Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k – one of the BEST production cameras – value/price ratio – on the market!
Blackmagic RAW has been added to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k and I, for one, am so happy that it has! If you’re not sure what Blackmagic raw is, you can see my video on it here:
Why am I excited?
Well, mostly because this means you are getting extremely high quality footage, and with all of Blackmagic raw’s compression options, you are also getting smaller and more manageable file sizes as opposed to the previous cinema DNGs. You actually can no longer use the cinema DNGs with the newest firmware, for the reason outlined in this video here:
That may be a bit of an issue for some, and I can see why. The DNGs are individual files (similar to raw photos, if you were shooting a time lapse). Because of this, they can be edited in the same manner as raw photos…because that is essentially (exactly) what they are. The Blackmagic raw is a lossy compressed video file with a sidecar (which gives it instructions). No need to worry about what all that means right now, but suffice it to say, each of the raw formats I mentioned are different, and not just by name.
Does any of this matter? In my opinion, no. I do agree with Grant (in the video linked above) that the DNGs are an older workflow and a little bit more cumbersome. Are you missing some information by using Blackmagic’s proprietary raw? Maybe? This is something that would have to tested. (let me know if this is a video you would like to see!) – For me, if I am using this camera for an interview, I would feel that the Blackmagic raw, or even the prores, would be more than sufficient. There are very limited situations where I think I would need to pull enough dynamic range out of my footage that I would wish I had the cinema DNG format.
Again, this would still need to be tested. Maybe the gradations aren’t smooth (picture a cloudless blue sky in some landscape footage), or even luma changes over someone’s face? Having viewed the footage shot on the Blackmagic pocket cinema 4k already, in prores, and also “playing” with the Blackmagic raw footage provided online, I am not overly concerned. I fully understand that by saying that it sounds as if I am justifying the removal of the DNG. The way I see it is that I would much rather welcome the benefits of Blackmagic’s raw, than mourn the loss of the DNGs.
Enough of that subject – let me leave you with this in closing. Is this camera made for a very specific purpose? Potentially. It has multiple applications, such as interviews and short films. It’s not a photography cameras. It’s not a “run and gun” camera. It probably wouldn’t be good for weddings (unless you factored in how to keep the device powered, which many people already have). One thing to consider is that in order for your films to looks cinematic, you need to have a camera that captures a lot of dynamic range, and in a codec that is robust enough for you to take advantage of it. With the micro four thirds mount, which can be a super 35 mount if you add a focal reducer, along with the amazing codecs, the fact that you can record to SSD drives, the included audio, among many other features – and at a price of under $1300 (which includes Davinci Resolve), this is one of the best “bang for your buck” production cameras on the market now.
I know that’s a bold claim. I’m comfortable with it. Leave me your thoughts in the comments!