So if you ask me at this moment ( we are talking about mid of July in the year 2014 ) Whats the best camera to buy for shooting movies ? My answer would be go ahead and pick up the Black Magic Pocket Camera right NOW ! Reason being very simple – the good folks at BMD just got up this morning and decided they gonna send some ripples in the camera market and they slashed the camera price by 50% – yeah seriously 50% off on the marked price of the camera which was retailing for about 995$ till now. What does it mean and how does it anyway relate to the post that we came here for. Keeping all the caveats aside ( which am gonna discuss in just a bit) – BMPC is definitely one revolutionary camera – Super 16 size sensor and will mount all MFT lenses. It’ll record full HD in 1920 x 1080 in Cinema DNG raw or Apple ProRes 422 at 220 Mbps. Can you really ask for more ? A camera which is of the size of a compact/point&shoot and it can shoot full HD and that too in raw or ProRes 422 and at a price tag which is way less than any entry level DSLR in the market which can take even close to decent videos in H264. What more can you ask for ? Over a period of time i have come across a lot of people from hobbyist to indie to even ad guys from other side of the world who have embraced and also adapted to this camera and put this into many places – some as crashcams, some as B roll camera and some even as a main camera clubbed with some top quality lenses. If you are really interested in reading or knowing more about it, the people at Cimea5D had come up with a very informative post about this a while ago > Rigging the BMPC . And if reviews and opinions is something which matter – then look no further than what Philip Bloom has to say about BMPC in a very detailed review here > BMPC Review by Philip Bloom .
Having said all of that, not everything is and tastes like a fresh cream pineapple cake. Every good things comes with its own set of drawbacks and flaws or limitations as one can call it. To start with, BMPC is a M4/3 mount which actually means you are talking about lenses here. Either buy dedicated m4/3 lenses or probably pick up a cheap 3rd party make adaptors to fit in canon/nikon glass on to the camera ( ideal choice ) or even go that extra mile by spending a bit more by investing on a metabones adaptors which not only make the lenses that you use faster by a stop or more but also makes the field of view noticeably wider which is a huge advantage considering that we are now talking about 2x crop sensor. Secondly the entire family of camera that BMD has come with have their own collection of limitations in firmware which everyone is obviously aware of since the BMCC days. There was a recent firmware update to 1.8 (?) which addressed a few but still you have to live with existing until they decide a way to overcome it. Lastly ProRes422 at 220MBPS – and here you are seriously talking about quite a bit of memory cards and especially the fast ones. So don’t go out with a 32gig Extreme Pro card and be assured you can shoot few hours in them like what you did on a Canon/Nikon HDSLR. Not that these limitations will force you not buy or not that this is the only camera in the world to have issues. If there is any limitation then that would be in you as a creative person in translating what you want with what you have than blaming it on the tool. Remember Canon 1DC will not make you a fantastic cinematographer over night nor does a 500$ BMPC – so capitalise on the opportunity that is available and make the best use of it. If someone really asks whats the best time to be a cinematographer or best time to get into filming – the answer is Now. So much of technology process, so much of accessible and affordable tools, affordable memory – again only limitation is the creativity within you.
Anyways signing off with the link to the BMPC camera link from BHPhotoVideo if you still don’t believe ( like i did ) that BMD have decided to slash the price by 50% – Black Magic Pocket Camera (The offer they say is till Aug 31, but do you really feel they will bump up the price or not launch anything new in September during Photokina ? Who knows 😉 )
Update : Price in India 42100INR (Source : BMD India Portal )