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Old April 13th, 2013, 02:25 AM   #1
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The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

I might hit the pause button on the Blackmagic Cinema Pocket Camera. Grant Petty, CEO, Black Magic, had this to say about it:

ĎIf I was doing HD work Iíd choose the current camera, itís two and a half K, really sharp, beautiful sharp images, whereas the small pocket camera is HD sensor so you lose a little bit of it because of the debayer efficiency but itís still very very nice, itís quite close, itís very good, and all the same contrast range so it looks the same...what you get is not quite the sharpness but ...itís amazing.í

That was during an interview with Marcos Solorio at NAB 2013 and you can view the complete interview here:

Not as sharp. Hmmm. I shall not cancel my order for the pocket cam, for now, however I am thinking that if the current version is sharper, and Petty should know, then thatís the one I really want...I think.

Love to see side by side comparison footage.
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Old April 13th, 2013, 12:09 PM   #2
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

There's a whole lot more to an image than just simple sharpness. And this camera isn't even out yet! A little early in my book to be rejected out of hand as "soft". Just sayin'.
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Old April 13th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #3
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

The real question is how this camera compares to DSLRs. That's who they are essentially undercutting; all the people buying DSLRs for video (The larger BMCCs are to some extent too, just because of the price ranges involved). If this compares well to the 5DIII it'll be pretty interesting.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 08:35 AM   #4
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

I'd personally take that with a grain of salt as BMD is still trying to move the $3000 camera instead of having customers flocking to the $1000 camera and leaving the 2.5K cam DOA - as others simply move up to the 4k cam. The Pocket Cam is still a native Full HD sensor. I had the FS100 and it was considerably sharper than any DSLR at "just 2k" and I suspect that will also be the case here.

I'll bet (with my wallet as I've pre-ordered) the Pocket Cam is far sharper than any DSLR since there's no line skipping, plus the smaller sensor means not having to worry as much about soft edge/corner issues like we do with FF/APS-c sensor. The BMCC image is so incredibly detailed, so even a slight drop in resolution will likely still provide a much sharper image than DSLR's. Then there's the DR, 10-bit 422 on SD cards, future compressed RAW and so on...

For $1000 I'm a sucker for a new toy and willing to risk it. I'm checking John Brawley's posts daily for sample footage and downloadable files, hopefully we see some soon.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 02:12 PM   #5
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

It seems that each camera has limitations.

Only the original 2.5K cam shoots RAW, but the sensor size is odd.

The new cameras have proper sensor sizes (S16 & S35), but no RAW and they won't quite match the ideal FHD or UHD resolutions.

If the new cameras shoot 10- or 12-bits, the lack of RAW recording might not be all that important.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

BMD is also saying a lossless compressed raw is coming for the pocket cam. I imagine it'll need an external recorder. Grab the Sound Devices Pix 220i and you'll get dual XLR's with a professional audio preamp built-in, along with an external recorder/monitor. The wait is on...
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Old April 17th, 2013, 06:45 PM   #7
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

Would the Hyperdeck Shuttle 2 from Black Magic provide the needed codec ?
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Old April 18th, 2013, 08:51 AM   #8
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

This is just reality. If you have a sensor with less resolution why would you expect it to have the same sharpness. This is not a big deal and lots of professional video cameras use a native 1080p single bayer sensor like some of the Canon video cameras. Compared to some of their 3 chip versions yes there is a bit of resolution loss but not anything most people would notice. Sharpness is the least important factor in image quality and I would bet it will still be sharper than most Canon DSLRs. All Grant is saying is if you do want a little extra detail you get the more expensive camera. Not that the pocket camera is bad just that it will have a little less resolution. Not a big deal at all unless you need intense sharp details or are more concerned about numbers than overall image quality. I would take a solid clean video with the detail of 720p over a highly compressed artifact frenzy detail of 1080p anyday.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 08:54 AM   #9
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Joy View Post
BMD is also saying a lossless compressed raw is coming for the pocket cam. I imagine it'll need an external recorder. Grab the Sound Devices Pix 220i and you'll get dual XLR's with a professional audio preamp built-in, along with an external recorder/monitor. The wait is on...
As far as I know there is no thunderbolt port on the pocket camera so no option for external recorder outside of a standard HDMI signal which is not RAW. It is my understanding raw lossless will work on very fast SD cards
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 11:16 PM   #10
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

I am drooling to get this camera, for the specs and that it's within my price range. The only drawback for me really is that currently my canon t2i uses EF lens, and I am wondering if it's better to just get the adapter and use my EF lens, or purchase a couple good lens specifically for this mount. I would love to get a good wide prime with excellent low light capabilities. I've read the Tokina 11-16 is good. I am drooling over the new canon cine primes, but 5K a pop.. way out of my range.

Anyway, I am doubly curious about the RAW record feature, if/when it makes it to this camera, what SD cards will record faster enough continuously. My guess is something like the Lexar SD-XC 600x speed cards. They won't be cheap.. I'd imagine you'd want a few 256GB for a short shoot using RAW, I think 256GB is the largest they have out now. I personally would look to use a single good SD mostly for green screen raw work, or probably have 2, and copy one off in the field to a portable 2TB HD or something.

Still, the specs, at this price, are mind boggling. I've already recommended people wait on buying a good hand-held camera with HD or SD card for this, given what I am guessing is going to be far better quality video, and with a boom mic, much better audio as well, over a comparably priced $800+ family video camera.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 11:45 AM   #11
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

Lenswise I have the same dillema as Kevin above. Wondering if its worth it to just buy new lenses.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 04:59 PM   #12
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

I'm really interested in this camera for my cooperate shoots.
Shooting the BMPC RAW with some good primes, in a controlled setting or even recording to ProRes for this price point makes me drool.

One question, like was mentioned before by someone else, I already have some Canon EF primes.
Does the crop factor come into account with ALL lenses or only certain lens mounts.

If I used a micro mount lens like Panny, Olympus etc. is the crop factor still in play or is it almost a 1 for 1.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 12:49 AM   #13
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

The huge success of the C300 and C100 is now making the Canon EF mount more acceptable. With the huge number of EF lenses, it is becoming the standard. Cameras come and go, but lenses remain for a long time. So it is better to invest in EF mount glass.

The Canon Cine lenses are great. You can rent and try before deciding to spend 5K + in each lens. Renting would give the comfort to buy.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 07:45 PM   #14
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

Just going to throw out there the Rokinon Cine lens as a much much cheaper but "comparable" alternative to the 5K+ cine lens. I know they aren't as sharp as the 5K, but the quality you get for $350 to $800 for a full cine lens is fantastic. I think everyone would love to afford several 5K+ lens, but the Rokinon gives us indie film folk a chance to produce some good quality cinematics while not breaking the bank.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 03:42 AM   #15
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Re: The Blackmagic Pocket camera - not as sharp...

I'm also very interested in this camera. And not scared away by the 'not as sharp' statement. Since I'm coming from a downsampled and heavily compressed h.264 stream from a Canon 550D/T2i - so I imagine this will be a major upgrade in terms of sharpness and image quality. I mean to use the BMPCC as a bridge for a real next-gen cam like 4K Blackmagic - which for now is too expensive to keep up and running I guess :-P (too much data, would need a new editing station first as well as a new storage solution)
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