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Jimmy

Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera

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I use my 11-16 with my BMPCC (which is my favourite camera btw) and yes it's a really great lens but its not without issues.

There's a Samyang 14mm f/2.8, I haven't tried it but most of the Samyangs are pretty good. There's a 16mm f/2 too. I haven't used the 11-16mm much but it has a very good rep. Duclos sell a rehoused cine version for a mere $3500.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

@squig 

If you specifically need deep depth of field in lowlight conditions, choose the smallest best lowlight performing sensor, as a small sensor allows you to get a deeper depth of field easier while a larger sensor camera allows you to get shalloq depth of field easier. 

But remember, the smallest sensor best lowlight performimg camera might not be a small sensor camera, now as of writing this it's the Sony A7s in s16 crop. At which you can really ahoot at 10.000 ISO and get great results. Second is the 5D raw Crop mode.

Also remeber this, when you have a large sensor say FF with a full readout, you basically have all the smaller sensor sizes as well, just crop in-camera on in-post, if you need that deep DOF of s16 or smaller, but with a smaller sensor you can't go bigger than 0.6x-ish with an expensive SB. 

Regarding depth of field: 

Depth of field is not directly affected by sensor size, it's the same. 

It's affected by 1- Aperture 2-Focal length 3-subject distance. 

The way sensor size affects DOF is by affecting these elemems, we can say sensormsize indirectly alters depth of field. 

An example:

s16 + 50mm f/1.8 + subject at 3 meters = X depth of field (width of area in focus)

FF + 50mm f/1.8 + subject at 3 meters = X depth of field too.

It's an optical quality, you don't get a deeper DOF by cropping onto the lens/image, so doea it not work that smaller sensors get deeper DOF, no it does.

 

The way it works: 

FF + 50mm f/1.8 + subject at 3 meters 

With a small s16 sensor camera you try to get the same shot so what do I do? 

1- I use a wider lens to get the same FOV. About a 17mm or so, hugely increasing DOF

2- Go farther from the subject to 9 meters to get the same frame, hugely increasing DOF

 

If you take a 5D, or a7s, or any FF camera, tape the edges of the screen and leave a small window and shoot with that. You'll find yourself using wider lenses and going farther from subject which deepens DOF. 

My point is, you don't have to close down the iris and bump up ISO on a FF camera to get a deep DOF. You can just use a smaller portion of the sensor, either by cropping in post (if you have a full 4K sensor readout) or by cropping in-camera. 

You're comparing an almost s35 system with a 1600 maximum ISO vs. A FF system with a maximum 6400 ISO (5D) and 10/20.000 ISO. 

If you want to use it your way by using the full sensor,  to get a s35 f/2 DOF, you close down the iris on the FF to 2.8 and bump the ISO up to by one stop to compensate to 3200 ISO, wjere the 5D and a7s are a whole lot cleaner. 

I am just giving advice and information to those who need it and not being argumentive, welcome to the forum, just restrain from using any swear/insultingnqords in the future as it will cause you not being able to participate in this great community. Really welcome to the forum. 

-To readers, no the Pocket camera or small sensors don't have better lowlight performance vs larger sensor new cameras. They're worse. 

-The pocket camera is a great lowlight camera. Having 1600/800 sensitivity and fast glass really there isn't many situations where you'll not be able to get expoure. 1600 is a LOT. Just usw faster lenses (either native fast lenses or speed boost bigger lenses) 

_____________________________

I am excited to see what the Micro Cinema Camera does in terms of image quality compared to the pocket camera or is "improved v2 sensor" just means addition of a global shutter mode. The one thing I hope is eliminating aliasing, other wise the image is just perfect, especially with that pocket SB. A half a stop or a stop better noise or even NR would go a long way as an improvement as well. Happy We have someone to test both aide by side @Zak Thanks a lot for taking the bullet for community. Would happily send something your way in gratitude of you giving us side by side tests.

 

 by the way if some uses an active EF adapter and need an ultra wide angle, get the Canon 10-18mm STM IS, insanely sharp, great conatruction and focus ring, low distortion, image stabilization, only downside compared to the tokina is the f/2.8 iris, but the 10-18mm is 250 USD. Don't forget that little hidden gem! It's also s35 so can be speedboosted to the pocket to get a faster and wider look. 

 

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@Ebrahim  Thx for the advice and the welcome mate. I'm not a newbie here however, me & Andrew have been ranting to each other about cameras since... before the dementia. And I have been potty trained; I was a mod at cinema5D and Magic Lantern.

I've got a 5DMK3 (raw) and an A7s, my current "DSLR test shooter" tools of trade.

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okay, so i'm upping my game here and taking one for the team. before the weekend I switched from renting a Pocket to owning a Pocket. it's shipping from Paris (I got a great deal ($565) from Lovinpix.com on a new one) so I expect to hear my Micro Cinema Cam will ship anytime between now and the day my new Pocket arrives at my doorstep... because again, that's how these things usually work. You're all welcome.

;)

 

Zak I still have a good feeling about G&G. They told us 3 months ago that BM distributor predicted December. Every other person was saying November. I have a feeling it's coming in the next 2 weeks.

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Re: BMPCC low-light performance, let's break it down this way.

The Pocket's native ISO is 800. Using a Speed Booster, you gain 1 2/3 stops of light, effectively bringing that native ISO up to 2500. 

Since most of the Pocket's DR lies in the shadows, it can easily be pushed 2-3 stops in post with acceptable results. (Ctrl+F "underexposure." https://www.hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/2014/06/director-of-photography-blackmagic-cinema-camera/)

Therefore, using the same full frame lenses, you can shoot the Pocket at an effective 10,000-20,000 ISO with acceptable results--the same or better than the A7S in S16 mode, according to Ebrahim--but with the added benefits of 10-bit 4:2:2 and RAW.

I don't claim the Pocket is the best low-light camera out there, but it's much more competitive than sensor size snobs would have you believe.

With fast primes and a Speed Booster, the BMMCC should perform like a champ in most any environment. 

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@ZachGoodwin Lulz! I may have misinterpreted your post. I've copped a bit of the new kid in school treatment in this thread, so I've been a bit on the defensive.

@TheRenaissanceMan I didn't mention anything about pushing the BMPCC in post because I haven't done it myself, but yeah that's what I've been hearing. Try pushing the A7s in post and watch it turn to mush. The 5DMK3 raw doesn't like underexposure either.

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Re: BMPCC low-light performance, let's break it down this way.

The Pocket's native ISO is 800. Using a Speed Booster, you gain 1 2/3 stops of light, effectively bringing that native ISO up to 2500. 

Since most of the Pocket's DR lies in the shadows, it can easily be pushed 2-3 stops in post with acceptable results. (Ctrl+F "underexposure." https://www.hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/2014/06/director-of-photography-blackmagic-cinema-camera/)

Therefore, using the same full frame lenses, you can shoot the Pocket at an effective 10,000-20,000 ISO with acceptable results--the same or better than the A7S in S16 mode, according to Ebrahim--but with the added benefits of 10-bit 4:2:2 and RAW.

I don't claim the Pocket is the best low-light camera out there, but it's much more competitive than sensor size snobs would have you believe.

With fast primes and a Speed Booster, the BMMCC should perform like a champ in most any environment. 

This & only this makes sense!

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

This & only this makes sense!

I wholy disagree. The notion that using a speedbooster makes the pocket camera a 2500 ISO is not true. Speedbooster don't affect the sensor sensitivity to light, nor does it give the effect that a higher ISO gives, they just make the lens faster, with the depth of field, field of view and exposure characteristics that come with that. 

A speed booster doesn't just increase exposure. So you'll also get a shallow DOF (which you don't want). 

It's an alteration to optics. If you use an f/2 lens on a 5D and an f/2 lens on a pocket camera that's a fair lowlight comparison and the 5D will do a whole lot better, while if you use an f/1.2 lens on the pocket (which what a SB makes an f/2 lens) vs an f/2 lens on the 5D, the gap will closed a bit. But you can also use an f/1.2 lens on the FF cameras and even f/ 0.95 lenses. 

@squig

Great you have a 5DIII raw setup. It's a Full Frame Viatavision sized 1080p 14bit RAW camera with incredibly high ISO performance and Canon colour palette. From my ezperience it is the most filmic and best image in the current market even compared to the pocket, which is a s16 (or 1.7x) 1080p 12bit RAW camera with good 1600 ISO performance. But I do think it's the best camera to use in conjunction with the 5D raw simply because it comes the closest, and having a s16 sized sensor as a B camera for deep depth of field and for a s16 aesthetic is a great choice. I am curious how 7D raw 1.6x setup vs a Pocket SB 1.68x raw setup compare, and which one is a better B camera for the 5D Raw and how they do in lowlight. The 7D may have a stop better noise performamce but the pocket gets that extra light from the SB whwn you want to use your FF 5D EF glass so it'll probably even out. Intrested in colour, aliasing, resolution, and overal filmic quality of these two images. 

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if low light is your main shooting scenario I'm certain the bmpcc and speed booster 0.58x has the edge - particularly if you want deeper dof.  a native iso of 800, increasing to 'quasi 2500iso' when used with the speed booster is only matched by the a7s - which IMO doesn't touch the bmpcc for out and out image quality.   The pixels are rather large on the bmpcc - almost as large as those found on the a7s as it happens.  add the incredible 275% gain in transmission from the speed booster and it's a no brainer.

 

zeiss 35mm/1.4 on pocket + speed booster will provide the same fov and double the dof as a 5dmk3 with a 50mm/1.4.  but the 5d will need to be running at 2500iso in order to match the bmpcc running at its native 800iso.   even pushed to 1600, the bmpcc holds up.  to match this a 5dmk2 will need to be running at 5000iso.  if a 5d user wants to match the dof of the bmpcc setup above he'll need to close the aperture down to around f2 meaning iso needs to be ragged to 10,000iso!  

 

when you start adding the sigma 18-35/1.8 into the equation, the bmpcc literally kills anything a 5D user would need to use in order to match the out and out usability of the bmpcc+sigma+speed booster in a real low budget shooting environment.    

 

The bigger the sensor, the longer the lenses, the shallower the dof, the higher you need to push iso, or the more light you need.  since this is not a forum full of guys with budgets to light for the 5dmk3 at f4-f5.6.  The BMPCC + SB0.58x is definitely the best low light camera at the moment  

 

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And the great thing about the Pocket is that you don't even have to shoot RAW (& if you do, its a lot less hassle to process than ML RAW), as it provides you with a very healthy 10bit ProRes HQ mode!

You really need to use a BMPCC to understand why its so good at its price point & most people (professionals & amateurs alike) think it produces the best image of all the BM cameras.

There are so many BM haters out there & they simply haven't a clue of what they're missing out on!

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And the great thing about the Pocket is that you don't even have to shoot RAW (& if you do, its a lot less hassle to process than ML RAW), as it provides you with a very healthy 10bit ProRes HQ mode!

You really need to use a BMPCC to understand why its so good at its price point & most people (professionals & amateurs alike) think it produces the best image of all the BM cameras.

There are so many BM haters out there & they simply haven't a clue of what they're missing out on!

It is a pretty special camera. Those f#@&in batteries though. Stoked for the Canon batteries on the Micro.

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It is a pretty special camera. Those f#@&in batteries though. Stoked for the Canon batteries on the Micro.

Yeah, just made very little sense, but the way I look at it is: when you need to change the SD card, you just change the battery at the same time & if you're indoors, you plug it into the mains.

Going to buy me an external soon, probably the Anker & keep it in my pocket!

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I'm just finishing editing a project shot at night over the course of a light festival. As usual I shot it with a BMPCC and a GH4, both speed boosted (0.58x and 0.71x). I used them both about equally but in the edit I'm choosing 90% BMPCC shots. It's not just significantly better in low light (my subjective opinion when all things are considered - including dynamic range, highlight rolloff, shadow detail, colour and grain structure). Yes the speed booster is faster but it's not just that - it's just a beautiful image to push around. It's not perfect - aliasing artefacts can be nasty, but only show up occasionally (far worse in RAW than ProRes btw - I rarely shoot in raw).

I have a good kit now that makes it very useable - Viewfactor cage, 0.58x SB, SmallRig top handle with Ansso battery adapter attached neatly to the back (I'll post a picture of this if anyone's interested) and Zacuto BMPCC Z-Finder. The only thing that really annoys me is the menu structure, which is ridiculous when you need to change ISO and WB on the fly.

It's a great camera. My favourite Blackmagic image is reserved for the 4K sensor though. Yes it's not very versatile but it's f*&@ing gorgeous. I'm not too taken with the 4.6K footage I've seen. 4K ursa footage in the right conditions is personally for me the nicest digital image I know. Even considering the 12 stops DR. 

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Stoked for the Canon batteries on the Micro.

Wish they had chosen Sony batteries instead -- larger capacities available.

 

 

Going to buy me an external soon, probably the Anker & keep it in my pocket!

I used this XTPower battery on BMPCCs.  The 9-volt setting is better than the 12-volt setting -- the higher the voltage, the hotter the camera/sensor.

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Really? The a7s' abysmal battery life seems pretty universally known in my mind.

Maybe it's just the forumite echo chamber, but everyone seems to bring up battery life the moment I mention Blackmagic and conveniently forget about it when they recommend the A7S (II). 

I was on a shoot with a guy the other day, and he said in the cold conditions here in Wisconsin, he has to change the battery on his A7S every 20 minutes. That's outrageous. 

It's a great camera. My favourite Blackmagic image is reserved for the 4K sensor though. Yes it's not very versatile but it's f*&@ing gorgeous. I'm not too taken with the 4.6K footage I've seen. 4K ursa footage in the right conditions is personally for me the nicest digital image I know. Even considering the 12 stops DR. 

I totally see where you're coming from. Shot in its sweet spot, that 4K sensor produces exquisite results--especially those magical skintones.

https://www.hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/2014/12/director-of-photography-blackmagic-4k-ursa-tests-part-1/
https://vimeo.com/139130557 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

A7s battery life is better than pocket. 

Although, with this new Micro with LP-E6 batteries it's probably going to be great. 

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