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Old October 17th, 2015, 04:04 AM   #1
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Bmpcc second attempt

I have not been able to find much time to play some more with my bmpcc camera, I did some quick raw test a while back and decided to take the camera incl my 9-18mm olympus lens with me again to spend some more time with it on a few days holiday a week back. We where at sea, not that much to see, we had rain, strong winds but the first 2 days in the early morning and late in the evening there where some beautiful moments to see how the camera would handle the color gradients in the sky.

Some of my impressions and I am probably repeating myself from my last experience with this camera:

I shot in raw again because that's the only reason I got this camera, this time I had attached a loupe I got for my gh4, it didn't fit the bmpcc viewscreen right and there was a small part on the right that was blocked from view but it was ok to judge my focus better, it was at least a lot better then just looking at the screen.

The lcd screen from this camera really suxs, when I compare it to my other camera's high rez screens it looks like I"m back in the seventees looking at my parents black and white tv.

The fact that you cannot articulate or swivel it also really suxs which makes framing a shot from different heights almost impossible.

The autofocus also really suxs, even in clear daylight it takes it's time before it locks on and even then it can get it wrong, the focus peaking however does work well and you need that to check focus or to manual adjust your focus. Also for an unknown reason my focus peaking each time shuts off and I have to go into the menu system to activate it, not sure what I am doing wrong or if this is normal behavior.

This camera has the worst ergonomics ever, every shot takes time to set up. It made me miss some moments where for instance a group of ducks was approaching to land on the water and I missed the shot because it took me too long to set up the camera.

The raw workflow is also massive, it takes a lot of time to process the footage, to colorcorrect every single shot and it takes a hugh amount of harddrive space, I"m still using after effects and adobe raw to colorcorrect because that's the only easy way I know so far to get my raw footage like it should be. I still am not getting it right, on moving subjects I found out that after export to a editable format every 4 or 5 frames one frame is missing, not sure what I am doing wrong.

Next time I really want to put this camera next to my gh4 and shoot some shots side by side to see what the difference is and if it's worth holding onto it, there are several shots that I made the past days that look great in color and which I"m sure would be difficult to get the same result with the GH4, also the DR can make a big difference in certain shots. If only it was not so difficult to shoot and edit with.

Below is what I shot, does this look bmpcc worthy? :)

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Old October 17th, 2015, 07:42 AM   #2
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

These are interesting comments Noa. I have thought about these cameras as a stepping stone, more particularly the new form-factor, but have been hesitant about them. The problems you detail with file size and workflow are good to know about. Thanks.

I really liked the subject matter in your test shots and could see how much more it captures compared with my cameras.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 01:29 AM   #3
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

Hi Noa

How can the BMPCC have the world's worst ergonomics? I think my BMCC is worse than my BMPCC in the ergonomics department.

Anyway, they both suck!!!

But the picture is great. As shown in your video. Keep up the good work.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 03:12 AM   #4
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

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Originally Posted by Tim Lewis View Post
These are interesting comments Noa. I have thought about these cameras as a stepping stone, more particularly the new form-factor, but have been hesitant about them. The problems you detail with file size and workflow are good to know about. Thanks.

I really liked the subject matter in your test shots and could see how much more it captures compared with my cameras.
I was able to buy my pocketcam new for 500 euro which is less then half of the current price and since I have a big collection of m4/3 glass I only needed a few extra batteries and a bigger and fast sd card. I see didn't mention it but the battery life is also a joke, I"m afraid to leave it in standby mode too long which says a lot.

I've tried resolve to handle the raw footage but it looks too complicated to me and I don't want to spend time learning it or building a pc according to resolve specs, not for these few personal films I plan to shoot with it.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 03:18 AM   #5
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

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Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
Hi Noa

How can the BMPCC have the world's worst ergonomics? I think my BMCC is worse than my BMPCC in the ergonomics department.

Anyway, they both suck!!!

But the picture is great. As shown in your video. Keep up the good work.
They both are basically a sensor in a box but for the BMCC that's a shoebox :) The following weeks the leaves on the trees start to turn color and I plan on going into the woods to shoot some of those nice autumn colors but will bring my gh4 with me as well and try to shoot side by side, will be interesting to see the result.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 09:59 AM   #6
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

If you are on Adobe Premiere CC2015 you might want to see how the new Lumetri Panel right inside Premiere Pro helps with your workflow objections as opposed to equipping/learning Resolve.

As is obvious of course, the whole raw process depends on project type, length, budget, and turnaround time available. Raw requires extra steps, but it also provides the opportunities better final quality results and options. The greater light exposure latitude can be really important. But as Noa has said, raw requires time and equipment needs and thus must be factored for the project.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 12:01 PM   #7
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

I use Edius and from what I understood raw support will be in a future update, if that would work out fine that would be great ofcourse.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 01:50 PM   #8
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

Exactly - a sensor in a box with a recorder. When they figure out how to incorporate an ND filter and a viewfinder and some useful buttons I might start to think of them as cameras. As it is we have to add the bits and pieces to turn them into cameras.

On the other hand, all things considered, they're pretty good at what they do, even if they don't do the whole job.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 03:41 PM   #9
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

Lovely restful holiday imagery Noa, well done. I hasten to add that I have no doubt you could create visual beauty even with a Box Brownie such is your eye. Clearly a labour of love and certainly healthier than hanging around in a dingy bar watching TV.

And of course 13 stops of dynamic range is so passť these days while the ergonomics you remind us of are legendary for all the wrong reasons.

Never-the-less one might well credit Black Magic for raising our awareness of dynamic range in the scheme of things and for raising the bar that many other manufacturers quickly jumped over, much to our delight.

But no, not a very practical device for capturing fleeting moments when on holiday, and being on holiday is a necessary condition given the labour intensive nature of the thing, though for the original intended use - amateur movie making - it might have a place even if 'amateur movie making' is bordering on the oxymoronic.

Whatever, nice art; the best I have viewed out of the BMPCC. I would hang that on my wall. Thanks for sharing.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 04:12 PM   #10
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

Have you shot some with your pocketcam? Don't tell me it is collecting dust? :) I have to admit one thing though, there is some kind of magic seeing your footage come to live when it's been handled by adobe raw. I click "auto" first to get a starting point and I had footage which looked like overexposed beyond recovery yet all detail and color appeared out of nowhere. Then being able to lift underexposed areas as if you are shining some extra light on it and then to decide if you want footage to look like it's early in the morning or late in the evening is something special.

I almost compare the raw video process to the developing process of analog photos, there are still people that love to take pictures with a old analog camera and spend all that time in a black room developing every single photo separately.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 05:04 PM   #11
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

I do confess my BMPCC is collecting dust however your work inspires me to pull it out of the cupboard and play around, yet again. There was a time when I too spent all of my (spare) time in the basement dark room developing black and white film and being totally absorbed in the printing process so I do indeed know what you mean. At the time there was no alternative available to the photographic hobbyist/artist.

The trouble is I now have a Sony AX100 which, as you know, enables the capture of footage of a quality unheard of (in the price bracket) when the BMPCC was introduced. Not only that but my highly configurable Sony a6000 (not to mention my RX10) with the XAVC-S codec and 60p is also streets ahead of anything that was available then, again within the price bracket.

And with the excellent NLE systems available plus their addons, it is just not that difficult to produce pleasing clean footage of all shapes and sizes without the 'darkroom' time-consuming effort.

One more confession: I recently purchased a 9.4 meter sailboat and my fussing, my fiddling, fine tuning and obsessing is focused in that direction. I spend inordinate amounts of time (and money) adjusting the cut of my jib, the batten tension, the detail in becoming totally shipshape, and any intelligent person would shake their head in bewilderment at such fetish behaviour.

So photography and moving pictures are taking a back seat right now albeit ever present, and the quick and not so dirty approach with the flood of magnificent tools available today makes that a piece of cake.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 05:58 PM   #12
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

One way to handle raw is to convert to Cineform. In my case, I use RawPro4, which utilizes Cineforms raw profile. RAW 4 PRO - RAW 4 PRO - offloads and converts RAW clips to video, with audio
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Old October 18th, 2015, 06:18 PM   #13
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

But how do you colorcorrect then? Is that easier compared to using after effects and adobe raw? What I find very easy in adobe raw is that you just click the auto button and you get a very good starting point to tweak the image further.
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Old October 19th, 2015, 02:02 AM   #14
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

Hmm, I shoot ProRes and edit in FCPX and use Color Finale plugin to grade.
You have to use this camera with "purpose." It's for dynamic range and discrete use as well as heavy grading without the risk of artifacts.

I most often use it with my Lumix 12-35 lens, which has image stabilization, and a Zacuto loupe specifically for it. I have a good Genustech Eclipse VariND on it as well.

When I want shallower Depth of Field and/or faster aperture I use Metabones SpeedBooster.

There's very little difference between the best ProRes settings and cDNG especially if you're delivering for web use. cDNG would hold up a bit better in the most extreme grading situation but people do Broadcast/Cable TV in ProRes HQ.

I always leave Focus Peaking on and when I need it, 2x magnify for focus assist.
I always leave Zebras on (I use 100% but some might be little more conservative) because as long as you have highlights protected you can adjust in post.

Push Focus and push iris are certainly worthless but, for me, I like to use fully manual. Yes, the screen is poor as well especially in daylight. I like the ergonomics because it's small and easy to hand hold.

I haven't found another camera in this price class to match its picture quality (dynamic range, codecs/gradibility).

If I want to be super fast at getting shots I use my Sony PXW-X70 but that's not what the BMPCC is for. At these prices you buy a camera to be a tool in a more complete toolset.

I do have a hunch that Blackmagic will come out with an "Ursa Micro" which might have a more traditional handycam shape
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Old October 19th, 2015, 02:31 AM   #15
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Re: Bmpcc second attempt

I have shot prores as well but I am not able to get anywhere near the results I am getting with shooting raw and then grade in after effects, it's like night and day difference to me. I colorcorrect in Edius which also has advanced colorcorrections tools but I just cannot get anything pleasing looking out of prores, I certainly can't get the same rich deep colors I get with raw and that's with a simple click of a button. Also the detail I am able to recover in raw is just impossible to achieve the same result in prores.

About focus peaking, how do you leave that on, mine sets itself off each time I shut down and restart the camera and I have to manually go into the menu to activate it.
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