Testing the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC)

black_magic_pocket

This new camera from Blackmagic design is pretty awesome. It has its faults, no camera is perfect. However, for its pocket size and super 16mm sensor, it sure is a handy piece of kit – at least as a “B” camera.

Here are some features I like and dislike about the camera:

Strengths:

  • Pocket size
  • Focus assist feature
  • Built-in timelapse function
  • Great dynamic range
  • Impressive grading potential

Weaknesses:

  • LCD screen almost impossible to use in daylight (needs a monitor if you want to get focus and exposure nailed)
  • Audio (similar to using DSLRs)
  • Battery life (awful)

The other day, I took a few time-lapse shots (lapse of 8 frames) around Leeds university campus. As I mentioned, it is hard to see what your doing in daylight. However, this can be overcome to an extent with the zebra function (exposure peaking) and the focus assist (green bars around focused areas).

The camera comes with a free download of DaVincie Resolve lite 10 for colour grading the footage. As you know, DaVinci Resolve is an amazing piece of software and the LUTs (Look up tables) for grading the Blackmagic footage, more often than not, result in beautiful images. The software also acts as a great workflow for exporting your rushes into the desired editing codec.

An excellent camera, and no doubt photojournalists will be scrambling for one. Watch my test shoot below:

Camera settings:

ISO – 200
White balance – 5600K
Shutter angle – 108

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