For those of you Blackmagic Pocket Camera shooters that are reading this – today is a very good day for you! After a very long wait, Blackmagic Design have finally released the new cinema camera firmware that unlocks RAW cinemaDNG recording capability in the Blackmagic Pocket Camera.
Many early adopters of the camera were initially upset that the shipping version of the Pocket Cam wasn’t able to shoot RAW out of the box (as advertised), but thankfully their frustration can finally come to an end as Blackmagic have now made the firmware available for download through their website at www.blackmagicdesign.com. For those of you that have been shooting RAW on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, or really any other RAW camera for that matter, you know how hard it is to go back to any compressed format after RAW – even one as strong as ProRes. Speaking for myself, even though the majority of my work doesn’t call for the RAW format, I still use it as much as possible as the image quality is absolutely unbeatable, making it hard to pass up.
So while today’s news is very exciting, it’s surprising to me that the firmware update does not include any other new features or upgrades (with the possible exception of some bug fixes) for the BMPC or BMCC. In fact in a way, today serves as a reminder that that Blackmagic hasn’t given a significant update to the original cinema camera (EF or MFT) in such a long time. Critical features like the ability to view your remaining SSD space and audio meters are still not present, and unfortunately these shortcomings do cause issues in real world shooting scenarios. While the BMCC is one of my favorite cameras that I’ve ever shot on (and lately I’ve been using it more than ever), the issues have definitely shown themselves to me in working environments and there have been a couple of instances where I’ve lost takes as a result of not knowing the camera was about to roll out as the SSD was filling up. And I’m certainly not the only one waiting. There are a whole slew of BMCC shooters that are eagerly awaiting a proper firmware update with no hope in sight, not to mention the huge amount of BMCC 4K customers that are still sitting on their pre-orders, waiting for the 4K camera to become a reality.
For now though, at least we finally have the power of RAW on the Pocket Camera and that is a very big step in the right direction. I’m just crossing my fingers we see a 1.6 version out soon with more significant BMCC updates as well. Here’s hoping!
For more on shooting RAW on the BMCC, check out my RAW workflow with DaVinci Resolve and FCP X that I used for my Sundance submitted film, Brother Sister.