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Blackmagic Cinema Camera Review - DSLR killer?


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#21 Elevatedvisual

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:15 AM

Great review, really stoked to get one been on a few waiting list looks like the US got very few of the introductory stock. I'm using daVinci nine full version with the new MacBook Pro 15 inch retina 2.7ghz 16 gig ordered 128mg ssd option and upgrade OWC Aura Pro 488 ssd saved $200 and using 128 ssd for backup. faster. wicked faster than stock 500 ssd. Able to do 8 nodes at 24fs playback and render Alexa ProRes 422 HQ log files 48fs. This should be comparable to the 2.5 raw format which I have not tried but I've been told works with this configuration. Im also pushing a Dell 30" screen. The latest cuda driver 5.036 bumped the speed and stability.

#22 Bruno

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:37 AM

I wonder why Resolve only works with compatible gfx cards, I understand it uses it for great performance but should still let you use it with any card, even if slower, for simpler tasks like footage conversion, etc.

You can easily edit R3D footage on an old mac, so I would hope BMD or someone else comes up with simpler and less demanding raw processing tools.

#23 Jacek

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:17 AM

Wow, it looks great! Hope to see some more of your BMCC footage soon :).

Following some advices from http://www.blackmagi..._2012-08-30.pdf
you can actually build a perfect DaVinci PC for about 1000-1500$ (capable real-time raw preview).
So for Mac users it would be best to even build a PC just for DaVinci Resolve (and configure Windows to run DaVinci fullscreen on startup if you don't like the system ;)) - you would appreciate the performance boost.
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#24 acmeman

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:41 AM

Great review Andrew, I had given up the idea of owning this camera but now its back in mind. I've almost pulled the trigger on a 5D MKIII as I own a few EF/EF-S lenses but I just can't justify the video image for the same price (roughly) as the BMCC. I'm already invested in Mac's for recording so I'm thinking of building a Hackintosh. http://nofilmschool....d-a-hackintosh/ Finding a reasonably priced 10bit screen will be another investment. Holding onto my money at the moment. Looking forward to more on the BMCC.

#25 emd

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:17 AM

Excellent feedback.
Since you had a shot of the BMCC and VG-900 side by side, any chance you might have some comments on the VG-900 FF video camera?

#26 andrew00

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

Will be interested to see the GH3 vs BMCC comparison.

As long as the GH3 doesn't have peaking then you'll always need an external monitor/EVF for reliable focus, add that up the cost of the camera and you're at the price of the BMCC anyway.

#27 Germy1979

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

I cannot wait to get my hands on this bastard. Question is, what if you did want to use an evf on it? Do any evf's have sdi inputs? Because i'm thinking it's a converter box at that point.. (Another blackmagic purchase ironically, lol.)

#28 OzNimbus

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:36 PM

Thanks for mentioning that Resolve is CUDA compliant. CUDA support for many plugins and effects on the pc is sorely lacking..... this just helped me make up my mind on my next camera.

#29 hmcindie

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

I find it funny how when someone has had a bad experience, he will always expand on it a trillionfold and hold that experience as sacred. The first time I used a mac...it crashed twice in two hours. They still crash, five years into the experience. Macs only work when you don't really do anything with them. For surfing, light photowork and the like, they are great.

And when something goes wrong with them... that's when they get really ugly. I managed to convince my boss that we need to get rid of all the effing macs on our workplace. Replaced them with custom W7 pc's and everything has been so awesome that it blows my mind. They just work. For example, Finder is one the worst file managers I've used in six years. Can't paste addresses. Can't copy them. (10.6.8). It wants me to always manually connect to network drives. Image sequences are a horrible pain (try looking through a folder with 30 000 files or copying them). And now you are suggesting an OS that hates image sequences to be used for Blackmagic DNG-image sequences? Funny.

Another example is gamma shifts in Quicktime and OS X. Haven't encountered those in Windows. You like those? Like transcoding?

On our Windows side...they just work. That's why it's funny when people who don't really do anything with their machines except browse the net, write about how this and that OS is such and such. Maybe get a bit more experience first? There are a billion little niggles about the OS X I could make but maybe I should write them in the proper place. Though you did diss Windows in the article and have OS X commercials here and there so I guess this thread could be as good as any. Still you know...it's just an OS. It's meant to get out of my way and occasionally let me manage my files & settings.


On other news, the BMC is actually looking quite good. Surprising how much dynamic range you can squeeze into ISO 800. Contrary to what it sounds like in the article, there should be just as much dynamic range in a DSLR raw file. Yes, they are ISO locked but it's more that the BMC is locked to 800 with no real gain adjustment. I wonder why Red and Blackmagic don't add real ISO (more voltage to sensor) adjustments as that should improve lowlight?

#30 sandro

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:12 PM

the detail is breathtaking

#31 HurtinMinorKey

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

Images look stunning. Your review did a great job pointing out it's strengths. Using RAW makes it so much easier to get the exposure curve you want. Great stuff. I almost fell out of my chair looking at the shots of the ferris wheel. Couple questions about the hardware.

1.) Why are you convinced the workflow bottlekneck is in the GPU, and not in the CPU or Cache?
2.) Can you please provide the basic specs of your PC?

#32 EOSHD

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:56 PM

I was excited about this camera until I read Mr Bloom's review and he did indeed take the wind out of my sails. I'm a run and gun type of guy and this camera would not really fit the bill but a c300 is never going to happen ;( waiting for the c100 reviews but perhaps someone can kit this bugger out for run and gun? No ND's and sound are deal killers me thinks.


I don't understand why Philip wasn't raving about it!

The image quality of this camera in my opinion destroys the C300, it is miles more cinematic and 2.5K is a big step up from 1080p when you see it on a large capable display.

No NDs, raw storage requirements, all this stuff is relevant but the image quality is the bigger story here. By far.

#33 EOSHD

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:58 PM

Great review, really stoked to get one been on a few waiting list looks like the US got very few of the introductory stock. I'm using daVinci nine full version with the new MacBook Pro 15 inch retina 2.7ghz 16 gig ordered 128mg ssd option and upgrade OWC Aura Pro 488 ssd saved $200 and using 128 ssd for backup. faster. wicked faster than stock 500 ssd. Able to do 8 nodes at 24fs playback and render Alexa ProRes 422 HQ log files 48fs. This should be comparable to the 2.5 raw format which I have not tried but I've been told works with this configuration. Im also pushing a Dell 30" screen. The latest cuda driver 5.036 bumped the speed and stability.


Please try raw on the MacBook Retina and see how it goes. I'm interested to see. On the highest spec 2011 MacBook Pro with ATI card it runs like a dog! A 3 legged one!

#34 EOSHD

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:02 PM

Images look stunning. Your review did a great job pointing out it's strengths. Using RAW makes it so much easier to get the exposure curve you want. Great stuff. I almost fell out of my chair looking at the shots of the ferris wheel. Couple questions about the hardware.

1.) Why are you convinced the workflow bottlekneck is in the GPU, and not in the CPU or Cache?
2.) Can you please provide the basic specs of your PC?


The CPU is a general purpose processor and raw needs a greater data throughput like 3D rendering does, or texture mapping in games. The GPU is purpose built for this kind of heavy number crunching so better suited to chewing through video than the CPU. But you need CUDA which adds a more programmable interface between the app and the GPU. ATI uses Open CL which is similar but not as well supported in Resolve.

Basic specs are i7 3.4Ghz 2700k, GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1.5GB, 8GB RAM.

Ideally you want to upgrade graphics to GeForce GTX 580 or 690 3GB and have 16GB RAM with an 480GB SSD boot drive.
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#35 EOSHD

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:11 PM

I find it funny how when someone has had a bad experience, he will always expand on it a trillionfold and hold that experience as sacred. The first time I used a mac...it crashed twice in two hours.

And now you are suggesting an OS that hates image sequences to be used for Blackmagic DNG-image sequences? Funny.


You are not quite understanding here. I was a Windows user for over 10 years before I swapped to a Mac in 2006, started programming at the DOS prompt with Q-Basic when I was 14. Windows is not something I tried for first time last week and got annoyed at. It has always been shit. I don't want to have to tinker for hours on system setup. For those that do Windows is just fine. I prefer the simplicity of a Mac as I am interested in editing my footage not tinkering in the control panel trying to figure out why a driver hasn't installed for a device with a yellow ! against it. Why does the user need to see this or be able to configure this? The design of the user interface is also now nearly 8 years out of date. Windows 8 I hear is even bigger disaster because they are shoehorning a tablet OS into a desktop environment and visa versa. Who needs huge touch screen tiles when you have a mouse and keyboard and no touch screen? Last week Microsoft fired their Windows boss so they are not happy internally with the direction Windows is going in.

I won't be switching from my Mac but there are pluses and minuses on both sides as there is with everything.

I'm not suggesting an OS (Win or Mac) doesn't handle Cinema DNG at all. It is GPU dependant as already explained.

#36 Jacek

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:04 PM

Images look stunning. Your review did a great job pointing out it's strengths. Using RAW makes it so much easier to get the exposure curve you want. Great stuff. I almost fell out of my chair looking at the shots of the ferris wheel. Couple questions about the hardware.

1.) Why are you convinced the workflow bottlekneck is in the GPU, and not in the CPU or Cache?
2.) Can you please provide the basic specs of your PC?


DaVinci Resolve uses actually 2 graphic cards:
- first for interface (probably may be simple integrated card)
- second with CUDA for rendering (using only CUDA cores, other graphic functions are useless)

So if you want smooth/fast preview and rendering - CUDA card is most important.

Of course you will need pretty good other component to not cripple your PC - fast CPU, HDD(SDD), lot of RAM.

Good info you can find in: http://www.blackmagi..._2012-08-30.pdf or on their forum.
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#37 HurtinMinorKey

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:49 PM

I don't understand why Philip wasn't raving about it!

The image quality of this camera in my opinion destroys the C300, it is miles more cinematic and 2.5K is a big step up from 1080p when you see it on a large capable display.

No NDs, raw storage requirements, all this stuff is relevant but the image quality is the bigger story here. By far.


I think the story is about what raw allows you to do. It's even more important for documentary stuff because shooting conditions are hardly ever ideal. Workflow shmirkflow. I think once people's hardware catches up, so will people's preferences.

Try marketing a stills camera without raw, as pro. People would laugh at you. It allows you to nail the exposure curve.

#38 colela

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:19 PM

Great intro review!!! Now if I can only get hold of one which seams the REAL problem...

For enditing hardware, have the best of both worlds with a Hackentosh! : http://www.tonymacx86.com/home.php

#39 MattH

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:16 PM

Boy, that apple fanboy demon left your body with one last bitter sarcastic hissy-fit of a struggle, but hopefully we’ve seen the back of it now.

#40 Bruno

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:34 PM

Here's a good overview of BMD Camera's audio capabilities.






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