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BMPCC or GH4?


Armando
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Hello everyone, My first post.

 

I'm about to buy BMPCC or a GH4. I'm not sure of which one would suit me best, and I´d like to hear some comments. I'm  interested in the experience of everyone who is kind enough to share it, and I don't expect a consensus. Let me pose some questions and add a few details about the problems I'm planning to face with either camera:

 

- I'll be delivering purely HD for at least two or three more years (I live in Mexico, a country that's usually a few years behind the US and the first world...). A 4K ready camera is not a bad thing, but it's not essential. Is the scaled image noticeably better than that of the BMPCC in either ProRes or RAW? Specially in low light. In a few months I'll be shooting stuff for TV, and I´d like to take one of these gals as a B-Cam for an XDcam and a Varicam in different productions.

 

- Shadows. Which do you think is the least noisy of them? I've used DSLR for most of my very few years of shooting video, and I'd really love to see something with clear shadows instead of those pools of dark noise. I know it's not only the camera, any tips on technique for getting nicer shadows would be welcome.

 

- I've decided to get a Speed Booster for whichever I buy (and the 1+2/3 exposure increment for the BM is specially tempting...). I'm not saying goodbye to my Nikon glass nor bokeh in general, and the chance of adding some Canon lenses with another adapter in the future would be lovely - specially if my wallet ever does thicken.

 

- Dynamic range and the quality of color in low light. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if the BMPCC is a native ISO 800, the SpeedBooster would de facto turn into a native 2,500 ISO - great for carrying smaller lights if not competing with the sun or windows. ND is not an issue that bothers me at all. How does the GH4 fare against it? Which do you like the most? Once again, I'll be using a Speed Booster, so I'll gain a full stop over my chosen ISO. 

 

- I shoot an awful lot of weddings and independent stage shows. I don´t think either of this cameras is proper for it, though both look like a decent and gradeable B-Cam (yet another reason for low light decency). Which one would you take with you if you had a varicam or a canon XA20 as an A-Cam? Sound and timecode are not issues I'm concerned with.

 

Thanks for reading, I know I lack a lot of reading about these cameras, and I appreciate your patience towards my ignorance. 

PS - sorry for my wacky english, I'm not used to writing in this language.

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- I shoot an awful lot of weddings and independent stage shows. I don´t think either of this cameras is proper for it, though both look like a decent and gradeable B-Cam (yet another reason for low light decency). Which one would you take with you if you had a varicam or a canon XA20 as an A-Cam? Sound and timecode are not issues I'm concerned with.

 

 The BMPCC isn't well-suited for long-form video.  To get the best out of it, you're shooting DNG at about 4 gig a minute.  It will give the best low-light performance, in my opinion, because the image is uncompressed, so shadow noise become film-like grain.  However, the problem with RAW video is that IF you're getting the benefits out of it you're getting an image you can't get with other compression-in-camera cameras--so matching becomes a problem.  It becomes your A-cam and your b-cams look too contrasty.  

 

The crop factor of the BMPCC is 3x, vs 2x of the MFT.  So a NIkon 24mm becomes 72mm on the BMPCC and 48mm on the GH4.  It's a drag!

 

BMPCC internal audio is not really usable, so plan on syncing everything in post.  When the Sony a7s comes out, that should be an exciting camera for that kind of work.  The ability to re-frame a 1080 image, from the 4k image, in the gH4 would probably be VERY helpful in weddings and concerts.  

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