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BMPC-4K: 1st sample footage (Update #4)

December 19, 2013

UPDATE 2/10/14: The BMPC-4K is now shipping, and has a new lower price of $2,995 US!

It’s been a l-o-n-g wait, but Blackmagic Design finally posted the first sample “4K” ProRes HQ (3840 x 2160 @ 880 megabits/sec., 10-bit 4:2:2) video clips from the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K.

Grant Petty, CEO of BMD shot the footage himself and posted about it on the company’s forum. You can download his 4K ProRes HQ files from the same link.

I’m impressed and encouraged by what I’ve seen so far. We’ll know more once additional BMD beta testers make their footage available for viewing online. And, the already-impressive BMPC-4K video quality should look even better once its visually lossless compressed 12-bit RAW sample footage becomes available.

In the meantime, I’ve done an edit is based on Grant Petty’s initial ProRes HQ clips:

Note: You can download my edited 1080p “HD” file from the Vimeo page (7 megabits/sec., 8-bit 4:2:0, H.264 codec) and watch this video on a 1920 x 1080 monitor for “better” quality.

This is just a very basic example showing 4K footage scaled and cropped in a 1080p project. You can “zoom in” on a scene in post while still retaining good quality. The examples in this edit are scaled to 100% to show the center 1920 x 1080 area of the original 3840 x 2160 video.

Grant’s clips are shown here 3 times each: The 1st version shows the 4K zooming-in as an NLE motion effect (there are no actual lens zooms in the video.) The 2nd version is the same clip showing the detail visible in the original footage (center crop). The 3rd version shows the 4K clip scaled down to 1080p.

Generally-speaking I don’t recommend zooming in/out of footage like crazy as shown here! I just wanted to show the quality & detail visible in the original footage. 🙂

The color correction I’ve done in this example edit used FCP7’s 3-way CC tool to do a basic white & black balance, boost chroma, and also eliminate highlight clipping. I added a tiny amount of sharpening.

I’m pleased that there appears to be far less aliasing and moire artifacts in BMPC-4K footage compared to BMCC and BMPCC footage. I probably could have added a bit more sharpening in post without ill effect. Like the original BMCC & BMPCC pocket cams, the BMPC-4K reportedly doesn’t do any sharpening in-camera, so if you want sharp video, use a sharp lens and/or sharpen it in post. Editing was easy & relatively fast on a >3 yr. old MBP 17″ laptop. As expected, I had no trouble working with the original 4K ProRes HQ footage.

Because the original 4K files are 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes HQ they can be manipulated quite a bit in post and still retain excellent quality. “CaptainHook“, Adam Roberts, and others have posted very nice grades of individual frames from Grant’s footage.

UPDATE 12/20/13:

CaptainHook has posted his first BMPC-4K sample footage, and it looks great in “HD”. Refer to his Vimeo page for more info about his footage:

UPDATE 12/21/13:

John Brawley posted very positive comments (and here & here) about the pre-production BMPC-4K he’s been working with alongside an ARRI Alexa. And he tweeted photos (and here and here) of his BMPC-4K rig (but no sample footage yet):

jb BMPC-4K zeiss wooden alphatron

UPDATE 12/25/13:

Marco Solorio of One River Media has posted his first Blackmagic Production Camera 4K sample footage. Refer to the Vimeo page for details.

Stay tuned for more!

My take on the BMPC-4K.

BMPC-4K shooting tips from early users.

My list of related links, short films, and resources for Blackmagic Design cameras.

My words & photos: ©2013 Peter J. DeCrescenzo. All rights reserved. http://www.peterdv.com

Note: I don’t receive income or remuneration for this blog, or for products seen or mentioned here. Advertisements on the page have nothing to do with me. The ads support WordPress, the publisher.

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