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Black Magic Cinema Camera

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Hi Steve, don't misunderstand me.

I respect your source. I meant that really few people had the opportunity to play with this camera until now. Various testers said that has an impressive DR so it seem strange to me that it would be a poor performer in low light.

 

Let's see what Bloom has to say.

 

Regarding the opportunity to see a uw housing I agree with you

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Hey All,

Just received this url from Ken Stone. Rick Young, a working producer in the UK, gets to test almost every cam that ever comes out. I have reviewed a few of his books as well. He is an extraodinarily knowledgeable guy. I wish I received all the cams he gets sent to him from almost every company out there. I respect his many reviews very much. At any rate, I thought you might be interested in his review of the Black Magic cam. http://www.moviemachine.tv/video/shooting-with-the-blackmagic-cinema-camera/48431007/

After seeing this, and tho I have never used Da Vinci, if they made a housing, I would be strongly tempted.

Steve

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A few select DNG RAW clips from John Brawley's Afterglow is available for download (for now!):

 

Shot 1

Shot 2

Shot 4 @ ISO1600

Shot 5 @ ISO1600

 

You will need BlackMagic's Resolve (Pro or the free Lite) to work with these files natively. Resolve supports CUDA and runs very smoothly if you have a supported card. Otherwise, Adobe CS5.5/6 Photoshop will also work with these files in RAW. All you need to do is process 1 file in the image sequence and batch process as a sequence for the other DNG frames for the look, then output to Premiere Pro. One can also transcode via Media Encoder or After Effects to Pro Res or something else that runs faster natively.

 

I checked these files out last week and it is impressive. Looking at the clips on a 4k screen, the resolution is very nice for a $3k price tag. The latitude of the files is pretty darn excellent since it's 12 bit and RAW. White balance and color is very adjustable. The clean noise is kinda deceiving in John's video since all shots were lit artificially. I'm very impressed so far. There is the issue of the touch screen but all of the basic functions are physical buttons, and Shutter Angle can be preset to 180°. There is a Sony Lanc connector and works with Sony/Canon video camera protocols (tested with Manfrotto RC), so the electronic control housing manufacturers should be in a good position to jump in.

For super wide, the Canon 8-15 fisheye, Sigma 8-16 and Tokina 11-16 will work well with the 2.3x crop. At $3000, I think this camera will do well and I hope housing manufacturers will take a serious look. The price tag will mean that serious amateurs/prosumers will look at this camera, broadening the market beyond the usual production crowd.

 

Here is the graded video, done with Resolve:

 

[vimeohd]47933090[/vimeohd]

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Question, what is the actual frame size of both the raw and pro res? They should be the same but I was asked to check. Drew, are you saying that one could bring the raw footage directly into CS6AE and work in there before exporting to your NLE?

I was also just told that the battery is internal so I wonder what the run and recharge times would be. There is supposed to be an external battery that can be bought but if it needs an AC outlet, that would be kind of screwy.

Edited by Steve Douglas

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Just received this url from Ken Stone. Rick Young, a working producer in the UK, gets to test almost every cam that ever comes out. I have reviewed a few of his books as well. He is an extraodinarily knowledgeable guy. I wish I received all the cams he gets sent to him from almost every company out there. I respect his many reviews very much. At any rate, I thought you might be interested in his review of the Black Magic cam.

 

You should tell Mr Young that ISO settings are not "optional" with DNG/RAW and is part of every camera's exposure settings, regardless whether shooting RAW or not!! :)

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I read on several comments that the internal battery is just for jocking. Any serious shot needs an external one or ac outlet.

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Thanks for the url Davide.

Steve

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Drew, are you saying that one could bring the raw footage directly into CS6AE and work in there before exporting to your NLE?

Yes, for both PS and AE, the files are imported as a Camera RAW sequence, complete with Camera RAW processing abilities. Premiere Pro can't use Camera RAW yet, but an update should fix that. Just download it and try.

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You should tell Mr Young that ISO settings are not "optional" with DNG/RAW and is part of every camera's exposure settings, regardless whether shooting RAW or not!! smile.png

 

Rick mentioned this in his video.

 

Also, no hot shoe so where do you mount your XLR Mics and lights. Battery run time is 90 minutes and recharge is a bit more than 2 hours. The optional battery is cable connected which would be awkward even for topside field work.

No audio meters, just a volume control which you would have to adjust via your headphones.

Edited by Steve Douglas

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Instead of risking misinformation by all sorts of "reviewers", I suggest people read up on the manual for the BMCC for specs:

 

Download

 

In there, it explains all the camera functions and even workflow. And further information can be gleaned from BlackMagic's own new forum, where they have support staff for issues.

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Here's a DNG frame (open in Photoshop) of a dark scene with lights.

 

Download 1

 

One can see the latitude of the frame by playing with exposure. Pretty impressive.

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Here's a DNG frame (open in Photoshop) of a dark scene with lights.

 

I really don't get you.

 

At first, you suggest us to not hang out with all sort of reviewers but to stick with the official site and then you link the chief of all sort of reviewers gang!

 

It's the same old story...

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Davide, I'm sorry you don't understand what I meant, but it's very simple actually. My apologies if I was too subtle and unclear.

For clarification, I encourage people not to watch the reviews where there's a big chance for bad information. For instance, the reviewer doesn't even know what the relationship of RAW and ISO is. Instead learn about the camera from official specs and the official manual on the workings of the camera. Less chance of bad information since it's the manufacturer's play book.

Furthermore, the files are samples from a working BMCC, open for people to see what the camera can do and what sort of latitude there is, via using Adobe Camera RAW or any other RAw converter. There's no attached opinion other than the frame. You yourself encouraged people to download the original files. I merely linked them for ease of access for WP members.

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Davide,

Thanks for those most recent links. I will pass them on. I really found them interesting and, in a discussion yesterday with someone, we talked about how it was actually fun to learn more and more about this BM cam finding the good and the bad. Remember that this is a first generation cam so there should be improvements down the line.

Steve

 

No optical stabilization in the BMD cam. Hmmm

Edited by Steve Douglas

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It is widely known that a companies advertised specs for most anything including camera gear, stereo equipment and a wide variety of other devices do not always, and frequently do not, meet the actual performance of said equipment. That is why reviewers review a product. In some cases, the performance actually does better than advertised specs, but often it is the other way around.

 

We always tell beginners to do their research and learn, learn, learn before they actually buy anything. This means learning from a variety of sources and yes, sometimes a reviewer can misinterpret something.

When I write reviews, I always send a preview URL of the article to the company before publication to be sure there are no errors of this kind. Sometimes I do get a correction which I am always happy to make as it only makes the article more accurate and helpful.

Unfortunately, most print reviews are not to be taken too seriously as they rarely point out deficiencies and usually only praise the product. I believe this is because these same companies take out expensive magazine advertisements and the mags do not want to lose this financial source. Fortunately, for me, I can be critical but, even then, I try to do so diplomatically. It is rare, but it has happened that I have been sent a product for review that was so bad that I refused to write it up. Rather than trash the company, I just don't provide that gear or software the publicity.

There is no 1 expert. Everyone can bring something to the table which the individual can sort out for themselves. In fact, this brings to mind a discussion I had back in 92 with Wayne Hanson on the Okeanos Aggressor. Wayne was then the sole owner of the Aggressor Fleet. They hand out applications to all divers and ask them to check whether they are beginners, intermediates, advanced or experts. He said that anyone who checks themselves as an 'Expert' is the one who they watch most closely as they are the most likely to get themselves in trouble. Glad I just listed myself as an 'advanced' diver, but what he said stuck with me and I believe it applies to a great many other situations and people.

Edited by Steve Douglas
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There are 3 recently added films to the one I posted before. One is an interview with Grant Petty, the CEO of BM discussing this new cam.

http://www.moviemachine.tv

Steve

Edited by Steve Douglas

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BlackMagic announced at EIBC that they are also going to produce a passive MFT (micro four thirds) mount version of the BMCC so that manually operated MFT lenses (like Leica M and R) can be used. Price and features will be the same. The cameras are now slowly shipping and the MFT version will ship in December.

 

 

Press Release

Blackmagic Design today announced a second model of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera that features passive Micro Four Thirds lens (MFT) mount, so customers now have an even greater choice of lens options when shooting. The new Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT model supports any Micro Four Thirds with manual iris and focus, and is also easily adapted to other lens mounts such as PL via third party adapters. The ability to use third party adapters to allow other types of lens mount is due to the Micro Four Thirds lens mount being much closer to the image sensor and allowing space for adapters to other lens mounts.

 

Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT is identical to the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera model, however does not include lens communication so manual lenses are used. The current model of Blackmagic Cinema Camera will be renamed Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF to let customers easily differentiate between the models.

About Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT

Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, large 2.5K sensor, a built in SSD recorder that has the bandwidth to capture open standard CinemaDNG RAW, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD files, a built in capacitive touch screen for direct metadata entry, standard jack audio connections, built in high speed Thunderbolt connection, 3 Gb/s SDI output, a refrigerated sensor for low noise, and is fully compatible with an even wider range of extremely high quality Micro Four Thirds mount lenses, plus other lenses such as PL mount lenses via common third party adapters.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT also includes a full copy of DaVinci Resolve for color correction and Blackmagic UltraScope software for waveform monitoring. This means the user can simply plug into Thunderbolt laptop and run UltraScope to get full waveform monitoring scopes on set!

One of the most important features of the camera is its super wide dynamic range of 13 stops, allowing feature film quality images. Commonly people focus on more pixels, however often this just creates a higher resolution, but ?video? looking images that still suffer from highlight and black clipping that limits details. Blackmagic Cinema Camera?s wide dynamic range eliminates this problem and provides film quality with dramatically more detail retained in black and whites in the image. Once the shoot is complete, the included DaVinci Resolve color correction software can be used to adjust images and take advantage of this extra range in the images. The high quality Micro Four Thirds lens compatibility also helps create sharp and cinematic images that look incredible.

To eliminate the damage that low bit depth and high compression video storage creates, Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a fast SSD recorder. The built in SSD recorder can record the full sensor detail in 12 bit Log RAW files in the open standard CinemaDNG format on fast solid state disks. These files can be read by all high end video software. The full 2.5K sensor data is stored in the files completely uncompressed because the SSD has the speed to store video data at the required rate. This high quality file can then be color corrected on DaVinci Resolve for the same high quality result currently only possible on cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera has been designed as the perfect companion to Apple Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer NLE software. Unlike other cameras, which require the use of custom video file formats that are not compatible with popular NLE software, often making the post production process a nightmare, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes absolutely no custom video file formats, and every file type included is open standard. It records into CinemaDNG format for RAW files, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD for HD resolution files compatible with Apple Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer.

The built in large LCD display makes focusing easy, and allows playback of captured files. Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a built in microphone, as well as external jack based mic/line level balanced audio connections. When playing back recorded clips, a speaker is built in, and there is an included headphone socket, as well as embedded audio on the SDI output and Thunderbolt connection. The SDI output includes all camera data such as timecode, transport control, shutter angle, color temperature setting and ASA information overlaid in attractive antialiased fonts.

For easy metadata entry, the built in LCD features fast and responsive capacitive touch screen technology. When the user taps the display with a finger, a data entry window called the "slate" appears. This lets the user enter shot information just like typing on a smart phone. This data is then stored in the files and can be accessed by NLE software when editing content later. Metadata is compatible with popular software such as Apple Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve. All camera settings can be changed on this touch LCD, such as frame rate, shutter angle, color temperature, dynamic range, focus assist settings and more.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes an innovative industrial design built from solid machined aluminum metal which results in an attractive but rugged design. All of the camera, recorder and display have been shrunk down into a lightweight design that is very portable.

?One of the most common customer requests since announcing the original model of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is other lens mounts,? said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. ?We felt that Micro Four Thirds was a fantastic option and so we designed a second model with this mount. Only Micro Four Thirds lets cinematographers use a wide range of creative lenses, but it also easily adapts to other lens mounts such as PL mount, so the range of exciting lens options is virtually unlimited!?

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Key Features

Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT is identical to the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF model.

High resolution 2.5K sensor allows improved anti aliasing and reframing shots.

Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.

Built in SSD allows high bandwidth recording of RAW video and long duration compressed video.

Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD. No custom file formats.

Includes no custom connections. Standard jack mic/line audio in, BNC 3 Gb/s SDI out, headphone, high speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, LANC remote control and standard DC 12-30V power connection.

Capacitive touch screen LCD for camera settings and ?slate? metadata entry.

Compatible with extremely high quality Micro Four Thirds lenses and other mounts via adapters.

Supports 2.5K and 1080HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps.

Thunderbolt connection allows direct camera capture via included Media Express software and supports live waveform monitoring via the included Blackmagic UltraScope software.

Includes a full copy of DaVinci Resolve 9.0 color grading software.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT will be available December 2012 for US$2,995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide. The EF compatible lens mount model will be renamed as Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF so customers can differentiate the two models. Price for both models is the same, and customers can order each model depending on the lens mount they prefer.

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Davide,

Thanks for those most recent links. I will pass them on. I really found them interesting and, in a discussion yesterday with someone, we talked about how it was actually fun to learn more and more about this BM cam finding the good and the bad. Remember that this is a first generation cam so there should be improvements down the line.

 

I came across this comparison between 5DMK3 and BMC. They are compared for "dynamic range, sharpness, pushing levels, banding, artifacts, rolling shutter, chromakeying, wide/telephoto lengths, DOF (depth of field), low light, macro blocking, contrast, and more"

 

From what I understand they tried to shot in challenging conditions trying to see the camera limits. Maybe I missed something because the clips from the 5dMKIII are the ugliest I've seen so far. Really strange.

 

I suggest to see fullscreen and reading the video desciption.

 

[vimeo]49875510[/vimeo]

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Usually I do not care too much to rumors but this one if confirmed would be very interesting for us...

 

http://www.43rumors....rt-coming-2013/

 

Shortly, BM is working on a new version of their M43 mount camera. The new one will have “active m43 mount” which means it supports electronic contacts for zoom, aperture and focus control.

 

This could be the right step to have shortly an underwater housing. Last week, during a scuba show event I spoke with two different Italian housing manufacturers. Both confirmed to have received several requests for a BMCC housing but they soon discarded the idea because designing a dedicate port with aperture/focus control would be too hard and expensive from a commercial POV.

 

So maybe this is a good news if confirmed. 2014 of course....

Edited by Davide DB

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This just came out...haven't watched it yet.

 

http://www.moviemachine.tv/video/cinematographer-john-brawley:-impressions-of-the-blackmagic-cinema-camera/50294308/

Edited by Steve Douglas

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Even if the rumour about upgrading the passive M4/3 mount is not true, don't forget that even a passive mount opens up the use of many types of good (and very cheap) old manual lenses from Nikon, Canon, Zeiss Contax and Minolta with the correct adaptor. Most can be de-clicked if necessary.

 

Some of the old ultra-wides actually produce a nicer image than modern Lumix or Olympus lenses. smile.png

Edited by HDVdiver

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Even if the rumour about upgrading the passive M4/3 mount is not true, don't forget that even a passive mount opens up the use of many types of good (and very cheap) old manual lenses from Nikon, Canon, Zeiss Contax and Minolta with the correct adaptor. Most can be de-clicked if necessary.

 

Some of the old ultra-wides actually produce a nicer image than modern Lumix or Olympus lenses. smile.png

 

In my comments and opinions I'm trying to stick with underwater use, I would not buy a manual focus camera for uw use. Ok manual focus is nice for macro work but for wide shots is a pita. :)

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I would have to disagree with you on this Davide. Underwater, and especially for wide angle shots into the blue, the iris can easily be fooled when shooting auto focus. This can force the clip to go in and out of focus because the cam doesn't quite know whether to focus on the shark in the distance or the blue water. Thus, manual focus has always been the better way to go. Actually, the only time I might use auto focus is for macro work where the lens does a better job than my old eyes.

Steve

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