Pro director reviews Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera

Back frontI received the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and spent a couple of days putting the camera through its paces around Manhattan. Note that this is not a DSLR. There is no still component. It's a straight up video camera for someone who has a post-production workflow.

I'm impressed with its latitude and its low noise floor. While not as amazing as the 5D in extreme low-light, I found the 800-1600 ASA to be impressive. The footage was all shot at 23.976FPS on the FILM (log ProRes HQ) setting. Shutter angle set to 144 degrees, and at all of the ASAs available. 200, 400, 800, 1600.

The camera's time lapse function is extremely handy and simple to implement. The camera builds the time-lapse for you and it's viewable in playback mode.

I filmed with a set of Lumix lenses (7-14mm f4, 12-35 f2.8 w IS, a 14mm f2.8 pancake and the Bower 7.5mm.

All MFT lenses. I did use a Tiffen Variable ND when possible to open up the iris. The magic really unfolded for us in color grading. So if you have a post workflow that definitely includes time with DaVinci Resolve, this camera is worth checking out.

I found it to be a fantastic roaming/B-roll camera. My friend, DP Norman Bonney came to the telecine session and felt that the pixel feel will complement RED/Alexa shoots.

The incredibly low profile makes it easy to get around with one shoulder bag of lenses, a cardellini or two and more than a few batteries. I do a lot of shoots where a small footprint is important.

Special thank you to Norman Bonney for inspiration, Ayumi Ashley for her colorful eye, editors Joel White and Luke Shock at Remedy for creative editorial and technical experimentation and my friend Jeff Wilk for being a patient model on the Acela Express.

Note that the RAW option came out the week after I filmed, so I did not experiment with it on this shoot. Likewise, I did not spend much time in the Video setting.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera