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New Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera tests (Sensor Blooming and White Orbs issues?).


Sanlitun, Beijing – shot on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and graded with Filmconvert from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

There are three different new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera tests and all three reported Sensor Blooming and White Orbs issues.

Newsshooter reports

Overall I found the results to be quite pleasing but marred by the presence of a ‘black dot’ issue from point light sources. These can be clearly seen in several frames of the video. I had encountered this before on the larger BMCC but was disappointed to see it on this camera too. Whilst this can be removed fairly easily in cinema post-production (harder if the object is moving), it makes life difficult for real world shooters on tight deadlines – who might have been hoping to use this camera for its stealth factor.

Also present are ‘white orbs’ which other early testers have reported. When the image has a bright specular highlight it is turned into a rather unpleasing white blob. This was less visible at night but still in several frames if you look for it. It was far more evident in the daytime shots from yesterday.

Also Personal View and Slashcam (German) tested the camera and found the same issue. It looks like this isn’t a Software issue…it could be Hardware :(

  • Jason


    • @Jason
      Maybe improved frame rates, slow no options, improved time lapse and improved art filters performance in video mode and external mic options, also video options via Wi-Fi or NFC…

      • Jason

        @ Youdidntdidyou

        We wish ;)

      • oneinapond

        Still only 30p, no slow motion as far as I could tell, stabilization is good and I guess some improvement in video quality over EM-5. Good glass helps but I doubt it’s ready for narrative. Photos are really, really good.

  • Camaman

    These video hardware startups are really a early adopters dream.
    They cream for the vaporware specs then wait for release delays only to deal with beta products that have zero resale value when they flop or get bought by a corporation.

    But such is our time… Very hard to make a high tech product, sell it earn and survive on your own.

    • One More Thought

      You are correct in that it is so difficult to launch a new company with a new high tech product. Tech products have gotten so good and so complex that indeed it is hard to deliver to the market a good finished product.

      Now what the demand for this shows is that the established companies are not exactly meeting the market needs in every way they could.

  • Anonymous

    The white orbs are back, and they look just as ugly as on the Fujifilm X10 and X-S1. In the Fuji cameras, it was definitely a hardware issue; their first attempt to fix the problem via a firmware update failed completely, so they had to replace the sensor. Seems like Blackmagic will have to have a serious talk with their sensor supplier.

  • Ma Defaka

    So, this cinema camera is a rubbish, isn’t it? Such a disappointment for so big expectation…

  • who cares about orbs when such interesting filming is done as Dan Chung shows?

  • Jason

    Video Software of blackmagic inside OMD EM1

  • Rather disappointing, but the thing about video (even more so than stills) is interesting / strong / engaging content makes technical flaws insignificant. BTW, black spots can be easily dealt with by software correction within the camera. The “orbs” are more difficult to correct, but are also less disruptive.

  • Brent Cov

    Brent Cov
    New! 4 seconds ago | Reply

    3) E-M1 with 12-40mm f/2.8 kit lens ¥ 220,000
    Converted: 1670 Euro or $2200 or £1423.51 @ 1.9.2013 prices
    is this correct???????????????????????????????????

    • Ma Defaka

      Yes, we are reading so in this web 5 days ago…

  • Rico

    One more Lesson to all those who “pre order” gear before it’s hit the real world.

  • Yikes. The orbs and black dots really intrude on the viewing experience (although I might have been more forgiving if the reviewer hadn’t pointed them out). I’m also not a fan of the look of that footage; colours seem muddy and (younger) skin has a weird plastic look when light shines on it. In fairness, that may be the result of the grading process. I’ll wait and see how the product develops.

  • markthetog

    Yeah the black dots are very distracting. Especially when they are in the FG. While I see his POV in the clip I cannot help but think that the scene was not well chosen to display what the camera was capable of with respect to color.
    Everything else looked pretty good. Of course a side by side with a credible competitor would be more informative.

  • derek

    to be honest,pre-RAW 5D3 era , I was kinda interested in this camera, but now it looks like a full generation behind the RAW capable 5D3 in terms of video IQ and usability in real life.

  • Koseng

    Just cancel my order. Every time when you have over-exposed highlight, e.g. light bulb, reflection…etc, you will get worry. No way for professional works.

  • Camaman

    It really surprises me how nobody saw this before. As in the first time they turned the prototype on…
    Did they just remain silent in the viewing room and hoped nobody else is going to notice.

    I thing replacing anything to end consumers will be far more challenging to them than the problem ever was to Fuji.
    Bad rep will also lag behind much longer cause people love to hate and talk about the negatives more.

    IMO they have 6 months max to sell and make anything and sell the company.
    By then something better and with super advanced IBIS and 4k raw will be rumored, and from a big manufacturer.
    Than it by by with their venture.

  • Anonymous

    Ths camera was still born right from the start.

  • Anonymous

    Rushing products out too soon is pretty dumb but by the time BM have sorted this out and enabled RAW and generally got the pocket camera to a state where it is releasable Nauticam will hopefully have a housing for it and I’ll buy one. As pointed out above content is more important than technical quality and anyway for all those clamouring for 4K it’s SOOOO yesterday – now you just simply have to have 6K.

  • tbunny

    There is no way blackmagic are surprised by this, which means they shipped cameras they knew were defective. Shipping delays are one thing. Shipping defective cameras is another. This doesn’t look good.

  • Eric Stemen

    *shrugs* I’m still keeping my pre order. I’ve already got the lenses.

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