So it’s finally here, the update everyone has been waiting for and with so much more to offer.
Blackmagic has just released firmware update 1.9.3 for the BMCC and BMPCC. After testing it over the past week here is what you get in the new update. It brings time remaining, audio meters and histogram, first seen on the BMPC4K in firmware 1.9, to the BMCC and BMPCC. It also adds a few other nice little touches that have long been requested.
These new additions have been implemented as a bar across the bottom of the screen. This bar can be shown and hidden with a simple swipe up and down on the screen on the BMCC or clicking the up or down buttons on the BMPCC. When using manual lenses the IRIS button will also show and hide the display. This means we can now monitor out audio and set the correct gain to begin with. This is a big plus for those who shot on their own or without a sound person on set.
The histogram is a nice addition as it gives you more detail on your exposure. Until now we have only had zebras to help us judge what elements might be clipping.
Something to note on the histogram is that it is based on the “processed” image data so it is affected by the ISO you select where as the zebras reflect sensor data, showing clipping at the sensor level and are not affected by your ISO choice.
Time remaining is a simple hours and minutes display that show how much you can still record in the currently selected format. When shooting RAW on the BMPCC the time is approximate a the RAW frames vary in size depending on what is in the frame due to how the Compressed CinemaDNG writes data to the file.
Looking at the other additions, we now have more shutter angles available. This opens up some nice creative opportunities as well as dealing with technical issues like flicker when working under some artificial light sources.
11.25°, 15°, 22.5°, 30°, 37.5°, 45°, 60°, 72°, 75°, 90°, 108°, 120°, 144°, 150°, 172.8°, 180°, 216°, 270°, 324°, 360°
Second we now have more white balance options. So you’ll be able to dial in a more accurate white balance on set.
White Balance options:
2500K, 2800K, 3000K, 3200K, 3400K, 3600K, 4000K, 4500K, 4800K, 5000K, 5200K, 5400K, 5600K, 6000K, 6500K, 7000K, 7500K, 8000K
A few issues
So with the added white balance and shutter angle options you’ll be spending more time in the menus…
On the pocket it’s a minimum of 4 clicks before you can change the white balance. You also can’t see what the effect of the change is until you exit the menu, another 2 clicks (or hitting the record button once). If you then need to adjust it again it’s 4 more clicks. Seems very long winded.
The camera returns to the last menu item if you exit by hitting the record button. Problem is that if you hit record while in the menu it starts to record.
So now if you hit menu then navigate to the white balance and make a change, then hit the record button to exit, when you hit the menu it returns you to the white balance setting (or what ever the last setting you used). One click in, onc click out. This could be a huge time saver but sadly it only really works without a card in the camera. What Blackmagic need to do is perhaps set the menu button on the BMPCC to exit the menu rather then go up a level.
Another issue is that the histogram does not show clipping. So if you have your zebras turned off the histogram can be a little deceiving as you could be clipping your highlights without knowing.
These features and the addition of other ProRes codecs in firmware 1.8.2 really make these cameras shine. It’s good to see Blackmagic are still committed to their early cameras like the BMCC while developing new ones like the URSA.
Get the update here: www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/family/professional-cameras