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The EOSHD Blackmagic Cinema Camera Shootout


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#41 hmcindie

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:42 AM

This one was actually good! I've been criticising EOSHD a bit in the past about superflous articles but this blog post was killing it. Great stuff and good reading. One thing about the FS700 is that it has way better highlight roll-of than the FS100 because of the included cinegammas. Cinegamma 4 is unbelievable, almost giving 14 stops of exposure. Offcourse it's then compressed to hell but anyway. And yes, NLE's tend to clip those 236-255 levels but they can be brought back with a filter.

But I don't get how the FS100 and 700 are so poorly designed otherwise. Extremely fiddly to use. I didn't believe it but then I used the FS700 on a shoot. The buttons are all over the place. Changing gain was horr-i-ble. 99% of videocams use this method of changing gain/iso and it's so silly. ND's were great though. I actually loved the 5dmarkIII's USABILITY more than the FS700 which was a pain compared.

One little thing about the 5dmkIII (As I've been using it) is that you can get the shadows cleaner when using those intermediate ISOs. So instead of going ISO 1600, go either 1250 or 2500. That way the cam pushes the shadows down and brings the highlights down too. You won't lose any DR but will gain cleaner shadows.

The thing with DNG raw is that it just sucks up so much space that there are not many projects I can shoot like that.
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#42 avrofilmvideo

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:30 AM

The 1D C in my opinion looks very nice.

But it is $12,999 (maybe even $15,000?) and that is the problem. The Blackmagic is $3000. Shoots 12bit raw. You may have heard of it :)/>


I have full set of Zeiss ZE PRIMES.
I do not want to cripple them. I make good money so i paid $12,500 for it. No problem.
I do not need RAW 4:2:2 I ned nice organic look on internet.

#43 jgharding

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:39 AM

Agree on all FS700 points there. That CineGamma setting is very useful! It's an odd camera, grerat image in general, odd shot have a very video feel though and I can't work out what. Used all Zeiss glass with it too. It's horrific to use though, buttons everywhere, square shape, stupid preset-based gain switch. Cheap rattling ND wheel was disappointing as was the stupid screen and "viewfinder".

I must say I had reservations, but the BMD cam is looking really good.
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#44 kirk

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:24 AM

This discussion of 12 bit raw versus 8 bit 1080 reminds me of the days of film... I remember the pure joy of working with medium format Hasselblads after years of Nikon F and TriX... the extreme resolution, the clarity... but somehow the rougher, grainy, less detailed 35mm shots never lost their appeal....
I'm sure I'd go crazy exploring the possibilities of the BMCC, and I'll probably buy one if they get active M43 mount... but the sheer, simple beauty of working with the tiny, inexpensive GH2 and getting quite amazing shots is still appealing IMHO... warts and all :)

#45 Pavel Mašek

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:48 AM

Thank you very much. It would be intresting to see also Go Pro 3 Black in this comparsion ().

#46 andy lee

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:05 AM

You can still isolate the subject from the background. It is not small chip. Who wants a completely creamed out background any way? No major motion picture I can think of off the top of my head is shot entirely at F1.4 on S35mm.


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!!
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#47 sanveer

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

The form factor really is good for my kind of work. I don't 100% understand the obsession with excessive rigging. Here I have with the Blackmagic a much larger screen than a DSLR and a picture making box with securer connections on top of sticks. Want more? Not me. On a DSLR you have a tiny screen and wobbly HDMI port, then inevitably spidery arms to whatever add on is flavour of the month. Not for me really. I like the simplicity the Blackmagic gives my shoots.


Andrew, the BMCC weighs in at 1.7Kgs, without the lens (and the SSD Cards). It IS pretty heavy. Not comparable with mamoths like the F65, but, compared to DSLRs, and, especially the M4/3rds.

The 5 inch screen was a gr8 idea, though.

#48 TC

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:40 AM

I'm also a bit concerned about the size. It looks rather large in your photo. It even makes the FS 100 look small. Any chance of some side-by-side shots with the 5D III and FS-100 in your next blog post?

#49 HurtinMinorKey

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:45 PM

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?

#50 Dr. John R. Brinkley

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:45 PM

Great comprehensive review. I figured the BMCC was the best and this helps confirm that. For me I'm still leaning towards the GH3, mainly because I'm not ready to buy a new computer to deal with the post production of the BMCC.

Andrew, any thoughts on lenses that work well with the GH3 for video? From the article you seemed to be high on the voigtlander...

#51 EOSHD

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

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.

#52 EOSHD

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

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.

#53 avrofilmvideo

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:56 PM

<<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..

#54 EOSHD

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:00 PM

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!

#55 avrofilmvideo

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:06 PM

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? :-)

#56 Leang

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:23 PM

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

http://youtu.be/jndzOYBS3CI?hd=1

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

#57 EOSHD

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:52 PM

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.

#58 Ernesto Mántaras

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:52 PM

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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#59 EOSHD

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:55 PM

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.

#60 EOSHD

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:56 PM

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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