Earlier in the week, I was invited to attend the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Launch event in London. This event was kind of a big deal for Blackmagic, who had invited filmmakers from all over Europe to the Old Billingsgate event space in Central London for some drinks, mingling and screening of some of the latest projects shot on the Pocket 4K camera.
Some of you reading this might have been there, and if you did, do share in the comments below your thoughts on the films screened.
I didn’t know what to expect, but as I approached the line of folks queueing up to enter the venue I realised the place will be packed. After a quick check-in, I got my Blackmagic Design wristband, and I was in. As soon as I entered, I walked through a museum-like exhibit, where all the Blackmagic Design cinema cameras from such as the original 2.5K, the original BMPCC, URSA, URSA Mini and finally the star of the show – the BMPCC 4K where encased behind glass.
There are a few BMD reps with Pocket Cinema 4K cameras going around and letting filmmakers get hands on with the camera, and the venue had large vertical LED screens showing highlights of the film projects we were about to see in the adjacent cinema. Blackmagic Design had also invited the filmmakers who shot these projects, some of whom had travelled from quite afar.
It was quite reassuring to see BMPCC 4K footage projected on a cinema screen; all the footage held really well in my opinion, even the low-light stuff shot at high ISO, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it on a commercial or narrative project destined for cinema exhibition. In case you didn’t make it to the event, you can see the four projects that were screened in the paragraphs below.
“Life from the Ocean” by Oli Brotherhood and Victoria Mantuas // Mumbo Vlogs
The mini documentary focused on the life of a fisherman living on the rural coast of the Philippines. All shot on the BMPCC 4K, Oli chose to use the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 Art lens, the Sigma 50-100mm f1.8, and the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 all mated to a Metabones EF to MFT Speedbooster.
…The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K was the obvious choice for a shoot like this, as we were working in challenging environments, with no access to mains electricity, where mobility and keeping your kit light was essential. Certain locations (Such as Desiderio’s tiny and mildly unstable fishing boat) would have been nearly impossible to shoot in with conventional cinema cameras, but the size and weight of the Pocket 4K meant that we were able to capture it, and the camera doesn’t compromise when it comes to quality… said Oli.
Garth shot a mixture of ProRes and RAW at ISO 400, 1250 and 3200. Lenses used were the Olympus 12-40mm M.Zuiko f/2.8 lens and Sigma 18-35mm. He recorded on the AngelBird SSD2GO 512GB and also used the DJI Ronin-S stabilizer.
“Lost Generation” by Directors Duo
Filmmakers Benjamin Kratzin and Christopher Schlierf (the Directors Duo) shot ‘Lost Generation’ in LA and cast Johannes Bartl. All shot on the Blackmagic Pocket 4K in RAW with the Olympus 12-40mm M.Zuiko f/2.8 lens and Voigtlander Primes; footage was captured using the AngelBird SSD2GO 512GB, and the DJI Ronin-S was used to smooth the footage.
“Fabrizio & Omayra” by Hugo van Dijke and Yael Ovadia // the Dreamers
The Dreamers filmed a wedding film in the harsh wintery conditions of Norway with Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. This was a really well shot wedding film, which you check out this link to see it on the BMD official website.
Overall, it was a really chill event and a great evening at a smashing venue. It didn’t feel “sales” oriented at all, as sometimes events like these can feel a bit too corporate filled with boring sales presentations, but this launch party was none of that. This was basically a “no pressure” come and see some great footage shot on the Pocket 4K camera on a big screen, grab some drinks, and chat with the people who shot the footage, as well as meet fellow filmmakers.
Thanks to Blackmagic Design for the invite. It was nice to catch-up with some industry friends I hadn’t seen in a while and also meet new filmmakers.
I hear the BMPCC 4K shipments in the UK are slowly starting to trickle as the first batch has already gone, but the BMD reps I spoke to assured me they are working hard to get pre-orders out the door, however as there are thousands of pre-orders worldwide depending on your region and when you pre-ordered it can take a while.
I pre-ordered mine recently from a major UK dealer and I’m realistically expecting a November delivery at best. To see more BMPCC 4K footage head over to Blackmagic Design.
Have you received your BMPCC 4K pre-order yet? Not sold yet? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Those thinking about getting one can use the links below.