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

Hey guys. Just wanted to throw it out there that I e-mailed Mosaic Engineering and they said that they are going to work on an anti-aliasing filter for the BMCC as soon as they can get their hands on one. I think this will make this camera an even bigger beast when it comes to image quality.

December 26, 2012

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Ben Corwin

now i m regretting that i didn't pre-order :(

December 26, 2012

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eltaurus

People are forgetting how amazing the colour-science of the the BMCC is. Absolutely kills RED and Canon in this department. Very close to Alexa colour-science.

December 26, 2012

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Voltaire

doesn't kill canon, not by a long shot.

December 26, 2012

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ryan

So long as Canon sticks to an 8-bit colour-palette, it murders and buries it.

December 26, 2012

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Voltaire

You are talking about two different things, Bit Depth and Color Matrix mapping. The C series color reproduction is very similar, its just in a smaller bit bucket, which delivers very similar results with a smaller file size. If you want uncompressed RAW to get to the same place so be it, Maybe you can answer some of my questions above. I hope that in your immutable advocacy there is some knowledge.

December 26, 2012

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ryan

"A smaller bucket" - that's a nice way of putting it. Similar results? I beg to differ. I've seen banding plenty from the C300 and C100 thanks to Canon's cheap-skate 8-bit depth, and skin-tones that look like crayon thanks to their Canon's colour-science - I'm yet to see a single video containing either banding or poor skin-tones from the BMCC.

Further, the BMCC's 10bit ProRes HQ Film Mode really makes the Canon C300/C100 8-bit C-Log look like an overpriced spectacle...oh wait, it is.

As for your questions regarding RAW - give www.bmcuser.com a shot.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, the C-series are good cameras, I'm not gonna deny that, but are definitely not worth their price-tag - and the BMCC really shows just how over-priced those cameras are.

December 26, 2012

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Voltaire

The BMC is the price it is because BM is trying to get their foot in the door - I don't think they are turning much of a profit on it. Who knows why they can be so cheap. Maybe less overhead too.

December 26, 2012

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Ed David

@Voltaire-Have you used a c300/c100 or is this speculation? I haven't experienced crayon skin tones on either camera. I've only seen banding with underexposed shoots have been lifted to much, you're likely to see bayer pattern in similar situations on BMC. If you haven't gotten great results on c100/c300 thats not a reflection on the camera. Further if you are only shooting prores 10 bit then the camera doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If a RAW workflow is too much to handle, then dedicated camera ops is probably a scarce resource as well, which this camera necessitates more so than others. When you have to rig battery, evf, mattebox, rail support, and IR ND just to shoot outside, its almost as cumbersome as RED to shoot. So is 10 bit vs 8 bit worth the burden of a more difficult camera to use? For actual productions, not forum theory, it really isn't. If you are shooting RAW, then how long before the costs of storage actually makes the BMC more expensive than those "overpriced" cameras. People are going to bend-over backwards to make this camera work for them to get that "film" look when there are other cameras that will allow you to shoot more. I'm starting to believe that the "canon is too expensive" is just an excuse for why BMC guys are twiddling their thumbs while c300/c100 operators are out shooting.

December 26, 2012

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ryan

Ryan if I run into you beer's on me. It's generous of you to help ground the discussion in reality.

For the rest of ya's, please, you can praise your dream toy all you want, but insisting the essentially still-imaginary camera is better than something professionals are working with daily is (hopefully!) going to get you some blowback. And to me indications are this camera is going to end up even more disappointing in practice than the disappointment it's already caused for those who preordered on false promises.

I suggest you look at this thing as an experimental prototype, "something fun to try" and arrange to play with one risk-free for a few days before diving in. Also play with the similarly affordable options from Canon and Sony that are proven and available, with cheap external recorders (even from BMD themselves) that get you much of the BMCC's innovation but on a mature platform. Do total cost of ownership tallies, and think about how the options are really going to fit into your life. Give each system a fair comparative test.

I think your conclusions once you settle down are going to be in line with better reasoning.

December 26, 2012

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Peter

Canon Color Science near Blackmagics?

Coldest day in hell it must be.

December 27, 2012

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Kholi

thank you for making discussion circular and futile

December 27, 2012

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ryan

From dashing BMD pitchman John Brawley:

http://www.eoshd.com/content/8945/canon-c300-vs-blackmagic-cinema-camera...

Green tint (with no in-cam adjustment), false color, moire, lower res...forgettable.

Kudos to Mr. Brawley for piercing the reality distortion field with that post. He retains cred.

December 26, 2012

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Peter

Peter, you do realise that that test was from a pre-production BMCC? As for Canon, here's the false colour, moire, and fringing they'll give you for the ridiculous sum of $16,0000: http://nofilmschool.com/2012/12/canon-fixes-c300-color-fringing/

December 26, 2012

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Voltaire

We'll see if BMD fixes that image...and my suspicion is the "sensor glass crisis" thing is an excuse. They are struggling with firmware issues, getting various EF lenses to work, that sort of thing. They are keeping the camera scarce for now trying to get it ready for primetime. The massive aliasing in that image is due to the lack of an OLPF on a low-res sensor...and addressing that with a snap-in OLPF/anti-aliasing filter will just reduce resolution even lower. The BMCC actual resolving capability may be less than 1000 lines with moire and less than 800 lines without it...more comparable to a 5D3.

One hopes someone is brave enough to post such results when the production camera and the snap-in OLPF are available. It wouldn't be mean to do so...it would be mean not to.

Canon on the other hand did fix highlight color fringing (different than false color, which you can see there's virtually none of in the C300) for the C100, and they have a fixed firmware for the C300 and my speculations why it isn't published yet are attached to that post. The C100+Ninja 2 option is really and truly one of the best deals in cameras right now (the FS700+Ninja 2 being its main competitor), but no one's made a lot of noise about it yet because those people already paid double for the C300 last year and are probably miffed Canon has already undercut them with a better system. I hope BMD will similarly undercut and overdeliver on their first generation as quickly!

December 26, 2012

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Peter

It's on par with Alexa and RED, it kills everything else below.

December 26, 2012

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Natt

I feel like it's extremely close to Alexa, better than RED, and absolutely destroys the rest - Canon C series especially.

December 26, 2012

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Voltaire

I think having more dynamic range than the Red is great - but lets not forget the issues with a micro 4/3rds sensor for your lenses vs Super 35mm. But the work I am seeing from the BMC is incredible.

I definitely agree that it has better color science out of the gate than the Red, (want to see more tungsten shooting with it) - but maybe Red will respond with Red Color4 that helps that.

Competition is a very good thing.

December 26, 2012

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Ed David

December 26, 2012

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hazem abdulrab

Confused why people keep stating the DR on the BMCC is greater than RED MX? Can someone please explain?

December 27, 2012

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RED Overstates their DR numbers, like most manufacturers do honestly. MX is nowhere near 13 stops, it's 11 on a good day. Scarlet might be 12 if you treat it nicely.

There are several tests that prove out RED's DR numbers are inaccurate as far as "usable" goes, anyway. Alexa's 13~13.5... that's the bar to measure by, and none of RED's offerings that exist as of today get there.

Reading some of these comments, especially from the usuals (you know who you are)... great entertainment.

Keep 'em coming. =P

December 27, 2012

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Kholi

Thanks Kholi. Appreciate the response.

December 28, 2012

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Can the black magic cinema camera also take stills? Or can it just do video? As I cannot find this anywhere?

Cheers

December 28, 2012

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Amco Mertens