March 3, 2015 at 6:36PM

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Nikon D800 vs. BMCC/BMPCC

I've been all over Vimeo today watching a wealth of material shot on the BMPCC, and I'm totally blown away by its ability to produce images that are just about close to mid-century film stock via color grading. It got me thinking about the type of stop-motion work that I wan't to do, hearkening back to the Harryhausen style of live action/animation hybrids as closely as possible, and I was dead-set on working with the BMPCC.

That is, until I looked at the stats.

I started to remember that I wanted an 'all-rounder' camera, one that can work for public projects as well as personal. I started weighing the pros and cons of it and I now find myself in a quandry. For its amazing ProRes quality, the camera is incompatible with Dragonframe, which is totally crippling for me.

Meanwhile, I currently have my eyes on Nikon D800 as a replacement for my current D5100: a perfect full-frame camera so I can get my RAW still-frame shots the right way (sans cropping) and it's compatible with Dragonframe. But the video is totally compressed unless I pay for an external recorder or I convert my footage to ProRes on the computer (leaving a few nasty artifacts that ruin the illusion).

I really don't know what to do. Should I buy the BMPCC and keep the D5100 for separate gigs or just get the D800 and fiddle with already compressed video to get the look I want?

5 Comments

A couple of things...

The D800 and been replaced by the D810, which will probably make the D800 a better deal when buying used. ( the difference is probably too small when buying new, so I would buy the D810 if buying new )

The Blackmagic Pocket Cine camera is cheap enough that you might be able to buy a Nikon D750 Full Frame camera and the BPCC as well. ( the sensor sizes are very different so you will likely need dedicated BPCC lenses to shoot with )

In your price range you also might look at a used Canon C100 camera, which I've seen going for about $3,000 used. The C100 is a great work-horse camera that is quick to set-up, is almost as good as the Sony A7S for low-light work, can run all day on 2 batteries, has 12 stops of dynamic range right up to 80,000 ISO, and will be easy to sell if you want to upgrade later on.

There are rumors that at NAB 2015 ( around the middle of April ) that both Canon and Panasonic will be showing new cine style cameras that should be in the prosumer price range. This could shake up the used market a fair bit, and I expect it will push used prices even lower. ( I am interested to see what Panasonic has cooked up as some of the rumors sound a little unbelievable: 16 stops of dynamic-range, no real grain until 10,000 ISO, etc... )

March 3, 2015 at 8:00PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32153

Currently, I'm tempted to continue to use my D5100 until I have just about enough to buy a D800. From there, I'll save up enough to buy not only the BMPCC, but also a Metabones speedbooster (there might be a difference in quality, but I refuse to buy even more glass than the three I already have).

At least with the D800 (or with the D5100, for that matter), I can work with RAW pictures of my models and composite them into ungraded live action shot on the BMPCC.

March 3, 2015 at 9:36PM

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BTW, the US version of the TV show "Wilfred" on the FX network was entirely shot with Nikon D800 cameras.

https://library.creativecow.net/kaufman_debra/Wilfred_DSLR/1

March 5, 2015 at 9:27PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32153

I use BMCC and have their limitations but is the best option.

March 4, 2015 at 6:59AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7593

Right now, I'm inching closer to the BMCC 4K, given that its sensor is similar to the D5100, but has a stronger ability to retain color information. I don't know if the D800 can cover that kind of ground.

March 5, 2015 at 8:35PM

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