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BMCC 2.5K holds up in 2016

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How does the BMCC 2.5k hold up in 2016. Is it worth picking up used one for personal projects. 

I want to get the mini ursa 4.6k, but cant justify dropping down $7k to get one up in running when they are still in very much beta mode with lots of quality control problems. Even lensrental.com is putting warning labels on there rental pages about not to use for professional use for unreliable.  Also Cfast 2.0 cards are insanely expensive but will go down in time. So in the mean time while I save up and also wait for NAB next year and Blackmagic works all the bugs, proves its reliability, makes my alexa dreams come true for under 10k I am interested in picking up a used BMCC 2.k MFT with a speed booster. I shoot at work on a FS7 and shoot my own projects on the Nikon D750 with an external recorder, used to own a A7r ii with a video devices 4k recorder and have shot on reds a bunch for bigger projects. I used to have 5D Mark iii Magic Latern Raw and after using all these cameras, the image I miss the most was the 5D Mark iii ML Raw. I stop using it for how unreliable it was, corrupting footage,  having to convert its RAW to DNG then to Prores and couldn't play back on camera to review. I want something for cinema quality with raw for personal projects, control lighting and time to setup. I don't need it for run or gun I have other cameras for that. 

So its been out for a few years and they have fixed some of the original problems and third party accessories have come about to solve others. Any one with experience with it along with other cinema cameras can give me there opinions? Also don't bother trying to sell me on the Sony band wagon I work with a bunch of them and find them awful and videoish. I care about color science, motion cadence , dynamic range, detail but not resolution, Not 4k specs or 120fps at the cost of videoish looking footage. This is about cinema quality.  

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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

I have very similar feelings and experiences when it comes to cinematic image, Canon vs Sony etc. Went from Canon to BMCC2,5K and I've been using it for about two years now.

I'd say it definitely holds up, but there are a lot of buts.

The good part is that the Prores HQ is still unmatched by any consumer codec when it comes to flexibility and detail, and in RAW it'll give you the most detailed and rich HD image at the price range. The dynamic range is huge and you can pretty much bend the image to your will in post. Having messed around with 5D RAW lately, the colour and the feel is very similar, but BMCC RAW is by far sharper of the two, at least when coupled with a good lens.

On that note, you'll definitely want to use the Speedbooster. And here are the buts.

With the EF mount, the center crop is poison - it's such a heavy crop any character a lens has will be instantly lost. This, lack of slow motion, and the ergonomics are my major gripes with the camera.

The BMCC is a powerful tool and it gives you a beautiful image, but it's the most unfun camera I've ever shot with, save for maybe Red One. The ergonomics are awful and you'll end up building it into a rig inevitably. Having to go to menus to change shutter speeds etc is cumbersome. The in-camera monitoring is pretty bad as well, be prepared to stare at a Log image or a uselessly ugly video gamma mode all the time and just rely on zebras and the histogram for exposure. Also the center crop sucks the fun out of vintage lenses and makes flares look terrible. So definitely get the speedbooster, otherwise you'll be in a world of hurt.

So yeah, the image holds up, it's very filmic, flexible and beautiful. But it's not a fun, intuitive camera in the way say 5D is.

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10 hours ago, August McCue said:

I am in the same exact situation as you man and I was wondering the same thing. How are you liking the D750 external combo?

I love it. Much sharper than a 5D Mk iii, good color, I have measured 12 stops of dynamic range in flat mode, Full Frame, low rolling shutter, Nice Motion Cadence, Very clean and smooth 1080 60p, no moire or aliasing. It just easy to use. But 1080p 4:2:2 8bit can only get so far especially for grading. I mean it grads very very well for being 8bit, best I have worked with. I love it for run and gun or where I do not have the time, budget, or post capabilities to color grade after wards or work with 4k. I sold it and jumped on the sony band wagon and bought Sony A7r ii with an external recorder had it for 6 months and hated It. I then bought the nikon a second time.  

But I still want for my cinema projects something with RAW where ill be taking care of color grading and spending the time to work the image.  

5 hours ago, Ehetyz said:

I have very similar feelings and experiences when it comes to cinematic image, Canon vs Sony etc. Went from Canon to BMCC2,5K and I've been using it for about two years now.

I'd say it definitely holds up, but there are a lot of buts.

The good part is that the Prores HQ is still unmatched by any consumer codec when it comes to flexibility and detail, and in RAW it'll give you the most detailed and rich HD image at the price range. The dynamic range is huge and you can pretty much bend the image to your will in post. Having messed around with 5D RAW lately, the colour and the feel is very similar, but BMCC RAW is by far sharper of the two, at least when coupled with a good lens.

On that note, you'll definitely want to use the Speedbooster. And here are the buts.

With the EF mount, the center crop is poison - it's such a heavy crop any character a lens has will be instantly lost. This, lack of slow motion, and the ergonomics are my major gripes with the camera.

The BMCC is a powerful tool and it gives you a beautiful image, but it's the most unfun camera I've ever shot with, save for maybe Red One. The ergonomics are awful and you'll end up building it into a rig inevitably. Having to go to menus to change shutter speeds etc is cumbersome. The in-camera monitoring is pretty bad as well, be prepared to stare at a Log image or a uselessly ugly video gamma mode all the time and just rely on zebras and the histogram for exposure. Also the center crop sucks the fun out of vintage lenses and makes flares look terrible. So definitely get the speedbooster, otherwise you'll be in a world of hurt.

So yeah, the image holds up, it's very filmic, flexible and beautiful. But it's not a fun, intuitive camera in the way say 5D is.

Thanks. So you feel it to be on par color wise and sharper than the 5D Raw. I had a year with the 5D raw on 6 small projects and still my favorite image. Just had to many issues with the hack to keep using it. Is the Dynamic range better since the 5D Mk III is less than 11.5 stops? And what about noise?  

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It definitely has a higher dynamic range. I think it might actually be the 13 stops they're rating it. I used to rely on gradual ND:s on pretty much every shoot when using 5D2, with BMCC they've been collecting dust most of the time, because even high contrast scenes tend to fit in the range of the camera.

It has noise in the shadows at the 800 base ISO, and there are some common LUT:s that really bring the noise up - especially Visioncolor Impulz film emulation profiles. With those you have to overexpose intentionally to get a good result. But in most uses, the shadow noise is manageable and since it's not heavily compressed, you don't get the kind of macroblocky colour mess you see on HDSLR:s when starved for light.

At 1600 ISO the image does get pretty rough with varying degrees of pattern noise.

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18 minutes ago, Ehetyz said:

It definitely has a higher dynamic range. I think it might actually be the 13 stops they're rating it. I used to rely on gradual ND:s on pretty much every shoot when using 5D2, with BMCC they've been collecting dust most of the time, because even high contrast scenes tend to fit in the range of the camera.

It has noise in the shadows at the 800 base ISO, and there are some common LUT:s that really bring the noise up - especially Visioncolor Impulz film emulation profiles. With those you have to overexpose intentionally to get a good result. But in most uses, the shadow noise is manageable and since it's not heavily compressed, you don't get the kind of macroblocky colour mess you see on HDSLR:s when starved for light.

At 1600 ISO the image does get pretty rough with varying degrees of pattern noise.

What about IR pollution? 

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Well that's a known issue. You'll inevitably want to use some sort of ND solution and with that comes the need for an IR cut. The IR filter on the camera itself is so weak some people think it has none.

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1 minute ago, IronFilm said:

BMCC EF is a no no due to the hefty crop.

 

Skip the BMCC MFT in favor of the BMMCC which is a lighter form factor and gives you 60fps slow motion

Yeah, the Micro is a cool little camera. It has taken me a little bit to get used to the form factor... I still don't love having the external monitor and the battery life and the inherent inability to quickly grab shots, but the IQ is undeniable. The Raw 3:1 is amazing and then I try the ProRes XQ and I fall in love with that image just as much. 

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In a weak moment I ordered the BMMCC the day before yesterday. Luckily for me things are a bit slow during summer so they have two days delivery instead of one. So I could cancel my order this morning.

Imo,
Ive had the BMCC, BMPCC and BMPC4K.
I think they are all really fun to shot. I don't think they are unfunny at all and I see no problem using any of them without a rig.
Most of the time I just use a tripod.
If I where to buy one today I would lean towards the BMCC MFT or Pocket. I canceled the Micro since its only added feature is the slowmo and that comes at a huge price, needing a monitor, rig, etc.

The best image I think is from the BMPC4K.

But.... lately I don't really see the same appeal to the lower en Blackmagics. Not because they have gotten worse, absolutely not, they are totally awesome. But because some of the competition have gotten so cheap that the "affordability cards" is lost.

A brand new 5Dmkiii costs about the same as a brand new BMCC.
A used 5Dmkiii only costs a few 100 more than a used BMCC EF and about the same as a used BMCC MFT.
The 5D also costs about the same as the Micro + Video Assist.
And it has no crop, it has slowmo, no battery issue, hand held form factor, active mount, decent audio, decent screen, takes stills.
What it lacks is the Prores. But if you need really compressed it has AVCHD.

A brand new BMCC or BMMCC+Video Assist is also just shy of a used D16.
D16 has the same crop as a BMMCC but with a global shutter, long lasting battery, long lasting media, CF offload, can delete clips, the best audio from any camera Ive ever tried, subjectively nicer colors, gamma control, (a crappy but still) display, power out so you can use the EF speedbooster on it as well. 

And if we are up inte the BMPC4K/URSA mini class the Red One, F3, Scarlet, etc are all all plummeting on the used market.

I would almost say a used BMPC4K is currently the best bang for buck of the BMDs. But that one needs an owner with some patience. Its a Bullterrier not a Golden Retreiver. Can be nice and sweet but needs a firm hand to get it there.

So to sum up.
Backmagic is still very very very nice and I love them dearly. They give a fantastic, filmic image.
But they are not as given of a choice as they where just a few years ago when they where the only low to no compressed images out there for a low price.

So to answer, yes, the BMCC 2.5K definitely holds up in 2016. But so does a lot of cameras.

(btw, I like the 2.5K for the 2.5K. It gives me 1440p uploads to youtube which is what I use for both HD and 4K anyway.)
(btw2, I probably buing a BMCC MFT or 5D today, summer gas or what ever.)

 

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On 7/13/2016 at 8:33 PM, Mattias Burling said:

If I where to buy one today I would lean towards the BMCC MFT or Pocket. I canceled the Micro since its only added feature is the slowmo and that comes at a huge price, needing a monitor, rig, etc.

 

I wouldn't term that a "huge" price, as the BMCC and BMPCC already in my eyes cry out for adding a decent monitor to them!

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37 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

I wouldn't term that a "huge" price, as the BMCC and BMPCC already in my eyes cry out for adding a decent monitor to them!

For me the built in monitor is very useful. The pocket can be shot as it is. The Micro Always needs arms, cages, multiple batteries, etc. Pain IMO.

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You can rent a BMCC and try it for yourself of course. Most online rental shops have the cinema cam and speedbooster (not the purpose-made one but will still get you a bigger-sensor experience and more FOV). You might need an SDI-to-HDMI converter if you don't have SDI gear.

The kinds of stuff I'd shoot with the BMC - I'd often want at least 60p slowmo, so never went with it. The Micro is interesting to me though, waiting to see how it shakes out with raw and global shutter. The pocket-specific SB is said to fit it as well, so possibly very useful. I really rely on viewfinders a lot (esp. here in the Texas sun) and I have a 3" HDMI screen with loupe, so the form factor isn't a major issue to me.

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12 hours ago, M Carter said:

The Micro is interesting to me though, waiting to see how it shakes out with raw and global shutter. 

It already shoots raw in all frame rates but if they did manage to ad the Global Shutter, then its a completely different story. Then I would most likely get it. It wouldn't surprise me if they added it at one point. A few of the features on the original BMCC took 2 years or something before they had figured it out.

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Well, the NX1 changed my life more than anything in some years as far as reframing interviews with that incredible, crisp image. But I think I'd want raw for outdoor work and could get by with 1080, esp. if I had 60p available. But BMC did say "global shutter" in the initial micro release, curious to see what happens with that.

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On 15.7.2016 at 9:53 AM, Mattias Burling said:

It already shoots raw in all frame rates but if they did manage to ad the Global Shutter, then its a completely different story. Then I would most likely get it. It wouldn't surprise me if they added it at one point. A few of the features on the original BMCC took 2 years or something before they had figured it out.

 

Hallo Mattias,

How does it go with your LS300? Some night JLog footage on youtube looked pretty solid at higher ISOs. How about the 120fps?

Maybe I should just rent this baby! Should be fun!

@Ehetyz, how is the external monitoring, via SDI only but otherwise hasslefree? Is the 2.5K mode in raw only or also available in Prores

and does 1080p involve an additional crop from 2.5K?

Did you have overheating issues with it? Thanks and

cheers

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On 20.7.2016 at 10:06 PM, PannySVHS said:

@Ehetyz, how is the external monitoring, via SDI only but otherwise hasslefree? Is the 2.5K mode in raw only or also available in Prores

and does 1080p involve an additional crop from 2.5K?

Did you have overheating issues with it? Thanks and

cheers

Monitoring is SDI only - you can get scopes and preview image into a MAC through the thunderbolt connection, but it's not at all practical or useful. I've tried the SDI with one external monitor, it didn't work. Not sure if it's finicky or if my copy has bad SDI. Apparently the SDI gets fried easily if you connect it wrong or something. It's out of warranty so I decided to just live with it.

AFAIK 1080p doesn't crop from 2,5k.

Never had an issue overheating, it's rock solid in that regard. Have had a lot of days in +24-28 celsius summer heat and direct sunshine and had no problems. Had some minor things with very cold weather. In -10 celsius the startup gets slow and you get a lot of artifacts on screen during startup. They disappear quickly though and the shot footage hasn't exhibited any issues.

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I shoot with a dual camera setup using the BMCC 2.5(RAW mode) and a Hacked Samsung NX1. 60% of the time I like the BMCC image better. It doesn't have as much resolution, but the dynamic range looks really, really good. To see the original bmcc in all it's glory, check out my YouTube production diary thread here: 

 

NOTE: The crop factor is awful, I think the MFT version with a speed booster is a MUST.

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