John Brawley explains why Orbs exist on the Blackmagic Pocket Camera, and how it has been fixed

We can finally put the ugly ‘white orb’ problem in the Blackmagic Pocket Camera behind us. John Brawley explains why these orbs formed in the first place (Isn’t it Blackmagic Design’s job?) and how calibration has fixed it for good:

It’s worth looking at exactly what this is and why it happens.

The problem is that once you describe something as an “orb” then you can start to see orbs in almost any footage including those from cameras that aren’t Blackmagic Cinema Cameras.

Orbs can be created through any number of factors and are greatly affected by sensor size, lenses, exposure, where you set focus and what kind of lights or “orb” sources you’re shooting. So lets’ say orbs are normal. You get them whenever you have a small point source like the bare filament of a bulb at a distance or a small glint from the sun off a car. It could also be lights at a great distance that are out of focus. They are usually super white or beyond clipping. Once out of focus they become even more “orby”

Once the sensor clips then it renders that detail white.

As I mentioned, it’s normal to have a kind of orb with a hot point source of light when you clip or overexpose certain objects. Look at my iPhone photo below in the same setup I’ve tested with below.

This is why I’ve never been comfortable with calling it ORBS or BLOOMING because it doesn’t really accurately describe the fault and creates a false impression of a problem. To my eyes, it’s a “HARD” or HARSH” clipping that occurs on overexposed or super white point sources of light. So we’re looking for HARD clipping and HARD clipping that eats into foreground images, not ORBS.

Read the full explanation, test and results of his experiments here. Now we can focus on the brilliant imagery that the camera is able to record for $995.