After three years of my video shooting experience it’s time to upgrade my filmmaking gear with the purchase of Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Until recently priced at $995 body only, Blackmagic Design are running a worldwide 50% off summer deal and we’ve already seen the street price drop to $495 or around 480 EUR in Europe. Great deal for a camera that shoots RAW, 10 bit ProRes and has a dynamic range of 13 stops if you ask me. I ordered mine at Fotoshop in Slovenia and I’m looking forward to getting it in late August.

This time around I wanted to be prepared and do all the research before the camera arrives, as well as order all the necessary accessories on Amazon and Ebay, especially because BMPCC is obviously not a consumer camera and we need to consider many things before being able to shoot great video with it.

The main pros that made me choose this camera:

  • Excellent image quality
  • High dynamic range of 13 stops
  • High-quality codec, this camera shoots directly in ProRes, and since their recent firmware update it’s now possible to shoot in all flavours of ProRes in case you wish to prolong your SD card’s recording time (422, 422 LT, 422 HQ, 422 Proxy). What’s even more exciting is Blackmagic’s announcement yesterday that they’re adding histograms, waveforms and remaining time indicator with the next firmware update in a few weeks! Wow, finally.
  • Exchangable batteries, yes they don’t last that long but they are inexpensive
  • Impressive focus assist
  • Small size
  • Micro Four Thirds lens mount, allowing you to use basically any glass on the planet

Reviews on BMPCC

The reviews you definitely need to check when considering buying this camera (on a side note: I’m just amazed at how great all these video gear reviews have become):

Philip Bloom’s thorough and well done Blackmagic Pocket Camera Review Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

Black Magic Pocket Camera Review Compared To DSLR and Red Epic by Dave Dugdale

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera First Thoughts and Comparision by Matthew Pearce

Buyer Beware – An Honest Blackmagic Pocket Camera Review by Time Olsen

Small Bag Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera by Peter Prevec

The Pocket Rocket by John Brawley

Ordered accessories

I’m still on the lookout for one or two micro four thirds lenses on Ebay, we’ll see.

Field of view on BMPCC with your existing lenses

My Lens on a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera


Micro Four Third lens chart

Color correcting and LUTs

Shooting with BMPCC in log mode will allow you to take advantage of this camera’s high dynamic range, but will make your job harder in the post production.

LUT or “Look Up Table” will help you with the proccess, applying the correct color space and contrast to your flat looking video. Although LUT can be applied directly in Final Cut Pro X since version 10.1.2 (by clicking on the Settings view and selecting the right option in the Log Processing pop-up menu), a better way (as Peter Prevec writes in his blog post) is probably to install the $29 LUT Utility by Color Grading Central and drag the desired LUT into an Adjustment layer (a free FCPX plugin by Alex4d). The Blackmagic LUT is included in LUT Utility, but you can still experiment by adding some further LUTs:

Also, definitely learn the craft of color grading, a good place to start are the Final Cut Pro X color grading tutorials by Color Grading CentralPart 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 / Part 8 / Part 9 / Part 10 / Part 11 / Part 12 / Part 13 / Part 14 / Part 15.

One Comment

  • Uros, congratulations! I’m always fascinated to read your gear reviews, and this is a good one. The image is unbelievable on that thing! Can’t wait to see how this will make your already excellent videos better. I think I would buy one too but this summer I’ve already bought too much gear….. my computer’s graphics card went out so I had to buy a new Macbook and FCPX, otherwise I would definitely get this one. Thanks for all the great links, now I have something to do tonight reading through them!

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