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Should I buy this BM Micro Kit or forget about it and buy Samsung NX1


Shepard HS
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Hello! I want to buy a camera with accessories for some creative work (shorts, ADs...) and for my personal use.

I really like Blackmagic's image. I have compiled a list of equipment:

Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera, $1000

Why? I really like Blackmagic's image. It's small and can shoot at 60 FPS.


Blackmagic Video Assist, $500

Why? Looks like a decent 1080P monitor.

Are there any better options? Cheaper or lighter?


Aputure DEC LensRegain, $580

I really want to be able to control the focus (esspecially with gimbal).


Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM, $550

Why? Widest lens with IS that I found.


CAME-Single, $1000

Why? Because I saw people who using it with Micro.


— 2x SanDisk 128GB Extreme Pro UHS-I SDXC U3
— 5x LP-E6

— HDMI-HDMI Cable
— Arm for Display

Total cost: around $3000 (without gimbal).

Can you give some advices?

Or should I just buy this Samsung NX1 + 16-50 S Lens Kit ($2800)?

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You're sort of comparing apples to zebras here...

I'm interested in the micro myself, since it's raw/prores with up to 60p for basic slow motion.

The lens regain - it's only a 75% FOV increase on the 3x BM sensor, so your 24mm FOV will be somewhere around 60mm? (Or someone correct my math...) Who knows how useful the AF will be. If I went with the Micro, I'd look at the micro/pocket-specific Speedbooster.  No real stills capacity.

The NX1 - APS-C, 4K, very nice image, not bad jello at 1080, much less DR than the micro (assuming "much less" anyway). Killer stills cam.

The NX is a "dead" system is many people's response, but adapters exist for a pretty crazy range of lenses. Hopefully one will get several years out of the body, but spending a lot on Samsung glass means eventually it's a throwaway. Unless lenses and body will just run for years and years and service and parts remain available. I still shoot film on 1970's gear. But that stuff's much easier to repair, all mechanical, no electronics. I think the best bet for the NX1 is to get the best deal possible on the body and use your existing glass, or buy glass you can use for years or decades (my NX1 often has glass I've owned for 10-20 years). If I suddenly landed a bunch of stills gigs, I **might** go for the 50-150 S. Might, if it paid for itself in a couple days. As a still camera with a native lens, the NX1 blows away my Nikon in many ways.

The main issues between the two systems - tiny sensor vs. a filmmaking standard size (then again, super-16 was/is a standard, but realistically you'd want to chase down super-16 glass and the hassles that entails). Gobs of DR, RAW and Prores vs. a very efficient but still 8-bit codec. 1080 vs. 4k (though many NX1 users learn when to choose 4K and when 1080 is better - as someone who does a lot of interviews, I will never be without 4K, life changing for me). 60p max 1080 slowmo vs. a pretty nice 120 FPS. And the rigging issues with the micro, which aren't a huge issue to people with a range of existing gear. Generally useable AF on the NX - with native glass, maybe iffy with the Regain. 

It's not insanely far afield to choose between these 2 systems, but likely there are many more choices to consider, in some ways an odd comparison. I like the NX for planned "filmmaking" type uses. I could see the Micro having its place in that workflow as well, but mainly because I'm not reliant on AF and am more interested in the right glass for the gig. For me it's a question of DR and image beauty vs. bigger sensor, 4k, and more slowmo options.

Optimally I'd take a 4K micro with raw/prores, a super-35 sensor and 60p/1080... (an Ursa I suppose).

 

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6 hours ago, Shepard HS said:

Blackmagic Video Assist, $500

Why? Looks like a decent 1080P monitor.

Are there any better options? Cheaper or lighter?

[...]


Aputure DEC LensRegain, $580

I really want to be able to control the focus (esspecially with gimbal).


Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM, $550

Why? Widest lens with IS that I found.

Can't really comment on the Blackmagic vs. Samsung decision since the two cameras are not in the same category. It's like deciding between a compact, bare-bones offroad car (let's say a Lada Niva) versus a family sedan that is more comfortable yet not fit for offroad driving (let's say a Toyota Avensis).

If you go Blackmagic, the Video Assist isn't optimal because you won't need its built-in recorder. The camera has a built-in recorder that is even better since it records Raw. Better go for a pure external monitor that is lighter and has a better display, for example a SmallHD DP4 for the same price.

As the focal reducer, better buy a Metabones Pocket Speed Booster. You won't have electronic focus control, but 0.58x instead of 0.75x focal reduction (i.e. the possibility to use a 30mm lens instead of a 24mm lens as a normal lens) and, even more importantly, 1.67 stops instead of 0.9 stops gain of light sensivity. (I.e. you will be able to shoot scenes on ISO800 with the Metabones for which you would need ISO1440 with the Aputure).- Regarding pulling focus on the gimbal, I don't think that you will be able to do this unless you have someone else as a focus puller and a more remote display. So I don't see a genuine practical advantage of the Aputure's electronic focus control unless you've really tested the whole set-up and are sure that it will work for you.

Regarding the Canon EF 24mm, this will be a normal (not a wide) lens with the LensRegain (50mm full frame equivalent), and even still a normal lens with the Pocket Speed Booster (40mm full frame equivalent). To go wide, you will need at least 18, better 16mm. For gimbal shots, I'd just use a plain, cheapo vanilla Canon stabilized 18-55mm kit lens - it's lightweight, the optical quality is decent enough, and you won't need fast apertures for gimbal shots anyway - and then get a fast standard prime, for example a Sigma 30mm/1.4 or Canon 28mm/1.8, for everything else.

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9 hours ago, Shepard HS said:


Blackmagic Video Assist, $500

Why? Looks like a decent 1080P monitor.

Are there any better options? Cheaper or lighter?

Aputure FineHD VS-2 is even cheaper, and is a greater than FHD monitor. 

But a BMD VA is a solid choice too.

if you can spend more than a SmallHD 502 would be ideal.

9 hours ago, Shepard HS said:

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM, $550

Why? Widest lens with IS that I found.

You'll want way way more than just one lens??? What do you already have?

 

Consider getting a cage as well:

http://woodencamera.com/Micro-Cage-BMMCC-BMMSC.html

9 hours ago, Shepard HS said:

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM, $550

Why? Widest lens with IS that I found.

 

Consider the Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC instead, as the versatility in going from 15 to 30mm will be worth it, plus it is just as fast at f2.8

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9 hours ago, M Carter said:

The lens regain - it's only a 75% FOV increase on the 3x BM sensor, so your 24mm FOV will be somewhere around 60mm?

Crops: Micro 2.88 — w LensRegain 2.16 — w Metabones Pocket 1.67.

24 mm becomes 70mm — 52mm — 40mm.

7 hours ago, cantsin said:

Better go for a pure external monitor that is lighter and has a better display, for example a SmallHD DP4 for the same price.

SmallHD DP4 looks interesting, but will be 800X480 enough to control the focus?

8 hours ago, cantsin said:

I'd just use a plain, cheapo vanilla Canon stabilized 18-55mm kit lens

Thanks. I added it to my list.

4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Aputure FineHD VS-2 is even cheaper, and is a greater than FHD monitor. 

It's interesting. I added it to my list too.

4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

You'll want way way more than just one lens??? What do you already have?

Yes. I don't have any lenses yet.

4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Consider the Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC

What do you think about Sigma AF 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM? This lens is less expensive and weighs less.

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you should also take in consideration the motion cadence or the rolling shutter which is so different on these to cameras. Micro being more organic and filmic.
 On the other hand NX1 got a hack recently and the DR gain a bit haveing more details in the shadows and almost no bending. Also people are working on a speed bosster adapter but nothing is confirmed yet. Although it is a dead system, people are still working on improving it. For me NX1 could be the best compromise if you want good stills and strong video. The only thing you have to work around is the rolling shutter. Choose wise.

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6 hours ago, cojocaru27 said:

you should also take in consideration the motion cadence or the rolling shutter which is so different on these to cameras. Micro being more organic and filmic.
 On the other hand NX1 got a hack recently and the DR gain a bit haveing more details in the shadows and almost no bending. Also people are working on a speed bosster adapter but nothing is confirmed yet. Although it is a dead system, people are still working on improving it. For me NX1 could be the best compromise if you want good stills and strong video. The only thing you have to work around is the rolling shutter. Choose wise.

Don't see a huge need for a speedbooster with the NX1, I'd be surprised to see one appear. I guess going wider with a stop of light could be popular for people without a full kit of fast glass? But if it's in the usual speedbooster price range ($500 or so) it would likely be smarter to buy a fast wide prime in a Nikon or EOS mount.

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Good question.  I think it is a relevant question because it is a real choice you have. You only have one lot of $3000 so cant get both and you don't have a camera so you have to get something and you are free to get anything.

I cant really say much extra about the NX1.  The fact that you are considering it shows that you don't care that Samsung is pulling out of the camera business.  That is something that may bother some, including myself, but it depends on how you look at it.

I suppose you would have to think of it as getting a fixed lens camera as you know you wont be able to use native lenses on anything else in the future.  You cant with fixed lens cameras either but people buy them.

The bmmcc part of the question is really a subject in itself.

A few things I can think of that may be of note.

You say the 24mm 2.8 is the widest lens with IS.  Its the widest prime with is, and its actually the joint widest EF lens with IS.  Its not, however the widest ef-s lens with IS
You've got the 18-55,18-135, 15-85 and the widest the 10-18.
And that appears to be one big advantage with the Aperture DEC LensRegain over the metabones XL, that it seems to have enough room for the protruding rear element protector of EF-S lenses. (Although I haven’t been able to find confirmation of this yet)

If this is the case then the 10-18 f4.5-5.6 would become a stabilized 7.5 - 13.5mm f3.2-f4
Giving 21.6 - 38.9 equiv on the bmmcc. And 15-27mm equiv on a full mft sensor.
That's one big advantage over the bmpcc specific metabones as well, you can use it for still photography and any other mfr camera in the future.

Its true that having the bm view assist would be overkill in the sense that the bmmcc already has a recorder, but the good thing about it is that it would enable you to easily switch to the micro studio camera if you needed resolution/even lower rs over dynamic range in any shots.  And of course, any other camera with 4k output.

Back to the overall question.  I think you have to remember that the bmmcc gives 10bit all - i frame prores with true HD resolution.  If it weren’t for 4k being all the rage right now we could appreciate how amazing that is.

All in all the NX1 would give you a self contained system which doesn’t require many extra purchases but cant be upgraded in the future. And The bmmcc route would give you a modular system with a lot of choices, flexibility and future possibilities beyond the bmmcc.

 

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Taking the rear shroud (which is what interferes with the speedbooster) off of the Canon 17-55mm f2.8 is pretty simple and easy. And 17-55 is a much more usable range for general work than 24-70, 24, or even 10-18 (although the 10-18 would be a perfect partner to it).

I would definitely stick with the Pocket-specific (.58X power) booster though. The Blackmagics have a thinner filter stack over the sensor than regular m4/3 photo cams, and the BMPCC and BMCC boosters are engineered to accommodate for this, while the regular m4/3 boosters are not.

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Although I have never used any blackmagic camera the images I see from them are stunning. 4k may not be one of your needs so blackmagic will be an even better deal. I have an nx1 and I love the images I get out of it especially since the hack. It may look a bit too sharp & digital for some but to each his own. I shot this on a hacked nx1 @ 200mbps 

 

 

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8 hours ago, aldolega said:

Taking the rear shroud (which is what interferes with the speedbooster) off of the Canon 17-55mm f2.8 is pretty simple and easy. And 17-55 is a much more usable range for general work than 24-70, 24, or even 10-18 (although the 10-18 would be a perfect partner to it).

I would definitely stick with the Pocket-specific (.58X power) booster though. The Blackmagics have a thinner filter stack over the sensor than regular m4/3 photo cams, and the BMPCC and BMCC boosters are engineered to accommodate for this, while the regular m4/3 boosters are not.

Just so it is borne in mind: The shroud is cosmetic on the 17-55, but on other lenses it is not.  If you removed it on the 10-18 there is a very high chance the rear element will smash into the optics of certain speed boosters when zooming towards the widest setting.

As for the sensor stack, that is certainly something to think about.
Something doesn’t seem to add up though: If the bmmcc has a thinner sensor stack and will therefore not work optimally with a speed booster designed for a regular mft sensor, wouldn’t the bmmcc therefore not work optimally with native mft lenses either?

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Since you asked...I'll give you my 2 cents...

I also own the NX1, along with the Sigma 18-35mm (nikon mount), a 18-55 Samdung kit lens and a Rokinon 35mm (Nx mount).  I will admit to seeing the occasional Blackmagic footage and thinking it looks incredible...

However, for me, the ability to also take stills with the camera eliminated any of the non-4K blackmagics.  You can take still frames from 4k footage and they do look good, but, knowing I would need another camera for stills pushed me towards the Samsung NX1.  I don't worry too much about it being a "dead" system, as my budget only allows for a purchase like this every 4-5 years anyways.

Here is one of my NX1 videos:

 

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11 hours ago, MattH said:

Just so it is borne in mind: The shroud is cosmetic on the 17-55, but on other lenses it is not.  If you removed it on the 10-18 there is a very high chance the rear element will smash into the optics of certain speed boosters when zooming towards the widest setting.

As for the sensor stack, that is certainly something to think about.
Something doesn’t seem to add up though: If the bmmcc has a thinner sensor stack and will therefore not work optimally with a speed booster designed for a regular mft sensor, wouldn’t the bmmcc therefore not work optimally with native mft lenses either?

Good to know about the 10-18. Personally I would probably go for the Tokina 11-16 or 11-20 over the 10-18 anyways...

I would imagine maybe the FFD is slightly altered on the BlackMagics to accommodate the filter-stack difference? I'm not sure. I just know that the designer of the Speedbooster, Brian Caldwell, has posted here & elsewhere explaining the differences with the BM-specific boosters, and that using my BMCC booster on my GH4 follows exactly what he's said (image goes a touch soft at faster than f2.8).

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1 hour ago, DBounce said:

The one deal-breaker for the NX1 (in addition to the fact that it is a dead system) is the crushed blacks that are present in every scene without direct sunlight hitting the black surfaces. Virtually everything in the shadows is crushed. 

I have been trying to find examples of this. Can't find any. Willing to share some preferable in Prores? ...as free converters are not an option to judge the OOC files.

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On 7/20/2016 at 9:01 AM, timmyturntable said:

I don't worry too much about it being a "dead" system, as my budget only allows for a purchase like this every 4-5 years anyways.

I keep my $800+ lenses for a lot longer than 4-5 years.  A good lens is a lifetime purchase.  My canon L lenses work on my canon film cameras, my canon DSLR, and my BMPCC.  IS works even on the BMPCC with speedbooster.

The Samsung lenses will be paperweights in a few years.  Total false economy.

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Well the two videos previously posted demonstrate it adequately. But honestly virtually everything I shot with it exhibited this trait. Can you post some examples where the blacks have details in the shadows? In my experience black detail is only preserved in very light shadows. 

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12 minutes ago, DBounce said:

Well the two videos previously posted demonstrate it adequately. But honestly virtually everything I shot with it exhibited this trait. Can you post some examples where the blacks have details in the shadows? In my experience black detail is only preserved in very light shadows. 

The two videos previously posted have been graded. OOC, I haven't noticed crushed blacks in the shadows. On the contrary, there seems to be a lot of information in the shadows.

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56 minutes ago, DBounce said:

Can you post some examples where the blacks have details in the shadows?

Don't now how representive this is but here you go.

http://www.eoshd.com/2014/12/lets-see-samsung-nx1-really-capable-shooting-4k-sunny-lisbon/#prettyPhoto/4/

Shot with a flat profile I believe.

Let me now when you dug up your shots with crushed blacks and uploaded them ( just not h.625).

Thanks.

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4 hours ago, Damphousse said:
4 hours ago, Damphousse said:

I keep my $800+ lenses for a lot longer than 4-5 years.  A good lens is a lifetime purchase.  My canon L lenses work on my canon film cameras, my canon DSLR, and my BMPCC.  IS works even on the BMPCC with speedbooster.

The Samsung lenses will be paperweights in a few years.  Total false economy.

I keep my $800+ lenses for a lot longer than 4-5 years.  A good lens is a lifetime purchase.  My canon L lenses work on my canon film cameras, my canon DSLR, and my BMPCC.  IS works even on the BMPCC with speedbooster.

The Samsung lenses will be paperweights in a few years.  Total false economy.

I suspect there are going to be better lenses for all cameras in a few years anyway, as lenses become more integrated as complementary electronic components in a holistic imaging system. In many ways, most lenses around today are still holdouts from the past. It will be the sort of transition that the avionics industry went through, when wireless flight became adopted.

4 hours ago, DBounce said:

Well the two videos previously posted demonstrate it adequately. But honestly virtually everything I shot with it exhibited this trait. Can you post some examples where the blacks have details in the shadows? In my experience black detail is only preserved in very light shadows. 

With or without the bit rate hacks? I imagine that blacks are among the first to go when compression is applied, so higher bit rates should preserve them better.

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