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5D Mark III or Blackmagic Cinema Camera?


Andrew Reid
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sometimes he doesn't look that professional ...
from his blog...

Shane says:
August 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Innocent, the 1DC is the most filmic looking digital capture device I have seen other than the Arri Alexa. It is many things, an experienced cinematographer behind the camera, camera settings that I use from my 5D and then the camera itself. The black magic camera is 3500, just because it is 2k doesn’t make it a good camera, the 5D kicks the shit out of that device,

and u got shit from others ...
use Shane blog u can learn lot of craft and tricks but don't rely on his camera evaluation ...

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Great comeback Mark.



People need to realise there is such a thing as the internet. You don't have to physically put a card into an C300 and physically copy the files onto your laptop to make an informed judgement on the image quality.




That's just silly. When I asked if he'd ever graded C300 footage, I never implied he needed to own one to do so. And I don't own one either.

Even using raw in the BMCC won't give you the same low light performance you can get from a C300. Not even film will!
That doesn't mean the BMCC is not a great camera and won't be better than the C300 in many other aspects, but don't be blind.
C300 footage has nothing to do with Canon DSLR's badly compressed video, its grading possibilities are way better than that, even if it's not raw.
Of course it costs 4x more, and personally I'd go with the BMCC, because it's a better deal for my needs and budget, but I'm not going to ignore all its downsides and pretend it's as good as an Alexa and can beat all the other cameras out there.

I know there's no way you'll ever give Canon a compliment again, but there's no need to pull a BMCC version of reduser.net here!
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This article is very unfortunate for it's very innacurate information on many fronts, in particular it's bias towards a product which very few people have actually used.

I think the BMC looks like a great product but until people start putting out REAL material, not tests, we won't know for sure about it's performance. First of all, unfortunately, the BMC is NOT 3000 dollars. You have to buy SSDs and an external power solution that will set you back at least $1000 dollars more. This is specially true if you already own a 7D or 5DM2 that uses the same power, same cards, and overall is the same system if you upgrade from these cameras to the 5DM3. That is, you don't have to invest in extra accesories. ON the BMC, you HAVE to.

The article also downplays the potential (and I say potential, because, as I said before, no one knows yet) lack of low light capabilities of the BMC. Another issue that is not dealt with is ruggedness. I have personally shot with the 7D in storm conditions in the middle of the atlantic and the camera performed flawlessly. To say EOS cameras are reliable is probably an understatement. Can we see this toughness on the BMC? Again we don't know, and I wouldn't rush into saying either or but from the looks of it it seems much more delicate than EOS cameras.

Another point that is not generally appreciated is the inherent distorsion of wide angle lenses. It's not just a matter of field of view. a 24mm is going to behave like a 24mm, that is, it will distort. True, in the sweet spot of the lens this is not as apparent but it is still there, and it is no match for a 50mm in full frame. Unless you use a dedicated 16mm type 25mm, which is optically corrected to not distort in the same way a 50mm is designed for a full frame camera. But that is another story. But we it is my guess if you are using an EOS mount you are not going to use 16mm type lenses, and will have to deal with a fair amount of distorsion on closeups etc, if you use an EOS or similar lens on the BMC.

Finally the writer really downplays the look fo full frame sensors, which is quite unique and can't really be replicated with smaller sensor cameras.

I really don't mean to bash the camera (I think the BMC is great and I will probably buy it or rent it extensively), and I am a 5DM3 owner, I have shot wonderful stuff with it and am very happy (so far, an ESPN polo show and a tv commercial totally shot on green screen). I really mean to bash the article, because I think it is quite unfair and biased towards a product that is not even out in the market yet, and which we do not know it's true capabilities. It seriously makes me question the integrity of the writers and I suspect there are commercial motives behind such strange comparison between these two technologies (I think both cameras are amazing and have their place in filmmaking, I don't see it as an either or decision).

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i agree that there is more distortion on wide lens but not that much in center ... but what about lens light fall-off on FF APS sensors ... or loss of resolution in corners ... people should ask them selfs why now do we need 12800 iso to shoot ... because we need at last 5.6f or more to have usable DOF on FF...and dont forget that CANON rates their ISO half stops lower than real...i color corrected 5d3 , 5d2 and DNG from BMC ...if i would say they are equally usable or in the same league i would not be polite or diplomatic i would be a lair ... few years ago CANON started revolution but BMC starts new one ...

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Let's be clear cameraboy, I am not bashing the camera. And what you say about fall-off and loss of res on the corners is totally true, it is a limitation. In real life (and I say in real life because I am generally shooting actual stuff, not doing tests or pixel peeping) I find that these limitations are not as critical to the overall feel of a shot, than the distorsion caused, not on a brick wall, but on the face of an actor or model (I mostly shoot commercials, where beauty is paramount) and I can tell you, the distorsion of a 24 or 25 photography lens (and I use Carl Zeiss Zf.2s) is not acceptable. Neither on a 5D, a 7D, an Alexa or an Epic (I've shot tv commercials with all of them). I agree that I don't want or need ISO 12.800. But this also means I can shoot comfortably at ISO 3200, which si more than enough on a night shoot and you can take advantage of practical lighting, augmented with artificial lighting, the true advantage is the money saved on renting lights. We are always going to have to rent lights, but renting less of them is not only cheaper but more ecological. I also agree that material from 5DM2 and M3 look very similar but I had a pleasant surprise recently when I shot a commercial all done on greenscreen. I had to use the 5DM3 for budgetary reasons and was terribly worried that the keying was going to be a nightmare. As it turned out, the compositing artists where delighted with the 5DM3 material. I am sure BMC greenscreen footage is going to be much better.

But I am not bashing neither camera. I am not a Canon fanboy in spite of shooting with them for thee years now. I bash the article because it is so biased towards a product. It is the exclusive, not inclusive tone of it. And sadly of a camera that has not seen any real use yet. (seen only tests so far, can't wait to shoot on it myself.)

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This article is very unfortunate for it's very innacurate information on many fronts, in particular it's bias towards a product which very few people have actually used.



Finally the writer really downplays the look fo full frame sensors, which is quite unique and can't really be replicated with smaller sensor cameras.



I really don't mean to bash the camera (I think the BMC is great and I will probably buy it or rent it extensively), and I am a 5DM3 owner, I have shot wonderful stuff with it and am very happy (so far, an ESPN polo show and a tv commercial totally shot on green screen).



Here we go again.

Because you have different needs from a camera than I do, you claim my points are invalid and misinformation. How is that fair? I write from my own viewpoint on my own blog under the heading of my own perspective on cameras. If you don't like it, I am not going to change my entire shooting requirements to suit one upset reader. You see my position here?

I also like Chinese takeaways. Is that misinformation? I like dogs instead of cats. Misinformation? You get the picture.

If you agree with the oracle, then great. If not, please save me the misinformer tag.

Now... Onto your post which thankfully contains a counter argument. This is rare!

You say that only real material can tell us the true performance of the camera. Well you can't get much more real than John Brawley shooting in challenging natural light, and the camera did well. I am very excited about this camera since I have seen the Cinema DNG files on my 2.5K monitor. Until you see that, you are right to be skeptical. Vimeo 1080p or streaming doesn't look very nice, at all.

I didn't address weather proofing in the article, because I often overlook that for my own needs. You are right to point it out as a requirement of yours, but I have to focus the blog on my own honest opinion and that means focussing on my own needs. Again if it matches your circumstances, great!

I am all for the full frame look. Portraiture especially. It is daft to do a close up at 20mm on a crop sensor. This is why I shoot telephoto at 50-85mm on the GH2 so much. For my kind of work it is very useful and these lenses have almost zero distortion in the centre crop. The crop sensor on the Blackmagic will be extremely useful for this. On full frame I often find the long end compromised for the sake of a better look at wider angles. It should have had a crop mode like the GH2, or even the D800 with the DX crop mode.

So as you said, you came on here purely to bash the article not the camera - that isn't fair - at least have an understanding of where I am coming from with my opinion - my uses for the camera. It would take a writer a lot better than I am to write something that everybody agrees with no matter what their use for the camera is. I am not going to speak for you and your ESPN polo shoots or being out on a boat with your 7D and weather proofing. I am a narrative filmmaker and music video director. I will however speak for me and people like me, and I don't think you should look down on that. I will allow you to speak as a counter point, that is what comments are for. But please have some god damn respect.
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Also Cameraboy I am very little inclined to "revolutions" and "game changers". I come from a film background and most of my early career I shot on 16mm and 35mm film. The only thing the new HD cameras have brought to me are the aesthetic qualities of film I missed when shooting on F900 or HVX 200 early cameras for a much lower price. But image wise, I am just returning to the look I studied and began working with early on.

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To suggest a bias, to me implies that I have an ulterior motive beyond shooting for prasing it. I don't.

The shoot is everything. Specifically my shoot and my requirements for it. I like it because of how closely it resembles the look of film, for $3000.

Again if you do too, you will find EOSHD useful in the coming months.

I'm afraid you won't be finding any 7D weather proofing articles here. If you can get the same image quality from a 7D, or raw and 2.5k from a 5D, the article would have been very different. You don't like the article because I glossed over the weather proofing of the 7D and full frame look of the 5D Mark III. Actually I love the full frame look, I may still use my 5D Mark III for the odd close-up of a face.

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Administrator your opinion is yours and you have are in all your right to express it. But I think many people who are looking to buy or rent this camera will do so on a very broad spectrum of needs, not just narrative filmmaking. I for one shoot mainly tv commercials and in truth the BMC is going to be an awesome camera for this need. But it your article IS very biased and I cannot really appreciate as a truly objective comparison between the cameras, inputing all (or at least most) of the diferent needs and requirements, and not downplaying the virtues of one camera so the other seems far superior. I am sure the BMC WILL be very superior in many aspects to the 5DM3. But the 5DM3 is going to be superior to the BMC on some, and it will come down to what you are using it for.

I don't like the article not becuase you didn't include weatherproofing (and it is a very important extra for documentary filmmakers) but for the bias. On the article you write that the BMC and the 5DM3 are both around 3000. You know that isn't true. SSDs wil cost around 150 each, and you need at least two for a shoot. (If you think you are relying in just one disk and are truly asking for it). The CHEAPEST powering solution I could find are the switronix powerbases which cost 300 dollars each (again you need more than one) So starting with the price discussion the article is innacurate.

The shutter SHOULD be at 180 degrees but it doesn't have to be and anyone who has seen either Saving Private Ryan or Collateral (closer and wider shutters respectively) knows that the shutter is another creative tool that shouldn't be so easily overlooked.

the 13 stop dynamic range is great but I don't think that being complacent is the reason for it, it there to create stunning images and not to cover for one's mistakes. on DSLRs shooting is much more akin to shooting reversible film and you have to be much more precise in your lighting, which though limiting, pushes your skills to get it absolutely right. If you get good stuff on an SLR on the BMC your footage will truly shine. But if you are "not getting it" on an HDSLR don't expect miracles from the BMC.

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'Administrator' what a nice way to address someone.

Again you have forgotten that the article wasn't written as free personal one to one consultancy for Ruben Fernandez and the specific needs of Ruben Fernandez.

If my article is biased towards the needs of narrative filmmakers or people who just want better resolution and dynamic range, and a raw codec for $3000 then I'm fine with that. Yes I'm biased to it in that case, because that is what the camera offers.

Or are you implying something else?

The objective is more valuable when mixed with the subjective. Zacuto Shootout was about that too. Subjective real world views are to me far more relevant than charts and graphs.

A GoPro camera is superior to an Alexa as a sports action camera mounted on a surfboard, that doesn't mean to say that I should weight that aspect in my article entitled Alexa vs GoPro as highly as dynamic range or raw codec if aiming the article at narrative filmmakers.

First person to rig an Alexa to a surfboard gets a prize.

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I am not implying anything. If you read what i wrote farther up, you can see why I consider it biased and innacurate. AND in your article you never specify that the BMC is better for YOUR particular needs. You can try to make me look ridiculous all you want with jokes and phrases like Again you have forgotten that the article wasn't written as free personal one to one consultancy for Ruben Fernandez and the specific needs of Ruben Fernandez, but the truth is that your article is both innacurate and biased.

you wrote Which should you choose? regarding the cameras, not which should I choose. So I am sorry but you are addressing a larger audience than yourself.

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Again, replace the word inaccurate with 'not for you' and the word biased with 'what works for the majority, including me', and we will be getting somewhere.

By the way, would you also like Mr Administrator to set up a free consultancy for ESPN polo shooters? Any good business premises as close as possible to your front door, let me know.

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Listen, I am not going to argue anymore than what I will be posting here so I will just adress this last comment. I cannot replace innacurate with not for you simply becuase you state that both cameras are 3000 dollars. To get the BMC up and running, you need a little more, asi I have stated above. I cannot change biased with what works for the majority, including me, because as you have said, you only work as a narrative filmmaker. And there are all sorts of filmmakers: wedding, documentary, news shooters, advertising (my specialty), etc.

You can try to pigeonhole me as a ESPN polo shooter, I put it up simply as my first gig with the 5DM3, nothing more. But the reality is, I have directed dozens of tv commercials. I have worked on feature films. I have worked on documentaries, including one for the United Nations. I have 5 music videos under my belt, all have been shown on MTV. I have shot with most of the professional cameras out there, from the venerable Arri 435s and SRIIIs to Alexa, Red One and Epic, practically all Cine Altas (F900, F35, F23, and EX1 and EX3), Phantom, and of course DSLRs. Not that I would think that you might care or not if I have this experience, but I just want to make my point clear.

You want a respect that you are not dishing out with your ironic comments. I am not being ironic or sarcastic to you, and If I disagree with what you are saying you could address me in a different tone if you want respect back. You don't like to be referred to as biased and innacurate, then don't be.

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Ruben I think most people understand you have to cost in ND filters lenses and the truth is iif you want to make a professional film you need cast crew actors script lighting sound and budget. In fact if you get all that the cost of the camera is neglible and would probably go for something like an Alexa anyway.

I guess if you want to say the true cost of a BMC if you dont have the neccesary stuff then look to budget £30000 to £5000 pounds. If you want to use a C100 Okay you dont need ND filters but you will need a recorder and lenses too.

Do you really need to spoon feed people what they should know anyway if paying out this sort of money?

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I guess not Mark.

But since in the comparison there is a price point thing, I would get it straight from the get go, which is my gripe on this particular article. I am not criticizing EOSHD as a whole, and I have to say I have used a lot of the tech advice posted on this page. What I don't agree with is the fanboyish attitude that contributes to an unnecesarily one sided review.

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Ruben, I'm excited about the Blackmagic but to mistake this as fanboy-ism is to miss the point.

Filmmaking is broad, for sure. But as Mark said so eloquently above, I have to focus for the sake of brevity in the articles - I have to let people take up their own position on what is applicable for their needs and what isn't. If I spoke for any other person other than myself, it wouldn't be right. You won't agree with everything I write here. But you are flat out wrong to suggest it is Blackmagic fanboyism. To say I have no basis to be excited about a raw camera at $3000 which shoots the kind of image I have seen for my own eyes on my 2.5k screen, is wrong.

This article started with me thinking long and hard about what matters to me in terms of image quality.

The camera is incredibly filmic. For every argument I've heard against the small sensor there are 5 in favour of the raw codec, 12bit colour, workflow, resolution and dynamic range.

You need to rig up a DSLR for handheld work, it is no different with this. Shoot handheld with a 7D & no rig and it will look as jittery as shooting two handed with the Blackmagic and no proper grip. There's no extra cost involved with this camera above a DSLR. ProRes doesn't even necessitate any extra upgrading on the post side, a laptop is good enough. Raw can be transcoded or edited by proxy. It isn't LOG. It is like a sequence of raw stills. You don't need to apply grading if you don't find it practical to do so within time constraints.

Raw allows for mistakes to be made in the heat of the moment too. Under or overexpose a 7D shot, and you are... Shot.

I read all your posts on the forum Ruben. You have some valid points. A shame about the conclusion.

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I am very excited too about the BMC. As I said in my first post, I probably will buy it or rent it extensively. I have to say most of the stuff you write in your article are spot on: the dynamic range, the RAW, and, for me specifically, the 12-bit color space. This last feature is priceless for effects heavy work. Maybe I might have gone overboard labeling the article as fanboyish, but I do read it, as I said as unnecesarily one sided. Yes, the camera is undeniably exciting. But I don't think it is superior to the 5DM3 on several crucial aspects which I felt (keep in mind is my opinion) where too much downplayed for the sake of making the BMC seem superior. It is true that raw does allow for mistakes to be made, however I also have the impresion with this feature that it could make filmmakers more complacent. And complacency in this job leads to worse mistakes (the oft repeated we'll fix it in post).

It is of course true the need to rig any type of camera nowadays. But sometimes some form factors just don't work. I imagine using the BMC rigs for most situations, but how do we put a viewfinder like a zacuto finder on that big screen? We would have to go to an EVF solution that is not, cannot, be as compact as a DSLR with a finder. And sometimes that can be exactly what you need (ie: Shane Hurlbut's ActionCam). That was also a point that wasn't factored in the article. I know you mean well when you post a review, my only disagreement has to do with excitement probably getting the best of you. There is no harm in that, but it is my guess that readers could appreciate somewhat more balanced reviews IMHO.

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Sure I am all for a balanced view but these cameras aren't balanced or close in terms of the specs sheet. I come down so heavily in favour of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera because I dislike the image from the 5D Mark III and the limited video mode which Canon have had ample chance (and 3 years) to improve. The codec is noisy in the lows, the resolution is not at the GH2 benchmark for a DSLR, even after sharpening in post, the roll-off to highlights is not smooth, sometimes even looks harsher than the camera it replaced. The 5D and 7D lack a lot of what the Blackmagic has - raw, 12bit, 2.5k, HD-SDI, ProRes, cinema optimised sensor and touch screen user interface (shutter angle instead of shutter speed for example), proper focus assist, wide dynamic range, it is a long list. That isn't misinformation I'm afraid!

Don't mistake this post for a review, I never labeled it as one. The real proof of the pudding will come in the review and I will dissect the image and the camera extensively then.

I agree with you that the DSLR is better for your needs and that the BMD is new and relatively untested but that goes without saying as it has not been around as long.

No single opinion suits everyone, indeed there's no advice however objective and scientific suits everyone all of the time. I concentrated on image quality in this article. When I come to handling, I still believe the DSLR has no real advantage over the BMCC and both need rigging for handheld work similarly. In fact you can argue that the BMCC doesn't need an monitor as it has one built in, with a proper focus assist. That is the fact. When I say I like that aspect, it is my opinion. People who mistake my opinions for facts should realise what a blog is. It isn't Wikipedia. It is a blog of my experience in the world of filmmaking tools, I call it how I see it and will continue to do so.

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doctor-evazan.jpg

[Ruben gives Andrew a rough shove and starts yelling at Andrew in an alien language which Andrew doesn't understand]

Dr. Fernandez: [explaining] He doesn't like your articles.

Andrew: Sorry.

Dr. Fernandez: [grabbing Andrew]
*I* don't like your articles either. You just watch yourself.
We're wanted men. I have shot for the United Nations and ESPN Polo on twelve camera systems.

Andrew: I'll be careful.

Dr. Fernandez: You'll be dead!

Anil: [intervening] This little one's not worth the effort. Come, let me get you something, like manners for instance.

[Dr. Fernadez shoves Andrew across the room and pulls out a 5DMK111]

Bartender: No Canons! No canons!

[Anil ignites his wisdom, severing Ruben's unjustified bashing] :D

'Maybe I might have gone overboard labeling the article as fanboyish, but I do read it, as I said as unnecesarily one sided.'

With no due respect Ruben, administrate this... by making your first post an attack on the writer 'I bash the article because it is so biased towards a product.' and justifying it by applying a warped psychology of technical superiority 'I have shot with most of the professional cameras out there, from the venerable Arri 435s and SRIIIs to Alexa, Red One and Epic, practically all Cine Altas (F900, F35, F23, and EX1 and EX3), Phantom, and of course DSLRs.' over the laymen, tells me all I need to know about you. Another trollite and a way too obvious one, your utter disrespect in how you wish to address your point to an audience, of which is so bloody obvious to any one with half a wit, has no merit or standing. I stand before your greatness, you've shot for the United Nations, wooooooooooooooh... another bunch of misfits who allow genocide to happen everyday while they debate what pudding they will have for lunch.

Andrew, you don't need any help or justification for what is and always has been from the beginning of EOSHD your views on things, and you should always return the respect of an expression that asks with diligence, nuance and curiosity why you have said that. Debate is about bettering ones standing, to acquire knowledge to be better, and discover a new way of seeing something I wake up for this and this site has always illuminated me in that aspect. What I find intolerable, is when someone believes that bullying with a get out clause is acceptable and it isn't.Forgive me for my sentiment on this but having grown up under a lot of hate I know where it strikes and how it gets away with it.

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