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I'm not sure.

 

The short opinion is that it's a fantastic camera for what it costs. The pictures are very nice; the noise is well managed and the raw workflow is welcome not so much because it's raw, specifically, but because it's uncompressed, which is a very good thing. The rolling shutter is not so great and the form factor is a bit hit and miss, becoming very front-heavy with even quite small lenses.

 

I think it's a great little documentary camera. Accessorising it for single camera drama might be a bit of a pain. It's clearly designed to displace DSLRs, which I'm sure it will do rather nicely.

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I've shot two projects with the Black Magic so far, a short film and a small series. I'm still testing to see how I can optomize the image, but my general feeling is it is only "slightly better than a DSLR"... but that's not saying much IMO. And I would add that it's potentially way worse than a DSLR in certain scenarios.

 

Also, I'm having trouble identifying exactly who would be in the market for this camera. Producers with resources and inclination to accomodate heavy color correction and integrating Resolve into their workflow are generally producers who have the extra few dollars for a Red Epic package these days. I've had a number of producers and directors turn down the black magic the past few weeks because they don't want a new workflow and 2 TB of footage for their small project. But, frankly, again, if they had any more money, I'd have a Red Epic package for them. This camera falls in a strange area.

 

In the Pro Res setting, I'm not impressed with noise so far.

 

Here are some stills: http://lblove.com/portfolio/mothers-cure/

 

The latitude and detail of this camera is impressive, but underneath a patchwork of artifacts in Pro Res... Curious to test the 4k when it finally ships.

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The best thing about the 4K version is that it solves the rolling shutter issue.

 

 

My first thought was "who would actually buy this thing," as well. The answer, I suspect (or at least Blackmagic seem to suspect) is people who would otherwise have bought a DSLR. You're talking about owner-operator-editors who do everything under one roof and have a reduced sensitivity to somewhat heavyweight post workflows, especially on very short or small projects. As to taking it out on bigger stuff, multi-day stuff with a crew and a separate post department, yes, from that perspective it's a slightly odd beast.

 

Ultimately it's a DSLR that's better than a DSLR. I'm not sure which DSLR it's only slightly better than. Perhaps the 5D 3, which is more expensive, and has a big sensor that may be impractical from a focus perspective. Other, smaller sensor DSLRs suffer aliasing that would be viewed as atrocious if we weren't so used to it. It's a better DSLR. I think that's pretty much the alpha and omega of the thing.

 

Oh, and I hear tell that they're being used as crash cams on Alexa shoots, which makes a certain amount of sense.

 

P

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There are lot of low budget filmmakers who want to buy this. The argument is that the initial low cost of acquisition is much more important than the pain in post.

 

In electronic manufacturing, it is not so easy to get everything right at the first attempt. Execution is their weak point. They are countering that with aggressive pricing strategy. Whatever may be the result, they are pushing boundaries and other companies have to respond to them. It will be good for consumers in the long run.

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I've shot two projects with the Black Magic so far, a short film and a small series. I'm still testing to see how I can optomize the image, but my general feeling is it is only "slightly better than a DSLR"... but that's not saying much IMO. And I would add that it's potentially way worse than a DSLR in certain scenarios.

 

In the Pro Res setting, I'm not impressed with noise so far.

 

Here are some stills: http://lblove.com/portfolio/mothers-cure/

 

The latitude and detail of this camera is impressive, but underneath a patchwork of artifacts in Pro Res... Curious to test the 4k when it finally ships.

 

First of all, I checked out your reel. Nice.

 

I'm certainly interested in your comments and thought on the BM since so few are using it. I have been talking to my partners about using it for a feature we plan on shooting in Vietnam. They seem to have RED2's over there and I am not not NOT keen on that.

 

I do want to stay fast, loose and small and the Blackmagic fits into that. Having RAW is a huge plus.

 

I've looked at as many tests and shootouts vs the 5DMIII as I can and this one seems telling...

 

https://vimeo.com/49875510

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First of all, I checked out your reel. Nice.

 

I'm certainly interested in your comments and thought on the BM since so few are using it. I have been talking to my partners about using it for a feature we plan on shooting in Vietnam. They seem to have RED2's over there and I am not not NOT keen on that.

 

I do want to stay fast, loose and small and the Blackmagic fits into that. Having RAW is a huge plus.

 

I've looked at as many tests and shootouts vs the 5DMIII as I can and this one seems telling...

 

https://vimeo.com/49875510

Thanks for posting that comparison video, Matt! And thanks for the compliments :) It feels like it's a question of workflow, and support. If you have the time/inclination/resources to deal with 8GB/minute files sizes and a "new" workflow, (and the extra weight and size isn't a deal breaker) it seems that "better than a DSLR" is indeed BETTER.

 

The shutter is the next big question. Patiently awaiting 4k production camera's arrival in the mail...

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Laura definitely has a point. This is also the case with magic lantern raw option somewhat too.

 

I think one of the big answers to the question of who would buy it, is anyone who wants to get the full version of resolve and get a camera they can use as a b camera thrown in for free. I expect this would be people working at above 1080p. So perhaps Alexa users working in raw or maybe Red users too, although theres certainly people in that realm who won't consider anything that doesn't say red on it, but there are others who are open minded too.

 

I think it is in a bit of a strange place right now because of the other blackmagic cameras that are coming out too. It seems a bit like it falls down between two stools. It isn't 4K and it isn't 1080p either. At this point the major selling point seems to be the free resolve.

 

Freya

Edited by Freya Black
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I don't like that I am reading about it having issues of dropped frames with even the most expensive SD cards.

 

I think you might be confusing it with another camera, as it doesn't use SD cards. Possibly the pocket cinema camera, although that isn't out yet.

 

Freya

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I think you might be confusing it with another camera, as it doesn't use SD cards. Possibly the pocket cinema camera, although that isn't out yet.

 

Freya

No unfortunately there are numerous reviews out there of the first camera that mentioned dropped frames. We'll be renting one to see for ourselves.

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No unfortunately there are numerous reviews out there of the first camera that mentioned dropped frames. We'll be renting one to see for ourselves.

 

Ah! Perhaps because they weren't using the drives on the recommended list.

 

A lot of drives use compression internally which speeds things up a lot when the data is very compressible but the video data doesn't tend to be, and it tends to need sustained write speeds, so it is a matter of getting the right drives, and it's not about how much the drives cost but whether they are the right drives. They might even be cheaper drives! They need to be the right ones tho.

 

Theres a history of a lot of people ignoring this fact and sticking any old drive in the camera and giving it a go and then complaining that they get dropped frames.

 

Freya

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...although you might be able to get away with other drives, as long as you are only shooting pro-res, which uses less bandwidth. In that case it might be a matter of suck it and see.

 

Freya

Edited by Freya Black
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You would be very unlucky - or being very cheap - to find a modern, current-sale SSD that wouldn't do 2.5K raw. It only works out at around 5MB/frame.

 

Only the very nastiest stuff would have burst rate problems at that level.

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You would be very unlucky - or being very cheap - to find a modern, current-sale SSD that wouldn't do 2.5K raw. It only works out at around 5MB/frame.

 

Only the very nastiest stuff would have burst rate problems at that level.

 

Like I say, I don't think it's entirely down to price. It's more to do with what controllers are being used. There's cheaper SSD's that are really good for instance.

 

Freya

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