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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k Test

Testing out the BMPCC4K in challenging lightning conditions.

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PRAGUE, Czech Republic- I wanted tough lighting conditions. I wanted darkness. I wanted different temperature and types of light bulbs blasting into the same ether. I wanted conditions where most cameras would struggle.

I wanted tough sound conditions. I wanted blah, blah, blah, you get the point: I wanted to find out how well the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k handled difficult filming conditions.

When I was at the St Martin’s Festival a couple of weekends ago and I realized that the scene was exactly what I was after, so I shot a short video.

The camera did well. I’m really impressed. The BMPCC4K is marketed as having high-end low light capabilities, “duel native iso,” and it satisfied these boasts in full — especially with a micro four thirds sensor.

That said, I’m coming from shooting on the original Pocket Cinema Camera, which was notoriously lacking in low light capabilities. With the new version the improvements are … wow. That’s all I have to say about that.

But what I’m really impressed with was the sound quality. I recorded the audio for that video in camera. Albeit, I used a Zoom F1 Field Recorder to feed the camera, not the camera’s native mics. But nonetheless the sound quality was impressive.

Expect more short videos like this on our YouTube channel. Or “video notes” as I guess they could be called. I’m making it more into a repository of everything told through film rather than a concise story in and of itself. So sometimes there will be full-length documentaries, sometimes doc shorts, and sometimes just some shots of an interesting place that I find myself in. I want it to be the video version of this blog — just a collection of what I do.


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Filed under: Cameras, Czech Republic, Vlog

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3720 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

7 comments… add one

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  • Rob November 22, 2018, 2:48 pm

    That was good! The quality, the subject, the editing and the length of the video. Nice job!

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    • Wade Shepard November 22, 2018, 3:58 pm

      Thank you! Very much appreciated.

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  • Georgiy Romanov November 24, 2018, 7:09 am

    Hi, Wade! Good work, as always! I want to start a career as a journalist, just like you. I want to ask for advice about the video. I am at the beginning of the journey and do not make money from journalism. I have a technique that gives good quality, but it is inconvenient to use. While I hold on to the strategy of shooting on what you have, not what you want, but I have a lot of doubts about this.


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    • Wade Shepard November 24, 2018, 10:20 am

      Hello Georgiy,

      Thank you.

      Not really sure what advice to give besides become the authority on a topic or two that people are interested in (and are willing to pay to get information on). Being a general freelancer — even one who travels — probably isn’t going to get you anywhere. Master something.

      People who say “Shooting on what you have, not what you want” and “gear doesn’t matter” are usually YouTubers who buy new cameras every two weeks haha. I used to abide by this philosophy and shot on low quality cameras for over a decade. The result? Shitty images that I can’t really use today. It is my impression that “buy the absolute best gear that you can afford” is a much better philosophy. You’re not just shooting for today, but for tomorrow as well. Good gear is an investment in the future.

      “I have a technique that gives good quality, but it is inconvenient to use.”

      I would revise this technique. A missed shot is the only thing worse than a bad shot.

      Thanks for reading.

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  • Baron November 25, 2018, 7:27 pm


    How could you write such a nice article without including an affiliate link?

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    • Wade Shepard November 27, 2018, 12:12 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion, but affiliate links don’t make any money. Seriously. I have over 13 years of data to back this up. Not worth the time or effort. To top this off, the affiliate link code often runs other scripts which collect user data and all kinds of other BS.

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    • Wade Shepard November 27, 2018, 12:32 pm

      But you’re right, I probably should start doing more to up the earning potential of this site.

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