BIG ASS NOTE ON EXPANDED FOCUS FEATURE: John Brawley has informed me that there is an Expanded Focus option on the camera. Awesome! All you have to do is Double press the OK button on the camera.
BTW, I know. It's the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera not the Blackmagic Cinema Pocket Camera. That's gearbox for ya!
Anyway, it's an interesting little camera. Feels good in the hand (bad choice of words), and is very easy to operate. Definitely interested to see its raw recording when it becomes available but there's lots of info in the ProRes files.
For me the big pluses are the dynamic range/gradeability in such a portable form factor and the codec. That said, I would love to see a chart on where stops fall above and below middle gray at different ASAs on the camera (why BMD is using ASA instead of ISO is beyond me as we are all talking ISO nowadays).
The 14mm pancake that we used was crap. Very soft even stopped down. The dynamic range was there but the lens worked against the camera. For me it's about portability if you're getting this guy. I would love to test with some of the small MFT zooms listed above that talk to the camera and see how their sharpness and contrast hold up against nice primes and larger zooms. I've heard good things. Hopefully I'll get a hold of a camera and those lenses (with some ND filters), soon to do tests and show some proper footage.
With a RØDE VideMic Pro and some small zooms and maybe a couple of pancake primes I could see using this as a camera for small doc stuff. IMO it's not great unless kitted out for other types of projects. But, for me that defeats the purpose of the camera in many ways.
Some minuses with the current firmware...
1. You can't format cards in camera. Ridiculous. You still can't do it with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Not understanding how this can be.
2. No audio meters. Nuff said.
3. Aperture resets when you turn off the camera.
4. No 100 ASA option. Would be great for outdoors but maybe it's a dynamic range thing.
Also, battery life if abysmal. But, at least the batteries are cheap. I would opt for a handful of those instead of an external power supply. Again, building this out to a monster cam defeats the appeal of this camera to me. Spend 3K or so for camera, lenses, batteries and cards. Shoot handheld or on small tripod or monopod. Capture ProRes or compressed raw. That's the draw for me.
Use Coupon Code 1372431674 to get 15% off everything Alzo's store until July 18th, 2013.
Art of Writing Proposals & Budgets Workshop (AbelCine NYC - July 9, 2013)
Can anybody spot the continuity issue in this episode?
Notes: 1) I reshot this episode today as there was a big audio issue with first go around yesterday. Still some issuees but I think I have it sorted out. 2) As I was shooting at an f/8 for a deeper depth of field, the ISO on the C100s was set to 2500. Obviously that could be reduced at a larger aperture. 1250 at an f/5.6 or 640 at an f/4. 3) No custom white balance on second section of video. Just dialed in 5800K on C100 to warm image a tad based on color temp of light. 4) This is not a perfect light but for less than $250 you'd be hard pressed not to get your money's worth when doing certain projects. Know the limitations of something and it can become a great tool in the toolbox.
Next week... Atomos Samurai Blade.
Honestly, I 'd really like another 3-4 hours to work on this. I'm happy with it based on the time I had to get it done and the assets I had but there's always something else to change, try or tweak. Will almost definitely be swapping out the "Ken Burns" stills on white with the lamps in actual environments buT i didn't have that. Brian and I are working on that. Also, a lot of mixed lighting but I think it's acceptable based on the environment.
4th of July Week
BTW, I'm sure there'll be quite a lot of July 4th gear sales going on this week and cheesycam.com and oliviatech.com are always good place to find them.
Here's one particular one from Alzo on a new clustered LED fixture that they have. Used it on a job last week in the city in an office with daylight coming in and need to bounce light to match and create the key. I was very impressed. A hell of a lot of light for the money and if you use this coupon code you get another 15% off everyting they sell. Code is good until July 18th.
Coupon Code: 1372431674
Here is my friend's being used on a shoot we did last week...
I will do an episode on the light next week.
NOTE: I have recently posted all of my upcoming classes and workshops. Just look to the right under Workshops & Training. Also planning on a September 7-8 Digital Cinema Bootcamp in NYC and a Novemebr One Week Doc Intensive in New York. Those will be posted soon.