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Why is the Blackmagic Cinema Camera Such a Big Deal?

08.25.12 @ 10:02AM Tags : , , , , ,

If you haven’t graded some RAW CinemaDNG files yet from the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, check them out here. We’ve talked quite extensively about the camera on this website, but if you’re still on the fence or you don’t quite understand what all of the hype is about, John Brawley recently gave a presentation at Sydney Institute Film Academy and went over the reasons for the camera’s existence, why it’s truly groundbreaking for its price point, and what it can do that no other camera can at this price point. We also have an audio interview that John did with Den Lennie (who we covered recently for his Duran Duran live concert video). Check out both of them embedded below.

Below is the audio interview with Den Lennie of F-Stop Academy (thanks for reading the site Den!):

As John brings up, this camera is doing things that you could never do at $3,000 previously. Instead of worrying about lighting for what the camera can’t do (in the case of DSLRs, maintaing highlight exposure), you’re now able to light how you want to light. If you’re shooting in RAW mode, you have even more freedom. The big reason this camera is so special at this price point is because it lets you focus on storytelling. You’re not compensating for the camera, you’re actually using the camera to push you to tell the story in a more creative way.

What’s even more amazing is that the Cinema Camera matched more closely with the Alexa footage than the Canon C300 did. People might dismiss the camera being called a “mini” or “baby” Alexa, but it clearly held its own on the show John was shooting, Puberty Blues, and they ended up using it quite a bit on the production. Being almost indistinguishable from a far more expensive camera in a real professional situation is even more of a testament to the work that Blackmagic has been doing with the camera.

The point that John seems to be reiterating over and over again is that the best thing these tools can do is get out of your way and let you tell your story. While DSLRs gave us that “film look,” they actually hindered us in other ways. We went from having a tool that mostly got out of our way — small sensor cameras with a real form factor and proper camera functions — to one where we had to find all sorts of workarounds because the shallow depth of field look made our films look more like real movies. That’s really why I personally am so excited about this camera. For $3,000 I finally have a tool that can get out of my way and let me do what I need to do to tell a great story — and hopefully, it won’t be too long before I can get my hands on one.

Link: Black Magic Camera – Podcast EP #3 – John Brawley Interview – F-Stop Academy


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 86 COMMENTS

  • I love the fact that he pointed out that for people that is accustomed to shooting on film cameras won’t have much difficulty with the sensor size crop. I was taught to shoot on super16 but have been shooting on DSLR’s for a few years now. I guess it’s a matter of retraining your mind to shoot in that format. But to get the details in highlights is worth 5k, 6k, etc. At 3k + Resolve=gotta love it.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I worked on Super 16 before DSLRs as well.

    • 16mm and 2/3″ are fine formats, I shoot 2/3″ a lot and I like it a lot. However, the Blackmagic is neither 16mm nor 2/3″!
      The sensor size is somewhere in between which will make all 16mm and 2/3″ lenses vignette horribly or even show black corners. On the other hand it is hard to find good wide angle glass for it because there are hardly any lenses with such these really low focal lengths in the 4/3, APS-C and FF market.

      That is my concern: you won’t be able to find good wide angle lenses for this camera unless someone will start making them.

      • By the way: you can make beautiful images with 2/3″ or 16mm. There are probably millions of really really good movies, tv movies and documentaries shot on one of these formats.

        Actually 2/3″ is the way to go for documentary filming. Shooting a documentary with a 5D you’ll either have to use F5.6 and higher for all of your shots, or make your viewers sick. Shooting documentary with too shallow depth of field is neither pleasant to watch, nor does it look like “reality” anymore.

        When you can’t make beautiful pictures without using extremely shallow dof all the time, then you should re-consider your abilities as a filmmaker ;)

        Nonetheless I think the Blackmagic camera should have used a more standard-sized sensor. Either 4/3 or 2/3″ or Super16

        • They chose the most cost-effective sensor that delivered the best performance, and that happens to be the size it is. Arguing the mount is one thing (it’s a legitimate argument), but we really can’t complain about the sensor when it’s giving us such a beautiful image.

          • Ah, but I think one can complain when all of their lenses they own are intended for larger sensor, full frame or super35 cameras.

            I’m also not yet convinced of this camera’s low-light capability or usefulness as a documentary camera.

  • Storage space is the main issue when it comes to backing up files. I suppose I’ll just be backing up to a TB harddrives.

    • john jeffreys on 08.25.12 @ 2:23PM

      2.4x crop is the dirty little secret of this camera. All of your films will look the same, pseudo-camcorder/super 16-ish. Can be pretty, yeah, but sometimes I want a bigger sensor. The full frame aesthetic is incredible, its like traditional 35mm still photos that come to life.

      And the lens selection will be severely limited, unless they start making lenses that have image circles that fit perfectly over this camera without cropping (that would be cool). For example, the leica-r 50mm, my most favorite lens in my bag, will be a 100+mm on this thing. Atrocious. I don’t want to settle for boring modern wide angle zooms (tokina 11-16, canon 16-35, etc) or slow ass wide primes in general just to get slightly wide/natural perspective shots.

      I’m sticking with my 5d kit (whose “compromises” are just second nature and part of the process for me- i.e proper lighting, dual system sound, etc). My next camera needs to be at least super35. If I had the funds, I would get a BMC and use it as my main super16 camera, another tool in the bag.

      • john jeffreys on 08.25.12 @ 2:23PM

        oops, I didint mean to reply to you. must have pressed the button accidentally

      • I’m guessing you don’t do any heavy VFX work then? Try doing that with DSLR footage, pain in the rear.

        • a billion% agree. green screen footage will be a one click affair.

        • john jeffreys on 08.26.12 @ 6:52PM

          nope. i havent touched a green screen since high school in our community news program

          • john jeffreys on 08.26.12 @ 7:04PM

            if i ever do actual “effects”, they are physical/actual ones, old school méliès style. like recently, i wanted a kaleidoscope effect so i stuck a multifaceted crystal (that was one of a kind made just for me by a glasses manufacturer on the condition that i bought one of their glasses) in front of the lens, etc.

      • It’s a 2.3 crop factor (might be slightly less as they’ve changed the active sensor size), and that’s compared to the 135 format . If we compare it to Super 35mm, a format roughly used by the F65, F35, F3, Canon C300 and the Red cameras you looking at a crop factor of 1.5 or 1.6 which isn’t too bad, Its not that the Blackmagic camera has a small sensor, its that the Canon 5D and Nikon D800 have such huge sensors. The idea that the sensor size of this camera is too small is complete rubbish.

        • Don’t bother Andy, the guy is an idiot.

          • He’s not an idiot, just very inexperienced. =P

          • This is not quite an argument to say the guy is an idiot. I am indeed very interested with this camera, but I also love wide shots. I only work with fixed lenses, I don’t like zooms, and I’ve already spent a lot of money on canon lenses (from 24 to 400), first for photography. Now, with this camera, my 24mm that I really like won’t be the same…and I’ll have to buy an expensive zoom to be able to make wide shots.
            This camera is great, for this price, true, but I think the argument of the “idiot” is not idiouous at all.

          • john jeffreys on 08.26.12 @ 6:53PM

            Haters gonna hate.

          • He’s an idiot based on all of his comments I’ve seen so far on this website, not just this discussion, period.
            But hey, want me to nitpick this specific argument? Fine.

            Let’s start with Sensor size, anyone who says “2.4x ” is small, is an idiot. Why? Because it’s not. As proof you’re saying “2.4x” when you should be saying “1.5x”, Full Frame isn’t a video or cinema standard, Super 35mm is. Know what else is a video or cinema standard? Super 16 and that’s even smaller. When people say such a sensor is small nowadays and that they must have at least Full Frame or Aps-c, it just shows the bad habits the more recent generations picked up with dslrs, you can tell they never went through years of working for TV with 2/3 sensor cameras or making independent films with Super 8 and 16mm. But no, now it’s ” must have at least Super 35″ as if sensor size was the most important feature in a camera, it’s all people think about, then you have the first hollywood production ever filmed with HD digital cameras with a 2/3 inch sensor, a camera that went on to film many more hollywood movies, that proves how pointless all this focusing on sensors really is. If anything, when referring to get super wides with the BMCC, it’s BlackMagic’s fault for designing it this way, had they made it possible to use C mount Lens, you could get a 12.5mm T1.2 lens for 50$. My point is it isn’t just about the sensor but about the whole camera and all it’s features and design that will define image quality and flaws, like lens mount, if your lens kit isn’t ideal for this camera it isn’t it’s fault, that’s why most prefer to rent rather than buy. But it’s funny really, we have a feature that is only achieved by one other camera, the alexa, which is a stupendous Dynamic Range, which should be getting alot and I mean alot of hype yet all I see is fools complaining about sensor size, pathetic.

            “All of your films will look the same.” This made me laugh, in a bad way, it’s so foolish it’s not even valid enough to be considered an argument.
            So all of a sudden it’s like I can’t use an anamorphic lens/adapter, use RAW to get radicaly different results, use different types of lighting or any other options that are too numerous to list to get asthetics that differ slightly to greatly. It’s like the sensor size limits my imagination and ability to improvise and be original.
            As if now pretty much any film using Full Frame or Aps-c Dslrs, which are most independent films and many other types of productions, “doens’t look the same” as well, I don’t know about you but I can spot a full frame video a mile away, why? Because many who use dslr’s take shallow DOF to ridiculous extremes.

            All of our films will look the same based on sensor size, then why doesn’t the same apply to any Super 35 sensor camera out there… I still can’t believe I read such bullshit.

            So yeah, he’s still an idiot, a wannabe hotshot who continually “trolls” this camera and makes me stop bothering to read the comments section of this website due to his stupidity.

            But hey, apparently I’m an hater so “Haters gonna hate” or whatever.

          • Yeah, the ugly truth.
            But not here to bother people, I’m sometimes surprised by people and had to get that off my chest, that’s all.
            Cheerio Joe.

        • I did a few test shots yesterday. Actually the sensor-size/DOF thing is not a big issue.
          DOF is not a linear function, it’s on a slope. So if you half your sensor size, you don’t get half of DOF, just a 1/4 less.
          Multipy that with the crop of 0.6 (when you are comming from Super 35) and there is that big difference, that you expect.


          • …. and there is NOT that big difference, that you expect.

            That’s what I wanted to say.

          • “All of your films will look the same” with the Blackmagic Camera, but somehow John Jeffreys projects will look drastically different from all other dslr footage. Lol, love it!

          • ^ that was the most ridiculous and telling part of his dissertation. I had quite a laugh myself.

    • how come those are half the price of over 500gb ssd drives? slower? will these be good enough to use in the bmc?

  • I really like the new Blackmagic Cinema Camera look. I’m a DP/Colorist and just loved the dynamic range I had when coloring this footage. I’m pretty new to working with CinemaDNG “myself” however here is a quick color grade I was able to achieve from Shot 3, my favorite of them all.

    • Another thing I did was cropped the image a bit. When working with a 2.5K image in a 1080 project, you have some great room for cropping, and repositioning the scene.

      • That looks like crap, it’s blown out with absolutely all detail lost.. I know its your stylistic choice, but seriously.. don’t quit your day job.

        • You know, Tom, there’s a constructively critical way to say that, without being rude. Please don’t turn the comments section into an attack zone.

        • The rule in my book is anonymous people (like me) can’t personally attack non-anonymous people (unless they are public figures or putting themselves forward as authorities). It’s completely unfair.

          If I’ve ever been perceived as doing this, I apologize. I do think criticizing authorities when they are at least arguably wrong is helpful…if you can’t take the heat stay out of that kitchen. But ordinary users sharing their work? Share some of your own to show us how it’s done if you know so well.

        • Tom,
          You forgot to link to your own work to show an example of what you consider better.

        • I quite don’t mind your comment at all. First thing I will say is that the first image is the RAW video. The second was my selective color choice. I wasn’t color grading this for anything of importance. I was clearly testing out the dynamic range in the Raw footage. The fact that you say the detail was lost, shows you don’t know what you’re talking about at all. If you didn’t like my color choice, don’t say anything. Move on! I take critiquing well. I don’t however give in to ignorance. This is a part of my day job, and I’ve made very good money from it.

          • J.S. Lawrence I also think your grade was also terrible. You said that you were a DP and Colorist which to me implies many many years of experience and hard work. Thats the only reason i looked at your grade. You posted a terrible grade. The OG poster was rude to be fair, but your grade actually was terrible and you claimed a title. Cracked stolen software and cheap DSLRs enable people to throw around unregulated titles. If you posted the grade without the illustrious dp/colorist title you probably would have gotten constructive criticism.

          • JEF, your comment is fine by me. Just because you didn’t like the grade doesn’t mean it’s terrible. It is completely your own taste. All I will say is that I had a chance to DP a few projects over the years and even as a colorist on more than 4 commercials, 2 short films, and 2 independent features. I’ve worked with DSLR footage, ALEXA footage, and even R3D footage. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it’s terrible. It just wasn’t the way you probably would have done it. If you could do better, post your work. I’d love to see what you’re able to accomplish.

            This shouldn’t be a place to bash other creatives work. If anything, critique it to help make them better. Not just blast people off the boards. Nobody will ever get anywhere doing that. At all.

      • john jeffreys on 08.26.12 @ 6:56PM

        Are you color blind?

  • Clayton Arnall on 08.25.12 @ 5:50PM

    That 5D footage he showed – must have been using the standard picture profile because of the higher contrast? If so, it’s not really a valid test since nobody would shoot on standard. When I shoot in higher dynamic range situations using Cinestyle, it sure doesn’t look like that . I’m not saying it’s as good as the BMC, but it’s sure not as bad as his example 5D footage. Just seems like if you’re going to compare the ungraded footage from both cameras to ses how much detail is there, the picture profile used in the 5D is a fairly important thing to mention and test.

    • I used my own profile, which is basically a low contrast, low sharpness, low saturation profile that I use for my own work. Beleive me, there’s no way a 5D gets near the BMCC for dynamic range, no matter what your profile. The video doens’t do the A/B difference as much justice as wehen you see it for yourself.

      You also suddenly realise how SOFT a 5D looks, for all that’s great about 135 imaging…the picture is soft.


      • Hi John! Could you tell me if this camera has built in stabilization? Thanks!

        • It doesn’t but it will be compatible with Image Stabilization which is enabled from the lens side.

      • Clayton Arnall on 08.25.12 @ 10:43PM

        John – thanks for the comment on that. If you used a low contrast, low sharpness profile, then it’s pretty clear the BMCC is much better than the Canon in that test!

  • I used to be in a local photography group where the most guys upgraded their cameras every year because of new features, in the sake of enhancing their creativity.
    However, in reality, their pictures didn’t look much better than the year before. The tools were ahead of their skill levels.
    The same is true with Blackmagic Cinema Camera. For most artists and film makers, DSLR cameras are more than sufficient to tell stories. If the story is good, their audience is not going to care if it was shot on DSLR or a ‘real’ cinema camera.

    Two main reasons to upgrade to a cinema cameras are,
    1. If you are a professional and it shortens your production time. Time is money.
    2. If your story and technical skills are are so fantastic and your truly have maximized the capability of DSLR cameras. You absolutely feel limited by what it can not do, inhibiting your fantasitic story telling.

    Sadly, most of do not fit either one of the situations. We want a new shiny toy because it’s new, cool and somewhat affordable.
    Most audience members do not care about slightly smoother highlights, slightly less noise or a bit more lines of resolution than DSLR. Sure, they can tell a difference between a ‘video’ camera and a DSLR, but I don’t think most of them have the expertise to see the difference between well shot/processed DSLR footage and a Blackmagic Cinama Camera.
    Sure, I would like to have one, and I can probably afford one if I find a justification for it. The reality, however, is that it’s not going to make my work look better other than slightly smoother images.
    How about you? Do you truly believe that you are so talented in film making that your feel limited by the tools you have now? Have you squeezed every last ounce of capability out of your Canon/Panasonic cameras? If so, good for you. You are a great candidate for this camera. For the rest of us, however, what we have is more than enough for today’s highly compressed medium of delivery – disks, cable, satellite, Youtube, Vimeo, etc.


    • Bill, somehow I can’t seem to reply directly to you. Anyways, I disagree in parts about your comment. I’ve seen some utterly fantastic work done on VHS and I’ve seen some potentially great work ruined by DSLR or generally the wrong choice of camera. It all depends on what you are shooting and how you are shooting it.
      I agree that too many (especially in photography it seems, prosumer level at least) seem to be tech-fetishists. But, when working in film, you have a full crew (or partial crew) working their best to make your project come to full potential, even if the story sucks or the way you tell the story sucks.
      If you don’t try to shoot it with the most appropriate and best quality camera available, you are wasting a lot of peoples’ time. The Alexa for example trumps any other digital camera for general use in my opinion. Why I would try to save those few bucks for rentals with going with a DSLR when everyone else on the crew is doing their best wouldn’t make sense to me. And it would be disrespectful of your crew.

      Sure, the DSLR made projects possible that otherwise wouldn’t have seen the light of day, but I’ll chose a better camera (or even film) over it any time I can afford it. My DP usually thanks me, so does the audience. And the crew is psyched as well when there’s a proper camera on set.

      • Plus, as there is with film (and to some extent Alexa as well as maybe the BMCC – I have yet to see footage properly on big screen, preferably shot on my own set), certain visceral quality of the image can’t be explained by the audience, but it certainly is felt. Imagine Tree of Life on a DSLR. The film would’ve failed mostly, without taking credit away from Malicks superb work/abilities. The experience of a highest quality image is sometimes crucial to the story/theme/whatever.

        • Yes, professionals who need to crank out the best product in the shortest time possible, especially with full crew, needs to shoot with best possible camera (reason #1 above, as stated). I am not arguing that. There is no reason that these professionals would ‘downgrade’ to BMCC from what they are using now.
          My point is that almost every blog is raving about how great this camera (“game changer”) is, and how so much better it is than Canon Mark II/III and Panasonic GH2. Technically, yes, it’s better, due to RAW output, therefore more flexibility in post. The bottom line is this — will it really give present DSLR filmmakers that much better product than what they are presently putting out? Will the improvement so significant that they are going to gain more money, viewers, recognition, etc?
          I personally don’t think so. The difference between video (Beta, Hi-8, etc) to DSLR was ‘game changing’ significant, enabling almost any Joe Blow to shoot almost-film quality footage. The difference between DSLR to BMCC is note worthy, but definitely not up to all the hoopla everyone is jumping all over the bandwagon about.
          Most of DSLR users do not even know the full capability of their cameras. Only a few of them push it to the limit ( being one of my favorites). Just having RAW output really isn’t going to make our film THAT much better than what it is now possible with DSLR. We are kidding ourselves if we think so.
          We want the latest in everything, especially in electronics. We need to do some soul searching and ask ourselves if we really need the latest and the greatest to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time. BMCC will be another tool for many of us. There is a place for it. But please.. no more, “Now I can be great instead of good because of RAW output.” Companies know our unfilled empty desires and profit from it. Just look at Apple. We really don’t need most of the latest stuff we buy.

          • Hi Bill, I completely agree with your point on people substituting their tools for story, however… This camera is a fantastic stepping stone for someone like me who feels like I have learnt everything I can from a DSLR workflow. I have won cinematography awards with a 550d and magic lantern beating people using F3 and scarlets. I learnt a lot about the basics of cinematography using the little 550d and was able to work in the camera department of a feature film using the Alexa. I was really happy that a lot of the principles carried over, but a lot of other things were completely new to me.
            The BMCC is something I want to upgrade to – and not just to have the latest thing, but so I can use it to learn a RAW workflow, utilization of that high dynamic range and to honestly escape the razor thin depth of field that people seem to define cinematography with.
            I want a long and varied career as a cinematographer, and to have my own little RAW machine and a full copy of resolve can only help me in the future where I may not be working with a BMCC, but the principles that it will teach me.

          • You see, when a question is presented with personal agenda omitted, it becomes very easy to answer it.

            Your question seems to be: Willi a technically better tool will give any certain artist better results?

            Now that we can see it, does it make sense to even ask this question?

            If you handed Wally Pfister a GH2 and An Alexa or Magic cam to shoot the same exact project, which one do you think is going to look better?

            Second… who really cares what the audience thinks? Who cares if they can’t tell? To each their own, but I would NEVER choose a tool based on what the audience thinks, only on the tool that I can put all of my confidence in, that also fits the project.

          • Hand me a loaded Bolex (even the crank handle one) and i am happy and silent in the corner shooting stuff. It is not about the latest and newest gadget. There I am on the same page as you, Bill. It is about creating images more stunning than what we were able to create, and there the BMCC from what I’ve seen might actually be a significant stepping stone. I am not talking about resolution, RAW or anything. I am talking about recreating colors and a feel, an emotion to it. One that does not feel digital or/and cheap. One that makes me want to be lost in it.
            The Alexa was stunning the first time I used it. And the second time. If another manufacturer makes something worth comparing to it, bring it on. I love it.

            I do not want to sacrifice the image of a film. And a DSLR is just a compromise. A great tool, and I’ve had wonderful stuff made with it. But limited.

    • It’s actually very easy to justify a BMCC. I shoot a variety of projects, but sometimes I need to record for an hour or more at a time, without losing even a few seconds. A DSLR can’t do that. Worse, today’s “good” camcorders don’t look anywhere near as nice as a DSLR does; you have to spend at least $2-3K to get good quality progressive images — more if you’re fussy.

      If I’m spending $2K+, why on earth wouldn’t I be buying a Blackmagic for slightly more?

  • It’s always amazing to me how much debate, speculation, and reading above, downright snideness, can be created by a product that very few have actually even used. Rewind three years and we were very poorly served at this price point in terms of sensor size. Now everyone’s an expert, bitching about features and never happy when we’re actually given what we want.

    Let me be the first to say that I bitch and moan about highlight clipping on a 5d, or the softness, or the fact my fs100 doesn’t have nd’s or that it does this weird purple fringing idiocy on areas of sharp contrast. The fact is I just don’t care, I’m having so much fun shooting projects these days. These camera tools aren’t perfect but they’re such a vast step up from what we used to consider within our reach you just have to step back sometimes and admit what a lucky bunch of ingrates we actually are.

    These cameras make being an independent badass actually possible, but more than anything else they make it so much fun. The dynamic range of this camera, the colour science, is fun because we’ve never had anything like it before. If it stops being fun then what the f$£@ is the point?

    Big up john brawley and the bmc

  • Some crazy talk going on, for smart filmmakers, they’re work will look better, RAW means there’s no baked in gamma curve. You can customize literally the perfect contrast distribution if you expose the sensor correctly. H264 can’t do that. The distribution of contrast is one of the most significant parts of cinematography and you get more control, how would it not look better. 10 bit is exponentially more colors than 8 bit and 12 bit is exponentially more colors than 10 bit, the color is just plain better not to mention the color science. There will be grades that can be achieved on bmc that cannot be achieved on dslr.

    And you don’t need to be a master to break a dslr in shooting conditions. What if my narrative requires me to expose 3 stops under, but detail needs to be preserved for the story. Dslr is out. I like shooting one to two stops up on my key for a subject but I don’t wanna clip, dslr out. I want to shoot indoor tungsten, mixed color temp, and daylight and I want the skintones from each scene to match. Dslr can’t handle. What are you talking about.

  • After seeing the side by side shots of the 5d and the black magic having the 5d i knew it was my camera …. that what the 5d dose … it blows out … ether you have 2 options expose for the whites or expose for the blacks and the solution being to light the scene to essentially bring up the blacks and create a less contrasty scene … the blackmagic camera from what i saw is giving you resolution and dynamic range at the cost of hard drives , time , and computer power … Its not a 5d replacement because the 5d can shoot all day on 6 to 8 cheap after market batteries with 4 – 6 32 gig cf cards at a remote location … the black magic seems like its going to be a great commercial camera for slow moving sets like movies , commercials , and music videos … the only downfall is the high operation cost of hard drives like the red has … its like a baby red in that regard … Now my other infatuation is how does it downsize like with red … what do you loose from raw to pro rez ? and do i really want to buy another camera that dose not shoot 60fps ? would i buy this over the fs700 (witch was before this post a clear next camera with low operating cost ) ?

  • Hey guys/gals can anyone tell me if the “5D” used in the comparison on the video was a mark II or mark III? Not a terribly important question but it would be nice to know!

    • Yes it’s quite a pet peeve of mine when people can’t manage to type the extra numeral 5d2 vs. 5d3. I quietly deduct two credibility points anytime someone just says “5D.”

      Raw stills are very similar between the cameras, the AF system and frame rate are some of the biggest differences. But video is a completely different world on the two cameras…the downsampling is completely different, which results in massive aliasing and moire and “false sharpness” on the line-skipping 5D2, while the pixel-binning 5D3 has vastly better low-light video, virtually no aliasing or moire, better codecs, and the sharpening step has been purposefully left to post.

      Which also makes it annoying that everyone says the 5D3 video is soft, they don’t specify whether they feel it’s soft even after sharpening in post. If a camera like the BMCC only shot in a flat/log gamma, imagine if all the little morons went around saying the video from it is very low contrast! Well duh, it was intended that way.

      Of course even after sharpening in post the 5D3 real resolution is far lower than the BMCCs, but its low light and DOF is far better otoh.

      So please, maintain your credibility score when discussing cameras, don’t be lazy and just blurt out “5D.” It isn’t 2010 anymore, and it doesn’t make you look suave and carefree, it just makes you look imprecise and not worthy of attention on technical matters.

  • Wow, 2 years ago everyone was raving about DSLR’s and how amazing they were. I know technology moves on but reading some of the comments here you would swear they were utterly useless.
    I’ve been shooting on a 7D since it came out and shot a whole range of projects (shorts, corporate, news reports, music videos) and clients are still blown away with the image it produces. Fact is for me most of my clients still want a DVD! Either that or I am uploading “1080″ onto youtube or vimeo.

    This is the scale of clients I work with, but until I get to the stage where the clients I work with need more I will stick with the 7D. Yes sometimes it limits you, but mostly it has opened up a crazy potential for me,

    • Good is only good til you see great, great is only great til you see excellent, once you see excellent good looks like garbage, its the way it goes.

    • I feel DSLR’s are fine pieces of equipment for creating broadcast and commercial material. But there is definitely an ever-growing market to build cinematic material. This seems to be the way to make a festival quality film with shots that tell a story, for a reasonable price. I hate to use the word “consumerize” but it really feels that they are making film at least a little more accessible.

    • What I would like to know how they do this. I assume with raw it would be as or more beautiful.

  • Would lenses like Zeiss DigiPrimes work with the BMCC? Flange distance? Sensor coverage? Anyone thought about those. I think they start at 6mm which should be pretty wide and terrific on this camera.

    • They will likely vignette heavily since they were made for 2/3″ sensors, which is quite a bit smaller than the Blackmagic camera.

      • Hey Joe, I just had a thought, if someone like Hot Rod cameras mod the BMCC to take super 16mm lenses and you shoot in 2.5K RAW and then just crop the image in post to 1080p HD, will that not solve the vignetting problem?

        • Joe Marine on 09.3.12 @ 7:38PM

          Yes, theoretically, but I crunched the numbers, and you should consider this – the reason this camera resolves what it does is because you’re debayering from 2.5K. If you’re debayering from around a little under 2000 pixels (which is what you need for no vignetting with Super 16mm lenses), your final resolution isn’t going to be much sharper than DSLR footage – which I guess isn’t terrible, considering you’re still getting the Codec benefit. It would make for a very nice 1280 x 720 file and a softer 1080p file.

          It would actually not be any different than what the Digital Bolex is doing, which is 2K in Super 16mm mode, which means it debayers to under 1080p in final resolution. But if it looks fine and it makes your life easier, it might be worth it for people to do it.

  • I can work a Bolex under a light meter and get really good exposure. Basically planning the exposure of my shots before I take them. With a DSLR I get everything looking clear but more often then not, it is TOO clean, and the noise isn’t as controlled as I would like it to be.
    I guess I am asking, how much harder to operate this will it be in comparison to a Bolex? Am I fixing the exposure with Davinci Resolve?

    • Paul Stephen Edwards on 09.1.12 @ 6:58PM

      What I’ve heard is that on the BMCC, set the zebras to 100%. Then, just dial down the exposure until nothing is clipping. That’s it. Perfect exposure. Later, you can adjust with Resolve or NLE.

  • can anybody tell me, up to how many minutes can it record?

  • This is $ 3000 camera but BMD is charging $ 5000 in INDIA for this cinema camera,why? very disappointing and bad practice in part of them.Nikon, Canon are not like them, they are selling $3000 camera in $3000.

  • Wow!! now their updated price is $2995 for INDIA too. thank you BMD, Great Day today for me first price came down from $5000 to $2995, second MFT mount, Thanks BMD for listening. I am waiting for December shipping of MFT mount BMCC.

    • Hi, just checked the BMD site,its still showing Rs.2,7500 ($5000),can u conform?

    • Hi, just checked the BMD site INDIA ,its still showing Rs.2,7500 ($5000),can u conform?

    • It’s still more than 5000$ it’s f%$king Expensive….There is thing called standardization ..i guess BMD don’t know that…

    • Yeah , Which site did you visit. The price is not reflected BMD India site.

  • if its $5000 , then canon is the best option

  • The new Kinefinity Max 6K and Kinefinity Mini 4K are far superior in tech and value to Black Magic cameras. They will show at NAB and blow everyone away. John De Boreman is reportedly testing one with new Cook lenses and says the camera tops anything for value for money.

    • I am too very interested about these cameras, the specs look fantastic and I assume the pricepoint will be more then reasonable, it is only that I have not been able to like any of the little sample footage I have seen so far but this could simply be due to the way it was handled & graded, I look forward to see more coming from this camera.

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