[00:00:00] In this ATEM Mini tip, we’re going to look at how you can control a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera (BPMCC) connected to an ATEM Mini. We’ll start with the software control – because you can actually control the Pocket Cinema Camera from any ATEM Mini model – then we’ll look at how you can control the camera by the hardware buttons on the ATEM Mini Extreme and the ATEM Mini Extreme ISO. This is all set up in studio B, so, let’s go have a look.
[00:00:24] This is a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, and it’s currently connected to an ATEM Mini Extreme ISO. We’re going to start with the software to show how you can control the camera from the software because this works, once again, on all the ATEM Mini models.
[00:00:37] From the ATEM software control, go to the camera tab where you’ll see access to all the cameras connected.
[00:00:42] Now, while it may appear that you can actually control any camera from here, you can’t. Even though you see all these controls no matter what you’ve connected to the switcher, these controls only do anything if you have the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera connected.
[00:00:55] Let’s start with a tour of the interface – first of all, you’ll see that camera one is currently listed as On Air – that’s camera 1 and that’s the camera that’s currently on air. If I switch to camera 2, you’ll see that change in the interface here as well.
[00:01:06] We’re also seeing this change on the camera itself. There’s a red tally light on the front of the camera that indicates whether it’s on air or not, and there’s also an indicator on the back of the camera telling me whether it’s on air or not, which is really, really convenient in a live situation.
[00:01:21] Under that, you have three tabs; Lift, Gamma and Gain. If you’re not familiar with those terms, you can think of them like black point, mid and white point or shadows, mid-tones and highlights – basically the same idea.
[00:01:33] Each one of these three tabs are individually controlled with the Color Wheel here. So, if I make a change to this under Gain and I switch to Lift, this will be reset back to where it is. But if I want individual control over all these, I can click this button to expand this out and give me, not only three separate wheels, but much larger ones, which makes it all easier to control. Before I start moving these around, let’s take a look at the rest of the settings.
[00:01:53] Here’s a Reset button, and if you click on that, you can individually reset the Lift camera Gain or you can choose to reset all. Also if you’ve made some changes and you want to copy these over to other cameras, you can select Copy from here and then going to one of the other camera controls, you can click on this and choose to paste or paste to all of the existing cameras.
[00:02:11] Underneath this, you see a variety of sliders for your Filter, Gain, Shutter and Balance. The Filter setting honestly doesn’t seem to do anything right now, and I couldn’t find any reference to it in the manual – this might be a setting that is there for future use or maybe it only works with the bigger switchers and different types of cameras – I honestly don’t know, sorry. And actually if you do, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to figure this one out.
[00:02:31] Next to that you have the Gain, which as I adjust, you can see that the exposure is getting brighter or darker. The Gain is kind of like the ISO. Base Gain is zero – that is your native ISO, if you will, for the camera. That’s where you’re going to get the least noise and the best possible picture.
[00:02:48] Anytime you gain up or gain down, you are increasing or decreasing the exposure but you’re not using the sensor at its prime position, and you’re best off leaving it at a Gain of zero, and I find that to be especially true with the Blackmagic cameras – they definitely perform best at their native Gain.
[00:03:02] Then you have your Shutter Speed control and White Balance control. With this control pad here, you can drag this knob to the left and right or up and down. Dragging it left and right is affecting the Lift, and it’s a neutral Lift.
[00:03:15] You can see here that the Lift overall is changing as I move this, but the RGB values are staying intact – so, we’re not affecting the color. By dragging it up and down, I’m opening and closing the aperture of the lens.
[00:03:27] The Coarse slider here is an interesting one and then it allows you to limit how far the aperture can be opened. So, if you want to make sure that you can’t accidentally overexpose during a shot, here’s how this works — you start by opening the aperture all the way up, and then you take the Coarse slider and you slide it down until the exposure is correct, closing the aperture until you get it to the point where you want it to be.
[00:03:49] Now that that’s been lowered, you’ll notice that the aperture indicator here has dropped down, even though the aperture control is all the way up. What this means now is as I drag this down, I can close the aperture, but even bringing it up all the way to the top will not open it any farther than it was set here as defined by the Coarse Slider.
[00:04:05] Next up have Focus Control. This ring down here allows me to manually focus the camera so I can drag this back and forth to focus one way or the other, and then the “A” button here will auto focus it.
[00:04:16] Now, I’m going to tell you it’s not the fastest autofocus in the world, but it’ll get the job done.
[00:04:20] Next, let’s take a look at the Color Adjustments for the Lift, Gamma and Gain. If I go to the Lift tool, I can take the Color Wheel and push that, for example, towards blue, adding blue into the shadows. I could then go to Gain, push it the other way and add some warmth into the highlights – allowing you to have quite a lot of color control over your scene.
[00:04:37] Now, what’s really cool about this is you can actually save this into macros. So, for example, here I’ve already created a couple of macros where if I run these, I can choose to reset it back to neutral or add a cool blue look or add a greenish look in there as well.
[00:04:52] It’s pretty neat that you can dial in the controls exactly the way you want them, make your colors match across multiple cameras and then recall those at any time using macros.
[00:05:01] Another thing you can do in here is trigger Autofocus from the macros. You’ll see I have that set up there – so, if I move the focus out-of-focus and then push the Auto button, it’ll trigger auto-focus in there.
[00:05:12] Now, you can technically record the macro of changing the focus manually, but all it records is the change – a little bit up or a little bit down. It doesn’t actually record a position. So, you can’t really use it to, for example, focus from point A to point B, it just doesn’t really work that way.
[00:05:29] You might be able to eke it out if you’re really, really careful with your starting and ending points, but it’s not really what it’s designed for and it doesn’t really work that well that way. But the autofocus does work just fine.
[00:05:38] All right, next up let’s take a look at the hardware buttons on the ATEM Mini Extreme ISO. Here you’ll see that I have two up and down arrows, underneath four other buttons that are listed as Gain, Black, Focus and Shutter.
[00:05:50] Without any of these four buttons to press, the Up and Down arrows here will open and close the aperture, making the image brighter or darker.
[00:05:58] If I press the Gain button while that’s lit up, these arrows now adjust the Gain, and you can see the adjustment happening over in the software control as well.
[00:06:07] You also have your Black Level that you can adjust, the Shutter and even Focus. If I press the Focus button and then tap the arrows, it will refocus the camera a little bit at a time, or if I press and hold the Focus button for three seconds, that will trigger autofocus – and there we go. Now the camera’s in focus.
[00:06:26] Pairing the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with the ATEM Mini is a pretty great combination. Being able to have this level of control from the software or even the hardware is pretty great. Keep in mind as well that if you’re using one of the ISO models, not only can you record the ISO streams as an MP4 file on an attached hard drive, but you can also trigger recording in cameras to record bRAW in the camera natively which you can then sync up with the xml file inside of DaVinci Resolve.
[00:06:51] It’s all pretty advanced, so we’ll look at that in another video, but for now, just know that connecting one of these cameras to the ATEM is going to give you a pretty sweet level of control.
[00:06:59] Hey, that’s everything I wanted to show you today. As always, if you have a tip that you want to see, something that’s troubling you with your ATEM, let me know in the comments below and I can try and do a video on it. And of course, as always, please like subscribe and share the video and I’ll see you in the next Mini tip.