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Axel

BMPCC raw inferior to 5DMiii

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Hi friends,

sorry if this was posted already, I just need a place to express my disappointment. I am on the verge of cancelling my BMPCC-order. What could be seen of 'test shots' of the Pocket's raw so far didn't convince me at all, whereas the Miii's raw just shines. Am I missing something? If not for the different price tag, what other reason should I have to look forward to the final arrival of that camera? Please share your thoughts.

 

I'm with you on this Axel. I've watched a bunch of raw -- and generally, the BMPCC doesn't shine the way that the BMCC or 5D3 does with raw. (Both systems rock the raw.)

 

BMPCC Raw is only marginally better than shooting ProRes. Don't get this camera for its raw -- unless you are shooting green-screen or shooting for a feature film. Yes, the dynamic range is great on this camera, good for documentary shooters who can't control the environment.

 

The biggest compelling reason to get a BMPCC is that it poops out ProRes. You can drag it onto your timeline and get to work. No other camera at $1k does this.

 

However, if you need a $1,000 camera that can spits out solid video and can run with the bad boys, I think the GH3 is still one of the best offering available. It captures better video than the H.264 5D3. 

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I've had the BMPCC for a couple of days now.  Some footage on vimeo.com/maxotics

 

I don't know if it's too sharp (Lumix 14mm btw), or there is line skipping going on.  In any case, it succumbs to moire/aliasing very easily.  Don't know whether I'll leave it alone, soften it, stop using ProRes (and use cDNG with better de-bayering)...anyway, something to deal with.  

 

As much as I'd like to say it is, it is not a H.264 killer.  I have to admit, for many types of video, the file size/cost isn't worth it.  

 

Nonetheless, I am very happy with the camera.  The dynamic range is my main desire and the camera fits easily in my pocket.  I don't think it makes sense to compare it to the 5D3--that's a big camera.  One should compare the BMCC to that.

 

The BMPCC is in a class by its own.  For someone who is just going to shoot short clips like me, photographically, this camera is a God-send.  The stills aren't half bad either, going to play with them some more.

 

I would say that if you're a filmmaker, and plan to attach a bunch of stuff to the camera, with the now declining price of fast CF cards, the 50D, 7D and 5DII are just as good.

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I don't know if it's too sharp (Lumix 14mm btw), or there is line skipping going on.  In any case, it succumbs to moire/aliasing very easily.  Don't know whether I'll leave it alone, soften it, stop using ProRes (and use cDNG with better de-bayering)...anyway...


Could be the lens. I had two Oly MFT lenses and the kit lens on the GH2, and those produced moire as well. Sold them. I hope with these lenses there will be no moire on the BMPCC:

Kowa 8.5/f2,8/T3.0 (announced for early 2014 at ~600€)

SLR 12mm

Voigtlander 17,5 mm
Voigtlander 25 mm

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I found the BMPCC's crop factor plays into image degradation in many ways as well.  It magnifies any lens imperfections, plus the deeper inherent DOF encourages wide-open apertures, which are never the best.

 

I tried to use my old Nikon AIS 50mm f/1.4 on it shooting ProRes, and while I could get the color to a pleasing point, the lens bloomed viciously wide open.  I never noticed this when using the same lens on a S35mm or full frame sensor.

 

Also, you get weird barrel distortion when trying to go wide with many lenses.  And you don't even end up getting that wide a FOV. 

 

And C-mount lenses just look swirly and awful on the edges.

 

I'm not gonna go get a Zeiss Superspeed kit just to get an acceptable image from this thing.  I'll stick to my hacked 5dmkIII for my personal raw shooting right now, and rent a Red or something if I need reliable performance for a gig.  BMPCC is a dud IMO.

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I've always found the ML RAW files have a very brittle feeling to them when I'm pushing them around in Lightroom, ACR within AE, or Resolve. Even the prores coming from the BMPCC feels more robust to me, let alone the RAW. But I've still held on to my 5d3 for stills as well as the option to shoot RAW with a full-frame sensor as that does have definite advantages in some places over the BMPCC's extreme crop. In my day to day work, it's hard to beat the quality/flexibility/speed of prores off the BMPCC, in my opinion - as straightforward as the GH2/MTS -> Premiere workflow I've gotten used to, but much higher quality results.

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After a week with this little thing, I've found the ProRes to be the best thing from this camera & the RAW will be useful for a few difficult to get shots.

As far as lenses go, wide open isn't the way to go at all (& never was really with any camera) - for me, the Super Tak 35mm f3.5 is the only lens that will perform well wide open. Because this thing needs light, coupled with the native 800ASA, you can easily stop down to get a sharp picture & if you're still not satisfied, you can sharpen a little in post.

Its not too bad in low light, but if that's what you need in a camera you should look else where - RAW could help here, but won't solve everything.

For the FOV arguement, i like the fact that you've now got room between the camera & any subject - never liked being right on top of things. Also, it will encourage a different way of filming & should teach people that the wide shot isn't something to be abused - but i do like CUs! The speedbooster will help give you some breathing room as well.

Its quite obvious by now that this camera isn't for everybody & will really challenge you, especially with your lens & shot choices.

I also think that this camera should be used in conjunction with another & maybe not solely on its own.

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However, if you need a $1,000 camera that can spits out solid video and can run with the bad boys, I think the GH3 is still one of the best offering available. It captures better video than the H.264 5D3. 

 

Yes, recently there was a big budgeted movie (for german dimensions) shot in great parts with several GH3s (I will link to a trailer as soon as one is released). As far as DSLR-videography is concerned, I am tired of shallow DoF and of flat skintones. And when I now see my early efforts with the XH A1, the Letus extreme and a bunch of Nikon glasses, I begin to wonder, whether a laborious and burdensome method (compared to VDSLR) has actually a positive impact on the final image. And also, a decade earlier, when I developed my own 16mm TriX Pan film in my darkroom, shot with an ancient Bolex with spring mechanism, when every second meant money rattling trough the camera. This is not the fault of the technique itself, which was undoubtedly improved since then, it is my fault. That's why I feel that raw might be the thing for me. 

 

I found the BMPCC's crop factor plays into image degradation in many ways as well.  It magnifies any lens imperfections, plus the deeper inherent DOF encourages wide-open apertures, which are never the best.

 

Doesn't have to encourage wide open apertures. You can as well return to the virtue of composing an image with absolute DoF, isolating your motif by light, motion blur, golden ratio variations. In these days of blurred vision (good name for a film company) it would stand out.

 

I tried to use my old Nikon AIS 50mm f/1.4 on it shooting ProRes, and while I could get the color to a pleasing point, the lens bloomed viciously wide open.  I never noticed this when using the same lens on a S35mm or full frame sensor.

 

Yes, also true for GH2/G6. Solution: Use them from f2.0 and up.

 

Also, you get weird barrel distortion when trying to go wide with many lenses.  And you don't even end up getting that wide a FOV. 

 

Yes, and then again, ultra wide FoV is either good for landscapes (which I am not at all interested in) or an MTV reality soap camera style (which I have to use sometimes when shooting weddings, but which I am not proud of). I really like your work very much, but I am no run&gun fan. Barrel distortion is as bad as moire, mostly.

 

BMPCC is a dud IMO.

 

I pray it's not.

 

Because this thing needs light, coupled with the native 800ASA, you can easily stop down to get a sharp picture & if you're still not satisfied, you can sharpen a little in post.

 

It needs light, I suppose so. There is another thing I am tired of: Low light. Nothing special about a city at night anymore. My frigging iPhone makes quite acceptable low light stills. This is all so boring (good title for a short). 

 

Its quite obvious by now that this camera isn't for everybody & will really challenge you, especially with your lens & shot choices.

 

Thank you. Encourages me.

 

Axel have you seen this?

Raw appears to have a significant image quality increase but comes with severe moire.

 

>

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Too many generalised comments going on in this discussion.

For a start, there are hundreds of different c-mount lenses. It's just wrong to say every c-mount lens shows a weird swirl on the pocket camera. I have several myself and the statement is wrong.

The BMPCC has no moire filter, or noise reduction. It has more moire than other cameras I've used. I've found shooting raw that moire is much more common, with any lens but obviously pronounced with sharper, modern lenses.

I find raw a big step up from pro-res, if only for one thing, the ability to craft your image in post.

I had to fiddle a lot more when processing pro-res. When I upload raw it only takes a few tweaks and the footage looks crisp and well balanced almost immediately.

Personally I think the raw from this camera is superb and I can't see raw from any other camera being completely better looking. Resolve is hard to use and I'm not finding it easy to produce great grades. I've used Capture One to grade footage from my Pocket Camera and have been blown away by the clean crispness and colours.

It most CERTAINLY isn't 'a dud'. I'm getting outstanding footage, obviously dependent on my own skill limitations.

The camera is not a lowlight camera, and in many daylight conditions it requires ND's for filmic depth of field.

I shot something at f1.4 on a stormy day over the weekend and the footage is sharp and balanced. Not at all weird or compromised.

However, if you are looking for an easy to use, run and gun, no accessories needed camera, the Pocket Camera is not for you.

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would you be kind enough to elaborate on this friend? how so? no irony meant whatsoever 

It's just the feeling I get playing around with footage, having used both cameras. I feel like I can push around the BMPCC raw much more than the ML, which feels like I have to nail the exposure much closer in camera.

 

I saw a post just now over on the ML forums where someone said according to their tests, the ML raw files were storing about 9 stops under and 3 stops over middle gray. This is purely anecdotal, but my sense is the BMPCC stores more above key and less below it, which is more conducive to my own shooting preferences - I like more headroom and am less worried about digging into the shadows most of the time.

 

But that having been said, I've been shooting mostly the BMPCC since mine arrived, and I'm curious to go back to ML RAW and see if I feel any differently about it now.

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I'm with you on this Axel. I've watched a bunch of raw -- and generally, the BMPCC doesn't shine the way that the BMCC or 5D3 does with raw. (Both systems rock the raw.)

 

BMPCC Raw is only marginally better than shooting ProRes. Don't get this camera for its raw -- unless you are shooting green-screen or shooting for a feature film. Yes, the dynamic range is great on this camera, good for documentary shooters who can't control the environment.

 

The biggest compelling reason to get a BMPCC is that it poops out ProRes. You can drag it onto your timeline and get to work. No other camera at $1k does this.

 

Man you have very strange logic. Of course RAW is going to be a bigger jump from 8bit 4:2:0 than it is from 10bit 4:2:2. This only tells you the quality relative to itself. So to say RAW on BMPCC doesn't shine (because ProRes is so good to start with), is a bit weird. It is still better than ProRes and for reasons other than just plain image quality. For starters RAW does not have a white balance or ISO baked into the image. I mean why am I even bothering to convince you? If you don't notice something, don't go looking for it.

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Hi folks,
everyone have a nice christmas!

I have the Pocket, the Pocket Speedbooster and the Sigma 18-35mm now for a couple of days and - of course - made some test shots. A lot of them, to be precise.

I will upload anything worth showing as soon as I'll have figured out how to do it right. All my preoccupations have vanished. This camera is great fun for me.

My computer can't yet handle raw with Resolve, so I'm using ACR within AAE (slooow), until I have decided whether I will upgrade my current machine or buy a new. However, I was not yet able to produce any moire, I found ETTR to be the correct way of exposing (I was able to produce noise, when not overexposing), I think there is a way to deal with everything.

The display isn't as bad as was hawked, it just needs a Z-finder (similar products by Kinotehnik and Kamerar). No need for a rig with the Sigma. I just drew a nylon strap (leftover from one of my various camera bags) through the slit of my ACE plate.
Pocket2.JPG
I basically hold the lens, not the camera. Together with the Z-finder, I will have 3-point stabilization.
Pocket3.jpg

To all purchasers who wait in doubt and despair: Don't worry.

EDIT: Definite workaround for the "ETTR-issue". In raw, set ISO to 400, this will lower the gamma at which the image is displayed in display and later on the computer (manner of speaking, actually the gamma point is set to a higher value, the lever exposure in ACR is a gamma-corrected curve). Expose as bright as possible without 100% zebra flashing. The ISO settings have only influence on the metadata in raw. Proof: If you switch through 200-400-800-1600, the subjective brightness changes, but the zebra areas stay the same. It actually is easier to expose with the Pocket.

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It's just the feeling I get playing around with footage, having used both cameras. I feel like I can push around the BMPCC raw much more than the ML, which feels like I have to nail the exposure much closer in camera.

 

That's because you actually have to change ISO on the 5dmarkIII. On the Blackmagic cams, you only have one ISO value and that's that. Like with Red cameras. 5d has actual analogue gain so you have to change your exposure.

 

Which really, is not that big a deal. You don't even want to control exposure anymore?

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It doesn't mean you don't have to control exposure on the BMD cameras.  It means you're treating them like you would a film stock.  Best results are lighting to the sensitivity of the camera, like with film.  You know your sensitivity and you determine what stop you want to be at for the action, for aesthetics.  Based on that you add light or take away light, whether that's turning more on, turning more off, stacking ND, using flags or adjusting the position of your actors with respect to the lens and time of day.

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