Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

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Sprocket Scientist

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Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostThu Nov 07, 2013 1:03 pm

Placed an online order yesterday expecting a waiting period of 4-6 weeks for delivery.

Got a phone call the same day that the store happened to have one left in stock so I rushed over to pick it up and I am now the proud owner of a brand new Pocket. I originally intended to use the 4-6 week period to purchase a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 and all the other accessories.

Last night I charged up the battery, unplugged it when it said it was '100%'.

This evening I switched it on to have a scroll through the menu options and noticed that the battery read 95%.

I went off to have dinner and came back, switched it on again and the battery is down 94%.

Surely the battery doesn't drain while the camera is switched off?

Also, how do I check which firmware is installed on the camera? I searched through the menu options and did a CTRL-F on the manual but can't find any info about this.

*Edit - I left the camera switched on while I was typing this post and the battery is now down to 81%.....!!?
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Sprocket Scientist

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostThu Nov 07, 2013 1:52 pm

I've left the camera switched on and idle since the post above, the camera feels very warm to the touch and the battery is down to 27%.

Something's not right.
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Lee Mackreath

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostThu Nov 07, 2013 2:09 pm

Battery useage is notrouisly bad on the BMPCC...even on the supplied one out of the box.

You should normally get around 50min - 1 hr on one single charge.

People have noted though that it may be worth charging the battery for longer, even if it states it is already at 100%
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Ivan Yap

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostThu Nov 07, 2013 2:24 pm

This is normal. You'll need lots of spare batteries or an external power source if you intend to keep the camera on.
Ivan Yap
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joechiazza

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostThu Nov 07, 2013 3:14 pm

It's normal. Remember, this isn't a dslr, it's a cinema camera. I would invest in some external power if your going to be using it to shoot films.
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Craig Seeman

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostThu Nov 07, 2013 3:34 pm

"Bad" is a relative term. You can now buy the BMD batteries for $15/ea. Buy 8 or so and you're set for a day.

Get at least a good dual charger (I like Watson's dual charger which can read out charge and even remaining percentage even when unplugged). Keep in mind when you're on a rig you can use external battery so the internals are only needed when you have to go "small."

Since the batteries are no larger than that 9V of yore, I just toss a bunch in a small camera bag and I'm set. Just remember to recharge for the next day.

If you have big bucks the Nikon batteries last about 10-15% longer. You can go third party but I find them too hit and miss for reliable use. Many last just over 30 minutes or so. Some have inconsistent QC between batches. For me, I'm not saving money with that kind of risk, I'm wasting time (which costs money).

Switronix has a nice small external battery kit which lasts about 5 hours and doesn't need a rig.
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spencer

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostThu Nov 07, 2013 5:58 pm

My only experience with the camera is a 2 day shoot of Interiors and Exteriors in the snow.

To me everything sounds normal. The BMPCC gets hot to the touch when on. Batteries last about 20 min or less. I bought the Switronix and it works fine, although doesn't seem to last 5 hours.

My major complaint about Switronix is the mounting sucks, it was always coming loose, and when it sits between the camera and the baseplate it's a pain. If anyone knows of other power sources let me know.

Otherwise love my footage. Camera is awesome and exactly what I was hoping for. (accept for lacking raw, but there's enough people complaining about that)
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hugh

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostThu Nov 07, 2013 10:12 pm

spencer wrote:My only experience with the camera is a 2 day shoot of Interiors and Exteriors in the snow.

To me everything sounds normal. The BMPCC gets hot to the touch when on. Batteries last about 20 min or less. I bought the Switronix and it works fine, although doesn't seem to last 5 hours.

My major complaint about Switronix is the mounting sucks, it was always coming loose, and when it sits between the camera and the baseplate it's a pain. If anyone knows of other power sources let me know.

Otherwise love my footage. Camera is awesome and exactly what I was hoping for. (accept for lacking raw, but there's enough people complaining about that)



You should not be getting only 20min from the battery; from most accounts, including mine with my pocket, you should get about an hour on the battery, idle or cont. shooting.
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Sprocket Scientist

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostThu Nov 07, 2013 11:41 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone, I knew battery performance was going to be bad but not this bad in terms of the battery losing charge even when the camera is switched off.

Thanks also for the info on power options, I'll be looking into it.

Even when plugged into the wall I noticed last night that the camera lost a few points of charge before going back up. It just felt so weird that the camera got really warm even when idle.
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Flat4

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostFri Nov 08, 2013 12:15 am

Wait, you guys have 1% increment battery percentage on the pocket? ugh... :cry:
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Worzel Gummidge

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostFri Nov 08, 2013 1:01 am

Its a camera with great potential but was badly rushed together in manufacturing and lacking quality control. BMD don't seem to care which is so typical of many businesses these days. They want your money and then turn their back once you've handed over the readies.

Digital Bolex here we come!
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Chris Whitten

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostFri Nov 08, 2013 1:02 am

I believe the pocket cam has a cooling system operated by battery. So the hotter the camera gets, and the ambient temperature, the quicker your battery goes down.
Moderate heat from the camera itself when in use is normal however.

As for the cam. had mine for about 6 weeks and not had an issue yet.
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rick.lang

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostFri Nov 08, 2013 4:37 am

Sprocket Scientist wrote:Thanks for the feedback everyone, I knew battery performance was going to be bad but not this bad in terms of the battery losing charge even when the camera is switched off.

Thanks also for the info on power options, I'll be looking into it.

Even when plugged into the wall I noticed last night that the camera lost a few points of charge before going back up. It just felt so weird that the camera got really warm even when idle.


Not sure if it will make any difference but perhaps the battery will perform more consistently after it has gone through a complete discharge and then full charge cycle/
Rick Lang
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Mac Jaeger

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostFri Nov 08, 2013 2:56 pm

Flat4 wrote:Wait, you guys have 1% increment battery percentage on the pocket? ugh... :cry:

Afaik that's a feature of the latest firmware.

chrisso wrote:I believe the pocket cam has a cooling system operated by battery. So the hotter the camera gets, and the ambient temperature, the quicker your battery goes down.

That's right, the Pocket cam uses a peltier cooling system that consumes energy while cooling.
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Sprocket Scientist

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostFri Nov 08, 2013 3:20 pm

rick.lang wrote:Not sure if it will make any difference but perhaps the battery will perform more consistently after it has gone through a complete discharge and then full charge cycle/


Thanks Rick, that seemed to do the trick! I didn't realise I had to do that at first instance.

The camera still seems to be heating up quite a lot though.
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Mac Jaeger

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostFri Nov 08, 2013 4:05 pm

Sprocket Scientist wrote:The camera still seems to be heating up quite a lot though.

How much operating time do you get out of one standard BMD battery?
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Sprocket Scientist

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSat Nov 09, 2013 12:00 am

Mac Jaeger wrote:
Sprocket Scientist wrote:The camera still seems to be heating up quite a lot though.

How much operating time do you get out of one standard BMD battery?


No idea, I just got it with no accessories. Haven't had a chance to really play with it yet.
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Mac Jaeger

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSat Nov 09, 2013 9:36 am

Try it, i'd say. If you get significantly less then 45 minutes from the standard battery this could indicate that the camera is faulty, consuming too much energy, which will a) eat you batteries, b) reduce the already limited recording time, c) might over time damage other parts of the camera; in short words: if it's getting hot to the touch and only runs 30 minutes, i'd return it and get it checked.
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AdrianSierkowski

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSat Nov 09, 2013 1:40 pm

It also may be that the actual code for the batt ready out is, shall we say, less than ideal. I have the same problem on my macbook-- that it has trouble guessing how much power is left. The best solutions are external power. Hell I have an old film block battery which can power the camera for about 3-4 days of shooting. keep the internal in there as a hot swap adapter.
Personally, I'd go with V-Mount batteries off of a rails system which is a bit pricy; but can later be used on other cameras-- hell even the Epic can take V Mounts with the right plates, and these should get you a good long run time on the system.

The internals are great when you're trying to be as tiny as possible though honestly, I almost always like the counterweight I get with a larger battery off of the butt of the camera.
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Sprocket Scientist

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSat Nov 09, 2013 2:10 pm

hi Mac, I bought the 18-35mm Sigma lens and an adapter and played with the camera today.

It seemed to work ok, battery life seemed 'normal'. However when I came back in the house to review the footage and tried to switch it on, it refused to switch on. I thought maybe I forgot to switch the camera off properly and the battery drained while in my bag. I had to go somewhere else in the afternoon so I left.

When I came home tonight, I plugged the camera to the charger and the camera switched on BUT it said 75%.

So I unplugged the camera and reviewed the footage, and then the camera switched itself off and refused to switch on again.

After a few minutes I tried again and it switched on, but the battery only showed 2% and it switched itself off after a few seconds.

So I connected the camera to the charger again, switched the camera on, and now it says 19%.

What. The. Hell.
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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSat Nov 09, 2013 2:12 pm

Adrian, I am considering the V mount. I have a Red Scarlet on the way and I am hoping that it will be ample power for that too. I am thinking that I will have to have some kind of rail system anyway for the Scarlet and the Pocket.

What sort of rail system do you have? I'm thinking to go with Wooden Camera.

I know I will need to get a good tripod with fluid head, a slider, a shoulder mount, and if I have any money left a small jib/crane.
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Mac Jaeger

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSat Nov 09, 2013 3:57 pm

Sounds bad. May be the battery, but may as well be the camera. If you can, try another battery, maybe you wanted to buy a spare one anyways. If it's the same with the spare battery i would return the camera and ask to get it fixed or switched. You don't want to go out with your camera always worried how long it will last this time, and frightend to switch it off because it might not come back on again...

Is it the latest firmware?
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Kholi Hicks

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSat Nov 09, 2013 4:20 pm

The battery read out isn't accurate, and also fluctuates between power cycles. It will drain faster the warmer the camera is, slower the cooler.

I found that after putting on a Viewfactor cage, my battery life (when I use the batteries, I'm on an IDX VF setup) actually became more stable, and I suspect it's because my warm hands are no longer helping to raise the temperature of the camera body quickly. Just an observation, don't take it as fact.

Charge your battery for an hour and a half, even if you plug it in and it says 50/75, it's likely nowhere near that.
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Sprocket Scientist

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSun Nov 10, 2013 12:57 am

I left the camera charging for a few hours because the battery peaked at 98% a few hours ago, but it's still at 98% now. It's frustrating that these problems are popping up with a brand new camera out of the box. I don't know at this stage if it's a battery problem or a camera problem.

How do I check firmware? I haven't yet connected the camera to the Blackmagic utility on my computer.
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Kholi Hicks

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSun Nov 10, 2013 1:42 am

That's not a real problem, it's normal.

Some of these batteries trickle charge.

Did you plug the camera in or put the battery on an external charger?

My batteries read 100 percent for maybe two minutes before they're down to 98 percent.

I basically don't pay attention to the battery meter until it's in the red zone.

Now, if your battery is dying in 20 minutes from a 98 percent charge, that is a different story.
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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSun Nov 10, 2013 3:38 am

The problem was, the camera was still plugged in but the battery never moved above 98%. It never reached 100%.
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Kholi Hicks

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSun Nov 10, 2013 3:56 am

There's nothing wrong with that. My camera was actually left on, plugged into an IDX battery and I didn't realize it, the battery was only at 99 percent.

What you should do is test the battery's power, make sure it lasts longer than 20 minutes. If you get around 40-50 then it's fine.
Kholi Hicks
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Sprocket Scientist

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSun Nov 10, 2013 5:27 am

Well... yesterday I outside recording random bits of video, just playing with it for not more than about 15-20 mins. I switched everything off and came back into the house, a couple of hours later I tried to switch it on and it wouldn't come on.

I think I'll call the shop tomorrow and see about replacing the battery. I'm hoping it isn't the camera.
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Kholi Hicks

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSun Nov 10, 2013 5:36 am

I wouldn't be surprised if you thought you turned it off and it was just a reset.

I do the same thing all the time, in fact did it today.

So, you should take a full charge, and go out and test it.
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AdrianSierkowski

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSun Nov 10, 2013 2:55 pm

Sorry for the delay.
For myself, yes I have a wooden camera pocket cage and 15mm base for it. Though as most of my stuff is 15mm studio alignment from my film cameras, there is a bit of futzing to get it to be happy together. The wooden camera stuff, however, is some of the best stuff I've used and I highly recommend it for any camera.

The Scarlet, I believe has a proper power adapter (lemo I think-- or something similar) so if you are buying a vmount battery plate, it may be better to buy one of the ones which has multiple output types-- e.g. D Tap, Lemo, 2.5mm ect. That way you could use the same plate on most systems (in the case of the pocket, going from a 2.5mm to a .7mm with a converter, or a home fabbed cable, similar to what I had to build to go gtom XLR 4 Pin to .7mm to power the pocket off of block batteries ect.)

I also wouldn't hesitate to throw the pocket in a project with the reds as a B or C Camera for inserts or special shots. I was planning to c-camera it for the feature i'm shooting now, however it as away for calibration and still isn't exactly up to 100%, but that's ok as it hasn't been needed yet.
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Kofa

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostSun Nov 10, 2013 4:24 pm

Yeah the battery drains quickly. I actually had an instance where it was at 61% when I turned it off. 15 mins later I turn it on and it's at 67%! It actually went up! Only had this camera for 2 days and using a lumix pancake lens. Footage is incredible. And the stealth factor alone is worth the money. When out with my 6D, people always duck or turn their backs to me when they see me filming. But with the pocket no one even flinches. It's great!
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Sprocket Scientist

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostWed Nov 13, 2013 12:36 pm

AdrianSierkowski wrote:Sorry for the delay.
For myself, yes I have a wooden camera pocket cage and 15mm base for it. Though as most of my stuff is 15mm studio alignment from my film cameras, there is a bit of futzing to get it to be happy together. The wooden camera stuff, however, is some of the best stuff I've used and I highly recommend it for any camera.

The Scarlet, I believe has a proper power adapter (lemo I think-- or something similar) so if you are buying a vmount battery plate, it may be better to buy one of the ones which has multiple output types-- e.g. D Tap, Lemo, 2.5mm ect. That way you could use the same plate on most systems (in the case of the pocket, going from a 2.5mm to a .7mm with a converter, or a home fabbed cable, similar to what I had to build to go gtom XLR 4 Pin to .7mm to power the pocket off of block batteries ect.)


That's great news about Wooden Camera, they're not as expensive as the Redrock Micros and Zacutos too.

Thanks for the tip about the batteries too, at the moment I am leaning towards the V mount from what little I've read about options that will apply to both the Scarlet and the Pocket.
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Sprocket Scientist

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostWed Nov 13, 2013 12:38 pm

misterkofa wrote:I actually had an instance where it was at 61% when I turned it off. 15 mins later I turn it on and it's at 67%! It actually went up!


That cracks me up, the fact that it went up. Something just ain't right!

My battery seems to be working ok now ... it hasn't crashed in the last couple of days so I'm hoping it's worked itself out.
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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostWed Nov 13, 2013 12:39 pm

Kholi wrote:So, you should take a full charge, and go out and test it.


The battery seems to me working ok now... *cross fingers*.
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Kofa

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Re: Just bought the BM Pocket yesterday.

PostWed Nov 13, 2013 3:38 pm

Sprocket Scientist wrote:
misterkofa wrote:I actually had an instance where it was at 61% when I turned it off. 15 mins later I turn it on and it's at 67%! It actually went up!


That cracks me up, the fact that it went up. Something just ain't right!

My battery seems to be working ok now ... it hasn't crashed in the last couple of days so I'm hoping it's worked itself out.


Yeah, and it's happened more then once. It's like Adrian said with a MacBook. It tries to guess how much power is left based on use. Then sometimes it realizes it's off and fixes itself. And I might be lying to myself but I think I'm experiencing slightly better battery performance after the firmware update.
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