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Blackmagic Cinema Camera Review - DSLR killer?

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#41
HurtinMinorKey

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:04 PM

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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.


Haven't people been editing 4K Redcode Raw for years on Mac? The top of the line iMac has only a 2GB (mobile) card. Even the outdated pro has only 1GB (deskop) cards.

#42
noa

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:32 AM

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Nice review Andrew, well written and informative. I have been an event and wedding shooter for years now. Since those are fast paced, with often just one chance to get it right my equipment has been a mixture of regular videocamera's and dslr's. It's a combination that works well for me and my clients seem to be happy to. :)

The BMC camera would actually be useless for the kind of work I do, the workflow is just be too cumbersome and yet, I really want one, not for events or weddings but just for my own personal projects. Where I can do the opposite of what I"m making a living from, going back to basics, take my time to plan my shots and think about what I will be shooting without the time pressure I have when doing my event work. I just want to capture beautiful images with as less sacrifices as possible and without having to break the bank. From what I have seen so far the BMC camera can deliver that for me.

I will be reading up some more months on this camera before I buy it, especially about workflow on a windows pc since the BMC seems to be designed with a Mac in mind so that might be a challenge.

Another thing Andrew, it's ok to have an opinion about something but I think you should be careful about saying windows has always been shit because you actually are starting a windows/mac trash debate with such generalizing remarks. I don't care what system I work with as long as it does the job. All I can say that since I started using windows 7 pro I never had a system crash and never had to "fiddle" with anything so I don't share the same experience you seem to have had, my editing system runs 16 hours a day, 6 days a week and combined with Edius I never had that go down either. So for me at least it works very well and very stable and that at a fraction of the cost I would have paid for a Mac pro.

With that said, will be looking forward to any new info/tests you can share, I only have to convince my wife why I need the camera, that will be the biggest challenge :D
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#43
andrew00

Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:01 AM

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I'm planning a short to shoot after Xmas (which fingers x'd means both the GH3+BMCC will be avail for). Will be renting 2x of each cameras as it'll be strict script but improved dialogue. One cam on each actor (for the dialogue).

Looking at the maths of it, lets say we shot on 2 GH3's, you'd want accurate focusing, which for me means an external monitor or evf. Combo that with the camera bodies and you're looking, in UK terms, at nearly £1900.

Compare that to the BMCC, which has peaking built in and as Andrew points out the screen is a monitor, at £2100 UK price and you're essentially the same price.


Obviously will have to see the impressions as more people get their hands on them, but will be interesting to watch opinions develop.

#44
AaronChicago

Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:50 AM

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Another thing Andrew, it's ok to have an opinion about something but I think you should be careful about saying windows has always been shit because you actually are starting a windows/mac trash debate with such generalizing remarks. I don't care what system I work with as long as it does the job. All I can say that since I started using windows 7 pro I never had a system crash and never had to "fiddle" with anything so I don't share the same experience you seem to have had, my editing system runs 16 hours a day, 6 days a week and combined with Edius I never had that go down either. So for me at least it works very well and very stable and that at a fraction of the cost I would have paid for a Mac pro.

With that said, will be looking forward to any new info/tests you can share, I only have to convince my wife why I need the camera, that will be the biggest challenge :D


I agree. Windows 7 has been virtually flawless for me.
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#45
sanveer

Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:37 AM

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The BMCC is a phenomenal camera, especially considering the price, no matter what anyone says. Also, despite being the first one to come out of the Blackmagic stables, it is still a seriously good camera.
IMO, though, I a not sure it is a DSLR killer. Well, for many reasons.
1. It weights a LOT more than the GH2, and even other DSLRs. Whereas the 5D Mark iii vs BMCC's dimensions and weight:
Dimensions: 152.0 x 116.4 x 76.4 mm vs 166.2 x 113.51 x 126.49mm
Weight: 950g (including battery and SD card) vs 1.7kgs (the battery is internal, non-removable).Thats almost Twice the weight of the
Mark iii. And almost 4 times the weight of the GH2 (it weighs 444gms, with the battery and SD card). The SSD Drives, I am guessing, with add a noticeable amount of weight, to the BMCC.

2. Most people who shot with the 5D and the GH2, would obviously be aware, of the inherent imitations in (actual) Dynamic range and score in coloring and grading. They don't care too much about it.

3. The 12 Bit Raw and 4-4-4 is more of an Alexa and RED killer. The DSLRs aren't even close to that pedigree. I believe, that even though RED pretended to be targeting Canon, it was actually more seriously, attempting to wean away customers, from the BMCC.

4. DSLRs video is more out of the box. And, if you use a certain kind of profile, which is reasonably flat, you could tweak the video, in post, a LITTLE.

5. Good quality Sound recording is as much a headache on DSLRs, as it is on DSLRs. You need good quality mics, for both, though, due to terrible on-board sound, and lack of monitoring in most DSLRs (except the the D800, Mark ii, GH3 etc), sound recorders like the Zoom H4n or pre-amps (if you don't wanna sync) JuicedLink, are a necessity. A lot of Guerilla shooter even use recordes like teh H1, and sync later. Probably even dub, later.

6. I feel, a lot of amateur shooters and semi-professional cameras are not interested in using Rails and Mat Boxes, and even Follow Focuses. Especially people (like me) who like the whole charm of gorilla shooting. I am guessing, that most BMCC users will add all these, to make the BMCC, shooting, as professional as possible.

7. There are DSLR shooters, who use crews of 20-50, with matt boxes, follow focuses, serious lighting (HMIs, Tungstens, Fresnels etc). The word, for describing this pedigree of idiots, hasn't been coined, yet. Especially, since the FS100, AF100, FS700, C300 have come into the scene.

8. The BMCC cannot be used as a crash cam/ action cam. The new Hero 3 seems to be pretty decent, though, it cannot really replace the GH2 or even the 5D. For multi-cam action sequences, DSLRs don't seem to have a replacement. Yet.

9. The D800 and 5D Mark ii hover around the BMCC price. If you can afford 3k, for a video camera, add another 3k to that, for the SSD cards, and the upgrade, to your edit set-up, and Voila !!!

10. The GH2 costs $700, and the 7D costs $1500. The T4i costs $800. If DSLR, is something, that one is looking, for, then, there are cheaper options, at a fraction of the cost of the BMCC (and the 5D Mark iii), for video. As videos have shown, saying that the 5D Mark iii or Mark ii some low light kings, is all bullshit, especially, if you cannot use that quality, for professional video. And, if it crushes details, at the cost of low light.

11. Since the Data Rate is reasonable, you don't need many TBs of storage. On the BMCC you need about 7GB of space, per minute of video, shot at 2.5k RAW. For other formats, there is a huge amount of compression, so, that should not be an issue. But, I am guessing, you wont be picking up the BMCC, if you wanna shoot 4-2-2 or 8 bit

12. Most DSLRs aren't too taxing on your system. You don't have to upgrade to 16GB RAMs (or more) and use Graphic Cards that cost as much as you entire computer, for editing DSLR video.

The 5D Mark iii and the D800 are as lousy, for video, as their 4 year old cousin, the Mark ii. All the extra features are just publicity gimmicks. It hasn't added much to the video quality. They haven't added more than 50-100 lines of resolution and the 4-2-0 codec is the same.

DSLRs and the BMCC were never in the same race, to begin with. The BMCC is a purebred greyhound, and the DSLR is a pekingese. There is no competition, between them. There never was.
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#46
Jacek

Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:51 AM

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Haven't people been editing 4K Redcode Raw for years on Mac? The top of the line iMac has only a 2GB (mobile) card. Even the outdated pro has only 1GB (deskop) cards.


Different software uses different hardware acceleration. DaVinci Resolve supports (pretty modern) CUDA hardware.
Maybe it can be used without it (using CPU power instead.. but not sure..), but overall that support looks like big positive rather than negative thing. It's like DirectX for 3D in the past:
- First there were 3D games using mainly CPU
- Than showed up 3D games which needed GPU with Direct3D support and moved load from CPU to GPU. The improvement was amazing.

Today DaVinci moves load from CPU to GPU in video editing - thay do whole rendering calculations in GPU instead of CPU.
The modern hardware (CUDA) allows to build cheap powerfull workstations and go futher only by adding more graphic cards (which is widely supported today) rather than using whole CPU power (not to mention pricy multi CPU systems).

(ATI alternative to CUDA is unfortunately weaker.)

So please stop blaming DaVinci programmers that Mac's can't be customized and outdate so quickly.
If you have old PC, you could just swap your graphic card (for 300$) and enjoy smooth real-time 4K raw editing.

Now you know that you get iMacs stability and look(design) not for free.. You sacrifice customizability.


I'm happy to see computer hardware progressing so fast. It wouldn't be so fast without customizability of PCs (which make progress easier).
If 20 years ago there were only iMacs on the world (no PCs), you would be still playing 3D games using only CPU :). Because everybody would say: "That stupid NeedForSpeed Direct3D doesn't work on my almost new iMac with fastest CPU! Do they think I'll buy a new one just for 3D card? F...k them, let's play Saper!"


PS: I do have MacBook and I like it. But for workstation/server I would prefer PC.
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#47
septemberdawn

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:40 AM

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Andrew,

Do you have any anamorphic adventures to report/share when using such optics with the Black Magic Cinema Camera?

#48
markm

Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:49 AM

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Andrew great review. The BMC is truly a game changer. Already the mighty are toppling. This must be on every film makers christmas list. Sanveer has put my thoughts on it exactly.
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#49
jgharding

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:00 PM

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This looks great! It's the first thing I've seen that actually feels like the way one may shoot an independant movie, instead of a "test" video (yawn). It's great to see something with some darkness and atmosphere coming out of BMCC, as it's more how I'd use it too.

It's a shame you can't actually buy them though, unless you bought one forever ago :S That's such a huge problem for them. I can walk a few minutes from where I'm sat and get a 5D, but even if I have the cash to buy one of these BMCCs now, there's absolutely no way to know when it'll arrive!

P.S. On subject two:

Price, inability to upgrade cheaply and easily, and the irksome idea of throwing important work in with a willful consumer electronics group who arbitrarily discontinue things every five minutes, are what stop me using Apple Macs. Those points and that neverending gamma problem of course! Last PC I built is going strong, I got over twice the power of equivalent MacPro for half the price. Then I stuck 24GB RAM in it and a new GPU all for peanuts. Bonus!

I use OSX a lot too though, and it's certainly less convoluted, though I think overall that the number of problems I've experienced has been equal.The OSX problems just look nicer ;)
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#50
jgharding

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

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After some rooting about there's talk of 3 months to delivery if you order now. If you're lucky... I wonder if someone will clone the thing before they even manage to produce it in bulk :o
http://www.jgharding.com

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#51
sanveer

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:49 PM

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Andrew great review. The BMC is truly a game changer. Already the mighty are toppling. This must be on every film makers christmas list. Sanveer has put my thoughts on it exactly.


I love the BMCC. Its such an amazing camera. I Know, I'm being greedy, but, I wish, they make version 2.0, with a 30% reduction in bodysize. That would be phenomenal.
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#52
tomekk

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:51 PM

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thats hilarious. Some ppl on this forum propagating looking for the best product at a given price. Constantly bashing companies for overprjced products but then completely blind to their when they overpay :D. check the hisotry of mac. because it was so bad almost bankrupt they had too stop using their ’better and faster’ hardware. I still remember their marketing crap and bullshit of their d cpus being 2 times faster than reg you lar PC cpus. Their OS being superior to overything else.
what happened? its all gone. theyre using PCs hardware. Operating system is UNIX under the hood. Only name left.. and prices.
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#53
tomekk

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

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sorry can’t edit previous comment from the phone I think

#54
tomekk

Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

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oh the aegument its easier and there is less errors in the system is true... just the problem is its only true beacuse youre limited to the maximum.... when u have a gopro with 1 button, certainly, less things can go wrong then wheb you have gh2...

#55
tomekk

Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:08 PM

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as for bmcc. lets compare it to whats on the market when we can buy it. whats the point of comparing something you’ll get in 6months time (and as we know 6months is ages in todays hardware progression ) to already 1 year old cameras. DUCY?

#56
markm

Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:55 PM

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tomekk Black Magic have their hands tied on this and they are getting some cameras out. This is not the same as promisng stuff that couldn't be done It was totally above board and in place. Their suppliers were tried and tested then switched companies on them. That is far from Black Magics fault.
That aside even though time has passed it is still the camera that shoves all the pathetic consumer offerings into the stone age. Andrew has a baby Alexa literally. And soon it will be available to all. Truly a groundbreaking game changer that has shaken up the business of camera making.
Either manufacturers will have to start giving consumers what they want or someone like Black Magic will. They have made tiny movements in the righ direction but really cameras like the GH3 need to be about £700 to stay in the game.
Although many will prefer the easier workflow of a camera that has on board ND filters and high compression rates They wont pay X thousands of pounds premium for it when they can have prores and although more time spent rendering etc they get better quality.

Manufacturers now face a dimemna on how to go forward.

Of course the next step FOR PRO USE IS 4K Global shutters and better capture cards for bigger better storage as well as Moire issues.
They could easily divide the Pro and consumer market again.

Of course that doesn't take into account China or BM's next move.

Seems to me Canon could have led the way with the C300 if they had priced it at about £5000 and then bought out The C500 at its current price.
In my opinion they shot themselves in the foot through overpricing and left and opportunity that has left them far behind. They have a lot of catching up to do as well as regaining consumers trust. Its a do or die world Some are choosing to go down with the ship.

#57
tomekk

Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:15 PM

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markm I agree but I’m pretty sure companies will react. It’s natural. They always react.

#58
tomekk

Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:17 PM

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also the topic name is pretty bad unless I missed somwhere that bmcc can take as amazing stills and has as amazing AF as 5dmk3/d800

#59
Bruno

Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:02 PM

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BMD should sort out their problems and focus on getting us active MFT mount versions of the camera, that's what they should have went for in the first place, it's been one of main critiques since they announced the camera and it took them way too long to accept it, and when they did, they ran into these other problems that are keeping them from selling cameras.

We'll probably see the Digital Bolex come out in the meantime, if they don't run into problems too. They're different cameras that will probably deliver similar quality images, but for different styles of filmmakers. I'm not crazy about the Digital Bolex's form factor, but the mount variety and global shutter are definitely strong points for my shooting styles. Also, having an S16 sensor allows the usage of 16mm lenses, whereas the BMD camera has a slightly larger sensor which might not work with all 16mm lenses, while not being bigger enough to make a difference to the look of the image and DOF.

#60
HurtinMinorKey

Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:26 PM

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What ever happened to the Kineraw s-35? Haven't heard from them in forever.




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