The Original BMPCC in 2020

Is the original BMPCC still relevant in 2020?

My quest for this little article is to shine a proper spotlight on this weird little camera and to argue the case that this cheap, filmmaking relic may well be the best valued camera you can get right now & that beyond still being relevant in 2020, is actually capable of producing footage that stands up.

Now obviously I’m well aware of the specs and their shortcomings by 2020’s high standards. For certain this doesn’t even appear on the radar of comparison to the Pocket cinema’s younger siblings. But cameras are far far more than the sum of their spec sheets. As we’ve progressed in this 4k, 6k, 8k world I worry that as video creators we’re focussing far too much on those numbers and not on the fact that these are tools for reproducing an image in a certain way.

The upgrades of this camera, the pocket 4k & 6k for example, are phenomenal cameras and produce an impeccable high resolution, clean image with all the blank slate rawness you’d ever want for post production. But they’re lacking something, something that we had in the analogue age & that’s character.

For me character is everything that is great about this camera. The super 16 sensor does something very unique & specific, it produces an almost filmic aesthetic. It’s dreamy & grainy and feels almost analogue in its reproduction of a image. 

I haven’t been blessed with the ability to capture a huge amount of footage with this, mainly because we’re pretty stuck at the moment, but what I did capture truly made me fall back in love with it. All this footage is obviously in 1080p, but upscaled in a 4k timeline I honestly believe it stands up to it’s bigger brother.

Of course the 6k has a lot more to offer, even if it doesn’t actually fit in your pocket. But the 6k is absolutely lacking the character that the original has. My point isn’t to make a comparison video of the two, that doesn’t even seem to make sense, but purely to point out that BMPCC can hold up technically to today’s 4k world, and still offer something unique.

Shortcomings Gallor!

Of course the shortcomings can’t be avoided, you will need to fully rig this camera out, if you honestly want to use it for anything beyond a few short clips in a youtube review. You’ll need a cage, something to stabilise it, battery adapter, external recorders, focal adapters or maybe even a speed booster. But when you consider the body on it’s own can be found from around $200-$300 none of that seems to bad.

It’s certainly not a system to invest into, as your only camera. It’s probably not even a camera to rely upon for professional work. But it’s certainly a collectors piece that for anything video enthusiast offers something that no other camera on the market currently does and for me produces footage that resonates on a irrational level.

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