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Old October 5th, 2015, 09:35 AM   #1
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For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

After carefully checking footage from the GH4, NX1, A7S and A7R, the last versions, and the BMCC and the BMCPC I have come to the conclusion that nothing can come close to the quality of the BMCC 2.5K, except maybe the 4K under right conditions. All the Mirrorless cams cited, even though 4 K, have compromised codecs that don't allow very nice grading.
So for less than 3000 bucks nothing beats the BMCC 2.5K.
To get something substantially better I think somebody would have to spend at least twice as much, maybe the new Ursa mini 4.6K or the Red Raven? But frankly, if interested in beautiful images why bother with a GH4 or NX1 when the BMCC is probably going to go on sale soon!

Anybody agrees or disagrees?
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Old October 5th, 2015, 10:16 AM   #2
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

When they released the BMCC, I thought to myself that they must have asked 1,000 videographers about camera ergonomics, then made a spreadsheet of the responses, and chose camera design features that were as far away from ideal as possible.

It's like if someone asked you what you were looking for in an office chair, and then presented you with a broomstick to sit on.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 12:09 PM   #3
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

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It's like if someone asked you what you were looking for in an office chair, and then presented you with a broomstick to sit on.
Yes, but in a skilled carpenters hand that broomstick can become a king's chair. that's the best way to describe a black magic camera, and a broomstick is also cheap! :D
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Old October 5th, 2015, 12:12 PM   #4
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

I was obviously not talking about ergonomics!
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Old October 5th, 2015, 02:19 PM   #5
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

I invite you to give a broomstick to the world's most skilled carpenters and ask them to make a chair out of it. It will still have terrible ergonomics.

Larry, you didn't specifically mention ergonomics, but it's a part of the equation. There is very little to differentiate cameras in this price range - many have a great image (and in fact, many have bad ergonomics). But you show me a camera with a huge screen on the back, no hood, no buttons, no handle, that accepts 1/4" audio only (!)... Thanks, but I'll pass.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

As a BMCC 2,5 owner, as well as the Pocket Cinema camera, I can say that for film productions, these camera have a lot to offer. The wide latitude for filming in contrasty scenes is s godsend. And I am a DIY person, so in terms of equipment, I have been able to work with the basic cameras and add specific equipment to make the less than good ergonomics work for me. Unfortunately, I don't think most of the add-on manufacturers do any thing other than make "pretty" things that really don't add to resolution of the ergonomics issues.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 02:48 PM   #7
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

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I invite you to give a broomstick to the world's most skilled carpenters and ask them to make a chair out of it. It will still have terrible ergonomics.
I was being sarcastic :) I also think Larry was quite clear he wanted to discuss IQ only, the fact that the BMCC is a shoe-box with horrible ergonomics is quite obvious and doesn't need to be discussed, it's the fact you can shoot 13 stops dr, 2,5k raw with it that makes it a unique camera in it's pricerange and that's the main reason why people buy this camera, unless you take a 5DIII into consideration which can do that too with ML applied and from a few comparison videos I have seen the bmcc handles the highlights better but the difference are subtle, but with a 5dII you would have a much more versatile camera.

Shooting raw is all fine but not many know how to handle it in post and from what I have seen it only gets worse when they shoot prores, there are just a handful of well graded videos I have seen so far and a lot of dull looking ones.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 04:11 PM   #8
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

Noa, you have to admit that for event videography, a different look is required than typical cinema production. Most wedding videos I see tend to blow out highlights and crush blacks in the interest of appealing to the client, and rightly so. It provides a snappier and apparently sharper image.

I have been working on an edit of a film that was shot in everything from the Z 1, Canon 5D2 and 5 D3, the Canon C100, a couple of different GoPro's and my Black Magic Cinema EF. While the latitude seems to climb with the succession in the Canon line, none of them approach what you have with the BMCC.

The producer of the fllm is also doing the color work . (This is a first time filmmaker, who has taken some extensive training with color correction, ) When I first told her about the differences in latitude for the various cameras, she simply commented that she liked the C100 stuff out of the box, feeling it was great. But after grading and such, she has indicated that she has so much more to work with when using the BMCC footage. There's nothing like having a shot half in, and half out of the shade, where you subject is not lost in shadows, or blown out, while the sky stays a nice blue.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 04:46 PM   #9
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I also think Larry was quite clear he wanted to discuss IQ only, the fact that the BMCC is a shoe-box with horrible ergonomics is quite obvious and doesn't need to be discussed,

<snip>

Shooting raw is all fine but not many know how to handle it in post and from what I have seen it only gets worse when they shoot prores, there are just a handful of well graded videos I have seen so far and a lot of dull looking ones.
It wasn't obvious to me, so my apologies if I'm being hard to deal with in a conversation that is about something I'm not discussing. ;-)

When someone asks me what kind of camera to buy (which, as with any of you in this profession, I'm sure is the #1 question you get asked by friends, family, co-workers, and people on the street), I ask what they want to shoot, what kind of audio gear they plan to use, and what their lighting setup is. The answer is almost always "I don't know" "none" and "none". In my opinion, you could shoot with your iPhone or a Panaflex and turn out pretty much the same result if you ignore subject, sound, and light.

Similar to ergonomics - you can't say "ergonomics don't count", unless this thing rigs and shoots by itself, ergonomics are very important. Personally, I'd rate ergonomics as high or higher than image quality.

And to echo what Noa is saying, I read a lot of commentary from a lot of people who go on and on about Raw, S-Log, and grading, then go to their demo reel and want to gouge my eyes out. If you set me up with a crew I'd never seen work and they could shoot raw and grade it or shoot with one of the pre-built looks in a Sony cam... I'd take the pre-built look any day of the week.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 06:20 PM   #10
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

Noa’s #7 post hit it pretty well for me. I have some comments to share:

1. A carpenter making a chair from a broomstick? The result of the first thing that comes to mind might not be everyone’s liking. Maybe not the optimum craftsman for that kind of work, BUT, perhaps a cabinetmaker or, better yet, a canoe maker, would be a better choice. If you know what a Vienna bentwood chair is, it’s a work of art. Often advertised as Art deco or maybe art nouvou, they tend to be worth quite a bit. Originally used a lot of in the Viennese coffee shops because they have a small footprint and are very durable, they also look very nice. So …. given enough broomsticks, one can make a very, very nice, and practical, chair!

2. In video, content trumps just about everything.

3. For video cameras, to each his/her own. For some people, ergonomics is very high on the list because, I guess, it’s easier to make quick changes and adjustments; however, others seem able to deal with or adapt to the DSLR layout better. As the saying goes, “Different strokes for different folks.”

In life there are tradeoffs, and the same can be said of video. And audio, lest we forget that audio is a significant part of the picture.

As an aside, my wife, with not nearly the interest or technical ability as me, will pretty much “out content” me all the the time while I dink around getting my settings right and either miss the shot or just not get as good of a shot. Some people are just more adept at doing some things than others. Having said that, drilling down for a menu item is not my cup of tea so for me, the ergonomics of a camcorder is important, but not all important. It’d be nice to hang on a prime lens in lieu of the jack-of-all-trades zoom. We all like a quality picture but we also have our tradeoffs. Oh, and sometimes money is a factor.

P.S. I like Mike’s post #2 about the pre-design survey! Ha ha!
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Old October 5th, 2015, 07:58 PM   #11
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

Obviously the BMCC has to be rigged or hooked to a gimbal or a tripod. In these situations who cares about the ergonomic? You're not holding the cam anymore. It's a cam for narrative and I don't watch narrative that are shot hand held. I also don't watch narrative with bad sound, which is why anybody who buys the BMCC knows that she has to use a sound recorder and will the same way people who used 16mm cam used a Nagra or DAT or else. Who cares about onboard audio unless you're filming News or weddings!

So, cam on tripod +lights+extremely well controlled environment, like good fiction should be + sound recorder =I don't see any issues anymore.

Go on Vimeo, which I think offers a better quality than Youtube. Look at footage from the GH4, then look at footage from the BMCC, no comparison at all. I've only seen stuff out of the RED ONE better than the BMCC.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 12:06 AM   #12
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

Good post Larry, and what you said makes good sense. The professional will use the proper, or best, tool for the job whenever he can and certain cams are better suited for some tasks than others.
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Old October 12th, 2015, 04:38 PM   #13
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

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Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
I. I also don't watch narrative with bad sound, which is why anybody who buys the BMCC knows that she has to use a sound recorder and will the same way people who used 16mm cam used a Nagra or DAT or else. Who cares about onboard audio unless you're filming News or weddings!
Funny, unless we are shooting MOS we always send a hop to the camera. And the majority of the time we end up using the audio recorded in camera rather than syncing the second sound.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 10:27 AM   #14
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

Blanket statements like the original post are generally inaccurate - one needs to add "nothing better" FOR WHAT?

No matter how good a tool is, it's useless if it's not the right tool for the job.
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Old October 14th, 2015, 09:31 AM   #15
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Re: For less than 3000 bucks nothing better than BMCC

Really David, you don't use a sound recorder?
Ervin, better for controlled environment such as narratives. That's what those cams are for. You can use them for anything else, if you want, but frankly I wouldn't bother shooting weddings or taking my BMC to a demonstration. There is a reason why it's called a Cinema Camera.
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