Pocket Cinema screenshot

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Video With Perfect Lens Choices Surfaced

Okay, so this isn’t new. It was posted nearly a month ago, and we all saw it. However, with this camera now shipping, I wanted to make certain that we all took special note of what A Couple Of Night Owls actually did in this video. There is more to see beyond the sharpness and the dynamic range of this little beast (nay, pocket “dragon”? see what I did there? no?………. poop). First, check out the video in case you didn’t see it. Then, we’ll talk about it.

Reading is Good for You:

So, video descriptions are always of vast importance because they tell you things that you would otherwise pester the video maker to reveal. In this instance, A Couple Of Night Owls have given us the technical details we needed to know, and they are paramount. Most of the shots were at 400 ASA, except for a few at 800 ASA. Personally, I think I would strive for 800 as much as possible with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, since it is basically a mini BMCC 2.5K that can’t go above 1080p. Shane Hurlbut discusses this reasoning more in detail on his blog review of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5K. Of course, sometimes you just don’t have the luxury of staying at 800.

They also gave us lensing information:

  • Canon 24/1.4L
  • Canon 35/1.4L
  • Canon 50/1.2L
  • Canon 100/2.8L
  • Panasonic/Lumix 12-35/2.8

Here is where we are really getting the goods! They used a Redrock Micro LiveLens MFT adapter to attach their Canon lenses and thus, be able to see and adjust their apertures. I covered this mount specifically in an older post you can read by clicking here. This is absolutely the way to go with these MFT mounts, in my opinion. But something even more profound stands out to me in the video’s description.

Enter the Lumix:

Whaaaa? Yes, the Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 IS MFT lens! It has image stabilization, it has a native MFT active mount, it is small, it has decent image quality, and it has a fixed aperture of f/2.8 throughout its zoom range of 12-35mm. If you’re going to buy ONE thing to figuratively glue to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, this is the lens you should choose. Why?

We all know how pleasant Glidecam has made our lives. I have a Glidecam HD4000, but my RED Scarlet is so heavy that I can’t use it without the vest. “Just buy a $2,000 vest, Page.” Well, not so fast: The arm of that vest is only rated at 10lbs. Even if it wasn’t, the HD4000 itself is rated at 10lbs. Believe me, I’ve tried, and the HD4000 just isn’t the system for the Scarlet. Besides, I bought it to run around with like Devin Graham of YouTube fame. Throwing on a vest defeats my purposes. I consider my HD4000 to be the best tool in my kit, but when I bought my Scarlet, I lost that tool. I’ve tried throwing my 7D back on there, but it just doesn’t stack up to the Scarlet footage when splicing it in because it is so much softer, the color is rough, and the dynamic range is poor (compared to the Scarlet, mind you).

I love the Pocket Cinema with the Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 IS combo because it gives me my Glidecam back! With 13 stops of dynamic range and wonderful sharpness and color, the Pocket Cinema will blend perfectly as long as my delivery isn’t a 4K projector pointing at a gigantic movie theater screen… even then, it might surprise us all.


First chance I get, this is the setup I’m going for; the Pocket Cinema Camera with a Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 IS to slap on my Glidecam HD4000. I could go all day with that low amount of weight! It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Devin is pondering the same move. A Couple Of Night Owls used this combo in the beach walking scene, and without even trying too hard and without any ND filters, they still made me giddy. For the camera, the Lumix, the HD4000, a few batteries, and a couple of memory cards, you can spend around $3,000 and already have an extremely versatile cinema setup with superb image quality. Sounds like a win to me!

What do you guys think? Is there an even better lens for this I’m not aware of? Are you planning on buying this same setup?


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