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BlackMagic Cinema Camera
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Old May 29th, 2012, 04:36 PM   #151
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

I love the idea of this camera, and I love what this idea is going to do the industry in general. I've been in the industry for a while now and when I started, shooting indy films was not affordable given that if you wanted that cinema look you had to get a 35mm camera and a few rolls of film. Your other option was a DVCAM and even that was 6K or more. It's a good time to be film maker, an even better time for the guys and gals getting out of film school. This reminds me of the film revolution of the early 1900s, maybe the Golden Age of cinema will make a return.

That being said, I'm stuck on what camera to start off with. I've been doing post for almost a decade now and haven't even thought of shooting a short until now. My original choice was the Nikon D800, but being that the BMDC is the same price and actually produces a very film like image I'm now torn on which direction to go. The DSLR offers full frame functional versatility but less cinema like and more artifacts (moire, aliasing), the BMDC offers very cinema like high dynamic images in RAW format but lacks in functions. I like the internal SSD recorder, but the Nikon can use a Ninja 2...BMDC has no 60fps and no timelapse, DSLR does....flexible functionality or pretty 2.5k high dynamic image....tough.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 04:49 PM   #152
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

I wouldn't put too much reliance on the camera, the key parts lie elsewhere. Believe me, the camera is the easy bit.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 05:46 PM   #153
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

Though the camera isn't everything, it sets limits and defines which lenses you need. And that defines how much light you need. And weight, rolling shutter, and image stabilization define the grip gear you need. In other words, it's an important choice and one that must be made.

In deciding, it's good to know what one will shoot and what one's preferred style might be. From Tony's post, he certainly wants a big sensor cam for a 35mm look. Then again, as a post guy, he knows the value of RAW for color correction.

I'd recommend figuring out a lens set. On a crop DSLR, the 17-55/2.8 IS is a great place to start. It goes from moderate wide to tele with f/2.8 speed and includes stabilization. Lens choices aren't as straightforward for the BMC. Soon, there will be a Mosaic Engineering anti-aliasing filter for the 7D, so that's a consideration.

The big difference between a DSLR and shooting RAW is that you really want to get your lighting and exposure on the mark with DSLRs - as well as your use of settings such as picture styles. And that's not a bad skill to have. One reads about the advantage of changing the look in post, but I personally find that I have a vision for the look before I ever start, and if I'm serious I do some tests. It's not like I'll shoot a romantic comedy and want to change it to a dark green look any more than I'd do a vampire film in pastels.

But there are limits. If the goal is to really push the colors, the BMC could be the ticket - assuming you can build a good lens set for it.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 03:18 PM   #154
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

Any basic starting lens package should coincide with the three basic coverage angles in cinema right? The Long shot, the medium shot, and the close up. So i was thinking three Nikon primes, a wide angle (20mm), a medium angle (50mm) and a long or telephoto (85mm). Of course comes the argument of whether to go zoom or prime. Figuring that the BMC is a 16mm equivalent sensor camera that uses full frame lenses, a zoom would probably be more flexible when dealing with the crop?
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Old May 30th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #155
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

A 20mm, 50mm, and 85mm would be a wide/medium/tele on a full frame camera. (I'd highly recommend 24mm or 28mm for a normal wide however for FF.) Going off of sensor widths, the crop factor of the BMC is 2.28 (or 0.44.) That means you'd be looking at something like a 11mm, 22mm, and a 37mm lens kit for the BMC. You could do an f/2.8 zoom kit with the Tamron 11-17 and the Canon 17-55 IS. In fact, that would get you to an equivalent of 125mm, which is a nice closeup length.

If you want faster lenses (and you might if you want shallow DOF), replace the 17-55 with the 24/1.4L and 35/1.4L. Add a fast 50mm for true closeups.

Then again, one might want to look at 16mm or 4/3rds lenses and adapters to see if there are good options there. One nice thing about using 35mm glass is that the smaller sensor will only see the center, sweet spot of the lens. Falloff and corner softness won't be an issue. However, the pixels are smaller, so you'll want sharp glass.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 06:48 PM   #156
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

I like the BMCC and seriously thought about pre-ordering one, but I wound up getting a FS100 to replace my 5d2. The FS100 has 11 ISO steps from 500 on up, real XLR inputs, records to ridiculously cheap SD cards and uses plentiful Sony batteries that can give you a full days shooting on just one if you get the NFP-970. You also have lots of frame rate and resolution options and the ability to shoot just 1fps for easy-peasy time lapses. The crop factor is only 1.5, so my 16-50 has a FOV equal to 24-70. The E-mount is easy to adapt pretty much any lens on the planet. The 6 available picture profiles are so customizable its overwhelming, so I cheat and use a few that others have developed. I bought mine used with 3 hours of recording time on it for far less than full retail. I can get 4:2:2 color space with an external recorder, though its only 8-bit. The low light capabilities of the FS100 really sold me on the camera, its just so clean at 6400, I can't imagine the d800 being any better and it completely spanks the 5d2. I love the image from the BMCC, but to kit it out would easily eclipse what I have into my FS100 since you need to run external batteries, SSD's and I still have questions about the quality of audio. Just my two cents...
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Old May 30th, 2012, 07:33 PM   #157
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

We pretty much mirror your thinking Chris.
Even as a small shop we have a pretty wide range of week to week creative challenges, but everything we write and produce whether TV spots, docs, promos or web content is narrative with a 35mm style going back to the original P&S mini35.

I'm tired of using different cameras to cover our needs and really hoped that Canon would do something other than the 1D-C to add 60p 1080. I can't justify 30k for a pair of them with the number of limitations they still have.

Both the 1D-C and BM will be great for specific roles, but I think we're in a similar situation to a lot of shops that produce their own work exclusively. Today, 2012, there are finally a few options for cameras that can be on set or location, fully loaded and tethered, and the next week shooting back country from a snowmobile or following doc subjects around the world.

We don't need 4k we need great 1080p recorded in camera for lots of work with the option of better color space for other work. And we need variable frame rates to at least 60p for lots of work.

And that camera needs the full set of functions that DSLRs just don't...including the 1D-C

In this regard, with all things considered, the FS100 just made too much sense. For all the things you mention and more, a pair of these cameras would be too good a deal even at 10k each.
At 5k each it's the best camera concept on the market.
And we keep our 5Ds which creates a wealth of acquisition options when you need them but aside from the Alexa, the FS100 (and FS700) offers the best all in one option for a lot of creative shops.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 12:35 PM   #158
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

The thing is there's all types of filming out there. Cinema, documentary, event, ect... For the professional who does a bit of everything, a camera like the AF100 or the FS100 are great. But expensive, both cameras without lens are over 4k and to be able to get the flexibility in lenses you need to get an adapter which are very expensive. But, it's still damn affordable for a pro videographer looking for a do all camera. How about guys who only want to do film projects? Don't need half the stuff thats on those cameras, even with the on board xlr and supplied mic, the built in preamp still doesn't cut it ,so a external recorder will eventually be bought anyway. Handle, grip, zoom toggle, shoulder bad, built in nd filters, view finder, high iso...not really needed for a film shoot. A doc and event shooting hell yeah, definitely needed, but not for film. On a film shoot you do have some time to properly set things up, so all you need is a little box that shoots video. Thats why cameras like the Arri and Red are nothing but paper weights. Cost wise, most film makers, like any artist probably don't make a lot of income from their projects if any, so budget is a real concern. Thats why a camera like the BMC is making big waves with indy film makers, to provide excellent film like image quality for such a low price is exactly what we wanted. Only problem with this camera is the sensor, it's far too limiting. You'll be getting the same look with all your project, which is fine if you only do one type of genre. A DSLR with the full frame and endless lens choices will still give you more freedom to manipulate your shot to how you want. Because seriously for a film maker all you need is a good sensor in a box.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 12:59 PM   #159
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

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Originally Posted by Tony Rodney View Post
\ For the professional who does a bit of everything, a camera like the AF100 or the FS100 are great. But expensive, both cameras without lens are over 4k and to be able to get the flexibility in lenses you need to get an adapter which are very expensive. But, it's still damn affordable for a pro videographer looking for a do all camera.
It's all about perspective, but for anyone producing professionally for years, these cameras are dirt cheap.
Our Canon XL2 s with mini35s cost about 20k each without lenses. We're not videographers, don't do any events or video, we shoot 35mm film style with extensive lighting even for outdoor action work. There's no real downside or pigeonholing a camera like the FS100.

I'd argue that any film maker needs a lot more than a senor in a box. That film maker needs all of the things on and in an Alexa or Epic or FS100 whether they come rigged or are rigged for the shoot. And many of the controls not in the BM can't be rigged, they're just missing features.

For small shops flexibility is key, so having cameras that can shoot without extensive rigging when necessary or be tethered to a Hyperdeck and large monitor etc. is simply better than one that is simply a box.

It's impossible to know anything until there's a real BMC production model, but seeing the shrinking list of flexibility, crop issues, poor screen, limited frame rates etc. our enthusiasm for the BM for anything other than rigged studio work simply abated.

8 bit codec aside (and it's being lauded by most everyone that's used it) the FS100 is the closest thing to an Alexa or Epic on the market in many essential ways for day to day film production. And having three of them for a fraction of the cost of the others is amazing for any film makers shooting 1080p which almost all of us are...those of us getting paid to do it.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 05:18 PM   #160
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

What about a FS700 with all of the good things of a FS100 but with more resolution, better color, less low light banding and built in ND filters? The ideal rig is an F7100/700 and a BM Cinema camera.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 10:11 PM   #161
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

I realize everyone's needs are different and the BMCC is certainly an attractive option - especially for indie filmmakers. I dabble in a little of everything so I need a little more versatility than the Blackmagic box offers - especially in the ISO department. By all means its a bargain though, at $3000 with Davinci essentially means you're paying $2000 for a camera that can record raw or prores and getting some killer color software. Like I said - I really looked at preordering one, its just not a good fit for what I do. Nice to have so many high quality options though...
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Old June 1st, 2012, 04:24 PM   #162
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

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...a camera like the AF100 or the FS100 are great. But expensive, both cameras without lens are over 4k...
True for the FS100, but the AF100's price is dropping steadily. Right now, it is http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004LV68IC.

Folks at the $3000-$3500 price point who want a 'large' sensor, interchangeable lens digital cinema camera with built-in headphone audio monitoring now have to decide whether they want the D800, BMC, 5DMkIII or AF100. As someone said earlier in this thread, this is a great time to be a filmmaker - maybe the best time in history.

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Old June 9th, 2012, 05:54 AM   #163
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

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Originally Posted by Philip Lipetz View Post
Lots of strange decisions like omitting compressed 60p becuase they could not do it with RAW. Seem to think this is a RAW cam when most people will shoot log compressed. Only three ISO settings, 400, 800, 1600. Only three WB settings. This is a very crippled camera.

Everyone wants RAW and sees only that, ignoring the usability of the camera and the extreme workflow and post production equipment requirements.
I suspect someone told you it was RAW that prevented 60p was wrong. Depending on which chip they chose and DSP power/heat issues -- the system may simply not be able to run faster than 30p.

You do not get "log compressed" from the camera. A non-log gamma curve is applied to the log data obtained from the sensor/DSP. One non-log gamma curve id REC709. The other is a flatter curve.

Likewise, I don't think you get ProRes RGB 12-bit 4444. (I'd love to be wrong.) You get ProRes 10-bit 422 -- HQ I think.

You are IMO so right about the frenzy for RAW. Software for the KineFlow S8 takes 1 minute per frame. Using the CinemaDNG importer for AE or Pr takes lots of time.

With AE you can export ProRes 12-bit RGB 4444 -- which is very nice with FCP X which will auto-create ProRes Proxy in the background during import. (This takes time and works only for OS X users!)

With Pr you really need to render your timeline to something like ProRes Proxy is you are going to playback at full speed. (This takes time and works only for OS X users!)
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Old June 9th, 2012, 07:37 AM   #164
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

the guy who told me was Dan May, the official Blackmagic rep demoing the camera.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 03:49 PM   #165
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Re: New! Blackmagic 2.5K Raw cinema camera!

When asked about the brochure, he corrected it himself at great length. The sensor output is converted to log. But, neither ProRes nor DNxHD outputs are log formats! If they were, they couldn't be used! In most cases, you'll choose will be REC709 so they can be used by all NLEs.

It would be possible to output 10-bit log C, but every NLE would need a log C import plug-in. And, the camera would need a log C LUT. (Yes, you can use CC to try to recover the a signal from log C. But, it's a pain.)

However, there are log C importers for FCP and fcp x so in theory BM could add a third gamma curve to ProRes and DNxHF. So maybe he let slip a secret! Perhaps that's what BM means by a "filmic" gamma curve. That would be a killer feature!
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