Watch the First Footage from Black Magic Pocket Camera

Black Magic unveiled their crazy small Pocket Camera at NAB earlier this year, and some of the first footage recorded on the camera has appeared online from director of photography John Brawley. Unsurprisingly, it looks pretty darn good.

Admittedly, it's not the most spectacular subject:

"This footage was shot over about an hour at my local market on Sunday morning. So yeah, it’s just home movies. I was literally grabbing shots where I could whilst I was shopping ! But, you do get to see what one man can do with a pocket cinema camera and a 12-35 Panasonic m4/3 zoom. I guess for those that like to shoot discretely, guerrilla or documentary style, this will give you a good sense of what you’re going to get. The same great DR and look has been inherited from the BMCC."

That aside, you can still get an idea of the quality that comes out of the tiny camera. My only complaint is that it looks a little low on contrast, but that could be from the choice in settings, which John chose the "FILM" look.

Does this make you want the new camera more or less? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via John Brawley]

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Nicholas Gonzalez's picture

Clean, beautiful image out of a camera that can fit in a pocket. Great times.

I want it more now for the price and the clean shape image. Now the size is down my ally I can mount it a lot of place car ect and not to big for helmet cam with the right lens.

Jaron, regardless of how John color graded his footage, the footage from a Black Magic camera is meant to be as flat as possible and offer the most amount of dynamic range to cinematographers so that they can adjust it in post until their hearts content. If you're concerned about the image "popping" natively, right out of the camera then you're shopping in the wrong market.

I believe that this camera will be hit amongst documentary filmmakers and could be a great B camera to any indie shoot, although I'm pretty bummed that there's no overcranking in this Black Magic camera either, if they could just add some higher frame rates, these cameras could take a serious bite out of RED's professional market. Maybe those Magic Lantern dudes can hack this firmware and get the most out of these cameras too!

Jaron asks "Does this make you want the new camera more or less?"...

What kind of question is that to ask from a single clip?

BDWT is quite right, you may be looking at the wrong camera if you expect "presentation ready" content right out of the camera. You say "[your only] complaint is that it looks a little low on contrast", so one must assume you aren't familiar with the intent of the camera, or the process to be applied to to the footage.

Tam Nguyen's picture

I actually like the color grading.

Looked pretty dam good to me.

John Brawley's picture


The footage was recorded using the LOG LUT, known as FILM on the camera. The LUT captures maximum dynamic range when shooting at the native ISO of 800.

The footage uploaded was actually graded in Resolve as FILM looks really really flat in comparison, but I wanted to make sure all the highlight and shadow detail would be there so people could get a sense of the dynamic range.

If I'd graded with more contrast, I would have had to sacrifice some dynamic range so decided to leave it looking pretty neutral.

As I'm sure you know, it's easy to put contrast into a flat image. If the image has a lot of contrast, it's very difficult to go back from that.

So yes, it's a *soft* grade but it also shows you everything the camera is capturing. You can season to taste more if you wish and that's the big advantage of this camera.


Raphael Baker's picture

Very impressed with the image out of this camera. Unfortunately, it makes my buying decision harder! This or the the GH3.

Shai Yammanee's picture

A very interesting camera.
I think I will have to try one out before I make my final decision.
I love the look of my full frame 5D Mk2 and I have to decide whether sacrificing depth of field is worth the portability that this camera provides,
Hopefully it does.
Having something this inconspicuous can be really handy in some situations.

i really want to see how it performs in extreme motion and darkness

...something like a concert or sports event

i want it now! When will it be on the market?

Matthew Thomas's picture

Seems to be quite a bit of moire/aliasing in the odd place, is that from Vimeo's compression?

Indies will eat this up ... Gar-rone-teeeed! ;)

Lets call this camera what it really is... My next aerial cam!

Marrickville markets never looked so good. cant wait to see what it looks like on a mini rig.. what lens's were used with this?

I think my expectation's were a little higher for the Pocket Camera and seeing the footage released made the decision that spending $3000 more for the 4K at least for me would be the way to go. Couple of factors as to why: Walked into BestBuys and saw my first 4K Sony T.V. and man I got to say this thing was beautiful, selling for 5 grand! I know, I know but just 5 months ago they were selling for $25.000! a year from now a lot less! 1080p was fun while it lasted but hate to say it 4k's and everything else to get them running at proper speed are becoming more affordable and more realistic. If you like more control in your creativity and have the bucks BlackMagic Production 4k should last quite awhile...

Andrew Conniff's picture

I like the look - some issue with the blacks getting crushed, would be nice to know if that was the camera settings or if that was from grading - (woman with the bangs and the knife sharpener) it seemed to come and go with the knife sharpener. That would be a bummer if you had to use auto exposure :(