BMCC Production 4K

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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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Here's a little review on another new and affordable Stabilizer Vest System for lightweight camera setups to medium sized cameras. This is the Came / Laing X-15 Vest+Arm matched up with the Laing P-04 Hand Held Stabilizer.

The Laing products have been around for quite some time, and I hear about RED Camera operators using the larger Laing stabilizers as an affordable option for flying heavy camera systems. The kit I have here is pretty heavy duty, each part feels very solid, and the entire bundle comes with a nice padded carrying bag.

Laing-Came-Carry-Bag Laing-Vest-Arm-Kit-X-15-P04

The Laing P-04 Stabilizer handle matches up perfectly with the small post on the X-15 ISO Arm. If you're thinking about trying to match this up with a Glidecam, just be aware that the standard rotating post is pretty short. The bottom weights can shift forward/back on the sled, the bottom post is adjustable, and the Gimbal can be positioned vertically along the post. It's pretty much got every adjustable feature available.

Laing-Stabilizer-Vest Laing-Gimbal-Adjustment-Balance

The top stage has a quick release cheese plate and features all the fine tuning knobs you'll need to balance your camera. Just be aware that the top stage may require a bit of cork to keep your camera from shifting it's position.

Lower-Sled-Laing-P04 Laing-P04-Top-Stage

The Laing Stabilizer Vest can be adjusted to fit taller or smaller frames, and the Arm is mounted to a quick release socket block. Velcro straps adjust the vest very nicely and buckles are used to climb in and out of the vest.

Laing-Socket-Block Adjsting-Laing-X-15-P-04-BlackMagic

The X-15 ISO Arm can easily be dialed to support an even lighter setup than my Canon 5D Mark II + Sigma 20mm lens, but can also be dialed up to support heavier camera setups than the BlackMagic Cinema Camera. Hopefully that gives you a general idea of the weight range it supports to see if it will work with your current equipment.

Laing-Canon-5D-BMCC-BlackMagic-Stabilizer Vest BMCC-Cage-BlackMagic Design Laing X-15 Stabilizer Vest Kit Review Video Sample

I can say for DSLR Video Shooters or even BlackMagic Cinema Camera shooters this vest is good. Actually for the price you could consider it to be very very good. Is it as good as the real Steadicam brand? Well, with my lightweight DSLR camera setup I felt the arm wasn't totally as smooth as my Steadicam Merlin ISO Arm, but results were much better once I mounted a heavier camera system like the BlackMagic Cinema Camera. On it's own, the Laing P-04 Stabilizer works excellent, but it seems adding a bit more weight to the X-15 Arm and Vest will yield better performance from the arm.

For more information about the Laing X-15 Vest Arm and P-04 Hand Held Video Stabilizer System, you can find more details on the following eBay product pages (click here).

Came-Laing-X-15 VestLaing X-15 Arm VestVest-Stabilizer-Laing-X15-P-04
find-price-button Laing X-15 Vest w/ Laing P-04 Hand Held Stabilizer

Laing P-04 Stabilizers available now on eBay

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If you caught my recent video shot entirely on the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, you'll probably find quite a few wide angle shots. That's because I tried very hard to include only native MFT lenses especially the Panasonic 7-14mm & Rokinon 8mm Fisheye.

For anyone looking to adapt non-MFT Lenses (without a speed booster) to the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, here's what it will look like through a full frame Canon 5D Mark II, Panasonic GH3, and BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

[Note] In the field of view test, some of the images may appear soft, this is not the fault of the camera. The Rokinon 85mm on a BMPC will be at an approximate 240mm focal distance, and with a Variable ND filter on the lens, things go soft. It's best to use good quality static ND Filters.

In other parts of the video a Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 was used throwing it somewhere close to the 600mm focal range. Since an ND Filter was not used, results were much sharper from the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Judging from the distance of the 5D Mark II, the tripod was quite a distance away. Using the Rokinon 35mm and 85mm lenses, you can tell there is quite a crop factor to the smaller BMPC - more than you would get from a GH3. The BMPC has even more crop than from the original BlackMagic Cinema Camera. That's something to keep in mind if you plan to work in tight spaces. Invest in the right glass, or look for a Speed Booster / Focal Reducer (found here on eBay).

Products Used

Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 3
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 2
Panasonic GH3
Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 1
BlackMagic Pocket Cinema
Rokinon 35mm GH3 Pocket Cinema BlackMagic Canon 5D Mark II III
Rokinon 35mm
Rokinon 85mm GH3 Pocket Cinema BlackMagic Canon 5D Mark II III
Rokinon 85mm

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So if you've been following, I mentioned I had planned a trip this weekend to shoot some BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera video samples with a small crew. The guys who will be making this long journey and traveling up to the mountains with me are the production crew for GearAddix. I passed over the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera over so that they can get familiar with it before our trip, and they've found that the Sony SDHC UHS-1 media cards will work fine for ProRes video recording.

I think a safe bet is if your card can sustain a minumum of 30MB/s write speeds, it should work fine to record ProRes. If you want to test your cards, you can download the FREE BlackMagic Disk Speed Test app for your computer (here).

blackmagic spee test

Here's a few screen grabs testing Transcend SDXC, Patriot EP Pro, and the Sony SDHC UHS-1. Click any of the images for an exploded view of the speed ratings.

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Transcend SDXC Class 10
Patriot EP Pro
Patriot EP Pro SDXC
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Sony SDHC UHS-1

Well good to know that is one other option for a speedy and more affordable SDHC media card for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. [Thanks GearAddix] You can find the Sony SDHC UHS-1 media cards in over on Amazon (click here).
71PWf1wEUvL._SL1200_71MNzlC4oQL._SL1200_71BUhd-XNbL._SL1200_
find-price-button Sony SDHC Class 10 UHS-1

Download ProRes Video Sample
The team has also uploaded an unedited 10 second ProRes sample from the camera (240MB). If you decide to try it out, I suggest pushing the color saturation, shadows, mids, highs and overall exposure values. I did my own quick version pushing saturation and adding contrast here: https://vimeo.com/72468406

You can find the download link at the GearAddix.com website.

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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: https://DVEStore.com.

Blackmagic_Design_964117IMG_310481
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...

Blackmagic_Design_964117IMG_310481
find-price-button BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera - DVEStore Preorder

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I just got confirmation about a little package on it's way as we speak, and will be arriving in my mailbox tomorrow. Now I don't want to spoil all the excitement, but I guess I'll leave a few clues as to what I should expect to receive tomorrow.

It's mostly #Black with Tan accents, and I think it's just #Magic how they've managed to make this item #Pocket sized and affordable for the #Cinema market....

BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera Shipment

[Update] The Eagle has landed....
BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera

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I know there are a few people waiting on the Micro Four Thirds version of the BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera to be released. They are starting to pop up around the Internet, but here's one officially in stock via eBay.

BlackMagic Cinema MFT Mount Micro Four Thirds
find-price-button BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera MFT Micro Four Thirds Mount - via eBay

The BMCC MFT Mount version is also available IN STOCK through the DVEStore.com (found here)

BlackMagic Cinema MFT Mount Micro Four Thirds
find-price-button BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera MFT Micro Four Thirds Mount - via DVEStore

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