New Blackmagic Production Camera Footage

The other day we saw the first footage out of the Blackmagic Design's 4K Production Camera shot by Grant Petty.  Now we have more!  This time shot by Captain Hook, a cinematographer out of New Zealand.  Many of you may remember Captain Hook as the one who made his Blackmagic Cinema Camera LUT available for a small donation:  http://www.captainhook.co.nz/blackmagic-cinema-camera-lut/  

Now, he shares this stunning footage he shot with the BMPC 4K camera.  Plus, he shares lens information and his initial thoughts about the camera and how it fits in the Blackmagic line-up.  

Blackmagic Production Camera 4K – Beta Footage from A Couple Of Night Owls on Vimeo.

Here is what he has to say about the camera.  This can be found in his description on vimeo, but I share here to make it easier for you.

         I went out and grabbed footage like with the previous two cameras just to see how it did 'out in the wild', but i also arranged with my good friends Tanya and Lance from The Storyboard to bring the camera onto a music video they were working on with me as 2nd Unit DP. Kent Belcher was the main DP for this shoot and a Red MX was to serve as 'A Cam' with me operating the 4K as 'B Cam'. After the first couple of shots of the shoot, Kent and Tarn (Director) were loving the 4K and it basically became 'A Cam'. 😀 The shots i've included in this video are random clips i picked myself and don't reflect the edit or final video (still in progress as i write this). What was interesting to me is that this was a night shoot and i had the camera set at ASA400 (had already tested at night with 800 which is at the end of this video) and the red was at 1200 yet Kent and I were both surprised the Blackmagic looked brighter on the monitors!

       The rest (and bulk) of the footage as i said is just me grabbing footage when i had the chance (busy time of year for everyone!), but i'm still impressed with this camera. I didn't think global shutter would be a big deal for me, but i LOVE the motion from this camera, and the colour is what i would expect from BMD (i REALLY like it).

        Honestly i kind of went into this thinking i probably wouldn't like this camera as much as the other two, but right now i like it more! The images are really nice, really really nice. This time the BMDFilm coming from the camera has a lot more contrast and saturation than the previous two, so you don't have to do anywhere near as much to grade it (but yes i already have a LUT i've made/been using with it to speed things up even more). I went for quite a contrasty/saturated grade with most of this to see if i could push it 'there' (combined with my LUT i made it for it). I think it holds up really well.

       I can see people LOVING the images from this camera, i know i do. Thanks again to Blackmagic and the hardworking team there for everything they're doing and for allowing me to be a part of the process, it's truly appreciated.  All footage was shot Prores 4K. I don't normally say this, but even compressing this video for upload was a disappointment compared to the Prores from Resolve. You need to play with files from this camera yourself, vimeo truly is the great equalizer and i can't wait for the H265 replacement to H264. An UHD version/link will be coming soon.

Lenses used: Sigma 18-35/1.8 – Canon 35/1.4L – Canon 50/1.2L – Canon 85/1.2L (YES IT WORKS!!!) – Canon 100/2.8L – Canon 70-200/2.8L IS

Night Shots

Night shots are where a camera shows it's real capability, and while these night shots are shot in a city that has a fair amount of ambient light, I think these show a nice amount of detail in the shadows.  Grant Petty is calling this camera “not a low-light camera,” but for what I'm seeing it looks like the camera will perform in most night situations.  According to Captain Hook, these frames were shot at 800ISO, which is where I tend to keep my BMCC when shooting night footage.  There are the few times I've shot at 1600ISO, but only when I really needed it.  Like the driving shots in this :30 spot I did a couple of months back:

This is to help you compare the two, and it looks like the BMPC and the BMCC are not too far away from each other.  That being said, I have to see what the BMPC can do when pushed to the extreme.  

Is That A Sun Spot

It looks like a sun spot, but I cannot say for sure if it is one or not.  Now, there has been a problem with sun spots in Blackmagic Cameras before, and I either find a way around it or paint it out in post.  Remember, this is a Beta Camera, not a production camera, so it may have a few things needing improving.

Either way, the footage I've seen from this camera looks amazing.  Especially at this price point!  While the 4K BMPC may not have the low-light capabilities of its older brother, the BMCC, it appears it may go well with it.  A stop less of dynamic range… I'll take it in order to have the Global Shutter.  There were many times when the BMCC rolling shutter has forced me to find a work around.  It'll be nice not have work around it in the future.  Personally, 4K… in a camera this small… at this price?  Oh, I cannot wait to shoot with it and get back to a S35 sized sensor.  Now, I just need a faster computer. 

What To See Next?

I'm with Shane Hurlbut.  i want to see more.  I want camera tests that push the limits of the camera to see where it may, or may not, begin to fall apart.  I think Captain Hook has some amazing footage, and now I want more.  

Here are the links for Captain Hook's video and Grant Petty's post:


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Brian Hallett, is an award winning cameraman, editor, and producer. He has shot everything from Network broadcast news, promotional image campaigns, music videos, short films, and documentaries. Check out his reel at hallett-brian.com