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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Alright so, Rob, the Blackmagic cinema camera, very popular. You pointed out a shortcoming, that I think is important to note. If I'm using the EF mount, is that active, do I have control over the lens? >> You do. And that's a, if you look at a modern piece of canning glass, there's no, aperture ring on it. >> Yeah. >> All of that aperture control happens directly from the camera body, for example, your 5 D mark 2 or 3. You're using that little you know, the aperture control right on the camera body, clicks through the different apertures. >> Now, the, the micro 4 3rds version of this camera, not an active mount? >> It is not.
It is completely passive, or as what people call a dumb mount. Now, for reason that we talked about earlier as an advantage for this camera, the MFT version, you can pretty much adapt anything. Nikon, PL, FD whatever it may be, and you can put it on there. But the thing is when I'm using an MFT, a native MFT lens on here, I can't really use the active ones, because most of the time the apertures is going to be set wide open, and because there's no aperture ring, I can't control. Now here's a fix. >> Yeah. >> There is a fix. You can actually take your canning glass or the MFT glass, put it on a camera that has an active mount.
Step down the aperture to where you want, don't turn off the camera, and then immediately put it on here. So you'd have to carry around two cameras to properly work with some lenses, which is a pain in the butt. That's why I like manual glass on this MFT. >> And I do find this weird, because the Pocket Cinema Camera is an active mount. >> Yeah. >> With a micro 4 3rds. So it's not like they didn't know, which retailer to call and say, oh, we need to order some of those micro 4 3rd mods that are active. >> It's almost like somebody was checking off the checkboxes, and they checked the wrong one. >> Now, now to be fair, they were released at different times, the actual MFT version of the cinema camera was announced around IBC of last year.
The pocket camera was announced, this past year at NAB. So there was three, four months, maybe some amazing development happened with MFT mounts. I don't know, but they are different, which is frustrating. >> I will point out, some of my lenses that are MFT, do have manual controls. As you're shopping, you can find these. They're harder to find though. Now, the other thing that's a benefit and a, two things that are a benefit and a a problem with this, this particular camera, is that because the sensor's actually slightly smaller than, a normal Micro 4 3rds sensor, we have a crop factor of about 2.3.
So it's great on the long end of things. You can, you know, that, that, 80 mill lens, yeah. >> Woo! >> It becomes 160 mill lens. That's great. Really hard on the wide-angle, end of things. The other problem is that, because we're having that crop factor and all that kind of stuff. People are not accustomed to the framing of things. >> Right. >> So one of the things, that I've found that's, that's a downside but one of the benefits is, there are devices that you can use, by a company called Metabones that makes this, this product called a Speed Booster. I've ordered mine. I'm waiting for it. I'm super excited about it.
And it basically allows you to, remove 0.71 time crop, from the lens. So if I normally have 2.3 on this. >> Yeah. >> I put this little adapter in place. I'm back down to a 1.6, which is about the same size as say, my 7D, which is normal framing for me. Which is really nice. And then somehow, through magic, it also increases the speed of your lens by about a stop. Don't ask me how it works, it's magic. You can find those guys at Metabones and the product's called Speed Booster, it's pretty amazing. >> Yeah, we'll be taking a look at that on a future show.
Alright, well, that makes sense. There is something about the Blackmagic cameras that I don't understand, for the life of me, which is that, you can't format the memory when you're on set. >> That is unbelievably aggravating. A friend of ours, I was looking on Twitter the other day, he had gone to Africa to shoot you know, zebras and elephants and all that kind of stuff. And he was hundreds of miles away. Now it is his fault that he didn't kind of realize this or check this. >> RTFM. >> But he fills up his SSD with this beautiful shots of you know, zebras and elephants or whatever.
And only then does he realize, after he fills it up that he doesn't have a laptop, and he can't reformat it. He wanted to delete some bad clips. >> Yeah. >> Can't delete those bad clips. That's one problematic thing. The other real big problem I have, is that, when it comes to battery life, the battery on these cameras are not great. On the partic-, on the big camera, unlike the pocket camera, the battery is built in. >> Yeah. You, you can't buy spare batteries. Right? >> You cannot buy spare batteries. You're going to get about 60 to 90 minutes of battery. Some people are getting two hours of battery.
I have not yet get that. And the thing about that is that, you know, if you're on the field shooting all day, 90 minutes is not going to cut it. So two things I've gotten around. One, I turn off the camera a whole lot. When I'm just, you know, between takes I'm turning it off. >> Yeah. >> The other thing is, realistically, you need to get a battery solution. >> And how do you connect here? What's the plug? >> Right. So it's, down here at the bottom it's a simple, a, a 12 volt. Sort of a plug right here and there's lots of like Switchtronics and a couple other manufacturers are making custom battery packs for the set that can triple, quadruple, maybe even six, seven times your length from the battery.
>> But if you have professional video camera batteries, these almost always have the ability to adapt from one format to another. >> Yeah. >> Sometimes there's a tap on the side. You get a cable. So I, I think what I'm hearing you saying is you're going to need more juice if you don't have constant wall power. >> Absolutely true. >> And how long does it take to charge? >> It doesn't actually take that long to charge. This, I, I would say, it's probably about an hour, hour and a half to charge the internal battery back to full, about, maybe a little longer depending on, you know, temperature and stuff like that. >> So, you shoot for an hour and a half, you take an hour and a half meal break, you shoot for an hour and a half. >> It's like a little siesta, it's, it's totally fine.
>> Alright. >> And I would say the last thing to consider about this camera, you know, here I have it on a tripod. But if I take it off the tripod, one of the things that you can see about it very easily. And this is a, you know, just a small little rig with a follow focus and stuff, is that it's a basic big square of metal. >> Mm-hm. >> And like we do with DSLR, all you want to do is kind of hold it around. Try that, you'll get tired very easily in about two minutes. >> And you bought the Mickey Mouse handles. Right? >> Yeah, I do. You do have the handles that you can put on the side, but my point is, is that this is not a very easily hand holdable camera. You're going to need to think about a rig and you know, special setups.
In this situation easy little tripod setup with follow focus and some rails. But if I'm going out to the real world to shoot you know, my next action movie, I'm not going to want to just use this top handle all around, or I will soon have Popeye arms because I've worked them out so much. >> Well this is very much like a typical cinema camera approach. You are going to be using supports and rigs, so for those of you who are just used to cradling the DSLR and going low and undercover. All of a sudden you're going to start looking like the red guys with all the attachments, because you're going to need them because that's part of this workflow. There is one thing, that I don't know if you call a drawback, but the controls of this camera are the touch screen, and on the back. Right.
>> Yep. >> It's a touch screen monitor. >> Yes, it is. Right on the back. >> And, and, and the cool thing is it actually does double as a, on, you know, on set or in field monitor. >> Yeah. >> Which is pretty nice actually. But the down side of that is, that after a long day of shooting and touching things, you've got all this grease all over your monitor device. >> Not only that, it is, I literally think Blackmagic went out to try to find the most reflective screen material they could possibly find. >> It's like a mirror. >> Now it does ship with this, this little hood, which is nice for something inside like this. I have invested, have not gotten it yet.
Hoodman is actually selling a specific hood for this that extends, probably, you know, eight inches off the back, that is much better at blocking light. >> You know what I want to see somebody make? Like, a hoodie. Like an actual, like, you know, sweatshirt hoodie. >> That just throws right it right over. >> That you throw over your hood. And it's long and extended with, like, little snaps. >> There you go. >> So, you just attach the camera and run around time. >> Yeah, I don't know if my wife would let me buy that, but anyway. The thing about this camera is that, it, it does have some problems. >> Right. >> And I think the pocket camera that we, we'll talk about later, also has some problems. >> But it's an incredible price.
>> It's an incredible performance. >> And it's producing beautiful, beautiful images. And I'm really hoping that a lot of the gripes that we have, you know, with the camera, in terms of, some of the software can be fixed, that kind of stuff. Other things that might not be able to fix until newer versions of the camera come out. Still does have pretty bad rolling shutter, just like your DSLR has, still going to suffer from some moiré. Now Blackmagic has announced the 4K version of this camera, that has a universal shutter that's going to get rid of rolling shutter and stuff like that. It's not perfect, Rich, but I think for two grand, the fact that you get Resolve, ultrascopes, that kind of stuff, it's going to produce some beautiful images.
>> Well, let me just lay it down for you. And this is how I feel about most pieces of Blackmagic equipment. If you buy the first generation of a Blackmagic piece of equipment, you will be buying the second generation. But the price and the performance is so attainable, that you're going to start to get results, you're going to start to work with it. It's just pretty much a given that, like, every NAB or major conference, they're announcing new hardware. They are always doing upgrades to the hardware. They're really aggressive on that front. >> And they, they really are. And they're aware. I mean, I think they, they, they do listen. Like one of the, one of the big gripes that I also have with the camera is just the audio connections.
>> Right. >> It's quarter-inch audio. Who's using quarter, like maybe a guitar player? >> 1970 called back; it wants its headphones. >> Right. Like when you're in the like, you know, you're recording some guitar dude. Yeah man, just plug your jack right in there. It's not XLR, it's not Phantom powered. Other audio problem. The fan on this guy is pretty loud, so I think that all of these collective gripes. Blackmagic is listening and hopefully whether they go back and retrofit some of the problems with the current crop of cameras or they announce new cameras, time will tell when we'll see on that. But there's no such thing as a perfect camera, and thus far I've been pretty happy with the cinema cameras that we have.
>> And I think that what it comes down to is you're getting great looking shots. We've covered the pocket cameras as well. You've seen that episode. You can dig into that if you want. Let's actually bring Jason Massey back on set. >> We've had him, we've been working on a music video with him, he's a great artist. And we're going to have him on set, we're just going to get one more performance, so we can finish Ida's music video. And we're going to put both of these cameras through their paces, so you could see the pocket cinema camera and the regular cinema camera. And let's see what results we get.
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