Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

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shanepeters@bellsouth.net

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Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostMon Nov 14, 2016 6:50 pm

Hello. I recently had my HDMI port come completely off the board inside the camera. I have taken the camera apart, and it appears to be a simple solder fix. What I am not sure of, is if the port will work again once I attach it. I believe the port contacts simply presses against the board contacts when soldered down.

Has anyone had any luck repairing this? BM won't repair.
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Anatoly Mashanov

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostTue Nov 15, 2016 3:43 am

shanepeters@bellsouth.net wrote:I believe the port contacts simply presses against the board contacts when soldered down.

Has anyone had any luck repairing this? BM won't repair.

No luck. The connector has the contacts not pressed but really soldered - and soldered under the body of a connector. You cannot do it at home. And when the connector us torn it pulls the wires with it. The only remedy is to find where the specific wires go and solder the thin wires there (say, 0.08mm enameled transformer wires). Chances are minuscule and the work is very difficult.

It's possible to try to prevent it - just open the case, remove the main board, bend the ground pins and solder them thoroughly but I think it is not worthy the work. So use a rig.
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shanepeters@bellsouth.net

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostWed Nov 16, 2016 2:35 pm

Already past the point of prevention. Even using a cable protector on a housing, the hdmi port broke off from repeated plugging in/out of the hdmi cable.

So bummed. I rely on this camera for streaming output as well as being able to monitor on set.....now It looks like I have to junk it.

Perhaps I could sell it for parts to someone who needs a new screen or ??
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Alain Bourassa

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostWed Nov 16, 2016 4:34 pm

that hdmi connector is THE major design flaw of the Pocket
they should have put some kind of retainer above the connector to make it strong
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Uli Plank

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostThu Nov 17, 2016 6:07 pm

Might be an option to open the camera before it breaks and put some kind of "collar" around it with two-component glue.
This is what I do if I want to use the PCB from a hard disk's case open as an adapter for several devices. has worked pretty well for me on two of them where the disk itself went dead but the controller was still fine.
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Shane McGee

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostThu Nov 17, 2016 9:31 pm

I hope they will just use the Micro SDI on the next cameras...so much better in every way. Even the inexpensive Pocket is professionally focused as far as its target market...its not a point and shoot from Costco where the consumerish micro HDMI connection makes more sense to the target demographic...at least IMO.

I feel bad for those people who have blown HDMI ports with really no hope of getting it fixed, leaving the camera as kind of a paper weight in a lot of situations.
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Denny Smith

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostThu Nov 17, 2016 9:38 pm

I agree Shane. However, most of these micro HDMI issues can be avoided with a cage and good cable clamp setup, like the Wooden Camera setup for a minimal stealth look. Their cable clamp adapter inc,uses a Micro to normal "D" size HDMI on a short pigtale, which you leave connected to the Pocket camera. Eliminates plugging / unplugging the fragile micro connection. I used this set up worked well, no issues two years of use.
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SHA Productions
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shanepeters@bellsouth.net

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostWed Nov 30, 2016 9:19 pm

Any idea if BM would just sell me another circuit board with the ports attached? I can literally unplug, replace and be in business again if they will.


What say you BMD???
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Mark Hanlen

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 1:04 am

Mine broke last year. I used a cage on it and for a few days I had the cage off. Well it broke. Thing is I bought the video assist for this camera- and now it's sitting unused. I was mad at first, considering how black magic tells you, you're basically SOL. But I've gotten over it and continued to use the camera anyway. Although I use it less than my G7 now, which has an articulating screen. Yes this should have been a micro SDI. I guess I also have a cage I'm not using too now. Oh well!
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Csaba Nagy

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 1:22 am

shanepeters@bellsouth.net wrote:Any idea if BM would just sell me another circuit board with the ports attached? I can literally unplug, replace and be in business again if they will.
What say you BMD???

Problem with that is the sensor is permanently attached too. you'll be paying for it aswell, I don't think that replacement part comes cheap its essentially the whole cam's system and with that I dont think swapping the sensor can be done very effectively without proper tools to make sure its perfectly aligned on the focal plane.

I question BMD's use of the ribbon cable from the board to the sensor. Probably had to be done for formfactor reasons, but a male/female connection would have been nice to help ease this mass micro hdmi repair plague. Or just not have gone with micro-hdmi in the first place...
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shanepeters@bellsouth.net

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 3:28 am

I disagree. the sensor is on it's own board, connected to the main port board by a cable. The board I need does have the processor on it though...but can easily be replaced via 3 cables and a few screws. I would rather spend a few hundred on a replacement board than to scrap this camera. I need HDMI for the streaming work I do with it. Without the HDMI, it is useless to me.
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shanepeters@bellsouth.net

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 3:33 am

Well, guess I got my answer....

Hi Shane,

Thanks for being patient with me. I have confirmed with our warehouse that we do not have the circuit boards for the pocket camera in stock at this time, so we will not be able to provide in to you for repair.

Adam Taylor
Support Engineer
Blackmagic Design

The bigger question is will they ever be in stock again? Is BMD retiring the pocket cinema?
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Csaba Nagy

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 4:06 am

shanepeters@bellsouth.net wrote:I disagree. the sensor is on it's own board, connected to the main port board by a cable. The board I need does have the processor on it though...but can easily be replaced via 3 cables and a few screws. I would rather spend a few hundred on a replacement board than to scrap this camera. I need HDMI for the streaming work I do with it. Without the HDMI, it is useless to me.

Yes the sensor is on its own board, but that doesnt make it easier. The cable from all videos I've seen isn't connecting the 2 components via a connector. Its directly attached and not detachable. So if you swap processor board, your swapping sensor too. ( or I'm missing something, I've only seen it open on the web from a few videos. )

I agree it would be very convenient to do that, if only BMD had designed it that way.

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shanepeters@bellsouth.net

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostFri Dec 02, 2016 8:17 pm

Update: After some back and forth, BMD has informed me that while they will still make the pocket cinema, and will soon be getting the needed board back in stock, they refuse to sell it to me, or to do the repair, even though I have offered to pay for that service.

They have chosen a policy of not standing behind their camera product, even though they know this is a weakness of the pocket and that many have experienced this issue.

I need an hdmi out to use this camera with my streaming package. It will be replaced, but not with another BMD product. I simply can no longer give my support to a company that offers no support for their products when they fail due to weak construction and design after professional use.

Going to a professional brand again.
sp
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Denny Smith

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostFri Dec 02, 2016 9:31 pm

SP, at $995 for a new camera, the Pocket camera was never marketed at a "repairable" long term camera, but rather as a camera one replaced when it had a major failure outside the warranty. Damage to the HDMI is a two-fold issue, one is a known "weak" design, but well advertised and needing a good cable clamping system for the HDMI and power connections. I had one of the original
Coker cameras, used it professionally for 3+ years, and never had an issue with either port. I knew this was a weak point, so I added the Wooden Camera Pocket cage with their cable clamping system. This solved the issue, no failures. As a failure is just as much a user error and it is a BM deisgn issue.

Since you are using the camera for live streaming, and not recording, you might be better served with either one of the BM Micro cameras, both which have full size robust HDMI D connections, and a solid DB15 connector for power, LANC, analog video out, and remote functions. If your lighting is good, I would suggest the Micro Studio 4K camera, but the Micro Cinema camera would be a direct replacement of the Pocket camera. Both will need some type of external monitor.
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Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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shanepeters@bellsouth.net

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostMon Dec 05, 2016 6:19 pm

Thanks Denny. If I am going to invest over $1000 to replace this camera, it will be with a more durable product from a company that is able to support it. No micro cinema for me.
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Denny Smith

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Re: Has anyone repaired the HDMI on the pocket cinema?

PostMon Dec 05, 2016 6:52 pm

OK, but most cameras I. The $1-3K range are a similar or less quality build than the Micro camera, which are actually very robust, not the delicate build of the Pocket camera. The Pocket camera design, makes it not cost effective to repair an issuemlike the HDMI, as you need to rep,ace the entire board, an old standard was, if a repair cost more than 1/2 the cost or current value of the equipment, you replaced it instead of repairing it. This s where the Pocket is, repair would cost almost the replacement cost.

BM does have very good support, do not judge it based in this single Pocket camera experience. I had an issue with the Video Assist, BM fixed it and had it back to me witching 10 working days, including shipping time. A bigger camera like the Ursa, and a Ursa Mini on the other hand are more apt to be repairable, and are again more robust build. BM is relatively new at building and supporting cameras.

Sony or Panasonic is going to be the same issue, but they have more repair centers, and charge more for their products and repair support. Sony once made an ENG camera with a soldered in LiPro battery TI support the camera's memory and initial boot up, when the battery died (had a 3-5 year life span) the camera was dead, Sony charged about $300 to replace the battery, and you had to send the camera to a Sony service center to get it replaced. On the next models out, they changed this to a battery that was user replaceable. BM Support is not going to do that, if a repair (replacing the main board in the Pocket camera) is going to be excessive due to the cost of parts and labor, they simple say, "not repairable" or "we can not do the repair", when they should be saying, "the repair would not be economically feasible" and you should consider replacement instead.

The camera market is rapidly changing today, and inexpensive cameras like the prosumer video cameras are outdated in a couple of years, and are not made to be repairable or overbuild to last Odr "years of pro use", so many cameras under $3K are not going to be economically repairable either, a camera company simply replaces it under warranty (which BM does with the Pocket camera) or if out of warranty either quotes a price equal to, or sometimes exceeding, the replacement cost. So be aware of this, when buying your next camera.



If you only need a HD camera for live streaming, consider getting a larger pro camera, either in good used condition, or a new one. The Panasonic GH4, while use your existing lenses from the Pocket camera, but it has a Micro HDMI connection also, and cable clamp setups are available for it without needing a cage. To get a Canon Video camera like the Micro cameras, is going to cost you $3K-5K, and will not use your existing MFT lenses. Same with a Sony, except you could get something like a A6300 for under $3K. A JVC MFT camera like the LS300 is going to cost $3800 (currently on sale by B&H for $2800), and would also be an excellent choice for you, compact, but still a more traditional camcorder form factor, and has 3G-SDI & 4K HDMI Output, and you can still use your existing MFT lenses.

But for a compact live streaming package, you are going to be hard pressed to get a fairly solid setup like the Micro Cinema or Micro Studio 4K cameras for under $2K.

If a HD video signal out is all you need, I have a new Panasonic AF100A with a heavy duty base alloy plate (replaced the weaker plastic one), and 15mm rail kit, supports frame rates up to 1080p60 out the HDMI port, and has SDI out for external recorders. Yours for $2K. PM me if you are interested.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions

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