Best Camera To Get If You Want To Be A Filmmaker.
Updated: Apr 30
Hands down, the best camera for someone who wants to get into Filmmaking is the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k.
I have been in the filmmaking business since DV was a thing. You might not even know what that is, and that’s ok. The HDSLR’s movement revolutionized the industry. Affordable film-like quality at the lowest price point ever. Sure an HDSLR is cheaper than the Blackmagic, and you get a beautiful depth of field, but it's not as good as the BMPCC 4k for various reasons.
Why the BMPCC 4k? I'll make a list.
Price: You can’t beat the price for such an amazing camera at $1295. Sure, you need to buy a few things to be in business, but you can do it for less than 2,500 USD. In comparison, the 5D Mark II cost about the same, but you couldn't even record video at 24fps, only 30fps. We have come a long way.
4K Raw video: 4K raw is more than you need this day in age. Having the ability to shoot raw is a godsend. It makes your job as a colorist that much easier.
Xlr Audio input: You can get great audio from this camera using external microphones. You don't even have to worry about sync since this camera captures great audio. At least not when you are starting as a filmmaker.
False-color: This is an invaluable tool, especially when you don't have a light meter. Learn how to use False Color, and you will get well-exposed images. A false Color is a professional tool in a $1295 camera.
Cinematic Quality: It has 13 stops of dynamic range. It also has some of the best color science on any video camera in this price range.
Audio Monitoring: You can monitor if your audio is not clipping. Back in the day, we had to hack our canon cameras to get this feature. Or it was only available in high-end cameras.
Real-world experience with the camera.
I'm currently shooting a Docu-Series with the BMPCC 4k and recording the audio straight to the camera with a lavalier and an external recorder. I ended up using the straight-to-camera audio since it sounds excellent.
Another thing I love about the BMPCC 4k is that it works like an expensive cinema camera. You have a shutter angle, like in a real film camera. Gone are the days of using shutter speed which is a photographic camera thing and was not ideal.
If you master the BMPCC 4k, you can create professional-looking images for all kinds of jobs.
My favorite feature on this camera has got to be, without a doubt, the ability to use a custom lut in camera. This means that you can see what your final image will look like while you are filming. Pop in an orange and teal lookout, and you can plan, expose and execute a decision with that look in mind. Love it!
The sensor is very close to 16mm film. 16mm film is what most great directors shot with when they started. With an adaptor, you can adapt almost any kind of lens to this camera which is great for experimenting.
Experimenting is what you should always be doing when you are starting.
I shot my first feature film with the original Blackmagic Pocket Camera. It’s still an amazing camera, and the quality you can get out of it is out of this world for the price. The BMPCC 4k is the same but on steroids.
If you can buy an external battery option, 1–2 lenses, and a Samsung T5 SSD, you will have an excellent Filmmaking setup. I would recommend getting the Rokinon Cine DS lenses.
Your next step would be to learn how to light. Learn to light, and this camera will truly shine. Lighting is one of the most important skills you can learn to make footage from any camera look amazing.
Here is a trailer for a series I’m working on (It's embedded below). Shot with the BMPCC 4k. (it’s in Spanish but does have English subtitles). You can see how this camera shines in a professional environment. We used a 650 Arri light kit for the interview parts.
We used Rokinon Cine DS lenses: the 35mm and the 50mm. We shot all the interviews on the 35mm lens.
Micro 4/3 to Canon Adaptor
Viltrox EF-M2 II <--- Affordable
Metabones <--- Expensive (better quality with the lens wide open)
If you are wondering about my first feature film, I got you covered. Here is the link to my first feature film in its entirety, shot with the original BMPCC.
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