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BMPCC6K Pro or FS7?


Django
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I sold my C200/FS7 during down time of the pandemic. Work is picking up again now and I need a pro A-Cam for client work.

I was sold on getting a BMPCC6K Pro after shooting with it for couple gigs but I'm actually hesitating to go back to the good old FS7.

6K & RAW is very nice but EF mount limits the lens possibilities so much. I still have my metabones EF speed booster which gives the FS7 pseudo FF.

I also love the fat 250mbps XAVC-I codec in Cine EI mode and the FS7's AF is actually pretty smooth on native lenses.

Price wise the FS7s are really cheap at the moment (maybe 800 more than a P6K Pro) but it feels kinda strange buying a used 2015 cine cam in 2021.

The 5" touch screen and double ISO 6K sensor on the 6K Pro probably makes much better sense for future-proofing.

Thoughts?

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Ive used both but only owned the 6K Pro, thats the one I would go for!

Could never get used to the FS7 ergos, the VF loupe would always fog up and the monitor isn't great without it. The BM is just simple to use and gets out of your way on a shoot. 

IQ is also better on the BM but you are giving up autofocus. I will say that the second duel ISO is a bit noisy I like to stick to 400. (I would expose for 200 with the brighter screen and gen5 as the monitor can be deceiving) 

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Then again FS7 maybe not so obsolete when you consider this chart:

cbzzt8qa6ua71.jpg?width=960&crop=smart&a

 

surprisingly not a black magic cam in sight! here is the full article:

https://ymcinema.com/2021/07/12/cannes-film-festival-2021s-cameras-diversity-is-the-key/

 

not just docus either.. this feature was shot on FS7 with Zeiss Super Speed primes:

Gotta love how that camera balances for shoulder mounted shots..

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19 minutes ago, JordanWright said:

Ive used both but only owned the 6K Pro, thats the one I would go for!

Could never get used to the FS7 ergos, the VF loupe would always fog up and the monitor isn't great without it. The BM is just simple to use and gets out of your way on a shoot. 

IQ is also better on the BM but you are giving up autofocus. I will say that the second duel ISO is a bit noisy I like to stick to 400. (I would expose for 200 with the brighter screen and gen5 as the monitor can be deceiving) 

I actually love the FS7 ergos - VF loupe aside which I never use. Again its one of the rare modern budget cine cams you can shoulder mount ENG style. 

IQ wise, the BM has higher resolution and shoots Raw but on the highest DCI 4K XAVC-I Cine EI setting the FS7 is still capable of spitting out a really nice detailed filmic IQ imo with tons of headroom for grading. Also yeah the 3200 dual ISO setting on the BM is a bit meh, you definitely need to stick to 400 to get the highest IQ/DR.

For the price new, the BM is definitely a no brainer but again the FS7 is still a workhorse in 2021 and E-mount is just so much more versatile than EF at this point imo.

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If you don't care for RAW that much it sounds like the FS7 suits you more. A full fame FOV is definitely nice to have. 

The whole future proofing thing is kind of BS in my opinion. 95% of content is throwaway. As long as your cameras shoots 4k 60p you are good to go for the current market and I'd think you'd be set for quite a long time as least in terms of resolution. 

The pocket 4k/6k was used for 3 narratives at Sundance, the URSA for 1. While RED wasn't used for any. 

Docs was a different story. Blackmagic cameras are going to be seen more and more often no doubt. I would still say Sony is probably a better brand in terms of being a recognizable camera package, maybe. 

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5 minutes ago, Django said:

FS7 is still capable of spitting out a really nice detailed filmic IQ imo with tons of headroom for grading.

Totally! I've had some lovely images from the FS7! If you prefer to operate from the shoulder then id get the FS7. I prefer handheld with a strap on the BM, it can be quite stable. I suppose it depends on preferences, most cameras nowadays get the job done too with basically negligible differences in the end product. Ergo and workflow preferences are more important than ever imo

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You're spending a lot of money on such a decision, and will have to live with it, so I suggest getting a bit organised and taking some time to think about it systematically.

My advice is this:

  1. Make a list of all the differences between the cameras (ie where they differ significantly), including your own personal feelings and impressions as well as specs
  2. Find the top 5 (or top 10) items that are most important to you, considering things that impact the final image as well as things that impact how easy and pleasant it is to use as well as speed and efficiency (which effect your income)
  3. Weigh these factors up and see what comes out of that analysis, it may be relatively equal with pros and cons on both sides, or may be more clear cut
  4. Check how you feel about that result.  It's often that we don't know how we truly feel until a decision is made, and then we are either relieved about it, or have a negative reaction as we were wanting it to go the other way.

I find personally that I can think about things over time, reading more info and gathering opinions as food for thought, and that eventually I develop an understanding about what I value and what might be the right direction to go in.  But if I do something like the above using pen and paper then it reduces that thought process from weeks to days because it forces you to see clearly.

I'd also suggest that you consider business and personal experience aspects more than tech specs.  A camera that has makes beautiful images might be nice, but if you hate your life as you slowly go broke, well, the image would have to keep you warm at night for it to be worth that price...

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Well fortunately I have hands-on experience with both cams and hence a well rounded idea of the pros & cons of each. It remains a tough choice as they excel in slightly different areas.

The BM is closer to DSLR form-factor and the bright 5" touch screen is a major convenience. It has cheap modern storage options including straight to SSD USB-C recording.

Main cons are no AF and EF mount.

The FS7 is a much heavier cine cam but has shoulder mount rig capability. It has more pro I/Os: 2 SDI and 2 full XLR, audio level wheels, top handle with shotgun mic support etc.

AF & E-mount are major pros for me.

Main cons are small 3.5" display, slow clunky OS/menu (although dedicated buttons/switches mean less menu diving), no internal RAW/Pro Res, XQD media.

IQ wise here is what I've rounded:

FS7 :

4K DCI

XAVC-I 10-bit 4 :2 :2 All-I (250mbps)

CINE EI

RS : 14ms

DR : 12.1 @ 800ISO

BMPCC 6K :

6K DCI

BRAW & Prores

RS : 19.8ms

DR : 11.8 @ 400ISO / 10 @ 3200

 

In real use, a cleaner sharper more detailed IQ from the BM when shooting ISO400. 

6K allows for greater punch-in capabilities.

But with no AF, any focusing error and 6K RAW means nothing if your subject is OOF.

 

 

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Maybe a stupid question but why can’t you focus manually? I see so many people acting like no af=oof shots, but you’re operating the camera, right? I own a blackmagic camera and one with af that is supposedly much better than the fs7 (r6) as a second camera for interviews, and the amount of times I get oof shots with the blackmagic is way way way less (because I have my hands on the lens) than with the r6, who has very good af but who I cannot trust in the same way to not jump to something else or suddenly focus and refocus. 

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To me the question is extremely simple, are you:

Working for others as a cameraman / DoP / etc
You're not working directly with the client / end consumer, you're hired to operate the camera. 

Working for others as a producer / director / preditor / creative / etc
You're creating and delivering the content directly (including tight control over the post pipeline, likely doing it yourself) to the client / consumer. 

 

If you're the first category, then get yourself the popular mainstream camera that is in demand. (which for now is the FS7, but it is on its way out.... you should strongly consider a FX6 instead if you can afford it)

If you're in the second category, it doesn't matter at all what camera you get!! Just get whatever camera you want to get. Get the camera which makes pretty pictures and is a great bang for your buck. (which quite likely is the BMD P6K Pro)

As you can see, once you break down the question, it's very simple to answer which one of the two to get. 

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@IronFilm I'm in both categories so the choice really isn't that easy.

@seanzzxx I enjoy manual focusing as much as the other guy, and always had a follow focus rig on the BMPCC6K shoots with very pleasing results. That said there is no doubt AF can come in very handy for run n gun, gimbal or even solo interviews.. especially when shooting wide open on fast prime lens which is how I like to shoot most of the time.

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As for FX6, not interested. I'm done paying full retail on "popular" cine cams. Too much investment lost already during pandemic. Not even ready to drop 4-5K on a R5/A7S3/FX3. It's either FS7 or 6K Pro I've decided.

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which lenses do you use. And how will each system benefit those lenses?

If it's exclusively EF lenses, I'd go with a native mount over an adaptor. 

As for solo shooting interviews with no AF. That's how I shoot and often with the Sigma 18-35 at 35 f2(ish) on a booster. Very rarely have I come back with out of focus footage. And when they lean forwarsa# I'd rather them go out of focus, than have weird hunting issues. Secondly, if you have a monitor for yourself, you can adjust focus over your shoulder very easily. In my experience, it's a non-issue.

Shallow dof is only really a problem if you're very close to the subject. Once you have 2m between the subject and the lens, mf is easy to keep on top of.

That said, Sony focus peaking sucks balls, and I can never trust it. BMD focus assist is very reliable for me.

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Lens wise I’m all over the place: EF L series, Zeiss Bâtis E-mount, Leica M, Nikon AI-S etc..

As for manual focus, well I did an interview recently on the BM 6K with the Sigma 18-35. I’d say 80% shots were in focus but once you punch in there was at least a good 20% shots slightly OOF (as in focus on the nose instead of the eye). It’s actually lot more noticeable on 6K resolution were accurate focusing becomes real critical. Having your subject at +2m isn’t always optimal either especially on a medium wide like the 18-35.

But yeah it’s not like the FS7’s AF was glorious like Canon DPAF or latest gen Sony’s. But it has saved my ass on more than a few one man run n gun situations.

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To me, it's starting to look like you should pickup the cheapest one that will arrive soonest. 

I think the 6kPro probably has more life in it, and will receive a number of updates. But that's a guess. FS7 won't get any more updates. 

If you're not in any rush, wait for BMD next announcement, and see what that brings. At the very least, both models your considering will drop in price during that time too.

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And why don't you consider the Canon C70?
- Quite similar Pocket 6K Pro form factor
- New future proof mount
- Good (if not excellent) DPAF
- Good dynamic range thanks to the DGO
- Records to cheap SD cards 
- Good batteries that last very long and lot of cheap third party battery brands 
- More versatile than the two you look for IMO

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1 hour ago, Trankilstef said:

And why don't you consider the Canon C70?
- Quite similar Pocket 6K Pro form factor
- New future proof mount
- Good (if not excellent) DPAF
- Good dynamic range thanks to the DGO
- Records to cheap SD cards 
- Good batteries that last very long and lot of cheap third party battery brands 
- More versatile than the two you look for IMO

FS7 can be had for a little over 3k used. The Pocket 6k pro is $2500. The C70 is around $5000, though I've seen it closer to 4k used once.

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@Django

FS7 def has the advantage if you want to shoot almost full frame for cheap. Basically the only reason I'm still shooting on FS5s... S35 out of the box, or pop on a metabones for 1.07x crop.

There's (2?) FS7M2 on ebay for 4k. Nothing included but the locking e-mount is awesome. Such a pain in the ass to rig a lens to not move when using a focus motor or follow focus. eND is nice to have too.

FS5/FS7 is still the only goldilocks body available IMHO: FF/S35, SDI, RAW, 4K120.

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