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George Ebersole

XL2 or XL-H1

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PS) with the newer versions of Windows, much of the older sayings about PC's being difficult are no longer valid. What once might have been true, I can tell you that Windows 10 (and even 8/8.1) are as user friendly as Mac OS is. And with the higher quality of part, PC fails are relatively uncommon (see the fail of the PC repair industry, which was once a major industry).

Also, it's rare I deal with one or two computers at someone's house. I always deal with more than one computer on a bound network like active or open directory. It's true that Windows 8 and up is more "user" friendly but for business use, they are horrible. They make it nearly impossible to use on a network, hiding all of the functionality necessary to bind computers AND making permissions more strict.

 

As you stated above, if you know how to fix windows, it's not a problem. However, one shouldn't NEED to know how to fix anything, which is my point. Imagine I've got a client over and all of a sudden I need to do diagnostic work because some service stopped working. I've been at clients places where that exact scenario has happened and yes, it was windows 10. Services like network, bluetooth/USB and even audio, have just shut down on their own and when you can't click on "save" before you reboot, that's a huge problem. I've literally had to drive across the city in rush hour traffic, with clients pacing around waiting for someone to fix it. I just SSH in on the network and restart the USB service. But why should that ever be a problem?

 

What humors me even more is that the HP and Dell workstations, which are pre-built by them for delivery, are absolutely the best. All of the clients I know with homemade systems, they are the ones which suffer the most. We had a situation recently at my biggest PC client (does VFX work), where all of a sudden the computers wouldn't let anyone login. I spent a whole day trying to figure it out and actually had to call in an "expert" to tell me there was nothing we could do without resetting the entire user profile via SSH. Even after trying several times he couldn't make it work. I have to leave it in his hands, and he spent all night trying to crack into one of them and eventually did. So they were down for a whole day, not because anyone did anything, but because the PC's just didn't want to work that day. No directory services, nothing. 4 of the same machine! We wound up figuring out, an automatic software update from Microsoft caused the problems. These are the kind of issues I deal with and I must say, I have probably lost thousands of dollars on solving PC problems, which is why I don't really support windows anymore.

 

I just want a computer to sit on my desk and work until it needs a new hardware component. I will replace it and continue working. I don't want to diagnose anything, I don't want to have fun building a computer, I want to have ONE LIST of replacement parts, not 20. For me, a Mac is like buying anything else in our life. We don't buy car's in pieces do we? Car's are highly tuned machines and like Mac's, you don't go to Bosch to replace that bad alternator, you go to a parts distributor who can source you the OEM component, which by the way, always works better then the "aftermarket" ones.

 

Now... that's just my experience. My first computer was an 8088 Compaq portable, with a CRT green screen. I've had several PC's during my youth because we couldn't afford anything else. I built my own 286 from scratch with a real B&W monitor, none of that green nonsense. We found an IBM 386 portable at the dump and I have fond memories of that one, with it's orange display. I wound up getting my first mac in 1992, it was a hand-me-down Mac SE from my aunt. I got it because my school was all mac and my big old 5" floppy disks wouldn't work there. So I had to be compatible and it worked great. Sure, I couldn't play my old PC games anymore, but in the early 90's everything was made for Mac's, so it wasn't a big deal. It wasn't until the mid to late 90's that things started slipping away from apple and the PC market started to grow. So by the time you got a computer, you had missed out on the mac generation. It's unfortunate as well because, the story you talked about earlier with that Film Riot guy moving from mac to pc, he's just one of those guys with limited experience, making a change because he didn't know any better.

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Heh, I'll take your word for it. I guess I've just been lucky. I've never been burned or steered wrong by anyone. Most of the companies that made vid cards, network cards, MBs, HDs and everything else were local. So if you had a beef you could always drive over to Hercules or TYAN or whoever and bitch in person. A few have moved out, so maybe things have changed some.

Ohh components like that have been gone for 15 years or more. Almost all components are made in china today, mainly due to pollution and cost associated with PCB manufacturing. It's far more complex then the old days when you'd make a PCB local, push components through them by hand and solder them when done. Everything today is surface mount, every component has wicked small pins and the Chinese labor is cheap! In the states we use to have complex robots that placed parts onto PCB's and roll through the wave soldering machine. In China, they have people push components on by hand, which saves a lot of money. Even Apple stopped producing stuff in the US in the early 2000's. They're back at it with the new Mac Pro and vow to bring ALL manufacturing back to the states in the next 10 years. I'm pretty certain, none of the other manufacturers build anything in the states outside of components like processors, power supplies and some chassis/cases.

 

then why on Earth would any indy film maker move to LA? It made no sense, unless you had aspirations to "make it big" and shoot bigger projects by way of the studio system.

Because when you sit at a coffee shop in LA, you're most likely right next to someone who knows what they're doing and has been successful. If you're an outgoing individual, passionate about filmmaking and are very talented, you can work your way up very fast, just by being at the right place at the right time. There is no other place like it for that exact reason.

 

If you can't prove that you've worked on bigger, higher budget shows, you will never get the opportunity to work on bigger, higher budget shows. If all you do is make your own stuff, then all you'll ever be doing is making your own stuff. This is the catch 22 that has plagued people who don't work here forever. If you don't live here, if you don't build a network of people who can place you on those bigger shows, then you won't work up the food chain. It has nothing to do with working in the studio system, it has everything to do with making the connections necessary to move up the ladder.

 

The problem with this industry is that, if you aren't "on call" 24/7, it's hard to get work and you need that work in order to prove yourself to future investors. You need that laundry list of IMDB credits of movies the investors have heard of. You need that resume of working on productions that prove you can do the job. You need that killer demo reel, they will probably never watch, and most importantly, you've gotta be a 30 minute drive away from a face to face meeting.

 

Nothing stops anyone from putting stuff on the internet and preying someone may watch it. If you do a good job, you may actually be able to earn some money as well. However, if you have stories to tell which are beyond your means financially, then the only real way to make them happen is to get into the industry, step one of that is to live in a media-rich city like Los Angeles or New York.

 

Yes, Los Angeles does suck to outsiders, no doubt. I also wouldn't even contemplate having a family or raising kids here. However, as a seemingly perpetually single person, I've built a strong foundation and I can't imagine living anywhere else, until I've either given up OR have lots of money to live anywhere I want. Yes I know how awesome the bay area is, been there quite a bit, but I couldn't live there with the kind of money I make. I refuse to get a normal job, been there, done that, now I only work freelance, which is something FAR more difficult to do up there.

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Also, it's rare I deal with one or two computers at someone's house. I always deal with more than one computer on a bound network like active or open directory. It's true that Windows 8 and up is more "user" friendly but for business use, they are horrible. They make it nearly impossible to use on a network, hiding all of the functionality necessary to bind computers AND making permissions more strict.

 

Personally, I wonder why ANY company that runs that many computers would choose consumer Windows or MacOS based system. Both are notoriously bad at networking, and when you start getting multiple ones connected together you really start to run into issues. Chances are, if it's a post house, the software they use is available on Linux based systems, which are the most reliable in terms of performance and networking. I'd never suggest such a system to a single computer setup guy, since Linux is also notorious for not having very good software options outside of professional applications. IN instances where Windows is required, most would choose a professional, networked edition of Windows.

 

As bad as Windows is, at least it has versions designed for networking. My big issue with MacOS is that it's almost entirely 100% a consumer produce, much like everything else Apple sells. Consumer products do not tend to be as robust as professional products that are designed for a purpose. For example, if you must network a bunch of computer, you'll need a network-ready version of Windows to accomplish that successfully and without trouble. Trying to run Windows 8/10 or even 7 or XP in such a configuration is just asking for a headache, since those are consumer versions of the operating system not designed for large network connections.

 

I have personally never tried to network a Mac, but given the lack of power-user options, I fail to see how such a network could be robust enough for professional workflows.

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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Yea and that's the problem with Windows. It doesn't work most of the time for anything else but basic operations. You first need special versions of the operating system in order to make it work on the network. Then you need special drivers to make everything on the computer work right. Then you need some magical fairy dust to get it bound to the network and get share points to mount properly. Then all it takes is some know it all client to break everything and bring you back to the dinosaur age. There are so many backdoors in windows, even if you lock it all down, people can break through and do whatever they want. So as a business whose job it is to keep computers working, it's an absolute nightmare.

 

By contrast, on the mac side there are no back doors. If you want to get in, you need an administrator login and password. No shift key, no F8, nothing will get you in without it and clients aren't allowed to touch anything related to the system.

 

The only reason companies use Windows at all, is cost. They can buy crappy all-in-one computers for $299 or less on package deals and if they fail, they've got 10 more in the wings waiting. Windows server also has some great home directory back end functions which store user data on the server, mac has the same thing, but the windows solution does work a bit smoother plus you have more control over it. This way a client can sit down at any computer and be online with all their settings. So it's all a cost thing and Apple tried to infiltrate that low-cost market, but they were never successful, they just didn't know how to make a $299 mac. In all my years of working in IT, I have yet to see a business with fully decked client computers outside of VFX. Same goes for the mac infrastructure, they usually buy iMac's, which is unfortunate.

 

At the end of 2009, Apple made a strategic decision to drop the professional product lines over the course of 2010. This was very infuriating for system admins like myself, it left us not knowing where to go. Just keep what we had and buy some spare parts to keep them running or switch to a different non-supported hardware/software combo. During the last 6 years, many companies have made the switch to PC's and it's unfortunate because Apple has been listening and responding to these issues. Yet I agree wholeheartedly, they are absolutely going for the consumer market and it shows. They're still more interested in growing the brand and that's on the consumer level. If all the people editing films in the world used Mac's, those sales would probably equate to how many iPhones are sold every day in the world. So for them, they don't see the R&D effort to create those products as a necessity. It's not something they care about and as a consequence, that market has slipped away from them.

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I'll get caught up on the thread in due course.

 

I just got back from Fry's and apparently you need to buy a power supply now for a chassis. And a really good one that cranks out 1600 watts of transformed power runs between $230 and $350 ... :o according to one older salesman.

 

Fortunately there was another salesman who guided me to the much saner (and more of what I used to paying for) $60 power supplies. But it got me to thinking, what kind of software requires that many horses under your hood? What, are you playing Counter Strike GO on six different servers or something?

 

Tyler; at this point in my life I'm just happy to post here and eventually shoot something. My dreams got crushed a long time ago by a third party trying to open doors for me, and, in turn, violating my privacy and taking the wind out of my self motivational sails.

 

Way way back in 1990 I was starting to get introduced to second tier A-list talent, with the idea that I would get to know these people personally, schmooz and rub shoulders, and find some kind of position, job or career avenue through this. When what I REALLY WANTED was just to sweep stages, meet other young guys (or gals) like myself, and we'd pull our resources together to make one of our films come true, and so on and so on.

 

But, said third party really didn't see things that way, didn't have the understanding of the future of tech that I had at that time, and was convinced that I needed to move to LA to "make it big".

 

The "big plan", that is my big plan, was to freelance and shoot shorts locally, and when video processing got up to speed, then shoot my own stuff, upload it, and if it was popular enough, monetize it somehow so I could keep doing it.

 

That's all out the window.

 

I'm really not interested in impressing any producers, directors or anyone else other than the casual viewer who might, in the future, come across something I shot and uploaded, and thinks it's cool. That's pretty much all I've ever aimed for.

 

Oh sure, I had fantasies like everyone else about making a big splash, but the reality is is that I don't really want that. I just want to make good stuff, and stuff that I wanted to make without having some Standards and Practices person or producer looking over my shoulder.

 

I had been trying to get a full time job doing anything ... managing a fast good place, assistant manager at a drug store or some retail chain so I could do just that. But I was really screwed with, however that's personal drama that I'll leave off the boards.

 

So, the end result is that I now have a little cash to spend on something, and I'd like to give it a shot :)

 

Back on PCs; I think their biggest issues are bad components. Next to that it's heat and dust; old foes that I've had to battle time and again. I actually put an ice pack on my old DVD drive last year it was heating so badly (another old system, I eventually replaced the drive, but when I cracked it open there was tons of micro dust in it, and I had just cleaned it out a couple of weeks before).

 

So; final analysis; shoot HiD with a C100 using a Ninja to get more light (and more red data), build my own desktop on the cheap, and forget shooting SD. People, especially YouTube types, expect higher resolutions or visual fidelity.

 

Thanks :)

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So; final analysis; shoot HiD with a C100 using a Ninja to get more light (and more red data), build my own desktop on the cheap, and forget shooting SD. People, especially YouTube types, expect higher resolutions or visual fidelity.

Buy a Blackmagic pocket camera, buy a cheap set of Rokinon primes, simple wireless audio kit and buy a used Macbook Pro so you don't have any compatibility issues. That whole kit will cost you LESS then the C100 + glass + Ninja + home-made PC AND look just as good.

 

But hey, I've only been doing this for 25 years, what do I know! ;)

  • Upvote 1

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I worked with C300 on a weird Toyota documentary shoot recently. I thought the camera was pretty light. I personally prefer heavier rigs myself. I shot with BL 4s w 1000ft loads and a Cooke 20-100 handheld on a shoot all day maybe that's why haha. It seemed a bit too flimsy to me. The pictures weren't bad at all though. It felt like my first time grabbing an f55. It looks like a fuller size camera but weighs like a feather... It was odd indeed:)

Edited by Giray Izcan

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Buy a Blackmagic pocket camera, buy a cheap set of Rokinon primes, simple wireless audio kit and buy a used Macbook Pro so you don't have any compatibility issues. That whole kit will cost you LESS then the C100 + glass + Ninja + home-made PC AND look just as good.

 

But hey, I've only been doing this for 25 years, what do I know! ;)

 

The i7 only comes with 4 gigs of RAM. Are you sure?

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I worked with C300 on a weird Toyota documentary shoot recently. I thought the camera was pretty light. I personally prefer heavier rigs myself. I shot with BL 4s w 1000ft loads and a Cooke 20-100 handheld on a shoot all day maybe that's why haha. It seemed a bit too flimsy to me. The pictures weren't bad at all though. It felt like my first time grabbing an f55. It looks like a fuller size camera but weighs like a feather... It was odd indeed:)

 

Someone's got a basic BL4 on ebay for $4400 or something. Tempting, but I'm just looking to shoot local stuff for YouTube. I really don't want to invest in camera packages to be a DP. Still, a man doesn't find a used Arri for those kinds of prices everyday.

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It's not that Tyler is wrong here, because he is not. The reality is, any of these camera's are perfectly capable. A GH4, Pocket Cinema, C100 - will all produce great images. For me personally, I would not buy a C100 - but that is only because of the price to performance ratio. Then again, my style of shooting is very much a cinematic one, in which I have fully decked out rail rig for my camera + accessories like matte box, follow focus, and Shogun. I record sound into a Tascam DR60 with a scratch track going into the camera for sync.

Personally, if I was strongly advising George, I'd tell tell him to strongly consider the GH4 ($1,000), Ninja Assassin ($900), Tascam DR-60 ($160), V-log update ($99), a AT 875r Shotgun mic ($160, good for on camera or boom operation), 50' XLR cable ($25), Film City FC-02 Rig ($225), Nikon G to MF3 Speedbooster ($400), and a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 Nikon lens ($400, becomes an f/1.5 with the booster). This setup would cost less than to outfit a C100 in a similar manner, and would make you pretty much set for any point in the future where you need to possibly deliver 4K at some point. At the very least, you'd get 10-bit 4:2:2 from your external recorder instead of 8-bit 4:2:2...

But then again that is with my method of shooting. I like having my options open for the future, and the GH4 with the above setup (exact same setup I have) works well for me. For me, the 1080p of the C100 would just be too limiting, and for the price is rather lacking in features.

Then again, I once owned a Pocket camera and while it wasn't great, it certainly wasn't bad. Images where great on it. I just couldn't get use to the small sensor size - it was hard to get good shallow depth of field with it.

 

but it sounds like George has already settled on the C100 - which is fine and should suit him well in shooting.

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Buy a Blackmagic pocket camera, buy a cheap set of Rokinon primes, simple wireless audio kit and buy a used Macbook Pro so you don't have any compatibility issues. That whole kit will cost you LESS then the C100 + glass + Ninja + home-made PC AND look just as good.

 

But hey, I've only been doing this for 25 years, what do I know! ;)

+1 to this post. If you feel like waiting for a time when it's on sale, the BMPCC will only cost you $500

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Newegg's got one for $1664.

 

Way back when I was first thinking of Canon the thing that attracted me to it was simply the EOS option. But wow, camera technology has jumped by leaps and bounds in the last several years. When I was thinking of this project SONY and Canon were the only players, and SONY didn't have interchangeable lenses; and both only shot raw footage.

 

I'm a bit dazzled here.

 

Thanks for all of the input.

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Some GH4 footage.

 

 

 

 

 

I've actually been to the hotel in that opening shot years and years back. I'd never thought I'd see it again. Interesting.

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Here's some Blackmagic footage;

 

 

 

I do have to say that the colors look a little muted on the Blackmagic, but it seems to handle different fields with different lighting incredibly well. I'm not sure I need that, but if it can do that on the cheap, then I'm just about sold on it.

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I'm going to be straight up honest, George: The Blackmagic is an okay camera. I love what Blackmagic has done with the industry, trying to make things cheaper which has made others bring their prices down as well. However, I don't feel any of their camera's are as great as they let on. On their website they show splashy images of their camera's in use on big film sets, yet I have yet to see a professional film shot with one - even the Production 4K or the URSA.

 

The problem Blackmagic has is trying to do too much for too little. It's nice that they can offer a 'cinema' camera at $995 - but I really have to ask myself, what are they giving up to get that?

 

Blackmagic's camera department is troubled. They announce camera's that take years to come to fruition, keeping reservation holders in the dark for months or years beyond their expect release dates. Then they tend to deliver camera's that are not ready for release yet. The pocket was released with no RAW support, the camera's only recently got something as simple as audio meters, etc.

 

That is not even touching on the technical issues their camera's face. Rather than focusing on standard sensor sizes, the Packet, Micro, and original cinema camera relied on odd-sized sensors that had no native lenses, forcing people to improvise with adapters and lenses the were too long to ever hope for a wide shot. The pocket has a super-16 sensor, which sounds great in the film world - and might add to it's 'cinematic' name, but unless you can find a good used super-16 lens, you're forced to use M4/3 or larger lenses - resulting in large crop factors.

 

The pocket CAN deliver 13-stops of DR and has nice colors, though only if shooting in RAW. Once you move to ProRes, your shooting in 10-bit 4:2:2 with 12-stops of DR, which is no better than my GH4. Working with RAW files is a literal nightmare, and not something I would recommend anyone try. Each RAW image file from the pocket is roughly 2MB in size, which means trying to play those back requires a beefy hard drive and computer.

 

The original cinema camera also suffered from an odd sized sensor - bigger than super 16 but less than micro 4/3 - which resulted in the same lens issues. It had a built in battery requiring external batteries for any real shooting, lacked good audio meters, etc, etc. However, the Pocket and the Cinema produced (and still) pretty good images. The 4K production camera they release had terrible 'black hole' issues in bright spots, and has fixed noise pattern in many of the units shipped. They supposedly fixed most of that now, but I still know people who have the problem. The same sensor was used in the URSA, which carried over the same basic problems.

Now they are harking the new 4.6K sensor with 15 stops of DR, which sounds great on paper - but as is reality most of the time, the sensor is already experiencing issues with magenta huh that they have had to delay release of their cameras again.

 

As much as I want to like Blackmagic Design, I can't help but feel they are like a kid in candy store - telling great fairy tales and getting everyone's attention, yet failing to deliver. They make (or should I say BOUGHT) great software, and they make pretty good post equipment.But that about ends their greatness in my book.

 

Personally, after owning a pocket camera for almost a year, I'd not purchase one again. The only camera I might considered purchases would be the Cinema Camera, though it's need for beefy batteries and odd sensor size takes it off my list. The Pocket was an okay camera that produced pretty good images, but I can get images that look just as good, if not better, on my GH4 with v-log, which costs the same amount of money and provides more future proofing.

 

I'm not telling you not to buy a Blackmagic, and I'm sure Tyler likes them (as do some others, though many have converted away from them over time), but just keep in mind the pitfalls of what a Blackmagic might bring you.

 

I actually fail to see why there is so little support for the GH4 here on this forum. Probably because it's made up of industry people who like to shot film and ARRI's, and who generally don't need to bother with lower budget DSLR style cameras. But I can tell you, the GH4 is no toy, even more so when combined with a proper external recorder. The thing can produce 10-but 4:2:2 LOG images with 12 stops of DR, and can produce that in most any aspect ratio up to and including Cinema 4K. Yes, it's an actual DCI-compliant camera. It doesn't have the issues of some of the Canon DSLR's due to it's beeing a mirror-less rather than a DSLR, and it can also take really good still images (up to 16MP while shooting video). It can produce amazing images right out of the box, even without an external recorder... And can be upgraded in the future by addiing external recorders, speedboosters to use PL mount cine-lenses if you ever need it, etc.

 

Some might complain that you need to 'outfit' the camera to make it work well, which makes it a toy - but let's be honest - we outfit all our camera's to make them work well. A pocket camera alone will not do much of anything.

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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Just as an afterthought, this is probably one of the most cinematic videos I have seen from the GH4:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oaH1DnKR6Y

 

V-log example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2HxP7j0TM0

 

Nice little behind-the-scenes with a Speedbooster and descent lens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPDbzBsNg7Y

 

I don't know about anyone else, but it looks pretty good to me in terms of color and dynamic range. One of the main complaints about the GH4 is it's 'video-ish sharpness', which is really prevalent in all 4k and up Cameras, even the Red Epic. Turning sharpness down to -5 in camera and applying a 1-2 point post fast blur will take care of that real quick.

 

Plus, you can get a GH4 Body + Ninja Assassin for about the same price as a C100 body. Makes it a better deal to me, but that is just me.

 

Additional plus, it even now has Anamorphic firmware, meaning you can shoot with anamorphic lenses and get a true 2.35:1 anamorphic frame without the need to fake it in post, if they are your desired output ratio.

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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The i7 only comes with 4 gigs of RAM. Are you sure?

Apple has been shipping 16GB of ram on their Retina 15" Macbook Pro's since they came out, which is plenty.

 

The great thing about that computer is that it's got thunderbolt, USB3 and with an inexpensive adaptor, you can get E-Sata, Firewire and many flavors of fiber. So you can basically use ANY storage device anyone gives you or you feel fit to use. Plus, the more recent models have excellent video cards, not the best, but good enough for this kind of work.

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I do have to say that the colors look a little muted on the Blackmagic, but it seems to handle different fields with different lighting incredibly well. I'm not sure I need that, but if it can do that on the cheap, then I'm just about sold on it.

The black spot issue was fixed 2 months after the camera came out 2 years ago. So yea... not a problem.

 

The muted colors are very typical with the Blackmagic because the camera by design, isn't overly saturated. This is a great function in my opinion because most of the other cameras are so overly saturated when the file is delivered, it's very hard to make changes and if you over expose accidentally, the colors will actually shift. This is why people who shoot digitally, generally underexpose by a stop or even more, so they can make sure that doesn't happen. I shoot documentary stuff with my pocket cameras and there are times I can't react to the iris fast enough, but I still need to get the shot. So it's over-exposed and I have to fix it in post.

 

Again, if you're in a controlled environment, any camera will look great. If you're out shooting random stuff you may not have control over, then you need that latitude.

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Personally, if I was strongly advising George, I'd tell tell him to strongly consider the GH4 ($1,000), Ninja Assassin ($900), Tascam DR-60 ($160), V-log update ($99), a AT 875r Shotgun mic ($160, good for on camera or boom operation), 50' XLR cable ($25), Film City FC-02 Rig ($225), Nikon G to MF3 Speedbooster ($400), and a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 Nikon lens ($400, becomes an f/1.5 with the booster). This setup would cost less than to outfit a C100 in a similar manner, and would make you pretty much set for any point in the future where you need to possibly deliver 4K at some point. At the very least, you'd get 10-bit 4:2:2 from your external recorder instead of 8-bit 4:2:2...

Here is my kit...

 

2xPocket camera ($800 used each), Kinoteknik Viewfinder adaptor ($109), Rode Video Mic Pro ($249), Sennheiser EW100G3 wireless kit ($789 retail) CineCity shoulder rig ($450 shipped), Manfrotto MVH500A tripod ($249 retail), Zoom H4N audio recorder ($199 retail), Rokinon 4 lens prime kit (8mm, 12mm, 24mm 85mm $1400 retail) Canon EF to Micro 4/3rds adaptor ($49 retail), taramac camera bag ($159 retail) 4x 94MBps 64GB SD cards ($49/each)

 

The whole kit is manual, no electronic iris so you don't have to use the menu to adjust things. The viewfinder adaptor allows you to push the camera against your face when shooting, so you get nice clean shots hand held without the shoulder rig. As much as I love zoom lenses and prefer them over primes, decent completely manual zooms are expensive and STILL zoom's, don't have the proper ratio's for cinema zoom/focus pulling. So you will never get a stable/steady zoom without some sort of electronic aids. Plus, most still zooms are slow, where the two larger Rokinon primes are F1.5, which is fast enough. I rarely use the 8mm and 12mm lenses in my kit, they are only around for those quick one-off shots. I also have yet to use my fancy Zeiss 12-120 zoom on the Pocket camera because it's big, heavy and expensive. Since I use the pocket for run and gun shooting, I can't imagine carrying around a fancy set of lenses with me, they'd get destroyed in a matter of weeks.

 

Here is my pocket camera video, it explains the whole kit in more detail.

 

 

Ohh and P.S. I got my Mac Pro for $900 on ebay 4 years ago. Today they're like $500, which is a steal. I'm sitting here right now, rendering 4k red material to 1920x1080 with 4 nodes, two key's per node and 4 grades in real time... on a 10 year old computer, using firewire drives. Good luck doing any of that with a 10 year old PC. All I've got is some ram and a fast graphics card, both of which are the same cost as the PC equivalent.

 

Just snapped these pictures..

 

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I have yet to see a professional film shot with one - even the Production 4K or the URSA.

The URSA Mini 4.6k is currently on 4 professional shoots, according to my friends at Blackmagic. Since the camera JUST SHIPPED, people are finally starting to use it.

 

The 2.5k and 4k production cameras have been used on several decent sized shoots. Heck, the film I'm working on was shot half with the 2.5k and half with my pocket and when it's done, it will be a half million dollar movie, even though it's a feature-length documentary.

 

Many large-budget features including Mad Max Fury Road, have used the 4k Cinema camera as a "crash" cam because it's small and doesn't cost a lot of money. In the recent past, DSLR's were used for that purpose, I can't tell you how many crashed/smashed DSLR's I've been privy to seeing in the last few years.

 

The problem Blackmagic has is trying to do too much for too little. It's nice that they can offer a 'cinema' camera at $995 - but I really have to ask myself, what are they giving up to get that?

They give up high frame rates and they give up high sensitivity.

 

I would love to have 48FPS, but it's just not a reality now. I do all my slow-mo in post and it comes out OK I guess. I could care less about high sensitivity. In fact, I'd rather have an imager which has a base ASA of around 350, rather then 800 like the pocket camera.

 

Blackmagic's camera department is troubled. They announce camera's that take years to come to fruition, keeping reservation holders in the dark for months or years beyond their expect release dates. Then they tend to deliver camera's that are not ready for release yet. The pocket was released with no RAW support, the camera's only recently got something as simple as audio meters, etc.

Let me be frank, I know the guys at Blackmagic, I know them well. I talk with them on a monthly basis, not just because I work in the industry, but because they want my feedback.

 

Blackmagic doesn't build cameras in China like your precious GH4. They're all hand made in Australia and that in of itself is a HUGE deal because it means things take longer to make. Your GH4 is made by using pre-existing chip set's, made to Panasonics spec. The blackmagic cameras are all one-off chip sets for their own products. Yes, up until the 4.6k, they were BUYING imagers from another company, the 4.6k is their first in-house developed imager. However, that's a big deal. That's what makes Red, Arri, Canon and Sony so great, they develop their own imagers and chipsets. The difference is that, those other companies in-house chipsets cost tens of thousands and Blackmagic offers it for sub 10 grand.

 

Rather than focusing on standard sensor sizes, the Packet, Micro, and original cinema camera relied on odd-sized sensors that had no native lenses, forcing people to improvise with adapters and lenses the were too long to ever hope for a wide shot.

2/3" CCD cameras were almost the same size imager. Blackmagic simply brought back that smaller sized imager in order to make a smaller, higher power camera without the "large" imager issues.

 

So what are the large imager issues?

 

- Glass makes a much bigger difference with a large imager.

- The CMOS imager is scanned from the inside out and on a lager imager, that takes longer. So the rolling shutter effect is more pronounced.

- Larger imagers require more power from the CPU because there are more pixels to process. When more resources are taken up by the imager, less can be used for things like RAW capture.

 

There are many more issues, but honestly those are enough to get the point. The only benefit of larger imagers are the inherent depth of field, which is very easy to create with the pocket camera using a wide-range of tools like a speed booster and longer lenses which are open wider.

 

I use all Canon mount and Arri B lenses on my pocket camera without any problem.

 

The pocket CAN deliver 13-stops of DR and has nice colors, though only if shooting in RAW. Once you move to ProRes, your shooting in 10-bit 4:2:2 with 12-stops of DR, which is no better than my GH4. Working with RAW files is a literal nightmare, and not something I would recommend anyone try. Each RAW image file from the pocket is roughly 2MB in size, which means trying to play those back requires a beefy hard drive and computer.

Flat Pro Res mode on the pocket camera is very good, it offers FAR more dynamic range then ANY MPEG camera. Yes, with an external recorder in Log mode, you can get CLOSE to the pocket. I have yet to color anything out of an external recorder, so I can't comment on how much better it looks. All I know is the material I color right form a GH4 has poor dynamic range. Again, I rarely use the RAW mode, it's unnecessary.

 

The original cinema camera...

You can stop there, the original camera was flawed. It was a great idea, but it failed in my opinion. We aren't discussing that camera what so ever. I would never recommend it to anyone, even though it does deliver pretty good images.

 

Now they are harking the new 4.6K sensor with 15 stops of DR, which sounds great on paper - but as is reality most of the time, the sensor is already experiencing issues with magenta huh that they have had to delay release of their cameras again.

The Magenta "issue" isn't an issue. People are over-exposing the camera and as I said earlier, any camera will tent to tint/change color when over-exposed. The URSA mini tends to shift to Magenta, but I'm sure it will be fixed/reduced with a future update since the camera has only been in the wild a month!

 

Personally, after owning a pocket camera for almost a year, I'd not purchase one again. The Pocket was an okay camera that produced pretty good images, but I can get images that look just as good, if not better, on my GH4 with v-log, which costs the same amount of money and provides more future proofing.

Did you even bother shooting a product with the pocket before you gave up and dragged it under the bus? I got two of the very first pocket camera's, before anyone else had them. Since then, I've finished more then 30 projects, exclusively shot on the pocket. I have at least 10 projects sitting on drives waiting for time/material to finish and another dozen or so currently in production. I'm hoping by the end of NEXT year, to have 50 projects completed, all shot on the pocket. I do want an URSA 4.6k, but I'm gonna wait until I've booked a feature shooting job where I need 4k compatibility.

 

You can call me a Blackmagic fanboy, but in reality I just like the pocket camera. If you add a shoulder rig, mattebox/follow focus and external recorder, you've now defeated the whole purpose of owning a small camera, might as well buy a BIG camera. The whole point of a small camera is to be unnoticed, to shoot anything you want without anyone even knowing you exist. To me, that's the amazing part of the pocket and why I love it so much.

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Ohh and if you want samples of "youtube" content I've produced that's not bullshit camera tests... here ya go!

Here is the first series I shot with the pocket camera.









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You can see how at the beginning, I kinda sucked at coloring. As I got more familiar with coloring, the stuff became more vibrant and more cinematic as well. All the stuff edited with FCP7 was colored with Apple Color. All the stuff edited on Avid was colored with DaVinci.

 

There are a lot of mistakes in these shows as well, all of them were one day shoots, some only a few hours. Turn around was usually 3 days total from acquisition through finishing.

 

Do I dare say, all of this content and the stuff below, was all done in-camera. No external recorders, no external audio gear outside of my wireless and shot gun mic plugged directly into the camera. In fact, only 2 of those shows was shot using my shoulder rig, almost all of it was made before I got the shoulder rig.

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