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S16 Camera choice. Some help please.

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  • S16 Camera choice. Some help please.

    Thanks in advance for your 2c on this.

    I am confused about what camera to go for to shoot S16. I have a number of PL mount S16 lenses and 1 or 2 16mm lenses in PL as well.

    I thought the UMB was the way to go but now not so sure. This cam shoots native S16 at 4K. As far as I know its the only way to shoot S16 at 4K. It does not have the dynamic range of the P4K or P6K much less the UMP G2.

    So I am confused about how the P4K/P6K/UMP G2 shoot in "Window" mode. I have never done this or seen it done and have zero experience with this, so really I know little to nothing about it.

    I think I sorta get it. The P4K with the new 6.6fw has a S16 crop mode. I am supposing this means there are guide lines on the screen showing where the image falls on the S16 frame and one simply frames and shoots within those guide lines?

    If I have got the basic gist of it, then is the P4K a better way to go today to shoot S16?

    What about the P6K ?

    I do intend to pick up a few BMPCC's even though they are only 1080P because it's another look. Why a few? because as they die over the years I will have replacements/spares.


    If you can't give me your 2c on this I will gladly accept 1c's worth


  • #2
    Interested to know for the same reasons


    • #3
      The image from the original BMCC 2.5k is superior to the pocketHD and has the same framerate restrictions. Your options for 13 stop s16 image capture are limited to the BMCC, Pocket/Micro, and simply cropping the Pocket4K/6K, Ursa/whatever.

      I would go with the Pocket4k/6k and crop the vignette in post, but that's my personal opinion since s16 lenses would be a specialty thing for me in the first place. The design of the new camera is better in every way and saves you headaches down the road going to older cameras. I wouldn't build my kit around s16 glass and the modern system is futureproof.

      You're going to have to adapt PL to ef/mft to an unsupported obsolete system. Not to mention all the mandatory accessories needed for those systems to function properly. What a mess.


      There are quite a few 2/3" cinema cameras that were popular in the film/digital crossover period. They are many factors more expensive than what you are looking at and require a ridiculous support infrastructure to function. They are also only HD. They aren't really a good option, but they do exist.
      Last edited by GeranSimpson; 09-18-2019, 10:44 AM.


      • #4
        Fist off, S16:is really a HD deliverable format, and while it works on the Ursa Broadcast Camera with the Ursa Mini Pro PL mount, I always downresed it to HD in camera, this works very well. The UB has several advantages with its native S16 sensor (slightly larger than true S16 film gate) but most S16 lenses will cover it. Another is you have two XLR audio inputs, one of which can be set to AES digital audio to take a single cable, two channel audio input from an outboard mixer, like the Sound Devices MixPreD. You also get built in ND filters. Downside, it is larger and requires a good tripod, and uses V or AB Mount ca,era batteries which are more expensive. If you go this route, see my UB accessories for Sale in Off Topic.

        I switched to the
        I met 4K, to downsize my rig, due to hand issues. The new upcoming FW 6.5, appears to include a S16 2.6K window mode. This means you are only using the center 2.6K area of the sensor, and the monitor shows this area in the entire monitor (no crop), yuk can set frame guides to get different aspect radios, like 2.3:1 to crop to in post. The camera shoots this wondomin BRaw, and in ProRes, when the camera is set to HD, and yiu slect the 2.6K window in the camera menu (like you would to get the HD crop for 120fps). Using a crop window of the sensor, decreases the sensor readout times, allowing for faster frame rates, and less visible RS artificers. The camera is taking the full 2.6k area of the sensor and downresing the signal to HD to record in ProRes. No cropping in post required, what you see, is what you get.

        You can get several very good MFT/PL adapters, and even one with a Speed Booster element, for using PL mount S35 lenses on the S16 sensor window, from Metabones. Metabones also makes a good straight MFT/PL adapters, as does Wooden Camera (I use their Pro version which can be shimmed to correct FFD distance) and HotRod Cameras made an excellent one also. I added the WC Pocket Cage to get full PL adapter support on my Pocket 4K, which is a nice minimal cage, easily removed. Downside, you will need to add ND filters, and a nice small 4x4 Matte Box is a nice thing to have, expands filter use and makes switching lenses quicker. A cage is needed to get PL adapter support, and 15mm rails for your accessories.



        • #5
          In the next firmware of the P4k the 2.6k super16 mode will fill the screen and only record that resolution so reduced Data vs. 4k. Pl to mft adapters are readily available. Probably your best bet. The 2.8k crop of the 6k is supposedly roughly super 16 now, but you would have to adapt from ef, and not really gaining much if you are mostly using as a duper16 camera.


          • #6
            Yes, most EF/PL adapters will not mount a PL S16 lens. You would need to get the Wooden Camera PL mount kit to replace the EF mount.
            So my bet is a,so on the new Picket 4K. The new FW 6.6 should be out by the end of the month, I would imagine.


            • #7
              OG Pocket, micro cinema, micro studio, UB, dBolex, and Z Cam E2g are all native S16 sensors. What’s the advantage of a p4k or p6k crop exactly? If you’re into Braw and the dslr form factor then I can see it, otherwise what’s the point?


              • #8
                +1 am with Howie. You already have the PL glasses. Go get the OG Pocket from Ebay - time tested S16 sensor for cheap. Get a PL to MFT mount adapter and you have one hell of a solution. Then shoot your price piece, make a lot of money, then buy the camera of your dream.
                Last edited by EYu; 09-18-2019, 02:20 PM.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Howie Roll View Post
                  OG Pocket, micro cinema, micro studio, UB, dBolex, and Z Cam E2g are all native S16 sensors. What’s the advantage of a p4k or p6k crop exactly? If you’re into Braw and the dslr form factor then I can see it, otherwise what’s the point?
                  2.6k resolution, BRaw, 120fps, and the P4K's UI would all be upgrades over the Pocket, Micro, and Micro Studio.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FoldableHuman View Post
                    2.6k resolution, BRaw, 120fps, and the P4K's UI would all be upgrades over the Pocket, Micro, and Micro Studio.
                    Yes, but unnecessary. There's more than enough in the OG Pocket with his PL lenses if OP know what he/she want to do with it.


                    • #11
                      Great responses from all the heavy hitters here. Thanks gents.

                      OK so now have a much better idea of how this window crop works. I was set on the UMB...until I read the post about 2.6K crop on the next fw of the P4k.

                      I am finding it hard to stay excited about the UMB now. What is the supposed dynamic range of the UMB? iirc it was 11 stops? The UMB would have to get noisier quicker then the P4K for several reasons - 1st being that there are 4K's worth of pixels in a much smaller area. Second being that the P4K is a later model sensor - so gets the benefit of the tech improvements as time has marched on - is this basic assumption correct?

                      So what is the benefit of the 2.6K cop for S16? The only thing I can think of is being able to crop the frame to get the framing tighter in post and a slight down rez to HD to make the image just that bit sharper - I think...have I got that right?

                      The P4K will have better Dynamic range then the UMB or BMPCC, so there's that. However the BMPCC has its own mojo thats never been replicated or seen in another camera - so regardless of which higher end body I get I do intend to get some BMPCC's.

                      To complicate things just a bit, I also have some very nice Mamiya 645 lenses that have been converted to PL - 6 of them are sitting at Duclos now waiting to be shipped and the big guns, the Mamiya 645 200mm f2.8 APO, the 300mm f2.8 APO and the 500mm f4.5 APO are with Visual waiting to be mated to a camera body for tuning to the body.

                      I thought the P6K was ideal for these (with the wooden camera PL conversion).

                      ahhh but then I have my CineNikkors that have been converted to m43 (Van Diemen conversion) plus a stack of old Nikon 35 converted to ef mount (by Visual). I also have a number of C mount lenses (some very nice ones) so they will need the m43 mount camera.

                      Its looking to me like I need the P4K and P6k to cover these lens families. One thing I am sure on is I am committed to the BM family of bodies because the image is nice and you cant beat the bang for buck.

                      Does my final appraisal sound right...I really need the P4K and the P6K in order to use all my lenses ?

                      Edit: something I just thought of....the cost of the P4K + P6K is around the same price as the UMB. Does it sound right that the 2 pocket cameras for the same pricing as the UMB makes this idea the winner?
                      Last edited by M&M's; 09-18-2019, 07:56 PM.


                      • #12
                        Do you have a project lined up already to shoot? Or are you just trying to satisfy some GAS


                        • #13
                          I am a lens collector. What I have mentioned here are only the lenses for shooting motion. My stills lens list is 3 miles long! I have more camera bodies (medium format) then you can poke a stick at. And lets not talk about MF digital backs - I specialise in 22MP "Fat Pixel" backs because they are CCD based and 9 micron. The 22MP backs have a look that has never been replicated by later model gear...much like the BMPCC

                          I have a very niche subject matter that I want to shoot. I can't imagine there are many more than a few thousand ppl in the world who would be interested in this niche. But those who are , are very passionate about it. So I do have an audience...not because of my work but because of the subject matter. A great deal of my work will be underwater, but I need B roll as well. I have to tell a story and some of that is above water, hence the lenses I have collected for this.

                          Its been a long convoluted path. I started on this in 2014. At the time the BMPCC was the way to go, so I got into S16 glass to keep size down and quality up. The C mounts happened because I thought of having some small light lenses that I could use in tight conspicuous places. The Cine Nikkors were fascinating to me because i wanted something for the old retro look - not too clean or modern. Given it was all to be BMPCC based the conversion of CineNikkors to M43 made sense (then). The old Nikons were just a wim because I love collecting old Nikon lenses. But I f I can use them now and again to shoot with then that is a bonus. Hence converting to ef mount.

                          There is a method to my madness on the mamiya lenses. I do landscapes (for my pleasure) and use an ALPA FPS12 camera. Its a very nice modular system made in Switzerland. I have many Digital backs that I can mount to the rear of the camera using the different adapters. On the front of the camera I have all the adaptors that let me use many different lens families on the front of camera. I need the 500/300/200 Mamiya APO's for landscape work. It just so happens that there is an Alpa PL mount to FPS12 camera adaptor. So by converting those Mamiyas to PL mount I can use them on the ALP FPS 12 for stills work as well as on something like the P6K or the UMP G2 for motion work. 2 uses out of one lens family. Golden.

                          I searched for those 500mm and 300mm Mamiya APO's for years till i found them. Try to find the 500mm Mamiya f4.5 APO and see how you get on. Good luck. There were only 120 made. So I got my copy converted to PL so I can use it for stills via the ALPA FPS 12 camera and use it on a BM body for motion. Point I am at now is which BM body?

                          I had thought the UMP G2 was the right body for the Mamiya's. Not so sure now. The P6K is not far behind the G2 and is much smaller and easier to man handle.

                          I had thought the UMB was the right camera for the S16 Glass. Not so sure now. The P4k with the new 2.6 crop seems to be the way to go now. As Denny points out, S16 is a HD deliverable format and the 2.6 crop on the P4K gives me that.

                          So at this stage it looks to me like a P4K and a P6K solve most of my problems in mounting my various lenses to a body. Just different tools in the tool box for different things I want to shoot. I am not committed to any one camera body yet. But it really looks to me like the combo of the P4K and P6K give me maximum versatility. Cant complain about the price by going this way either.
                          Last edited by M&M's; 09-18-2019, 09:12 PM.


                          • #14
                            How about BMMCC option? See BMMCC/BMMSC Rigs Collection:

                            - BMMCC from ebay = $500-600 i giess
                            - Pure solid steady Wooden Camera Cage + PL Mount Kit 300€ for everything
                            - Mosaic v2 IR/OLPF (if hey still sell them for real) or RAWLITE IR/OLPF filter = $255
                            - Portkeys BM5 monitor which supports LUTs and can control camera from toucjscreen = $500
                            - Or wait for newer cheaper and lighter Portkeys models with build in camera control module
                            - Or get any other existing monitor with LUT support and LANC control module like FOTGA A50 series
                            - Ugreen angle HDMI adapter = $5
                            - Angle Breakout Expansion Box Module by RADIOPROEKTOR: = $55
                            - Offset ARRI type Rosette Mount Module by RADIOPROEKTOR if you need to to connect side handle: = $35
                            - 14.8V 18650 Battery Enclosure Module by RADIOPROEKTOR if you need to extend battery life up to 6 hours: = $125
                            PWM BMMCC Start/Stop Controller Trigger Module by RADIOPROEKTOR (under development, but coming soon)

                            And you need to pick up proper SD card:

                            Workflow and dynamic range tests:
                            All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here


                            • #15
                              Sound like you know what you want. Although there is that BMPCC and BMCC 2.5K mojo which BMD no longer provides in their newer camera models, I think you have made your mind on what you want to buy.