The Blackmagic Design Production Camera offers great value at its price point for a 4-K camera. But it’s not fully equipped ‘out of the box’ to function in the field. Additional basic accessories are needed such as external power and audio mic preamps on top of those that tailor the camera to individual shooting needs. This add-on gear for our BMPC-4K includes accessories from vendors such as Zacuto, Viewfactor Studios, Juiced Link, Sennheiser, and SmallHD. Our rigging in the photo below includes the following additional accessories…
BMPC-4K Accessories For Baseball B-Roll
In the above photo notice the follow focus gear from Zacuto. This type of gear, with the metal stops attached to each other (to lock the strap together), is currently being upstaged by new 3-D printed designs that slip onto your lens’ focus barrel. Notice in the photo below one of these 3-D printed follow focus gears on the Canon 24-105mm zoom lens. The gears are wider and the fit is nice and tight with no spin or movement when it’s in position on the focus barrel. We’ve really enjoyed these new 3-D printed follow focus gears and will be outfitting additional lenses with them. You can find more info about these gears at the Follow Focus Gears website. They offer gears for multiple lens manufacturers.
Stay tuned for more blog posts on additional BMPC-4K accessories.
Neutral density filters are a must-have item in any cinematographer or photographer’s toolkit. Digital cinema camera sensors are optimized at higher ISOs vs a traditional DSLR sensor. These can be 400 and 800 ISO with the Blackmagic Design Cinema Cameras. As a result, if you’re shooting outside on a bright sunny day you’re going to need ND with a BMD camera. They not only help you get your aperture to where you need it to be for artistic and aesthetic purposes but also allow you to expose the picture properly without it going into clip on those sunny exteriors. These sensors are also prone to what’s known as IR contamination when higher levels of neutral density filters are used. This infrared contamination can wreak havoc on the color balance of your picture… especially in the blacks (ie: black clothing). The darker black tones in your picture will tend to shift to brown and skin tone will be affected as well. This is a colorist’s nightmare in post-production and often is never completely color-corrected without a compromise in the picture’s tones elsewhere. To correct this during field recording an additional filter, known as an ‘IR Cut’, is needed when higher amounts of neutral density are used.
Many matte boxes can accommodate 2 filters at the same time but what if you’re working with a smaller rig without a matte box and require screw on filters? What if you could have the functionality of neutral density and IR Cut in one piece of glass without any color cast? That is now an option with the Firecrest line of neutral density filters from Formatt Hitech. We continue to test their circular 72mm versions and are liking the results we’re getting. Stay tuned for more on this exciting new line of neutral density filters.
Firecrest Neutral Density Filters – Formatt Hitech
The Blackmagic Design Production Camera 4K has recently arrived at Postquis Design LLC. We’ve waited for a while to make the move to the 4K dance as we felt that critical functionality was missing in the BMPC 4K camera until recently. The release of Blackmagic Design’s firmware version 1.9.5 removed those concerns and it was time to join the 4K production world. The addition of audio meters in the on-camera LCD, time remaining for the SSD, a histogram (albeit a small one), and the ability to format your SSDs in the camera make for a very welcomed firmware upgrade.
Now comes the time to rig it for our projects and how we prefer to work in the field. Many hours were spent over the past months deciding on how that would begin when the time came… what would be the best cage for it… the foundation for all the other tools for which it would be equipped. We always kept coming back to one in particular, the View Factor Studios BMCC cage, which also fits the BMPC 4K model. The design of it is such that it fits the BMCC and BMPC 4K cameras like a glove. We look forward to its arrival and will be posting some BTS of it when it does!
Till then, it’s time to check out some glass with it and run it thru some preliminary tests. Ours is the EF mount version (BMD has recently announced a PL version also for the 4K camera) and should do well with Canon ‘still’ lenses. But for those new to the cinema/video production world, ‘cine’ glass which is de-clicked and has built in gears for follow focus and aperture if needed often makes life much easier on set.
Below are a Rokinon 14mm T3.1 cine de-clicked lens on the BMPC 4k and a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 photo lens. Take note of the side markings on the Rokinon cine lens. Should you rig your BMPC with the intent of having a focus puller work with you… these side marking make it much easier for them vs the top markings on a stills photo lens.
Rokinon 14mm T3.1 cine lens with BMPC 4K
Additionally, with a cine lens you get smooth changes on your aperture ring. You aren’t restricted to 1/3 stop clicks… you can fine tune your aperture to any position between what would be clickable stops on a photo lens.
Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 photo lens with BMPC 4K
Stay tuned for more updates on our blog as we continue to get our BMPC 4K all dressed up for the 4K party! Next up… getting it slipped into the View Factor Studios Blackmagic Design camera cage.