Videography Diary: My complete BMPCC 4K rig, and sample footage


My first Videography Diary piece explained how I chose the BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (BMPCC from now on). This piece talks you through my BMPCC 4K Rig.

If you’re not familiar with videography rigs, it’s basically a system to give you everything you need to shoot effectively and efficiently in one solid unit so you can just pick it up, mount it on a tripod or other stabilizer, and start shooting.

This piece provides a video walkthrough, with links to all of the components I use…

Camera, lenses, ND filter

I mentioned last time that Meike cine lenses were a significant part of my decision to go with the BMPCC 4K rather than the 6K.

Sticking to the MFT mount opens up a very interesting option in terms of glass: Meike cine lenses. I mean, technically they aren’t real cinema lenses, as those cost tens of thousands of dollars, while these are about $400 each, but they do offer some key features of cine lenses. They also get fantastic reviews from users, and I adored the sample footage I’d seen.

The ND vario filter choice was easy: I’ve used B+W filters for years for still photography. They use optical-quality glass with incredibly even light attenuation (so no effect on color), plus multilayer anti-reflection coatings. There’s no point paying money for a great lens if you’re going to put a cheap filter in front of it.

(If, like me, you’re new to video, you need a variable ND filter because you want to achieve a couple of things. First, for a film-like look, you want your frame rate to be around 24 frames per second. This gives the degree of motion blur we’re used to seeing in films, so it looks “natural” to most people. Second, you want your shutter speed to be double your frame rate to avoid choppiness. Achieving such a slow shutter speed in daylight requires a neutral density filter, especially when you want to shoot wide open.)

BMPCC 4K rig

Video walkthrough

Sample footage

The video above was itself shot with my second BMPCC 4K, with the 25mm Meike cine lens. You can see a couple of sample videos shot with the complete rig below – these were test shoots for beginner models. Neither had any previous modeling experience, and I’m of course new to video, so the whole thing is a learning experience – most especially on the editing side. But I’m having great fun, and the models were happy, so it’s at least a happy learning experience!

Coming up next month, I have a dance shoot, a monologue, and another one-minute film. I also have an interesting-looking accessory to try out, so watch this space for a review of that.

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