Soon we’ll have hard drives so massive and error proof that we’ll never have to worry about backing up footage. ever. Ok, that sounds like an organizational disaster probably.
Thinking about cameras coming out this year and every blog I read points to the Panasonic GH5 as the most amazing tool coming out. For some that may be true. 4K, check. 10bit, check. nearly S35 size sensor, check. But some things like LOG recording are at an additional cost. Raw is not an option though that is less important to me than to others. My experiences with the GH4 were limited but the low light sensitivity was so bad it reminded me of my Panasonic HVX200. Now that was a camera!
My thoughts are on BlackMagic. They seem to pull something amazing off at every single NAB since they released their first Cinema camera. The pocket has been very popular in some circles but extremely limiting in nearby circles. Now with the stability of their URSA mini camera perhaps they will look at a version 2 of the pocket. A super 35 size sensor pocket cinema camera.
I have not used the Sony A6500, but I have used the A6300 and this camera is a great little tool. The crop sensor is about the size of S35. It shoots in Slog3 and 4K! If Sony can put all of this into a camera at $1300-1500 Black Magic will make a pocket 35 Cinema camera. ProRes, RAW, 4K.
I’ve had a distaste for the Black Magic cameras since using the original cinema camera. I was tempted with the initial buzz of the pocket camera, but poor battery life and lens options deterred me to the mainstream.
Recently I had the chance to shoot a creative short film with one. The director of the project owned one and we decided to give it a go. Once caged up and accompanied by my SmallHD dp4 I could use it more effectively. The flat look that it displays was still difficult to focus with like using LOG on the Sony, but mostly everything was in focus.
We shot in RAW or Cinema DNG format to give the most flexibility in post. We were using a Metabones speed booster converter to allow us to use Canon EF lenses. Primarily a Sigma 18-35 and an old NIKON 50mm. There was also a POLA filter and sometimes a vaseline filter on the lens.
I have to say the material looked pretty amazing once we got it into post and started applying different looks. Even simple BM to REC 709 looks gave it a very filmic-16mm-Ektachrome quality.
My initial bias aside I think it is a fine little camera. Maybe someday I’ll get to film with it again.
Here is a frame grab with the temp grade applied using Sigma lens at 35mm.
This is a frame grab of the close up using the Nikon 50mm. Lit with F&V z96 light.
I read about these lenses in the article about “The Master“. They recently popped up again as one of those things to lust after. After the war the zeiss factory and technicians were split apart. Those in the east continued to make lenses under the brand Zeiss Jena. Another vintage lens to lust after? More information here: