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.