I was privileged to receive the new Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K ahead of official release to film! I will be filming a lot of kpop content with this camera. This time, a little fashion shoot with model Bonnie Lee in Seoul! (Instagram @iambonnielee)
RAW 3:1 4K DCI
24fps Project / 60fps Off-Speed
ISO 400, 1250, 3200, 5000
Samsung T5 SSD through USB-C
Metabones EF to MFT T Speedbooster XL 0.64x
Shot with Contax Zeiss MM primes: 35/f2.8, 50/f1.4, 85/f1.4, 135/f2.8 + Hoya Pro NDs
95% Ronin-S / 5% handheld.
Naturally, when footage of a new camera is out, there is a lot of technical talk as everybody is curious about the camera’s performance. I was convinced about that during my first shot with this camera called “Seoul Zoo”. My mission this time was whether I can use this camera practically in my work, which mainly consists of fashion and music videos. I wanted to see how the image looks when paired with a set of world class vintage primes such as the Contax Zeiss. In addition, I wanted to test how the camera works with stabilizers, in particular the recently released DJI Ronin-S.
I wanted an environment that is colorful but at the same time organic. I have chosen an abandoned theme park in Seoul. The various rides offered a variety of colors and interesting scenery but at the same time, the decades-long decay offered a beautiful and organic color palette. I wanted the model to pop-out of the colorful environment so a white bodysuit was chosen for that purpose. The sunglasses were placed on the model’s head so there is a reference for reflective highlights.
During the first shots, it was mostly cloudy but still very bright in a hot and humid day. After the stairs part, it was sunset time which favors a lot the skin look and color. I shot against the sun hunting for the aesthetic Contax Zeiss flares at the same time stressing the dynamic range of the camera. All shots up to that were at ISO400. I used sparklers in the dark scenary in order to illuminate the model and check how the camera responds to low-light conditions. I have used ISO1250 to 3200 for those shots and they were shot right after the sunset. I was really surprised that I could still see the sky and many background details in-camera where I could barely see where I was stepping with my eyes. The shots came out clean without and without noise. Finally, the last two shots were taken at a later time and were illuminated only by the hanging Christmas lights and signs. They were shot at ISO5000 and had minimal noise for such a high ISO.
In this shot I have used the Metabones 0.64x Speedbooster. I have only used the 35mm slightly in the beginning then the rest of the shot was mainly on the 50mm except some quick handheld shots with the 85mm and 135mm. Being used to Super35 “crop” factors it was very interesting to see this wider FOV at 1.21x “crop” related to Full Frame photography cameras. Therefore my lenses were much wider and with a shallower FOV than what I am used, something that was very welcome.
I definitely prefer the look of the Contax Zeiss lenses on this camera compared to the Lumix 12-35 that I have used at my “Seoul Zoo” shot. They have rendered motion in a very pleasant way and there is more contrast detail and color definition than my previous shot and they lack the modern digital character that the Lumix had. While they are sharp, they are also organic and of course offer what is in my opinion one of the most beautiful out of focus and bokeh renderings. I feel that pairing the Pocket 4K with such lenses results in a very pleasant and organic look.
There are several ways to mount the Pocket 4K camera on DJI’s Ronin-S. I have mounted the camera using an extra plate and I could use my ~300gr “gimbal” lenses just fine. For heavier lenses counter weights should be used. Alternatively the camera can be mounted upside down for no need of extra plate or counter weights. Finally, using the Ronin-S was a great way to test the rolling shutter of the camera. I have found it in par with its big brother, the Ursa Mini Pro and not disturbing at all.
This time I have used a single Sony BP-U60 battery via a dummy LP-E6 adaptor. The camera was on for about 3 hours and consumed about 50% of the battery. This battery offers 114.5Wh vs 13Wh of the Canon LP-E6 batteries. I estimate an average 14Wh battery consumption. Do mind that the screen brightness was at 100% and there was an SSD connected via USB-C.
Normally in this kind of fashion shots, I would use some softening technique for the face but as I understand people are curious to see how the image of the camera without any processing so I left it intact.
Thank you for watching this video and reading this information! I will be posting further footage and tests as I keep working with the camera more and more and discover its perks and peculiarities.