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Old April 11th, 2015, 03:36 AM   #1
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Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

I”m having some luxury decisions to make, not really worth discussing but maybe some might chime in and shine a light on my troubled mind.

I’m turning 50 next week and decided to spoil myself with yet another camera, but a pocketable one this time and not one I plan to use for my business, but something just for fun to record whatever interests me in life. I do already have a collection of short films I made just to give a idea what I like to shoot in my free time: https://vimeo.com/album/2256730 and I want something small, light and easy to carry with me and I do have higher expectations about image quality.

I had 2 camera’s in mind; a sony rx100 III or a Panasonic LX100, the Sony is the only camera that deserves the title “pocketcamera” so it should be a obvious choice but the lx100 does have the advantage of providing more raw detail but both are excellent camera’s.

So yesterday I was browsing the larger online retailers in Belgium and the Netherlands to compare prices and I came across a Dutch store that had the black magic cinema pocket camera on sale for less then half the price, the general price for the bmpcc is 1190 euro (about the same in dollar) but this store was selling it for 520 euro. It’s a store with a good reputation and with a physical store in the Netherlands so it’s no scam, their offer lasted as long as they had stock of the camera.

Both the rx100 and lx100 are around 750 to 800 euro now and I know both will serve me well but now that the bmpcc is at this price I am very tempted, even knowing it is a challenging camera in the field and in post but that seems to be part of the fun. I also have a large set of m4/3 lenses so got that part covered.

Exploring the raw capabilities of this camera interests me most but I fear I might be in over my head when I have to deal with the files in post, I have been looking at many bmpcc videos and only a handful so far looked gorgeous but most other had a pretty weird color, often very washed out and yellowish. Many videos also looked soft, as if they where out of focus and some videos also had blown highlights in high contrast scenes, something I would not expect from a camera that's supposed to have 13 stops of DR. But the few very good ones I saw did proof the camera could provide excellent results in the right hands.

I’m also not sure if the black hole in the sun has been solved and if there still is that “orb” issue you get with carlights or anything very bright like sun reflections on water?

Am I crazy even considering this almost 2 year old camera? I don’t want to wait and see what Nab has to offer now because all 3 camera’s I mentioned are sufficient for my needs and fit within my budget and I don’t want to wait another few months before the next big thing gets delivered plus the current 50+% discount deal on the Bmpcc looks like a bargain, or not?
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Old April 11th, 2015, 06:16 AM   #2
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

The Pocket camera is now a excellent entry level cinema like imaging device. Most of the sensor issues have been tweeked and the image that this camera can make under the right conditions is amazing.I would not consider this camera a walk around camera though. The battery issues alone would diswade me.
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Old April 11th, 2015, 12:34 PM   #3
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

I have one mounted on a Nebula 4000. The camera battery gives up long before the stabilizer battery. So I stick a few extra batteries in my pocket - the flip side of short battery life is that the batteries are small and light. If I were just hand carrying it I'd power it from an Anker or similar battery on my belt or one of the (brand forgotten at the moment) batteries that will mount under the camera. Or just carry a few extra batteries.

The way I look at it, the big issue with BlackMagic is that (except maybe for the URSA) they don't sell cameras, they sell a lens mount with a sensor and a recorder and the buyer has to sort of supply the missing pieces to wind up with a functional camera. Starting from that assumption, I'm quite happy with them. If I expected a real camera I'd be disappointed. I bought a couple of them when they were half-price here and at that price point adding the Metabones EF SpeedBooster made sense since I had a lot of Canon glass already.

Oh yeah - without something like a Z-finder you can't really use them outdoors here in Arizona. And did I mention the ND filters that I have to carry? Again, in my case I already had the glass and ND filters and batteries and etc etc etc so the BMPCC made sense. YMMV

By the way, one good thing (?) about living in the desert is that reflections off of water are the least of my worries.

Last edited by Jim Andrada; April 11th, 2015 at 03:32 PM.
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Old April 12th, 2015, 05:22 AM   #4
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

This is a difficult one, for my purpose I need about three 64gb sandisc extreme cards to shoot raw, a viewfinder loupe for accurate focusing and 3 aftermarket batteries which brings the total costs about 200 euro above the lx100 which I can start using without having to spend anything extra.

What puts me of the most is that 9 out of 10 videos I have been looking at online the past 2 days looks like crap, it's either soft looking, like out of focus or has a weird color. Philip Bloom, who's work I always liked, made that Venice video which also looks weird to me, washed out and weird looking colors and I don't see 13 stops of DR, just highly compressed blacks and even the original file you can download has distracting moire and aliasing issues.

Also the very few videos I found which looked very good are also a mixed bag of good and bad shots, as if every new shot is a challenge to get it right. Raw generally also looked much better then prores, more detailed, better DR and nicer color. Nailing the exposure seems crucial with this camera for best results and it looks like it's not just a matter of reading the histogram and zebra's but I read that a light meter would provide the best results.

I don't intent to use the camera I want as point and shoot and I do take my time to set up each shot carefully, a luxury I often don't have when shooting weddings, but at this point I"m uncertain the bmpcc is the right one for me, even at it's current high discount price, it might be a bit of a too handful for me.
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Old April 12th, 2015, 08:13 AM   #5
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

I can't comment on the BMPCC as I have never been around one, but I would go with the LX100. You get nice stills and nice video in a small package. The batteries and memory cards will be easy. I want my walk around/fun camera to be easy and good.

If the LX100 did not have the (stupid) 30min record limit I would replace my LX7 in a heartbeat. These cameras also work well as POV cameras in working situations.
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Old April 12th, 2015, 10:39 AM   #6
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

i was looking at something pocket-able too for a walk-around camera.
cant make up my mind though!
I like the bigger sensor and 4K in the LUMIX LX100
on the other hand the the RX100 3 has a tilt-able screen and will fit in your pocket and seems to be a good all rounder.
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Old April 12th, 2015, 11:37 AM   #7
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

Get bigger pockets and buy a Sony A7S... Wink
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Old April 12th, 2015, 12:35 PM   #8
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

Quote:
Get bigger pockets and buy a Sony A7S... Wink
You mean bigger wallet? :) At my last holiday I had my sony rx10 with me which is about the same size as a a7s and it was cumbersome to drag around all day, I really want something more pocketable, something that you hardly notice it's there when not in use.

Quote:
I like the bigger sensor and 4K in the LUMIX LX100
on the other hand the the RX100 3 has a tilt-able screen and will fit in your pocket and seems to be a good all rounder.
When it comes to IQ, the lx100 is a better camera but it's not exactly something you can put in your pocket, the rx100 you can + it has a build in nd, just like the rx10 which I find a advantage as well.

It's like I said before, this is just a luxury problem and maybe I"m over-thinking it :)
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Old April 12th, 2015, 01:43 PM   #9
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

I have no complaint about the picture quality/color/etc.And I do use mine for just walking around kind of stuff. But I think an M43 small DSLR might be better suited if that were my main use. I usually have a Zeiss 18mm prime lens and the SpeedBooster and the Z-finder on the camera so it's not particularly small or lightweight by the time it's all put together. The Zeiss is a really really beautiful lens, but heavy.

I'll see if I can round up a few clips.
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Old April 12th, 2015, 02:31 PM   #10
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

Here is one video I found from the bmpcc where there are several really nice shots but a few look out of focus, I"m also surprised how much detail there is, almost looks like 4k downsampled to 1080p in some cases and here I think the color is just superb. Don't know why but this camera keeps intriguing me, even with it's quirks.

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Old April 12th, 2015, 02:41 PM   #11
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

I also liked this one a lot:

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Old April 12th, 2015, 09:24 PM   #12
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

Add my vote to Sean's suggestion of a Sony A7. I've recently purchased the Mk II variant for stills and it's absolutely awesome. Fantastic cameras with top notch full frame sensors.

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Old April 13th, 2015, 01:28 AM   #13
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

I already have 3 camera's with the same formfactor as a a7s, I want something smaller and easier to have with me all day plus it would mean buying a new lens as well as I only have m4/3 lenses which would take me up to 4 times the budget I had in mind. I"m also not a "still" person, at holiday I usually snap a few shots but they often don't even get used afterwards, my wife is the photographer in the family :)
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Old April 13th, 2015, 04:15 AM   #14
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

Noa, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the BMPCC. I would be the first to agree that it is possible to obtain very pleasing results with the little beast. Most of the time mine sits unloved, cold and lifeless in the back of a deep dark cupboard however on the odd occasion, less and less these days, I charge the batteries, pop on a lens and take it one more time around the block. Invariably, before the day is done I end up disassembling the thing and placing it back where it belongs.

The thing is, the most important thing, that I find problematic is I can't see the image on the screen especially in broad daylight. If I was made of money I would purchase a decent electronic viewfinder, there are several excellent options but they don't come cheap. But then it isn't a pocket camera but rather a different animal altogether. The lack of image stabilization certainly doesn't help, that's for sure. Of course you can bring along a tripod...

Having said that why don't you scratch the itch, buy it, give it a go, have some fun, and if it drives you nuts, as it might well do, then sell it.

And knowing your skills in the videography department I have no doubt you will make it deliver every bit as well, if not better, than the samples you posted.

It's a lovely little camera really and compared to the RX10 nothing but a pain in the butt. I wouldn't sell mine for all the tea in China.

Give it a go, is my suggestion.

Cheers.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 05:42 AM   #15
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Re: Bmpcc sold at 50% discount, is it still worth buying?

Nicely Said.
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