MFT or EF Blackmagic Cinema Camera? Philip Bloom Weighs in and Reviews the Micro 4/3 BMCC
The Micro 4/3 mount Blackmagic Cinema Camera was announced back in September 2012, and just recently we saw that beta cameras were starting to ship to people around the world. Many have asked which camera they should be ordering (since they both sell for $3K and you can switch your pre-order to EF), and while we've done our best to answer that question (and more), it's always good to hear the perspective of someone who has used both models. Philip Bloom reviewed the camera back in September, but he finally got an MFT camera to try out, and he's posted his review online. Check it out below.
If you missed it before, here is his review of the EF mount version of the camera (Blackmagic addressed some of the initial concerns in firmware V1.1 and firmware V1.2, like DNxHD, on-screen aperture display, and universal hard drive support with exFAT):
I'm certainly partial to the MFT mount because of more lens compatibility (and that's the one I've had on pre-order since shortly after they were made available). You're losing two things with the MFT mount camera: image stabilization and camera control of the iris. While products like Redrock's Micro LiveLens will allow you to control the iris on Canon lenses with the MFT mount camera, nothing will ever give you back image stabilization, so if that's a major concern for you, you may want to look at the EF camera instead.
The EF BMCC really only allows Canon, Nikon, and Leica lenses to be used, but the MFT mount opens up all sorts of options, including manual iris Micro 4/3 (like the new SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95) and PL mount lenses. Even though you may not own lenses currently in all of the possible mounts, the MFT camera gives you much more flexibility. For example, while they may be expensive to own, there could be projects in the future that allow (or require) you to use PL lenses.
Certainly some people will find the auto iris setting on the camera to be helpful with the EF mount, but I think that unless you're very heavily invested in Canon lenses, and you're not interested in getting an adapter, the MFT camera is a better investment. There have been some rumors of an electronic MFT mount, which got even more heated when it was announced that Blackmagic was joining the MFT foundation (which as it turns out doesn't mean that much), but it's not clear when we might see a version of the camera with an electronic mount capable of taking many of the Panasonic lenses that need power. Obviously that would be the ultimate version of the camera, but there has been some talk that an electronic mount would require some redesigning of the camera itself -- so it's possible we won't see an electronic version in this design.
I would be surprised to see an announcement for a new version of the camera at NAB, especially since there are still shortages for the EF version (and no deliveries of the MFT version), but anything is possible.
Which camera did you order? If you have an EF mount, are you also looking at getting an MFT mount? Which one do you prefer?