Last weekend I had a chance to use the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K on a shoot here in San Diego. I had always wanted to get my hands on this camera ever since Blackmagic announced it at last years NAB and I got my chance when I rented one from Pro HD Rentals in Burbank. If you haven’t check out Pro HD they’re awesome and they know what accessories are needed when renting today’s ever-modular camera systems. For example if you go to the two big online lens rental houses they can rent you the camera, but that’s all you get. For proper shooting you’ll still need an external battery then you’ll need rails then a cage with a top handle and maybe you want an XLR audio adaptor for the ¼ inch audio plugs, Pro HD Rentals gives you all that, give them a call and ask for Dan he’s the man.
Even with all the bits and bobs attached to make it viable in the field there are still some quarks about this camera that are hard to get use to. My main issue was how hard it was to see the back of the screen when shooting outside. The Blackmagic Production 4k camera has a 5 inch 800 x 400 resolution touch screen on the back so you would think you wouldn’t need an external monitor. Well you probably do because it’s a touch screen and we all know how greasy and shiny they get. So when shooting outside due to the reflection it was really hard to see if you were in focus and get judge how exposed you were. This screen issue coupled with shooting in the cameras super flat Film mode makes it even harder to judge focus. My suggestion would be to get an external monitor if you are thinking of renting this camera preferably one with a LUT built-in, you’ll be glad you did.
There are many things camera nerds like me like to point out that are wrong with this camera and I hate to be one of those guys. So I’ll point out that none of these problems matter at the end when he sees the picture quality this camera is capable of producing that is quite amazing.