OT: BMD Pocket Camera and lens options.

farss wrote on 9/6/2013, 2:49 AM
Thought I should share this with my fellow Vegemites :)

Ours arrived, yeah.

Shown in the photo is the camera fitted with the Wooden Camera cage and PL adapter. On the front is a quite nice Arri S16 11mm to 110mm zoom. We also tried a 11mm prime. Both performed admirably and a quick check using the HDMI output to a HDTV shows no sign of vignetting. We took a big gamble on there being none as the PL adaptor is not cheap and the only reason for buying it was to use the old S16 glass we have.

We also tried a modern Panasonics MFT wide zoom. In my opinion from a useability perspective the old S16 lenses are much nicer to use. The MFT lens has no manual focus capability and iris control is stepped. The consensus from all who viewed the image was the S16 glass just looks more "filmic". It's slightly softer than modern glass but in a good way. It flairs a little.

Just sharing this because S16 optics can be had very cheaply and there was considerable concern about using S16 glass with this camera and the sensor not being covered. So far we're not seeing this but these are very subjective tests, no measurements have been made. If anyone is interested I should be able to post some footage and tests. In the interim anyone interested in this camera should consider buying S16 glass as it's quite cheap. Just keep in mind that the adaptor and cage (which you REALLY need) will add 50% to the cost of the camera.



Steve Grisetti wrote on 9/6/2013, 7:26 AM
Nice rig, Bob!
wwjd wrote on 9/6/2013, 9:00 AM
if you could post some untouched footage, that would be swell! would love to see the quality of video strait out of camera.
HyperMedia wrote on 9/6/2013, 10:25 PM
How long did it take to arrive? I will be ordering BMD Pocket Camera next week when we get back from a trip.

Serena Steuart wrote on 9/6/2013, 11:17 PM
The adapter looks interesting but I can't really see how it attaches to the camera. . Obviously the nature of a MFT lens affects how compatible it is with the camera, and I've found the Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 works well. I'm not a big fan of auto functions and like to have a more direct input than I can get pressing an iris and focus button. The LCD isn't good in sunlight so I found focus and even framing somewhat hope-it's-right. In film log mode IRIS adjusts so no pixel is clipped, which sounds good in theory. My MFT lens does have manual focus (servo) so one can manually focus using peaking and by closing down the variable ND filter (essential outdoors) you can set an aperture using IRIS (roughly). Then using Zebras you adjust exposure via the variable ND. Really much easier using a fully manual lens (I've a set of Zeis primes), and better adding a field monitor (such as the TVlogic 5.6"). This is the first camera I've used that has only a rear mounted LCD for viewing and I don't care for the configuration. The BMPCC is a small camera attractive for hand holding, and hand holding with extended arms I don't find very successful. It needs proper support plus a field monitor, plus an external battery. I see it as designed for professional use, a compact BMCC. It is well laid out and easy to use, great dynamic range (13 stops) and good image quality. Natively 800 iso, has setting for 200, 400, 800, 1600 iso, colour temp settings between 3200 and 7500K, menu is easy to step through. Attracts no attention when shooting "stealth" street scenes.
If you want a clip to play with this one will demonstrate its dynamic range (department store with sun light through the rooftop atrium): https://www.dropbox.com/s/p0w5glqsvwditut/Blackmagic%20Pocket%20Cinema%20Camera_1_2013-09-02_1313_C0000.mov
I'll see if I can attach a still of the graded image.
Serena Steuart wrote on 9/6/2013, 11:32 PM
A frame from the BMPCC clip, graded in DaVinci Resolve:

Serena Steuart wrote on 9/6/2013, 11:48 PM
"Cheap" S-16 lenses is probably a relative judgement, I conclude after perusing the Visual Products site.
farss wrote on 9/7/2013, 6:27 AM
[I]"The adapter looks interesting but I can't really see how it attaches to the camera. . "[/I]

The adaptor mounts to the camera via the MFT mount (duh). It also attaches to the cage via two cap screws into the front face of the bottom plate. The bottom of the adaptor has a 3/8" tapped hole. I used that to attach the Miller release plate along with the 1/4" tapped hole in the bottom cage plate.

In effect then the release plate is supporting the lens via the PL adaptor and the camera via the cage.

The cage attaches to the camera via the 1/4" tapped inserts on the top and bottom of the camera. The top and bottom plates have small round head screws that engage the front edges of the top and bottom plates of the camera body so it cannot rotate in the cage.

The way in which this has been done isn't an ideal solution for keeping back focus and the lens coplanar with the sensor. Given the construction of the camera I cannot see anyway that could be done much better. What it means though is heavy cine glass can be used without fear of ripping the MFT mount out of the camera.

[I]"The LCD isn't good in sunlight so I found focus and even framing somewhat hope-it's-right"[/I]

Indeed, for a guerrilla solution I used a piece of Cinefoil. I think there's a hood available that attaches to the cage, you certainly need something.

John McCully wrote on 9/7/2013, 5:11 PM
My Pocket camera arrived a couple of days ago and I agree with all the comments above. The first thing I needed to do was purchase the most powerful reading glasses I could find which did help somewhat. I only have the cheap plastic Panasonic 14 42 lens as I didn’t want to invest until such time as I had decided if I like the image or not.

I like it, very much in fact.

In as much as most of my shooting is outdoors in the southern sun I find a ND8 filter is needed most of the time. Now that I have decided to keep the camera I might purchase a variable ND filter and adopt the technique suggested by Serena and which I have used effectively on other cameras.

I have a Panasonic 14 140 lens, the new version, arriving tomorrow. In due course I might play around with old lenses if I can find any at a reasonable price. Thus far I have found hand-held footage essentially unusable as the 14 42 lens does not permit image stabilization. I am hoping the 14 140 is adequate in this regard.

Biggest opportunity for improvement is a bolt-on EVF.