'll definitely be looking into some type of external power solution.

The Switronix PB-70 is a unique battery system as it can work as a normal V-Mount battery to power up your LED Lights, but can also double as an external battery solution for many camera systems (including BlackMagic, Canon, etc). Sure you can use other V-Mount batteries to power your camera, but the mounting solution incorporated into this particular V-Mount from Switronix is what makes it clean, simple, and minimal.

Switronix PB-70 Review Video by SatoStudioGear.com

A small quick release adapter first mounts under your camera (or cage) similar to a battery grip. This allows the Switronix PB-70 battery to attach under the camera. And under the PB-70 battery itself is another tripod mount, so you can attach another Tripod QR plate directly to the PB-70 battery. It works very similar to standard camera body battery grip.


Of course the Switronix Powerbase does not really have to mount under a camera body, as it only needs a 1/4-20 threaded mount. This can be mounted to the top of a Blackmagic 4K camera, or on a cheese plate off a shoulder rig. By incorporating these creative mounting options into a V-Mount battery is what makes the PB-70 a versatile battery system.

There are smaller, lighter, and cheaper power solutions for the Sony A7 cameras, but the capacity of the Switronix PB-70 means you can run all day (if not several days). And when mounted to your camera, it still has Two P-Tap out for you to power two other accessories at the same time (on camera LED light, external monitor, etc). And when not used with your camera, your investment means you can still use the PB-70 to power your Large 1x1 Studio LED Light Panels - incredibly versatile.

switronix pb-70 external battery sony a7s a7sii a7rii v-mount led light
VIEW-ITEM Switronix PB-70 Battery Kit for Sony A7s, A7RII, and A7sII


Amazon has a good number of Lightning Deals on the Rokinon 50mm F/1.5 Cine Lens, 7.5mm Fisheye, and 12mm F/2.0 Wide Angle. These deals are only scheduled to go by very fast, so make sure to check on these products at the scheduled time.

2:50pm (PST) - Amazon Lightning Deal on Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens for Sony E Mount (found here).

rokinon 7.5 fisheye sony
find-price-button Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens Sony NEX Sony E Mount

3:50pm (PST) - (Nikon mounts can easily be adapted to fit Canon EOS, M43, etc.). Lightning Deal on Rokinon 50mm T/1.5 Cine Lens for Nikon Mount

rokinon 50mm cine lens nikon canon
find-price-button Rokinon 50mm T/1.5 Cine Lens Nikon Mount

4:50pm (PST) - Great for Fuji X-Mount cameras, but this lens cannot be adapted. Lighting Deal on Rokinon 12mm F/2.0 wide Angle Fuji-X Mount.

rokinon 12mm F 2 Fuji X
find-price-button Rokinon 12mm F/2.0 Fuji X Mount

4:50am (PST) - Lighting Deal on Rokinon 50mm T/1.5 Cine Lens for Canon Mount (here)

rokinon 50mm cine lens nikon canon
find-price-button Rokinon 50mm T/1.5 Cine Lens Canon Mount

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Not a huge discount, but a savings nonetheless. The Bower branded 16mm Cine Lens is currently discounted and available for several mounts including Sony E, Canon EF-M, Canon EF-S, Fuji X, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung NX, and also Sony A mounts. If you've been eyeballing this lens it's currently being offered with an instant savings of $80 bucks (click here).

bower 16mm
16mm rokinon samyang bower
find-price-button Bower 16mm T/2.2 Cine Lens Discount


Here's a side by side video test showing samples from a Panasonic GH3 with and without the new Lens Turbo Focal Reducer. We used a newer Rokinon 85mm T/1.5 Cine Lens [Nikon Mount] + and old Nikon 50mm Pancake. With the Lens Turbo adapter we were able to achieve a wider field of view and an increase in exposure.

Obviously YouTube has added compression to the video, but if you want to be a pixel peeper, you can download a better version of this edited video from my Vimeo Channel (here).

I think the image quality achieved from this (Speedbooster alternative) adapter delivered decent results for the price. The Metabones Speedbooster will run about $489 dollars (here), versus this Lens Turbo which can now be found under $139 US (here).

Of course we're just using a consumer grade Rokinon Cine Lens, and an old $50 dollar lens from eBay. There's no doubt this adapter won't match up to the quality of the Metabones products. Anyone using serious glass worth thousands of dollars might as well pony up the extra cash for the Metabones MFT M43 Speedbooster (found here).

Metabones Speed Booster MFT M43 Nikon Adapter
find-price-button Metabones SpeedBooster Nikon to M43 MFT

If you're a casual video shooter looking to get a wider field of view and increased light through your common glass, I think you'll be happy with the Lens Turbo. I'll probably go out and take a bunch of high resolution still images on the next outing, but for now let's hear a few comments about these first video test results. What did you guys think so far? [Comment]

For more info, you can find the Lens Turbo MFT Focal Reducer adapter available now via eBay (click here).

find-price-button Lens Turbo Focal Reducer Nikon to MFT Micro Four Thirds Adapter


Planning on purchasing a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera? Or maybe you decided to go with a Panasonic GH3, or the new Panasonic GX7. These cameras (especially the Pocket Cinema Camera) have quite a crop so I suggest looking into some wide lenses.

Here's a deal on a lens that I highly recommend for such cameras with a crop - The Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye. Typically this lens will run for $299 dollars and you can see that here (via Amazon) and also here (via B&H).

Right now for the next few days the Bower branded (same exact lens) 7.5mm Fisheye Lens is just $199 + 4% Rewards saving you more than a cool hundred bucks. Deal ends in a few days.

find-price-button Bower 7.5mm Fisheye Lens for Micro Four Thirds BlackMagic Pocket Cinema / GH3


Here's an interesting new 24mm F/3.5 Tilt-Shift lens from Samyang. This is the first tilt shift i've seen from the company even when branded under Rokinon, Bower, and sometimes Vivitar. There's not much information on the new lens just yet, and it's too rich for my blood, but it's already available and listing for just under $1K. Check out the product page via B&H (click here).

find-price-button Samyang 24mm F/3.5 Tilt Shift Lens for Canon Nikon Sony


Since the Rokinon 24mm F/1.4 had been released, i've kept a close eye on it. I haven't decided to pick it up just yet mainly because I was working with the Full Frame cameras. Now that i've been using the BlackMagic Design Cinema camera and Micro Four Thirds GH3, i'm finding this focal length is much needed.

Typically ranging $600+ dollars, today there is a discount for the Samyang branded version for just $499. That's a pretty decent price for this lens. Sale is for the next couple of weeks, and you can check it out via B&H (click here).

Samyang 24mm F14
find-price-button Samyang 24mm F/1.4 Discount Price