Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

SlashCAM conclude Blackmagic Cinema Camera review, compares to Canon C300

105 posts in this topic

Posted

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/bmcc-rewo-1.jpg"][img]http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/bmcc-rewo-1-660x439.jpg[/img][/url]

Above: ReWo caged Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Review of the cages for the BMCC is coming soon (click image to enlarge)

[url="http://www.slashcam.de/artikel/Test/Blackmagic-Cinema-Camera---Teil-3--Die-Schattenseiten-und-unser-Fazit.html"]SlashCAM[/url] here in Berlin have been putting their expertise to work on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. They also had the opportunity to compare their regular test shots with new shots from the Blackmagic. As you can see in the example after the break, the blacks are far cleaner in post than material shot on the Canon C300.

SlashCAM have tested an enormous range of camcorders and cameras over the last 10 years. Here they've tested all the important aspects of the BMCC's performance in detail, such as rolling shutter, dynamic range, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You can't compare the ludicrousness of a 2.3 crop factor with the C300. Sorry, you just can't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

If you notice, the new demos for the F55 use DaVici Resolve. It's. Where it's at for RAW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The article mentions this camera.  2013 should be very interesting. 

[url="http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/29/worlds-smallest-4k-usb-3-0-camera/"]http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/29/worlds-smallest-4k-usb-3-0-camera/[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You can't compare the ludicrousness of a 2.3 crop factor with the C300. Sorry, you just can't.

I am blown away by the image, but this statement is so true. The 2.3x crop factor is a huge draw back that very few BMC fans boys mention. 2 weeks ago, I shot a music video that took place primarily in a car. We had to use a Tokina 11-16 on an FS700. On the 16mm end, it was tough to fit both people in. With a 2.3x crop factor, it would have been impossible to get those shots. I'm not a wide angle shooter at all, in fact I generally prefer longer lenses. With that said, there have been numerous times where I had to pop on the Tokina 11-16 or else the shot just would not have worked because of crazy tight spaces.

 

I think the real revolution will come when BMC comes out with the Super 35mm version with some higher frame rates. Then the S#!T will really hit the fan. But this camera is an great start. 

 

After using the FS700 with it's high frame rates which is amazing for projects like music videos, artistic pieces, B-Roll for docs and sports, I just cannot go back to a camera that only shoots 24fps, which is fine for narrative, but 24fps is just too limiting once you've had a taste of high frame rates and the amazing drama and sexiness that is created, especially when done correctly and not gratuitously. 

 

For me, I would gladly sacrifice some image IQ for a super 35mm or wider sensor and high frame rates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Crop factor, what?  Oh please.  Not a big deal at all.  Better image quality than cameras that cost 3 times more = I'll cope;

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You can't compare the ludicrousness of a 2.3 crop factor with the C300. Sorry, you just can't.

 

Look it really is time to nail this argument down so hard it can never get up again.

 

By your logic Super 16mm which is a 2.7x crop is also ludicrous. OK but didn't stop The Queen, Black Swan and Moonrise Kingdom being made on it. They're some of the best looking films I've seen in the past 2 years if not THE best looking.

 

Remind me of the advantages of a full frame sensor. So you can defocus everything apart from a tiny sliver of hair? Oh please... It looks rubbish. This is not cinema. In low light at fast apertures, my 5D Mark III makes focus unmanageable at close distances. You cannot shoot a film this way.

 

Like I say if a 2.7x crop is good enough for Darren Aronofsky then 2.3x is good enough for you. Super 16mm films have won multiple Oscars throughout history and nobody complained about the lack of shallow DOF or the film stock being ludicrous! Do you realise how silly it sounds?

 

It isn't even a 2.3x crop factor over the C300. It is a 1.6x crop versus the C300 which is what you are comparing it to, not a photographic camera with a video mode tacked on the back.

 

Super 35mm - the cinema standard - is not the same as full frame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Gene there are specialist uses of a large sensor (confined spaces) as you rightly point out, and slow mo. But unless your whole film is going to be shot inside a car at 240fps, the Blackmagic is the better choice. I mean look at the history of cinema. How much super slow-mo do you see? Is it really that critical? Don't forget Sigma 8mm will be wide enough for the car shot you're trying. Equivalent to around 18mm on full frame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You can't compare the ludicrousness of a 2.3 crop factor with the C300. Sorry, you just can't.

You can't compare the 'ludicrousness' of 11 stops of dynamic range recorded in 8-bit at 50Mbps to 13 stops of dynamic range recorded in 12-bit raw at 1.1Gbps.  Sorry, you just can't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

There's  something Freudian about FF sensor obsession ...

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'd also like to point out that by saying you can't fit people in is a ludicrous statement You should be using lenses designed for the format your shooting on and scale your thinking and lenses down accordingly. As for sensor and out of focus background what are we talking about here the difference between ONE stop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Some of the FF guys seem to want both the background and the subject out of focus most of the time :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I see.  he said ''wider sensor.'' 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

A wider sensor?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Also left off the list...low light capability, internal battery, articulated screen, etc...

Spend a day with the C100 and you will see the whole thing was intended to be used with an external recorder (Atomos Ninja 2 works a charm). When youzeguys test the C100 out vs. the has-it-actually-shipped-yet BMCC, please for the love of gawd engage Cinema Lock (for Canon Log and its 12 stops of DR) and record direct to ProRes 422 HQ (220 Mbps) and compare that with the RAW or ProRes from the BMCC. And do not neglect to show how nice the footage remains all the way up at ISO 20,000.

Dont think the Ninja should be necessary? The internal SDXC's are just safeties. It's the same situation with your BMCC and its battery...the internal is just a safety, and you need an external anyway. Having the Ninja as the external gives a second monitor with peaking etc. for e.g. the focus puller, and if the Ninja goes down your camera still works and can record onto the safeties.

Credibility is valuable. I understand crowing about the BMCC and trying to pressure the Japanese companies. But Atomos, another Aussie company, unlocked the capability of the vastly more mature Japanese cameras of this generation for only $1000-$1500, a whole day's worth of batteries and media included. And that's something you know already and shouldn't insist on ignoring just because you want to give your article more zing. Thank you Andrew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

A wider sensor?

Yes.  for a while I was wondering why everyone even brought up FF in the topic and slammering it.  It's because Andrew was replying to Gene's comment that he would prefer S35 or a wider sensor as well as higher frame rates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Canon have some serious problems. One of the biggest is dynamic range. Canon have never been able to make a sensor with more than 12 stops of dynamic range. The DxO mark for the 5D3 gives it 11.7 stops. The D800 registers 14.4, nearly three stops more. The D600 is almost as high. Canon have made no progress in dynamic range since 2007.

Their other big problem is as follows. Despite having quite obviously fallen behind the competition in key areas (dynamic range; high-speed image processing on the video side) they are doing two things which are making them very unpopular. One is high pricing. From the 5D3, to the cinema EOS range, to the EOS-M, to new lenses such as the new 24-70 f4. The other is the obvious and deliberate crippling of their hardware. No clean HDMI out on DLSRs. No time lapse feature in firmware to make you buy the $150 cable release. No focus peaking or zebras on anything other than the C1/3/500. Super low bit-rate on the C100, to differentiate it from the C300 and for no other reason. Hell, even the microphone arm of the C100 is not compatible with the C300, despite the fact that they were almost certainly developed concurrently. Everything is designed with a built in weakness, a built in omission, an obvious and easy-to-implement feature removed. Nothing is designed to be as good as it possibly could be.

And reading this and other blogs, it is pretty clear that almost all their customers have woken up to this fact. Canon are becoming very, very unpopular. If they don't change their ways soon it will be too late - they are well on the way to alienating their entire customer base who will chose another brand next time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

@TC But of course Canon have the last laugh as they dominate in sales and rentals anyway. Like with the Ninja/Samurai, there are 3rd party workarounds easily available to cover most of Canon's weaknesses (e.g. Magic Lantern) just as there are for RED's accessory price gouging.

What there is is a very intensely vocal anti-Canon brigade that tries to drown out all other voices on these blogs and forums. As I wrote, I do understand it, Canon is holding stuff back that they could have included at no additional cost. But their products sell and rent because they just work and are not a pain in the arse in practice. Canon also doesn't gouge on batteries and media and other obnoxious things that Sony, RED, etc. do gleefully. The total cost of ownership is not overpriced and the image is subjectively appealing to many regardless of specs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Also left off the list...low light capability, internal battery, articulated screen, etc...

And that's something you know already and shouldn't insist on ignoring just because you want to give your article more zing. Thank you Andrew.


It is not about giving something more zing it is about genuine passion for an image. The C100's image is just not as cinematic. I'm sorry, but you cannot compare it to 12bit raw at 2.5K. Low light ability - at ISO 800 and 1600 the shadows go far deeper and cleaner on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Granted your ISO 6400 will be better on the C100. But it is also just as nifty on the FS100 and that is $2500 cheaper, with uncompressed HDMI. It also does 1080/60p whilst the C100 maxes out at 30p.

Internal battery is not an advantage. You don't get raw. For raw you need an external battery. Why the hell compromise your image for a BATTERY!?

Somehow I don't feel compelled to spend double the price on a C100 for a worse image. No idea why!?? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Credibility is valuable. I understand crowing about the BMCC and trying to pressure the Japanese companies. But Atomos, another Aussie company, unlocked the capability of the vastly more mature Japanese cameras of this generation for only $1000-$1500, a whole day's worth of batteries and media included.

 

Atomos is great but DSLRs cannot make full use of it yet. The image isn't good enough. Look at the D800. Slightly less compression but still a limited dynamic range, 8bit banding, aliasing, moire, low res, line skipping. You compare the HDMI output to the internal codec on the hacked GH2. Better internally! This is a DSLR video blog. That is my focus, and until the HDMI image quality gets better, Atomos isn't worthwhile for me. I have an FS100 and will review the Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle next week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

A fabulously thorough and well thought out piece.
1) "It is interesting that whilst Canon, Sony and Panasonic battle each other for the $3000-$6000 segment of the market with their C100, FS100 and AF100 – Blackmagic Design quietly sit there with zero competition. The Japanese divided that market between 3. Blackmagic could take it all for one and one for all."
More intresting is that this VERY argument was made by RED Digital six years ago, and yet RED is suffering from loss of 'niche'. No. The 'big three are already cosolidating and when they figure out that the way to beat the BMCC is by pooling thier resources and eliminating duplication of effort, BMCC will be past history, just as I fear, that RED shall be shortly.
2) The BMCC is a great deal  for cinematic caliber capture and workflow and indeed a Scarlet/C300/C100 killer. ProRes is a great CODEC and a wise choice. So was the genius of direct to SSD capture. Bundling Resolve and calling it a '$1000 freebie' is disengenious- however. Further, I fear that when the SSD form-factor/capacity connundrum is bested by smaller denser media (SD/CF etc), the 'other' BMCC advantage will have been lost.
3) There are numerous reasons why the BMCC is risky and while $3K is indeed small change for earning film-makers, it's an investment for hobbyists. Allow me to enumerate these key shorcommings :

[list]
[*]As I mentioned, the storage platform of SSD is likely to to be superceded by smaller/denser media, resulting in camera obsolescence and thus, devaluation.
[*]The current body design and data connectivity of the BMCC is too 'protoype-like' to enure the test of time. Buttons in the wrong places, missing XLR adapter and most fearsome of all, heavy reliance on touch screen UI rather than button/dial based SUI. Not knowing the MTF of the touchscreen- the customer has no way to compare that to traditional SUI button/dial interfaces that have a pretty good history of reliability. Then again, perhaps a three year 'shelf-life' is enough ?
[*]BMCC's choice of sensor size was poor. S35 would have put the BMCC right where it would be 'future proof' untill about 2016, when who knows what the dominant sensor technology will be at that time.
[*]A whole lot more 'bread and butter' shooting is becoming dependent on small unobtrustive mirrorless cams like the Panasonic GH series and similar DSLRs. Sure, we know their many shortcoming vis a vis CODEC artifacts, limited post color space etc.etc. But as much more end-user consumption moves in the direction of mobile hand-helds and tablets, the value of cinamatic low arifact delivery of 2k-4k to the silver screen will diminish considerably!
[*]The most easily dismissed feature of the Sony Sub $15K cameras is slo mo. Though a fad in 2012, slow motion ( and time lapse) will figure more prominantly in the future, not only for TVC's of food, cars and lifestyle pieces, but also in the fastest growing segment of the consumer user domain- action sports.
While I respect the author's scope in reporting for 'Cinematic' Shooters, it's important to bear in mind that the big three hybrid camera Co's that he cited, Panasonic, Canon and Sony can eat BMCC's 'lunch' if they can only devise a way to make the uncompressed HD workflow easier and more accessible. The 'big three' are focused on cash-flow and survival.
BlackMagic had better do the same or they will be 'roadkill'.
[/list]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Please excuse me but I'm going to ask what most would probably think is a dumb question -

however hope someone knows the answer. 

For all those who would love to use their full frame glass on a BMCC and actually get the FF angle of view and DOF characteristics. 

Would it be possible to use a Letus Extreme?

I've never used one - but I'm curious what the image would look like focussed off ground glass and all.

Thanks for not laughing too loudly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

TJB

Yes why not use a Letus and I may very well do that for extreme bokeh. I have had thoughts about doing this before. Thanks for reminding me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks for your comments.

 

A fabulously thorough and well thought out piece.
1) "It is interesting that whilst Canon, Sony and Panasonic battle each other for the $3000-$6000 segment of the market with their C100, FS100 and AF100 – Blackmagic Design quietly sit there with zero competition. The Japanese divided that market between 3. Blackmagic could take it all for one and one for all."
More intresting is that this VERY argument was made by RED Digital six years ago, and yet RED is suffering from loss of 'niche'. No. The 'big three are already cosolidating and when they figure out that the way to beat the BMCC is by pooling thier resources and eliminating duplication of effort, BMCC will be past history, just as I fear, that RED shall be shortly.

 

Looking at the balance sheets all the signs are that it is Sony who are closer to elimination than Red or BMCC at the moment. Sad but true I'm afraid. And why would they pool their resources? They're competitors. There's enough room for plenty of competition, but first you have to enter the game. They haven't yet got an answer to the BMCC at $3000.

 


2) The BMCC is a great deal  for cinematic caliber capture and workflow and indeed a Scarlet/C300/C100 killer. ProRes is a great CODEC and a wise choice. So was the genius of direct to SSD capture. Bundling Resolve and calling it a '$1000 freebie' is disengenious- however.

 

Why is it disingenuous? Sorry I don't understand. Resolve is free with the camera and is of industry leading calibre. Their standard of software is key to this whole thing. Canon or Panasonic literally don't have the people, IP or market share to offer the same thing with their cameras. DaVinci Resolve was a large part of my decision to order the camera. It is amazing for my work.

 

Further, I fear that when the SSD form-factor/capacity connundrum is bested by smaller denser media (SD/CF etc), the 'other' BMCC advantage will have been lost.
3) There are numerous reasons why the BMCC is risky and while $3K is indeed small change for earning film-makers, it's an investment for hobbyists. Allow me to enumerate these key shorcommings :

[list]
[*]As I mentioned, the storage platform of SSD is likely to to be superceded by smaller/denser media, resulting in camera obsolescence and thus, devaluation.
[/list]

 

I can assure you 2.5" SSD is going nowhere. First they are a PC industry standard and fresh on the market. They're not a camera standard. It will likely take 10 years for the desktop PC industry to use denser media. How long have 3.5" hard drives been around? 25 years? The need for smaller drives is relevant for tablets, surface PCs and laptops but not for desktops and they will be with us for a while yet. When the denser SSD media does arrive, it will likely be adaptable to the SATA interface, just smaller. Therefore, with a simple adapter plate it will still be usable in the camera. By the time this happens, we'll likely be on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera Pro Mark IV!

 

[list]
[*]The current body design and data connectivity of the BMCC is too 'protoype-like' to enure the test of time. Buttons in the wrong places, missing XLR adapter and most fearsome of all, heavy reliance on touch screen UI rather than button/dial based SUI. Not knowing the MTF of the touchscreen- the customer has no way to compare that to traditional SUI button/dial interfaces that have a pretty good history of reliability. Then again, perhaps a three year 'shelf-life' is enough ?
[/list]

 

Yes a 3 year shelf life is enough for many, remember this is a version 1.0 product but this is so unlikely to be an issue anyway. I've seen iPhone touch screens which work flawlessly with smashed glass!. They don't degrade with physical wear, they are long lasting components and a mature technology so I don't see it as a risk. The usability of that screen is superb, so quick to use and so little do you need to be fiddling with the menus on this camera, it really is a case of minimalism and it allows you to just get on with the shoot. FS100 is far worse ergonomically. You need fewer physical controls on a raw camera than for an 8bit camcorder or a DSLR. ISO for example is almost redundant, as is picture profile - because all that stuff is done in post. The shutter angle is also pretty much always on 180 degrees for most shoots. The menus are really to set up the monitor or the recording format.

 

[list]
[*]BMCC's choice of sensor size was poor. S35 would have put the BMCC right where it would be 'future proof' untill about 2016, when who knows what the dominant sensor technology will be at that time.
[/list]

 

It is larger than S16mm and S16mm has been around for 40 years! Major motion pictures ("Moonrise Kingdom") this year shot on it.

 

Saying certain sensor sizes will go obsolete is like saying the colour blue may begin to disappear from the artist's palette and get superseded by orange. We filmmakers need the choice of aesthetic.

 

Large sensors are not THE deciding factor of image quality anyway. It is damaging to have so many misconceptions out there because it leads to marketing lead decisions about products rather than focussing on the things which are actually most important. Look at the Sony NEX VG-900. Full frame sensor but it's crap!

 

[list]
[*]A whole lot more 'bread and butter' shooting is becoming dependent on small unobtrustive mirrorless cams like the Panasonic GH series and similar DSLRs. Sure, we know their many shortcoming vis a vis CODEC artifacts, limited post color space etc.etc. But as much more end-user consumption moves in the direction of mobile hand-helds and tablets, the value of cinamatic low arifact delivery of 2k-4k to the silver screen will diminish considerably!
[/list]

 

Hahahaaaa. I cannot tell you how little I care about end user consumption. There will ALWAYS be a demand for high end viewing experiences and as an artist I want my films to provide for the like-minded. Let these dummies watch their feature films on their crappy phones when they could be watching it in a cinema or a home cinema. C'mon which is the better experience? Squinting at an iPad or iPhone? No thanks. I'll continue to watch mine on the big screen. Totally different experience. And also, given this logic James Cameron should downgrade his camera to suit the iPad screen. Why shoot 4K or 3D?

 

[list]
[*]The most easily dismissed feature of the Sony Sub $15K cameras is slo mo. Though a fad in 2012, slow motion ( and time lapse) will figure more prominantly in the future, not only for TVC's of food, cars and lifestyle pieces, but also in the fastest growing segment of the consumer user domain- action sports.
While I respect the author's scope in reporting for 'Cinematic' Shooters, it's important to bear in mind that the big three hybrid camera Co's that he cited, Panasonic, Canon and Sony can eat BMCC's 'lunch' if they can only devise a way to make the uncompressed HD workflow easier and more accessible. The 'big three' are focused on cash-flow and survival.
BlackMagic had better do the same or they will be 'roadkill'.
[/list]

 

 

It is exactly because the big three are so focussed on cash-flow instead of the product that they are failing.

 

Again, cinematic shooters are who matter to me on EOSHD. I don't really care what the fastest growing segment of consumer whatever is and if that is GoPro / action sports, then good for them. Why would this impact cinema? They co-exist peacefully, room for both. You tend to find that it is trends like slow-mo and timelapse that peak and then settle back to their intended more sparse use, and that the cinematic experience is timeless.

 

But I appreciate your counterpoints, even if they are quite far off the mark in my opinion sir.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

[list]
[*]A whole lot more 'bread and butter' shooting is becoming dependent on small unobtrustive mirrorless cams like the Panasonic GH series and similar DSLRs. Sure, we know their many shortcoming vis a vis CODEC artifacts, limited post color space etc.etc. But as much more end-user consumption moves in the direction of mobile hand-helds and tablets, the value of cinamatic low arifact delivery of 2k-4k to the silver screen will diminish considerably!
[/list]

 

I will quote David Lynch... No, I'll do one better then that...

 

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKiIroiCvZ0"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKiIroiCvZ0[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites