A little rain in my Pocket

Last weekend I thought I’d have a good chance to shoot some of the wonderful VIVID SYDNEY, an annual outdoor event using light and sound.

2013-06-02 17.22.36

With near drought inducing weather in NSW over the last few months we were looking at a dry winter, until of course, I tried to take a camera out to shoot something.

Thus adding to the urban mythology that if you want to have it rain somewhere, organise a crew to shoot something. Last time I shot in Dubai it hailed ! Maybe it’s me ?

Anyhow, I pressed on and kept on shooting anyway.  In the end I was more interested in the people that went along and attempted to enjoy Vivid despite the rain.

Using the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with native m4/3 lenses I moved around pretty easily and unobtrusively.  Yes. The camera did get wet.  I tried to keep it dry, but it was inevitable.

I shot mainly at ISO 1600, but the first few clips were shot at 800.  Lens wise I had the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 (first few shots) and the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 (second lot of shots before the ferry travelling  left to right) then I was principally on the Olympus 45mm F1.8 but I also had the 12mm SLR Magic T1.6 and the SLR magic 25mm T0.96

I had the terrific O’Connor 1030Ds head along for the ride too, but that was the only rig.  I shot over about three hours and used three batteries.

2013-06-02 17.13.37

This was all cut and finished in FCPx with a beta version of Nick Shaw’s BMC plugin for converting BMD FILM to REC709.  The great thing about the plugin is that it gives you a very quick look.  I could easily take the XML into Resolve if I wanted to for more  powerful control as well, but it just gives you  a very quick approximation and allows you to finish an edit with a quick grade.

No noise reduction or sharpening applied.  Was shot all available light.

I should add, click on the title below to see it in VIMEO and full screen.  Also, there is rain in almost every shot which I can see with the final finished file here, but it does tend to get lost in Vimeo (or turned into compression crawlies)


About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
This entry was posted in Black Magic Cinema Camera, Equipment and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

103 Responses to A little rain in my Pocket

  1. Ron Coker says:

    Looking good! Roll on July.

  2. Robert RED says:

    Hello John

    Thanks for this video.

    Question. What you mean with “BMD Film” ? Raw?
    Tthank you in advance.

    – RED –

    Email: red@robertred.ch
    Website: robertred.ch
    Facebook: facebook.com/followRobertRED
    Vimeo: vimeo.com/channels/robertred

  3. Trevor Wright says:

    Yep – have my name down. Liking the text book DR at 10secs – the glass of the ball light top right scores a home run. Less “crisp” compared to the first night shots ya took with the BBCC … imagining the loss-less raw selection will be sweeter. Thanks John – candy store stuff

  4. I’m seeing a “Private Video” graphic, with no access to the clip.

  5. Margus Voll says:

    Looks really good!

    Pocket model would be good companion for vacation period.

    I really like that your clips seemingly without a story have always one in it. Makes looking on them
    so much fun.

  6. jake.carvey says:

    There is something so crisp, so broad, so encouraging about these shots. Color me excited.

  7. Ruben Kremer says:

    Lov ethe footage. The low-light performance is pretty good, even despite the smaller sensor. Probably because the individual pixels are pretty large in comparison to what we’re used to with DSLRs etc.

    Any chance you can enable the downloading of the original uploaded file? The compression makes it very hard to really ‘judge’ the low-light quality. At least .. that’s what I think 😉 …

    Nontheless – the footage looks great. Unclear whether this is DNG or ProRes – you forgot to mention 🙂 … great video

    • johnbrawley says:

      Hi. It’s not RAW.

      I can’t enable downloads just yet. There is a lot more fine detail in there by the way. A lot of the *rain* doesn’t show up in vimeo, but trust me, it’s fricking raining in almost every shot ! I DO see that fine detail on the finished file.


      • Ruben Kremer says:

        No problem, just couldn’t help asking. Good to hear that the footage is still plagued by compression on vimeo, because it already looks great – that means it will look far better out of the camera. Looking forward to ‘hands-on’ with unprocessed footage from this little filmmaking machine 😉


  8. Andy Agnew says:

    Was this taken on the Sunday night? I was there to see the Sunnyboys… and I am sure I was standing in that rain and saw those faces…. great stuff… so glad I have already put my money down!

  9. Willem Van den Broeck says:

    “Last time I shot in Dubai it hailed ! Maybe it’s me ?” How did you develop these powers?

    Great footage. Thanks so much!

  10. Ron Coker says:

    This one has more grunt! Nice.

  11. Etidona says:

    Nice shots! 1600 ISO looks better than 5d2, can you confirm?

  12. DF says:

    For such a small sensor it does a damn fine job in low light.

    • Ruben Kremer says:

      It’s not that strange … I’ve calculated that the physical pixel size – The pixel size on a Canon 7D is 0.00428 x 0.00428mm and the BMPCC (which has twice as small a sensor) the pixel size is 0.0065 x 0.0065mm … so the BMPCC pixels (compared to a 7D) are more than 150% the size of the 7D’s pixels on the sensor. Ergo – the BMPCC is theoretically more light sensitive than a 7D.

      • Andrey Ilyin says:

        if a pixel is bigger, so not so sharp picture? (compared to a 7D)
        or not?

      • Ruben Kremer says:

        The pixelsize is of no influence on the sharpness whatsoever. A DSLR skips pixels when recording, so in effect those DSLR-sensors are creating ‘gaps’, which result in the infamous moiré and anti-aliasing. So in my mind the BMPCC would actually be sharper than a DSLR because it doesn’t skip pixels and lines but records the image 1:1

      • Andrey Ilyin says:

        and i forgot about prores vs h264
        yes! definitely Blackmagic!

      • Ruben Kremer says:

        ProRes HQ 422 vs H.264 … don’t forget CinemaDNG vs H.264 😉 … hopefully they get that release-ready in the next few weeks.

    • Andrey Ilyin says:

      I remember)))))
      but prores will be enough for me

      • Ruben Kremer says:

        On an average shoot, I’m sure the ProRes will be quite enough for me as well – but that doesn’t take away the fact that it can deliver just that tad bit more in the form of CinemaDNG 😉

  13. I think so too.
    And the sensor wants to be so.

  14. David Garber says:

    How did you put the story together in your mind before shooting? Absolutely smashing to say the least. I’m going to grab my 5d w/ ml & shoot some night scenes with rain…………..wait, it’s not raining.

    • johnbrawley says:

      I went with the idea to shoot the projections on the buildings. When it started raining right on dusk, i just started shooting people’s reactions to the rain.


  15. Lee Mullen says:

    Don’t forget, C mount lenses were made for this camera, so come and join our discussions of Facebook!


  16. Eduardo says:

    Ah there’s nothing like available light. I love that you didn’t add sharpening or noise reduction. Watched it on my Panasonic 50″ TV. Looks so good.

  17. Lee says:

    Pavements in the rain reminded me so much Bladerunner, it was very moving,ta

  18. Hi JB: Thanks so much for shooting, editing & sharing this. Great work under trying circumstances! Cheers!

    – Peter J. DeCrescenzo

  19. Pingback: Low-light Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Footage Now Online – VideoBlog

  20. Pingback: BMPCC: Sample footage from John Brawley [updated] | Here For The Weather

  21. Blien says:

    Hey John, this is awesome! I’m definitely looking forward to owning one of these. Thanks for details and link to Nick Shaw’s plugin… 🙂

  22. Pingback: BM Pocket Cam Night Test | Political Film Blog

  23. I’m still fairly new to this world, having bought a used GH2 and a bunch of lenses (including 14mm and 20mm panasonic. To be honest when I look at the quality of the hacked GH2 I’m still bowled over by how good it can look in the right situations.

    I pre-ordered the BMPCC almost right away on a total whim as it seems like exactly what I want in a camera, as I mostly intend to shoot documentary style stuff, rather than carrying around tons of equipment. Am I really going to see that much difference between GH2 and the Pocket Camera? Any opinions? Bit of a silly question before July I suppose… (or July 2014, 2015…whatever)

    Again I’m speaking as a novice!!! Don’t hurt me!

    • Scott says:

      The hacked GH2 (and the GH3 for the matter) is a very capable camera. Check out Upstream Color which was shot completely with the Driftwood hack I believe. It will most likely be on par or perhaps even beat the BMPCC in regards to resolution but will have less dynamic range and will record to an already compressed codec, whereas the BMPCC will be much more flexible in post when either correcting exposure or trying to achieve a certain look.

      At the end of the day, you are more likely to notice a difference in the image quality than your audience so it comes down to what image you prefer and which camera suits your workflow better. There’s nothing saying you can’t own both as you may find they cut together well and you now have an A cam/B cam setup. With both cameras using the same lenses it’s a no brainer if you can afford the $1000.

  24. Pingback: Great Night Test of Blackmagic Pocket Camera | Eric Petrie: Freelance and Independent Video Production

  25. Lou Sacock says:

    It looks great, but can’t wait to see some RAW footage, even if it’s only 20 seconds worth. When when you go full screen on a 2560px, plus any compression added from Vimeo, you don’t really get a sense of the quality I’m sure this camera is capable of. Great work and I look forward to more.

  26. Andy Agnew says:

    G’day John et al,

    As mentioned above this is great footage, especially useful as I was out and about at the location and at around the same time it was shot. I’ve got my money down on a ‘pocket’ and finally went out this morning and got a Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 SD card – so it’s finally time to hack my GH2.

    The question I have is which GH2 hack is most likely going to give me the best match to an “out of pocket” experience?

    Also would anyone one care to offer an opinion as to whether or not an Arri Zeiss Vario Sonnar 10-100 F2.8 T* (with damper) is going to achieve full coverage to the “corner pockets”. Happy to pop down to Cronulla to rest it out 🙂

    Two more things…for JB: The two musos in the market clip are wondering:
    A: do you have any more footage of them?
    B: can they use it to make a promo clip?

    Thanks in advance to all for your help!


    • johnbrawley says:

      Hello Andy.

      Firstly, I’d suggets you not buy too many accessories for the camera until it’s *actually* shipping and even better, actually in your hand. There are still many in Europe who ordered the camera a year ago and are still waiting, even though you seemingly find the camera in stock at other dealers. A lot can chnage between now and actually delivery, including which SD cards are supported. There’s also a lesson here for how you order as well.

      I’m not THAT familiar with the various GH2 hacks to be honest. I have used a hacked GH2 before on a show, but buggered if I can remember which one was applied, as I didn’t actually do the hack on the camera. Generally when shooting with smaller footprint and processed cameras, I generally tend to turn everything down 😉 That means, turn down or nearly off the sharpening. Turn down the saturation to almost nothing and turn down the contrast to be flatter. Then expose to protect the highlights. This should give you a flat logish looking image that will give you a bit of wriggle room in grading. The problem is though that compression gets in the way of the grading a little bit if you need to move it around a bit, especially in terms of exposure.

      The Zeiss 10-100 MK1 or MK2 won’t cover as it’s only a standard 16 zoom. There is a conversion that was / can be done which converts it into an 11-100 Super 16 covering lens. Optex did some of those conversions if I remember. Not sure what you mean by “with damper”…

      With regards to the muso’s at the market, tell them to get in touch with me. I don’t think there is much *more* footage of them, but I can take a look. They are at a couple of markets I go to, where I often test cameras 😉


      • Andy Agnew says:

        Many thanks JB,

        The only Pocket accessories I have purchased so far are 4 x 1800mA/H batteries with a pair of car & mains chargers I spotted on eBay: Total Spend <$50 I figured since they were rated so far above the standard Nikon ones (@1080mA/H) they might get scarce once the camera ships.

        The SDXC had been in the pipeline for the GH2 anyway and I negotiated hard on the price, although like computers they are only gonna get faster and cheaper, having said that I recently bought an SD card on eBay that claimed 104mb/s and "Beats the Sandisk Extreme Pro" it did neither more like 33W/45R. Having been brought up on film I see these modern high fangled "reusable film cards" as cheap anyway.

        As for the camera I have only put down a deposit so if it appears in stores first its no big deal as I figure I'm gonna want a couple or more anyway – I currently shoot mostly Jazz bands using the GH2 + 4 x Zoom Q3HDs & a Sony HD HandyCam. It's a cheap, cost effective way to get reasonable images with GREAT sound in order to knock out DVDs for the bands and their fans – it's finding time to do the edits that's hard – capturing the gig is easy – everything bar 2 tripods fits in an old computer bag. Like I said it's a great (multicam) set up for DVDs however I need to up the quality of the vision 'cause I wanna put together a doco about these guys (the Jazz fraternity), I just hope the pocket cam ships before they all die out (thats truer than you might think).

        Now, on exposure, am I on the wright plane if I am thinking Ektachrome EPT and Mr Adams Zones? I always did prefer the manual way of doing things, it's a shame you can't bracket your exposure with ciné film, although I suppose with a tool like DaVince Resolve you virtually could, I have only recently begun playing with Resolve Lite, it took me back to when I used to D&P before and after (+ sometimes during) school at one of the mini-labs in Bondi Junction, add a couple of units of cyan here to fix the fogging subtract some exposure there for the thin negs… NB: make sure to print an extra one of any "specials" for the boss. Those days are long gone.

        The Zeiss is just a mighty fine piece of optical engineering and puts modern lense "manufacturers" to shame, even the old roughed up wooden box with dove tailed joints that it arrived in is a piece of work. The damper is basically an oil filled hydraulic cylinder that hangs off the side and allows you to "dial up" the amount of resistance the zoom ring exerts when you operate the lever. I almost cried when I fitted it to the GH2 and saw she didn't make it to the corners – then I remembered the ETC mode and the T* 10-100 f2,8 became the 135 equivalent of a 56-560mm so in some ways it was more of a gain than a loss. I am putting my pennies away for the day someone misspells Arri and Zeiss when they list their grand mutars Mario Somar 11-110 on eBay.

        If you run into Cameron on the guitar and Paul on that oversized violin tell them Andy says g'day, although I may just be lurking in the shadows near by with my trusty Weston, the Zeiss and that camera with too many buttons – after all, as you rightly say, it's just a light tight box.

        All the best,

        Andy of TheDoco.Co

  27. Robert Baker says:

    Thanks for the video, John.

    I have a question about the camera’s usability. I’m looking for a replacement for a Standard Definition Canon GL2 which was a great package in terms of size, function and video quality. Since I have moved to HD I have used my DSLR which shoots amazing video but comes with many limitations. Will the Pocket Cam be a good overall replacement for shooting weddings, interviews, concerts (i.e. the wide range of work that I am called to do) or is it more of a niche product (B roll for documentaries or just a nice second camera)?

    • johnbrawley says:

      I think the actual IQ will be a step up if you’re only used to more compressed codecs. ProRes HQ is a very robust and awesome codec. With good lenses and a good operator behind the camera it will deliver some great results.

      The camera is very very small. That’s the whole point. I think personally, I would find it a bit frustrating after a while. I mean I could write a novel using an iPhone and the words will be the same, it’s just going to have some shortcomings that you as the operator / DP will have to accommodate. If you are OK with doing that then fine ! These are very probably, the kinds of limitations you might have already encountered and be used to dealing when shooting using a DSLR.


      • RD says:

        Nice footage from such a small camera. By the way, when we can see the test footage from the 4K Blackmagic Production Camera?

  28. Landen Summers says:

    Hello John. Thank you so much for posting this low light footage. I’ll be using the pocket cinema camera to film my girlfriend and I at the beach during sunrise as well as dusk and sunset. I saw the footage at the beach that you posted on the 26th of May in it look more filmic then any DSLR videos that I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure based on the things that you’ve explained on your website this has a lot to do with the dynamic range. It’s definitely an incredible thing on this little camera. I just have a few questions. What lens were you using for the sunset shots at the ocean that you polsted on the 27th of May? Next question is based on a reply that I noticed that you made to someone else’s question earlier. They asked you which lens you would recommend on the camera as an all around lens for low light And I believe you mentioned that the 25mm SLR Magic would produce the best cinematic image Good for their low light interest. So my second question is what makes the SLR Magic look more cinematic then other lenses? I’m new at this so any help would be much appreciated…

    • johnbrawley says:

      Mostly that dusk footage was shot with the very cheap 16-42 panasonic lens. The SLR magic 25 is a very nice and fast lens but will be difficult to use hand held.

      I like to think making something cinematic is possibly more to do with the cinematographer than the camera. It’s a subject that probably deserves it’s own blog post.


  29. Riccardo Cannella says:

    Congratulations! I like very much the quality of your shooting. What’s the ISO level you used?

  30. Michael Garcia says:

    Liam Neeson looking for his daughter at :50 sec. Good find John!

  31. rocco says:

    love to see Black Magic actually deliver their camera (promises) to market as promised instead of teasing 99% of the world and letting a few filmmakers get us even more excited.

  32. Alan Velasquez says:

    I am considering the pocket camera as my first camera purchase. I’ve primarily only done student short films using a sony ex3. I don’t own any lenses and was wondering what you would recommend as a first lens to purchase with the pocket camera in order to continue making narrative short films. Thank you.

    • Philip Lipetz says:

      Only one lens, kit for newbie – panasonic. 12-35mm

      • Nelson says:

        depend on budget
        12-35mm is pretty expensive though, for budget zoom I recommend 14-45mm which have good quality and have ois switch for handheld work.
        I’d suggest a prime lens for background blur, 17mm f1.8 for wider shot/indoor, 25mm f1.4 for classic 50mm pov, 45mm for close up and more bokeh, and 20mm f1.7 for budget and compactness

      • rubenkremer says:

        Heads up, it’s not the 25mm that will give you the effective 50mm FoV! This isn’t a Micro 4/3 sensorsize (crop x2), this is Super-16 (crop 2.88x). So for 50mm FoV you’d need a ~ 17mm lens 😉

        14mm would become a ~40mm, and for a little wider you’ll need to dive to 10mm and lower (Sigma 8-16mm for example)

    • johnbrawley says:

      I think you’ll be best starting off with less expensive stills lenses. The 12-35 Panasonic is a good option. It has IS and a fast aperture. You could also buy an adaptor and look at really inexpensive vintage primes (or even zoom) lenses. The nice thing about the MFT mount is that it gives you a lot options, too numerous to mention here. A lot of people have already covered this ground when looking at the Panasonic GH2 / 3 cameras. You could look to some of those forums for ideas…


      • HL says:

        Hi John!

        I know you must be a bit tired of the question about the perfect lens. I too am in the same situation as Nelson. I really don’t have the money to buy a lot of lenses and looking for that one lens to start out with. Will the 12-35 do good in low light? Like the video you just shot. And will it give me a wider view. I know what you’re thinking, yes I’m a newbie 🙂

        If you could recommend a forum where I can read about the GH2/3 lens choices that you talked about, I would be very greatful.

        Thank you John for letting us all get a glimpse of the pocket camera!

      • Gert Wondres says:

        C Mount on M/43 Facebook ‘HL’

  33. Hi John, will you be talking more about the plugin you’ve been using in FCPx? Whilst I’m very excited about the BMPCC I’m slightly concerned about how much work there might be to do in post, particularly shooting RAW. Currently with my GH2 antics it’s basically a case of a small amount of correction to give a warmer, slightly more gentle look, since it can be a little sharp as you may know. So yeah, I don’t necessarily want to have to get used to huge workflows like you mention with Resolve. Opened up Resolve Lite the other day…not a clue how it works! ha

    • johnbrawley says:

      The nice thing about Nick’s plugin is that it really is pretty simple. Mostly you’d get a good result applying it and not even tweaking it. The sliders are simple adjustments.

      Resolve isn’t for the faint hearted BUT, it’s actually not that hard once you’ve had some time and maybe training to get to know it. But there are a lot of videos around online showing you how to do things and even paid training.

      The nice thing is that you have options.


  34. kamiles2013 says:

    and camera still working? This is NEX?

  35. Merci bien pour la vidéo! 🙂 I guess that many people have been waiting impatiently for more footage since your local market video test… I find suprising the absence of “official” video demos by the Black Magic Design company…

    Wondering if one could get a style similar to the one in the movie Atonement (2007) or the David Hamilton movies/photos using the BMPCC…

    Also, I’m impressed (and frightened) by the number of lenses many people have and use just during one filming session. Apart from money / consumerism considerations, from a purely technical point of view, i don’t understand the need for so many different lenses… Is it essentially a question of depth of field? Is it the way movies are shot (I mean, changing lenses a lot)?

    Doesn’t the BMPCC allow enough freedom to shoot in a simple way and make corrections with software in post production?

    ps: I’m a beginner, I plan to shoot a documentary and I would like to make it as beautiful as intellectually challenging. I intend to shoot long sequences (1h or 2h long conferences and interviews).

    • johnbrawley says:

      I hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way.

      If you want the “style” of one of these films you should be hiring a gifted cinematographer and production designer. The camera is only a small part of creating this style and tone.

      There is also no “official” BMD footage for any their cameras. They don’t really do commissioned work like that.

      Lenses are an essential and important part of the “personality” of image making. Each brand has a different look. Each generation of technology also produces a different look. There are also many different target imaging sizes (35mm, super 16, APS, 135) etc that means different lenses get made for different cameras.

      It might seem intimidating, but this is also part of the joy of being an image maker.


      • jake.carvey says:

        I like the way you put that, john

      • OK, thanks for explaining this. I’ll find ways to learn more about the “personality” of different lenses. And I’ll follow your advice about finding talented people to help me and teach me.

      • David Garber says:

        JB, you’re doing a wonderful job & if you need some advise on which lenses to use for perticular scenes, I’d be more than happy to help out. I’m a DP from the “Old School”.

  36. mrhill@caltech.edu says:

    John, This is a real joy to watch, thank you! ‘Just a quick question, is the grainy artifact on the woman’s cheek at about 1:16 due to the vimeo compression, i.e. is it a smooth color gradient in the raw footage?

    • hill says:

      PS: My sleep deprived self put down my email address instead of a name, sorry about that. Could you change change it for me? Thanx!

    • johnbrawley says:

      That shot is actually one of the most underexposed shots in the sequence. There’s a fair bit of noise in there as I’ve lifted it up a long way in FCP.


  37. Edward Ornelas says:

    May I ask, What is REC709? Is it a type of shooting format such as cineform or cinema dng?

  38. Thanks John for posting your experiences with this great looking little camera. The information and examples posted are great.

    I cant wait to get this new Pocket Cinema camera into an underwater housing. That’s my niche of filmmaking, and typically requires that the use of the widest angle and fastest full frame lens that you can find. (to minimize the amount of water between the camera and subject)

    Have you had an opportunity to mount on this camera anything wider than a 12mm lens? There seems to be limited choices in good MFT mount lenses that will result in a 85 degree or wider angle of coverage (and still not empty my bank account)

    Do you have any experience with the Optar Illumina 8mm T1.3 that I believe was made to cover a S16 sensor, PL mount? I’d sure hate to buy one of these on the used market only to discover that there are issues working with this camera. Any experience that you can share in regard to a very WIDE prime or zoom lenses to use on this gem of a camera is appreciated.

    • johnbrawley says:

      I know and love the OPTARS but haven’t used them on the pocket.

      I do remember the Zeiss 8mm maybe didn’t cover Super 16. The OPTARS being a super speed copy, I wonder if they struggle ? I really can’t remember now to be honest.

      There is also the Century 6mm which also had a 4.5mm adaptor.


  39. You mention you shot parts of the video with the Panasonic 20mm ƒ/1.7. You have my deepest respect for that, because the focus ring is the worst I’ve *ever* come across! The dampening (or lack thereof), the horrible acceleration … it’s dreadful!

    And that’s my main concern about the PCC: Due to the long crop factor (is it really 2.88x? Everywhere else it says 2.99x) you basically have to step down to wider focal lengths. I love the Panasonic 25mm and the Sigma 30mm; both are very usable on MFT cameras in video mode. On the PCC however they would become 75mm and 90mm, respectively. The 20mm becomes a 60mm; that’s a perfect POV in my opinion, but the handling is just so extremely poor … is the Panasonic 14mm any better? Maybe the Sigma 19mm could be a good choice. Though they are all not stabilized. So I feel if you want an equivalent focal length of around 50mm AND a good focus ring AND stabilization, there’s almost no other choice than the expensive Panasonic 12-35, is there? That crop factor is really limiting!

    • I’ve been wondering the same thing…

      I own both the Panasonic 20mm and 14mm because I got them as part of a deal with my GH2. They both produce a really sharp image (good and bad I guess) but yes, the focus rings are bloody awful. I have to admit though I am kind of used to the 20mm now, I use a gear with a rod attached to it as a lever basically and it makes it bearable and quite smooth.

      But yes, I’ve also been wondering about lenses and focal lengths. I was using a 50mm Canon FD (100mm on a GH2 crop factor) lens as portrait and that’ll now be 144mm the the blackmagic!

      Another other lenses that are NOT in the Panasonic 12-35 price range that anyone can recommend? Olympus 17mm maybe? It’s funny but I still end up using those FD lenses…they are just not as *too* sharp as the Panasonic can feel sometimes.

    • johnbrawley says:

      Look to be honest all the focus by wire lenses are a pain in the ass to actually use manually. It’s just seemingly convenient, but to be honest I’d rather just us manual focus lenses. the problem is that these lenses are made to be light and fast to AF, not to MF…..

      So in a pinch you can use them, but I dind’t love them. At least some of the Olympus lenses have the push pull style MF / AF ring….


      • I guess I’ll hang on to my Panny ones for now and see how I get on. Sometimes I wish the internet didn’t exist so that instead of reading about what thing is better than another I’d just go out and film and see what happened. It’s easy to end up in an endless cycle of reading about gear.

        When I borrowed a family friends video camera (who knows what it was) when I was about 10 I just went straight ahead and made a rubbish animated series about my star wars figures, fishing line x-wings flying about and all. I never questioned the lens…ha.

      • The Sigma 30mm lens is the first AF lens with a focus ring that I’ve really fallen *in love* with – so I guess I could try out the 19mm as well. The main problem with adapted MF lenses is that full-frame lenses are all too long for the 3x crop. Full-frame wide-angle lenses are usually big and expensive, and use that retrofocus design that doesn’t work well with CSCs. So it seems that for shorter focal lengths there isn’t much choice other than C-mount lenses?

        @amithatbugsbunny: Thanks for confirming the 14mm has the same dreadful focus ring as the 20mm! So that’s a no for me, then. Hm! :-/

      • johnbrawley says:

        There are wider lenses. SLR magic and Voightlander for example make some. There’s a nice 12mm T1.6 SLR Magic that I’ve been using a lot. There’s also of course Super 16 lenses. Century 6mm, Zeiss 8mm or 9.5mm T1.3. Plus other less expensive lenses like the OPTAR’s in 8mm and 9.5mm, 12mm….


  40. Pingback: DSLR Film Update | John Brawley Shows Off BMPCC In Low Light

  41. Mike Meagher says:

    I’m curious John, what SD card are you using, and how many minutes record time do you get on the card?

  42. How does the sharpness compare with the original cinema camera?

  43. jeah, i want to know about the sd cards too, also wich card will be fast enough for raw recording?

  44. Can the BM pocket cinema camera take still pictures?

    • johnbrawley says:

      Not really. Once DNG is enabled, you kind of could because each frame is a single file that can be opened in PS but the motion blur is usually too low to have useful stills from motion.


      • Greyfus says:

        I thought they were gonna use compressed CinemaDNG in a quicktime wrapper ?
        So now we’re back to individual frames like in the BMCC ?

      • johnbrawley says:

        This was shot ProRes.


      • johnbrawley says:

        That was something they were talking about implementing later but individual frames seems to be working out so I don’t know that it will change in a hurry.


      • Greyfus says:

        Hi JB, I was responding to your reply in this –

        “Not really. Once DNG is enabled, you kind of could because each frame is a single file that can be opened in PS but the motion blur is usually too low to have useful stills from motion.


        I know this clip was shot in ProRes 🙂

  45. Jim Medcraft says:

    Good Video, I was looking at renting an epic for a shoot coming up, but from reading this I Reakon I can get the kind of pictures I desire from for around the cost to buy as I was looking at paying in hire. The size just seems counter intuitive.

  46. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema vs Blackmagic Cinema Camera. What’s your opinion?

  47. awesome review or in depth look, you are class all the way and your vids are really making me interested in this product, real world, no bullshit clips, we really see how this camera preforms, thank you 🙂 Michael D.

  48. im so going to blame you and use you as defence when l tell my wife, i am buying more production gear…lol, thanks for being a “fall guy’ 🙂

  49. Derek Berndt says:


    Great footage! It’s amazing what that little camera can produce.

    Please allow me to ask a question that will probably prompt more questions than answers. Most of what I shoot quick 3-4 minute educational videos; however, I want to start working on documentaries. I currently have a Canon 5DMKIII and a handful of prime lenses (35 f/2, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8). I was originally looking to trade in a Canon T3i and Canon 17-55mm lens, so I can purchase a zoom lens for the MarkIII (I like the flexibility of the zoom for run and gun situations). Then I came across the BMPCC and love the small form factor and picture quality…so this got me thinking. All things equal, would it be better to sell/trade in the Canon T3i, 5DMKIII and lenses to get the BMPCC and a couple of lenses or should I stick with my original plan and keep the Canon 5DMKIII and get the zoom lens? I like the Canon and use the Prolost Flat setting; however, I find the image to be soft, even with sharpening applied in post. Unfortunately, I don’t think I would be able to come up with enough money for the big brother BMCC (and associated gear). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  50. Pingback: Micro 4/3 Blackmagic Cinema Camera Shipping Soon, Plus Low-Light Footage from the Pocket Camera « No Film School

  51. Pingback: Low-light Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Footage Now Online - Videomaker

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