August 28, 2016 at 12:14PM

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Is BMCC 2.5k really bad?

Hi Guys.
I'm new to film making. Recently, I purchased a Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5k. My goal is to become a music video producer. I also plan to shoot documentaries with the camera.

A friend of mine who is very experienced came by the house recently and said that Blackmagic is a terrible camera for shooting music videos. According to him, the 'color temperature' is hated by most music video producers. Further he pointed out that the camera cannot shoot slow motion (which I already know).
He recommended the Panasonic GH4 or Sony AH7s ii.

Now, I spent way more acquiring the BMCC. My question is, did I make a mistake? Does anyone have any experience with these cameras?

11 Comments

I had a year's worth of experience with the BMCC. I really wanted to like it, but despite some really great promises, I felt it kept letting me down. First off, the DNG RAW files were a royal pain to work with. Second, the lack of an OLPF meant lots of moire patterns when you least expected (or could tolerate) them. Third, the passive m43 lens mount made it impossible to use my high-end, high-spec Olympus f2.0 zoom lenses. Fourth, its fan system was badly designed (both in terms of acoustics and in terms of actual airflow when attached to a tripod).

It was a sad day for me and my bank account when I decided that I could not be happy with the BMCC. I sold it and bought a RED camera system, which is amazing. And 10x more expensive. Such is life.

I also bought a GH4, which I would definitely say costs about what the BMCC costs, but it fixes every single problem of the BMCC, and does it all just a little bit better. It complements by RED cameras nicely.

August 28, 2016 at 2:27PM

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That's not entirely True... The thing is that most people buy the camera and don't know the pros and cons... there are many things about the camera that not even the RED isn't good at. BMD cameras have really great color science and is likened to Arri (read post production blogs where arri and BMD cams were used on the same set). When you Buy A BM camera though you need a IR Cut. I never liked my BMPCC because i kept getting this ridiculous looking image.... when i checked it out , it was IR pollution, got the Hoya IR Cut Filter and then the image that came out of the camera was nothing short of amazing. If you serious about film and image control then dont go back to ridiculous color codecs from Panasonic and Sony. You never made a mistake. Find forums and ask questions, there are people who would be willing to help you with your questions. Your camera is a great camera, just get the necessary things especially that IR Cut Filter and thank me later ;-)

August 30, 2016 at 1:35PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2550

We used a BMCC2.5 EF for a couple of years when it first released and liked it. Mostly a lot of interview and narrative pieces under controlled lighting. Shooting outside without an EVF and the lack of internal battery really was the only major negative. You HAVE to grade it since it's always flat and you need a comfortable rig to go hand held. Considering you're talking music videos, you're probably going to be color correcting a lot anyway.

The whole color science "opinion" is just that....opinion. Look at a few videos online where people can't name the camera when compared with others. I think it's always hilarious when an ARRI can get confused with a GH4 or other DSLR.

It holds up against a RED, so whatever is "BAD" is subjective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTmj6NoByz0

There are a lot of videos out there showing that it still produces a fine image.

August 30, 2016 at 2:06PM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
969

I have been using my BMCC 2.5k (MFT) for the last year now and I really like it. I had a GH4 for a while but really wanted 10bit and 12bit (I shoot RAW a lot). I use a speedbooster and have a Hot mirror in my mattebox all the time. I also use a V- Mount battery as well so my battery lasts all day. I really like the camera. In regards to the previously mentioned "color temperature" that's subjective and depends on the color grading. He may have been referring to its bias to be slightly green which is easily corrected if you know what you are looking for. Anyway, its a great tool that produces a significantly more rich image than available in current "Photo Camera" (GH4, A7s, etc..) options due to their restrictive codec. Although the GH4 with V-Log was a great tool that I used for a long time. I wouldn't say that its significantly better though. You can definitely make great music videos on the BMCC. There are some cameras that are just bad. The BMCC is not one of them. Neither is the GH4 or A7s. So I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. But color depth and low compression is the real strength of this camera.

August 30, 2016 at 8:29PM

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Paul Goodyear
Director/ DP / Writer
147

Thanks a lot for all the responses. I have decided to keep the BMCC. I'm currently enrolled in color correction classes on Lynda. Hopefully, I'll pick up a couple of tips.

August 31, 2016 at 3:35AM

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Moby O
Aspiring Music Video Producer
88

Color correcting a flat image is a whole new world, if you've never done it before. I'd highly recommend using this order of operations when editing BMCC raw: http://noamkroll.com/the-best-order-of-operations-for-color-grading-why-...

Sean Pettis

August 31, 2016 at 5:28PM

Nope! It's an awesome camera. Just shot a feature film in Cinema DNG RAW and I was amazed on how well the camera held up. It's a great camera! The film is: http://www.thisismeg.com

August 31, 2016 at 12:26PM

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Alex Ferrari
Director / Producer
1026

As an owner of a BMCC, GH4, a7S and 5d Mark III, the BMCC is currently what I'm using to shoot my own film projects. I was one of the first to get my hands on the BMCC, during the whole backorder crisis when it first came out and it literally has taken me this entire time to get over its quirks. Now, I love it. I plan on getting the Ursa Mini 4.6k as soon as I can. All that being said, I use the a7S for most of my paid work. If I'm shooting anything that requires even a little bit of guerrilla filmmaking, I don't use the BMCC. That's not to say it can't be used in that style, but I'd prefer to use any of my other cameras for events or weddings. The BMCC has its special uses, but most paying customers will be thoroughly satisfied with the results of someone who knows how to use any of the cameras I've mentioned. Something about the color science, the way movement is captured, the dynamic range and the over aesthetic of BMCC while shooting Cinema DNG RAW looks and feels like film. I've also grown addicted to the challenges that come with working with such a camera, which has in turn made me a better cinematographer.

August 31, 2016 at 5:20PM, Edited August 31, 5:20PM

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Sean Pettis
Filmmaker
449

In case you're still unsure, the Micro Cinema Camera has almost exactly the same if not the same color science, and shoots up to 60p. The only downside is it only shoots 1080p, but it takes Canon batteries and it extremely versatile

September 5, 2016 at 2:49AM

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Ricardo Nunez
Wannabe Cinematographer
86

The BMCC is still my main cam for personal jobs. It has been for quite some time, and I've collected all the neccesary accessoires for it, creating a neat little kit in the process.
For my main work I use the Sony FS7 mainly, but I still love the BMCC.

It has a lot of quircks that you should be aware of.
It requires a LOT of external components to shoot comfortably. (battery sollution, evf, cage etc.)
It kinda needs specific filters (ir cut/nds etc.)

It does not do 4k (kinda standard on most current camera's)
It does not do slowmo (kinda standard on most current camera's)
It's bulky and not complete straight out the box.

Now - the bottomline is this:
Its a great cam with a few restrictions. You will notice its a bit older feature-wise. You will need a lot of gear around it to get the most out of it.

If you DO NOT have the gear needed, I would NOT recommend buying it. There are cheaper/better/newer alternatives out there that do not have the same gear requirements.

If you do have the gear to support it, or are planning on buying that anyways, its a great cam!

September 5, 2016 at 5:30AM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
1039

email me, and I will sell you one, full loaded great price. Let me know... I just finally upgraded, just need to get rid of the BMCC Micro 4/3

September 7, 2016 at 1:13PM

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doman nelson
Director, Editor
154

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