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We Got Your Dynamic Range Right Here: Blackmagic Cinema Camera Put to the Test

10.10.12 @ 9:22AM Tags : , , , ,

After Blackmagic first announced the Cinema Camera, and started showing real samples, it soon became clear that it was going to have a lot more dynamic range than even cameras costing two or three times as much. Dynamic range numbers may vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer (since their testing procedures can be completely different), but looking at sample images really allows you to see how far you can push this camera before it clips in the highlights or the shadows. Frank Glencairn, who has been testing the Blackmagic Cinema Camera extensively, wanted to see just how well it would perform in a difficult dynamic range situation.

The dynamic range stress test:

This is what Frank had to say about the test (which was filmed in RAW):

I shot some DR tests today. Nothing fancy or artsy, emphasis was on contrast handling (not on smooth camera moves – had that lightweight travel tripod with the crappy head again – but walking several miles with a 40lbs Vinten?) Point is, the material it looks not really spectacular, but just natural – more what your eyes see (not exactly but you get the idea)….So yeah, mission accomplished BMC – on all other cameras under 18000 bucks most of the lights would be completely blown out and the shadows just dark blotches. This is RED HDR and Alexa territory IMHO.  Quite impressive for a camera at that price point.

Many argue about the advantages of a higher resolution camera if your material is just going to go online in heavily compressed form. That is certainly a debatable point (though I definitely think there’s definitely a difference if the video is viewed in 1080p), but the one point that can’t be argued is that dynamic range will find its way through to the final compressed form. That’s clearly evident by the video above, and also evident in the BMCC/Mark III test from OneRiver Media. One of the advantages of film — and now high-end digital cinema cameras — is that you can retain a ton of highlight detail. Many digital cameras have more of their dynamic range in the shadows (the Cinema Camera is no exception), but if you expose for the highlights, it means you can bring back those shadows later, and have an image with a nice gradient from lows to highs.

One of my personal pet peeves is seeing a nicely composed image, but completely blown out highlights in the background. Up until now the only option under $10,000 was to heavily underexpose (which can lead to ugly skin tones). Now we’ve got a camera that is capable of retaining detail in both the extreme highlights and extreme shadows, and for less money than any of the competitors. For those few people who say, but what if I want the windows or highlights blown out? Well, it’s fairly easy to make that happen in a far more controlled way during grading. It’s a lot more difficult to go the other way — recover highlights that are either clipped or almost clipped.

The only thing left is for Blackmagic to work out their shipping issues, and we’ll start seeing some actual films made with this “mini-Alexa”.

Link: Blackmagic Cinema Camera Dynamic Range Stress Test — Frank Glencairn


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  • The only thing holding me back is no 60p. I wonder if they’ll ever release a firmware upgrade with higher frame rates, or if it’s even possible with the hardware they have. I’m sure one of you characters knows….

    • Jason Dunphy on 10.10.12 @ 10:03AM

      From what I’ve been reading about 60p on the BMCC (I’m no expert, just read alot about it) is that it might be a heating issue. The hardware is capable to do it though, again from what I’ve heard.

    • Oh, come on. What is with all of this complaining about 60P all of a sudden? Not long ago, you couldn’t shoot 60P on any camera.

      What’s more: Twixtor does an excellent job with 30P in most cases. And worst comes to worst, there are plenty of other cheap options if 60P is an absolute must (heck, even a Sony RX100 could work).

      Lack of 60P should not, under any circumstance, be the reason not to buy a BMCC.

      • Hey Hummer, chill out. Under all circumstances, you should chill out.

        • That was an exceptionally productive contribution to the discussion. Thanks for sharing.

          On a serious note: Hummer was making a good point: 60P, at least at 1080P, it pretty rare as it is in this price range. I’d much, much, much rather have improved resolution and dynamic range than a novelty feature useful in perhaps 1% of situations.

          • No it isn’t. Almost every HD camera, even the cheap ones, have 720 60p. Before HD you could get slow-mo by shooting 60i and interpolating the fields to get 60p…loss of vertical detail, but worth it for the temporal detail.

            Also what are you shooting that you never have to use slow-mo? And why do you assume everyone else is shooting the same things as you?

          • @gabe: yeah and have you seen the resolution on those 720p 60fps files? not an easy task. also, i realize this is months old :P

          • @Alan, Fair point, although on video cameras it’s usually quite usable (and often comparable to the “1080p” coming from the canon DSLRs).

            Also, I have no idea how I noticed your comment… :P

      • Devinda Fernando on 02.20.13 @ 9:31AM

        I find it really funny reading the smug comments DEFENDING the BMCC for the fact that it does not have Slo-Mo capabilities…??? I shoot Music Videos and TV commercials and I have been waiting for a camera like this that shoots 2K RAW which really makes all the difference in Post over H.264 compression (Canon 5DMKIII). But Slo-Mo is essential. I don’t know how anyone can say its not – even if you only shoot weddings…? As Gabe says, Twixtor is hardly sufficient to compensate for lack of Native Slo-Mo recording.
        I would have to ask a rhetorical question to the makers at Black Magic as to what their target market is? I would assume it is semi-professional and professional videographers, like me; so while 2K RAW is a huge plus, its missing the one key ingredient that would make them grab the Canon DSLR market with ease, along with the RED, ALEXA, and Sony F55 range of cameras too. If price is an issue then I would suggest they increase the price a little and grant that feature instead of trying to be $500 less than the Canon 5DMK3… Canon has dropped the ball on their 5DMK3 by not offering 1080p Slo-mo… Black Magic should take this opportunity to fill that void by offering the 2K Slow-mo capability. if they did, you’d start seeing a lot of fairly brand new 5DMK3s for sale on e-bay shortly after that.

    • john jeffreys on 10.10.12 @ 3:30PM

      You can always set your shutter speed to 1/200 and then slow it down in post.

    • The CEO, Grant Perry said that its possible to add higher framerates in a future firmware update..if not 60p..maybe 48p like the Scarlet at 3K.

    • BMCCs footage reacts pretty well to FCPX optical flow slow motion. So that’s an immediate solution.

  • Anyone know of rig/add-ons with removable battery & HD for this cam?
    I love the images but need something more practical

  • Same here. This Camera looks amazing for what it can do, but 60p is needed and what I find funny is that camera makers are not doing it when people need it. For one slow motion but what I really dont get is that Black-Magic call this a cinema camera ( which i believe it can be in the right hands) but no higher frame rates when current films are being filmed in 48p and 60p for the fact of being played back at that rate to make cinema with a new look.

    • only a hand full if even that are shooting at these high frame rates for viewing, namely the hobbit and the new avatar. CInema is and has been up to now 24p, slow mo is not needed for a film.

      • Slow mo is not needed for a film? Well sure it’s not *needed*…I mean, you don’t need shutter speeds other than 180 either…or multiple focal lengths…or shallow depth of field…or color…or sound…

        Most film cameras for the past 50 years have had an overcranking capability, I think it’s reasonable to ask about it….especially since almost every HD camera has at least 720 60p. I’d be perfectly happy with 720 48p crop…whatever it takes. Not having to rent another camera for slow mo shots would boost my desire for this camera like 200%.

        • so don´t buy it! ;) get an awesome Scarlet instead. :)

          • Hehe, was wondering why no one was saying it like it is, no gun to the head to buy this cam : )

        • What a joke. The lame excuse of avoiding the BMCC because of a lack of 60P is downright ludicrous. If you can’t make do with 24P, 30P and Twixtor, here’s a tip: you’re doing it wrong.

          • My “doing it wrong” won me a couple awards. So I think I’ll keep “doing it wrong”.

          • And by the way, if Twixtor is sufficient, then you’re using slow-mo wrong.

            Slow-mo is a temporal zoom lens. You use it to highlight motion detail that would be missed at normal speed. It’s the detail that can make a slow-mo shot sing. And you don’t get those details with Twixtor because the data was never recorded! Garbage in garbage out. Twixtor can’t magically create it.

            Twixtor works on boring shots and breaks down when something actually happens. It’s a little bit useful to further slow 60p shots in some cases, but there are only a handful of cases where I find Twixtor useful. I think I’ve only used it on one shot. Ever.

        • VINCEGORTHO on 10.10.12 @ 3:16PM

          Then don’t buy it!
          Make way for other people to use this awesome tool.
          Hollywood has me hating slow motion, anyways. Thanks Matrix!

          • Well….I don’t think it’s fair to negate someone’s preference for 60p if that is a feature that they use now and again to create their films, commercials, videos, etc… and its not a sin to ask about the feature or desire it for this cam. The same people who insinuate that it’s wrong or greedy to ask about 60p in this cam could very well be some of the same people who asked for clean hdmi out from a 7D, or higher internal bit rate from a Sony F3. If we DON’T ask for things we want from manufacturers then they probably won’t give them to us. Personally, I agree that higher frame rate options would definitely make this camera that much more appealing to some, but I’m not crying because it doesn’t. It is what it is. No camera is perfect but it’s ok to reach for it.

          • Where did I say I didn’t like the BMCC? I love what they’re doing, it’s amazing!

            But it’s hard to justify buying a camera if I have to end up renting a camera anyway. I might as well just shoot on a Scarlet. It might still be worth buying, but it’d be a slam dunk with even the most primitive inkling of slow-mo. I’m not asking for 120p 2.5k raw. Just something reasonable like 720 48p (48 because it’s useful for 2x music speed ups in music videos for slow-mo at normal music speed).

            And you know what, I’m 80% sure they’ll end up adding it. It seems like the hardware should be capable of it, but the firmware is still pretty rough. So I bet once they really get the firmware up to snuff, we’ll some more framerates.

            I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here.

            But you know what I do think is unreasonable? People telling me what tool I should or shouldn’t use. I’m not asking you to add slow-mo to the BMCC, so why do you feel so compelled to tell people how to shoot their movies, and what to shoot them with?

      • Ched Stevens on 10.10.12 @ 2:45PM

        I do! I’m shooting Avatar 3 next month in my back yard! AVH Avatar vs Hobbit. The whole thing is slow motion! And 3D! How the heck am I gonna make it now if this dumb camera doesn’t have 60p?!
        Black Magic doesn’t care about serious indy film makers anymore! Looks like I’m still shooting on my Sony DCR DVD850! Thanks for nothing Black Magic!

        • Hehehe, had a good laugh with that one!

          I think you have to think about what do you need 90% of the time. And for the price, I don’t think anything else can compare. I ‘d rather have this image quality and control in post than a heavily compressed, line-skipped 60p S35mm image.

          In some cases, a GoPro (or similar) can be more useful than an Alexa or Epic. In some others, a Phantom Flex would be needed (Twixtor is great interpolating simple movements, but there’s no way you can have a detailed shot of a flashing bulb like this

          If 60p is a must (I’m hating slow-mo lately too, as happens with ultra shallow DOF), you can have a GH-3, NEX-6 or a Sony FS-700 if the budget allows for it.

          I doubt anyone will be shooting at 60p all the time. And if he/she does, don’t count with me for watching the results…

        • hahahahahahahaha thank you

        • Buffaluffasaurus on 10.11.12 @ 6:31AM

          Haha, awesome.

        • :D :D :D :D :D KALLISTI!

  • The comments here are so funny. It’s just a reminder of how spoiled we are. I don’t mean that harshly, as I completely relate to the desire for a better power solution, 60p, etc…. but that’s not the point of this $3,000 camera. This level of dynamic range at this price point is incredible.

    From a practical standpoint, I see this camera being a purchase for specific work and shots, namely (in my unqualified opinion) a controlled narrative environment. That’s not the work I do for money, so I can’t come close to justifying a purchase, but what I love about this camera is that you can easily buy this and a camera that can work more flexibly. Heck, this camera cost about as much as some rigs or tripods out there, so it’s not the worst idea to see it as an accessory to your primary shooting setup. Like, if you need the best possible dynamic range from a shot, it would be the tool for the job – but if you are in an unpredictable, run-and-gun, shoot-all-day scenario, an ENG with a good zoom lens might still be among the best options out there. I know that giving credit to small-sensor cameras is taboo here, but they still have their place ;-)

    This idea just hit me, by the way: this camera cost as much as a Canon GL2 used to. Whoa. Talk about a difference in the industry.

  • The comments above are a good indicator as to why canon abandoned this market.

    • Is it unreasonable for people to be asking Canon for features that are in their competitor’s cameras?

      • Each camera has a target market and purpose, asking for a camera to address every market is unreasonable, the BMC is not a slo mo camera

    • They never really got into this market, we just sorta used their still camera for video, then expected them to make their still camera suit our needs, when in reality it’s a still camera.


  • This camera is amazing. Bottom line. I’m confused as to why people have the idea, however, that BM are ABLE to make this thing shoot 60p, and are simply choosing not to (I’ve heard a lot of talk from them about heating issues). We are not camera designers. I feel like sometimes we are acting like the producers who don’t understand how editing works…

    Can’t you just blow the image up to fit? Can’t we just take out that car horn?

    Can’t we just have 60p?

    • I think no matter what, people will always have a problem with it. If it had 60fp, they’d want 120fps. Everybody always wants more. It’s a fantastic camera judging from the specs and the samples I’ve seen. For the price, i mean it’s cheaper than a 5D MKIII.

  • I love the image. To me, Dynamic Range and 24P have always been the two most important specs in a Camera to get a film look. I was thinking of getting an F3 to shoot a low budget feature but with the BMCC I am saving more than 10K and I don’t have to buy an external recorder. I’ll be able to rig up this camera very well and still have lots of money left. Slow motion is nice but far from essential to tell a good story. For Narrative work or music videos this camera rocks!!!!
    Rig wise I’m planning to get: Shape WLB shoulder support and cage, Cineroid Retina viewfinder, Shoot35 CINEbox (matte box), RedRock Blue Follow Focus, Ikan Battery solution, SLR Magic 12mm lens for wide angle, Rokinon 24 and 35 cine lenses, a 50mm nikon ai lens and possible a 85mm too. I’ll also get 1 or 2 12TB GTech Raids to handle the huge amount of data that the RAW workflow will generate. All of that and there will still be money left compared to the F3 option (without rig and lenses) which is the next cheapest option for great DR.

    • Do yourself a favor and invest in Tamron 11-16 f2.8 instead of the SLR Magic. They are very hit and miss. My friend got a good one and I got a bad one. Twice.

      • That’s good to know. I was sold to the SLR Magic by this video that looks very filmic to me I also like the shallow DOF it provides compared to a 2.8 lens. Did you end up having a good lens? What was the problem with the first 2?

        • First one couldn’t focus to infinity, the second one was just plain bad construction. “550 bucks for this?” Got the money back and bought the 11-16. So now I a fairly fast lens that’s wide enough for m43 and APC-S sensors. And superwide of I ever would use a full frame (I would never, never liked the look). Went for the Nikon one since it’s a mechanical aperture like all my vintage Nikon glass. Very adaptive glass. Had them on canon, gh2, BMC and RED so far, works great.

          • Thanks for the info! Very helpful!

          • Daniel Mimura on 10.17.12 @ 7:30PM

            The Nikon version of the Tokina 11-16 has a manual aperture? Are their two different models out there, cuz looking @ B&H, I didn’t see a separate aperture ring. I have the Canon version (but Nikon for all my other lenses) and this is the specific issue with the moving to a MFT BMCC.

          • Daniel Mimura on 10.17.12 @ 7:31PM

            There, not their. I can’t let that tyypo slide.

  • I’d love to see the dynamic range pushed the other way, like into the highlights. Point the camera into the sun or something similar. Then show raw and corrected footage.

  • JD Holloway on 10.10.12 @ 12:30PM

    Given all the discussion about lens choices for this camera, I was wondering if anybody had given thought to machining a B4 mount. Yes, I know the image circle for B4 is smaller; but perhaps using the lens’s doubler would then compensate for it by enlarging the image circle. You would take a hit in the sensitivity department (T4 minimum usually, but f1.8 or so for most eng kit), doublers steal light, but It could extend the usability for run and gun daylight work and give you a ‘free’ ND6. Just musing here. Of course a custom extender (1.5?) could be made to just fill the sensor and steal less light.

    • With the Micro 4/3 version of the camera, you can adapt B4 mount lenses pretty easily, but as you said, you’ll need the extender to make it cover. Theoretically if you can power that lens externally in some way, you could have an automatic zoom lens on the camera.

      • jd holloway on 10.10.12 @ 10:55PM

        Power is a simple Lemo to DTap off a battery. I’ve done it B4 (moan).

        • Daniel Mimura on 10.17.12 @ 7:59PM

          I wish monitors had a pass through power option–that would be one of the easiest ways to power the camera. Monitors used to be powered off of the camera, now it would be so much easier to power the camera off of the monitor. B/c I have to power multiple things, I can’t just clip a v-mount to the back of the monitor—I have to use a separate plate that has both 4pin XLR and p-tap.

  • This video looks terrific. VERY impressive detail and dynamic range.

  • I love the footage here, but what does encoding for Youtube or Vimeo throw away in terms of quality, etc?

    • Mostly resolution and detail…dynamic range comes across as what you can see that isn’t blowing out in the highlights, or getting crushed in the shadows. So dynamic range is really important for a nice image even if you’re compressing it for the web. And the BMCC blows away all of the DSLRs as far as dynamic range.

  • Frank Glencairn on 10.10.12 @ 12:43PM

    The original files are breath taking, it took a huge hit after h264 encoding and an other one after YT and Vimeo did they “magic”.


    • Thanks for the info Frank. I’m a fan of your blog and your use of old Zeiss lenses (which prompted me to buy them myself). Are you planning to trade up to the new BMCC MFT version?

  • Impressive indeed! But we can achieve this amount of info without clipping with the scarlet normally, without HDR. Just did a corporate last week on a park here and it was a sunny day, no clouds. Everything shot on Scarlet. but If only I had a B camera like de BMCC things would be a LOT faster…
    Bottom line, our Scarlet was too expensive (taxes) and RED keep charging a premium for every single accessory.

    And yet no shipping date… Well, let’s keep waiting…

    • Oh! That’s great Alex, I didn’t realize the Scarlet had dropped in price to only $3000. Oh wait………

    • I’m interested to hear why you think that the BMC would be faster for set up. I need a bcam for my scarlet too and I’m opting for a c100 because I want something that can be ready to shoot instantly out of the bag. The way I see it is all the problems I have on my scarlet would happen on the BMC: Box like construction requires shoulder mount to hold, No built in NDs, so a mattebox and rail support will be necessary for exteriors, and touch screens are always slower than quick keys. I shot on the c300 last weekend and the feature that blew me away was the fact that you can hold it in your hand and actually use the viewfinder, no monitor needed if you want to run and gun. Thats why im excited for the c100. If one scarlet was getting excessive to manage, BMC as bcam depending on the situation might make things worse. Not hating on the BMC, I’m just talking practicality for production.

      • Forgot to include the similar need for heavy vmount battery solutions

        • For what it’s worth, I think the changers will be the guys who are doing independents and will be able to mold their production around this camera. They will genuflect at the altar of quality and will do everything that is necessary to work the limitations. And they will end up with stunning results.

          Because they worked within the limitations.

          Like people used to.

  • Very beautiful pictures.
    Do you see the new 1.4 DNG specification, with a new DNG lossy ?
    Because each frame in cinemaDNG is encoded with DNG specification, I think, we can hope soon, the same image quality in raw DNG but with files four times smaller. No ?
    Sorry for my bad english.

  • There’s one word for that footage: gorgeous.

    There simply isn’t a camera for under $10k that compares.

    Memo to people complaining about lack of 60P: please don’t place a pre-order. Clear up more space in the line for me!

  • john jeffreys on 10.10.12 @ 3:33PM

    It’s cute that you guys complain about 60p but totally ignore the fatal flaw in this camera, and that is, the tiny ass sensor. Your lens options are severely limited, unless you are into crop factors. Super 35 lenses are 1.7x, full frame lenses 2.3x (essentially rendering them useless, a 50mm is 100mm+), and super 16 lenses will vignette afaik. There is a reason this camera is so cheap….enjoy using shitty consumer wide angle zooms

    • You mean the Tokina 11-16 which performs so well that more than one company has done a PL mount conversion? They don’t do total PL conversions to bad wide angle zooms – it would be a waste of time.

    • Perhaps “fatal flaw” means something other than what I’ve been taught, but assuming that’s not the case, I can’t help but wonder exactly what it is that this “severely limited” selection of lenses would preclude you from doing. I mean, are there specific shots that you think won’t be possible on this camera? Or are you just someone who is so obsessed with being a “serious professional” (because we all know serious professionals only use larger sensor sizes) that you don’t actually bother with such irrelevant specifics? I seem to remember you were also the same person who said we should ignore everyone who uses a GH2 because Canon DSLRs are what the “serious professionals” use, but maybe I’m mistaking you for someone else.

      • john jeffreys on 10.10.12 @ 5:15PM

        I love lenses. I like to use tons of different kinds. Just saying that it is a camera with a huge compromise that everybody seems to be oblivious to. GH2 is the same thing, a camera not made for video that video people force themselves to like. Y’all just buzz around with the marketing terms like “2.5k!” “raw!” “dynamic range” “only 3k!” but you don’t stop and analyze the camera as a whole and actually evaluate whether it will be useful to you on your projects. I guess your wedding videos and duck/sunset montages don’t need that kind of critical thought. I’d rather use a 5D and light it properly than this overhyped prosumer garbage.

        • Right, so, like I said: what do your extra-special lenses actually accomplish for you, specifically, that you couldn’t do otherwise? I notice you complain about people failing to examine “the camera as a whole” when I’m pretty sure the only thing I’ve seen you say (you know, ever) is that large sensors are serious business and everything with a smaller-than-35mm sensor is a toy/consumer/overhyped.

          I’m just going to tell myself that you’re a troll parodying the stereotypical young filmmaker who is more obsessed with some shallow sense of “legitimacy” and “professionalism” than actually making movies. If I’m wrong I apologize.

          • john jeffreys on 10.10.12 @ 5:50PM

            Nothing, I just feel that the main priorities of a camera are to be as adaptable as possible to the most amount of lenses as possible. The RED DSMC system is a great example. Glass is important.

            And it’s funny because I actually do make movies.

          • I could’ve sworn I remembered you saying you’ve never made a movie the last time someone asked you. I could still be confusing you with someone else I guess. Although in that case I’m still curious about what you could accomplish with a 5D that you couldn’t do with this overhyped consumer garbage.

          • Hey John Jeffreys, if I click on your name it doesn’t link to these movies you actually make…. click on my name and you will be taken to my photography page (I am a photographer looking to diversify into video, so no videos yet, but it is coming.)

          • “I just feel that the main priorities of a camera are to be as adaptable as possible to the most amount of lenses as possible.”


        • Why would you use the aggressive approach that the GH2 wasnt meant for video and then conclude with you using a 5d. You do realise neither are video cameras? Also, if you are attacking content (duck,sunsets) CAN WE SEE SOME OF YOUR WORK PLEASE.

        • Overhyped prosumer garbage? Sometimes I wonder how you still manage to take yourself seriously when, in fact, you’re consistently called out for all of the incredibly naive things that you say here. It just baffles me to no end.

          Also, the sensor size will only limit you as much as you let it. There are work-arounds to just about all of the “problems” that this camera has, but if you’re too naive to embrace these workarounds, then maybe you shouldn’t even be commenting here. And if I’m not mistaken, the 5D was equally, if not more, problematic a few years ago before everyone started shooting with it.

          Lastly, if lens selection is your highest priority instead of overall image quality, then your work is likely to suffer immensely as a consequence. Great lenses can’t compensate for a mediocre camera with a vastly inferior codec, but a camera like the BMCC can make any number of lenses look a hell of a lot better than they could on a 5D. Just some food for thought.

          • I’m a bass player and I own a Rickenbacker bass. It cost more than the BMCC. It has some weird features. It’s “busy on deck” as some would say, with a pickup cover that gets in the way of your picking hand. And when you take off the cover there’s this chrome metal, raised ring surround that still gets in the way. Took it off as well and replaced it with a low, flush chrome surround that does not interfere. And there’s the bloody bridge that doesn’t allow me to pick as far back as I’d like for a nice twangy sound. So I replaced that as well.

            Now it’s awesome. Looks amazing, sounds amazing and plays beautifully. Nothing on the planet growls in such a warm aggressive way like a Rick.

            Moral? Do what you have to, with what you have, to do what you must. Like people used to.

    • Amazing camera. Go you Aussies. Thoroughly agree on the value of good DR.

      I think john is right though in so far as the sensor is obviously a weak point and will place considerable limitations on field of view. Insurmountable though? Not at all I think. Fatal? Not even remotely. And calling this “over hyped prosumer” is really missing the potential value of this camera to micro budget cinema I think JJ.

      On the no slow mo stoush, hilarious, but obviously for some it will be a significant concern. It would be for me. That and the sensor make the Scarlet are much better choice in my eyes if you can afford it. However, if you can’t… That is one HELL of a 3K camera for making a film with.

      Joe curious about your pet peeve line about “blown highlights”.
      Wondering if you would also agree that it is also very valid creative choice though which can look stunning. I also like to see the odd hot spots in a frame myself, and it can for mine actually look unnatural when everything is always brought down.

      I’m reminded of a David Mullen quote I read once where he was being asked what he used to get rid of hot spots, he advised you could use matte spray or pretty much smear it with anything that would dulll it down or make it less reflective, but usually he preferred to leave them as he liked hot spots. :))

      Anyhow, there just seems to be a bit of thing with some people (which I’m not implying you are saying) that whenever you see work with blown highlights or hot spots that it is poor exposure or bad cinematography.

    • Daniel Mimura on 10.17.12 @ 7:53PM

      I look at it another way around…b/c of the 1.6x crop (coming from movies, not stills—I refuse to address fullframe when talking about crops)…your telephoto lenses can go so much further (which also helps you reclaim that lost shallow depth of field). My PL mount Canon 16mm format zoom lens…its a 10:1…that’s 12mm-120mm. In 35mm production that’s 24mm through 240mm! How many feature film productions are using 240mm lenses? (Aside from nature doc work and certain b-cam stuff, productions rarely even rent longer than 135mm lenses)…so it was always nice to have that extra range on our crappy little no budget films.

      …and with a BMCC, I’ll have it back again. I’ve already got the Tokina 11-16, as well as a Nikon 20mm, so I’m set.

      Of course with all the kids running around doing everything handheld, shooting more telephoto is gonna mean even more exaggeratedly amatuerish material. At least 2.5k gives room for post stabilization for 1080 releases.

      • Daniel Mimura on 10.17.12 @ 7:55PM

        Damn. I don’t now what’s up with this forum and my iPad. That last comment was for the exchange between John Jeffries and Joe a few posts up. Sorry.

  • I can’t help but think that this video looks very, well, video-ey. I think it’s just the way it’s graded, but I don’t like the highlight roll-off here. The image is pretty punchy and lifelike, but it just doesn’t look cinematic to me. I’d have liked to see it graded in a way that makes the highlights smoother and doesn’t look quite so saturated. Am I the only one who feels this way?

    • Agreed. I don’t, however, think that’s a fault of the operator/editor. A lot of the footage I’ve seen from this camera looks like video with fantastic dynamic range and colour depth. Everything is always sharp, and often too sharp for my liking. I really want to get my hands on one to see what I can do with it and if I can make it fit my needs.

    • Unnecessary to do color grading when it’s about showcasing dynamic range.

      Check out Jon Carr’s footage from the BMC if you want to watch something more cinematic:

      • I’m not concerned that the footage isn’t graded; it clearly is. I’m concerned that it’s (apparently) not graded very well. It would be one thing if it were an extremely flat image; instead, it’s just the opposite, an extremely contrasty, sharp, saturated image with a pretty steep and abrasive highlight curve. The page you linked to definitely has examples that are much better but even then there’s something unpleasant that seems to happen whenever the highlights actually peak. I still have hope that it’s something that could be addressed with appropriate grading or exposure but overall, while I do like the images from this camera that I’ve seen, I’m not sure I’m ready to say the camera is as “filmic” as more expensive cameras.

        I’d like to see how this camera compares to an F3/C300/C100 in a controlled setting and with a single colorist. I imagine it would fare pretty favorably (except in extreme low light) but I really have no idea. So far the only comparisons I’ve seen of the Blackmagic camera have been to less expensive cameras and not the reverse.

        • I take this as a good sign: when John Brawley was shooting Puberty Blues over the last few months, they were shooting all sorts of formats, including EPIC, Alexa, C300, and Cinema Camera. When they started shooting more Cinema Camera within their actual production schedule, the colorist and many of the other production people who watched the graded dailies couldn’t tell what was Alexa footage and what was BMCC footage. They could, however, instantly point out the C300 footage.

          • Clearly looks less video’y than a c300 for mine, and with genuine respect I think that when it comes to looking “filmic” or complaining about the grade, it will be for many just a new paradigm entering into the world of RAW. Even Alexa can look unfilmic if it’s not lit and composed well with good production design. And it will elevate another if it has serious quality post done on it, as per Drive or Avengers.

            BMCC camera is no different. And has already shown it ahs the goods to produce stunning images, and RAW means you can take pretty much wherever you want to get too if you have the ability. That said, i’d hazard it probably has a couple less stops in the highlights compared to an Alexa, which would give it 12 stops which will still be terrific, and for it’s price point makes it phenomenal.

        • Just letting people know that the c300 dropped in price through a rebate like the f3.

    • Completely disagree. Given that it hasn’t been properly graded, etc. I think many of these shots look extremely cinematic. Especially the wide shots.

    • Daniel Mimura on 10.17.12 @ 8:17PM

      Interesting…I felt it looked more cinematic than most digital things I’ve seen (looking past color grading and that awful hiking friendly tripod without a fluid head, which the filmmaker already apologized for)…specifically a few shots in the woods…it looked like film! Specifically because it had the dynamic range. I’ve shot 35mm in that lighting (no movie lights, in shade, where you’re looking up at the canopy and seeing the sun filtering through the trees…etc…). It looked like film…except sharper.

  • I dig that

  • Just want you guys to know….CANON will be back as the KING….I’m the last of the canon fanboy standing…you just wait till canon updates it codecs in its camera…..look how quick you disloyal subjects jump ship when you see a little video on “Dymanic Range”……..the only magic the BM camera has is, how it trick all you guys to think you’ll spend is $3000 to get the camera running….We still got 60p baby…………oh the things I say to stop myself from buying the BLACK MAGIC camera.

    • canon is not going to give their consumer products better codecs…. just look at the new c100

  • Can you turn down the sharpness in this camera like in de 5D?

    • Daniel Mimura on 10.17.12 @ 8:20PM

      The way I see it is if you have the best sharpness you can afford, if you want to soften in post, you always can…but it’s hard to go the other way around.

  • Larry Boatright on 10.11.12 @ 8:32AM

    I know this is going to be a newbie question but what aspect ratio is that? Is it 16:9 with some kind of cropping? I keep seeing this and I love the look but I know it’s not anamorphic… I’ve seen stuff look like this on the GH2/5D but not sure how to get it.

  • Am I the only one who sees a LOT of noise?