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Andrew Reid

SlashCAM conclude Blackmagic Cinema Camera review, compares to Canon C300

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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?

 

I'm not sure how this is relavant. Darren Aronofsky has million dollar budgets, million dollar talent, million dollar locations backing him up and helping him work around problems. I'm as tired of the 5D 50mm 1.4 focus-searching look as anyone, but I'll admit it's saved me more than a few times when trying to give a cramped dingy doctor's office a quality cinematic look, which most clients associate first with shallow DOF and next with good cinematograpy. I was very tempted by the camera, but this was my main consideration into deciding to invest $4000-5000 (BMCC plus mandatory computer and storage upgrades) in quality glass instead.

 

I'll wait for v2, or something from a different manufacturer. It'd be nice to have a camera dedicated to ProRes 444.

 

Also I agree with the sentiment that this blog has gotten way too defensive of BMCC lately.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Million dollar blah blah blah. So you're suggesting the reason Aronofsky movies are good is because they are expensive. If you look at the way he conceived of and shot Black Sawn I think you'd change your mind! I'm not against your argument for shallow DOF and good cinematography giving a low budget shoot a higher production quality and DSLRs are great for this. Your conclusion about me being some kind of apologist for the BMCC is way out of order though. It is superior technology.

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I've been using REDs for a while. redRAW is a breeze to work with a proven workflow. I can edit with my laptop without a red rocket easily. Good compression rates. the only thing that botters me is the premium you have to pay for the extras. That's way I think bmcc is o amazing.

 

You can use your canon lens and off-the-shelf SSDs... And you're "almost" ready to go! At least on pro res, since RAW would need lots of storage.. Not good for me. If this thing had some sort of lossless compression like cineform ith would be amazing.

 

I'm not looking for this cam since it is so delayed. Folks from april still didn't receive it!!!! Also I got my Red MX and for me is more than enough, but bmcc sure seems promissing new tech... Perhaps a V2 with S35 and some compressed raw is the way to go in the future. Let's see what happens in 2013...

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Million dollar blah blah blah. So you're suggesting the reason Aronofsky movies are good is because they are expensive. If you look at the way he conceived of and shot Black Sawn I think you'd change your mind! I'm not against your argument for shallow DOF and good cinematography giving a low budget shoot a higher production quality and DSLRs are great for this. Your conclusion about me being some kind of apologist for the BMCC is way out of order though. It is superior technology.

Black Swan wasn't shot on the BMCC, i don't understand why you keep bringing that up. 

It's like defending the 7D Aps-c sensor idea by pointing to any good looking Hollywood movie shot on S35 -_- Not to mention it is Film... 

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Sony are much more than just film cameras. Personally I think its likely Red are not making much out of this and more likely Jim Jannard will have enough of the hard reality and fierce competition that has become camera making and sell up cheaply to a company like Arriflex or maybe even BMD now that would be interesting.

 

Do you have 12 hats because you have 12 heads?

Why woud Arriflex buy anything that RED owns? Alexa is the RED beater, I don't get it? When the 'Big 3' were wondering how the chips would fall in the Global economic downturn, RED was using it's own capital along with that of private investors to launch a daring move into a proprietary CODEC and HW. I wrote in 2008 that the Big3 would quitely watch and then gradually move into RED delivery territory. They have done just that. Meanwhile, Arriflex seemingly avoided the hype machine and simply focused on one camera for the Pros.
IF RED had delivered Scarlet on time, and rather than mixing things up by confusing its customers with too broad a product mix, also focused on just one direction, things might have been different.
As it is, RED is having a fire sale.

 

I have 12 hats because I wear a lot of hats :) [url="http://www.gearstylequarterly.com/Images/Eleganza_scrn.jpg"]Here's one......[/url]

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The Canon C300 was promised to the canon 5d market and then made a camera initially with a £15000 price tag.

You can buy a damn fine car for the same money. If the GH2 could have on board most of the important technology albiet hacked and sell for £600 then the canon was about greed and greed based on marketing strategy for when later cameras come out.

 

As a company Canon went down in my estimation. Some like DV forums have promoted it and get rid of posters who say anything against it. Many buyers are now left holding overpriced bricks out flanked by newer cheaper cameras that take better pictures. They stuffed their customers with the C100 that again is overpriced and needs an outboard recorder. All in all canon have to win back the trust of those miffed and out of pocket by their clever tactics.

In some defense of Canon, the ridiculous Trust Fund Baby mentality of the 'instant' HD film maker boom of the past 6 years is what caused Canon to go nuts selling cameras to idiots with more money than talent ( or paying assignments).
As a businessman that regularly sells strategy services, I would have advised them to do just that,. No one forced the Canon DSLR community to subsidise hybrid technology that could only shoot 12 minute clips at a time. But obviously, millions went out and bought these cameras at the going rate.

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Million dollar blah blah blah. So you're suggesting the reason Aronofsky movies are good is because they are expensive. If you look at the way he conceived of and shot Black Sawn I think you'd change your mind! I'm not against your argument for shallow DOF and good cinematography giving a low budget shoot a higher production quality and DSLRs are great for this. Your conclusion about me being some kind of apologist for the BMCC is way out of order though. It is superior technology.

 

No, I'm suggesting that his budgets allow him to work around big problems that we in many cases cant. Need to shoot in a car or a small office on a 2.7x crop? No problem for Mr. Aronofsky, knock down a wall, build a set, use a complicated rig or a rare and expensive lens. We usually don't have these options and have to rely on DOF and full frame to make the best of tight situations. As lousy as the 5D codec is, there's no way the BMCC would replace it for me. l enjoy the 35mm Zeiss + 5D look for subjects and raw isn't needed for most clients. My cinematographer can make up for dynamic range. So for now, I don't find it to be superior, and especially with the shipping issues, I'll wait.

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There's only a few things that need fixing as far as i can see...

 

Shipping: OK! YOU GOT ME! I WANT ONE! :) Now where do i get it :( I'd like to hire it first... but I can't. It's a real shame, I hope they get it sorted as it's trashing confidence that the little firmware niggles will improve any time soon. Basically I'll have to wait absolutely ages, and by then they may have been leapfrogged.

 

Raw codec: I've been working with lots of Red Epic footage over the last few weeks. It's 8:1 compressed and still maintains raw processing and XML sidecar adjustment in the Premiere bins. That's amazing. At the moment, Cinema DNG is pretty brutal in workflow terms, it'd be great to have access to this with a decent level of lossless compression at point of recording.

 

Not that the DNxHD isn't awesome, of course, but since raw is a big selling point, a more friendly workflow would be nice. Also, a larger sensor would be good for low light and wide etc, though of course I'm being greedy.

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dont mix dslr with BMCC ...

same price its only thing that they have in common ...

u need different mind set to shot in RAW ...

and postproduction is different ...

what u need is intermediate  codec ....

use cineform RAW (bitate and cpu need similar to PRORES)...

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Million dollar blah blah blah. So you're suggesting the reason Aronofsky movies are good is because they are expensive.

 

Aronofsky's films are far from being big budget films. Actually Black Swan, Moonrise Kingdom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, etc are all seen as lo-budget films and yes, they could have very well have been shot on the BMCC and still look as good if not better.

 

The BMCC is in a completely different league from the DSLRs, however it's also in a completely different league from what a multi million big budget production needs from a camera. Am I defending big budget filmmaking and discarding the rest of the films as inferior? Not at all, I tend to not like blockbusters and big dull films (even though I worked in a lot of them), but I do understand the BMCC wouldn't be appropriate on a big budget set, and once again, it's not all due to image quality.

 

I could definitely see a smaller production (up to $10-15m) using it successfully. Hell, I remember films like 28 Days Later being shot on mini DV! So for the first time (maybe), we can have a small film use a cheap camera with uncompromising results in its image quality, if we're willing to compromise on some of the well established workflow features, but saying it would be up to the task on ANY big film is just not true.

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Black Swan wasn't shot on the BMCC, i don't understand why you keep bringing that up. 

It's like defending the 7D Aps-c sensor idea by pointing to any good looking Hollywood movie shot on S35 -_- Not to mention it is Film... 

What? The comparison is made on the basis that the BMCC has even shallower DOF than Super16mm film, which is what "Black Swan" was shot on, being DOF (sensor size) one of the complaints of many people. Goes on to make the point that you don't need shallow DOF to make a good movie.
Yet comparing the 7D to a movie shot on Super35 has nothing to do with the aforementioned comparison, because there's no digital equivalent to film in the 7D, unless you're doing stills. Comparing RAW to film isn't the same as comparing 8bit h264 to film.

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What? The comparison is made on the basis that the BMCC has even shallower DOF than Super16mm film, which is what "Black Swan" was shot on, being DOF (sensor size) one of the complaints of many people. Goes on to make the point that you don't need shallow DOF to make a good movie.
Yet comparing the 7D to a movie shot on Super35 has nothing to do with the aforementioned comparison, because there's no digital equivalent to film in the 7D, unless you're doing stills. Comparing RAW to film isn't the same as comparing 8bit h264 to film.

Sorry if you misunderstood me.  I was just talking about the comparison made on the sensors sizes, as was Andrew i believe, not the codec nor how RAW and 8bit h.264 compare to film. Or course the BMCC is more filmic, but that wasn't the topic ;)

 

I believe the problem adressed by many people regarding the sensor size isn't so much about DOF than about access to a variety of good & affordable lenses.

I guess it isn't so much of an issue if you already own a Micro 4/3 camera & glass.

But many (ex)DSLR shooters, which are the main market for a 3.000$ price range camera, already invested quite a lot in good primes, vintages or zoom lenses for full frame or APS-C, knowing that even if they decide to step up to a S35 camera like the fs100, fs700, c100... or even switch to another brand DSLR they will still be ok and keep the same property of each lense.

 

Of course you can still use most of this glass with the BMCC, but it is an issue nevertheless for some people and in some scenario.

Not to pick a fight here, but i'm sure Aronofsky doesn't shoot on old Nikons or Canon zooms... :D

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Different Strokes For Different Folks
For Hollywood productions, with huge crews and stratospheric budgets, the ideal set of parameters are always available. For Independent or 'Off-Hollywood' productions, it's all about compromise. I do keep hearing this incessant refrain-That shooters may want to switch formats but the 'investment' in lenses precludes an easy or cheap switch. That's understandable, particularly in a world where the CAMERA end of the equation evolves more rapidly than the glass.
That's unfortunate.
I should point out that the tried and true rules about investment in hardware apply to movie making gear, unless one happens to be independently wealthy and the equipment is merely a 'collection'. There's a recovery period and if you are not recovering capital investments, you have no business whining about the cost of switching.

Having said this, allow me to share my analysis of the playing field for how it may impact one's decision with respect to the BMCC in particular and this echelon of digital video cameras in general. I will NOT reiterate what I've written before in this thread.
 1.  There IS a 'sweet spot' where the overall feature mix of a particular line of cameras/lenses hits the highlights for each camera man and producer.


- Want lots of bokeh even with normal focal length lenses for obviously  shallow DOF? > Large Sensor i.e. 35mm (AKA FF) is your solution. Trade off? Hyper-precise focus is a must and thus > loss of focus is a greater risk.


- Want to shoot night scenes with minimal noise in available light and get the widest DR ? You need a camera that delivers RAW footage and is capable to taking a compliment of fast and expensive glass.


- Want the maximum DOF for minimized focus loss? Go to the smallest sensor you can or stop down a lot with larger sensors. 1/3,2/3, 4/3 - MFT.


- As we all know, the greater the 'crop factor' of the sensor, the tougher it is to procure fast/wide lenses
These are examples that complicate the decision making process.

 

There is an ideal' format that minimizes the crop factor of the sensor, is large enough to furnish credible bokeh but not with too short a DOF as is provided by FF sensors. That format is S35.


S35 does sacrifice the 'tighter' focus range of the smaller sensors but it should make focus pulling at wider apertures a bit easier than on the shallow DOF FF cameras. The crop factor for S35 is 1.5 vs 2.3 of the BMCC's sensor.



I can only assume that S35 is not in wider use due to the cost of the sensor.

That's also unfortunate. It almost solves all the downscaling issues from 100% FF, making wider & faster lenses MUCH easier to formulate than for M43 or the BMCC's sensor, providing credible Bokeh and shallow DOF.



[url="http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/tokina-10-5mm-fisheye-blackmagic-canon.jpg"]http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/tokina-10-5mm-fisheye-blackmagic-canon.jpg[/url]

 

Finally. Why can't SOMEONE give us an S35 camera that fits into this form-factor. We don't need a digital bolex or a RAW camera that looks and feels like a glorified doorstop. We just want a small'er FS700 style design



 

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I could see people's sensor size complains as having merit if the BMCC was shipping with, let's say, a 1/2" sensor or something... but come on, it's still a pretty damn large sensor. Plenty large for cinematic productions. 8-bit codecs, and the disgusting motion cadence of temporally compressed long-GOP footage, are MUCH bigger problems than lens choices if you working on anything remotely "cinematic".

Besides, dynamic range and contrast ratio are by-and-large the most important aspect of separating a cinematic image from video. And shooting narrative pieces on lenses wider than a 30mm FOV, honestly, look really stupid. I just don't see the complaints about this camera being anything more than FOD... and an attempt to selfishly protect last years pathetic 8-bit investments (i.e. C300 type cams). If you really want that 90's-music-video fun-house clown-look of 12mm lenses that distort heads and body limbs... then have at it. You're probably not the caliber of director/dp that would make use of 12-bit RAW anyways.

 

Actually, on second thought... I think it's probably a good thing that most of the new cinematographers and directors think you need FF sensors and sub-20mm lenses for every project. They're going to be turning out goofy-looking garbage and still be wondering how others are achieving that "serious film look". Less competition!

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Not to pick a fight here, but i'm sure Aronofsky doesn't shoot on old Nikons or Canon zooms... :D

Hi did shoot Black Swan's subway scenes with a Canon 7D and Canon lenses. :)

 

And shooting narrative pieces on lenses wider than a 30mm FOV, honestly, look really stupid.

It's not uncommon at all to go wider than that on Super 35mm. Most of the Harry Potter films' main lens was a 21mm, and many other films use equally wide or even wider lens choices. It's a valid aesthetical choice and to me the argument "no one does/uses that anyway" is always a weak one. Films shouldn't all look the same, people shouldn't all use the exact same focal lengths, versatility is very important.

 

I don't think the BMCC's sensor size is a problem though, it's not that different from super 35, and between the EF and MFT mounts you should be able to use most of the available super 35 lenses, and maybe even some 16mm lenses too.

 

Having a pure super16 or super35 sensor size would work better with cine lenses, that's a fact, but few people amongst the target market of this camera own cine lenses anyway.

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Of course you can still use most of this glass with the BMCC, but it is an issue nevertheless for some people and in some scenario.

Not to pick a fight here, but i'm sure Aronofsky doesn't shoot on old Nikons or Canon zooms... :D

 

It's alright! I wanted to make things clearer. But about Aronofsky, I'm sure he doesn't shoot (mostly, at least, according to Bruno) on Nikon or Canon glass, but he rents cameras anyway so there's a way to go around it. We think from the investment point of view, whereas these filmmakers work on their craft beyond equipment. It's a tool, and they choose the one that fits the job when the time comes.

Maybe like you said I'm really glad I invested in MFT, but really if I was a Canon or Nikon user I'd be investing on on the few new lenses or gear I'd need to go wider on the BMCC using the money I'd save from not buying a more expensive EF mount option (like a C100, for instance).

 

 

(...) And shooting narrative pieces on lenses wider than a 30mm FOV, honestly, look really stupid. I just don't see the complaints about this camera being anything more than FOD... and an attempt to selfishly protect last years pathetic 8-bit investments (i.e. C300 type cams). If you really want that 90's-music-video fun-house clown-look of 12mm lenses that distort heads and body limbs... then have at it. You're probably not the caliber of director/dp that would make use of 12-bit RAW anyways. (...)

 

That's complete nonsense. I don't know what kind of movies you watch, but you've either not payed attention or have a very limited view on filmmaking. Wider angles have their place, and it's just a matter of using it in the right place to tell your story. Where do you stand to say a filmmaker's not fit to shoot 12-bit RAW if he uses a wide angle lens? Is there a new dogma or something?

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Alot of interesting discussions here. Still think people should step back and realize this is a phenomenal camera for its price point delivering great footage. Alot are still looking for the "end-all-be-all" camera, which will never happen. You wont see the big guys like Canon or Sony delivering on what we want out of fear for cannibalizing their markets. This is Black Magic's first outing into the camera making business there have been some pit falls but they should still be commended for trying something new.

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