BMCC for Documentary work

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Jon Braeley

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BMCC for Documentary work

PostSun Aug 11, 2013 2:22 pm

I just received a BMCC EF. In EF mount lenses I have the new Sigma 18-35mm F1.8, Tokina 11-16mm and all the Rokinon primes and Canon 70-200mm. My current doc camera is the FS-100 and that is not exactly a favorable form factor.

My question is wether the BMCC is suited for documentary work? Anyone in this forum shooting docs?
Empty Mind Films: http://emptymindfilms.com
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Nick Smith

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Re: BMCC for Documentary work

PostSun Aug 11, 2013 2:28 pm

Any camera is suitable for documentary work as long as you plan ahead. I've been using mine on run-and-gun style shoots, and it's never let me down once.

The lenses you've said would cover all your bases, so then it's just a case of how you're going to rig it and power the thing. Have you already got stuff for that? or are you buying fresh?
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Marshall Harrington

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Re: BMCC for Documentary work

PostSun Aug 11, 2013 2:58 pm

Search for Marco Solorio from One River Media. He posts often around here and has been testing the Blackmagic camera's for about a year and posting those results. His work for BMW is not exactly documentary, but as far as style goes I think you'll find it super helpful. His solution in rigging the BMCC to work in an ENG style is pretty dialed in. His distinction from ENG to Cinema is spot on. He really understands the tools he needs to get his shots and keep on the story, the most important part.
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Jon Braeley

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Re: BMCC for Documentary work

PostSun Aug 11, 2013 7:49 pm

I am not keen on rigs and I think there lies my problem. I shoot on sticks about 80% of the time, so it's just for certain moments I need to go hand-held. I shoot mostly traditional martial arts. My last doc was on Japanese archery and I had time to compose nice shots.... takes a few minutes just to shoot an arrow!!

I will test a cage along with handles... hoping not to need shoulder rig. I have the viewfactor cage arriving. I never use a pull focus or matte box even though I own them. I am limited to travelling light as I only film in Japan and China. I usually have an assistant though and they do audio.

But I think switching to the BMCC for what I do will give me an edge if I pull it off. I will check out the recommend thanks.
Empty Mind Films: http://emptymindfilms.com
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DaleCampbellFilms

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Re: BMCC for Documentary work

PostSun Aug 11, 2013 9:27 pm

Interesting, I take it you still own the fs100?

Ergonomics of the buttons and screen on that camera aside it is better suited for that kind of shooting in a number of ways... audio being one.

Personally I'm happy and confident just to work a bit harder for something with an image/features I like, I also don't tend towards rigs much. I've had a BMCC on a manfrotto monopod (the video one with feet) and that works well for me, it is an agile way of shooting allowing for some interesting movement whilst being stable and taking the weight.

I will be using mine for all kinds of work, from documentary, promo films, weddings etc.
If you have an assistant and audio isn't an issue in camera why not!
http://www.dalecampbellfilms.com
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: BMCC for Documentary work

PostSun Aug 11, 2013 9:48 pm

I shot 8 documentaries on my BMCs (all in raw), and I'm more than happy with it.

The BMC pretty much gets out of my way, so I can focus more on actually shooting, than on 100 buttons. The only button I now care about is the "Rec" button.

The wider DR gives me some flexibility and I was able to get great shots in high contrast situations, where my FS100 would have asked for a compromise - even when using my GLog Ultimate profile.

Having said that, there are still some situations, where I would rather grab my FS100. Horses for courses.
http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

I told you so :-)
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eyeiaye

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Re: BMCC for Documentary work

PostMon Aug 12, 2013 6:14 am

Frank Glencairn wrote:I shot 8 documentaries on my BMCs (all in raw), and I'm more than happy with it.

The BMC pretty much gets out of my way, so I can focus more on actually shooting, than on 100 buttons. The only button I now care about is the "Rec" button.

The wider DR gives me some flexibility and I was able to get great shots in high contrast situations, where my FS100 would have asked for a compromise - even when using my GLog Ultimate profile.

Having said that, there are still some situations, where I would rather grab my FS100. Horses for courses.


What lenses are you using. Do you have ef or m43?
-eyeiaye
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: BMCC for Documentary work

PostMon Aug 12, 2013 7:27 am

I have both, the EF and the MFT.

For docu work I usually have a Canon 17-55 wit IS as my workhorse glass on the EF.
On the MFT goes whatever it takes, mostly Samyang 24/35/85 or a Vivitar Series1 Zoom.
http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

I told you so :-)
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Jon Braeley

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Re: BMCC for Documentary work

PostMon Aug 12, 2013 1:25 pm

The lack of controls on the BMCC did freak me out at first - where's the buttons? It's strange not see all the information on the screen - no histograms, audio meters, peaking or such. Not even storage info.

Anyway I am testing this week. I will add a Rode videomic for ambient/scratch sound and record audio off-camera so that helps lighten the load. I will add a battery solution though I usually shoot max 2 to 3 hrs in a day. Hand held may be workable this way. I just have the viewfinder-monitor situation to deal with now. 75% of my stuff is inside where I could use the built-in screen I guess.

Frank I actually used your FS-100 profiles on my Japanese archery doc- worked great. I will keep an eye on what you are doing with the BMCC.
Empty Mind Films: http://emptymindfilms.com
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eyeiaye

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Re: BMCC for Documentary work

PostMon Aug 12, 2013 2:41 pm

Why won't the built in screen work outdoors? I know it is glossy, but I heard that a matte screen protector should solve this.
-eyeiaye

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