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The EOSHD Blackmagic Cinema Camera Shootout

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I was of the same opinion. But then found out Wilkinsons cameras are offering interest free on the 1dx. When the 1dc comes out it will probably be the same. based on current preorder prices in america the 1dc works out £1500 more than the 1dx. People waste £8000 interest free on a new ford fiesta!, I'd rather cycle on my pushbike and have a 1dc which can take photos at the most professional level before medium format, while also shooting lovely movie (maybe only slightly better than the 1dx, but I think the 1dx looks rather good. :) ). I recon shooting 4k, applying some softening to the 4k and downscaling in post to 1080 will yield some nice organic stuff. There is also the added benefit of having 4k to fall back on and remain current a few years down the line.



I think if I had this costing me £150/month on interest free for 4 years I'd be making sure I was getting the work in to pay for it. I recon it would still be a viable tool in 4 years.




Shooting 4K stock material which is highly in demand is a good way to make the 1D C pay for you. £150/month is very affordable in light of what you can do with it. It is the $12,999 up front that is more of a problem. Will camera stores in the UK even stock a cinema camera? CVP are a better bet and they do finance deals as well, check them out.

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Pretty good comp. But what's with all the landscape shots, and the complete lack of closeups? You guys afraid to get in front of the camera?




We were testing wide angle shots for how well the cameras resolve detail. Close-ups don't give you this. We could do a separate test with a model for skin tones, etc.

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<<Most Hollywood Motion Pictures don't shoot past T3.5 or T2.8 as the dof is so shallow the actors are in and out of focus too much and the Director has to do multiple takes to get a usable pass ,
this takes more time and costs more money.
If you read up on all the great Cinematographers they all tend to offer this opinion .
I just read Cinematographer Freddie Young's Biography (he shot Lawrence of Arabia , Ryan's Daughter, Passage To India, Dr Zhivargo etc etc for Director David Lean)
He states he didn't like shooting past T3.5 for this reason.

Citizen Kane was shot 'Deep Focus' all around T11 - T22 ....everything in focus!! this required a huge amount of light on set just to get this look!!>>

If we follow this logic, we will never fly to the moon and we will never buy Zeiss MASTER Primes ;-)Why not to have T1.0 lens in your arsenal and use it sometimes 100%. People forget LENSES are PICTURES as well.
Just make sure you RAW 4:4:4 editors have decent editing System built for this camera..

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I agree Andrew ...



Most Hollywood Motion Pictures don't shoot past T3.5 or T2.8 as the dof is so shallow the actors are in and out of focus too much and the Director has to do multiple takes to get a usable pass ,


this takes more time and costs more money.


If you read up on all the great Cinematographers they all tend to offer this opinion .


I just read Cinematographer Freddie Young's Biography (he shot Lawrence of Arabia , Ryan's Daughter, Passage To India, Dr Zhivargo etc etc for Director David Lean)


He states he didn't like shooting past T3.5 for this reason.



Citizen Kane was shot 'Deep Focus' all around T11 - T22 ....everything in focus!! this required a huge amount of light on set just to get this look!!




Well said!

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I agree Andrew ...



Most Hollywood Motion Pictures don't shoot past T3.5 or T2.8 as the dof is so shallow the actors are in and out of focus too much and the Director has to do multiple takes to get a usable pass ,


this takes more time and costs more money.


If you read up on all the great Cinematographers they all tend to offer this opinion .


I just read Cinematographer Freddie Young's Biography (he shot Lawrence of Arabia , Ryan's Daughter, Passage To India, Dr Zhivargo etc etc for Director David Lean)


He states he didn't like shooting past T3.5 for this reason.



Citizen Kane was shot 'Deep Focus' all around T11 - T22 ....everything in focus!! this required a huge amount of light on set just to get this look!!




By the way-When were those movies made? :-)

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Maybe I do get hung up on sensor size as it directly affects the DoF. Yes, the BMCC sensor is slightly larger than S16 but only 3/5ths the height and less than 1/2 the width of a S35 sensor. ( S35 = 24.89 x 18.66mm) vs (BMCC = 15.8 x 8.9mm)



DoF will be increased dramatically and the ability to isolate the subject from the BG will be reduced without getting into the increase in focal length so my wide angle is not, so it's a lot less desireable to me. Has anyone done a proper DoF comparison that you know of?




I have to agree with this post. the general image and dof is different from smaller sensors from bigger and full frame sensors. regardless of sweet spots from the glass you get a more optimized image from 35 glass. when you see the vg900 in comparison it's using more glass than the others, and you apply an actual shot aside from wide angle shots you get a better idea of what's practical. this is the best i've seen of the vg900 with dof



who knows what conditions or glass was used for the test but was a nice test.

i do appreciate the whole shoot and the original download for 2.5k comparison, but I don't have a monitor atm beyond Full HD nor can I assume the general public can see this advantage aside from pro studios... if wide angle is the fundamental for this test then even a JVC HMQ10 would be nice to compare knowing that it's such a small 4k sensor with amazing resolution. The JVC 4K is nothing compared to RED or the 1DC, but published to Full HD it's nice just like the BMCC but without the DR.

the reality is 4K is coming fast along with more lenses at 4K. anything below is going to be old school. the Hero 3 at 4K wide angle testing is probably better than any of these in resolution. thanks for the test Andrew

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Hero 3 at 4K is 15fps with a fish eye!

Totally different kettle of, erm, fish.

JVC... Not as cinematic and the 4K res when you view it at 1:1 level is smudgy.

The sweet spot of glass is the centre crop. I don't see how the VG-900 has anything to offer from the full frame sensor over the 5D Mark III. The image is just not up to it.

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I'd like to mention that while I enjoyed the comparison and it was good for drawing several conclusions, it took a bit of extra work and was hard to notice many different aspects, because although the 2.5k video does the BMCC justice, I for one don't have that resolution in my monitor (a 23" LG LED 1080p monitor) so I was zooming in and out all the time to really see what the difference was between the cameras (and to see which camera was which!). If I didn't do that I would've watched all the other cameras' videos in a smaller frame and that even made the VG900 look much better.
I know ther'd be some pixel blending in all the 1080p shots, but I think it'd be great to see an alternate version of this comparison with all non-BMCC RAW shots scaled up to fit the 2.5k resolution so we can see the differences more clearly.
Anyways, thanks for the work, Andrew!

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By the way-When were those movies made? :-)




Most modern movies are shot at T5.6 for focus as well. It isn't about what era of filmmaking, it is about the practical realities of shooting.

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I'd like to mention that while I enjoyed the comparison and it was good for drawing several conclusions, it took a bit of extra work and was hard to notice many different aspects, because although the 2.5k video does the BMCC justice, I for one don't have that resolution in my monitor (a 23" LG LED 1080p monitor) so I was zooming in and out all the time to really see what the difference was between the cameras (and to see which camera was which!). If I didn't do that I would've watched all the other cameras' videos in a smaller frame and that even made the VG900 look much better.


I know ther'd be some pixel blending in all the 1080p shots, but I think it'd be great to see an alternate version of this comparison with all non-BMCC RAW shots scaled up to fit the 2.5k resolution so we can see the differences more clearly.


Anyways, thanks for the work, Andrew!




I plan to do a 2nd version with the 2.5K scaled down to 1080p and everything full screen.
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I plan to do a 2nd version with the 2.5K scaled down to 1080p and everything full screen.




That's great. Will be looking forward to that. :)

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I plan to do a 2nd version with the 2.5K scaled down to 1080p and everything full screen.



Hey Andrew Thanks for doing all these tests for us :)

Mark

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By the way-When were those movies made? :-)




Intersting quote from Roger Deakins Cinematographer on James Bond 'Skyfall'
from his website forum.( which is a goldmine of infomation have a look)
http://www.rogerdeakins.com/forum2/index.php?sid=62d881c4b1d9407ddc8709183d62bdd1

Re: Selecting DOF on Close-Up Shots

icon_post_target.gifby Roger » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:19 am
I have only rarely shot a close up on a 135mm or longer and only then for a particular effect. There is no comparison between shooting one at a T2.0 on a 40mm and at 4.0 or 5.6 on a 135mm. The sense of space and relative distance of viewpoint will be different at any T stop.
As for a standard stop I don't have one. I generally like to shoot a night time close up at a T2.0 and I will most often shoot a day exterior close up at around a 4.0 or a 5.6 but I could also shoot at a 11.0. Every situation and every film is different.
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I have bookmarked his forum. Great stuff thanks for sharing.

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I agree Andrew ...



Most Hollywood Motion Pictures don't shoot past T3.5 or T2.8 as the dof is so shallow the actors are in and out of focus too much and the Director has to do multiple takes to get a usable pass ,


this takes more time and costs more money.


If you read up on all the great Cinematographers they all tend to offer this opinion .


I just read Cinematographer Freddie Young's Biography (he shot Lawrence of Arabia , Ryan's Daughter, Passage To India, Dr Zhivargo etc etc for Director David Lean)


He states he didn't like shooting past T3.5 for this reason.



Citizen Kane was shot 'Deep Focus' all around T11 - T22 ....everything in focus!! this required a huge amount of light on set just to get this look!!




Intersting quote from Roger Deakins Cinematographer on James Bond 'Skyfall'


from his website forum.( which is a goldmine of infomation have a look)


http://www.rogerdeak...c8709183d62bdd1

[b]

Re: Selecting DOF on Close-Up Shots

[/b]



icon_post_target.gif

by [b]

Roger

[/b] » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:19 am


I have only rarely shot a close up on a 135mm or longer and only then for a particular effect. There is no comparison between shooting one at a T2.0 on a 40mm and at 4.0 or 5.6 on a 135mm. The sense of space and relative distance of viewpoint will be different at any T stop.


As for a standard stop I don't have one. I generally like to shoot a night time close up at a T2.0 and I will most often shoot a day exterior close up at around a 4.0 or a 5.6 but I could also shoot at a 11.0. Every situation and every film is different.




Some really great information here thanks!

I also agree, whats the point of having a set built if your only going to blur that background, or going to far off foreign locales to capture that feel and look in the shot. Shallow DOF is great for indie "because" we dont have that kind of budget though, I wont argue that at all. But sometimes I see short films that use that technique in almost every single shot, even on some higher budget short films. Shallow DOF must be used sparingly for extreme purposes in my opinion (Yes just my opinion, dont get mad :P ).

Same thing with shaky cam, I wont even get into that rant here hahaha!

PS: Lawrence of Arabia is timeless, and is masterfully shot.
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Lawrence of Arabia is my favourite film of all time the cinematography is amazing! all shot with off set viewfinders on a Panavision 65mm camera.

Yes Roger Deakins forum is a good read on how the greats do it!!
Roger is very sharing with his infomation on all aspects of film making

Dont get me wrong I do like shallow dof but I just dont like it on every shot ! and once you get into f1.2 and f0.95 it gets into just a few cm in focus and you just cant shoot faces all in focus!! and its all very soft too

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Most modern movies are shot at T5.6 for focus as well. It isn't about what era of filmmaking, it is about the practical realities of shooting.




The practical realities are also that many times you don't have enough light to shoot at 5.6 at all.
Saying "most films are shot this way or the other" is pointless, no film is shot the same way, and many films are shot wide open, it's an option as valid as any other. Kubrick was shooting with f/0.7 lenses wide open on Barry Lyndon, but film wasn't as sensitive back then, so the reasons were probably different.

Shooting wide open also doesn't mean you can't see the sets, if you want to show the sets you focus on them, when dialogue is the most important thing in a scene to drive the story then it's probably a good thing to have them out of focus so they're not distracting (and so it doesn't look like a soap opera).

If you watch films like Road to Perdition or The Shining, I think you'll find it hard to disregard shooting wide open as too unpractical for the realities of shoting.

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Then again Emmanuel Lubetzki has achieved som mindblowing footage with wides and deep focus....

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Most Hollywood Motion Pictures don't shoot past T3.5 or T2.8 as the dof is so shallow the actors are in and out of focus too much and the Director has to do multiple takes to get a usable pass ,


this takes more time and costs more money.


If you read up on all the great Cinematographers they all tend to offer this opinion .




There is one thing missing here and that is what anamorphics do to DOF. When you shoot anamorphically on s35mm the DOF gets smaller. This is because a 50mm becomes quite wide but the DOF characteristics stay the same.

So to say all films are "deep dof" is quite wrong.

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Most modern movies are shot at T5.6 for focus as well. It isn't about what era of filmmaking, it is about the practical realities of shooting.




A lot of closeups are actually shot at 100mm-200mm in cinema s35mm. This is quite different what indie-filmmakers do. If you take a look at any modern film you will see quite a lot of blurred out backgrounds especially with closeups of people. Anamorphic wide shots (even at t5) start getting quite soft backgrounds and closeups of people tend to be quite tele with a blurred background. Sometimes really blurred. I just watched this one film (name eludes me) and there was a restaurant scene where a couple of was talking. It was extremely blurred. Anamorphics + s35mm starts to get quite close to spherical fullframe in DOF characteristics (lens distortion not withstanding)

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The point I'm trying to make is you don't need to run around with a Voigtlander f0.95 lens on the front wide open all the time to make good movies on a Canon , BMCC or GH2 etc
Yes fast lenses are a useful tool if used creatively....
Variety is the spice of life!!

I just shot an action film , big set, and we shot anamorphic at f1.2 to get a moody look and actually tracking with actors keeping focus on their eyes in action scenes was difficult as the dof was about 2 inches !
It look alot of takes on set ! see below frame grab... you get the idea!

50acc3a97f502_soko1cinemascopelores.jpg

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I agree with the above comments, im not saying you should never use shallower DOF, heck it helps when your on a budget. But there are these weird techniques I see sometimes where even the subjects face is barely in focus... then again these are just my personal tastes, I do also enjoy shallow DOF, but sometimes I dont see the point of it, its ok to let the viewer's eye wonder in my opinion. To me closeups are perfectly fine for this technique because you're suppose to see the subject and focus on him/her only, Whats weird is when its a shot that doesnt need it at all or when used with run and gun, then there are some that are crazy like shooting 1.4 during a chase sequence.

Im not saying you should never use it, heck i know I will, but its good to know when it has an actual effect to the scene, then being saturated with constant shallow DOF, which can be exhausting at times and can lose its effect when you purposely 'do want to' use it.

To me the the main things that are on my mind when Im shooting is composition, lighting, and what is necessarily to the narrative. To me lighting is so important, its something that I always strive to improve on (probably because im terrible at it haha) because thats usually what gives away the illusion to the audience, in my opinion. It sometimes makes a location feel more like a set then it is a location.

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Andrew, have you mounted it on a shoulder rig yet? I liked your tiny shoulder gh2 rig, minimal is best, I can imagine the BMCC could be quite effective on the shoulder with it's essentially monitor on the back w/peaking. Would need to be offset for the eyeline.

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All of the above is why it seems that Super35 is a preferred sensor size. Super35 hits the sweet spot. It can achieve deep depth of field if needed but it's also easier than Vistavision size to keep in focus at f2.
I hope Blackmagic sell a truck load of these units so they can then produce a Super35 version.

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For those who are still wondering about skin tone of the BMCC. What do you think? (Shot by John Brawley)

50af48ae40606_BMCC_shot_3.jpg

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