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Metadata Workflow for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema

Cameras are getting smaller, better and more affordable. The developers from Blackmagicdesign lately launched the very latest big thing: the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema (http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/de/products/blackmagicpocketcinemacamera). For just 929 Euro, you get a super compact camera that however can compete with professional cameras in terms of quality.

That must be the reason why it is used in more and more TV productions. No wonder if you think of the first class picture quality, the low price and the compact design. But there’s a downside to everything: the handling of the metadata is a little complicated. You cannot read neither the clip name nor the card number on-the-fly and the clips are not named in a chronological order.

In the context of the easySCOTT Metadata Services we provide, we prepared a new series for the big German private broadcaster RTL with three Pocket Cinema cams. We organized the whole workflow in cooperation with DIT Maximilian Link. Each camera has a Tiny Lockit by Ambient that reads out “Start” and “Stop” via the LANC output. This information is sent to our easySCOTT Metadata Box which is working as the Master Lockit as well and gathers all the metadata.

But since we are only getting the REC Flag without access to the original clip names of the Black Magic, it might be that the naming turns out to be inconsistent. That is why we programmed a new web based tool for the DIT that enables him to keep the clip count on our metadata box synchronized with the pocket cinema via the local WIFI.

Another Challenge: The entered timecode doesn’t influence the timestamp of the file itself – the internal clock of the Blackmagic is used here. So in this case, the timecode is put on the audio track and extracted only afterwards.

In any case, the clip information is delivered to the App for the Script Supervisor as usual. The Metadata Workflow is fully functional also in this very special case.


See a picture of our test arrangement here. You’ve got any other metadata challenge for us? We are prepared!