Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


John Brawley (DoP) “So it’s time to look at some footage from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

This footage was shot over about an hour at my local market on Sunday morning.  So yeah, it’s just home movies.    I was literally grabbing shots where I could whilst I was shopping !  But, you do get to see what one man can do with a pocket cinema camera and a 12-35 Panasonic m4/3 zoom.  I guess for those that like to shoot discretely, guerrilla or documentary style, this will give you a good sense of what you’re going to get.  The same great DR and look has been inherited from the BMCC.

All this footage was shot using the FILM look.   I set my exposure by ETTR and using the 100% zebra to indicate clipping.  I had IS on all the time.  I had a Hoya ND16 on as well to keep me at a slightly nicer stop.  I set the rear monitor to VIDEO and then used focus peaking all the time.


There are plans afoot to create something that’s more *finished* in the way of demo footage in a more formal and drama / narrative style, but for now this should whet your appetite.

Its rough and ready, and really it was just something I threw together very quickly.  Interestingly, I had one guy actually recognise that it was a BMCC pocket and several others stopped me to ask what the camera was !

I cut the footage using FCPx and used my colleague Captain Hook for the grade.  He’s made some fantastic LUT’s for Resolve as donation-ware to make grading BMCC footage even easier.  I encourage those of you who work with BMCC footage to check out these great LUT’s.  There’s some great before and after examples there as well.

Enjoy ! ”


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

6 thoughts on “First footage from Blackmagic’s new Pocket Cinema Camera

  1. Were you able to focus and expose using the built-in VF or did you need an external monitor or loupe?

  2. Nice looking camera.
    Shots of the knife looked a bit over sharpened 🙂
    Now hope they bring out a large sensor version. An f1.4 lens will display the same DOF as an f4 on full frame. The 12mm f2 Olympus will have an angle of view the same as 36mm on FF. Ouch!

  3. Hi Les: The Pocket Cinema Camera video was shot by John Brawley, not by Philip J.

    JB answers many of the comments posted to his blog:

    I’m pretty certain JB only used the BMPCC as-is, without any accessories. But refer to his blog for details.

    The BMPCC reportedly has a high-quality built-in LCD, with false-color peaking and pixel-for-pixel magnify focussing aids.


  4. Hi Tim: Of course, Blackmagic Design already has a “large sensor” version camera shipping now, their original Cinema Camera. Its 2.5K sensor is more than twice as big as the 1080p S16-size sensor in the Pocket Cinema Camera.

    The same day BMD announced the BMPCC, they also announced a Production Cinema Camera with a 4K S35-size sensor, which has a ~1.6 crop relative to full-frame 135 (e.g.: 5DM3, etc.)

    Each camera can be fitted with a wide variety of lenses, from ultra-wide to telephoto.

    There’s no 1 camera that’s perfect for every purpose & budget. This is true of all cams, not just those from BMD. For example, shall I complain about how big & expensive fast telephoto lenses are for the 5DM3? 😉

  5. Correction: There’s a typo in my reply to Tim:

    The crop factor for BMD’s 3 cameras are: ~2.9 for the Pocket Cinema Camera, ~2.3 for the Cinema Camera, and ~1.6 for the Production Camera.

    I was incorrect when I typed that the sensor in the Cinema Camera is “twice as big” as the one in the Pocket Cinema Camera. It _is_ physically bigger, and 2432 x 1366 vs. 1920 x 1080 resolution before debayering.


  6. I have made a comment about BMD pocket cine camera elsewhere on the web subjecting a pocket camera to the need for the skill of grading the footage. (Pocket cameras are intrinsically popular devices because of their simplicity. And I do not ‘buy’ that simplicity cannot be qualitative) For that comment, I suspect (I may be wrong), my further comments on that cite were blocked. There’s little doubt that BlackMagic Design has sealed its name in the history of digital cinematography perhaps in the same manner as Red had done some years ago. I wish the BMD cine cameras particularly the pocket camera, could have come closer to those who don’t have the skill and the expertise of or time for colour grading. After all, not everyone who shoots movies is a professional videographer and, as a corollary, not every professional shooter is a colour grading expert. I have seen some footage from the first BMDCC on the web, which to my untrained eyes didn’t look better than an ordinary video footage from an ordinary video camera. it’s right that one can shoot with BMD pocket camera in video mode and get the ‘video-ish’ footage. Then what’s the fun shooting 1080p with a cinema camera. Why not go for something cheaper,e.g., Nikon D5200, which despite of its 8-bit colour depth and 4:2:0 colour space doesn’t really need BMD Resolve or Red Giant’s suite to give you good results. D5200 is pretty good with its own Nikon colours and if used with care, it can give you something close to a cinematic feel at least to my untrained eyes. Mind you, a majority of people who watch videos on the web, do not even think of those above average, supper duper, high ranking and high sounding subtleties. Most probably they will settle like me with the colours which do not bleed, which look natural and true to life, which are not saturated, and do not hurt their eyes. BlackMagic Design, I’m sure, can develop such a colour chemistry as Nikon and Fuji have done, which can be ready to go straight out of the camera with a little cosmetic tweak here and there.

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