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RED Epic versus Blackmagic Cinema Camera - Part 2 - Resolution and conclusion

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Epic - Iscorama

 

 

Above: the Epic with anamorphic lens

In the second and final part of this mini-shootout with the Epic and Blackmagic Cinema Camera, we take a look at the resolution chart.

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Resolution on the BMC looks great without an anti aliasing filter and maybe why they left it out. At a guess those streaks could add to a more filmic look perhaps and not so cold and clinical as an alexa? Treat it like an emulsion I reckon on the big screen the BMC will have its look The same as a film stock Zero reason I think to not use it in favour of a more expensive camera.

 

Thanks Andrew.

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Appreciate your posting these tests, as I've been curious to see how the camera performs as a b-camera to the Epic.  Did I miss where you covered dynamic range in the tests? 

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Thanks very much for this test!   Is there any chance we'll get to see a direct real-world comparison between the two?  sort of like that BMC vs 5d2 video that was released several months ago?  With that test, it was easy to see just how big a difference in quality there was.  I'd really like to know if the picture quality difference between the Epic & the BMC is incremental or as big as the BMC vs the 5d2.

 

Thanks again!

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For 1920x1080 pixels, we need at least 3840x2160 photosites for R, G, and B (444). For 422 and 420 targets, we can get by with 1/2h and 1/2hx1/2v R&B respectively. Anything less will result in artifacts (Nyquist). Additionally, we need a relatively strong cut-off filter for sampling frequencies above the photosite spacing (low-pass filter AKA anti-alias filter), else we'll have aliasing artifacts. Right now the camera that provides sufficient resolution with the least aliasing and artifacting, along with wide dynamic range is the ARRI Alexa (with only a 3.5K sensor: would be better with a 3.8K+ sensor in terms of resolution). The C300&C100 do really well in resolution due to the 3840 G photosites and simple color processing (averaging vs. complex de-Bayering).

 

The RED and BMC look pretty good for real-world content as the aliasing and artifacting can blend in with the noise.

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Andrew regarding the test in Raw was the 2.5k downsampled to 1920 x 1080 then tested? Or is this just straight 2.5k?

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I got my BMC yesterday, just shot a few tests so far.  I'm loving it, will do some tests to compare with the Alexa later this week.

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Thanks very much for this test!   Is there any chance we'll get to see a direct real-world comparison between the two?  sort of like that BMC vs 5d2 video that was released several months ago?  With that test, it was easy to see just how big a difference in quality there was.  I'd really like to know if the picture quality difference between the Epic & the BMC is incremental or as big as the BMC vs the 5d2.

 

Thanks again!

 

A real world test is definitely an aim. Just need to find the time.

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Appreciate your posting these tests, as I've been curious to see how the camera performs as a b-camera to the Epic.  Did I miss where you covered dynamic range in the tests? 

 

We only really tested the dynamic range from the middle down into the blacks. We didn't do a latitude test or overexpose the scene. Since we only had 2-3 hours for this test, that was an oversight. I'd really prefer next time to do a real world test and a comparison with the Alexa, since that takes the issue of 4K, 5K out of the already complex task of comparing the cameras.

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An Alexa comparison would definitely be cool. Getting ahold of a Kineraw right now would probably be a miracle, but that'd be a good comparison one day also. I think they all have their own character. Seems most favor the Alexa.

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Andrew - have you done a review of the ReWo ring rig? Seems like the best rig for it at the moment and I'd be keen to hear your thoughts on it. :)

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We're testing the BMCC and the R1MX for an car advertising. The BMCC will be used on the car rig. From the first images coming from both cameras, It's safe to say you can mix footage with not much effort, but one thing I must say: You better prepare your pockets for Hard drives if you want the full potential of this cam. Man!! For us, it's better to work with red footage to keep the storage low.

It's just massive how big the files are (pictures).

 

Our editor liked BMC footy, great DR! but it's had to edit without proxys... Red is a breeze compared.

It's a good "$3000" camera, but you'll need hard drives, lots of them and a powerful machine to handle it or go proxy every time.

 

I'm a red user for some months, but BMCC is a great little gem. I still prefer the RED MX image, but it's big and clumsy. BMCC is small compared and it delivers a great image. It's a huge step for everyone coming from a DSLR. It's like jumping a canyon!

 

 I'm curious what BM will do on the next versions of this camera in the future.

Ernesto Mántaras likes this

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Grabbed a few shots last night at a location I shot a while back on the Alexa - not a side by side, just a rough comparison.  Different lenses and white balance, I'm yet to get a handle on getting optimum exposure out of the BMC.  DNxHD and RAW look very different, also not sure about workflow.  For this I converted the RAW cDNG to Cineform RAW with filmscan, then AMAed into MC6.  More testing needed.

https://vimeo.com/59594452

pass is BMC

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Andrew - have you done a review of the ReWo ring rig? Seems like the best rig for it at the moment and I'd be keen to hear your thoughts on it. :)

 

Coming very soon.

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Love that CC on the Alexa!

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Love that CC on the Alexa!

Yeah, was at 3200K - BMC was 4500K cause I started shooting at halflight and wanted to keep it constant.  Could probably easy match the colours, but I only altered the master curve.

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Thanks for the test Andrew, this is a fantastic camera in it own right, it may not be on par chart wise as a RED but it sure as hell looks far superior then most dslr footage. Any chance you got some time to shoot with it? I've herd RED has a history of buggy and sometimes hardlock during use.

 

Tabac, You good sir, are amazing! Thanks as well for the quick tests.

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I also wonder if Black Magic has any plan to release an even lower end cinema camera only capable of 1080p/720p with prores or a more compressed codec for under 1K-2K dollars? Would totally sweep away all the competition in the consumer market, especially if it had close to similar detail and color science of the current Cinema Camera. Probably not though...

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Thanks for the test Andrew, this is a fantastic camera in it own right, it may not be on par chart wise as a RED but it sure as hell looks far superior then most dslr footage. Any chance you got some time to shoot with it? I've herd RED has a history of buggy and sometimes hardlock during use.

 

Tabac, You good sir, are amazing! Thanks as well for the quick tests.

 

Never had a problem with my R1MX... Guess I'm lucky. lol

 

But seriously after a day of shooting I'm happy with the BMCC. I've seen folks talking highly about this cam and it deserves it! For me, it's not a red, but c'mon, it's really cheap for what it delivers.

 

My only complain is actually the cinemaDNG format. it's so damn heavy! They really should invest in some codec like redcode or cineform. It'll be hard to keep the storage ok. We backup all our raw footage and right now, for us cinemaDNG is not an option. We're teanscoding everything to cineform but not ideal.

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While in "the library" I was thumbing through an old issue of American Cinematographer and came to an issue talking about Soderberg shooting Full Frontal on a handful of Canon XL-1S...I think this was a 2001-2002 issue.  The price of that camera was somewhere on the order of $4800 with that soft kit zoom.  I forget what the VX2000 cost but it was somewhere close to $4K if I remember right.  The camera I wanted at the time, one of JVC's slick, professional DV jobbers, that cost about $7500 if I remember right, minus the lens.  

 

Anyway, it made me appreciate just how amazing the Scarlet-X and, especially, the BMCC are for their respective prices, given what far, far lesser cameras have cost in the not-too-distant past.  Not to mention, 135Mbit 3:1:1 HDCAM cost you a cool $100K around this time.  We're shooting better than that on $800 cameras now, thanks to the GH2 hacks.

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Never had a problem with my R1MX... Guess I'm lucky. lol

 

But seriously after a day of shooting I'm happy with the BMCC. I've seen folks talking highly about this cam and it deserves it! For me, it's not a red, but c'mon, it's really cheap for what it delivers.

 

My only complain is actually the cinemaDNG format. it's so damn heavy! They really should invest in some codec like redcode or cineform. It'll be hard to keep the storage ok. We backup all our raw footage and right now, for us cinemaDNG is not an option. We're teanscoding everything to cineform but not ideal.

 

Well that good to hear, guess it a rare occurrence. I wouldnt mind if it also had a "leaner" format, but if I remember what Andrew said, since it didnt have to compress the codec as much, it made it easier for the bmc. Dont hold me to that but thats what I recall, so it might not be possible... yet?

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Well that good to hear, guess it a rare occurrence. I wouldnt mind if it also had a "leaner" format, but if I remember what Andrew said, since it didnt have to compress the codec as much, it made it easier for the bmc. Dont hold me to that but thats what I recall, so it might not be possible... yet?

 

ummm... I don't know but it's heavy... At least a lot heavier than Redraw from REDMX on 42 compression mode. And I'm not using any rocket card.

I guess this can be a lack of proper codec support on adobe side... But man, this is a fine cam! if they did such a good job on this one, I imagine what will come on a V2 of BMCC. Bright days ahead for indie film makers!

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ummm... I don't know but it's heavy... At least a lot heavier than Redraw from REDMX on 42 compression mode. And I'm not using any rocket card.

I guess this can be a lack of proper codec support on adobe side... But man, this is a fine cam! if they did such a good job on this one, I imagine what will come on a V2 of BMCC. Bright days ahead for indie film makers!

 

Exactly, really excited to hear about the BMC MK.2 in the future.

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