Presets save time and help to avoid operating errors. Let's see how to use them while shooting with the popular Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.
I use my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K to record tutorials in my office most days of the week. I have different angles and do b-rolls occasionally, but in the office the settings are almost always the same.
However, over the past week, I've been going out at night to film the annual Night of Lights festival which is held here in Le Mans, France. Of course, this shooting situation requires completely different settings for white balance and exposure than in my tutorial. Because of this, I have to change my camera settings every time I go out and come back from my night shots.
To make things easier for me, I'll take advantage of the power of Blackmagic's in-camera presets. Once set up, I can change the settings with just a tap of a button. Let's take a step-by-step look at how to use presets.
Step 1: Adjust the camera settings
My interior is illuminated by an Aputure 120D key with the help of window light. The white balance is set to 5000 K, with an ISO value of 200 and a shutter angle of 180 degrees. For audio I am using a Deity Wireless Connect microphone so I set the audio input to XLR microphone.
When I take photos at night, I change almost all of these settings. My white balance is set to 3200K while my audio input is set to the internal camera microphone. The ISO value is between 3200 and 8000, depending on how dark the surroundings are, and I open the shutter angle to almost 360 degrees. This gives me enough light and avoids flickering problems.
Now that I know the parameters for each shooting scenario, I create my presets.
Step 2: create the presets
First, I create my daily indoor tutorial preset. With the camera settings I open the BMPCC menu and navigate to Preferences Page. Tap the plus (+) Icon at the bottom left creates a new preset that I'll name Tutorial 1.
Once I'm out on my night shoot and have set up the camera setting, I add my second preset using the same steps and name it Night shot 1. I noticed that certain streets are much darker than others, so I can create two or three Night shot Preferences. This will make my running and shooting even easier.
Step 3: load the preferences
Now it's as easy as navigating to the Preferences Page and load each preset as needed. Easy choose Press the preset and then press the button checkmark bottom left in the menu.
Step 4: share the presets
As you can see, presets are very useful when I use a camera in different shooting environments. They are equally useful when using multiple cameras in the same project. While my presets are stored in the camera's internal memory, I can share them with other Blackmagic Pocket Cinema cameras. This is great when I want multiple shooters to come out with me on my night shoot or just add a second camera to my arsenal.
To share a preset, I navigate to Preferences Page and select the Import export Button. I need to send the preset file to a CF., SD, or USB device. I am using my Angelbird CFast card that is already in my camera. After exporting, I'll add that CFast card in my second BMPCC and bring it over to the same Import Button on the Preferences page. After the import I still have to activate the presetting via the checkmark Button.
Blackmagic's presets can save me a lot of time changing camera settings. They also help me avoid operator errors. If I change my camera settings twice a day every day, there is a lot of room for error. I forgot to change the audio settings more than once when switching between recording scenarios. Let's just say – it wasn't good.
If you have a Blackmagic camera, you should take a closer look at the Preferences page.
If you're a Blackmagic fan – and who really isn't – this content is for you: