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Guest Christopher Sheneman

Just to be clear, this example is 2.5K BMCC footage, (poorly) up-converted to 4K in post, then compressed, and uploaded to YouTube. An example of 4K footage, but not an example of it done well.

Wow, I'm even more impressed.

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Here's an interesting article..

12 Things to Think About Before Committing to the Blackmagic Cinema Camera for Your Film

 

http://nofilmschool.com/2013/04/12-things-think-about-blackmagic-cinema-camera/

 

Several points in the article are out of date or inaccurate.

 

For example, "infinity focus": For several weeks now, all new BMCC cams ship from the factory with a new FFD (back focus/infinity focus) lens mount calibration, and older cameras out in the field that have a FFD issue can be returned to BMD for a free repair.

 

I've found recording audio line level sources into the BMCC to be reliable, and it sounds great. I think there's a good chance BMD will further improve the BMCC's audio capabilities in future firmware updates.

 

Many cameras have shiny LCD screens which require anti-glare film and/or an add-on hood or loupe to be useable in a brightly-lit environment. Anti-glare film is very inexpensive, and a 5" LCD hood is about $70. Is this a deal-breaker?

 

The majority of BMCC users are not having any problems using SSDs certified by BMD, especially the Sandisk Extreme brand.

 

The data rates for the BMCC's uncompressed 12-bit 2.5K RAW CinemaDNG files are what they are (~5 megabytes/frame). If you want the unique benefits they offer, you must pay for the cost of using them. How is that a problem? Alternatively, the BMCC can record very high quality 10-bit 4:2:2 1080p ProRes or DNxHD compressed video with log or Rec.709 gamma. These are 1/5th the data rate & storage of uncompressed CinemaDNG. This is an excellent solution for projects that require long recording times and/or for lower budgets.

 

The 24p vs. 23.976 issue he mentions was user error on his part & had nothing to do with the BMCC.

 

Crop factor: Step back a few feet, or use a wider lens, or change blocking, or use a bigger location, or use a different camera with a wider FOV. Meanwhile, BMD announced at NAB this week the new BMPC-4K cam which has a new S35 sensor, with a ~1.6 crop vs. the BMCC's ~2.3 crop.

 

Moire & sunspots: Yep they can sometimes happen. As the article mentions, a 3rd party user-installable OLPF is coming, and BMD may possibly address the sunspot issue via a firmware update.

 

Frame rates: The maximum on the BMCC is and forever will be up to 30 fps. It's clearly listed in the camera's specs. If you need HFR, use a different camera.

 

"Auto sleep mode / camera death": I haven't heard of this issue before. Apparently it was a fault with one of his cameras, which BMD will repair under warranty.

 

IMHO, this article wasn't very helpful.

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The majority of BMCC users are not having any problems using SSDs certified by BMD, especially the Sandisk Extreme brand.

 

Moire & sunspots: Yep they can sometimes happen. As the article mentions, a 3rd party user-installable OLPF is coming, and BMD may possibly address the sunspot issue via a firmware update.

 

This was a weird article.

 

Is the black sun thing an IR contamination issue? i.e. could it be fixed with a hot mirror filter?

 

I would also point out that the red series of cameras also don't allow you to delete clips. Yes it's a nice feature to have but surely not that big of a deal.

 

The whole article seemed like making a mountain out of a molehill and that a lot of the issues were user error or trying to cheap out. Complaining that you used SSD's that weren't the recommended ones and that they didn't work properly seems especially odd. A bit like complaing your car won't run off coca-cola.

 

The raw thing is interesting because I do wonder how many indie types are really going to be able to cope with the raw workflow for all kinds of reasons, regardless of the make of camera. Theres actually an awful lot of Alexa jobs that are shot ProRes. It's cool that you have the option of recording in ProRes tho and of course if you are shooting something a lot shorter maybe the RAW option would be open. This seems like just working out what is the right way of going about things for your own situation at the time. Complaining about it comes across as either not giving enough thought to what you are doing or complaining you don't have enough money. Neither of these are anything to do with the camera.

 

Just strange.

 

Freya

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Unless we invent time travel I don’t think we can top the shock and awe of last year, but I think it’ll be another great NAB, so look out for it, it should be pretty exciting.

 

I can't believe they said that. The BMCC is kinda neat but it was always a bit odd. 2.5k is kinda neither fish nor foul. The EF mount was always a huge disapointment and I was never keen on the non replaceable battery thing, although I'm sure the latter is probably not as big of a deal as blackmagic make it out to be. I expect once it goes bad, people will just crack the thing open and find a way to remove it from the chain.

 

The new pocket camera however seems to have magically got everything exactly right. I suspect this is more by accident than design, but all the same. I'm REALLY excited by this camera, as I'm sure a lot of people are. It is really, really spot on! :)

 

Freya

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"The new pocket camera however seems to have magically got everything exactly right. I suspect this is more by accident than design, but all the same. I'm REALLY excited by this camera, as I'm sure a lot of people are. It is really, really spot on! :)

 

Freya"

 

Absolutely!

I will rid myself of my NEX 5ns and use this little cam for unobtrusive doc work. I just hope that Zacuto will bring out a nice little Z-finder in time for July. To be able to use S16 cine lenses in Arri B mount (and some 16mm Arri A mount lenses plus everything made for S35 & FF) besides a tiny MFT pancake lens will make this the most versatile small cinema tool - a true pocket camera.

peter

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... Is the black sun thing an IR contamination issue? i.e. could it be fixed with a hot mirror filter? ...

 

... The raw thing is interesting because I do wonder how many indie types are really going to be able to cope with the raw workflow for all kinds of reasons, regardless of the make of camera. Theres actually an awful lot of Alexa jobs that are shot ProRes. It's cool that you have the option of recording in ProRes tho and of course if you are shooting something a lot shorter maybe the RAW option would be open. ...

 

Hi Freya: The "black sun spot" issue occurs when an area of the BMCC sensor is severely overexposed & so it clips that portion of the frame. So, for example, you can sometimes include the sun or other bright objects in the frame and not have this issue occur, but if the highlight is extremely overexposed (I don't know how many stops) at some point it clips and records the highlight as black instead white. BMD is well aware of the issue and hopefully will address it in a future firmware update.

 

On the subject of compressed & uncompressed RAW CinemaDNG, refer to Grant Petty's exciting comments after the 7:30 point in this video from NAB last week ...

 

Meanwhile, John Brawley confirmed just yesterday that a 3rd party anti-aliasing OLPF filter (probably user-installable) is coming "very soon". I suspect it'll be for the BMCC-EF & BMCC-MFT model cam first because their sensors are identical & the BMCC is shipping now. I'd expect a similar filter will be available for the new BMPC-4K camera's S35 size sensor farther out, probably not until sometime after the camera ships "by the end of July 2013". Stay tuned ...

 

EDIT: Today, JB posted further clarification: "I know of two solutions being developed. They aren't necessarily OLPFs." Interesting! See:

https://twitter.com/brawlster/status/323544669952819202

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Hi Freya: The "black sun spot" issue occurs when an area of the BMCC sensor is severely overexposed & so it clips that portion of the frame. So, for example, you can sometimes include the sun or other bright objects in the frame and not have this issue occur, but if the highlight is extremely overexposed (I don't know how many stops) at some point it clips and records the highlight as black instead white. BMD is well aware of the issue and hopefully will address it in a future firmware update.

 

I was wondering if the overexposure was happening due to infra-red which can be very bright but not visible to humans etc.

 

The sun especially is a big source of Infra-Red light.

 

Freya

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İ don't think so. The 10-100 needs to be 20-200 to cover the 2.5K so there is no way for any 16mm lens to cover 4K.

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