Simon Wyndham answers critics of his positive review of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera as an adventure sports shooter.
My review of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera caused a bit of a stir in some circles, with some suggesting that I was wrong to say that the BMPCC could be used to shoot adventure sports or fast moving action. It was an emotive discussion, and understandably people have their own firm views on the subject.
My personal experience, when it comes to the idea that the BMPCC shouldn't be used for shooting adventure sports, was that nothing could be further from the truth. The video I produced was a short athlete profile video for whitewater kayaker and extreme kayak racer Eddy Mead, as he entered the Extreme Kayak Race Championship at the Sickline in Austria.
It was shot using the BMPCC in Prores log film mode, before being edited and finished in FCP X. Now, regardless of viewers' personal opinions of the film itself, I hope that it will show that the BMPCC is more than capable of filming fast action sports, and is even capable of performing moderate speed pans to follow people without skew being an issue. One shot in particular: when Eddy enters the registration office, I pan to follow him – this sort of shot was suggested to be an impossibility. As can be seen from the video, rolling shutter in such shots simply isn’t an issue.
If I had one criticism of the camera, it is that you need to be careful of mixed colour temperature settings. With the extremely mixed lighting conditions in the gorge, it was impossible to nail 100% and the BMPCC is not very forgiving of this in Prores modes.