Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Review – Autofocus, Low Light, Audio Tests

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Yes, it’s a cinema camera and I’m corporate event videographer. Can the autofocus handle run-and-gun production? How’s the audio recording quality during
interviews? Can it shoot in low light indoors without noise? I’m not going to bore you with the specs. Instead, we’ll walk through in detail and discover the BMPCC 4K. For the run-and-gun setup, I borrowed a Micro Four Thirds lens from a friend. Then I attached my favorite Joby Gorillapod. Let’s slot in the LP-E6 battery that’s included in the package. Let’s slot in my SD card. You can also use a more expensive CFast card in the other slot. By the way, the memory cards
are not included with the camera. Let’s turn it on with the power switch on top. Press the Menu button. Under the record tab, I’m going to select ProRes 422
4K DCI. This will be our recording format. Press the menu button again to go back to the main screen. Swipe the five-inch screen up or down to toggle the on-screen display. Tap the minute button at the bottom of the display. This will open the card selection menu. We have two cards in the camera right now and we have to specify which card to record to. I’ll choose SD card and hit exit. On the top left of the screen, tap the FPS number. Here’s where we select the recording frame rate. I’ll choose 50 frames per second. Now, let’s tap on the Shutter number on top and select our shutter speed. Let’s keep it to 100. Tap the Iris number on top to adjust the aperture. You can also use the front dial
to adjust. Now, the ISO. Oh look! We can push the ISO all the way to 25,600. We’ll test this under low light later. Next to ISO is the white balance. We have the standard presets, auto white balance, and custom white balance. There is no continuous autofocus. I have to tap to focus. Maybe it’s my lens but there’s a jarring back and forth before the subject stays focused. So, for a run-and-gun shoot its back to manual focus ring adjustment. Now, let’s simulate shooting an event in a venue with very low light, such as a ballroom. I’m going to increase the ISO level and check for noise. At ISO 12800, is there any noise? Very tiny. 16000 20000 25600 All I can say is WOW! That’s a video coming from a Micro Four Thirds camera and this is what my naked eye see. There’s a regular 3.5 mm microphone input and a headphones output. There is also one mini XLR input. I have a regular XLR to a mini XLR adapter which is sold separately. Plug the mini XLR end to the camera and the regular XLR end to my Sennheiser G3 wireless microphone. The G3 is my wireless mic for every occasion. Go into the menu for the audio settings. I’ve already set the source to XLR mic but let’s take a look at the other options. In a real interview, I will set channel 1 to XLR and channel 2 to the camera mic as a backup. For this test, I’ll set both channels to the same source. Test one two one two one two Okay, I’m simulating an interview session right now using the Sennheiser G3 wireless connected to my collar. The objective here is to test my voice quality. We are going to compare it with the built-in mic on the BMPCC. Let’s change the audio channel source to the camera built-in mic. Right now, the external mic is removed and I’m speaking about 1.5 meters away from the camera. How do I sound? The reason I test this is because the built-in camera mic is placed right in front facing forward. Oh , one more thing. This camera can be powered by a 12-volt DC supply and we can connect an external SSD drive via the USB C port. That means we can record long seminars like a true professional video camera. So, is the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K suitable for the corporate videographer? With a good set of lenses and an electronic gimbal, you are not getting a still camera that shoots video but a video camera that shoots cinema . What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts. There is a lot more to talk about and I’ll cover them in part 2. So stay SUBSCRIBED for the next episode!
This is Adrian Lee from VIDEOLANE.COM… see ya!


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