Blackmagic Raw Now on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k

If you haven’t already heard, Blackmagic raw is now available on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k. This new feature will allow you to record higher quality images at much smaller file sizes.

If you are not familiar with Blackmagic Raw, it is a relatively new codec that combines the quality and benefits of 12 bit raw files while still retaining smaller file sizes of traditional video formats.

For example, you will be able to record up to 2 hours of Blackmagic Raw footage in 4k on a single 256GB SD UHS-II card. You will also have the option of choosing between 3:1, 5:1, 8:1, and 12:1 constant bit-rate recording or between constant quality Q0 and Q5 recording. 

This will give you the choice of image quality or file size. The constant bit-rate encoding options allow you to record at predictable and consistent file sizes. 

Black-Magic-Pocket-Cinema-Camera-4K
The only downside currently is that Blackmagic raw is not supported by Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro at this current time. You can only edit the raw files in BlackMagic’s Davinci Resolve. If you are not already familiar with their software they do have a free training series available.

Blackmagic’s Davinci Resolve software is also included with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K which makes it a pretty good deal in my opinion. With the addition of raw to this camera I’m seriously considering selling my Panasonic GH5 and adopting this new workflow. Alternatively if you don’t want to struggle with learning how to use new editing software you can also record in ProRes on the BBPCC 4k and you can easily edit that codec in just about any NLE.

In conclusion, let me know in the comment section below whether or not the addition of Black Magic Raw has you considering picking up the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k? Also, let me know if you think the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k is a better option than the Panasonic GH5S which is reported to use the same sensor.

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14 Comments

Michael Holst's picture

That's a loose use of the word "pocket". I was expecting something much smaller.

Craig Beckta's picture

Yes, you would need huge pockets.

Michael Holst's picture

Didn't know my 5d was a pocket camera by size.

Michael Jin's picture

JNCO jeans. Get a pair.

Michael Holst's picture

I remember my JNCOs

Michael Jin's picture

Ahh the 90's... :)

Johnny Rico's picture

Writes article about BRAW, but doesn't include the part on how they've removed Cinema DNG for patent reasons.

...but there's a picture of the codec menu, where you can clearly see that Cine DNG is absent.

He also included a link to Blackmagic's website, where you can get that info (you know, the one you were showing off with) and pretty much all there is to know about the Pocket 4K.

What were you expecting: a copy of the press release and the video from Blackmagic's website where they explain why they removed Cine DNG ?

No: you just wanted to show off...

Johnny Rico's picture

Or just address/note that there appears to be a bunch of infighting on BRAW and if it stacks up to what they removed. Seems pertinent

"The only downside currently is that Blackmagic raw is not supported by Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro at this current time."

a glance at the Blackmagic Forum would show that this isnt exactly correct.

Hi Craig,

I ordered my Pocket in April 2018 and got it (from Henry's, in Canada) in November.

The addition of the BRAW codec now allows me to record DCI 4K at 60 frames per seconds, in raw, on a Samsung T5 SSD, something I couldn't do with Cinema DNG.

I haven't tested all BRAW frame rates or resolutions on an SD card, but my U3 II easily handles DCI 4K at 29.97fps at 8:1 compression. And the playback quality in Premiere Pro is amazing ! 8:1 could sound like a crazy heavy compression rate, but Blackmagic... well they've done magic.

Did I write "playback quality in Premiere Pro" ?

Yes I did. There's a way of using BRAW in Premiere Pro.

For your info, BRAW Studio is an inexpensive plugin that allows BRAW to work in Premiere Pro.

I've tested it, and it works very well. In fact, Resolve (on my system) has problems playing the 60fps files: I get, at best 50fps. In Premiere Pro with BRAW Studio... it plays very smoothly.

Doing colour correction in Premiere creates the "sidecar" file that BRAW uses to store colour info, and when you reopen the file in Resolve, it recognizes the sidecar and recreates the colour correction you made in Premiere.

Here's a link to BRAW Studio:

https://aescripts.com/braw-studio/

Before getting my Pocket, I had to shoot a corporate video in a venue that is almost completely dark. My client wanted to keep the "feeling" of that space, so he didn't want me to use extra lights for the shots.

So I rented a Gh5S.

I was floored by the image quality, and that only made the wait for my Pocket worse.

The quality I got from the GH5S was amazing, but now that I have the Pocket, I think it's better suited for videography. The XLR jack, remarkable menu system and stronger codecs give it the edge (of course, the lower price is also a plus).

I do miss autofocus and image stabilization (with Canon lenses, using a Viltrox EF-M2), but for the type of work I do, the Pocket wins.

Negatives ? Well, sure the battery life sucks, but using 14.5V external batteries give me 3 hours per battery.

After 4 months using the Pocket, I can honestly say that I'm a happy man !

Craig Beckta's picture

I have heard of the plugin but I think it works in Windows only right now. Is that correct?

Hey Craig, my buck-fifty:

Which camera? That largely depends on your style of shooting and production workflow. Though the P4k may (or may not) share the same Sony built sensor, what both companies, being Panasonic and Blackmagic in tbis case do with that RAW signal is vastly different and proprietary. Right off the bat, BMD is enabling 12bit aquisition in-camera vs. Panasonic's 10bit both internal and external. The data gain you get from the P4k may or may not be suitable for your needs. Not everyone needs 12bit.

The P4K is argueably more "filmic" out of the box than the GH5s, so if that matters (or not) weighed against your needs that's another factor.

Though the P4K is deceptive in its form factor and price, make no mistake, its a proper cinema camera in regards to a very manual workflow and need to rig it accordingly. By the time you accesorize it, you're about even in cost with the GH5s, which gets you farther off the ground and running out of the box.

I think generally speaking, the GH5s is way better for "run & gun" and live events, and the P4k shines more in a controlled/narrative environment. I appreciate a great looking filmic image, I do narrative work. But I dont subscribe to the idea that all video and filmmaking should always strive for that look and feel. I think that's too narrow and limiting. Its like always painting with just the color blue.

As far as waiting for the latest Sony, its a tough call. It would'nt suprise me if Sony in the very least offered 10bit in-camera. 8bit is definitely on its way out as far as an industry trend, and it has to be embarrsing and ironic for Sony to see other manufactures enable higher bit depth using the sensors Sony actually manufactures and sells to their competitors.

One last note on cameras. A good or bad image is relative to the composer and his/her audience and objectors. I know in my field its Arri Alexa all day, all night. It's a nice image for certain. But its not the only image out there, and certainly without someone skilled and talented operating it does not one great feat on it's own. Skilled cinematographers and operators will create a nice image with whatever tools they're given or own personally. You could create a wonderful image with whatever camera you go with. There's outside factors that go into making a great image that no manufacturer owns or builds. Its easy to fall in love with the tools and cool gadgets in the immediate but dont forget the focus should always remain the craft, the dream and the vision in the long term.

As far as learning Davinci Resolve, do it. You will not regret it or miss those other NLEs. DR is in a league of its own. I just migrated to DR from many, many years of using Premiere, and I havent looked back one bit. Blackmagic definitely is proving they're living up to their branding. Its so much more preformant than PP, its a bit shameful and for me quite delightful. Adobe would do well to take a few notes and cues here. Resolve color vs. Lumetri is utter night and day, even though Adobe has made improvements to Lumetri in recent months. Its the way DR approaches workflows that is argueably quite superior against its competition. I wish I had switched much, much sooner.

Craig Beckta's picture

Thanks for your detailed reply. I wish I could get my hands on a BMPCC 4k but they are sold out everywhere.

Hello, I was curious about the low light capability and the improved auto focus with the new update regarding the Pocket 4k. I, also, shoot a majority of corporate shows and maintaining the natural ambiance is major concern. How would you rate the Pocket's ability to shoot in low light and second if the Pocket was set up on a stabilizer, how well is the camera's auto focusing ability to stay crisp on the object of interest through out the move or does it require to manually push a focus button through out the move, either way how would you rate the focus?

I'm in the process of purchasing the GH5S or considering the Pocket cam, not needing the 12bits isn't a deal breaker, though looking for that filmic look but mostly concerned with overall quality with the conditions I mentioned. Thanks