For those of you Blackmagic Pocket Camera shooters who are reading this – today is a very good day for you! After a long wait, Blackmagic Design finally released the new firmware for cinema cameras, which enables the RAWinemaDNG recording function in the Blackmagic Pocket Camera.
Many early users of the camera were initially upset that the pocket cam's shipping version was unable to shoot RAW out of the box (as announced), but luckily, their frustration can finally end with Blackmagic's firmware has created for download from their website at www.blackmagicdesign.com. For those of you who shot RAW with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera or any other RAW camera, you know how difficult it is to revert to RAW in a compressed format – even as strong as ProRes. I speak for myself, although most of my work doesn't require the RAW format, I still use it as often as possible because the image quality is absolutely unbeatable, which makes it difficult to do without.
Although today's news is very exciting, it is surprising to me that the firmware update does not contain any new features or upgrades (with the possible exception of some bug fixes) for BMPC or BMCC. In a way, today reminds us that Blackmagic hasn't updated the original cinema camera (EF or MFT) for such a long time. Critical functions such as the ability to display the remaining SSD space and the audio indicators are still not available. Unfortunately, these shortcomings cause problems in real shooting scenarios. While the BMCC is one of my favorite cameras I've ever shot with (and I've used it more than ever lately), the problems have definitely shown up in work environments, and there have been some cases where I've lost pictures because I didn't know that the camera would roll out when the SSD was filled. And I'm certainly not the only one waiting. There are a number of BMCC shooters eagerly waiting for a proper firmware update with no hope in sight, not to mention the large number of BMCC 4K customers who are still waiting for their pre-orders, that the 4K camera becomes a reality.
At least for the moment we finally have the power of RAW on the pocket camera and that's a very big step in the right direction. I just keep my fingers crossed, we will soon see a 1.6 version with major BMCC updates. We hope!
For more information on recording RAW on the BMCC, go to My RAW workflow with DaVinci Resolve and FCP X. I used that for my film submitted by Sundance, brother sister.
Noam Kroll is an award-winning filmmaker from Los Angeles and founder of the boutique production house Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television and in various publications around the world. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!