“The Delivery” Short Film – A Product of a Blackmagic Production Camera 4K Test

by planetMitch8 Comments

Adrian Tanner sent us this very nice Blackmagic Production Camera 4K ‘test' he shot a couple of weeks ago.

Pay attention to his description of shooting this as a one man band and shooting it without a ton of accessories.

We were thrilled to have Adrian provide some special info for planet5D.

Take a moment to tell the world your thoughts in the comments below!

Shooting “The Delivery” in 4K

From Adrian Tanner:

I direct as well as shoot – so my agenda here was to get as many shots as possible (in an afternoon with my kid) and practice storytelling. I wanted to put something up where the camera wasn’t attached to a hundred expensive peripherals. Philip Bloom has covered that with great style – but the more of his toys he gets out, the further away he moves from the ordinary shooter.

For a software company the code on this camera is pathetic! I would be surprised if it ran to a page! The menus are nice and clear – but there are no options at all. Black Magic really need to recruit the guys from Magic Lantern to beef up this camera. It would probably only cost them a few grand to implement audio levels, clip deletion, better battery indicators, more codecs, remaining memory indicators ETC. ETC.

Clearly Black Magic have worked to eliminate any artifacts – by which I mean moire/aliasing/blocking/rollings shutter – those things we pixel peepers notice consciously in video, and which we hope to hell have a subliminal influence on our audience.

The funny thing though, is that the one artifact they have not removed is clipping – which gives the game away that you are watching video, rather than life, as quickly as anything. Especially when the red dot appears.

My Canon EOS C100 has much more DR.

Still from "The Delivery"

Still from “The Delivery”

You might want a better monitor for shooting in bright sun – and 4k focusing – but this one beats my Canon EOS C100 hands down.

You do need extra batteries (although I am using cheap ones – as it charges just like an iPhone – so you don’t need to worry about power cutting out or varying). It’s really not that hard to hand–hold the camera – but it could get very heavy if you add things.

All the outdoor stuff is shot on a Sigma 17-50 with IS. Indoors, I mostly used the new 1.8 18-35 Sigma, bit of Canon 100mm f2.0 for closeups. The only light was from the window. Wobbly monopod, sticky slider etc. – it’s only a test!

In post, my old early 2009 Mac Pro Quad-core running FCPX 10.1 – coped remarkable well, until I tried to add Filmconvert or Neat Video, when it promptly crashed. I am now going to invest in a Hackintosh with the beef to handle 4k AND effects.

I was pretty disappointed in the camera until I started to grade in FCPX (my machine won’t boot Resolve 10 for some reason). Just bang up the mids in exposure and the mids and highlights in Saturation and you realise that the codec will give you so much more life and vibrancy than AVCHD. It also responds really well to sharpening, which, with my focus pulling skills, came in handy a few times.

In a way, I wished I’d bought a more expensive camera. I know people who went for the C300 when it came out and it changed their working lives, just because it was that little bit more than the average guy could afford, so it made them look like real pros.

The main reason why I bought the camera was to slowly begin shooting an indie feature – which probably won’t reach DVD/Streaming for four years. For that reason, I’m glad I got the 4k, and I am confident it will look great on the big screen when the time comes.

Check out Andrew's work at www.manyhandsproductions.com

The Delivery


Testing the BMPC4K Blackmagic Production Camera. Shot in Prores 4k.

As you can see – no crew lights or sound or any of the expensive add ons that people recommend. My initial disappointment in the camera went away when I started pushing the mids and the saturation in the grade.

I always thought the global shutter might enable wobbly hand-held work. Of course it”s not the ideal camera for that – but it can be done.

If anyone wants to grade it let me know and I can make the untouched files available.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. Hey, Looks like a great kids movie to me. A great tool for that purpose for sure. Looked nice on my TV via chromecast. I have a BM4K as well and it is nice to se others work. I also have a Sony NEX FS100 and it is a bit of a challenge to go back to teh BM4Ks poor low light performance once you are used to the easier workflow. Love the skin texture and quality from Black magic cameras. Thanks for sharing this video.

  2. I have been holding out for the BM4K especially now that it’s only 3K in price. I want it for a couple of reasons. I like the idea of the global shutter.. for the price, it seems to offer something no other camera 3x+ it’s price offer. I couldn’t tell from the video or any feedback I’ve read if the GS is worth getting the 4K camera or not?

    I also wanted it for the ability to shoot 4K then have some wiggle room to crop the video to fit 1080p. That is especially handy for shaky video, but typically I’d work on a tripod or monopod with feet.

    I primarily wanted it to shoot 4K RAW stock footage with. I am slowly building up a collection of stock footage and figured 4K RAW would be great for anyone to have access to. Short of buying a RED with 5K, this seems like one of the best uses for this camera. Bring a couple SSD drives, spare batteries and shoot all sorts of 4K RAW clips.

    I keep reading about the 12 stops of dynamic range vs the 13 of the BM Cinema and the BM Pocket. I was wondering if one of the speed booster adapters might help with that? I saw a video where the BM Pocket used the $500 speed booster that allows EF lens to work on it.. and the difference was pretty big. Well worth $500. Not only did it decrease the crop ratio by a good margin, but it also opened up more light from what I read.

    So.. is the BM 4K really that bad for low light? For now I am using a “cheap” Rokinon Cine lens with the equiv of F1.4 or so. If I was shooting 4K RAW, is 12 stops not that great? I am comparing to my canon T3i which just looks terrible even in decent light. I am still relatively new to the whole dynamic range argument, but I am starting to see where more range would give me a better picture. Case in point, shooting my kids play the other day with spot lights on the stars.. their faces were so washed out in the video I couldn’t make out any details. Will the BM 4K still see those as washed out..or will I get more shadow and highlight area and thus more detail despite the bad lighting?

    If you had the option of shooting 4K RAW for stock + use it for something like a commercial, music video and/or family use.. would you rather go the way of the BM pocket + speed booster setup for about $1500, or spend the 3K on the 4K camera (both shooting RAW that is)?

    Ultimately I’d like both cameras, but I can probably obtain the pocket camera fairly soon, where as the 4K will take a while. I am also curious if you think BM can fix some of these issues with software updates such that the 4K will shoot more range or cleaner than it does now? The BM pocket has had a few updates already and supposedly is doing better now.


  3. The quality is brilliance. Seriously. I don’t even think my computer can view 4K in it’s splendid glory. But this video looks good no matter what. Wish I had the money to purchase said camera. I wish they added more color to the video, like went to areas with vibrant colors about. I imagine it’d look great.

  4. I have a BMPC 4k and recently purchased 4 x 190wh batteries + charger from Batteries4Broadcast.

    They came to around $2k and will power my rig for 12 hours.

    The camera pulls 30 watts and my rig pulls 50 total watts in total including the monitor, focus control, wireless hdmi etc.. So for a professional setup expect to need at least $1k of batteries. www.batteries4broadcast.com/gmc09.htm

    I also had to get 2TBs of ssds, a BM multidock, and will probably have to get a R2 4x raid with regular 4tb drives.

    Every extra second of footage takes of another 100MBs so you have not record as freely.

  5. I really enjoyed the overall quality of this film. I know it’s a video to display the quality of the camera, but I couldn’t get into the bad acting at times. But then again, I guess you can see there wasn’t much acting. Anyways, the quality is really good and it just makes me want the camera even more.

  6. Hey Folks,

    First of all it’s not 4k, it’s ULTAHD. So it will loose significant resolution when scaled for a theater screen. And of course Bayer sensor cameras loose resolution after the debayer process either in the cam for compressed media or in something like Resolve for dealing with RAW.

    Secondly, as with most single chip cameras you will likely need all sorts of addons for even low budget work, so add that to your calculations.

    Happy Shooting,
    Robert A. Ober

  7. I am really interested in the BMPC 4k. I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about it as of late and I really want to play around with it myself, see what I can produce. I feel the price is relatively good, so I’m happy about that. There’s just so many good camera’s out there that I’d love to play with, including this.

  8. I saw the London comparison video just a bit ago, and I have to say this camera keeps impressing me. For the price it’s going for, that’s just beauty. The video showcases it well. I too wish they showcased some more color. I don’t think they should have included the video game to the video, just felt like it killed the flow of the video for me.

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