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I had the opportunity to test out the new RECSEA Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Housing earlier this year in the Philippines.

 

 

I've copied the writeup from the vimeo page below. Welcome to answer any questions. First time posting a video here, let alone alone of underwater footage, so go easy on me.

 

Earlier this year, I flew to the Philippines and joined A.J Saito from RECSEA to test out their new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Housing. The Philippines is home to some of the best diving in the world, and I was happy to be returning for my third visit.

I've been shooting underwater with a RECSEA S95 housing for several years and absolutely love it. But ever since the BMPCC was released, I've dreamt of shooting underwater with a higher quality yet compact underwater camera setup.

During my two week trip, I had the opportunity dive in the spectacular waters of Anilao, Puerto Galera, and Dumaguete. I had a large array of lenses and ports available for my setup along with several of RECSEA's Mini 1000lm LED lights; most of the footage consists of Panasonic 45mm 2.8 Macro, Olympus 9-18mm 4-5.6, and Panasonic 8mm 3.5 Fisheye. Other lens were tested but not included in this video.

My first destination in the Philippines was Anilao, where I stayed and dived for four days with the fantastic crew at the Aiyanar Resort. This was my first time diving in Anilao and it definitely lived up to world-class reputation.

I moved on from Anilao to what feels like a second home to me, Puerto Galera, where I earned my PADI Divermaster certification during two-month internship a couple years ago.

Upon my arrival in Sabang, Puerto Galera, my good friend Ted Dunn arranged a trip to nearby Verde Island which is probably my favorite dive site of all-time. It's an advanced dive site with strong and varying currents, but it is absolutely rich with color, movement and underwater life.

After a couple days of diving and catching up with my friends in Puerto Galera, I jumped on a flight to Dumaguete. This was my first time diving in this area, and Apo and Simulon Island did not disappoint.

Technical tidbits:

I updated the BMPCC to firmware 1.8.2 prior to this test. Firmware 1.9.3 was released just a few days after my trip which was too bad since that firmware release featured new functions which would of been a great benefit (histogram and time remaining!).

This video comprises of footage shot in every type of scenario I could put the camera and housing through, so there variance between shots. I shot in ProresLT , ProresHQ and RAW (CinemaDNG) (highly recommended for color correction!).

Usually a 64GB SD card would last at most for two dives, but if I was smart with my shooting, I could sometimes get three dives in.

Battery life was superb with the additional 12v battery pack that is included. The extra four 18650 batteries would easily give me more than enough battery power to last 3-4 dives (my SD card would fill up before the batteries would die).

After Anilao, I shot only with the Panasonic 8mm lens with no lighting so it was all 'wide' shooting from here on out. I was okay with this as I love shooting wide (but I do have a new fond love for the difficulty of shooting macro). I did NOT have a magic filter for my 8mm lens which I only found out about after my trip. This would be quite helpful with some of my color correction.

I rarely pushed the camera above ISO800. The deeper shots (ie: with shark and on the wreck; 30m) are quite blue, but I just wanted to include these shots to show what the camera could capture.

I know a majority of those out there prefer underwater footage to be shot at a nice crisp 30p/60p however I kept the camera on 23.976 for a majority of the time. My personal preference has always been to shoot at 23.976 as I prefer the more cinematic look of it. A few shots were done at 30fps and 29.97 then later slowed down respectively in post. I may release a short clip of just 30p footage which actually looks very good.

Edited by Gujustud
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No feedback? Tough crowd ;)

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Sorry that the discussion is quite disappointing to you. From my observation, Black Magic Pocket Camera doesn't seems to be popular here. In the past few months, I only see GH4 discussion, once in a while 5DM3. Not sure if it's because the Black Magic is a dedicated video only device just like camcorder where there is little discussion here, or people just turn off by the low battery life. Or may be people just don't deal with RAW video enough to be interested to get it.

 

A device that only do one thing is a hard sell these days. Many people travel and use the camera for underwater video/photo, then use it on land as well. We all know many people use their iPhones for land staffs, so a device like the Black Magic is probably gain popularity by film makers, not vacationers who want to do everything.

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I looked into the bmpc as I thought I could get a good video system at reasonable cost. I have discarded it because most lenses don't have distortion correction and look ugly on land and in water the crop factor is too much to be really useful for any wide angle. Your clips does look good but I think camera raw and grading for underwater is super overrated

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