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Pitfalls (and Quirks) of the BMPCC

There are several Pitfalls and Quirks when using your BMPCC, some of which you should know about when starting to use your camera because they might lead to ruined shooting days or worse - damaging your BMPCC.

HDMI Connector

The BMPCC's HDMI connector is extremely fragile, there are plenty of reports of users where the HDMI port got loose from the cameras circuit board. If you are using a protective cage around the camera, you could get a HDMI port protector which fixates the cable so you cannot accidentially rip it out.

If you are using the camera without a cage, make sure to always to construct some kind of strain-relief for your cable so accidentially ripping out the cable can not happen.

Burning the HDMI circuitry

It is easy to burn the HDMI output by using same power source for camera and monitor causing ground loop. Use separate batteries for each device or take precautions a ground loop can not occur.

Tripod Mounting Threads

The Tripod mounting threads on top and bottom of the camera are known to get lose over time. Since they are fixed inside of the camera, there is not much you can do to repair this yourself, which might be another reason to put the camera in a protective cage.

Dust behind Sensor glass

Some users reported that they had dust BETWEEN the protective glass and the sensor. Also, nothing you can do about it, but if you camera is still under warranty you should see to Blackmagic taking care of this.

Internal Microphones

The internal Microphones of the BMPCC are considered unusable, unless being used for reference sound to sync another sound source. Sometimes this is confused with the cameras overall capabilities of sound recording. That is not correct: Using a decent Mic or Mixer which outputs the correct level for the camera, sound can be recorded at an acceptable quality directly into the camera. So this problem only applies to the built-in microphones. It should be noted though, that the BMPCC's line-in expects a professional +4dB signal BUT unbalanced. Most consumer devices output an unbalanced -10dB line-out so you either have the crank up the level in the camera, get a -10/+4dB level shifter device or use a mixer that actually outputs +4dB line signal.

Focus Assist Pixel-to-Pixel Zoom

Somehow it is easy to miss how to get a focus assisting zoom of the image. It may or may not be mentioned in the documentation, but to spare you from finding it: Double tap on the OK button.

Time & Date

The BMPCC loses track of time very quickly, sometimes over night, So it should become a routine before shooting to re-adjust the time & date settings if you rely on a correct setting of these.


It is VERY easy to forget setting the timelapse mode back to regular shooting mode. So another thing to check before shooting is if you have timelapse mode off, since this may ruin your shooting day.

Internal Battery runtime

Without anything extra connected to the camera, the BMPCC roughly has a battery time of 50 Minutes. Once you connect other power consuming parts (Active Lenses through Speedbooster, AF Lenses, Stabilized Lenses, LANC controller, Plug-powered Microphones etc) the battery times can drastically be reduced. With EF speedbooster and stabilised lens you get only about 20 minutes runtime. Shooting anything “serious” will require you to connect an external power source or be changing batteries all day.

Internal IR Filter

The Blackmagic Cameras in general have a less effective internal Infrared Filter than a lot of people are used to from other cameras. So it is easy to get IR Pollution in your image, which is something very hard to get rid off in color correction. The best way to prevent this is to use an IR Cut filter with the BMPCC, especially when shooting in sunlight.

Base ISO 800

BMPCC has native ISO (ASA) sensitivity 800. 200 and 400 are digitally lowered: so on ISO 200 it has 2 stops less dynamic range in highlights and it is more prone to white burnouts. ISO 1600 is highered 800 with slightly different gamma curve. When shooting RAW, ISO setting is just metadata, so it affects also preview, you are actually always shooting 800 no matter what the setting you use.

pitfalls.txt · Last modified: 2016/04/04 14:16 by