In Part Four we looked at tripods, rigs, accessories and data management. In this part we’ll combine everything we’ve put together to learn how much a Blackmagic Pocket Camera kit will cost.

Base Kit

This is what you get with the camera:

Items Unit Price* Qty Price *(USD)
Blackmagic Pocket Camera $ 995 1 $ 995
Battery EN-EL20 $ 0.00 1 $ 0.00
Turret Cap $ 0.00 1 $ 0.00
DaVinci Resolve Lite $ 0.00 1 $ 0.00
Wrist Strap $ 0.00 1 $ 0.00
AC Adapter $ 0.00 1 $ 0.00

*Important: the prices might be totally inaccurate or wrong, so don’t assume any of the prices in this page is correct. Please refer to manufacturer’s website for details. Also, the price might be different depending on which country or region you’re in.Adding Lenses

I’m going with three of my favorite lenses for this camera:

 
You could substitute this for ‘cheaper’ lenses, if that suits you. Most people will be buying the Blackmagic Pocket Camera for the following reasons:

  • $995
  • 1080p up to 30p
  • 12-bit Lossless CinemaDNG
  • 13 stops of dynamic range
  • Small and light-weight, with a ‘suitable’ mount

 
I believe, to take complete advantage of 12-bit 1080p, one needs the best lenses one can find. You could use Leica M lenses or Zeiss CP.2 lenses, or you could adapt PL lenses if you must. My idea is to get a lens with reasonably good quality and sharpness, with a small f-number. An f/0.95 or T/1.6 lens will not only let you shoot in low light (the ISO of the Blackmagic Pocket Camera will probably be only usable till 1600), but will also give you that shallow depth of field look (well, somewhat).

Here’s the price-list of my selected lenses (lens caps and hoods are included with the purchase):

Items Unit Price Qty Price (USD)
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 $ 1,030 1 $ 1,030
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 $ 1,150 1 $ 1,150
SLR Magic HyperPrime Cine 12mm T/1.6 with gear & 58/77 ring $ 650 1 $ 650
Tiffen 58mm Variable ND filter $ 110 1 $ 110
Edelkrone Follow Focus Kit $ 290 1 $ 290
Cheap Baseplate and Rods $ 150 1 $ 150

The Olympus alternative for the 12mm is more expensive, while the 17.5mm is less than half the price of the Voigtlander. The zoom, I would say, is almost a necessity, and it has image stabilization.

The Tiffen variable ND filter is one of the cheaper ones. In reality, if you’re planning to shoot f/2.8 or f/2 (to get that shallow DOF) in daylight, you’ll need a whole spectrum of ND filters that’ll work for all scenarios. All the lenses above have a 58mm filter thread size.

Similarly, without a good follow focus system, focusing at these large apertures will be a nightmare. You’ll need a plate and rods just to hold the system in place, so the camera mount isn’t stressed beyond its means. Let’s kit up the rest.

Accessories

Here are some accessories that you might start off with:

Items Unit Price Qty Price (USD)
Cineroid EVF $ 995 1 $ 995
HDMI Cable $ 4 1 $ 4
EN-EL20 Battery $ 40 3 $ 120
Dual Charger $ 20 1 $ 20
Manfrotto MVR901EPLA $ 280 1 $ 280
Thinktank Retrospective 10 $ 157 1 $ 157
Manfrotto Tripod with Fluid Head $ 390 1 $ 390

The viewfinder costs as much as the camera! You could avoid the Cineroid EVF and go for something cheaper, or nothing at all.

Regarding batteries, four batteries should get you through an 8-12 hour day, but barely. The tripod and fluid head is cheap (for professional work at least) but workable. You could go for cheaper models, but test them before you buy. Remember, there’s no weight on the camera, so you’re almost forced to use a heavier tripod to compensate!

The bag and LANC controller are optional tools, but very handy. If you want to position the camera in the corner ceiling of a room or hall, the LANC controller will be a great addition to your kit. All this, except the tripod and head, should fit into a Thinktank 10 bag, or similar.

Media

Media is expensive. SDHC cards are cheap, but not if you want to shoot CinemaDNG:

Items Unit Price Qty Price (USD)
SDXC Extreme Pro Card (64 GB) $ 133.00 4 $ 532.00
Transcend SDXC Reader $ 16.00 1 $ 16.00

You’ll need at least four cards, which will give you 48 minutes of RAW footage. You could cut down on a few, but I will never recommend that.

If Blackmagic Design succeeds with a higher compression rate for RAW, you might be able to use cheaper cards. At this time, they haven’t announced compatible cards, so I’m assuming the ‘worst’.

Bottom Line

What’s the grand total? It’s $ 6,889. Assuming you didn’t want the Cineroid, and exchanged the two expensive primes for the Olympus alternative for 17mm, you’re still at about $5,200. Say you don’t want the LANC controller, and are happy with a cheaper bag, only two SDXC cards (you’ll need at least one backup, right!), your price comes down to just over $4,000.

I haven’t forgotten simple things like lens cleaners, filters, matte boxes, articulating arms (for the viewfinder), and so on. This isn’t intended to be a detailed analysis, only an overview.

See? If you have stuff lying about you could reduce the capital required right now, but not everyone has that luxury. The Blackmagic Pocket camera really isn’t $995 if you’re starting from scratch. It’s more like $4,000 (for just starters) to $7,000 (minimum professional kit). I hope this small analysis will help you calculate your own expenses with regards to your Blackmagic Pocket Camera kit.

In Comparison of the three Blackmagic Cinema Cameras, I’d written that the original ‘have-all-the-orders-been-shipped-out-yet’ 2.5K Blackmagic Cinema Camera is better value for money. If you subtract the cost of Resolve you’re only paying $1,000 more. What do you get for that?

  • A bigger sensor and 2.5K
  • Uncompressed DNG
  • HD-SDI link for monitoring
  • Thunderbolt and Ultrascope
  • Better audio connectors and specification
  • Bigger LCD
  • Better construction and support for rigs

 
Isn’t this worth $1,000? I say it is, but you might think differently.

In Part Six we’ll look at recording and post production workflows for the Blackmagic Pocket Camera.

 

5 replies on “The Blackmagic Pocket Camera Guide (Part Five): The Cost of a Blackmagic Pocket Camera Kit”

  1. Well, the thing is that if you don’t start from scratch, you should already have most of this things.
    I like pocket camera because it lets you move easier and people don’t pay attention on you, like with big BMCC 2.5. Also it’s a lot lighter.
    So I have sold my bigger BMCC and got this pocket camera — it’s much more convinient for documentaries and such work.
    If you work in studio than BMCC is obviosly better (just because it has SDI).

  2. Sareesh Sudhakaran QuiqueCatalan I’m talking about the gadgets.
    If wanna make the camera work you can start by purchasing some micro lenses and the camera all under 2000$. Maybe a bit more depending on the lenses. Plus some batteries and SD card.
    What I am saying is you don’t need 3,000 EXTRA $ in GADGETS.  I’d say you can make the camera work in terms of equipment for under 500$ bucks.

  3. This is absolute bullshit.

    No. You don’t need extra 3,000$. Most of those gadgets you can get them for half it’s price and they’re overrated.
    You don’t need these things to make movies.

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