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A Mini Alexa for $3,000? New Blackmagic Cinema Camera Clip Proves Comparison Isn't That Far-Fetched

08.7.12 @ 5:49PM Tags : , , ,

Depending on your level of excitement for the new Blackmagic Cinema Camera, the picture on the left is very promising. There has been plenty of skepticism regarding the BMCC and the suggested retail price (and certainly the image quality), but every single piece of footage just continues to improve the prospects of this camera. The fact that you can get an image like the picture on the left, is just astounding, and it shows just how flexible this camera will be. John Brawley has thus far been the only DP allowed to release footage (since he’s helping develop the camera), and today he’s got a nice clip that may just blow you away. It certainly begs the question, is this as close to Arri Alexa image quality as low budget folks will get?

The footage below was shot with ProRes log, and John does say at some point he will be able to release full resolution files of both ProRes and CinemaDNG (there isn’t any audio in the clip below):

Here is what John had to say:

Lenses were again, the lovely Zeiss Compact Primes.  The widest I had in the CP’s was the 28mm, so the two extra wide shots were done with the 15-85 Canon EF-S…I also did a fair bit of handheld.  Most of the mid shots’ and close ups are hand held with the 35mm or the 50mm CP.  I was generally shooting around T4 @ iso 800 (using T1 ND’s to get the right stop). The one exception was the 2 steadicam shots which were shot at T16 @ 28mm.  I didn’t have any remote focus motors so I went with DOF…Using the Zebra’s I simply made sure I exposed by looking at what was clipping at 100% and making a judgement on what I wanted to keep in terms of exposure. Now for those looking for Moire and aliasing, pay attention to Ella’s cardigan.  You can often see the weave of the fabric there, and on many DSLR’s I would expect this kind of pattern / weave to cause aliasing issues.

While he is using some of the best lenses money can buy, they offer similar optical quality to the much cheaper Zeiss ZE or ZF still camera lenses. What you lose in smooth iris and less breathing you make up for in lower price.

There is definitely some good news regarding aliasing and moire. It’s going to appear at some point for everyone (since the camera does lack an optical low-pass filter), but it’s clear from the clip that it’s not going to be that bad. Since aliasing and moire in DSLRs show up for slightly different reasons, there’s a good chance it won’t be a real problem in normal shooting conditions. Owners will have to do their own testing, but this should come as a slight relief to those who were worried about rainbow patterns littering their frames.

John has joked about this camera being a baby Alexa, but judging from the newest footage, it might not be that far off. This camera won’t match an Arri Alexa in features and shallow depth of field, but could it come close with image quality? RAW pixels aren’t too far off — about 2.4 on the BMCC versus 2.8 on the Arri Alexa. Comparing them is completely unfair (and probably a bit foolish), but the only other time I’ve seen footage with this much dynamic range and skin tones this natural is from Arri Alexa clips. There is a quality to the colors that reminds me very much of Arri’s color science, and for the price, that is absolutely a steal.

We’ve talked about some of the shortcomings of the camera, but if the image quality will truly be as good as it looks in this Vimeo clip, it’s going to be worth it to spend a little more to customize it for your workflow. This will never be an Arri Alexa (nor any of the more fully featured cameras for that matter), but it’s going to give some crisp 1080p with a staggering amount of dynamic range. We can’t wait to get our hands on one, but it’s likely going to be a couple more weeks.

Either way, what do you guys think of the footage? How many shorts and features do you think will be shot on this camera over the next year?

Link: Some more Blackmagic Cinema Camera Footage – John Brawley’s Blog


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Description image 139 COMMENTS

  • I seriously can’t wait for some raw footage samples :)

  • Digital Bolex, C300/500, AF-100, Blackmagic the choices are starting to pile up!!!!

    • I guess the only real thing that worries me is the crop factor. Being use to the t2i,7d crop factor and the 5d full frame going to 2.4 crop might be a leap.

      • There was plenty of shallow DOF in that video, so I’m not worried about that. What worries me slightly is the lens mount; more difficult to get suitably fast wides for EF than for M4/3 or C-mount.

        • Exactly: the only reason DoF will be a problem is that you can only use EF glass, and with a 2.3x crop factor you’re going to be using mainly ultra-wide-angles, which are not the fastest lenses around either.

          For a normal lens, you can go for a 24mm f/1.4 (Canon L, or Samyang), which will be equivalent to 55mm f/3.2 on a 5D2, in terms of field of view and depth of field.
          For a portrait lens, you can go for a 35mm f/1.4 (I’d go Samyang, but it can be Canon L too), equivalent to 80mm f/3.2 on a 5D2.
          The problem is for a wide angle: all you have is f/2.8 or slower (e.g. the Tokina 11-16), and in terms of DoF that’s equivalent to f/6.5 on the 5D2. Not a huge issue, since wide angle shots don’t usually require shallow DoF, but still…

          Plus, a 24mm or a 35mm with EF mount are not usually designed with bokeh as a main concern, and blowing up the image 2.3x times will show all the imperfections in a lens: we may get some surprises when out previously-awesome lenses are just not suitable for what we want to do with them now.

          • Joe Marine on 08.9.12 @ 4:27AM

            Yep, which is why so many people want an interchangeable mount. That’s really the only big issue: faster, wider lenses. All of the other compromises aren’t a big deal. For people who really want shallow there are some interesting M4/3s lenses that would have been perfect, like the 25mm 0.95 lenses.

      • C 500? haha very funny

  • That is pure glory.

  • Looks really great. And what I find so impressive is how well it did without lights and in direct sunlight.

  • Beautiful footage. Really impressive. Hmm…

  • I can’t wait to get one. It’s the first camera I’ll own myself, so I’ll shoot everything haha.

  • Looks like it was shot in Australia. Always nice to see local works!

    I love the image quality, dynamic range and colour depth, but I’m really not impressed by how wide the DOF is. I’ve been spoilt by the large sensor Canons, and really like a blooming bokeh in the backgrounds these days.

    I’m very keen to rent one of these bad boys and see how far I can push it on that front with some controlled lighting.

  • Michael Joseph on 08.7.12 @ 6:44PM

    Well I can certainly tell you I’ll be shooting my movies on this baby whenever I can manage to save up for one-which may be awhile…

  • marklondon on 08.7.12 @ 7:13PM

    Its really really nice, and I get more and more tempted every time I see a clip. This IS going to replace Alexas in a lot of shoots, and its a Scarlet killer. What I like is it would go straight on all the rigs I have for my D800.
    But no slowmo of any kind is a deal breaker for me. And the crop is a pain in the ass.

    Having shot a lot of AF100 it takes quite a bit of getting used to.

    But am I interested? Hell yes! I keep reaching for my wallet……

    • john jeffreys on 08.7.12 @ 7:43PM

      A scarlet killer? HAHA. not by a longshot. Prosumer logic is hilarious.

      • Instead of blasting people why don’t you just elaborate. After a few visits I think anyone can observe that “prosumer logic” is the basis for this entire website. Assuming you don’t need the extra resolution or frames per second on a given project, this camera seems like a very logical alternative.

        • john jeffreys on 08.7.12 @ 8:46PM

          It isn’t just resolution and frame rates. Red dsmc’s are modular, have changeable lens mounts, bigger sensors, tons of accessories, a cult following (, unparalleled post flexibility and an impressive repertoire of both indie films and big budget films that have been made with them. its an entirely different class of camera and calling this new budget minded toy black magic camera a “scarlet killer” is really foolish.

          • john jeffreys on 08.7.12 @ 8:49PM

            A DSLR killer? Maybe; aside from sensor size this camera is untouchable at its price range.

          • marklondon on 08.7.12 @ 8:58PM

            You’re really talking about the EPIC and MX. GREAT cams, although both have terrible ergonomics.
            The Scarlet, and I mean this in the nicest way, is a bit of a pig.

            And given the number available used, I’m obviously not the only one who thought so. I’d buy a used MX over a Scarlet.

          • snoopyrawdogg on 08.7.12 @ 11:47PM

            @Johnjeffery…..Sounds like you a troll from RED or you just bought a 5D3 5 months ago….kick rocks We here are fans of BMC dueces!

          • john jeffreys on 08.8.12 @ 3:07AM

            Actually I’ve been a user of DSLR’s ever since the t1i way back in the day. I currently use a 5d 2. Lately I’ve been sick of it, and I’m in a transitionary period in which I save up for a professional cinema camera and subsequently stray away from the typical DSLR user-turned-blackmagic-supporter stereotype, of which you seem to be a shining example of. I need something more powerful than a dslr or budget cine camera full of compromises, something thats actually made for high end productions that I can learn from and make mistakes with.

            And no, I’m not a troll for RED. I don’t own one. At the moment.

      • alan b'stard M P on 08.7.12 @ 8:23PM

        John, this camera, and the FS100, and others have the quality that pros desire for many jobs they do at a small aquisition price. It allows amateurs with talent to produce better results. Basic important things, admittedly built to a price are there

        This camera, and those like it will knock the guts out of much of Alexa’s market if authorized for broadcast TV and cinema, although not all of it.

        This camera serves a purpose, or will do.

      • marklondon on 08.7.12 @ 8:49PM

        Pretty sure I’m not a prosumer in any way :-)
        I’ve shot with the Scarlet many times. It’s an ok camera, but has many significant negatives. And that footage above (and the pool room stuff) looks IMMEDIATELY far better than what you’ll get out of a Scarlet, especially the skin tones and DR.

        If you were using Canon lenses on that Scarlet, it would be way behind.

        Note I didn’t say EPIC killer. Love that camera. Although even those are starting to turn up used for very low prices…..

        • john jeffreys on 08.7.12 @ 8:56PM

          I didn’t mean to be harsh; its just that the term “-killer” bothers me sometimes. And yeah, the used market for reds is a nice place for people on a budget. I have seen original red one m’s go for 8-10k, most of them fully outfitted.

          • marklondon on 08.7.12 @ 9:04PM

            Fair enough.
            As I just posted above, I looked VERY hard at buying a used MX. They are a great cam. But the way i like to shoot, that would have meant buying at least two of them.

            But I just feel there’s a really great RAW cinema camera coming at about the up to 8k mark, and my clients are happy to rent right now. Especially as all everyone wants is the bloody Alexa. :-)

            For my personal stuff and B cams my D800 and Canons will tide me over another 6 months or so.
            But I’m tempted to buy one of these just in case….

        • You don’t like the skin tones of the Scarlet but you love the Epic? That’s a bit strange since skin tones and DR are exactly the same on both cameras. What exactly makes you love the Epic over the “pig” of a Scarlet (your term) other than the extra frame rates?

          • marklondon on 08.8.12 @ 9:08AM

            If you think the colormetry is exactly the same on both cams, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.
            In my experience with 3 different Scarlets the grading we needed to do re skin tone (vs what we shot) was far more than i’ve ever had to do on any other camera. Including one job matching it to an Epic on an A lister’s face.
            I’m not saying you can’t get good results with a Scarlet if its one you work with non-stop and you light for it, but I’ve had not one experience where we all turned around in the online and went ‘we’re definitely using that camera again’.
            Recently I had a decent budget music video lined up, and we decided to test the concept with several cams first (DSLR,F3, C300, Scarlet). My pick going in was the Scarlet. It did not do well.
            I’m editing a Nat Geo doc right now I shot along with others that if I could I’d show you raw sequences where a Scarlet gets its ass kicked by cameras costing far less, and is shown up by a Red MX. And that’s before we get into the extra post stage re Red Cine-X.
            That’s why I call it a pig. Yes it shoots 4K. But the instances where that adds production value in the real world is suprisingly limited.

            Just a note: I think the MX is still one of the best digi cinema cameras ever made, and I love the Epic.

            • Joe Marine on 08.8.12 @ 5:46PM

              SCARLET and EPIC are exactly the same camera inside (much to the disappointment of many EPIC owners – but thankfully for them, RED made sure the camera wouldn’t be able to touch EPIC in specs). Color science is not baked in with RED, you’re getting RAW data, so the only portion that is really baked in, is the way the actual sensor picks up information, as well as the A/D convertor – which, incidentally enough, are exactly the same as on the EPIC. The parts supposedly didn’t pass quality control on the EPIC, and thus they decided to use them on the SCARLET.

              It’s also a little baffling that you say RED ONE MX beats SCARLET, because they share the exact same sensor inside. In fact, not only do they share the same sensor, but SCARLET is doing 16-bit color while RED ONE is only doing 12-bit. I will agree with people that say specs mean nothing, what does the image look like, but something is being done wrong if SCARLET and EPIC footage are that drastically different – and the MX footage actually looks better.

          • Weird persistence against the Scarlet specifically. The c300 1dc 5dm3 sony fs100 fs700 f3 are all safe but the scarlet is dead. Especially when theres an upgrade path to dragon of which no one really knows what the outcome will be. All that I know is that Red is nuts, they are not afraid to bring things to market.

            When I get the BMC camera, and after I test it, if its better than my scarlet then, I’ll sell my scarlet, but I don’t make decisions off of web footage. I’m surprised that someone with your apparent experience would decide the contrary. Is it that the BMC is a scarlet killer or do you just want it to be based on you’re experience with the scarlet. As long as people are watching movies on the big screen high resolution acquisition will have its supporters and I think most scarlet owners would agree, if you can’t get great footage out of the scarlet then maybe its not the scarlet. Its a workflow with pitfalls if specific things are not done correctly. Its not for everybody.

            Personally, I think the skin tones of the BMC where a little too milky desaturated for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, I would take that any day of the week over plastic sony or just plain wrong 5d, but I would guess in reality there was more pigment in their skin. I’m sure it was a creative choice and the camera is capable of what ever you want but its all subjective now.

      • snoopyrawdogg on 08.7.12 @ 11:35PM

        I know what my eyes saw freak what you talking bout

      • I think the BMC (if the specs are on target) and scarlet are in the same range. This is not prosumer logic by any stretch. If your shooting with a 5D2 than you may just be a prosumer yourself. The BMC is probably not a camera for the typical HDSLR user. It would be for people like me who need a HIRES cine cam that can do green screen, CG compositing and used for adverts and narratives(any type of traditional CINE production). I will watch this camera closely and see how the PC workflow comes out. The only drawback I see with the BMC is the lens mount, but I understand why they would make that choice.

  • marklondon on 08.7.12 @ 7:15PM

    Oh, and CPs? Great to work with, but I’m not a fan of their look at all.
    That entire film would have looked better (in a way that served the narrative) with Roks or Nikons.

  • James Pemberton on 08.7.12 @ 7:30PM

    Scary to think I’m 10 months out of College (Australian) and I can afford this camera, Especially when it comes with Resolve and Ultrascopes. If you look at a certain way you are really playing around $1,300 for this camera… Scary

    • If you find this scary, just stick around a bit more for the flying weaponized nano-robots controlled by an A.I. with consciousness ;-)

  • I totally agree, Joe – there is a vague familiarity with color science. Arri is a strong word for any camera conversation, but this test gives me a shiver. The DR around the 3min mark is for serious. When DSLR’s came around everyone was talking about that “film” look – mostly chalking it up to DOF. I feel like this sort of DR and color depth is really getting closer to reproducing a “film look.” Personally, I can’t wait to use this bad larry on a giant landscape, everything in focus. Sharp as a tack, corner to corner. Everything exposed right.

  • I agree–very nice. However, one begins to wonder what the issue is with releasing more samples of what this camera can do. If there’s a bug or an issue (In particular with the audio input), I would think the public would be more receptive to seeing the faults rather than being kept in the dark. or maybe, that’s the point: good marketing. Still, would like to see some low light (High ISO) and quick panning/movement….

    • I can’t really think of many camera companies who give any more than what black magic has – I remember the scarlet-x coming and and all we had for the longest time was that slow-mo lion. And when Canon were releasing the 1D-X we had low-res video of some boxers until users started releasing their own footage. It might just be standard practice to not give too much away – though I agree, it would be awesome to see some real low-light stuff. We might just have to wait and see.

  • This does look very much like Alexa footage, which is just baffling when you consider the price. I’m willing to bet that when blind tests come up a few months from now comparing both side by side… there’s gonna be a lot of head shaking in disbelief. As far as Red is concerned… this surely isn’t a fully fledged cinema camera like that… but judging by pure iq at 24fps… this takes the cake… easily. It’s not even a competition in terms of DR (w/o HDRX). This looks like the real deal.

    • marklondon on 08.7.12 @ 8:53PM

      My money will still be on the Alexa. And its ergonomics are far superior. Bear in mind for most Alexa users, the cost of it is unimportant.
      Do I think we will see a ton of BMDCCs used as C-F and crash cams on both Alexa and Epic shoots? Hell yes.

    • snoopyrawdogg on 08.7.12 @ 11:53PM

      if the movie Act of Valor was shot 100% on 5d Mark 2…then surely this footage trumps that easily this a damn good camera bow down to the BlackMagic

      • I heard that only part of Act of Valor was shot on a 5D MK2.

        • marklondon on 08.8.12 @ 9:10AM

          Only about 10-15% of ‘Valor’ was shot on DSLR.

          • snoopyrawdogg on 08.8.12 @ 3:45PM

            ut in addition to the use of live fire ammunition, the filmmakers chose to shoot the entire film using the Canon 5D Mk. II, making it the highest profile film to date to adopt digital filmmaking with DSLRs as their primary platform.  “What makes that fact even more remarkable is that most audiences will never know the difference,” says Hurlbut, “even when watching the movie blown up on the giant screen at their local multiplex.  It was a game changer. I knew it was going to change the way we made movies.”……yes it was.

        • Guess it all depends on which article you read… from… For Act of Valor, Hurlbut shot 70-75 percent of the time with Canon 5D, 20-25 percent with the Panavision and Arri cameras, and five percent with the Sony F950 for all the aerial work.

          From… Besides shooting 75% of the film on the Canon 5D, 20% was shot in 35 mm and the aerial footage, which was 5% of the total was shot using the Sony F950.

  • alan b'stard M P on 08.7.12 @ 8:16PM

    Now, let’s see what the gang at Digital Bolex can produce

  • marklondon on 08.7.12 @ 8:56PM

    The primary market this will destroy, ironically, is the DSLR indie market. If digital cinema is your thing, why would you buy a stills camera where its an add on?

    • Considering how well the GH2 fared in the Zacuto shoot out, sub $1000 DSLRs are still the best bang-for-buck, especially for students and no-budget indies. I really don’t see that market getting “destroyed” anytime soon.

    • +1

      For digital cinema, assuming you can only buy one camera, and are looking to spend around $3000, I’d agree that you’re probably going to choose the BMC over DSLRs, especially since the fashion of shallow depth of field now seems to be swinging the other way.

      DSLRs are still going to have a big place, of course, and not just the sub-$1000 ones. After all, they might be the more practical general purpose camera and better for events and weddings — because they can shoot stills, because of low light ability, internal battery, physical controls, ergonomics, variable frame rates, ease and comparative cheapness of media, because you’ll occasionally want to shoot very wide, because they’re a gateway drug for photographers, and because that shallow depth look isn’t entirely going to go away.

      I’m reminded of Shane Hurlbut’s recent post, where he used the Alexa for most things, the C300 under low light conditions, and a DSLR for macro shots and shallow depth.

      • marklondon on 08.8.12 @ 9:11AM

        I think Hurlbut’s a tool, but that’s a decent way of approaching it.

        • Lliam Worthington on 08.8.12 @ 10:42AM

          I’d say you just lost all credibility. If the fact you can’t grade a Scarlet to get decent skin tones and think “it’s a pig” and has no other point of difference between this and the BMCC hasn’t already. This poster should be moderated shouldn’t he? Shouldn’t be allowed to call top DP’s tools on here surely?

          • I think his comments are on the tame side compared to most of the other flaming that goes on here

  • Yes Canon’s C300 and 5d3 failed to fully seize the Rebel and 7D upgrader opportunity and this looks to cash in. I have a few EF-S lenses still from the Rebel days and I have been saving them thinking I would get this once it settles down (i.e. the kinks have been worked out and there is a winning ecosystem, esp. the battery issue). The superior resolution saves it from just being a reach cam, if you have a nice wide EF-S this will also work for establishing shots etc, and the 2.5K allows stabilization in post for HH/steady without loss of native rez.

    Good product concept, let’s see if they fulfill the promise. A S35 version (that works) of this for double the price would never be left in stock anywhere.

    • Ie, a KineRAW S35 (assuming it works)?

      • I’m guessing that Kineraw company has a long way to go before attaining the credibility and competency of Blackmagic Design. The camera and recorder is so critical in production, where failure can waste thousands of dollars in a single day even on the indie scale, that faith needs to be well earned. Software is a real problem for most companies entering a field, and Blackmagic has demonstrated software competency at the mission-critical level.

  • Great post… although the 15-85 EF-S certainly isn’t among the “best lenses money can buy”, it’s a mid-range variable aperture lens that came in the 7D kit. I have that lens. It’s nothing special. $700ish at B&H

    The dynamic range results here look outstanding. I’m excited.

    • Yes, but he only used that lens for two shots, out of the many that are in this montage.

  • VINCEGORTHO on 08.7.12 @ 11:08PM

    This camera in a way, is a “scarlet killer.” There will be so many enthusiast walking around with these like the canon 5D mark II.
    This means, I wont have to pay competitively, for high quality digital that so many Red owners/cinematographers charge.
    Now, any AFI, New York film Academy, Art Institute or JR. college student with some knowledge in lighting and camera, can be plucked to shoot your film.
    I guess the only thing special about Red and all it’s modular parts: Red drive, red handle, red EF mount, Redmote, Red plug… was that they cost so much.
    I’m hoping small companies like Blackmagic Redrum the competition.

    • I’m curious whether anyone really thinks that the BMC can produce a better image than the Scarlet. At least on paper, the Scarlet seems ahead. Some people mutter phrases “skin tones”, “colour gamut”, but I think that’s a very subjective thing; and, besides, it doesn’t seem anything a little post love won’t fix.

      But then there’s the price. There’s always people who will pay extra for extra quality, no matter how small the improvement. Whether the people who could have afforded a Scarlet anyway will judge the savings in this case to be worth it and whether the BMC will in fact be a Scarlet killer? Who knows… I don’t think the future is obvious one way or the other…

      • marklondon on 08.8.12 @ 9:13AM

        If that clip above is what the BMDCC will do out of the box, then yes, RED can start thinking of another use for their Scarlet components. The only drawback is no slowmo, but given the compromises that takes on Scarlet, once you factor in the price its a no brainer.

      • The Dynamic Range is what’s really sick about the BMC.

  • This thing has a great image. And for the price, a lot of people will be willing to compensate for the crop factor. In short, you can make movies with it.

  • What ASPECT RATIO in this camera? I think its 16:9 in this video. Its not for cinema its for HDTV.

  • I wish it had 60 frames at least… i would be in line so fast…

  • Jef-Aram Van Gorp on 08.8.12 @ 2:21AM

    Hello everybody,

    Can someone please explain to me what it means when John Brawley says: “I was generally shooting around T4 @ iso 800″? What does the T stand for/signify?

    Other than that, camera footage does look very nice :-)

    • T-stop, which is a calibrated version of F-stop. It measures how much light actually gets through the lens, which is usually less than the F-stop would indicate. DxOmark lists T-stops for many of the lenses they test to give you an idea, though there is some variation from copy to copy.

      A lot of what makes a cinema lens different is it’s designed for the olden days of manual everything and film. Today you can set exposure just by viewing a histogram in real time, you can pull focus via a peaking EVF, you can electronically control aperture, you can change ISO on the fly… With old film cameras none of that was possible, you had to have a seperate person pulling focus, your ISO was fixed by the film you loaded in, etc. So when the director told you to change focal lengths, you needed a quick way of understanding what that was going to actually do to the exposure you had carefully calculated using hand held light meters etc. And T-stop told you how much light actually gets through that other lens in comparison.

      At some point being versed in the old way of doing things will be only for snob appeal. There are still people walking around who boast of their ability to do long division quickly in their heads. Normal people just use a calculator app. (Oh but the numbers come out better when done in your head!)

    • John Brawley on 08.8.12 @ 8:14AM

      T stops and F stops are nearly the same thing.

      T stops are kind of calibrated F stops. A T stop s the same as an F stop but it takes into account the transmission loss from a lens. Some older lenses have an F stop scale on one side of the aperture ring and a T stop scale on the other.

      Think of T stops as Transmitted light through the lens. You use F stops for more theoretical calculations like DOF and light meters.


      • Jef-Aram Van Gorp on 08.9.12 @ 2:52AM

        Hey John and Peter, thank you very much for the clear and concise explanation!

  • SSD price.

    • I think it should just take commodity SSDs, which are 1/10th the price of the RED ripoffs.

  • The most frustrating thing about this video (besides the camera not being released), is the opening scenes were shot about 300m down the road from my house!!!

    • That’s must be really frustrating! I felt the same thing during the first (and only) feature to be shot in my town i Sweden. So close, but so far away. Couldn’t get near it -_-

  • Looks great, and I’m looking forward to when the camera is finally released. There may be a lot of options out there, but so far only the Canons, Sonys, JVCs and Panasonics have been released (and RED, ARRI, too). We’re still waiting on BMC and Digital Bolex, the latter which is having some serious delays.

  • With each passing day I think I fall more in love with this camera, haha.
    As a recent college graduate who was lucky enough to obtain a job right away, this camera is definitely in my price range.

    My question is, if I am to buy this camera, could I actually use the 1080p ProRes on my 2008 MBP, or would I have to upgrade that too?

    • john jeffreys on 08.8.12 @ 1:20PM

      Most likely. I edit prores regularly on my late 2008 macbook pro, and while the actual editing is smooth, its exporting that takes forever

      • Thanks. I think I can tolerate longer exporting times for now if I do end up getting one. I like the idea of having 2.5k and RAW to work with in the future as it becomes more popular/cheaper.

        I know Resolve will be unusable on my old MBP but hopefully I can put it on my future computer down the road =)

  • Looks quite crisp and great motion but the poor shadow detail is alarming. No where near Alexa.

    • I don’t think it’s alarming, remember you watching a compressed video from Vimeo from an already compressed Pro res after been color corrected by someone whos is not a pro colorist. Of course this is not an Alexa it costs a small fraction of its price.

  • bored engineer at work on 08.8.12 @ 1:28PM

    wowww i get so excited when cameras like this come out …when everyone in the community is talking about it. i love when they tease us with just sample videos. ..its like when a chick teases you by wearing small, tight clothes but not wont let you get any.

  • still keen to see how it holds up in low-light… any clips out there yet?

    • although some of the glimmering in the dudes eyes was just magic, in the final shot… that’s pretty well low light already but would love to see some night shots

  • All I can honestly say about this camera after seeing footage, and still clips, is that it is going to be a great camera. This is definitely a camera every Cinematographer should have in their arsenal from the price alone. Anyone filming on DSLR’s this is the next step up from that. This won’t completely eliminate DSLR films, but it will definitely make companies like Canon a little more competitive down the line with their features, and pricing.

    The Arri Alexa is my go to camera on every feature I’ve worked on, and short film I’ve shot. The cool thing about this BMCC is the fact that you could probably be using an Alexa on Cam-A and a BMCC on Cam-B and the results will turn out well after grading. Same way Hollywood uses the 5D with Panavision film a lot. And the even cooler thing is going to be for the people who don’t want to buy one just yet… Rental Prices for these things are going to be pretty well priced, that it won’t be too far fetched to get ahold of one. I have a short Action/Drama project right now that we have waiting, because I want to try my best to use the Black Magic Cinema Camera for it. Maybe John Brawley will see this, and put a good word in for me. : )

    All jokes aside, this is going to be a great new camera for almost any DP to have in their arsenal because it’s going to save a ton of money, and give you a lot of quality all for only $3000.

  • Hardware wise this camera won’t be better than the Scarlet, but image wise I like this image way better at least visually, not considering possible flaws like moire and rolling shutter.

  • His actors were turning in and out of harsh sunlight and the camera really handled that beautifully. Those that question the DOF, pay particular attention at how much range is possible at S16-ish. The hair and fabric have crisp detail. In a full production environment, harsh light would be removed and desired light added back in but he didn’t do that for this demo and the camera still looked great. I can’t wait for a full set crew put it through its paces.

  • Augusto Alves da SIlva on 08.9.12 @ 4:43PM

    Hi Koo. There is a subject you mentioned above that I disagree…You say we can´t compare the BMDC with the Alexa due to the depth of field? What do you mean by that? Shallow depth of field? Depth of field is exactly the same no matter which sensor size you have as long you keep the right distance, For example a full frame has a certain DOF with a 25mm lens at 1meter. If I take the same lens and use it for example on a GH2 with a 2x crop factor I will have exactly the same DOF if I place the camera at 2 meters ( doubling the distance) compared to a full frame cam at 1 meter. This is why I don´t care about the sensor size so much…If you talk about low light sensitivity I might have to agree with you but DOF I can´t see the relevance of it…it is always possible to solve.

    Thank you

    • The problem I see with this camera is the odd sensor size and resulting from that a lack of wide angle lenses.
      Film lenses and photo lenses are all made for bigger sensors so there are hardly any feasible wide angle lenses except the Canon 8mm L.

      If it was super-16mm or a little smaller, that would be cool again because then you could be using 16mm film lenses. But the sensor is just a little bigger than super 16, so I guess most if not all 16mm film lenses will show an ugly black vignette on the BMDC.

      You can shoot beautiful images with 16mm or 2/3″. Actually I think these sensor/film sizes are really good for most documentary work because they use smaller focal lengths and therefore give the operator a chance to pull focus while shooting handheld.
      So, I am not saying the BMDC should necessarily have a larger sensor. I am saying it should have a sensor that would make it compatible with a large set of available lenses – like 16mm film lenses.

      • Wouldn’t a Canon EF-S 10-22mm, which is mean’t for a 1.6 crop anyway, work well? I have one and they have excellent clarity and low distortion.

    • btw. I think Koo knows that the same focal length always has the same depth of field on all sensors. But you cannot use the same focal length on a smaller sensor to get the same angle of view – so you have to use a smaller focal length on a smaller sensor, and then you have a larger depth of field on that smaller focal length (that results in the same angle of view on the smaller sensor)

    • Joe Marine on 08.9.12 @ 6:23PM

      Ryan didn’t write this post, I did – you can always find the writer of the post by looking at the top of the page. As for your statement, yes I’m referring to shallow depth of field and yes what you’re saying is basically correct. Changing distance to subject, however, means that you’re changing your frame. So while you can match depth of field with any sensor size, it doesn’t mean your final image will have the same feel due to the change in distance or F-stop to match depth of field.

      This is why people talk about the “magic” of the full frame sensor – there is something different about getting a particular angle of view, with a specific sensor, and at a specific depth of field that is just impossible to achieve any other way. This is because to emulate the same field of view and depth of field of big sensor to a smaller one, you need wider lenses. If you like what a 50mm 1.4 looks like wide open on a Mark II or Mark III or D800, but don’t want to change the distance to subject or the frame, you’ll have to get wider and faster for a camera like the GH2, and there becomes a point where that just isn’t possible.

      • One thing that I never hear people saying is that even if you use a 24mm to achieve 50mm, it’s always going to have some distortion, a wide open lens will always have more distortion than a normal lens, this is part of that magic of the FF that you talked about. When you use a 50mm in a FF it’s really a 50mm and not a 24mm that looks like a 50mm. A 24mm will always be a 24mm. This matters a lot if you like shooting in a more geometric way, with straight lines etc.

        • It really depends on the lens. Often on wider lenses more of the distortion is near the edges, so you’re using the sharper, straighter, center portion of the lens. This isn’t always going to be the case, but I wouldn’t be too worried about it unless you start getting into really fisheye lenses, like an 8mm or something.

    • This is completely wrong by the way. You haven’t considered the fact that the depth of field gets shallower the closer you go to the subject.

  • All great points, but the original point was (without getting technical) that DOF is achievable in different film formats and this camera like 16mm film is easily capable as demonstrated in the video. I think a more important aspect for young film makers is to discuss WHY introduce shallow or deep DOF; to isolate your character, create a mood, establish a shot, etc. The DOF tool is there with this camera and many others…how do you want to use it?

  • To change the subject, the rendering of color out of this camera based on the demo’s keep leaving me on the fence as to wether I like the output. At times I like the output and other times it feels washed out to me. I don’t feel like they’ve tried to demonstrated the full color rendering capabilities. I would suggest that they do a demo that really shows off some really vibrant and saturated colors. I know it will be done mostly in post, but that’s ok. Wow us!

  • This camera footage looking organic, crisp but not extra sharp,clean colors. Mainly in comparison of DSLR footage I think this footage is not woolly, has loot more details and dynamic range.Practically color and DOF can be manipulated as required, its subjective. But details and DR are objective,if its not coming from camera , its not their.

  • Sorry spelling mistake, I mean, But details and DR are objective,if its not coming from camera , its not there.

  • Can someone please tell me the logic of how this is a scarlet killer? I’m just curious why that camera and not any other. Dragon is on its way and Red is claiming that the dragon sensor is cleaner at 2000 ISO the the MX sensor was at 800 and that the dynamic range is better than expected. When they are have their cross hairs on Arri why would they be concerned about BMC. Its going to be a great camera, but no one will choose it over Scarlet Dragon to shoot a feature, if what Red says is even remotely true. I was very surprised not a single comment like, BMC $1500, c300 $16,000 thats bull, or F3 can’t shoot 422 on board and a $1500 camera can.

    I just feel like there are a handful of other cameras that are going to feel the heat before the scarlet, who is just getting started. Nonetheless looking through the comments, I see scarlet scarlet scarlet death.

    • I think the reason people started picking on Scarlet is because the original value RED advertised for Scarlet was 3K (resolution) for 3K ($3000 bucks). So when BMCC announced a tool pretty close to those specs and price it sounds like a nice option for those found a the 15K Scarlet out of reach.

    • Augusto Alves da SIlva on 11.20.12 @ 7:50PM

      You are right… :-) because every camera from now on will be designed to be a Sacarlet killer or a BMCC killer or a DSLR killer…otherwise what would be the point of building a camera which wouldn´t try to be competitive and knock the others down?Is it worth being just another camera on the market? I don´t think so….

  • VINCEGORTHO on 08.10.12 @ 10:54AM

    Scarlet killer in terms of price to performance ratio.
    Dragon is gonna be expensive as hell, if I remember correctly, 16 stops dynamic range, 6K. Most enthusiast will never use one. Pretty soon, with te amount of competition hitting the market, scarlet’s price wont be justifiable at $15k. This might consider it killed… in terms of hype at most.
    especially when you have more options of cinematographers to choose from to shoot your film, like skilled canon 5DII owners, the interest in scarlet goes down. Instead of paying $425 a day to rent, or pay an operator, you can get away with maybe $150 for skilled Joe Smo with a lighting kit in his Scion to do it.

    • I don’t understand price to performance ratio, we are talking about a camera with more dynamic range then an alexa and f65, unheard of resolution, and extremely clean image (alledgedly) for 1/3 of the price even with the upgrade. If Red gets the color science down with the Dragon, it will be a beast. For high end acquisition it will be the most affordable digital cinema camera available.

      I don’t doubt competition hitting the market, but why is the scarlet in trouble. The 1dc isn’t even available and its 15k for compressed sensor cropped 4k, please but the 4k RAW scarlet is on the chopping block first, come on man. Especially when the scarlet is the only camera in its price range that has gone up in price not down.

      And there is no such thing as a skilled Joe Smo that costs $150. Black Magic may reduce camera rental costs for some, but such a cheap operator will produce cheap results with any camera. And Shoot on a F3, c300, or Scarlet and try to go back to 5d, its real hard.

      • VinceGortho on 08.10.12 @ 12:30PM

        No killed in terms of, abandomnent. Or obsolete. In terms of hype.
        We now have options to distract us from the dominate market that is Red.
        Price to performance ratio… think of how much a let down Canon is being lately. Me personally, would not buy their products because for the same price I can get more from red. For a cheaper price I can get a lot from BM, hopefully.
        It’s like the BMW owner who has to brag on how much a deal he got on his expensive car out loud. We all want to sound smart about our purchas.

  • All these cameras are fantastic tools and with every new release, prices WILL move. If prices are forced down on certain models, and if COSTS can be paid and still make a profit, the camera will stick around, otherwise it will disappear. Let’s not debate that, market dynamics will decide their fate. What we’re all seeing though is that higher performance gear is coming down in price due to competition and at the high end, performance is getting better also.

  • No camera is killer itself, its whole eco system which counts.All are capable for decent imagery. But in production there are so many factors to decide about the camera to be used, of course money is one of them.
    Independent cinema needs value for money. Some big production ask for best, which they means expensive equipment, they have budget.I know an incident in our film industry same cameraman doing two different movies, one with expensive equipment, other on budget equipment , expensive one failed, low budget appreciated by critics and viewers for imagery also. So which is good, is not as clear as it seems. For Production cameras apart from quality, ruggedness, tolerance ease of use are also important. So no one is killer, every one has its own space.

  • If the price is what most people are saying it will be $2999 then what you get for it is amazing. Most of us have a handful of EF lenses in our bags. So out of the box its a camera we can play with it. For that price point and video format and res were looking at a VERY good camera that will rock the prices of these leading companies. That footage alone is beautiful. If you had shown me this and claimed it was from the scarlet i would have believed you. Lets not forget most indie film makers are using youtube or making web series. So after going through all that conversion we lose a lot of detail. Which is why dslr is still going strong. I hope this camera doesn’t change their price like the scarlet did. This is a fun toy to have for beginners and pros. There’s a ton of talented people that will hopefully make use of this and maybe just maybe we can start seeing some films worth watching. I’m getting tired of the same movie being made played by different actors. This camera would allow many people who are gifted and not know it yet to explore an amazing hobby.

  • Any ideas if we’ll ever see a Blackmagic Cinema Camera with a larger sensor size? Maybe one closer to a full frame sensor? I wouldn’t mind putting out a few extra hundred bucks for that one instead.

  • Trevor Roach on 08.13.12 @ 10:56PM

    According to BH and other online stores, the date is not being pushed back to August 30th:

  • CPs being the best lenses money can buy? eh….? thats a pretty naive comment, even though I like the CP.2s