BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed Sep 05, 2012 3:29 pm

Note: If your sense of humor is impaired, please don't read this post. Thanks.

Some reviewers feel compelled to reinterpret kick *ss Blackmagic Cinema Camera  features as “limitations”, such as:

- The BMCC’s sensor is “only” more than twice as big as the ones used to shoot many popular films, including “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Avatar”, the latter having earned >$2.75 billion.

- The BMCC is “only” available with electronic EF or passive m43 interchangeable lens mounts, “only” directly compatible with hundreds of lenses, and “only” hundreds more via inexpensive mount adapters, ranging from extreme telephoto to ultra-wides.

- The BMCC is “only” able to shoot scenes with a “wide” field of view equivalent to a ~18mm lens on a S35 16:9 motion picture camera — considered “wide” in most movies & TV shows — if the BMCC is fitted with a lens such as the <$700 Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 rectilinear zoom, or a FOV equiv. to using a 13mm lens on S35 16:9 (crazy wide!) if using a <$700 Sigma 8-16mm rectilinear zoom. The BMCC m43 version “only” has additional wide lenses available for use with it. Clearly it’s not practical or affordable to shoot “wide” with the BMCC!

- The BMCC is “only” capable of 13-stop dynamic range, almost but not quite as good as cameras which cost >3 times as much.

- The BMCC can “only” shoot uncompressed 2.5K 12-bit RAW CinemaDNG @ 5 megaBYTES/frame, and compressed 1080p 10-bit ProRes 422 HQ @ 220 megaBITS/sec (and soon DNxHD 220, too) with “Film/log” or “Video/Rec.709″ gamma …

… but, the BMCC’s uncompressed RAW CinemaDNG files are so huge I have to buy fast, high-capacity storage, backup & archive systems and fast, new computers even if I can’t afford it – instead of, you know, like considering for a moment that the BMCC’s compressed ProRes 422 HQ recording feature is totally awesome — not quite CinemaDNG awesome, but with the same dynamic range — and way way better than what 99% of other video cameras can record — and requires 1/5th the computer hardware (1/5th the storage, speed & cost) to produce very very high-quality HD video.

- The BMCC “only” records to commodity-priced SSD (fast-fast-fast) media, which is more cost-effective than the solid state media used by other pro cameras, and the speed of SSDs continues to increase while its cost plummets.

- The BMCC can “only” run for 90 min. when completely disconnected from any external power source!

- The BMCC “only” features 2 balanced 1/4″ TRS analog audio (mic/line) inputs @ 48kHz at 24bit uncompressed, same as Alexa and RED EPIC, requiring use of standard self-powered microphones, line level audio sources, external sound mixers, and other standard audio gear.

- The BMCC “only” has a clean, bog-standard, externally recordable, “Film/log” or “Video/Rec.709″ 10-bit 4:2:2 1080p HD-SDI output, via a locking industry standard BNC connector.

- The BMCC “only” has a 5″ capacitive touchscreen LCD for video and its GUI, and, if required, to which an inexpensive piece of 3M anti-reflective film can be attached:
http://www.amazon.com/3M-Anti-Glare-Pro ... tag=vig-20

- The BMCC “only” has three 1/4-20 threaded mount points on top, possibly forcing me to consider buying an expensive camera cage, even though in many (most?) situations one is unnecessary.

- The BMCC can “only” be held with 2 hands, “only” features a rubbery easy-to-grip surface, “only” weighs less than 4 pounds, and “only” includes a nice shoulder strap and LCD shade. Its operator-side mounted connector panel may force me to use right-angle plugs if I mount it on my right shoulder. The BMCC’s case is “only” strong machined aluminum instead of lightweight plastic. Its buttons and interface are simple & uncluttered.

- The BMCC’s Thunderbolt interface is “strangled” due to its copper implementation, and can “only” handle up to 20 Gbs data rate, and “only” enables use of the Ultrascope and MediaExpress software included free with the BMCC.

- The “only” grading software bundled with the BMCC for free is the latest full version of industry-leading Davinci Resolve, which requires a desktop computer with a new-ish, relatively inexpensive GPU, or a new-ish not inexpensive MacBook Pro.

- The BMCC’s name (yes, its name) is too complicated, forcing us to have endless discussions via Twitter, Facebook & online forums about the “best” acronym or nickname for it (“BMC”? “BMCC”? “BM”? “MagicCam?” “MagiCam”?), despite the fact that the product’s name is “Blackmagic Cinema Camera” (“BMCC”).

And worst of all:

- The BMCC “only” costs $2995 US, forcing users to spend the money we saved (by buying it) on other things, such as a better: script, crew, actors, location, props, wardrobe, makeup, camera support, lights, sound, rentals, catering, post-production, etc.

Essentially, just about every feature listed on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera website is really an “issue” if you don’t think it through, right?

Cheers.

Note: BMCC feature requests are welcome. Post them here:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=265
Last edited by Peter J. DeCrescenzo on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:30 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Eric Santiago

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed Sep 05, 2012 4:10 pm

Good one Peter, good fun read :)
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PetePolyakov

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed Sep 05, 2012 4:22 pm

you can try to compare tokina 8-16mm with any carl zeiss ultra prime the same way...
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed Sep 05, 2012 4:26 pm

PetePolyakov wrote:you can try to compare tokina 8-16mm with any carl zeiss ultra prime the same way...


Yes, I agree.

And I can afford to buy or rent a Sigma 8-16mm or Tokina 11-16mm zoom, or rent a Zeiss Ultra Prime. Unfair! Unfair! :D
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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed Sep 05, 2012 6:54 pm

I agree....and many people wants to add new things if BMD decides to do a newer version or camera or whatever you want to call it.

People who complain may be hipsters used to a 5d with a big sensor to shallow DOF. We all know we can get shallow DOF by other ways.

I +1 all your post Peter.
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paul schefz

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed Sep 05, 2012 7:08 pm

the only thing you forgot to mention was the long list of cameras competing directly and beating the BMCC in most important specs....
i am also for requesting blackmagic to have raw removed from the final shipping camera....this is all too much, too confusing....who wants and needs options!
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed Sep 05, 2012 7:11 pm

pss wrote:the only thing you forgot to mention was the long list of cameras competing directly and beating the BMCC in most important specs....
i am also for requesting blackmagic to have raw removed from the final shipping camera....this is all too much, too confusing....who wants and needs options!


That's the spirit! :D
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PetePolyakov

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed Sep 05, 2012 9:32 pm

you can add in this "limitations" list - limited shipping, probably 2 units per year or something like this.
Last edited by PetePolyakov on Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PetePolyakov

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed Sep 05, 2012 9:33 pm

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:
PetePolyakov wrote:you can try to compare tokina 8-16mm with any carl zeiss ultra prime the same way...


Yes, I agree.

And I can afford to buy or rent a Sigma 8-16mm or Tokina 11-16mm zoom, or rent a Zeiss Ultra Prime. Unfair! Unfair! :D


you can get used primes, you can find them for kinda affordable prices.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed Sep 12, 2012 6:48 pm

Bump: Added link to 3M anti-glare, transparent, matte-finish film for possible use with the BMCC LCD touchscreen:
http://www.amazon.com/3M-Anti-Glare-Pro ... tag=vig-20
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Joe Gonzalez

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostThu Sep 13, 2012 4:04 pm

Right on Peter!
As a cinematographer and prosumer I welcome the change in workflow to get a better grade especially for post after affects with this camera. I love a full sensor but not on a crushed codec anymore, the cat is out of the bag. Take away shallow depth of field from the DSLR community and what do you have. Hack filmmaking. People forget this is BlackMagic first baby, and a super baby at that. I welcome their next camera which will be bigger better and faster but i can't wait for 1.0, cause its just the beginning.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostThu Sep 13, 2012 4:51 pm

Where to begin?

First of all, I started this tongue-in-check, humorous thread as a way to debunk what I think are bizarre statements being made about the BMCC in some of the reviews and comments online. As it says at the beginning of my 1st post: To counter the apparent compulsion of some reviewers and posters "to reinterpret kick *ss BMCC features as 'limitations'".

This thread is about mis-statements and mis-information in 3rd party online reviews and postings about the BMCC. Anything else is off-topic. I would prefer that this thread not become a place for posting complaints, etc.

If you have a complaint for Blackmagic Design or about the BMCC, please start your own thread. Thanks.

As for claimsfour's OT complaints:

"- Blackmagic has done a poor job in communicating these cameras/abilities to the public. Springing the M43 model *after* many have thrown down their money for an EF. Blackmagic should have went public with the M43 asap instead of trying to 'surprise' us."


If you have a beef with BMD, start another thread. This thread is about mis-statements and mis-information in 3rd party online reviews and postings about the BMCC.

Meanwhile, my guess is that BMD announced the BMCC m43 when they were ready to announce it, and chose to do so at a major event (IBC) so the announcement got maximum publicity. That's smart business.

If you paid money to a dealer for a BMCC EF, that's a business transaction between you & the dealer, not between you & BMD. If you don't like surprises, or don't like waiting for a BMCC, then cancel your pre-order. If you paid a non-refundable deposit to the dealer, only you can decide if that was a wise use of your money or not. Talk or complain to your dealer about your pre-order or deposit, not BMD.

"- Firmware. Blackmagic has been silent on a firmware which can address some of the serious deficiencies of the BMCC camera. Thing is: When is that firmware coming out? 2014? 2015? Canon took that long with the 7D, and they are far larger than Blackmagic. I want to hear it from Blackmagic exactly where they are going with this camera (what features is BM implementing in the new firmware?) ... Blackmagic is not the Kremlin."


Most companies, especially privately-held companies such as BMD, are typically quite circumspect regarding product and technology announcements. In general, the less said, the less often, the better; "under-promise and over-deliver".

Companies almost never announce dates or timetables for when firmware updates will be released. In general, when a firmware update (if any) is available, it's released. Until then, there's not much point in BMD talking about it, since even they can't say precisely what (or whether) a firmware update will include until it's ready.

BMD is certainly not the "Kremlin". They're a private company. They can do as they wish. We may choose to do business with them, or not. They're not forcing us to be their customer. If one is uncomfortable with ones "relationship" with BMD, one can move on.

"- 2.5K Raw - Greenscreen: http://vimeo.com/49238555 This test really was a serious red flag. The alias/blurring issues are akin to what you'd get with a DSLR/H.264. You'd think 2.5K RAW, keying would be a lot more seamless."


BMD didn't shoot that green screen footage. They had no control over how it was shot. Other shooters may well have set-up that shot differently, including: The distance between the talent and the greenscreen (the talent is too close to the screen, causing a lot of green spill on the talent), the lighting & exposure levels (was mixed color temp lighting used?, and typically the talent's skin is exposed at 70-80 IRE & the greenscreen at 50-60 IRE), the camera settings (ISO?, shutter speed?, WB? f-stop? lens sharpness?), and also how the footage was prepared & compressed before uploading to Vimeo.

All of those things greatly affect keying results with all greenscreen footage. Basing ones estimation of the BMCC's greenscreen keying ability on this one example may be a mistake.

"In addition: '- The BMCC’s sensor is “only” more than twice as big as the ones used to shoot many popular films, including “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Avatar”, the latter having earned >$2.75 billion.' This is something one might read out of a political attack ad, or some other gambit dredged up from the school of Karl Rove. Suggestion: Don't even go there (making claims that: with the BMCC, you too can shoot Avatar!!!!)"


Other than the fact that the BMCC doesn't include a genlock feature (for dual camera 3D sync), my guess is that Cameron would have loved to use a BMCC to shoot some or all of Avatar if the camera was available back when the movie was made. Cameron recognizes good technology when he sees it.

In any event, the point of my statement was about sensor size, not other camera features. So many people, even people who should know better, are both utterly fixated on sensor size (bigger = better), and at the same time seemingly oblivious to how many popular films, TV shows and other professionally-shot video have been and are produced every day using image sensors 2/3" or smaller.

Specifically in the case of Vincent Laforet and Philip Bloom -- who I think wrote otherwise mostly excellent reviews -- it's bizarre that even though they know that a bigger sensor isn't "better" or even necessary in most video & feature film production, they still can't help themselves but to complain about the size of the sensor in the BMCC and other cameras. It's really quite strange.

That's why I attempt to make a point about sensor size not being such a big deal, as strongly as I did. To counter-act the misinformation. If my attempt comes across as an amateur version of Karl Rove-style propaganda, my apologies to Karl. But I know he can take it.

"Summary: I want Blackmagic to succeed (we all do), but I very much would appreciate it if they were more open/transparent about what they are doing...and not 'surprise' us."


I hear you that you want BMD & the BMCC to succeed, but IMHO you choose an odd way to do it. But that's cool. However, please start your own thread. Thanks.

Personally, I look forward to more "surprises" from BMD, as I have done so for years as a BMD customer.

For more of my thoughts on these and related topics, see:
http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com/ ... -consider/

Cheers.
Last edited by Peter J. DeCrescenzo on Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:03 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostThu Sep 13, 2012 4:56 pm

100% agreed Peter.. don't worry about claimsfour, I think he starts to qualify as the official forum troll rattling of the same ridiculous and mostly speculative complaints in nearly every thread he posts in 8-)
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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostThu Sep 13, 2012 7:20 pm

Also, without getting too much into the other stuff.

Anyone that has put down money for an EF model that now wants an MFT model. The dealers should be able to work with you on changing your order. Since most of you haven't received a camera yet this should not be an issue. Bearing in mind this does change your order in line. This is very important to us as we don't want any one to feel forced into a particular version when they would rather the other.
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John Brawley

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostFri Sep 14, 2012 4:12 am

claimsfour wrote:
Blackmagic from day zero should have offered a clear/specific 'exchange/refund' program
where those who bought/pre-ordered a cam can easily/hassle-free get an M43 model.




In the email press release that I saw, BMD stated that they wouldn't penalise anyone who wanted to change their order.


claimsfour wrote:Right, Bloom/Laforest are in Canon's pocket and they don't want BM to succeed. Just come
out and say it.


Someone has to say "The Emperor isn't wearing any clothes"

The BMCC (What I'm learning so far from studying the test footage/reviews), is that it's a camera with
a lot of promise...and it will hopefully 'force' the rest of the biz to drop highly compressed codecs
and begin offering Intermediate/Uncompressed.

It's the optics/sensor that's severely crippling this camera.


Really ???

I've seen lot's of excellent demo footage from other users. Laforet himself said it was one of the best looking sensors he's ever seen.

jb
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Soeren Mueller

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostFri Sep 14, 2012 6:49 am

This is really getting funny... I guess even when Michael Beck would do a reshoot of his greenscreen test with a high shutter speed so the waving hand won't have that much amount of motion blur claimsfour would come up with another funny story as to why the sensor is "crippled" and "won't work for greenscreen".

This forum is seriously missing a facepalm-smiley! ;)

claimsfour you claimed (uh) somehwere that you're dealing with greenscreen footage "nearly on a daily basis" - which I seriously start to doubt. The greenscreen footage from Michael looked fine even though of course it was sort of a "quick and dirty" test. Motion blur because of low or standard shutter speeds, spill on fine & light structures especially blonde hair - thats pretty common problematic stuff on every camera system.
I just shot a national tv commercial (100% greenscreen) on a RED Epic where we had to deal with the same problems! Thus we opted for a higher shutter speed. Of course it's not 100% the same thing but to a certain degree you can add motion blur in post when needed - at least it's a more realistic option than removing motion blur in post which is nearly impossible and this "trick" is quite often used for shooting in front of greenscreen as motion blur can become quite a hassle.

Of course no camera shooting raw with this price tag is currently 100% perfect - there is some aliasing on fine details depending on the surrounding colors etc. which can be dealt with applying different debayering methods for that particular shots, and rolling shutter is a little bit more than on the current REDs but less than on many still often used DSLR models.
But this camera handles motion blur exactly the same way as any other CMOS camera with a rolling shutter.
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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostFri Sep 14, 2012 7:12 am

Thanks for the anti-glare link. I just bought one. Us internet folks help each other!

dn
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Luke Armstrong

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostFri Sep 14, 2012 9:57 am

As I previously explained in another thead in some detail, my experience as a professional compositor on films including Skyfall, World War Z and John Carter (the former two shot on Alexa & the latter 35mm Anamorphic with sections on Red) - I've never seen GOOD motion blur out of a greenscreen. It has nothing to do with the sensor or the camera beyond a certain point, its about keying.

Show me a camera that gets you great motion blur with a one click key - I challenge you. I'd love to know what you're expecting....
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Lorenzo Straight

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostFri Sep 14, 2012 3:31 pm

Hahaha, nice read, Luke.
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Thomas Schumacher

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostMon May 06, 2013 9:28 am

EDIT: thanks Christine or whoever banned that spamming thing!

Can some mod kill this spammer here.. calldrin39

it gets annoying.

thx
Last edited by Thomas Schumacher on Mon May 06, 2013 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostMon May 06, 2013 12:34 pm

It was a pretty good thread to revive though. :)
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Owen Davies

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed May 08, 2013 8:42 am

Very interesting to read this again, even if it was bumped by spam. You ca never please some people. Perversely the ones who complain are likely to be those who have never had a camera, never shot more than their grandma's birthday or their pet dog licking his nether regions.

Here's my list of needs.

I want a camera that has a 4" hyper-frame 12k sensor
It must have 238 stops of dynamic range (even though I don't really know what this means)
It must be able to use any lens designed - ever (even though nothing will cover my new sensor)
It must have DUAL 6g SDI, HDMI, XLR, Lemo, wordclock, genlock, AES, LANC, Frank and tank connections.
It should be able to record RAW uncompressed, RAW lossless compressed (up to 1000:1), Pro-Res, DNxHD, QuickTime and any other format I might decide on a whim.
It MUST be able to shoot 1'000'000 FPS.
It must be better than RED
It must be better than ARRI
It must be better than Sony
It should have an interactive mount that tells me the time in Sweden.
It has to shoot in light low enough so that only my cat can see.
It should record onto everything - twice.
It should be able to edit a script and choose the right lens for my scene.
It should wake me up in the morning and make me breakfast.
It should get me friends and maybe even a girlfriend.
It must weigh less than a banana.
It should cost less that $6
Oh, and it should have built in audio meters.
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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed May 08, 2013 9:49 am

C´mon - you will get the audio meters finally in one of the next firmware releases by BM ;-)
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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed May 08, 2013 10:06 am

Owen, I have just the camera for you at, oddly, precisely that spec. It was announced it at NAB 1999 and its currently available for pre-order and I'm afraid we cant provide an expected delivery date (we're having sensor manufacture problems). BTW price is $5.50 :D


Owen Davies wrote:Very interesting to read this again, even if it was bumped by spam. You ca never please some people. Perversely the ones who complain are likely to be those who have never had a camera, never shot more than their grandma's birthday or their pet dog licking his nether regions.

Here's my list of needs.

I want a camera that has a 4" hyper-frame 12k sensor
It must have 238 stops of dynamic range (even though I don't really know what this means)
It must be able to use any lens designed - ever (even though nothing will cover my new sensor)
It must have DUAL 6g SDI, HDMI, XLR, Lemo, wordclock, genlock, AES, LANC, Frank and tank connections.
It should be able to record RAW uncompressed, RAW lossless compressed (up to 1000:1), Pro-Res, DNxHD, QuickTime and any other format I might decide on a whim.
It MUST be able to shoot 1'000'000 FPS.
It must be better than RED
It must be better than ARRI
It must be better than Sony
It should have an interactive mount that tells me the time in Sweden.
It has to shoot in light low enough so that only my cat can see.
It should record onto everything - twice.
It should be able to edit a script and choose the right lens for my scene.
It should wake me up in the morning and make me breakfast.
It should get me friends and maybe even a girlfriend.
It must weigh less than a banana.
It should cost less that $6
Oh, and it should have built in audio meters.
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Taikonaut

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed May 08, 2013 10:37 am

steve2000 wrote:Owen, I have just the camera for you at, oddly, precisely that spec. It was announced it at NAB 1999 and its currently available for pre-order and I'm afraid we cant provide an expected delivery date (we're having sensor manufacture problems). BTW price is $5.50 :D


:lol:
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Gerald Menclik

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Re: BMCC "limitations" (not) :-)

PostWed May 08, 2013 12:28 pm

Hi folks, you did my day! :lol:
Gerald "Nigel" Menclik
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