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BlackMagic Cinema Camera
EF & MFT lens mount / 2.5K CinemaDNG RAW


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Old March 11th, 2013, 02:15 AM   #1
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BMCC kit reccommendations.

I find myself in a very scenic location, the South Island of New Zealand, with lots of time on my hands and a desire to capture the extraordinary beauty of this place, winter and summer, using a video camera. I know it’s been done before, but not by me. I could use my EX1, and I might anyway, but I’m thinking Black Magic Cinema camera as from the footage I’ve seen shot with this machine it might have more to offer for what I want – scenic eye candy.

Have I got that right? Is the BMC the best tool for the job, better than the EX1? Should I consider another camera keeping in mind the serious budget constraints, less than $12,000.00 all up?

If indeed the BMC is the best choice then which model, what lenses, and what accessories do I need? (I have a high quality tripod, a half-decent home-made slider and a well-heated 9 meter fully self-contained motorhome with a built-in computer work station and a Toyota Corolla in tow and lots of coffee and canned beans).

Suggestions truly appreciated.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 02:38 PM   #2
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

You might start off by mentioning how you'll use the camera. An EX-1 or similar is great for run and gun, for live performances where you have to quickly change framing, etc.

According to what I've read with the BMCC you get more dynamic range (which is a biggy), and especially if shooting RAW, more room to process in post. Plus more resolution. But you'll find the convenience of a zoom lens that keeps it's focus and aperture constant pretty near impossible to find and expensive if one is out there, so quick changes are not going to happen.

And shooting RAW involves a lot of computer power and post work. So partly it's what you want and how you'll use it, then people can give advice.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

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Originally Posted by Eric Lagerlof View Post
You might start off by mentioning how you'll use the camera. .
Thanks Eric, I should be more explicit. My plan is to shoot scenic eye candy and of course that’s definitely not run and gun. Oh contraire, it means studied shots, serious planning and tons of time to get it right, very limited use of zoom, pan and such camera moves. Quick changes of anything are not likely, not necessary, and totally the opposite of what I have in mind. To give an example I might just hang about Central Otago for a few weeks waiting for the autumn colours to come and go; quick shall not be part of the vocabulary. Live performance – not even remotely on my mind.

Computing horsepower - I have a state-of-the-art PC so computer processing should not be a constraint.

I am aware of the points you raise regarding the BMC camera and the dynamic range advantage, in fact that’s why I’m considering this camera.

So regarding how I will use the camera think ‘studied outdoor set pieces’. I also have a stabilized helicopter rig which I might also use.

I hope that clarifies things somewhat.

Cheers.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 03:38 PM   #4
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

I use the Black Magic Hyper Deck Shuttle ( which you might want to consider using with your EX1) and which records, as I understand it, the same varying file formats available on the Black Magic Cinema Camera. These include an uncompressed format, as well as a compressed ProRes format, that is great.

Certainly, you could feed hdmi out of the EX1 and that may be exactly what you want using the Hyperdeck. As you are getting into Cinema cameras, you may find shallower depth of field to be a hinderence to getting a sharp and sparkling nature shot. Shooting with the Shuttle at a $ 327.00 investment, plus the cost of media, may give what you want without laying out $ 3k for the Black Magic Cinema camera.

Then there is still the issue of whether you can even get the Cinema camera.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 06:01 PM   #5
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

Thanks Chris, hadn’t thought of that approach. And while going that route would enable one to work with other than that which the EX1 outputs internally the BMC ‘look’ that impresses reviewers, and me, might not necessarily happen as there is more going on with the BMC than compression type. Of course I would love to hear from someone who has compared footage from the EX1 with footage from the BMC and now that more and more BMC’s are shipping I imagine we might see such comparisons.

My gut feel is that no matter what I do with my EX1 the footage will not look as sweet as the footage from the BMC. I might well be wrong and using the approach you have suggested might be the answer.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #6
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

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Originally Posted by John McCully View Post
My gut feel is that no matter what I do with my EX1 the footage will not look as sweet as the footage from the BMC. I might well be wrong and using the approach you have suggested might be the answer.
No I think that's exactly right. I just sold my EX1r which was a great camera, but it can't touch 2.5k raw.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:36 AM   #7
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

Duane:

Have you actually compared the two in a side by side situation. I've got the Black Magic on order, but I was not expecting it would be that great in the kind of photography described here, but I will be thrilled if it is.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 02:42 AM   #8
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

Chris, check this out. When your BMCC arrives you might just be thrilled.

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Old March 12th, 2013, 10:07 AM   #9
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Duane:

Have you actually compared the two in a side by side situation. I've got the Black Magic on order, but I was not expecting it would be that great in the kind of photography described here, but I will be thrilled if it is.
I wish. If I get the Blackmagic it will be the MFT version so it will be awhile. I've only compared downloadable Vimeo footage and the detail and color from the Blackmagic raw is superior to anything I've shot with my EX1. I prefer the way the Sony handles motion, but the OP said most shots will have limited use of pan or zoom.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:29 PM   #10
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

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Originally Posted by John McCully View Post
Chris, check this out. When your BMCC arrives you might just be thrilled.

Drive Through Snow Canyon with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera on Vimeo
WOW. great choice of music and beautiful shots. Exciting times for filmmakers! and why the hell can't everybody have an affordable camera that can shoot like that? Canon, are you listening? the next version of this camera, if it improves on some issues, may be a giant killer. this version is already wounding the giants, i think, and it really isn't even fully 'out'.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #11
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

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Originally Posted by John McCully View Post
My gut feel is that no matter what I do with my EX1 the footage will not look as sweet as the footage from the BMC.
To me it looks like you are already very sure you will need a BMC to capture what you are after so why even compare it with a ex1, they are totally different camera's for different purposes, if you have the time and the hardware to deal with the raw workflow then just go for it. Also keep in mind that if you find a awesome looking bmc clip, don't expect that you will be getting the same result just like that, it requires experience as I have seen some bad looking bmc clips as well.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 01:51 PM   #12
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

The reason, Noa, that I’m comparing the BMCC with the EX1 is because I already have an EX1 and it is a very capable machine and I have shot some nice scenic footage with it. 'Very sure I need a BMC' - 'want' is the operative word and you are half-right; I believe I am of the opinion that the BMC is capable of delivering a more pleasing image and my mind is half made up, if you will. OK, maybe more than half.

Yes, I do have the time and the (computing) hardware but before I just go for it I’m seeking to prevent buyer’s remorse by soliciting the opinion of you excellent fellows here and in particular I need suggestions regarding a couple of starter lenses that won’t break the bank.

Indeed I have viewed lots of awesome footage already, there is tons out there, and some rubbish I might add (tons of that too especially hand-held). However the general consensus among the ‘experts’ is that the image this camera produces is right up there with machines costing 10x to 20x the price and while shooting with it is not for the faint-hearted or someone on the run for someone (me for instance) with time and patience (and a background in photography – countless hours in the darkroom) it will deliver.

So yes, let’s forget the EX1 and move on to the configuration of my new BMCC.

Why the MFT version?

What lenses?
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Old March 12th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #13
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

Wonder how far out the 4K version is. One of the reasons I haven't jumped on the BMCC is because it only shoots 1080p unless you use raw which is then 2.5K. I think it's a given they will have a 4k version which means the 2.5k is just an intermediary step.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 12:30 AM   #14
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

OK, I’ve been doing a little digging around and here are my current thoughts.

One: the MFT version has not been released yet. I believe I have a much better chance of obtaining an EF mount version in the not too distant future while the MFT version is probably some time away.

Two: while the MFT version is said to enable a larger selection of lenses it seems to me that people already shooting with the EF version are doing just fine. Why would I need a ‘larger selection of lenses’?

I think I might go with an EF mount version because of availability and pick up just a couple of appropriate lenses?

How am I doing?
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Old March 13th, 2013, 05:14 AM   #15
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Re: BMCC kit reccommendations.

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Originally Posted by Duane Adam View Post
Wonder how far out the 4K version is. One of the reasons I haven't jumped on the BMCC is because it only shoots 1080p unless you use raw which is then 2.5K. I think it's a given they will have a 4k version which means the 2.5k is just an intermediary step.
No way you can record 4k uncompressed raw on a SSD.
They would have to go with a compressed format, but you really need a 6k sensor to get 4k out of it by debayering. I doubt we gonna see that soon on a BMC.

If you want compressed 4k of a 4k chip, you probably get better quality by upscaling uncompressed 2.5k raw, like Deakins did it with Skyfall.

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