Another Blackmagic Clip

Wow.  I’ve had a lot of traffic over the last couple of days !  There’s a huge amount of interest in the camera !

I’ve been given the green light to reveal another clip.  This is from another early shoot, again with a prototype camera.  If you look carefully you’ll notice some stuck pixels, but what’s really exciting here is the dynamic range !  You can clearly see out the window and the levels inside were a fair bit down on that. There’s still fine detail in the darker fabric of her dress as well.  The noise is still very much a work in progress.  Please don’t take this as an example of the finished product.  The engineers are working on sensor calibration right now and this should improve dramatically.

Also there’s a lot of fine detail here.  You can see the individual hairs on the right hand side of her head, and there’s great detail in her skin (Sorry Leah !)

Once again, I graded this myself so in the hands of someone more skilled in Resolve could do a lot better !

Our talent, Leah, was lit by a single 1.2K HMI through a frame of 216 on camera right.  I had a 4×4 Poly doing a passive bounce from camera left and a bit of anti- fill between me and the poly.

I’ll post the ungraded stills again from this clip but Enjoy !

About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
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112 Responses to Another Blackmagic Clip

  1. I really need a time machine so I can pick this up now. Do you have any idea what the SDI out is like? I’d love to hook these up to the black magic ATEM switchers.

    • Amazing quality for any price point. Skin tones look better than Red already and the DR is in the Alexa territory. The bigger companies are really going to have to rethink their pricing and markets…

      • Bobbie says:

        Skin tones look exactly like Red with RedColor3/RedGamma 3 colorspace. That’s the good news. I mean to have that kind of stuff for $3K… wow.

  2. Michael says:

    it looks really nice, except for the noise in the shadows! i have to imagine that a camera like this at such a low price point will have at least one fatal flaw. seems like noise might be a cause for concern here.

    • Hybrid says:

      Erm, you do know its been crunched by vimeos h264 encoding aye and not the raw output? You can really only make judgement on such things when you see and play the raw footage.

  3. Mark Williams says:

    This looks very interesting. Just how difficult is it to learn the basics of Resolve.

  4. Greg says:

    Terrific. Shows the dynamic range and no qualms about shallowness of the DOF. Ended up pre-or dering through Digistor yesterday – OZ pricing is very competitive.

  5. stip says:

    This whole thing is a joke, $3k including Resolve – producing such an image! Can’t give enough credit to Blackmagic!
    John, may I ask what focal lenght this was?

  6. Andy says:

    Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to do this. Keep em coming! :)

  7. Billy Ray says:

    hi, can I ask what lens and f stop you used for this clip? looks great.

  8. Rohan says:

    Now that is really incredible, for one because this alone shows what massive potential this camera has. Now I just need to get the money and buy one!! Love your work John and love reading your blog and reviews. Love it! Look forward to more stuff :) Cheers

  9. Sam says:

    Hey John what lens and f-stop did you shoot this on? It looks great as you say heaps of detail and
    more importantly dynamic range!!!

  10. Adam Rainer says:

    Fantastic!!!

    1. What lense did you use?

    2. Can you please record sound with the video, if its working on the prototype?

    Cheers

  11. Daniel says:

    Are there any PL mount versions built yet and does anyone know what kind of coverage S16 glass will have if any? I’m wondering if the ProRes mode is a center crop and therefore be small enough for S16 glass.

  12. Greg says:

    Ditto to Adam’s questions, but I’d like to know if there’s any ND gel on the window in the background? If not it’s a remarkable improvement of what you’d get with (DSLR) cameras at the similar price point…

  13. jake.carvey says:

    Any way we can download a clip to play with color timing?

  14. Frank43 says:

    It’s just so damn filmic looking.

  15. Sid says:

    @Frank43 Dynamic Range baby!

  16. Galen says:

    Excellent! I can’t really fault anything in the image quality. Love the soft simple lighting too. I have to say, I came here looking for info on the camera but have found a treasure trove of amazing details about cinematography. Just brilliant! I often come up against people who need to light every little corner of a room with specials and flags and all that. I love how you’ve really embraced the look of natural light and simplified lighting.

  17. sley43 says:

    Question to John, any idea how long until you can upload cinema dng files? Even single original dng frames were enough to experiment and get an idea of the files potential.

  18. Paul says:

    You’re too modest John. That’s a STELLAR grade of an astounding image. Cant believe they packed so much into $3k! Of course I would love to have a hair more crank around 48fps or so…but 30 will do for now.

    Also @ Greg HOLLY COW – that pricing from digistore is a steal – Order placed!

  19. mariusz says:

    how about a raw file to play with? or even a few frames?

  20. Dimitrios says:

    They are gonna work awesome with the Black magic switcher. For some reason the guy said no reason for genlock,(like its sbuilt into the switcher) or something.

  21. Tal Peled says:

    i think so many people are trying to play this clip the vimeo crashed or something
    because i cant seem to be able to play the clip

  22. Mike N says:

    It might be just me but is there a little bit of banding in the area around her neck, there 2 tones of color there and the transition is not very smooth. Vimeo compression I suppose ?

  23. thanks again for all the info. im already sold, but do you know if they have any inclination at all to make the extension tube/mount removable? or perhaps even building an ND or two into all that empty space? :)

  24. David Schmidt says:

    Greg. What is digistore? I couldn’t find anything.

  25. Greg says:

    Digistor sorry – http://www.digistor.com.au/ – other OZ suppliers have it as well. Same price, $3075.

    I jsut dropped into Digital Camera Warehouse to look at my lens options for the camera – if you’re planning to use a Mattebox with this camera my recommendations are officially the Tokina 11-16 f2.8, Tokina 16-28 f2.8 and the Sigma 20mm 1.8 as your prime (50mm FF equivalent) – all of which are internal focus and zoom (in the case of the first two).

    A fast 35mm IF (so close to 85mm) would round this off as a complete digital cinema lens kit, but my Nikon isn’t IF, so I’ll keep looking.

  26. I pre-ordered a camera in the US. John, have you shot any EF-S mount APS-C lenses on the camera? Forgive me, if you’ve answered this elsewhere. I’ve been tracking most of the comments but haven’t seen it. It seems like the APS-C sensor is close to providing a similar field of view. Thanks for all your patience with being the one cinematographer who has shot on this camera and is now answering the rest of the world’s questions.

  27. Mike N says:

    Greg, looking at the sensor size of this 15.6 x 8.8 mm and comparing that with a Super 35mm one
    which is roughly 24 x 14 (for a 16×9 crop) I would believe that the equivalent lens for 50mm would be 30mm on the Black Magic sensor.

  28. Innocent says:

    Did you use the same VIMEO compression settings as the first batch of videos? The clip of the guys with the C300 seemed sharper than this one. Maybe you could try re-uploading it. What variable ND filter would you recommend to buy for this camera?

  29. Innocent says:

    Hi again,
    I just checked it out with scaling off. It’s fine.

  30. Dimitrios says:

    John’s camera I believe was a very early prototype and might not have had the sharpness and detail that it will have for production, although the stuff with the model looks great.

  31. Steve Weiss says:

    You get to a point where talent is not going to like the level of resolution. I can see the makeup on her chin covering up pimples. Frankly, I would use a pro-mist 2 and the whole scene would be much more flattering. Now I know that all of you would say, do it in post but I’m just a get it in can right and I don’t rely on post.

    • Steve, I think the footage needs to be clean at this point, just so people have a feeling for what the camera is putting out from a RAW (albeit graded) standpoint. Shooting clean for such tests removes many variables from the discussion – and should go a long way toward keeping pixel-peepers from having to thing too much!

  32. Matthew says:

    I’m very curious to know whether there’s any jello on this camera. I love the resolution, the price, everything, but if i have to keep it on a tripod or sticks the whole time then it doesn’t work for what I need.

  33. Keke Marc says:

    Just pre-ordered mine last night, and will be very excited the day it arrives.

    Not that it was deciding factor in placing my order (obviously) but I really would love this camera to have audio metering and a histogram available on screen as options. The built-in Ultrascope is a fantastic addition, however it will be mostly useless outside of a studio shoot.

    I’m hoping these will make it to the production model.

  34. Please F Mount for Nikon Lenses Please !!! :)

  35. navinrblog says:

    Reblogged this on navinrblog and commented:
    Another test shot from John Brawley that makes me want the Blackmagic Cinema Camera even more…

  36. Sunil says:

    Hello John,

    Great Analysis and explanation. I have one simple question. How will you rate this camera for shooting Hollywood calibar movie ? Appreciate your efforts out of busy schedule..

    Thanks in advance for your valuable inputs and suggestions.

    Best regards,
    Sunil K.

  37. Steve says:

    Can’t anyone see that she has GREEN skin?

    I’m getting so tired of colorists who have no idea what skin tone looks like. You guys tint green on a subway, even though that’s not how skin looks on a subway — you tint skin green in a room lit by candles — green to show the past — green to show the future — green to show it’s a cloudy day even though such a day is more blue — green to show one is in a room with little light even though dim light is more red.

    I can’t think of any real situation in which any human looks green.

    You are NOT being creative! You are following a decade old fad — like shaky cam. The camera is great, but RAW is only going to allow more to kids to play a DI. We have enough pros in Hollywood playing this horrible game.

    • johnbrawley says:

      Hi Steve.

      I’m the first to admit I’m not a colourist. Yes, I graded this, with a total of about 9 hours of total self tuition doing my own grading in Resolve. I’ve never used Resolve before becoming involved with this camera, and haven’t even worked out how to grade with more than one node. i think I’ve been pretty upfront about my skills in the post. I’ve got the utmost respect for colourists and always try to work with the many colourists I have great ongoing working relationships with.

      I do think there’s no such thing as the *right* grade though. We’re not making real life, we’re making drama. Just because our eyes don’t see a colour or it’s not *true* doesn’t mean you can’t infer or enhance a colour tone grade or tint for dramatic effect, or even just because you think it looks good. Does that mean Black & White films don’t have a place for you ?

      I make Humans look green all the time. Sometimes it’s even motivated. This IS creativity. That’s the whole point isn’t it ? You’re arguing against a fashion rather than an active creative choice I think. You’re raging against a “meetoo” mentality where others copy a current look, something that has nothing to do with a story motivation ?

      jb

      • Steve says:

        It’s more than a “meto” — although that doesn’t help. Altering reality is not being creative. There is a one in million chance that skin is ever green. No drama requires something that isn’t real. (I’m not sure skin would even be red on mars.) Creativity does not require destroying reality to achieve a “look.” Creativity is in the story not in tinting people and places where there is no logic to the tint. Ask yoursef if what you see on screen is what the camera saw. You don’t need to shout CAVE when a cave is black and brown. (It’s as bad the soundtrack on Hallmark films — cue tears.)

        That’s why B&W is so wonderful. And, why color film before DI — think of Technicolor movies — remain strong today. The Avengers and rest of today’s dreck lack story, acting, and any justifiable basis for creating a DI look.

        But, more to the point, I know what skin tone looks like. Having tinted it green I now have no idea where the error is. Perhaps the camera is weak in the yellow needed to avoid pink skin — which almost nobody has. There is almost no primary color in skin. The browner the skin, the more yellow is needed to get a rich brown.

        So despite your very welcome effort — I’ve learned noting about the camera. Any camera can be made to look like this.

        PS: as BR points the goal for the camera is very wide latitude. They chose to use RAW to deliver it. (I would have used log C.) Just because they give you a RAW image doesn’t mean you can’t restore the image to the original. And to see latitude, you really need to shoot very very high contrast situations. Almost everything you have shot is way too dark. I want to see sun bouncing off a bald head while a friend in in complete shadow. I want to see a flag in bright sunlight that has both very pale yellow and pale blue — while a black person stands next to it in a shadow.

        Sorry, I have written camera reviews for decades so I know how to stress cameras so folks can see how the CAMERA itself works. So I’m really not bitching at you. It’s just that camera tests should stress the hell out of a camera. Like Bloom’s cigar tests. Or, a day on the snow with a dark and deep forest and a very tan skier. (I like testing cameras in India because it’s so easy to get super bright highlights while shooting someone inside a very dark building.)

    • johnbrawley says:

      Hello Steve.

      Thanks for your comments.

      As stated, I’m not a Colourist. Nor am I a camera reviewer. I’m not setting out to sell or demonstrate the extremes of the camera. I’m not Phillip Bloom and I’m not you.

      What I am is a working Cinematographer. I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to be part of a team that is developing a camera. I’ve shot a lot of material for them already, including shots that *stress* the camera. The “Leah” footage is part of a whole sequnce that was shot but BMD decided it wasn’t ready to be released, for exactly these reasons.

      BMD have chosen not to release this footage because, the camera isn’t ready to be shown yet. It’s a camera in development. When these tests were shot, they were still working on the calibration of the sensor itself. They were still getting their heads around mapping the colour gamut and noise range.

      This is the only footage that I’m “allowed” to show. It’s not anywhere near the footage I have shot. It breaks my heart because we’ve shot some far better material that I think better demonstrates what this camera can do. But BMD don’t want that footage out there just yet. Because of exactly these reasons. It’s not finished yet. Have a look on You Tube and you’ll see my footage has been ripped and posted there. With hundreds of mis-informed and idiotic comments about dead pixels and the like.

      You have to look at this footage through that prism. You’re welcome to review a camera when you get one and you can make up your own mind. I look forward to your thoughts.

      As to your “dark” comments. Perhaps you can take a look at “Beach Dusk” You’ll find plenty of high contrast there. Shots into AUSTRALIAN sun kicking off water.

      http://vimeopro.com/johnbrawleytests/blackmagic-cinema-camera

  38. Sanjan says:

    Hello John,

    Thanks a lot for your wonderful analysis and comments.

    I read some where that to capture the video on the system you will require an Apple Computer System (MAC) with thunderbolt port on it only ? Is this true ?

    Also I have one more curiosity to know about the camera capability. How will you rate this camera for shooting Hollywood calibar movie ?

    Thanks in advance for your valuable inputs.

    Best Regards,
    Sanjan

    • Steve Mullen says:

      “Also I have one more curiosity to know about the camera capability. How will you rate this camera for shooting Hollywood calibar movie ?”

      Your movie will be projected in old theaters at 2K — now more likely 4K. DI must be 4K. You neeed to shoot — even for 4K DI at 5K and really 6K. So you hae your answer. 2.5K is HDTV for BD and ATSC.

      You are not getting a RED for $3000. :) and, RED is now the minimum since the Sony F65 is being rented.

      PS: Of course you can make a 5mm with DV which proves its story and talent not tools.

      • Sanjan says:

        Thanks a lot Steve for the clarifications.

        I came through a chat that human’s can’t even really see a difference between 2K and 4K, a highly suspect claim to be sure. I found this is a fantastic article from Creative Cow on sensors. What are your comments on this article discussion ?

        http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/the-truth-about-2k-4k-the-future-of-pixels

        Thanks for ur valuable comments and discussion.

        Best Regards,
        Sanjan

      • johnbrawley says:

        “Your movie will be projected in old theaters at 2K — now more likely 4K. DI must be 4K. You neeed to shoot — even for 4K DI at 5K and really 6K. So you hae your answer. 2.5K is HDTV for BD and ATSC.”

        Steve I disagree with you. Resolution is only important to engineers. I’ve shot plenty of footage for the big screen on way less than 2k cameras. I’ve just done an anamorphic feature film using only 1.9K ProRes. In our tests we compared ProRes, Arri Raw and an epic at 5K. The differences in resolution could hardly be discerned in a cinema.

        I even did a test between a whole lot of cameras, including a Canon dSLR and screened the test in a cinema. IN the end, everyone was surprised how good the “little” cameras looked considering they weren’t all that high resolution.

        http://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/posted-available-light-tests-are-finally-online/

      • Steve Mullen says:

        “… everyone was surprised how good the “little” cameras looked considering they weren’t all that high resolution….”

        I’ll bet the DI was not 4K nor did the theater have Sony’s latest 4K projectors.

        Surprised yes. Spike Lee chose a VX1000 and I agreed. But, today the STUDIO does not want to be “surprised” about anything.

        Resolution is second only to DR in what is needed in BIG theaters. It allows full fine detail with no edge enhancement. And, I damn well want it for my next HDTV which will be QuadHD. And, so does the studio!

        PS: If folks can’t tell the difference between 3000-lines and 1600-lines — the test was faulty. That’s more than the difference between SD and HD.

      • johnbrawley says:

        Steve.

        It really annoys me when people tell me how I “must” have this and “minimum” should be this.

        I just told you about my real world actual personal experience, why I tested using the methodology that I used and you’re telling me that my own test was faulty and how it was faulty. There were 200 people at the screening who would have a better opinion than you because they were in the audince, many of whom also COMMENTED in the linked post their views of the screening.

        I told you specifically why I don’t think resolution is the be all and end all and all you can do is say my DI was faulty or the projector wasn’t the right one. Did you even read the frickin blog ? It was a test of both DCP and 35mm print. And yes my friend, it was a 4K print.

        All I care about is how I can move an audince emotionally with images not by how many effing pixels are on the screen. This engineering centric mentality of judging image qaulity is garbage. That image quality can even be defined by numbers is criminal.

        Please don’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t do. Which cameras I should use because they are the “minimum”. What the DI pixel count should be. I need to know this stuff, but it does not define the choices I make every day as a cinematographer.

        See BMD have a view, which I happen to agree with, that the engineering “elitist” views like this should be banished. You’re complaining about them delivering a RAW camera for 3 thousand bucks because most people won’t be able to cope with the workflow or use Resolve. You don’t think the masses can cope with it.

        BMD are all about breaking this petty elitism and this is EXACTLY what they will do with this camera.

      • Steve Mullen says:

        John, I have read for years that this test or that test shows folks can’t tell HD from SD. Now we hear that 4K HDTV won’t look any different than 2K HDTV. I’m sure after London’s 8K test there will be those who say these look the same. Hell, I remember Beta SP owners saying DV looked worse. That’s why when possible engineers MEASURE. Humans err — big time! They become “fans.” Therefore, I tend to disregard what shooters say. And, PR — I can read DigitalBolex PR and they say THEY are doing what you say BM is doing — but better!

        1) It is not elitism to say that measurements will show an EPIC will be better than a BM. It is not elitism to say that Hollywood producers will still prefer to rent an EPIC. (They won’t even use a Scarlet to save money.) Frankly, you are setting BM up for failure. If, after you glowing reviews, the BM doesn’t match RED folks will say BM mislead by giving the camera to one person who would rave about it. There are already folks trying to buy it!

        2) It is not elitism to say that most editors are not colorists and will find Resolve very hard to use at it’s FULL POTENTIAL.

        3) If they will only be able to use Resolve at level of their NLE’s CC — then yes — the NLE will do the same job. It is not the tool — it is the knowledge editors have. Even you gave a beautiful woman green skin. :)

        PS: this is why there are independent reviewers who owe companies nothing. Moreover, most good reviewers do not talk in terms of “elitism” or “democratic cinema” and we skip PR claims.

        The only claim I see is “Regular video cameras clip video so you are locked into images that look cheap.” Nothing about a RED killer!

      • johnbrawley says:

        “1) It is not elitism to say that measurements will show an EPIC will be better than a BM. It is not elitism to say that Hollywood producers will still prefer to rent an EPIC. (They won’t even use a Scarlet to save money.) Frankly, you are setting BM up for failure. If, after you glowing reviews, the BM doesn’t match RED folks will say BM mislead by giving the camera to one person who would rave about it”

        It is elitism to tell me as a cinematographer which camera I should use based on it’s pixel count. I usually go by how it looks, what production methodologies can be supported and what the production can afford.

        I haven’t been giving it glowing reviews. I’m not even a reviewer. At the top it says john brawley – cinematographer…not john brawley reviewer. I’m a working cinematographer. I haven’t been reviewing the camera, I’ve been invited to participate in the development of a new camera, and I’m some of that process here. You consistently seem to misunderstand this.

        I’ve not talked about it being a “red killer”. Those are your words.

      • Steve Mullen says:

        “It is elitism to tell me as a cinematographer which camera I should use based on it’s pixel count.”

        I never said YOU should do anything. I said Hollywood producers will go for more pixels — and for measurable and trust reasons. (4K DI leads to 4k HDTV in 2013.)

        IF I’m an elitist because IF I had the money I would buy an EPIC then I guess I am. Actually, I would buy an F65! I don’t feel the need to claim the BM is better than everything to justify buying one. I’m not a fan-boy.

        Still no answer on the log recording of PR you claim is supported. I still don’t think so.

      • Sanjan says:

        I came to know that recently released Hollywood Movie “Act of Valor” is fully shot using “Canon 5D MkII “.I saw this movie on 32 inch LED SmartTV. It looks great. Though I did not get chance to watch in cinema hall/theatre.
        “BMD Cinema Camera” seems much better than “Canon 5D MkII “. I think shooting a movie using BMD Cinema camera with right choice of lens should look great.

        There are many Hollywood movies which are shot using DSLRs. Here is list:

        http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?198927-DSLR-Feature-Film-List

        I did not see any other movie from this list yet. I just saw one.

        So I think for those who are running short of budget, can buy BMD body and invest in some good lens. And shoot great movies.

        Thanks,

        Best Regards,
        Sanjan

  39. randyman says:

    “Almost everything you have shot is way too dark.”

    My, aren’t we the helpful one.

  40. Steve says:

    So sorry — I realized typing at 5AM I used the word “you” in my first post. I did not mean John. I meant “you guys” who are colorists. I grew-up in the New Wave film era where the world was B&W with lots of wonderful grain. Color was introduced very carefully by masters. (I shot Tri-X.)

    So I’m old and crabby! To keep myself sane — while waiting for a BM to review — I bought a Bolex, lightmeter, B&W film, Bolex splicer, and an Austrian projector. I think it might be fun to compare working with both — since the film will be telecined to ProRes 422 HQ (Does working with film interest anyone these days?)

    PS: John, by “dark” I meant overcast.

  41. Sanjan says:

    Hello John,

    Thanks for your reply.
    May I know if this camera is having any inbuilt lens ? Or they are just selling camera body ? And we need to buy the lens separately as per our needs?

    Thanks,

    Best regards,
    Sanjan

  42. Ron says:

    Hi John,
    You’ve worked with the big boy cameras, the Red, Alexa, etc., and you have been working with the BM. Your opinion is very valuable. I commend you for all your efforts! I noticed your tweet the other day and it really got my attention.

    “Ok. Just looked at the first ProRes log clips from the #BMCC in Resolve and they are freaking awesome. Mind blown”

    Image wise, would you say that the BM image is on the same level as the “big boy” cameras? I’ve been contemplating grabbing a Red, for the image, however will the BM hold its own? I’ve been sitting on the fence as whether to order the BM or not. If the image does rank high on the totem pole (which from your tweet it alludes to this), I want to get my order in asap due to the fact there could be a mass influx of new orders once more info comes. Thanks.

    • Steve says:

      “ProRes log clips”

      We need to nail this down. ProRes doesn’t support log data — it’s REC709. BM told me the 709 linear curve is pulled OPTIMALLY from the log from the sensor.

      HOWEVER, with an importer from Glue, one can de-log data. So, when BM says they also offer a “filmic” curve — unlikely as I think it is — they could apply logC to the ProRes output. They could even output PR 12-bit.

      But, I think this is a typo in the brochure.

      PS: what is the “filmic” curve? Lazy S-log, compressed blacks, rolled-off brights, or just flat. BM?

      John, can you drop 100 frames of original CinemaDNG (UNCORRECTED) into your Public Dropbox. Going to Vimeo makes it impossible to know what one is seeing. Or, try Exposure Room that is all h.264 and is only for filmmakers.

      THANK YOU!
      Steve

      • John Brawley says:

        not sure what you mean steve. De-Log ?

        The camera can record in ProRes in either REC709 space or LOG.

        This is BMD’s version of LOG. Not LOGc. Not sLOG, but BMD LOG.

        I’m not sure why you’d need “Glue” ? And I can’t distribute and DNG’s just yet. Sorry.

        jb

      • Steve says:

        If BM were to ProRes encode log data — any type log — the image COULD indeed go through ProRes, but without a software NLE plug-in — the decoded log data would be useless for editing. Glue provides this plug-in for log cameras.

        To even view such data you need to apply a reverse log to the uncompressed data. After de-logging, you must have REC709 gamma that can be edited for broadcast. Log data cannot be edited — it’s totally flat.

        The two non-RAW codecs are designed for direct broadcast use! No RAW. No Log. Only REC709 gamma. That’s the reason you don’t need Glue. The data isn’t log. It’s a typo!

        In fact, a LUT must be applied in the camera otherwise the VF image will be too flat. (The LUT is not applied to the recorded data.)

        The BM camera has 2 sections: (1) sensor, log generator, recorder. (2) a compressor chip that obtains it’s data by deBayering from the mid-portion of the RAW data. REC709 gamma — a “non-linear but NOT log” gamma curve, is applied and then the data are encoded.

        BM offers another “non-linear but NOT log” gamma curve they call FILMIC. From Pana we know that term means either of two things: a gamma that makes video look more like film OR a gamma that is optimal when going to film, I would bet on the former. So it is basically a non-REC709 gamma curve.

    • John Brawley says:

      Hi Ron.

      The camera is pretty special. I can’t really say that it’s the same as an EPIC, RED or Alexa. Each has it’s own look and feature set. What I can definitely say is that I like the look of this camera a lot, before you even consider the DR it offers and the uncompressed recording. I can easily imagine using it alongside an Alexa as a “b” camera. In fact, on the series I’m shooting now, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. Alongside the two Alexa’s on Main unit, we’ve been doing a bit of Blackmagic as well.

      jb

      • Ron says:

        Hi John,
        Thanks for the response. What I’m referring when asking about the BM’s look is whether it can stand with quality images from the “top league” cameras. Could it be an “A” camera. A year ago when you did the comparison with Film(35/16), Redmx, Alexa, F3, Canon 1D, one can notice the quality difference between the top cameras (Film, Red, Alexa – yes each has their own character trait but all had that “rich quality look” )and the Canon 1D / F3 (did not have the overall high quality look as those other cameras although pretty darn good). In other words, if my understanding is correct, the BM has that high quality look since you can use it as a “b” camera with the Alexa? Initially I was going to buy a C300 then I was looking at some used Redmx packages. I don’t need all the bells and whistles. The BM has an excellent pricing and if the image ranks amongst the top cameras (has that “quality” richness like a Red, Alexa), then that is what I’m looking for (the DR and the uncompressed are very important too). People should be checking out your blog as you have very good stuff here!

    • John Brawley says:

      Steve.

      I’m still confused.

      The camera has two ways of encoding video. One is called “video” by the camera and is 709. The other is called “film” and is a LOG encoded version, BMD’s, version of LOG which is optimised for how they can get the most front he sensor into ProRes.

      You seem to be saying there LOG mode of ProRes “film” isn’t LOG ?

      LOG is a well established workflow. There are lots of way to work with it in editorial if you’re concerned about LUT’s. You can apply a LUT to the monitoring chain itself, and many tools (like Resolve) allow you to add LUT’s into the workflow). You can even transcode with a LUT applied through Resolve to a codec you like.

      The ProRes clips when recorded using “Film” are LOG encoded flat images, and not 709 images.

      jb

  43. Steve says:

    Actually they can be both be. For Broadcast work, PR 422 HQ REC709 gamma is used because tt can be edited by any NLE.

    AND, as I posted earlier, “So, when BM says they also offer a “filmic” curve — unlikely as I think it is — they could apply log to the ProRes output. They could even output PR 12-bit.” So you are saying exactly what I posted earlier.

    1) Don’t know “which” log it is, but they all do the same job. BM told me they need to come up with a sexy name for their gamma. (logMagic”)

    2) And all your source images will be flat (UGH) since NLE’s have no provision for applying a LUT to the source monitor.

    3) While it is true that you can use a CC to TRY to alter a log gamma to non-linear gamma — because log gamma has no use in video — it’s complicated. You need to work out a formula.

    4) That’s why it can make sense to process all sources OUT OF LOG GAMMA before editing. Because 10-bit log gamma can be handled nicely by 12-bit non-linear gamma — there is no need to USE log in editing. All the log data is in the 12-bit non-linear gamma data. How to do this job?

    “The ARRI Camera Toolkit allows MacOSX and Applications to be fully compatible with ARRIRAW Sequences <<>> movies. LogC ProRes movies can be instantly converted to Rec 709 or DCI P3 colorspaces. White Points and Exposure Indices can be changed, on the fly, without any rendering.”

    Resolve no doubt can do this, but is far more complicated. Who needs “nodes” as it just makes editing more complicated and slow. We only need to convert 10-bit log to 12-bit REC709. 709 is the industry standard for most anything one will distribute as video! (DCI P3 is not even supported by RED.)

    So we agree and disagree. IMO anything that adds cost, complexity, and time starts one down the road to perfection, and you wind up with a RED. BM is going in the reverse way. Cheap, fast, and very good.

    Steve

    • John Brawley says:

      “Actually they can be both be. For Broadcast work, PR 422 HQ REC709 gamma is used because tt can be edited by any NLE.”

      LOG can also be edited by any NLE just as easily. You just need a monitoring chain with a LUT.

      “1) Don’t know “which” log it is, but they all do the same job. BM told me they need to come up with a sexy name for their gamma. (logMagic”)”

      This is because the LOG profile has to be optimised for their sensor. Yes, it’s blackmagic’s version of LOG. But it’s the same idea.

      “2) And all your source images will be flat (UGH) since NLE’s have no provision for applying a LUT to the source monitor.”

      I really really don’t understand what you’re saying. LOG is generally preferred by most as you can capture the maximum amount of DR (only bettered by RAW). It’s flat because that’s how you capture the most amount of DR. If you don’t like flat images then you can record 709 at the cost of some DR. It’s very very common to have a LUT applied to the monitoring chain. What do you propose would be any different about blackmagic over Slog, Arri LOGc or Cineon ?

      I do believe blackmagic plan to make it possible to record LOG while you monitor in 709 HD-SDI out of the camera.

      “3) While it is true that you can use a CC to TRY to alter a log gamma to non-linear gamma — because log gamma has no use in video — it’s complicated. You need to work out a formula.”

      Again, your experience is different to mine. I deal with LOG images all the time and it doesn’t seem to be complicated to deal with AT ALL.

      “4) That’s why it can make sense to process all sources OUT OF LOG GAMMA before editing. Because 10-bit log gamma can be handled nicely by 12-bit non-linear gamma — there is no need to USE log in editing. All the log data is in the 12-bit non-linear gamma data. How to do this job?”

      Again, you seem to be wanting to convert the LOG files to an editorial format whilst still retaining all the DR. You get a copy of Resolve with the camera that can do exactly this.

      • Steve Mullen says:

        John, I hope you and everyone understand that we are doing a mini-blog. Cinema guy meets Video guy (I write for Broadcast Engineering magazine).

        So when I said, “And all your source images will be flat (UGH) …” I knew you would answer, ” You just need a monitoring chain with a LUT.” Using a monitor that handles “flat” images is an great solution. Remember I posted, “From Pana we know that term means either of two things: a gamma that makes video look more like film OR a gamma that is optimal when going to film.”

        But, when I hook my BM to my my laptop via Thunderbolt, I’ve not got a monitor! So all my video I’m logging is flat (UGU) because NLEs do not have an import LUT — unless you use Glue during import.

        You say, “You get a copy of Resolve with the camera that can do exactly this.” True, but Resolve is very complicated. Glue is very simple.

        You say, “Again, you seem to be wanting to convert the LOG files to an editorial format whilst still retaining all the DR.” While true — it misses the point that ProRes 12-bit from Glue carries in non-log form ALL the DR that is in logMagic. The trick is that the BM shoots 12-bits, converts to 10-bit log, and Glue converts it back to 12-bits.

        The ONLY advantage of log is it saves storage bits. It’s legacy. :) As long as you can edit with the same bits as the sensor, you have all the sensor’s DR sensor. When BM gets faster chips, it can simply record in PR 12-bit.

        So here’s my question for you:

        Can Resolve batch covert BM 10-bit log PR files to 12-bit non-linear PR files? Without having to setup anything but a few parameters. Just a utility. No CC since I want to use Media Composer (16-bit Sequences).

        Any way to get a sample of BM’s “logMagic” file from camera?

        Steve

      • johnbrawley says:

        Steve if you want 12 BIT you can just use DNG. I’m still not really understanding what your complain is. You want 12 bit ProRes files ?

        JB

      • Steve Mullen says:

        1) “You want 12 bit ProRes files ?” Exactly! Once one accepts ProRes compression — which some will not — then the selling point of BM — perhaps their MAJOR selling point — is its wide DR. That means every bit from the sensor is compressed to PR 12-bit 4444. (Essentially, after deBayering, RGB data are compressed with a zero alpha value.) Now, I can use the NLE’s CC to decide the look I want.

        To get this, we need a utility to batch log to non-linear. AE will do this for $$$. MPEGstream may do it. Maybe QT. FCP. Resolve?

        2) “Steve if you want 12 BIT you can just use DNG.” No! A thousand times no! The files are huge! The time to process each frame a be a MINUTE PER FRAME! And, that level of control I think is a fad. 90% of what anyone does is going to be distributed by ATSC or on BD. To me, one has to be OCD to spend hours tweaking almost 100 parameters to get “your” look. Really, who is paid enough to sweat such tiny details? I read about these famous directors and their use of terabytes and months in post — and they make “The Avengers.” IMO it’s all toy ego.

        DR on the other hand is a legitimate problem with video. The BM may fix it. That’s all I need! (Why they just don;t send the sensor data to the PR encoder is a sad mystery. Why drag log into the process?)

        PS1: Of course we read the BM chip is too small to shoot a masterpiece. Bull. Or, the crop factor is too large. Bull.

        PS2: CinemaDNG is great because you DO get so much control. I love adjusting WB and creating custom gamma curves. But, even for a one light, it is a lot of work — for me

      • John Brawley says:

        “1) Once one accepts ProRes compression — which some will not — then the selling point of BM — perhaps their MAJOR selling point — is its wide DR. ”

        From BMD’s perspective the major selling point is RAW with wide DR. ProRes and DNx is a bonus. ProRes is very good as boring old vanilla 10Bit 4:2:2 HQ. Tell me another camera that gives you this for the same price ?

        If you want that workflow then the current ProRes is very good and VERY little would be gained. If you want everything then you have RAW. This is not really an ENG style camera, it’s a CINEMA camera. That’s a nod to it’s intended workflow. To their credit, they made it so that you can also do ProRes422 or DNx. This will still blow away any other camera in the same price range.

        You can download a single node version of resolve for free. Why don’t you try it.

      • Steve Mullen says:

        John — you seem to feel I’m knocking the BM camera. I’m not! I’m saying I don’t believe there are that many folks who have the talent and budget to make a MOVIE that REQUIRES RAW. BM is doing aspirational marketing.

        Most will use ProRes log or REC709 because there is nothing old fashioned about ProRes! That’s hype! DNxHD is just as good. Compression saves bits with no visual loss.

        One you get 10-bits of LOG through a ProRes pipeline and delog to 12-bit ProRes 4444 — you have the full DR. All RAW provides is the ability to play with color. Color is not a problem that needs fixing. DR is the biggest problem with digital cinema.

        Sorry, I believe ART is in shooting what you want in the first place! If we could do this with reversal film in the 50-60s — we sure should be able to do do this when we can look though a VF.

        Remember, even with ONLY PR 4444 I still have Media Composer’s full curves-based CC. It’s not like I can’t do in real-time 50% of what you can do in Resolve. That’s good enough for me.

        In fact I can use Resolve in real-time with ProRes. Correct?

        So — what does RAW really get you but bragging rights to the latest camera feature?

        PS: you still haven’t answered if Resolve can be used as a standalone application to batch process log to non-log.

        Steve

  44. Sanjan says:

    Thanks again John. I was just going through the lens. As per specifications we can use EF and ZE lenses for BMD Cinema camera ? What about Canon canon EF-S Lenses ? Are EF-S lens also compatible with BMD cinema camera. Also read that Full Frame cameras can only use EF lenses. APS-H sensors can only use EF lenses,EF-S lenses won’t work. APS-H are sensors with crop factor 1.3x. This means that they are 1.3x smaller than Full Frame sensors and therefore, crop some of your image. Can we use both, EF and EF-S lenses on BMD Cinema camera ?

    Thanks,

    Best Regards,
    Sunil Sanjan

  45. Sanjan says:

    Thanks a lot John for clraification.

    One more question I am having in my mind. As we know we can use “still lens” for video shoot as well.
    Is it good to use “Still Lens” with BMD Cinema Camera for video shoot? Or we need only “Cine Lens” for better results ?
    Does it make any difference if we use “Still Lens” or “Cine Lens” for video shoot ?

    Thanks in advance for your valubale inputs.

    Best Regards,
    Sanjan

    • Steve Mullen says:

      Still lens = aperture click at stops and focus (AF) and zoom can make noise.

      • Sanjan says:

        Thanks again Steve for ur inputs.

        I just wanna know how bad is this noise? Can we over come this noise any how ? Would you recommend to shoot video/movie with “Still Lens” ? If yes what will you do to get rid of this noise ?

        Thanks.

        Best Regards,
        Sanjan

      • johnbrawley says:

        Noise is a very subjective thing. Everyone can tolerate different levels of noise. There are also post processes that can help to reduce this. IN a RAW camera like this, the noise will always be more apparent because you get everything with RAW. Other cameras do a lot of noise reduction”under the hood” where you can’t see it.

        Stills lenses can be optically OK, but they have other shortcomings when used for motion picture filmmaking. They tend to lack proper focus scales for consistent focus pulling. Their scales don’t travel far enough to get the fine focus adjustments. They tend to not be the same aperture throughout the zoom range. They also tend to not have the same tolerances in manufacturing so they aren’t consistent. They have other optical aberrations that don’t matter to stills but matter a lot to motion picture guys, like “breathing”. Some lenses, like the canons, don’t have continuous iris and have steps for every aperture.

      • Steve Mullen says:

        John, you have everything with a RED — even a Scarlet. Including PL lenses. So if you have the story and talent recognition to shoot Commercial work, you’ll very likely have the money to rent a RED.

        If your looking at a $3000 camera you — for whatever reason — don’t have the budget. You likely don’t have much time either.

        1) RAW = deBayer in software than CC in software. SLOW

        2) deBayer in camera, PR or DNxHD encoding, CC is NLE. FAST
        I can do everything in Media Composer’s CC you can do in Resolve.

        The difference is compression. Wavelet used by RED is virtually lossless while PR 422 HQ is visually lossless. BM RAW is lossless. So you are correct #1 is better!

        But, I maintain at the profit level of projects that would allow you to use a $3000 camera — the extra quality is not WORTH ($$$) the extra storage ($$$) and time ($$$)

        Obviously, if you have the money and the urge for perfection (at least a $3000 level of perfection) — shoot RAW.

        But without at least 5K resolution you are NEVER going to come as close to 35mm film perfection as you say you want. The BM lack of resolution makes it not a cheap RED. Nor, a cheap F3 with a set of Ziess + the S-log recorder.

        Defending the BM is simply not necessary. It’s better than a FS100/FS700/AF100 and — to me — all the DSLRs. Why isn’t that good enough for you? They are going to sell tons! Some fraction will use all the recording methods. There is no reason to insist only ONE is good.

      • johnbrawley says:

        “I can do everything in Media Composer’s CC you can do in Resolve.”

        You actually have no idea what you’re talking about my friend. If you don’t understand why Resolve is better than a NLE CC tool then you don’t know a thing about colour correction.

  46. Steve Mullen says:

    “From BMD’s perspective the major selling point is RAW with wide DR. ProRes and DNx is a bonus.” That’s the PR, but from my discussions they epect PR and DNxHD to be what actually is used.

    1) RAW = deBayer in software than CC in software.

    2) deBayer in camera, PR or DNxHD encoding, CC is NLE.

    The video industry on PR or DNxHD encoding. RAW is the bonus for someone who hopes to make a Indie one day. Commercial cine guys will rent a RED because of the 4K, 5K, and 6K resolution. 2.5K is not enough for 4K DI for 4K projection and 35mm film. 2.5K is HDTV. It’s not a cine resolution except for BD discs.

    • johnbrawley says:

      “The video industry on PR or DNxHD encoding. RAW is the bonus for someone who hopes to make a Indie one day. Commercial cine guys will rent a RED because of the 4K, 5K, and 6K resolution. 2.5K is not enough for 4K DI for 4K projection and 35mm film. 2.5K is HDTV. It’s not a cine resolution except for BD discs.”

      Again, I don’t think resolution is everything steve. DR is very important and so are creative flexility in post. That’s what RAW gives you. Luckily you have both choices with this camera.

  47. Steve Mullen says:

    “IN a RAW camera like this, the noise will always be more apparent because you get everything with RAW. Other cameras do a lot of noise reduction”under the hood” where you can’t see it.”

    THe question was about audible noise. :) Using a 50mm A-mount on an E-mount, the focus was painful. You could hear the ball-bareings rolling! You’ld have to shoot DS.

  48. Steve Mullen says:

    FROM BM SITE:

    “Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD. All compressed recording in 1920×1080 10-bit YUV with choice of Film or Video Dynamic Range.”

    There is nothing here that says either DR mode is log!

    VDR is non-linear REC709

    I have always said FDR is simply a flatter non-linear curve. You say it is log. John, do you have a sample a PR log file?

    • John Brawley says:

      Clearly steve you know more about this than I do. Fine. it’s not LOG.

      • Steve Mullen says:

        WHAT?

        “Clearly steve you know more about this than I do. Fine. it’s not LOG.”

        1) I asked you because you HAVE the camera! You said “yes”.

        2) Are you now seriously saying “no.”

        3) If it’s not log, then we must use CinemaDNG to get DR.

        4) So, we agree. Now, I just want the simplest way to use Resolve in or for Media Composer and FCP X and Premiere.

        5) Do you know what the “filmic” gamma curve is? Does it make video look like film (e.g., lots of black crush) or for making 35mm films (e.g., very flat). Please shoot some samples.

      • johnbrawley says:

        We don’t agree Steve. At all.

        I’ve told you it’s log. You don’t accept it. Why don’t you ask Blackmagic themselves.

        JB.

      • Steve Mullen says:

        Please cut the games. Point-out the BM spec and/or post a sample.

      • randyman says:

        John, I’m really sorry you’re dealing with this cretin. Please don’t feed the troll.

    • Galen says:

      Steve, It’s pretty clear that you’re just trying to bully john into showing you the footage so you can write something on your miniblog. You’re just going to have to wait like the rest of us.

      • Steve Mullen says:

        “Steve, It’s pretty clear that you’re just trying to bully john into showing you the footage so you can write something on your miniblog. You’re just going to have to wait like the rest of usI

        IT’S PRETTY CLEAR? REALLY? I ASK:

        “5) Do you know what the “filmic” gamma curve is?

        THAT SOUNDS LIKE A QUESTION WHICH JOHN COULD ANSWER IN LESS THAN 5 MINUTES!

        “Does it make video look like film (e.g., lots of black crush) or for making 35mm films (e.g., very flat).”

        DOE’S THIS SEEM LIKE I’M ASKING FOR A SAMPLE?

        “Please shoot some samples.”

        WOW — I”M A REAL BULLY. WHAT CULTURE DO YOU LIVE IN?

        PS: “so you can write something on your miniblog.”

        #1. Where is this imaginary “miniblog?” Come-on — man-up. Where is it it?

        #2. My review unit from BM will be arriving this month. I don’t need to BULLY John. Then we’ll start getting facts not opinions.

        PS: Your comment is a perfect example why opinions are nearly worthless. They represent YOUR bias — not facts.

      • johnbrawley says:

        “5) Do you know what the “filmic” gamma curve is?

        THAT SOUNDS LIKE A QUESTION WHICH JOHN COULD ANSWER IN LESS THAN 5 MINUTES!”

        Steve. I already told you that “Film” mode is LOG. It’s BMD’s version of LOG, optimised for the sensor. I have already answered the question. You just don’t seem to accept it. If you want to argue it, then please take it up with BMD.

        Looking forward to your review.

      • galenb says:

        Oh my, you turned on the cap locks. It’s getting serious.

        Where is your mini blog? I have no idea, you’re the one who mentioned it:
        “John, I hope you and everyone understand that we are doing a mini-blog. Cinema guy meets Video guy (I write for Broadcast Engineering magazine).”.

        You wrote that right? Now your saying it’s imaginary?

        So I suppose that if you work for “Broadcast Engineering” magazine, you must be a professional. Steve, your behavior here has been nothing even resembling professional.

      • Steve Mullen says:

        My God you have zero sense of what you read:

        ” “John, I hope you and everyone understand that we are doing a mini-blog.”

        Note the WE. Note the ARE.

        You are doing a BLOG. WE are dong a MINI-BLOG >>>> INSIDE <<< your BLOG. That's the MINI.

        See why I don't trust what you say about log PR?

  49. jake.carvey says:

    When it comes to guerrilla shooting and the benefits of RAW, one thing that people seem to keep forgetting, is that a lot of crews will be running and gunning, moving fast, kicking ass and *forgetting* to take names – let alone wait around for perfect exposures. One benefit that RAW can provide in these scenarios is the ability to capture footage in crap circumstances ( an all too common occurrence in the land of the one man crew ) and “rescue” it in post. It’s not ideal, of course, but in the realm of a $3000 camera, it’s gonna happen on a daily basis, and that camera is going to save a lot of asses. We all want skilled, efficient crews to carry our stuff and rig diffusion and lay out dolly track – but for a lot of shooters, it doesn’t happen all that often. I’m not talking about “set everything on auto” or Lyto “field imaging” – I am talking about that little extra range, those little details in the over-exposed clouds or the shadow under an interviewee’s nose that might be very hard to see – let alone control – out in the field.

    Also, remember that less than 4 years ago, a 16GB P2 card cost, what, $1500?! That’s a MacBook and (5) five (count ‘em, 5) 160GB SSD drives right there! So regarding media and workflow, it’s really not that big of a deal, in the overall scheme of things.

    While one could argue that the best art doesn’t originate from scenarios involving such a lack of budget and planning, it is a VERY common real world scenario. And a lot of great art HAS been made within that world of chaos – and RAW definitely provides guys like me significantly more latitude to utilize shots that may have been hard to expose in the field.

    In fact, I would venture to say, while large sensors were the defining breakthrough of the HDSLR phase, adding RAW into that mix, and delivering a camera that can leverage an existing investment in DSLR prime lenses (even if they are still lenses) opens up a world of production possibilities that removes yet another barrier to entry for storytellers. And that… is… awesome…

    • Sanjan says:

      I have been reading about crop factor of BMD Cinema camera like. Its large, its 1.8, its 2.6, its is 1.6 bla bla bla and so on. But no where I am getting the authentic info.

      Any one has any idea about this particular point ?

      Thanks,

      Best Regards,
      Sanjan

  50. John P. Hess says:

    Wow… this Steve Mullen is a prick.

    Neat shot John – I just got all excited about the camera all over again.

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