REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Blackmagic DesignPocket Cinema Camera
 
4.5

(based on 282 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (172)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (91)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (9)

93%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (143)
  • Great picture quality (132)
  • Compact (73)
  • Lightweight (67)
  • Professional quality (62)

Cons

  • Poor sound (67)
  • Lacks functionality (30)
  • No image stabilization (26)
  • Poor in low light (21)
  • Complicated to operate (14)

Best Uses

  • Movies/short films (121)
  • Documentaries (100)
  • HD shooting (97)
  • Travel (75)
  • Home movies (65)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro videographer (68), Semi-pro (59), Professional artist (41), Enthusiast (33), Business owner (22)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (225)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera

I have mixed feelings about my new Pocket Cinema Camera. It has lots of pluses and 6 major minuses. Here's my thoughts regarding the camera operating on Firmware 1.4.1 released 8-23-13....Read complete review

I have mixed feelings about my new Pocket Cinema Camera. It has lots of pluses and 6 major minuses. Here's my thoughts regarding the camera operating on Firmware 1.4.1 released 8-23-13. Hopefully, by the time you read this, Black Magic Designs will have corrected many of the problems indicated below via updated firmware.

I work in broadcast television production, specifically, TV commercial production for clients and ad agencies across the US. I shoot a lot of hospital TV campaigns and I wanted a small camera that could be used for cutaways in crowded operating rooms and other areas where a full-size camera is awkward and attracts too much attention.

Let me state that this camera, although small and "consumer like" in physical appearance is not a consumer camera. It can only shoot video, no stills.

The plusses: 1. Excellent resolution, the camera will actually do 1000 lines of horizontal resolution as tested on the 3 foot resolution chart in our offices. And that's 1,000 lines looking at the encoded ProRes422HQ file! I've never seen that resolution on a DSLR (unless you're shooting RAW).

2. For all practical purposes, there's no visible aliasing or moiré pattern interference in the recorded images. I've deliberately tried to create problems for the camera with certain fabrics, venetian blinds, brick patterns etc. The picture is very, very good.

3. The ProRes422HQ encoder is excellent. As far as I'm concerned, the best there is for compressed media. It's the encoder Canon should have used in their C300 & C100. It does require a very fast memory card. I bought the 64Gig Sandisk Extreme Pro card. ProRes422HQ burns through a 64GB card in about 35+ minutes.

4. The camera's HDMI output (and recording) is 10bit 4:2:2. This means no "banding" or distinct visible steps in a gradated sky or BG. The HDMI is selectable between a "clean feed" or with visual overlays added. The live HDMI also has embedded audio. (All current DSLR's have only 8 bit video, and Canon in the 5D Mk3 does not embed live audio, so external recordings from HDMI are silent.) The 1024 steps from black to white allow very good detail in blacks and whites.

5. The camera and its lens mount are very strong and made of CNC machined metal. Other than the buttons and LCD screen, there's no visible plastic.

6. The camera uses an active 4/3 lens mount for its "super 16" sized sensor. This was a good choice as with inexpensive adapters, almost any lens can be used on the camera. Having owned an 16mm Arriflex SRII, the hardest thing you'll be trying to find is a really good wide-angle, fast lens. You really need a 10mm lens as your wide-angle. Most of the older 16mm "C" mount lenses will vignette on this camera. If you go that route, make sure to see the lens work on your BMPCC before spending lots of money. Some older "C" mount wide-angles might cover the sensor, but have far less resolution at the edges. (Some company needs to make a 10mm, 4/3 mount lens with an F2 aperture.)

7. The camera has a built-in log low-contrast "film" setup that works very well for post-production grading. (The camera's "video" setting clips too much white and black detail for me.)

Now the unfortunate minuses:

1. The present firmware failed to properly switch the gain of the mic/line input so a typical mic level external microphone can be used. It currently works very well with external, unbalanced line level sources (-12db) The tiny internal mics pick up ambience when the level setting is 90% or more.

2. The camera literally "eats" batteries. It uses inexpensive Nikon EN-EL20 batteries. I'm sure the battery was chosen because it's the biggest lithium-ion battery that will fit in the handgrip. Without exaggeration, a battery lasts 15 to 20 minutes. You'll need 6 or more batteries. There's lots of inexpensive ones available on the internet that seem to work as well (or as poorly) as the camera supplied battery. You should also buy a couple inexpensive wall chargers for your collection of batteries.

3. If the camera sees a bright specular highlight, like a bare CFL bulb in your shot, the clipped white bulb will appear to be bigger than it really is. The same with car headlights at night. It's not as bad as it sounds. Several people I showed video to didn't notice the effect until I pointed it out. On certain shots, such as sun reflections on rippled water, it actually looks pretty good.

4. The dreaded "black dot sun". When a 14 bit A to D converter hits maximum input from the CMOS sensor (IE: 14 ones 11111111111111) the next step roll over of the A-D is to zero or (00000000000000). This effect only happens when you're shooting directly into the sun or possibly the open filament of a clear lightbulb. I've only seen the problem when I intentionally try to cause it. I believe the larger Black Magic camera has the same problem.

5. On a bright, sunny day, the camera's LCD screen is not usable. It's a pretty low contrast LCD and I had to use an external Zacuto EVF to shoot outdoors. Maybe some company will at least offer an attachable 16x9 rubber hood with eye diopter for the camera.

6. There are no VU meters or any other sound level indicators on the camera. This is a real problem if you're shooting a critical interview. However, an external Zacuto EVF or Alphatron EVF will display HDMI audio levels on their LCD screens.

Despite its low points, I love the look of the final graded image. The color is very true to reality and not very "punchy". At 800 ASA, it has a tiny bit of noise which looks very much like 35mm film grain. As I said at the beginning of this writing, hopefully by the time you read this, Black Magic Designs will have addressed the problems with a firmware update.

It's a shame the BMPCC camera was released before its firmware was ready, but that's an every growing trend today with manufacturers. The camera has a lot of potential.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

It's more expensive than you think

It's an interesting B camera for a well controlled situations (staged shootings). But don't let yourself be tricked with this $[$] price. To make it really work you should be ready...Read complete review

It's an interesting B camera for a well controlled situations (staged shootings). But don't let yourself be tricked with this $[$] price. To make it really work you should be ready to spend another $1500-2000 on it. First of all you need to choose the lens. BMPCC is very light and has no in-camera stabilization. It supports only those lenses with stabilization that has manual stabilizator-switch on them. Considering the 3x crop factor the one and only option for this M4/3 camera is Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Asph. lens. You won't need anything else (And anything else will be hell of a shaky). It's an awesome lens, but it costs $1119. Take this seriously. Without stabilization forget to use this «supposed-to-be pocket» camera hand-held. You may cut the spendings on lens by buying a tripod instead with all the limitations it brings. The battery life is ridiculous (20-30 minutes) so you'll need a bunch (5-10) of extra EN-EL20 batteries ($15 each) to run the day. BMPCC is very picky for SD cards (it takes only the fastest and most expensive ones) and since it's on ProRes codec (1Gb+ per minute) you going to need for example a few (2-3) San Disc 64GB class 10 45Mbit/sec SDHC cards ($70-150 each) and 90Mbit/sec cards if you're going to shoot RAW. And this automatically brings the problem of data-storage. You're gonna need really big external hard drives (2TB WD My Passport as example – $100+) to store your video. The in-camera mic is garbage. Be ready to spend another $300 on external mic. LED display is garbage too. You can't work with it in a daylight. Are you ready to buy some external monitor or electronic viewfinder? The menu is crazy. To change ISO and stuff you'll need to click through 5 steps of date settings each time you need to change something! You can't preview how the changes in settings you're making affect the image. You see where it goes? Don't get me wrong. I love the image I get from the camera but this camera is an early bird, it's a prototype and I don't want to pay $2500-3000 to be a beta-tester for Blackmagic. I've dreamed about this camera and tested it for almost 30 days in my documentary work telling myself the mantra «Keep it! It's not a problem to switch from hand-held to tripod…» but now I'm shipping it back. I'll better wait for the next model.

Reviewed by 282 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing Cinema Look

By Joel from LA

from Los Angeles

Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

The quality of the footage you shoot with this camera will make you smile. It looks so much like film. Amazing quality for the price! The only thing to keep in mind is that the batteries don't last long. You will need at least two extra batteries and a stand alone charger so you can swap them out while shooting. The blackmagic batteries work better than the aftermarket brand batteries. In my opinion this camera's footage looks so much better than Canon 5D Mark III footage.

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4.0

good buy

By pattathil

from brazil

Verified Buyer

Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

Started to use the camera. Getting used to the controls. The camera has a solid build and feels good when holding it. I have bought this along with red Rock view finder and frame which has an awesome sturdy look.
the battery life drops faster which is something to be managed with a battery pack I guess. I am happy with the purchase

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(0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

I really enjoy it

By Brotee

from Brooklyn NY

Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

I bought the camera not long ago and so far I really enjoy using it

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(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best Prosumer Video Camera since it's 2013 release

By AZ Camera

from Phoenix, AZ

About Me Pro Videographer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great Picture Quality

Cons

  • Dead Pixels
  • Limited Media Options
  • Weak Hdmi Connection

Best Uses

  • Documentaries
  • HD Shooting
  • Home Movies
  • Movies/Short Films
  • Travel
  • Weddings/Events

Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

The dawn of the 4K DSLR is among us. However, has any DSLR proved they can handle Full-HD broadcast specs? The 2009 DSLR revolution that took place, in many ways moved fast. So too has the specs among many of the name brand photography companies in the past 2 years.

What we have here with the BMPCC is an image that, in many ways, is "unaltered" from the sensor. At that same time, it's an image that allows proper headroom for grading and/or portraying a particular emotion. Sure, it's wonderful how the 13 stops of dynamic range may be found by all whom use this camera. However, the end results not being altered or affected, particularly by a major-brand camera manufacturers, truly creates independent and/or professional results. In my opinion, getting consistent results, requires a multitude of professional shooter/colorist attributes. This opinion is largely based on how the image is "unaltered."

This image is so good at what it does, you may not be ready for it. Hmm? "Log" or "Raw," truly benefits from a "great eye," patients, and seasoned professional. In my opinion, it is well worth being patient with this camera as the end-result is professional in nature.

So, as new DSLR specs continue to press into the next generation of DSLRs, while broadcast specifications continue to allude the major-brand camera manufacturers (prosumer camera market), it's time to acknowledge that this is a truly professional camera. In my opinion, it's the best camera since it's release in the prosumer market back in 2013. I am fortunate to have "all of the accessories," but even without, the BMPCC's image is so well balanced for professional use and/or independent user that it's truly a remarkable opportunity.

I've owned quite a few BMCC cameras and even one BMPCC camera in the past. The BMPCC appears to have a cutout of the BMCC sensor, but because it's 1.25 times smaller, it doesn't require a top and bottom readout scan while capturing an image... On all BMCC cameras, if you truly look to expose for the full 13 stops of dynamic range, you're going to find the "dead-centered line" in your image where the top and bottom sector don't capture light in exactly the same manner.

Thanks to compressed Raw, ProRes, approved media from BM, and a wonderful assortment of professional accessories from third-party manufacturers, the BMPCC has an amazing life span. Having been down the 4K 4:2:0 codec route, I am truly happening to be coloring 10-bit and 12-bit footage.

- - - - - - - - - - -

To negatives about the camera:

The sensor suffers from moire and aliasing (Mosaic Engineering offers a filter to remove aliasing and moire that also works with Metabones Speed Boosters).

The camera will heat up and stuck pixels will appear in your low-light footage (appears to be an issue with all BM cameras).

The HDMI port needs extra support; something that firmly secures the cable and the camera body.

The battery life / power consumption of this camera may require additional battery solution(s) to reach the standard big-name DSLR / Mirrorless camera manufacturers length.

- - - - - - - - - - -

The Positives about the camera:

Great image quality.

12-Bit Raw to a SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC!!!

Assortment of ProRes codecs... To an SDXC!!!

3.5" screen is sharper than the BMCC's 5".

Very reliable professional instrument that inspires confidence for both the camera operator and the colorist.

Active MFT mount that can be adapted to an assortment of lensing dating back to the beginning of photography and/or cinematography and to the latest!

Third-Party Professional Accessories (Mosaic Engineering VAF, Metabones Speed Booster, Battery Solutions, HDMI external monitor / recorders...)

Solid Aluminum Body with options to mount accessories.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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5.0

Amazing Camera

By TonyCubed

from New York

About Me Video Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great Picture Quality
  • Large Clear LCD

Cons

  • No image stabilization

Best Uses

  • Documentaries
  • HD Shooting
  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Movies/Short Films
  • Travel
  • Weddings/Events

Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

For such a small device it delivers amazing quality. It can easily go toe to toe with the BMCC 2.5k

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Incredible

By jordy

from New York

About Me Pro Videographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Good Image Stabilization
  • Great Picture Quality

Cons

  • Poor In Low Light

Best Uses

  • Movies/Short Films

Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

Really stellar dynamic range in a small package.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A perfect first pro camera.

By Jonathan Siglow

from Detroit, MI

Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

If you're switching from DSLR to a serious cinema rig this is the best place to start. Fortunately for you all the firmware updates are completed and the camera was finally finished about a year and a half after it was released.

First let's address all the best of complaints -
You can format cards in camera
It is audio levels
Focus peaking
Several flavors of prores
It also has raw (which you'll almost never use)

Problems that aren't going away -

It still has rolling shutter
It isn't fantastic in lowlight
The crop factor is a bummer
YOU WILL NEED A RIG AND POWER SOLUTION (it still eats batteries for lunch)
You will need external sound as the pre amps are total trash. Internal mic is for reference sound only.

Advice from a user of over two years -

Do yourself a favor and skip the micro 4/3 glass and buy the metabones EF mount speed booster when you pick up this camera (this will help marvelously with the low light issues and reduces crop from 3x to about 1.75x). Start collecting cinema prime glass at the small and big ends. The Samyang/Rokinon stuff works beautifully. And get a decent constant Aperture EF photog zoom lens for the focal lengths in between.

Most importantly shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. When you're done shooting go crazy with color grading because this camera will make you a better colorist. The codec lets you push your creativity in a hundred different directions.

If you're using this camera you're getting honest and real and organic images that are tough to duplicate on a DSLR (especially one in this price range). The more you shoot with this camera the better your eye for composition will get.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Camera

By Brandon White

from Spokane, WA

About Me Pro Videographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Good Image Stabilization
  • Great Picture Quality

Cons

  • Poor Sound

Best Uses

  • HD Shooting
  • Movies/Short Films

Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

This camera is working great for me so far! I shot a short film with it, and the quality of the image is amazing. There is so much that can be done in post with the color grading. A great little camera that I would highly recommend.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A Surprisingly Good Camera

By Chuck_late

from Houston, TX

About Me Pro Videographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great Picture Quality

Cons

  • Poor Sound

Best Uses

  • Documentaries
  • Movies/Short Films

Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

Like all Blackmagic Design cameras the Pocket Cinema Camera is polarizing. On the one hand, it's small, shoots ProRes and even RAW, but on the other hand it needs a number of accessories to make it a really useable camera (defeating the pocket-ability of the Pocket Camera), and the battery life on it is TERRIBLE. Further, when the camera was released it was clear that the company that produced it is a post production-oriented company. It had features an editor or colorist would love while it lacked features that a shooter would find absolutely necessary. However, to BMD's credit they have continued to develop the software in the camera so that it has most of the features that a shooter needs: histogram, focus peaking, audio levels, time remaining on media, and even the ability to format cards in-camera.

I have been using the camera for about two months now and it is stable and reliable. Most of what I have been using it for is to shoot some lectures and I have been happy with the quality of the images the camera produces.

Every professional camera needs to have a super power in order to justify it as a purchase. For the PCC, it's clearly the image quality for the price of the camera. For less than the cost of a high end DSLR the PCC produces sharp, high quality images recorded in a very high quality codec.

The PCC records a number of very situation-specific flavors of ProRes. It supports ProRes Proxy for the ultimate in record times. It also has ProRes LT for those times when you need longer record times and do not plan on doing extensive color grading. It offers both ProRes and ProRes HQ for when you want 10-bit recording. And, of course, it does record RAW (although I have not yet shot anything in RAW). Record times are surprisingly good. Using a 64 GB card, I get slightly over an hour of record time in regular ProRes. This is an under-appreciated element of the PCC's game. ProRes offers a great balance of quality, record time, and media cost. ProRes (and not even the HQ version) is suitable for most shooting situations. Green screen shoots or other kinds of shoots that will involve visual effects will benefit from the higher quality, but there is no need to fetishize RAW for ordinary use. Another really nice touch is that the camera has two record modes: Video and Film. Video produces a nice image that needs little or no additional color grading. Film uses a log (flat) format to preserve as much latitude as possible for post. When recording in Film the camera offers the ability to monitor it with a preset LUT so that you get a sense of where your highs and lows are.

Like every camera, the PCC has limitations and trade offs.The sensor is Super 16 sized so it won't give you that crazy shallow depth of field look that a full frame (or even Super 35/APS-C) sensor yields. The upside of this, though, is that keeping your shots in focus is much, much easier. I love the shallow depth of field look myself but I also like being able to keep my shots in focus if somebody moves unexpectedly. Make no mistake, the PCC depth of field is really good compared to traditional 1/3" and 1/2" video cameras.

The camera also lacks built-in ND filters, but this doesn't bother me much on a camera of this size. (That BMD's larger cameras also don't have ND filters is another thing altogether). If you are going to shoot outdoors during the day either you will need to have a matte box with filter trays or attach ND filters directly to your lenses.

This is a camera that works well in controlled situations but will be a challenge in a run-and-gun scenario. The camera is so small that it is difficult to operate hand held without getting that unpleasant high-frequency vibration that small cameras inevitably have. With a wide angle field of view this isn't a problem, but on longer focal lengths it's ugly. This isn't a defect of the camera or its sensor, it's the physics of small cameras.

The audio quality of the PCC is not great. Firstly, the internal mic is really only useful for syncing. It is no bueno. The camera has an 1/8" audio input but the preamps in the camera aren't great so I would not recommend using this as my main audio source either. This means that, for high quality audio, the PCC requires dual sound recording. For someone who has been shooting with DSLRs then this is business as usual, but for someone used to shooting on traditional video cameras with XLR inputs it can be frustrating because it's one more thing to do during the shoot. I run my mics into a Zoom H4 and then take the headphone out of the zoom into the PCC as precaution to not hitting the record button hard enough on the Zoom (don't laugh, it's bitten me more than once).

The biggest let down on the PCC is the battery. It's terrible. The battery that ships with the unit will last just long enough to check focus and other pre-roll tasks and then it will die. Seriously. I just keep the camera plugged in to power. If I were going to have to shoot away from power I would pony up for a battery adapter that I could attach on a rig (again, this camera needs a rig to make it heavy enough to use hand held). The unit runs a little hot (I often record for nearly an hour at a time) but it has never dropped a frame or reset itself.

The final element of note with the PCC is the micro four thirds mount. If you have a bunch of MFT lenses then you are good to go. If, like me, you have a bunch of Canon glass then you will need an adapter for it. If you get a passive adapter be aware that you will not have the ability to control the iris on Canon lenses (they are electronic after all!). I opted for the Metabones Speedbooster and I am happy I did.

Not only does it allow the use of Canon lenses, but it also offers electronic control over the iris (although actually controlling an iris with the directional keys on the back of the camera is counter intuitive to me--clicking the left arrow closes the iris and raises the f-stop). Even better, because of the magic of the Speedbooster (focusing light on the sensor) the crop on the PCC drops from over 3x to about the same crop as an Super 35/APS-C sensor. But the super-magic-Christmas-gift-happy-yummy-fun-time part is that the Speedbooster adds 1 2/3 stops to the sensor (hence the name). My 50mm 1.8 lens becomes a Stanley Kubrick-like .9. Now, I don't often need to shoot by candle light but where this makes a real difference is with something like an f4 24-105 lens. It's a lot cheaper than the L version and with the Speedbooster the lens shoots at 2.6. Impressive.

I don't want to get into a full review of the Speedbooster but I learned a couple of important things in using it with the Pocket Cinema Camera. First, there is a model specific to this camera--make sure you order the right one. Second, the adapter fits *very* tightly on the camera (this is a good thing) so you have to turn it pretty hard to get it all the way on so the pins can connect for iris control. Third, the Speedbooster has a pretty sizable diameter. It comes with a support foot which I removed but the outer edge of the adapter still extends below the bottom of the camera. When I mounted the camera on the plate for my Manfrotto tripod it was tilted upward. (Weirdly, I found no mention of this fact anywhere on the internet.) Ultimately, I had a little piece of aluminum machined with a 1/4" 20 hole to use as a spacer and that fixed the issue. (The screws for the Manfrotto are just long enough hold everything together.)

All in all, I am very happy with my purchase of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. I debated with myself about buying this camera for the specific application I was considering it for (shooting lectures) versus a fixed lens pro video camera. Even with the additional cost of the Metabones Speedbooster I came out ahead in terms of cost and I have the PCC for more my more creative shoots. Thumbs up!

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great things do come in small packages

By ajasonmattinglyfilm

from Louisville, KY

About Me Pro Videographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Amazing Image
  • Easy to Use
  • Good in Low Light
  • Great Picture Quality
  • Large Clear LCD

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Documentaries
    • HD Shooting
    • Home Movies
    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Movies/Short Films
    • Travel
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

    So there are thousands of in-depth reviews out there, so I will keep my simple.Buy this. Yup. That's it. But this. People will complain about that it's battery only last about 15-30 minutes. But who cares? That's about as much footage as you're going to get out of an SD card. So change them both at the same time and move on already.People are so caught up with 4k this, 4k that. And so was I for a while. But with the level of image quality you can get from this camera, who needs 4k, or 6k or whatever else the latest cutting edge movie has.There is one thing to note that very few people talk about. And it's how the sensor is cooled. And this reason is why so many people have different times for battery life. So, without getting into a bunch of science, it's basically this: the hotter the sensor, the more energy it takes to cool it. So if you're shooting for long periods in the hot sun, expect to go through batteries a lot more often. But that really isn't a problem once you know about it and work around it. Remember, there are a bunch of haters out there that trash this or that. And though it's good to have an opinion, it's also not a perfect world. There is no one thing that will solve every problem. And for $ price point, you can't beat the few problems that the Pocket Cinema Camera has. Which honestly, aren't really problems at all.This is a product that Blackmagic should be proud of. I'm going to buy a few more as time goes by.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Great little camera

    By Stephen

    from Idaho

    About Me Pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Great Picture Quality

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Documentaries
      • HD Shooting

      Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

      Very portable, and although limited to HD, the raw shooting feature is great. Supplementing this camera with a speed booster has made it a great option.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (8 of 40 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Piece of Garbage

      By Nico

      from Melbourne, Australia

      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Doesn't work

        Best Uses

        • Paper weight

        Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

        Camera does not operate as advertised. Cannot adjust aperture at all, making it completely useless.

        After testing the device with 2 brand new lenses and having 2 cinematographer friends assure me it's not working, the warehouse in Australia refuses to help, despite the device still being in warranty.

        Don't waste your money. Invest in a respectable DSLR instead.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (5 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great CINEMA Camera ......

        By Tom Tom

        from Hollywierd, California

        About Me Pro Videographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Great Picture Quality

        Cons

        • Poor Sound

        Best Uses

        • Documentaries
        • HD Shooting
        • Movies/Short Films
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

        I use this camera to shoot shorts, features, music videos and everything in between.

        The picture quality on this little thing is AWESOME!

        Now - read this carefully: THIS IS NOT A DSLR!

        If you understand that this camera, like all of the Blackmagic camera's are not DSLR's then you will have a remarkable time with this camera and the other BM cameras.

        If you are into cinematography then you will appreciate this camera for what it is - a pocket cinema camera.

        Audio is terrible, not the greatest low light camera, but neither is the RED EPIC ... see how I am comparing this $999 camera to a real cinema camera and not a DSLR?????

        Awesome camera for the price. I would highly recommend this camera to anyone starting in cinematography before I would any DSLR and I own the GH4 and 5dMkIII. Add a metabones speedbooster and OMG ... heaven!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Awesome camera

        By CreativeKael

        from Hays, KS

        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Good Image Stabilization
        • Good in Low Light
        • Great Picture Quality

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • HD Shooting
          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Movies/Short Films
          • Travel
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

          The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema camera is one of the best cameras I've ever had the chance to use. It's simple, very easy to use and shoots amazing video. And I LOVE the small footprint that it has. It's really portable for moving shots, promo videos and is really light.

          Out of the box, it's really easy to use, adjust features and adapt to my shooting style and needs.

          I work in a church and it's been a huge help to our video and creative departments. I would recommend the Pocket Cinema Camera to anyone and everyone.

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          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Good starter cinema camera.

          By Mike Crockett

          from Saint George, UT

          About Me Pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Great Picture Quality

          Cons

          • No Touch Screen
          • Poor Sound

          Best Uses

          • Documentaries
          • HD Shooting
          • Movies/Short Films

          Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

          This is a great camera if you are looking to get started in cinema. Note: This camera is not for taking casual family videos. This camera is for professionals.
          The good: The picture quality is amazing. With the ability to shoot RAW, you have the freedom to process the video any which way you want to in post. DaVinci Resolve Lite is a free download from Blackmagic Design that lets you do a lot with color correction. The program can be intimidating, but there are tutorials on YouTube for it. If you're not ready for a RAW workflow, the camera can also shoot in various flavors of ProRes 422 at bitrates as high as 220 mbps, which still captures plenty of data to play with in post.
          The active MFT mount makes it easy to get an adaptor to be able to mount just about any lens.
          Auto focus and focus peaking are good features of the current firmware that help you keep things in focus.
          The bad: No camera has a good microphone on the camera itself. But the mic on this camera is particularly awful. I have not tried connecting an external mic to this camera yet, but I have heard in other reviews that the preamps even for mics connected to the camera are also pretty bad. It's best to use the audio from this camera only for reference audio to sync up audio from another recorder.
          The screen is rather dim. If you're shooting outside in bright sunlight, the screen is hard to see, which makes it hard to judge focus and exposure. Third party viewfinders are on the market, which may help, or an external monitor would be a good investment, as the camera has a clean HDMI output.
          Speaking of the screen, it's not a touch screen. So you're stuck with navigating the menu system with buttons, which is kind of cumbersome. This camera has the capability to add metadata to your shots, but in order to add said metadata, you have to use an on-screen qwerty keyboard using the up, down, left, right, and OK keys.
          A lot of reviews will tell you that this camera does not do well in low light. I have found that it does OK in low light, but you will get the best color in a well-lit environment. However, in bright light, like outdoors on a sunny day, you'll want to make sure you have a good ND filter, especially if you want to get the blue sky in your shot. ISO ranges from 200 to 1600.
          All in all, it is a good camera for anyone that wants to get started, maybe shooting short or indie films, or working with RAW. It definitely takes some skill to master, but it yields good results in the end.

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          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Amazing! Absolutely Cinematic and Film Like

          By The Filmmaker CG

          from Saratoga Springs NY

          About Me Pro Videographer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Good in Low Light
          • Great Picture Quality

          Cons

          • Battery life is short

          Best Uses

          • HD Shooting
          • Movies/Short Films

          Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

          I am currently filming a TV Mini Series and this camera has put out images so incredible I almost can't believe it! The saddest part is too that my DSLR that was $[$]is being smoked by a $[$]Camera! I use Rokinon Cinema Glass and Follow Focus and the 1600 ISO is actually more than usable it's amazing! This camera isn't for wedding filmmakers but anyone looking to do short films, indie films, music video, etc. this is hands down the best camera you can buy for the price!!!

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          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          I'd buy it again!

          By MichaelO

          from Toronto

          Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

          It's a powerful little camera. It's got a few minor flaws ie battery life and screen resolution. But for the price, power (12 bit raw), and image quality you really can't complain. And if you can get it on sale like I did (with Panasonic zoom lens,battery and SD card) it's practically thief. Good job Blackmagic!

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          (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Wonderful - A Review update Months later

          By Mike

          from Pa.

          About Me Pro Videographer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Good in Low Light
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Large Clear LCD

          Cons

          • Poor Sound

          Best Uses

          • Documentaries
          • HD Shooting
          • Indoors/Low Light

          Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

          I have had this camera for over six months, and have been through a number of firmware udpates.

          Currently, the latest version offers on-screen frame guides, including 1.78:1, 1.85:1 and 2.35:1. It also offers audio level meters, the ability to format the card in the camera (exFAT or HFS), as well as the ability to show how much time is remaining on the card. It also has ProRes HQ, 4:2:2, LT and Proxy recording. These features were offered in "pieces" over the firmware updates since 2014.

          This camera DOES NOT have an optical low pass filter. Though it does not use line skipping from a larger raster than 1920x1080 like many dSLR cameras do, you will still get occasional aliasing and rainbow colour patterns on some surfaces. --- THERE DOES EXIST A FILTER that will work with this camera, but I cannot elaborate here.

          Like others have stated, the image quality is astounding. The images do come out flat -- this is normal. If you are recording in Video mode, a simple colour boost will do wonders. If you record in FILM mode, you will need much more advanced colour grading to pull an image.

          ProRes HQ is stellar, and this camera could be used as a B-Cam with much higher end gear.

          Others have already covered the quirks, I won't be redundant! This is a wonderful piece of gear for what it is, and I am happy to have been able to pick one up!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          4.0

          Great Little Camera

          By Connor_R

          from Mechanicsburg, PA

          About Me Semi-pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Colour Space
          • Firmware updates
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Shoots Raw
          • Small

          Cons

          • Complicated To Operate
          • Low light
          • Poor In Low Light
          • Poor Sound

          Best Uses

          • Documentaries
          • HD Shooting
          • Home Movies
          • Movies/Short Films
          • Travel
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

          Incredible machine for the price. The images and flexibility it produces are absolutely outstanding. Low light performance isn't amazing, mine had a bunch of "dead" pixels, but honestly it really doesn't matter in the end, they aren't noticeable, especially when compressed for web or DVD. Black magic have continued to update this camera, which is just amazing, it gets better and better! The sound is unusable, but you should use an external mic anyway. My only complaint is that scopes and sound monitoring don't go out to external monitors via HDMI, but I'm hoping that is fixed in a software update. Overall, the camera requires to be rigged up a little to be useable, and a bit of practice, but what it can produce is outstanding, regardless of how cheap the price tag is.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great camera

          By Peter M

          from Chicago, IL

          About Me Semi-pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Good in Low Light
          • Great Picture Quality

          Cons

          • Poor Sound

          Best Uses

          • Documentaries
          • Movies/Short Films
          • Travel

          Comments about Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

          Great footage. I need to get better at color grading to really bring out the best in it. Easy to use, not much learning curve. Works fine for studio setups and documentary-style run & gun. LCD is a bit dim but useable in bright sunlight. Needs external mic and/or recorder for useable sound. Manufacturer releases firmware updates frequently, often with useful feature upgrades.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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