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Comparison: Alexa/Blackmagic/Epic

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Last week we bought the BMCC MFT stepping up from compressed DSLR dslr filmmaking to the delightfulness of shooting raw. While doing some bmcc research i came across the comparison test 'Some Like It RAW' by Ryan E. Walters. He basically compared the Arri Alexa, BMCC and Red Epic in three short tests: IR filtration, Low-light and overexposure. I found the results quite useful and certainly contributed crossing the threshold and purchasing the bmcc.


Without giving away the results, I asked myself how you guys think about the bmcc image sharpness. Many filmmakers/DP's seem to find the bmcc image a tad too sharp. Personally, i love the out-of-the camera sharpness and prefer to sharpen it slighty myself to give it that 'punchy' image (though not too sharp).


Here are the videos:




























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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

Inherent camera sharpness is a common trait of other high end cameras and part of the fix for that is to use softer or vintage lenses.  The Cooke S4 are notable lenses for taking the digital edge off, talking high end, based on some recent reading.


I thought the one this guy did which shows the BMCC has slightly better highlight retention between the Epic and Alexa was pretty interesting.  His motion graphics are a bit much but that's a minor quibble. 

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Amazing how brutally sharp the lack of OLPF makes the BMD cam!


I've never been a big fan of brittle sharpness...

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Yeah unless you are using OpencolorIO or ACES when going linear you will clip all highlights. Not to throw this convo sideways but I found if you are not using that you have to use cineon or LogC to keep anything above a value of 1 even in 32bit float linear its just the way the curves work.


Awesome tests, I have a pocket I may return, ive had QC issues with 2 already and I just cant deal with the crop even with a speedbooster. Im still 50/50 but if I have to buy new wide lenses like lets say the 11-16 and the 18-35 with maybe a prime like the 12 1.6 why dont I just put the money towards something better or similar that I can use my current kit on....

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Let's hijack this and turn it into a log/lin flame war ;)


I believe Resolve 10 defaults to ACES, either that or it carried my settings over. but anyway I was being facetious. DPX is just such an old format when you could spit everything out as EXRs from the Red and Arri converters.


And Rob. Super 16mm lenses are the go. Find a nice old zoom or wide prime. I have a 5.9mm Angieneaux which is just fantastic. Sure you need to crop in a touch but it's so lovely I don't care. Also the switars and other bolex lenses are beautiful. I shot this clip all on switars and and Eclair ACL in Tokyo. The 10mm and the 75mm are especially gorgeous.



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Pro colorists are going to want to work log, generally speaking, if you're working with log origination.

Are any of these cameras actually log though? Going to log DPX in redcine/Alexa is clipping data. A proper test would be to perform all the corrections of each camera in the conversion program of choice and then output one format to view so that any floating point stuff is done properly before output.


Anyway good stuff, though I could have watched all the tests in one go with half as much filler before, during and after.


Neither of my cameras turned up in time to use on my last Epic clip but I think I'm shooting one on Alexas next week so I'll try and throw some lenses on the BMCC MFT and BMPCC, see how they work and report back.

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