June 4, 2013

Canon 5D Mark II RAW or BMCC & Alexa or BMCC: Can You Spot Which is Which?

Each camera you use has strengths and weaknesses, and it's common for bigger productions to use multiple cameras and formats depending on those attributes. Though many discussions often make the situation about one camera over another (especially with the recently released Magic Lantern hack), there are plenty of times where two or more cameras can be used in the same production to achieve a specific result. In the videos below, see if you can spot which camera is which (Arri Alexa, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Canon 5D Mark II RAW), and also think about how they can be used to complement each other.

Thanks to Mitch at planet5D for sharing, here is  with the Canon 5D Mark II and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera:

Same lens used - Samyang 35mm 1.4

Same shutter speed 1/200 - 45 degrees

ISO 100 on the 5D, ISO 800 On the BMCC (both native)

Same Aperture 2.8

Camera position shifted to compensate for crop factor.

BMCC in 2.5k Raw mode, 5D Mkii in 1880x1058 (highest 16:9 image currently possible on 5d Mkii)

Both Processed in Adobe After effects via Adobe raw converter using the same preset - no sharpening, no NR. The only thing different in the processing is: Exposure (to compensate for ETTR), White balance (because each camera is slightly different).

The scene was exposed for the Globe or plant pot. Any highlights were allowed to be blown on both cameras.

http://vimeo.com/67593506

This is a commercial for the BOSCH Tiger, filmed in Madrid in 2013. The Arri Alexa and Blackmagic Cinema Camera are intercut many times throughout the ad (watch it in higher quality here):

Shot with an Arri Alexa and with a Black Magic Design Cinema Camera. The Alexa mounting a Cooke S4 lens set and the BMCC a set of Contax Zeiss and Leica lenses. Prores with the Alexa and RAW with the BMCC.
In the edit there are 17 shots made with the BMCC and the rest with the Alexa.

http://vimeo.com/62832482

I think if I'd spent a long enough time squinting, I could probably form a guess with the Alexa and the BMCC, but for the most part, they look very, very similar. The BMCC and Canon test is a little more obvious, but what is actually interesting is that I think the smaller sensor of the BMCC gives it away more than any other aspect, like dynamic range or sharpness.

Again, I think it's a far more useful exercise and discussion to talk about not which camera is better than another, but about how you could actually utilize each one, playing off the positive attributes.

For the complete answers, head on over to the Vimeo pages, but feel free to post what you think the answers are and why, as well as how the different cameras could play into a production's needs.

Links:

[via planet5D]

Your Comment

36 Comments

I mentioned this the other day - we're starting to see more BMCC footage in commercials lately, usually used in conjunction with the Alexa. It looks great and cuts/grades very well.
Hotrodcameras doing well selling their PL mount versions.
In regard to that Bosch ad, I think you can tell which is which but only if you look very closely at DOF.

June 4, 2013 at 3:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

I'm curious to see what you say here after the BMPCC and the BMCC 4k come out around the end of July. You're one of the commenters I stop and read as I scroll through.

June 4, 2013 at 7:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

+1

June 4, 2013 at 7:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

I'm on your side mate. The BMCC truly is a baby Alexa. I can't wait for the m4/3 metabones Speed booster to come out and hopefully a firmware update that's let's the BMCC do what they have said the pocket camera will do and that is record lossless compressed RAW - therefore making 2.5k RAW I viable option for extended shooting on a budget!

June 4, 2013 at 8:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Been thinking the new fs700 4K solution might be in the form of a BM camera. I'm really considering it. The quality of footage that's coming from this camera is beautiful. It has its own look and I like it, even the night shots look great.

June 4, 2013 at 8:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

I somewhat prefer the soft colors and look of the BMCC but as a 5D mark 3 owner, I'm loving the raw potential. To me both images are looking wonderful and I'm currently planning on using it on my next gig. Brought a couple of non-magic lantern cards just in case.

June 4, 2013 at 3:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Hubert

mmmm I like DOF, I know, I know, my eletion is very obvios.

June 4, 2013 at 3:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nelson

The DP said which camera was used in each shot on vimeo... Amazing to see how good BMCC intercuts with alexa footage.

I think you can intercut MKIII RAW, BMCC and Alexa without any problems...

I'm not holding my breath on MKII since its moire and aliasing problems are severed in RAW, but MKIII is already going just fine on good 1000x cards in 1080p@24fps. But they're so expensive!!

June 4, 2013 at 4:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Alex Mand

they are ... but pick up one or two whever you have a few bucks lying around, and build up a pocket full ... still a small price to pay for the monster cameras (with great glass) we're all going to have when this hack is released .. which will be when ?

June 4, 2013 at 5:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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sjk

I'm looking for some realiable solutions... heard that komputerbay cards are sort of a lottery. But Hoodman or toshiba cards are really good. On ebay a toshiba 1000x 64gb is $300 bucks... And you know, with 64gb you can't get more than a couple minutes... So for a full day of work I would need at least 10 cards to be safe. And I'm not being exaggerated... Plus a good USB3.0 laptop with a good hard disk...

I don't think it's cheap at all considering SSD prices today...

June 4, 2013 at 6:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Alex Mand

It depends what you're shooting and how much time you have to offload. Shooting an event? Definitely don't use raw! But I don't think you need 640GB (10x64GB cards) if you're say shooting a short film, that's 160 minutes of straight filming before doing any offloading, that seems unlikely considering offloading will only take a few minutes. In controlled situations with the ability to offload a 64GB card to a laptop in 10 minutes I'd personally probably be okay with 3-4x 64GBcards and the Komputerbay ones are £100 each and I already had the camera! You can also completely negate the file size problem on your computer by offloading via the new RAWanizer program, which transcodes from Canon raw to Cineform raw (about 10% the size!) straight from your card at a very fast speed if not real time transfer speed. Those Cineform raws are amazing and can be played back no problem in quicktime let alone in your NLE and have all the raw goodness of any other raw, so you can change exposure, white balance, gamma, detail etc etc.

June 5, 2013 at 4:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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1 BMCC
2 BMCC
3 Alexa
4 Alexa
5 BMCC
6 Alexa
7 BMCC
8 BMCC
9 Alexa
10 BMCC
11 Alexa
12 BMCC
13 BMCC
14 BMCC
15 Alexa
16 Alexa
17 Alexa
18 Alexa
19 Alexa
20 Alexa
21 BMCC
22 BMCC
23 Alexa
24 Alexa
25 Alexa
26 BMCC
27 Alexa
28 BMCC
29 Alexa
30 BMCC
31 BMCC
32 Alexa
33 BMCC
34 BMCC
35 BMCC
36 BMCC
37 Alexa
38 Alexa
39 Alexa
40 Alexa
41 Alexa
42 Alexa

June 4, 2013 at 4:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Richard Green

I just can't see anyone using the 5DM2 raw for production at this point. File sizes are way too large, and the workflow too clunky.

June 4, 2013 at 5:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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steve

It doesn't hurt to give it a try though:
https://vimeo.com/67501777

June 5, 2013 at 1:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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June 5, 2013 at 1:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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New RAWanizer program is actually pretty awesome workflow, offload straight from the card via the ap to playable Cineform 10% size raw files, so no big raw files ever land on your computer. Edit the files in premiere while grading them in cineform studio (at the same time!), the metadata updates and pow your edited files have the grading you just did.

June 5, 2013 at 4:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Have you got any more info on this? Im on the fence between getting mark 2/3 for RAW or the BMCC. This would be the tipping point for me!

October 9, 2013 at 3:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John

Hey John,
My production team just launched our website RAW5D3.com. Its got a lot of really great information about Shooting 5d3 Raw, the workflow and some of our test footage, we are working hard on getting the rest of our work. But let me say this. After having extensively used the Red One, BMCC, 5D3(no RAW), and 5D3RAW. I now personally choose 5d3Raw for almost every shooting situation. Its small, has interchangeable batteries, nice depth of field, great lattitude (especially with dual iso) and grades really well. Hope that helps!

October 10, 2013 at 9:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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for me the canon raw works as a b camera with the Alexa

June 4, 2013 at 6:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DIO

You can still see moire on some of the BMCC shots though, hope that goes away in future BlackMagic cameras.

June 4, 2013 at 6:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Raphael Wood

For the plant shot, I'm guessing A is the MkII due to aliasing on some of the leaves. No idea for the globe shot.

June 4, 2013 at 6:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

In the first video, detail in the background is the give away. BMCC has far more detail in the objects not in the forefront.

June 4, 2013 at 7:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

One could probably toss KineRaw S35 onto the pile... higher priced than BMCC and 5D MK III but is RAW from the get-go and seems to have better ergonomics and so on ...

June 4, 2013 at 11:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I love that the BMCC competes and complements the Alexa so nicely! I believe the biggest factor for both these cameras is the lenses used. Either of these cameras can sink or swim depending on the lens used!

June 5, 2013 at 12:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I think this is kind of an easy thing to intercut. It is skintone and white and pretty low saturation at that. Even if you couldnt get them to match i n primaries you could bruteforce this with secondaries in post. I am much more interested i a complex scene with multiple strong colors then we can see how well they match.

June 5, 2013 at 1:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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T

Ha! I can't believe my eyes! The 5D footage at ISO 100 has a crapton of noise in the shadows compared to the ultra clean BMCC at ISO 800!:D Who said full frames are cleaner again?:D

June 5, 2013 at 5:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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quobetah

From our tests at RAW5d3.com we have found some interesting things with noise, which is there are specific ISO's that the 5D just doesn't perform well with. However, after shooting our night shots last night and pushing our footage up to 6400, I think you would be impressed with the lack of noise that exists in 5D's native ISO's

October 10, 2013 at 9:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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"Each camera you use has strengths and weaknesses, and it’s common for bigger productions to use multiple cameras and formats depending on those attributes. " I like how you opened with this sentence, Joe

June 5, 2013 at 8:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe

He'd should've had a mkiii instead of the mkii....it's a huge improvement with noise and moire....

June 6, 2013 at 8:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kendrick

I don't like the concept. It would have been better if the man with the VC ran for his life, not allowing the tiger to have him for dinner. Camera shots are nice.

June 6, 2013 at 10:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Paul

Another Bosch employee probably had to hoover up his remains.

June 7, 2013 at 7:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John

From a price point of view, I'm getting most out of switching to the 5D M3 (owning a M2 at the moment), as it is a versatile, high-end stills camera that i can use for making money as a photographer whilst at the same time capable of recording RAW video beyond HD. This finally justifies its high price, as the digic 5+ processor seems to be the game changer for FullHD RAW on Canon DSLRs (that and fast CF cards). But I'm just going to wait a little longer and see how the DSLR RAW video revolution plays out on the professional market. With reliability not proven to 100% at the moment, this just seems to be the right thing for now.

June 7, 2013 at 9:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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MattN.

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June 7, 2013 at 2:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back as I'm trying to create my own personal website and would love to
learn where you got this from or what the theme
is called. Kudos!

December 18, 2013 at 3:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Good to know. How does the 5DmkII/7D fit into that spectrum?

March 4, 2014 at 10:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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JH

Can someone please give me some info, what do you think is the best DLSR on the market for shooting? Would you say the 5Dmkiii? What about the mkii or the 7D? Is there anything else competing?

I think you have to remember with the DLSRs, especially like the 5Ds, is that your are also getting an AMAZING stills camera for the price. That really is the deal breaker as far as value goes..
And I think they also hold their value better because of that. A 5D is going to be a great stills camera for much longer time than the BM will be a great video camera.

March 4, 2014 at 10:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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JH