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Blackmagic Design's Cinema Camera Now Available for Pre-order - What Will the Barebones Cost You?

04.20.12 @ 8:34PM Tags : , , , ,

It seems like it was just yesterday that Blackmagic Design’s Cinema Camera was announced — and now it is available for pre-order!  As expected, the camera body will run you $2,995, and the projected availability is July 30.  So how much will you have to spend to get this thing bare-bones hand-held shoot-ready?  And what effect will the Super16-ish sized sensor have on your existing lenses?  Let’s see:

Lenses  and Crop Factor / Focal Length Magnifier

The nice thing about this camera, as previously detailed, is that it will accept EF/ZE mount lenses — so if you have that Canon-EF and Zeiss-ZE glass, or EF mount adapters, you’ll be able to save yourself some money.  Otherwise, you can approach it just like shopping for DSLR lenses.

The BmD CC's Super16-ish *or 4/3rd-ish* sensor (in red) makes a big difference in the kind of lenses you'll use

Using a Super16-ish (or Micro 4/3rd-ish) active sensor area of 15.6mm x 8.8mm, you’ll have to re-calibrate your perceptions with regards to different focal lengths (i.e the 35mm lens you’ve used on your 7D will have a smaller viewing angle on the Blackmagic).  By my calculations, the “crop factor” or “focal length magnifier” for the Blackmagic Digital Cinema camera’s active sensor area will be 2.4 relative to a full frame sensor camera like the 5D (or 1.5 relative to the APS-C sensor on a 7D/t2i).

So, lets say you want the viewing angle you get from a 50-55mm lens on a full frame camera like the Canon 5DmkIII.  On the Canon 7D/t2i, you would need a 30-35mm lens.  On the BlackMagic, you would need a 20-25mm lens.  Something to consider if you are using existing lenses or thinking of buying new ones.  With a 2.4 crop factor/FLM, folks are going to need to some very wide lenses to achieve wider angles, at which point some of those wide Tokina lenses start looking pretty attractive.  Just how wide can you get before distortion becomes an issue?  I’m sure it will depend on the quality of the glass, and the area of the image.  It’ll be interesting to see just what folks find out once they start shooting.


Storage

Unless you’re outputting to an external recorder, you’ll need to buy a compatible SSD (solid state drive) for on-board recording.  B&H has a few suggestions (when you click on “Accessories” and “Media”), just remember it will need to be in a Mac OS Extended format (you can do the formatting on a Mac or through software like Mediafour MacDrive on a PC).  Looking at the prices, it looks like you’ll have to put down between $280 and $965 for something between 256GB and 480GB.  You can go for smaller drives, but considering that shooting in RAW at 24fps will get you 30 minutes on a 256 GB drive, I don’t see why you would.

Ooh, handles

Hand holding…

Wondering about that nifty handle thing-a-majig?  You can get it for $181 dollars.  I could see that being helpful, although I’d probably go for something shoulder mounted if I was really needing to do something handheld.

Barebones Price

So, assuming you buy one prime lens, a basic 256 GB drive, and (what the heck) the handles.  You’ll have something you can shoot with for between $4500 and $5000.  Not bad!  But what’s even nicer, is that for folks who already have DSLR rigs and lenses, they should be able to knock that down to the price of the body and SSD (so around $3300-$4000 depending on how much storage you get).  Who would have thought we’d have a ready to shoot 2.5K raw shooting camera in that range?

Are you planning on buying it?  What do you consider a barebones rig?  What would it cost you?  Are you debating between this camera and a 5dMkIII or D800?

[*Update*:  I decided to simplify and clarify the section on lenses/crop factors -- some folks were getting lost in the jumps from the 7D to 5D, back down to BMD CC.  Understandably so!  (It makes more sense to go from largest to smallest.)  Also -- updated the sensor comparison image.  As Marco points out in the comments, one could easily call it "4/3"-ish!  But I like Super16-ish :) ]

Related Posts

  1. Hands-On With the 2.5K Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
  2. BlackMagic Design's Cinema Camera is a 2.5K RAW Shooter with Built-in Monitor and Recorder for $3K
  3. NAB Roundup: Monitor/Field Recorders from Atomos, Sound Devices, Convergent Design, and Blackmagic

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 178 COMMENTS

  • I’m sticking with my Digital Bolex

  • Still have not seen any original files for download straight from the camera (and I’m not talking about youtube or vimeo web recompressed footage). Why the fuck would you buy a camera you’ve never seen the footage from. No one is talking about the IQ from the sensor. If it’s shit, none of the file formats will make a difference. Would be nice if they gave DxO optics a pre-production unit to test.

  • john jeffreys on 04.20.12 @ 8:45PM

    You probably will also have to upgrade your hard drives to have enough space to store and edit all that raw data.

    • Jordan Carr on 04.21.12 @ 1:47AM

      Only if you shoot RAW. ProRes (Apple) or DNxHD (AVID) are great formats to shoot if you want compressed footage.

      • john jeffreys on 04.21.12 @ 1:11PM

        for me at least, even a prores 422 workflow will require massive hard drive changes :/ I have 20GB left on my main internal and 200GB left on my external

  • I think this will take EF-S lenses, so the Canon 10-22 (which has remarkably low distortion and quite good optics overall) will be akin to the 24-70 range on FF. 17-50 EF-S zooms will be like 50-150 tele zooms. 24mm primes will be your “normal” eye-view lens. And all of these are faster lenses for the price than you could get for FF formats, although the sensor will harvest far less light and have not as narrow a DoF.

    I am tempted to pre-order one of these, but am not in a particular rush since there will apparently be several fine cameras released this year. The SSD-based storage and direct-to-ProRes is awesome. The whole system is very well thought out though I want to know more about powering the unit (Battery grips? The 2 hour internal battery is not removable?). I think Blackmagic have established a watermark here in price/features and when they come out with a larger sensor version and everything starts working well I think the industry will have to follow with massive price reductions and elimination of proprietary nonsense like the RED SSDs.

    • It would make sense for the camera to take EF-S lenses with the smaller sensor, but everything points to it being an EF mount…

      • EF and EFS are the same mount different field of view in lens so that the EFS doesn’t cover FF completely. Same mount different glass.

    • Not yet entirely convinced that “everything” is well thought out until it gets some usage in the field. Also, what’s the go with the lens mount? Doesn’t look like you can bolt a different one on (like a PL mount or MFT mount). No reason they couldn’t have finished a generic mount place closer to the sensor so that we can choose our own. I hope I’m wrong.

  • I’ve seen rumors regarding a 4/3 lens adapter. I’ll be sitting on the sidelines with my GH2 until that happens.

  • Markertek has it for cheaper…

  • I can’t afford it, but if I could there is still one thing I have mixed feelings about – how it looks. It just looks like a toy, and if you were to show up to a shoot with that it honestly doesn’t look all that impressive.

    You can’t attach any monitors to it (touch screen) and overall to the ignorant client it looks like something you could pick up for $200 off of Ebay.

    • Bury it inside a huge mattebox (those are cheap nowadays) and it will instantly look dressed for success. The SDI out will drive a monitor, you have to control the camera on its own body isn’t unusual and touchscreen interfaces are nice and quiet.

      • I may be wrong, but from what I heard it couldn’t have an external monitor.

        Or I just mis-understood, it was a quick video from NAB so yeah.

        Also, that crop factor annoys me. I hate crop factors. Argh. Oh well.

    • *Sigh* So what!? Are you shooting to impress colleagues/clients on set or to produce great images? I do have a matte box, but the only time I’ve used it was when I rented it out to someone in dire need of impressing a client, just like you. He didn’t need the filters (indoors), just to make the package look more impressive… IMHO, it’s just plain silly…

    • Daniel Mimura on 04.30.12 @ 12:43AM

      Oh, I forgot…while everyone has been picking apart/judging/questioning/critiquing all the other features of the camera DR, flexibility in post, codecs, resolution, inputs/outputs, color space…you’re the first person I’ve seen worry about the important factor of how cool it may or may not make you look.

      I think you’ve taken the old Canon/Agassi slogan, “image is everything” and totally misinterpreted it.

      • Daniel Mimura on 04.30.12 @ 12:45AM

        Oops! Grr…I don’t get where these comments get posted, sometimes. That was not for Richard, like it looks. It’s for Tyler.

  • & remember you can shoot to ProRes or DNxHD on this puppy. I would only shoot Raw when I’m looking for something major in post.

  • Tyler, attach a monitor via the HDMI out. Put a matte box on it, and rails. You’ll need a follow focus anyway. Presto, big time look.

    Or just put it in a cage.

    As a RED owner, I prefer the aesthetic BMD is going for with this cam.

    • There is NO HDMI out. But you can use the SDI for a monitor. They also make EVFs with a SDI loop-through so that you can have both..

  • I’m really intrigued by this camera, but I’m cautious because it still seems too good to be true, as if there has to be something they aren’t talking about that is bad. I really hope this is as good as it looks. I’m going to wait until the reviews and test shorts start rolling in this summer, and if it proves itself as a good camera, I’ll almost definitely be getting one.

    • My point exactly. If BMD wants to make sure people don’t hesitate pre-ordering, they should release some raw footage for us to play with and give some blogs the opportunity to play with the camera. If it is THAT good, they have nothing to hide…

  • I’m digging the raw capabilities, DSLR have no range and suffer for it.

    Only think I don’t care for is the touch screen, looks like a giant Iphone.

  • I had this very question about the crop factor and lenses and then bam, an article answers my question. Damn, this sites good.

  • The article says that the “Cinema Camera features a Super16-ish sized sensor” which in reality, the sensor fits right in the middle of Super 16mm and Micro 4/3rd. So larger than Super 16mm, but smaller than 4/3rd. For a larger comparison of all sensor formats, from 1/3″ to Full Frame 35mm, I created one for my article on Creative Cow: http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/is-the-new-blackmagic-cinema-camera-the-hdslr-killer

    • E.M. Taboada on 04.20.12 @ 11:46PM

      Marco, you are absolutely correct! Which is why I threw in the all important “-ish” ;) I think folks use Super16 as a shorthand to describe the sensor because they are comparing it to other larger sensor formats like APS-C, or Super 35mm, giving folks a rough sense of how large the sensor is. I threw that image in just for relative scale, but you are right, the sensor should be somewhere in between the Super16 rectangle and the Micro 4/3″(since Super16 is 12.5mm x 7.4mm, compared to the BmD CC’s 15.6mm x 8.8mm). Great article, btw!

      • Ah yes, the “-ish”! On that token, I’ll say 4/3rds-ish, LOL! ;-) No worries.

        Just another note if you don’t mind me saying: As you referred to, if you wanted to shoot around, say, a 50mm lens equivalent in 35mm world, I’d use a 20mm or 24mm lens (preferably my 24mm f/1.4L). But I’d be shooting in the center sweet spot of the lens, without the wide distortion you mentioned (especially using EF as opposed to EFS lenses). Also no edge softness or vignetting. Realistically, I think the 24mm f/1.4L will probably look rather nice on it as my 50mm f/1.2L replacement. And my 35mm f/1.4L will then be my 85mm f/1.2L replacement! Of course, I wont know until I get my Cinema Camera to start testing on. But from what I’ve been seeing, I think my Canon L set is going to be very juicy on this camera. Can’t wait!

        And thanks for the kudos on my article. Much appreciated!

  • Eric Emerick on 04.20.12 @ 11:16PM

    In considering this purchase, it’s the Resolve/Ultrascope addition that pushed me over to the “buy” side of the fence.

  • Jordan Carr on 04.20.12 @ 11:21PM

    http://vimeopro.com/johnbrawleytests/blackmagic-cinema-camera/video/40584879

    Thats pretty darn good skin tone – even Vimeo compressed and at 720p

    DSLRs don’t look like that.

    I preordered – it can only look better at RAW 1080 and with future upgrades.

  • Wrong. The blackmagic’s sensor is somewhere in between super 16 and m43.

  • And for everyone complaining about hard drive space, or any trouble they may encounter with the raw workflow…DON’T BUY ONE. For some of us it doesn’t even cross our mind and we’re ready for it. It’s nothing.

  • Yeah that crop factor makes me a little apprehensive. I’ve dealt with the GH2′s, and that’s as small as I can go really with my existing lenses. If you need a wide shot but can’t pull back far enough, its already much needed for m43, so good luck with that.
    The other thing that bothers me is the ergo, and the fact that I can’t swap batteries and it internal lasts about 2 hrs only? Don’t forget to add to that number a battery belt that can power the thing handheld/shoulder mounted.

    • Jordan Carr on 04.21.12 @ 12:10AM

      Sigma makes 8-16mm zoom and there are tons of 10mm and 11mm and 12mm options – no “very” wide but enough for establishing shots.

    • I think you need to look a bit left field, this takes ANY battery in a large range of voltages.
      12v lithium 6.8ah off ebay are only $25 AUD so prob cheaper if you are in the states. Have an old cordless drill? connect it up! doing a shot out the back of your car? straight into the cig lighter. In an emergency you could run it of 10 AA batteries for crying out loud. I am super impressed!

      I think the best thing about this is the openness of the design, Standard voltages, Standard lens, Standard SSD even standard workflow and file formats.

      If I had $3k I would get this over a 5Dmk 3 and stay with my 5dmk2 for stills.

  • Unfortunately, it’s closer to a M43 sensor, not S16.

    I say unfortunately because if you could adapt S16 lenses (which can be gorgeous AND cheap), you would have severe vignetting. If it were closer to S16 you could get away with it and have some very nice glass for cheap.

  • ISO – Why aren’t we talking about this?

    Good stuff:
    I’m super excited about this camera. I feel like I have already been benefited by it before anyone’s even bought one. Why? simply because of the big ass hole this created in the fence of the existing marketing paradigms of companies who seek to sell video cameras to people like me. Black Magic Design fired a shot… and they hit something big. The innovation and competition of the market is going to a new level, like it did with the 5D. This camera has game-changer potential.

    Bad Stuff:
    Now that we see the potential here, why on earth would this game-changer have ONLY THREE steps of ISO???

    Is there something to understand here that I don’t get? Is there another type of gain control or something?

    It seems rather odd and debilitating to me. And I’m not even talking about wanting to go HIGHER than 1600 ISO. I use the range of ISO selections on my 60D heavily to manage the noise/depth of field of my images. I’ve been told that the BMD camera has been finalized and that the ISO settings might change. In my mind, the ISO range currently available on the camera seems terribly out of step with the rest of camera.

    Someone clear this up for me and explain how this isn’t as much of an issue, please.

    • Jordan Carr on 04.21.12 @ 1:33AM

      You obviously have never shot Red / Alexa / Phantom etc that you shoot almost exclusively at a native ISO.

      Same goes for this cam and because it shoots RAW you push/pull ISO in post production. And since they claim (seems true) around 13 stops of DR – you will have plenty of latitude to work with.

      Remember that it is really only the cheezy DSLR folks that shoot one scene at ISO 200, another at ISO 1600 then back again to ISO800. Then when someone watches the footage they see different amounts of grain, sharpness, contrast, color, dynamic range….nothing matches and everything is a mess.

      The idea behind a lot of Cinema Cameras is that you LIGHT and LENS your shots. Not tweak with ISO and wonder why NOTHING matches when you get your footage on your timeline.

      (journalism and available light nature shoots are different – just rent a C300 for those)

      Make sense?

      Even when shooting film RARELY would a director use more than a few different film stocks – consistency is very important. You never want to take your audience out of the film and make them think…”yuck someone changed a camera setting.”

      • One interesting fact about the Cheezy 5D3 is there is only one stop of delievered DR difference between ISO 100 and ISO1600, instead of the 4 one would expect. This is due to readout noise making ISO100 worse than it should be, rather than ISO1600 being so special. But the 5D3 does offer terrific low-light and shallow DoF vs. most anything else, should you be willing to suffer the soft resolution.

        The 5D3 and this BMD camera would make a nice combination in some ways, but this camera and a FF variant of it (one has to imagine they are just looking for a proper sensor at this point) would be a better duo, DSLRs be damned.

        • Jordan Carr on 04.21.12 @ 2:04AM

          True about the 1 stop of DR – but NOT true about sharpness or color. So it still doesn’t look good.

          As for a compliment – yup you are on to something ! But getting the 2 to match in post? Tricky. You might have better skills than I. I doubt I could do it.

          I once owned both the Ikonoskop a-cam D2 (similar to this BMCC) and a Canon 5DMK2. Hated the Canon look and could never get it to rival the film look of the CCD from the Ikonoskop.

          :)

      • Excellent point! Thank you.

    • Just a difference in workflow between raw and demosaiced formats. For most cameras ISO is just selecting which portion of its sensors dynamic range to keep and what to discard. In other cases it’s apply a combination of digital gain and noise reduction. Raw allows for all that to be done post-shoot. That is why it makes sense to find a cameras native ISO, so that you can use the maximum dynamic range of the sensor thereby giving you the most data In the raw stream.

      The infusion of any ISO setting on a raw cam is for only for preview purposes on the monitor, if going out to prores etc, or for later reference in the metadata.

      You are probably more concerned about low light capabilities than ISO since that is how it translates in nonRaw cams. Check out the sample videos linked to above on Vimeo. That are some great examples of low light shooting.

  • SSD drives, just like Sony SxS cards, Panasonic P2 cards and RED’s overpriced CF cards,are just a cost of doing business. If you can’t afford to play in that market, buy an FS-100 (SD cards) or a C300 (normal CF cards).

  • Pre-ordering the hell out of this little sweetie.

  • Sure you could use a Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 for some things, but where do you find 7mm to 25mm T/1.8 primes in EF/EF-S mount ???

    • Jordan Carr on 04.21.12 @ 1:55AM

      Sigma has 8mm-16mm
      Sigma has 10-20mm
      Tokina has 11-16mm F2.8
      Canon has 10-22mm
      Tokina has 12-24mm
      and lots of fish eye options if you don’t mind distortion

      The small sensor will limit “extreme” wide shots – ie those under 24mm but users of this camera will just have to buy lighting equipment to compensate for the slower f-stops.

      Remember though that in cinema, wide shots are “establishing” shots and are 99% tripod and bright light anyway.

      The “advantage” of this camera is that users will be able to shoot “normal” 50mmish FOV shots of actors with enough DOF to not have to rack focus much – big bonus.

      Cheers!

  • Does Raw automatically suggest 444 color space? Is this true raw? meaning you can change everything in post like iso, wb, etc (like on red) or is it just a 12 bit file you can adjust the thresholds on? Also a plus, many lenses will become macro lenses :D

    i use premier pro on a PC, how well (if at all) do the compressed formats edit on that platform?

    • Álex Montoya on 04.21.12 @ 4:23AM

      RAW is RAW. It’s what the sensor gets (more or less, since WB since to be embedded). The 444 terminology does not apply exactly here.

      You’ll get all the data the 2,5K single chip gets. If you NEED to translate it to x:x:x terms, with proper debayering it would yield a true 1,75K 4:4:4 resolution.

      • I read somewhere that the WB is baked/set into raw, meaning it’s not flexible in post, a little strange I thought, can anyone shed light on this
        thanks

        • Damn, so guys on here are spoiled. Either stick with a dslr, but the BMD camera, or buy an expensive camera. Be happy that you have that middle option now. Some of these comments are like saying I would date Beyonce, but only if she had Angelina’s lips, and J Lo’s butt, then I might date her.

        • No it is the opposite.
          White balance is not baked into True Raw like Black magic.

          Compressed versions of Raw like RED and others are different from True Raw.

      • Jared Caldwell on 04.21.12 @ 1:36PM

        I’m getting a different sum on the debayer. You should definitely be able to get over 2k after debayer with this camera…unless I am completely wrong.

        • Depends on the demosaicing algorithm. I calculate based on 70%, at 75% the raw 2.5k debayers to a resolution of exactly 1920 pixels while 80% would get you exactly 2k.

          2k isn’t realistic (if even theoretically possible?) and as far as I’m prepared to argue, debayered resolution from this camera is likely to be just below HD.

      • Hi Alexi
        I just listened to fcxguide’s nab podcast, I think this is what they said referring to Black Magic Cam, it records RAW Log, or Log RAW which isn’t raw as we know it, that might explain why WB is baked into the image.
        check it out, I may have got this wrong

      • Hi Alexi
        I just listened to fxguide’s nab podcast, I think this is what they said referring to Black Magic Cam, it records RAW Log, or Log RAW which isn’t raw as we know it, that might explain why WB is baked into the image.
        check it out, I may have got this wrong

        • The sensor data is passed through log circuit. ProRes and DNxHD are pulled from an appropriate segment of the curve while RAW uses the full curve. Despite all the questions — it’s RAW.

          As I remember, Color Balance isn’t defined. Of course, a LUT may generates the monitor image and so there may be a WB switch that becomes metadata.

          Works just like other CinemaDNG cameras. Just import into AE (export as ProRes 12-bit RGB 4444) or import into Premiere.

          “The shallow DoF is still in there with the right lens combo, friends.” At the correct aperture. Yes, all this “I can’t make a movie without a BIG chip camera” is just plain silly.

  • Also, given that this camera is touch screen driven and heavy on meta data entry, it would be nice if they also produced an app for mobile and tablet devices to enter this in without having to go through menus on the camera. it would be even nicer if there was built in wifi and you could do wireless video to an ipad like the cube….but thats just being greedy :P

  • what i’d like to know how much the perspective distortion truly affects if the camera has to be “moved” due to cropped view? If someone has both 7D and 5D could the shoot some test pictures with similar framing.

    For example shoot a photo with 24mm lens on 5D and then 15mm lens on 7D, don’t move the tripod between. If you used 15mm lens on 5D, you’d need to move camera closer to get the same framing and this would really bring out the perspective distortion.. so 7D is actually shooting from longer distance to target than that lens on 5D would be shooting to get the same frame… so will this give us a picture that is similar to 24mm lens on 5D as the camera’s distance to the target is exactly the same???

    • Just shoot a photo with your existing camera and crop it in Photoshop.

    • I don’t get your question. A 24mm on full frame and a 15mm on a 1.6 crop will give identical framing at the same distance to subject. The only difference is depth of field. Perspective is entirely based on distance to subject and FOV. If your FOV is the same, and your distance is the same, your perspective is the same.

      • Well you pretty much answered it even though you didn’t get the question. The article in its previous wording said that what you get with wider lenses cropped isn’t the same. Basically it hinted that when shooting with ultra wide lenses and a cropped sensor some of that proportional distortion would still be there… therefore i wanted someone owning cameras with both sensor sizes to shoot an all defining answer to this question.

  • with a crop factor of 2,4 and uncompressed video, this camera isn´t atractive at all for me. that doesn´t make any sence. who should use such a cam. 250gb for half an hour? for indy filmer? what? hte red epic in 5k mode doesn´t even do a quater of this data rate. and a super 16mm sensor is way to small. for me even the micro 4/3 is too small. i don´t understand what the developers of this camera where thinking, to develope a camera in the price range for indys and a workflow which not even peter jackson could afford. video must be compressed. there´s no way around…

    • If you put Tokina 11-16 lens on the, with 11mm at front you are pretty much covered in the wide end.. that’s 7D or FS100 with 16mm lens, so far i haven’t shot video with anything wider than that, sure there are situations you might want more not denying that.
      You don’t need to record RAW.. you can also do ProRes or DNxHD. I recorded prores 422HQ with ninja and FS100. 120gb takes in 70minutes.
      S16 could be small if you like shallow D.O.F, also little worried of its low light capabilities. But these days it seems that the trend is to shoot with 5DmkII and lenses capable of doing 1.2/1.4 aperture just to get shallow D.O.F like that would be the only thing that makes your movie cinematic.. kinda silly.. i think most of the cases people step down as controlling the focus would simply be too hard without professional puller. This camera is not optimized for 3D due to lack of sync but I can still see people using it for that, and for that shallow depth of field doesn’t really work as it can feel strange due to the way how our eyes work.

      • As a 1st AC, I can tell you that working with the 5dMkII is really hell when it comes to focus pulling. It’s possible though with a 3 man camera crew because each person is focused on their own job (framing, focus, etc.) I shoot all of my videos with my GH2 as the sole operator, but the smaller sensor makes doing all the jobs much easier. If this camera is aimed for the indie market, it’ll be harder to get shallow DOF but the convenience of having a smaller sensor will make up for it. (fewer crew, harder to screw up the focus during a shot) Plus, whoever said Super16 isn’t “cinematic”? As far as I know, we’ve been shooting more films with that format than we ever did with VistaVision or anything close to a full frame sensor.

        • Daniel Mimura on 04.29.12 @ 11:20PM

          I shot a low budget feature on 16mm and nothing was better for us with our super small lighting package…and the fact that we didn’t always have an AC…and if we did, they weren’t exactly the geniuses (professional) AC’s are.

          But…that being said, I remember the director and producer occasionally being really impressed with certain scenes, and I couldn’t articulate it at the time, but when it looked “like a real movie!” (director and producers comment, not mine), it was when the focus was the most shallow. It’s something I noticed re-watching the film years later. The shallow depth low light scenes (with longer lenses), with more close ups of people instead of wider establishing shots are when the film looked it’s best.

          It’s not just b/c bigger film planes have a shallower depth of field…it’s b/c apparent grain is lessened significantly with a shallower depth of field. When the focus is really deep, it really looks grainier even when you’re using the same stocks and lenses as when you have a shallower depth of field. (Note: this apparent sharpness applies just as much digitally as on film).

      • Daniel Mimura on 04.29.12 @ 11:16PM

        Sebasti, I don’t think the trend is to shoot at 1.3 to get a shallow depth of field…it’s more of a consequence…it’s just that when you’re shooting a low budget without a lot of lights, upsizing to a super-35 (or greater) sized chip means your depth of field is smaller. The popularity of the format took off b/c of that shallow depth of field…but there is a huge problem to this…when a big movie crew shoots in 35mm, they have the budget to light for it! People that used to shoot on 1/4″ or 1/3″ DV, super16 and 4/3rds…etc…now can shoot with the bigger sensor size…but they don’t have the lighting to pull it off. (It’s also really hard for the AC’s, often completely unrealistic.) If I remember right, Stephan Burum lit Prague to a T4 at night (anamorphic) for Mission: Impossible 1. There were buildings literally a mile or more away lit to T4. It was some kind of record of cabling, I think. But…it was ‘scope at night…Burun still wanted enough stop for the actors…you still want to see them in their environments…this is what’s missing by this fast lens, fast large sensor shooting.

    • Lliam Worthington on 04.21.12 @ 7:29AM

      You might not choose to work with this camera, but tot think media or sensor size is a bottleneck for independents is frankly ridiculous. And what PJ has to do with it I have no idea.

    • um….it records to ProRes as well.

    • It’s not super 16. It’s closer to m4/3.

  • Since, in terms of editing workflow, I’m on PC (cuda cards + better value for money) rather than Apple (IMHO the best gadget company in the world), it sounds a bit cumbersome having to format the SSD to extended MacOS. Hopefully BMD will make this a very easy process…

    I truly believe their approach of adding metadata in-camera is truly revolutionary and deserves following from all other camera makers.

    Other than that, I think I do want to wait until some more test videos and/or tutorials appear, before commtting. That may mean that I’ll have to join the back of waiting queue, as I expect this bby to sell like hot cakes.

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