Testing brand new camera - Blackmagic Pocket 4k!

Seafroggys

Silver Member
So I've mentioned this on my mega Groove Essentials thread that I was really starting to feel the limitations of my 10 year old Nikon camera that I use as my primary camera for shooting drum vids. It's limited to 5 minute videos, and only 720p (as well as limited to 24 fps, but that's actually fine as I prefer that anyway). My GoPro and phone cameras both do 1080p+ and unlimited recording lengths, but don't have the shallow depth of field or the rich colors that the Nikon has, plus no zoom lens.

Well, this past weekend I got a new camera, a Blackmagic Pocket 4k. Damn, this is one nice cinema camera! So from here on out, this will be the camera I shoot my drum videos with. So like I did with my Nikon when I first bought it, I decided to do a test run of my new Blackmagic camera of me drumming.

.....and then I realized, and this is completely unintentional: today is the 10 year anniversary of that original drum video! I couldn't time this any better. So I drove out to my parents with the camera, and shot me playing the same exact groove as I did in that original video, haha. I even copied the 'hesitation' that I had in the original video before going into the samba section.

The new one is just raw footage; no color correction, no lighting rigs, to emulate what I had to work with way back in 2011.

 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Nice camera! I almost pulled the trigger on it last year when I was looking. I'm curious if you are using your Nikon lenses with it. I also noticed the resolution is 1080p. Did YouTube down-convert that during the upload, or did you actually shoot at that resolution?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
A new camera-nice. You change appearances more than Lon Chaney. Long beard, no bead, short curly hair, long curly hair. no shirt/a shirt-it's all good. I really like the idea of playing the same thing. You hit the same notes but man you can see how much you've improved being more relaxed and natural it all flows really well now. A great demonstration for drummers (who never took lessons) to see how putting the time and effort in such a venture is really worth it! I keep wanting to jump on a book-it will help me reading better. I took piano and sax to learn to read music as a kid-no problem, but change up to drum notation and I stumble. It's not difficult but I can't just sight read it like regular music. I almost think it's a psychological . Great job all around the whole time-Seafroggys. You've been a real inspiration for me to do something like this-I keep talking but not doing, and your writing (really convicted me- I should have finished at least one book after all these years of starting stopping projects). Time has been passing me by. But I started writing again-not a novel, but other medical/science oriented books. Thanks for posting all the adventure.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Let us know when you’ve climbed that hill. DaVinci Resolve is deep. You may have to put the sticks down for a few weeks.

I've already been doing color correction and using LUTS with my old program, but like I said, I'm trying to emulate how I made that first video....which was literally nothing after it was shot. But yeah......Resolve has so much stuff to it, it's insane! I have been playing around with it a little and it's really nice......but deep.

I'm curious if you are using your Nikon lenses with it. I also noticed the resolution is 1080p. Did YouTube down-convert that during the upload, or did you actually shoot at that resolution?

Blackmagic 4k's uses the micro 4/3 lens, which is the same as Panasonic and Olympus cameras. I thought about getting a Nikkor converter, but the cost would have been the same. Plus because the Blackmagic sensor is smaller than the Nikon's, the picture is more 'zoomed' in for the same focal length, so my 18-55mm Nikkor lens would be more zoomed in if on the Blackmagic. So I just bought a cheap used 4/3 lens that's 12-32, which is roughly the same.

As far as resolution, I shot in 4k but just decided to upload in 1080p. Figured people generally don't watch 4k on youtube so just opted to go that route. Plus it would help hide the grain, I had to shoot the Blackmagic in 8000 iso so I was getting a decent amount of grain. Once I shoot a video using my actual lighting rig, I can turn the iso down and not have to worry about that anymore.

You change appearances more than Lon Chaney.

Lol, I know, right?

Thanks for all the kind words everybody!
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
As far as resolution, I shot in 4k but just decided to upload in 1080p. Figured people generally don't watch 4k on youtube so just opted to go that route. Plus it would help hide the grain, I had to shoot the Blackmagic in 8000 iso so I was getting a decent amount of grain. Once I shoot a video using my actual lighting rig, I can turn the iso down and not have to worry about that anymore.
I would like to see the low iso version! What I don't understand is how a 24 fps upload still looks smooth when played back at 0.25x speed. That should be 6 fps which I can play with one hand on the kitchen table without sticks, yet I don't see any frames in YouTube's playback for your 2011 video. I do see the stick blur, so YouTube must be doing some post-processing of it's own during slow-mo playback?

As for 4K examples on YouTube, I usually search for "4K drone video" to find them. Here's one that has a playback option of 2160p (the 'p' designation means the number is the vertical number - rather than the horizontal number [of pixels] - and 2160p represents 3840x2160 which is UHD 4K, which is slightly lower than true 4K - 4096x2160):


(When you playback that at 0.25x you can actually see the 6 fps. So maybe YouTube doesn't have the processing power yet to smooth large resolution videos.)
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Could also have to do with shutter speeds. I'm not sure what I had my shutter speed on that original video way back when, but I learned several years back that general rule of thumb is shutter speed should be twice as fast as your framerate. So if your framerate is 24 fps, then your shutter speed should be 1/48 or 1/50 or as close as you can get it.

It wouldn't surprise me if that drone footage was running at a much faster shutter speed because it's outdoors and it's much brighter light. That will make movement choppier and less motion blur.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Could also have to do with shutter speeds. I'm not sure what I had my shutter speed on that original video way back when, but I learned several years back that general rule of thumb is shutter speed should be twice as fast as your framerate. So if your framerate is 24 fps, then your shutter speed should be 1/48 or 1/50 or as close as you can get it.
That's certainly a possibility. I've played around with photography way back in the day when it was 35mm film, so I would think shutter speed would be related to still photographs only. Or maybe the video in the digital realm is nothing more than a large series of frames, each frame following the rules of a single photograph with ISO, aperture and shutter speed applied.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
That's certainly a possibility. I've played around with photography way back in the day when it was 35mm film, so I would think shutter speed would be related to still photographs only. Or maybe the video in the digital realm is nothing more than a large series of frames, each frame following the rules of a single photograph with ISO, aperture and shutter speed applied.
If you’re into algorithms, you may be intrigued by the realm of video CODECs, and the various methods of data compression (when writing) and decompression (when reading) done on the fly.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
If you’re into algorithms, you may be intrigued by the realm of video CODECs
Yes, but it's all about free time these days. The job search is taking all of it right now. LOL

EDIT: When I see the words "shutter speed", I inadvertently think of the sound of the shutter on a 35mm SLR from the 80s. Envisioning that same shutter action at 24 fps just boggles my mind a bit.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Video/Cinema cameras are very much similar to still cameras, just taking a series of still shots at a much higher speed. I, too, learned photography on 35 mm SLR's. Shutter speed, aperture, and film speed (iso) all transfer to digital photography as well.

Shutters still have to open and close with film as well. This goes back to the early days of science films (there's a reason why those old film cameras and projectors are loud.....it was the shutters opening and closing!) I watched a video on the science of it, so there's definitely a technical reason for it. I might edit the post if I can find the video again. And the same goes with digital video/cinema cameras as well.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
And the same goes with digital video/cinema cameras as well.
Apparently DSLRs, per a google search just now, keep the shutter open during video shooting, so the shutter action is NOT per frame as I originally suspected. No harm or foul. We're all learning. This does beg the question how the camera adjusts light exposure during video mode, but that may be for another discussion. I'm outta here now. Have a good weekend everyone..
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Right, but DSLR's like Canons and Nikons are different from Video-centric cameras like Blackmagic. The Blackmagic definitely has shutters.

EDIT: Unfortunately my D5000 is so old and wasn't a super popular video camera (it was a 1st gen DSLR that did video so it was before they took off as video cameras....not to mention it's limitations that I mentioned earlier) I can't find documentation about shutters for video, but you're probably right. In order to shoot video, you had to go into 'Live Mode' which is basically using the LCD screen instead of the view finder, which has an open shutter to operate.
 
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cbphoto

Gold Member
Three things are involved in a DSLR video capture:
Electronic shutter​
Pixel scan method (progressive, interlaced, etc.)​
Duration of photon capture (hdr systems)​
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Before all the technology and Photoshop it was old school camera and dark rooms. I feel like Robert Duval in Apocalypse Now instead I love the smell of glacial acetic acid and sulfur-y quinone smell of photochemical in the morning LOL. There was a lot of art in all stages of taking images, developing film, and developing images. We did mostly black and white back then for publications. The digital imaging is astounding now-can't complain. Photoshop was like WOW. No matter gels, stain, immunoblot there would always be an artifact-so always redoing crap forever to get a clean picture-now just erase.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Before all the technology and Photoshop it was old school camera and dark rooms. I feel like Robert Duval in Apocalypse Now instead I love the smell of glacial acetic acid and sulfur-y quinone smell of photochemical in the morning LOL. There was a lot of art in all stages of taking images, developing film, and developing images. We did mostly black and white back then for publications. The digital imaging is astounding now-can't complain. Photoshop was like WOW. No matter gels, stain, immunoblot there would always be an artifact-so always redoing crap forever to get a clean picture-now just erase.

Yeah I was in high school in early 00's and it was still on the cusp. I got an early digital camera in middle school but a lot of people were still doing film. I took photography my senior year and we did the whole dark room and film developing thing. It was a lot of fun and it was a great experience. Even if it was only the 'basics' I learned a lot about photography from that, and surprisingly most of it translates to digital.....even stuff like exposure onto photo paper is useful knowledge.

It's like learning to drive with a stick shift. Yeah, even if you drive mostly automatics later, learning how a car really works with a manual transmission goes a long way to making you a better driver overall.
 
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