December 25, 2012

Watch a Possibly Final (For Now) Roundup of Blackmagic Cinema Camera Videos

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera may be shipping within the next month or so, but in the meantime, we are continuing our review and we've now got a possibly final roundup of videos for this camera (at least for the near future until they start shipping), as it has finally made its way into enough hands to really get a sense of the quality. While we haven't seen much narrative content make its way to the web yet, there are still plenty of different situations that show off just how much this little $3,000 camera can do. Click through to check them out.

Trip to Mexico -- Shot in RAW with the Sigma 8-16mm, Canon 24-70mm (no iris control yet, so all wide open at f2.8), Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS Mark II:

A Night in Nine Elms -- We've previously shared this video, but now we've got a great behind the scenes that puts it into perspective. Shot in ProRes Log with the Tokina 11-16mm, IS Canon 17-55mm, IS Canon 70-200mm.

A Night in Nine Elms Behind the Scenes Video (also shot with the BMCC):

Black Magic Cinema Camera - Low Light Test Shoot -- shot in ProRes with the Rokinon 35mm T1.5 Cine Lens and the Tokina 11-16 F2.8:

Snow Bells from Frank Glencairn -- shot in ProRes on Canon 17-40mm f4 L:

Another from Frank Glencairn:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZwiaDL1rhI

Blackmagic Cinema Camera: RAW-Footage set to Rec.709 vs. BMD Film

http://vimeo.com/55086317

http://vimeo.com/55093599

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Test - Madrid

http://vimeo.com/54554156

I think that's about the widest range of videos we've seen so far, with the only exception being a complete narrative film, though the Frank Glencairn stuff comes pretty close. If you aren't convinced by the image quality by now, you may never be. My criticisms of the camera still stand, but as far as the crop factor, in practical shooting, it's really not an issue. Yes your 24mm lens is no longer a wide, but other than that, I haven't had a problem with the lenses being too close for comfort.

We will hopefully have more footage of our own in the coming months, but until now you can check out the above videos and stay tuned for the rest of the BMCC review.

What do you guys think? Have you seen anything new that makes you think differently about the camera?

Your Comment

74 Comments

The Andrew Julian piece (Mexico) is magnificent. I want to sell my GH2 and my 5D mk2 now!

December 25, 2012

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Agreed. That one sold me.

December 26, 2012

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marklondon

Here's another interesting one for comparison

https://vimeo.com/46357480

December 26, 2012

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I think that fact that its only 3K is just insane. People say that their are lots of hidden costs as well but if you already are a serious DSLR shooter then you will already have most of the stuff you need. Plus 1.7k worth of free software is also a big bonus, I was worried about the crop factor and storage to begin with but after seeing these pieces I've changed my mind. Even if you shoot ProRes 90% of the time I think it still a great camera.

Trip to Mexico also solved a little problem I thought the camera had, most pieces I had seen before it all looked muddy in color but Mexico was really vibrant and looked great.

December 25, 2012

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I'm still waiting to see the most filmic looking footage this camera can do. Something done by a god cinematographer.

A lot of the night shots all look the same. Under exposed. Muddy. Cold colors.

Trip to mexico was almost good. Unfortunately the opposite in a bad way. Warm colors. Sharp. But over exposed.

But I guess I'm used to finding stuff like this on Vimeo. Going to purchas a D800. I'm looking for some good example footage and almost all of it is over exposed with blown out hilights.

December 25, 2012

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VINCEGORTHO

Bmcc destroys the d800 for color, sharpness, dynamic range, etc. Look I own two d800e cameras for studio stills but if you think it comes close to the bmcc for video you are confused. The nikon d800 has horrible waxy skin tone (even with external recorder)....you 100% can not shoot actors or models with the d800 in video mode and get results even close to the bmcc. Show me anyones d800 video work that has good skin tone and I will paypal you $1,000.

maybe.the d800 for cheezy documentary work.....but it is not a video tool that produces quality results.

December 26, 2012

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jordan

Now exhale.

December 26, 2012

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vinceGortho

I wasn't comparing the d800 to the bmcc.
im just buying one because I want a dslr and blackmagic probably wont be available for a year to non pre orders.

December 26, 2012

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vinceGortho

Fair enough. Rent one from lens rentals first though. Might surprise you what the nikon produces.

December 26, 2012

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jordan

Jordan - I find it slightly incredible that you own two D800e's and hate the skintone in video that much.
As for buying one over a BMDCC, I agree, I think that would be a mistake unless you need the stills. And I write that as a D800/e owner (who shoots a lot of video, including exactly zero cheezy -sic- documentaries). If you can wait the 3-4 months, it would be worth it. For the money, as a cinema camera, there's actually no comparison.

But re the skintone, um, you're quite wrong. I'd take up your challenge, but someone already beat me to it: https://vimeo.com/48406708

December 26, 2012

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marklondon

Downloaded that clip. Ill be the first to admit that its waaaay better than what I can color time from my nikons. Bravo to the artist who shot it. Now as to if that comes close to the bmcc...i still dont think so.

December 26, 2012

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jordan

this means marklondon will receive the U$1000 prize for showing the proof of skin tones?? =D :P

December 26, 2012

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guto novo

Not skin tones but 90% of Nikon footage doesn't look like this... https://vimeo.com/49875246

December 26, 2012

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VinceGortho

This one is close, but the orange skin tone looks too even and artificial. This is especially noticeable on the hands.

December 26, 2012

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Razor

The tone of the praying hands from 00:09 to 00:13 is unmatched and looks out of place for sure. Someone likely messed with the color in that part. The rest of the piece is pretty good.

December 26, 2012

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Razor

Have you seen Philip Bloom's Ponte Tower video? It's not a strict "narrative" video, like some have been wanting to see, but it's still a great-looking testament to what the camera can do.
http://vimeo.com/51295174

December 26, 2012

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Blah

check out https://vimeo.com/56443168 - it's pretty "filmic"

December 30, 2012

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gp

I agree with VInce - the Mexico thing is overexposed, and the rest of the videos are cold and muddy. Just a bunch of random shots strung together in editing that shows us nothing of what we really want to see.

December 25, 2012

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Greg Thompson

Really overexposed but with rich colors...

December 25, 2012

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Alex Mand

No doubt the BMCC can nail it. But these aren't great examples.
In a lot of the low light examples. It sometimes looks as if the codec is about to break.

December 26, 2012

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VINCEGORTHO

Greg - I wish you well in your career if you think that's overexposed. Muddy? What?

I do not understand the negativity here. Is it because you're already heavily invested in a system? Baffles me - truly.

That image quality at that price is startling. I started out concerned over the crop, but as each video (shot within the first few weeks of the owners having their cameras!) hits the web, I grow more convinced.

As for the "I need to see it in the hands of a real cinematographer" canard - just wait a few months and you'll drown in examples. I'm assuming you're not a member of that category yourself.

December 26, 2012

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marklondon

I agree Mark, and I am heavily invested in another system :) Some people seem to want it to out perform an Alexa, some people think it does. At least the enthusiasm is easier to understand. The simple fact is, it's capable of making stunning images at an incredible price point and you get Resole with it. Brilliant.

December 27, 2012

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I agree Greg, oversatch postcard shots from Mexico. And the fisheye lens needed to get wide on that cam makes me queasy when it moves. Please don't move the camera with a fisheye unless making people's stomachs turn is the objective. I guess the piece simulates drinking the tap water?

People dearly want this camera to succeed and we should leave them with their toy. A whole industry will thrive in 2013 helping the determined overcome the difficulties the cam presents, yet the faithful will still claim they got a steal even after spending $20K or more that they could have saved buying into a more mature system. In 2014, they will have to spend a lot of that money again when no one wants these anymore...so if you're on the supply side of this equation, here's to the BMCC!

December 26, 2012

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Peter

Wow Peter, sounds like you have all of the answers. So what's your answer to another RAW 12-bit 4:4:4 camera we can buy for $2,995? Or well, actually if you minus out DaVinci Resolve at $995 and UltraScope at $695 a RAW 12-bit 4:4:4 camera we can buy for $1,305...? Oh... so you are saying we need to move up to a more mature system to get our 12-bit 4:4:4 like an ARRI Alexa at a starting base of $60,000...?

December 26, 2012

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Razor

A clearer recording of a lame sensor does you no favors.

December 26, 2012

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Peter

AND... you reply with lame sensor? Now I know what I'm dealing with... such a waste of time.

December 28, 2012

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Razor

Nice sharp images from the Mexican video, but my opinion is that the highlights are generally overexposed. I think this camera is interesting for what it is, but reminds me a bit of the original Red camera-- a beta test product being sold as a finished product for professionals.

December 25, 2012

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James

I'm with the above comments. Most of the shots in the Mexico video are about 2/3 of a stop overexposed, although that video does show that the camera can produce stunning, crisp color.

And like everybody else, I would love to see this camera used for what it was designed to do, which is kick ass in a controlled narrative filmmaking environment. And I have no doubt that it will.

December 25, 2012

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Robert

Then, the point of your negative comment on a video shot on holiday and not professionally graded is what exactly? A comment I don't agree with actually, on a professional level.
It proved exactly what he wanted it to prove. Colour, width, flyability, and a decent film made without on site DIT or a full rig.

December 26, 2012

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marklondon

"It proved exactly what he wanted it to prove. Colour, width, flyability, and a decent film made without on site DIT or a full rig."

yep, and also under the harsh sun of mexico showing what 13stops can do for you. Like here in Brazil, some times 10, 11 stops are not enough when the sun is in the mood to shine and remember us its existence! :D

December 26, 2012

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guto novo

Philip bloom has a few bmcc vids on his site also. They're pretty good

December 25, 2012

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ZCC

Agree. The ponte tower video is spectacular and no canon dslr or nikon dslr can produces color or dynamic range even close. Even his dungeonous water video shot in prores smokes what comes out of canon cameras (c300) costing three to five times as much.

December 26, 2012

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jordan

hey Joe - what's your take on how the BMCC holds up against a Scarlet visually? without taking into consideration any of the other factors (price/sensor size/etc), I'd like to know what you think of the final product of both, compared side to side.

December 26, 2012

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I think the BMCC shot in RAW will hold up pretty well compared to SCARLET once you downscale to 1080p, especially since the BMCC might have about a stop better dynamic range. I'm going to hopefully be doing a direct comparison between the two, so stay tuned.

December 26, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Joe, as Scarlet is rated as 13.5 stops. Why do you think BMCC will be a stop better DR? I respect your opinion, and I'm interested in your answer.

Best
Lliam

December 27, 2012

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It's not 100% confirmed yet, but based on the footage I've seen and both and these tests. It is my understanding the actual spec is a little exaggerated in real use for the MX sensor:

http://nofilmschool.com/2011/06/zacuto-unleashes-great-camera-shootout-2...

http://nofilmschool.com/2011/05/numbers-single-chip-camera-evaluation-co...

December 27, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Thanks Joe. Appreciate the response. Did some further reading up today, with some interesting debate on DR analysis/methodology and it's worth. Major advocacy seemed to be, do your own testing. Heh :) Always a healthy approach :) and I have never conducted a DR test. Just taken it on spec. But like most things it would seem, within limits, results can be subjectively skewed either for or against. And of course it makes absolute sense that manufacturers will present their camera's in their best possible DR light. Which is not to say that that DR range is not truly "possible" of course. And so I realise I will benefit from exploring the capabilities of my sensor under different conditions. Which is great.

Thanks again mate. Always enjoy your posts.

Best
Lliam

December 28, 2012

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Thanks Lliam. Yeah the debate gets pretty heated regarding dynamic range, but I have a feeling the Dragon sensor will be as good, or better than Alexa, so I guess it's only a matter of time now. I actually tend to be pretty camera agnostic but of course I do my own research whenever possible. Glad you enjoy the posts.

December 28, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I predict the BMCC will beat the Scarlett in DR. From what I've seen so far, the BlackMagic appears to have more resolving power than the Scarlett and a wider color gamut.

December 29, 2012

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Mark

That Frank Glencairn video is astounding, especially in SD. Also, he seems to spend his whole life restaging WW2. That's a nice gig.

December 26, 2012

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marklondon

For the record: HD Version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZwiaDL1rhI

December 27, 2012

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Frank Glencairn

I'm sold this camera is capable of a serious feature film .. definitely going to be my next buy

December 26, 2012

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Ali Saadi

Mexico video has fantastic color. Reminded me of one of my recent favoritely graded film: The Impossible.

December 26, 2012

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Quobetah

Time to brush off our storytelling skills because the playing field is now level. Laying down a sustainable business model and telling great stories is my biggest worry now...

December 26, 2012

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Thank you for saying that!

December 28, 2012

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Is there a solution for changing batteries yet?

December 26, 2012

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Daniel

Plug one in. Not difficult.

December 26, 2012

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jordan

Does the BMC have hdsdi triggering, can it be used with an external recorder?

How long is transcode time from DNG to cineform?

What are peoples RAW workflows going to be?

I'm hoping that there will be hdsdi triggering so i can use a hyperdeck shuttle to record proxies for immediate editing, then most likely dump raws to a 12 terabyte drive, grade all dailes first then create prores 4:4:4 masters, delete raw files. Reconform proxies edit to masters for finishing. Seems messy any better ideas?

December 26, 2012

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ryan

I think you can record pro res as well as raw at the same time on the machine.

December 26, 2012

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Ed David

Transcoding time on my laptop is about the same (via USB3) as just copying the files from the SSD.
And yeah, triggering works with the latest firmware.

December 27, 2012

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Frank Glencairn

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