Original black magic VS the new 4k

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austindonald1

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Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSun Feb 10, 2019 2:00 pm

I'm reading replies off of you tube videos that say the black magic 2.5 looks more cinematic than the new 4k model

What is the factual difference between the 2.5 model vs the 4k model for creating cinematic footage?

does the 2.5 require less editing (or cheaper) computer software?

I hope I am wording my questions correctly, I'm here to learn how this all works. :)
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timbutt2

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSun Feb 10, 2019 2:26 pm

Are you talking about the new Pocket 4K? Because the Production 4K camera released in 2013 had less dynamic range than the original 2.5K released in 2012. The 2.5K had rolling shutter and the Production 4K had global. The Production 4K sensor ended up in the URSA and the URSA Mini 4K.

I went from the 2.5K to the URSA Mini 4.6K and feel that the 4.6K creates just as great cinematic images. In fact, I have a much easier time with the 4.6K than the 2.5K. This is because of the improvements Blackmagic Design made with the color science and and dynamic range. The 4.6K is 15 stops of DR over the 13 stops from the 2.5K.

As to another question about "does the 2.5 require less editing (or cheaper) computer software?" Not so much software but more so hardware since it was 2,400x1,350 pixels versus 4,096x2160 or in the case of the 4.6K 4,608x2,592 pixels. More resolution simply needs a more powerful machine. Ultimately you should be fine editing with DaVinci Resolve.
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austindonald1

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSun Feb 10, 2019 4:44 pm

timbutt2 wrote:Are you talking about the new Pocket 4K? Because the Production 4K camera released in 2013 had less dynamic range than the original 2.5K released in 2012. The 2.5K had rolling shutter and the Production 4K had global. The Production 4K sensor ended up in the URSA and the URSA Mini 4K.

I went from the 2.5K to the URSA Mini 4.6K and feel that the 4.6K creates just as great cinematic images. In fact, I have a much easier time with the 4.6K than the 2.5K. This is because of the improvements Blackmagic Design made with the color science and and dynamic range. The 4.6K is 15 stops of DR over the 13 stops from the 2.5K.

As to another question about "does the 2.5 require less editing (or cheaper) computer software?" Not so much software but more so hardware since it was 2,400x1,350 pixels versus 4,096x2160 or in the case of the 4.6K 4,608x2,592 pixels. More resolution simply needs a more powerful machine. Ultimately you should be fine editing with DaVinci Resolve.


Thanks for clearing that up, my dates are wrong, then it must be the original 2012 2.5 they were referring to.
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Kays Alatrakchi

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSun Feb 10, 2019 6:57 pm

The sensor on the original 2.5k which started this entire path for Blackmagic had some...special sauce. A combination of the good dynamic range and the color science made it very 'film-like' for lack of a better term. The way the resolution was resolved into the image also made for a slightly softer image, once again contributing to that cinematic quality.

Fast forward to 2018, the Pocket 4k is smaller, cheaper, higher resolution with the ability to capture at full 4k DCI up to 60fps, and an ISO range which allows for some truly low-light shooting. Did I mention the swappable battery? The sensor resolves in a sharper image which some might associate with 'digital' sterility, but it's considerably easier to soften oversharp images than it is to sharpen soft ones.

Fundamentally there is a lot of subjectivity involved in comparing the two, but I will say this -- a filmic, cinematic image owes a lot to how the footage is shot. Lighting, lenses, environment, framing, and the subject can have a much stronger impact on how cinematic something looks and feels then what the sensor is actually capturing.

I shot a short narrative film on the 2.5k so I know it quite well, and a friend of mine shot a feature film on it. We both agree that if given a choice, we would choose the Pocket 4k in an instant since the improvements and added capabilities far outweigh the slightly less cinematic way the sensor captures the image.
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSun Feb 10, 2019 8:21 pm

I shot several shorts and a feature using one of the original 2.5K models, supplemented with an HD Pocket camera. Getting a cinematic image from either was a piece of cake, but the new Pocket 4K is a huge improvement in usability and color quality, and with braw coming soon, choosing that over one of the originals would be a no-brainer.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSun Feb 10, 2019 10:55 pm

Attempting to answer the question of whether one camera is more "cinematic" than another camera is a futile exercise. The term is 100% subjective. The associated term "filmic" is equally impossible to pin down. For example, 16mm film is quite grainy while 70mm daylight stock can appear virtually grainless depending on how it is shot and processed. So does a cinematic image have grain or no grain? There's no single coherent answer to the question because there is no objective way to define what "cinematic" means.

A better question to ask is: Which camera will most efficiently achieve the desired look for the project it is being used to shoot? This is why careful cinematographers shoot camera + lens tests for each project they take on. They work hard to figure out which is the best tool for each job. Sometimes that might require more than one camera type/model. There is no single camera that is best for all projects.

If you need to own one single camera to execute your projects and achieve a variety of looks, as others in this thread have noted in various ways, I think you'll find the 4K Pocket to be a more flexible tool than the older BMD models.
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timbutt2

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostMon Feb 11, 2019 5:57 am

You know what? I may shoot something soon with my BMCC 2.5K. I've pulled it out of storage and am itching to see how it fairs. I know there's a dead pixel now, but at least Resolve has a tool for that. Overall, I'm excited to see how good the footage looks considering it's over 5+ years old.
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Daniel Alexander

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostMon Feb 11, 2019 9:44 am

I still use mine everyday. Working on a mini web series proof of concept with it at the minute, a few test shots: https://vimeo.com/316502829/0207ae8e29
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostMon Feb 11, 2019 3:31 pm

Daniel Alexander wrote:I still use mine everyday. Working on a mini web series proof of concept with it at the minute, a few test shots: https://vimeo.com/316502829/0207ae8e29


Looks really good, cinematic, except the lighting on the speakers face looked more video-ish
Last edited by austindonald1 on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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austindonald1

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostMon Feb 11, 2019 3:32 pm

timbutt2 wrote:You know what? I may shoot something soon with my BMCC 2.5K. I've pulled it out of storage and am itching to see how it fairs. I know there's a dead pixel now, but at least Resolve has a tool for that. Overall, I'm excited to see how good the footage looks considering it's over 5+ years old.

pLease share results

also, do you or anyone know why this original 2.5 cost so much more than the new bmpcc 4k in 2018?
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostMon Feb 11, 2019 3:33 pm

Australian Image wrote:
Rakesh Malik wrote:I shot several shorts and a feature using one of the original 2.5K models, supplemented with an HD Pocket camera. Getting a cinematic image from either was a piece of cake, but the new Pocket 4K is a huge improvement in usability and color quality, and with braw coming soon, choosing that over one of the originals would be a no-brainer.


I noticed that you had an article published in RedShark News. Looks like you do some interesting trips.

https://www.redsharknews.com/production/item/6139-make-sure-you-don-t-begin-adventure-filming-before-reading-our-essential-guide-first


do you mean 'raw' or is there something else coming out called braw?
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austindonald1

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostMon Feb 11, 2019 3:37 pm

i was looking at some of the high quality short films with the new bmpcc4k and noticed they were using the Panasonic lumix 12-35 f 2.8 (i think it spelled it correctly) and was wondering if there are any lens recommendations that are cheaper than this but work as good for cinematic short films and indoor portraits...
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostMon Feb 11, 2019 6:41 pm

If cost is a concern, you can get manual Nikon ai-s primes very cheaply on eBay and pair them with a cheap adaptor to m43

If you want/need image stabilization in an aperture stable zoom, that LUMIX 12-35 is your best bet at the price point
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostMon Feb 11, 2019 9:09 pm

Id really like to see a shootout comparing the BMCC 2.5k to the new Pocket 4K in terms of its dynamic range.

The only camera Ive seen to rival the 2.5k is the Ursa Mini Pro (in regards to the BMD line up). The 4K production camera was extremely disappointing in its dynamic range. Honestly felt like a 9 stop camera, while the 2.5K felt like a hefty clean 12 stops, booth shooting raw. Calibrating both to my sekonic using the chart revealed similar results, give or take a half stop.

Anyone happen to have any material comparing each? The only enticing part of the 4K pocket seems to be improved noise/low light with higher ISO (great for run and gun), and 60 fps. But where does it sit with its dynamic range?
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostMon Feb 11, 2019 10:31 pm

Daniel Alexander wrote:I still use mine everyday. Working on a mini web series proof of concept with it at the minute, a few test shots: https://vimeo.com/316502829/0207ae8e29


Man, I would watch it in a theater without even bothering which camera was shot on or even coming close to think its a cheapper one, or cheap image. Blockbuster feeling I had when watching it.

I am another one who always thought the original 2.5k has a look so close to real film... if properly shot. Which it is in this case.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostTue Feb 12, 2019 7:07 am

Ulysses Paiva wrote:
Daniel Alexander wrote:I still use mine everyday. Working on a mini web series proof of concept with it at the minute, a few test shots: https://vimeo.com/316502829/0207ae8e29


Man, I would watch it in a theater without even bothering which camera was shot on or even coming close to think its a cheapper one, or cheap image. Blockbuster feeling I had when watching it.

I am another one who always thought the original 2.5k has a look so close to real film... if properly shot. Which it is in this case.



Thanks Ulysses,
I just think theres a secret sauce going on in the BMCC :D
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Kays Alatrakchi

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostTue Feb 12, 2019 8:18 am

After watching that clip a few times, here's what I would say makes it look and feel 'cinematic':

1. The acting/dialogue is good.

2. The framing/cinematography/lighting is good.

3. The sound is good.

4. The color grade is tasteful.

5. The editing is tight and efficient.

6. The shots are carefully framed to maximize the extras/props/set and make it look like there is a lot more going on than there actually is.

None of those things have anything to do with the actual camera or sensor, and have everything to do with the skill of the people who produced it.
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Daniel Alexander

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostTue Feb 12, 2019 12:52 pm

Kays Alatrakchi wrote:After watching that clip a few times, here's what I would say makes it look and feel 'cinematic':

1. The acting/dialogue is good.

2. The framing/cinematography/lighting is good.

3. The sound is good.

4. The color grade is tasteful.

5. The editing is tight and efficient.

6. The shots are carefully framed to maximize the extras/props/set and make it look like there is a lot more going on than there actually is.

None of those things have anything to do with the actual camera or sensor, and have everything to do with the skill of the people who produced it.


Thanks Kays, I agree that making something look 'cinematic' is largely down to those factors and I appreciate you checking out my work :D My personal taste/feeling is the original BMCC allows me to get to an aesthetically pleasing place more quickly than many other cameras I've tried. This was one of the first things I ever shot with the camera many years ago (sorry for multiple clip posts), no lighting, mic hanging off a tree and just a quick tweak of a LUT, dodgy props/editing. I find myself always coming back to the bmcc despite having access to others. If it wasn't for the lack of higher frame rates I think I'd stick with it as my personal cam.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 5:33 pm

Kays Alatrakchi wrote:The sensor on the original 2.5k which started this entire path for Blackmagic had some...special sauce. A combination of the good dynamic range and the color science made it very 'film-like' for lack of a better term. The way the resolution was resolved into the image also made for a slightly softer image, once again contributing to that cinematic quality.

Fast forward to 2018, the Pocket 4k is smaller, cheaper, higher resolution with the ability to capture at full 4k DCI up to 60fps, and an ISO range which allows for some truly low-light shooting. Did I mention the swappable battery? The sensor resolves in a sharper image which some might associate with 'digital' sterility, but it's considerably easier to soften oversharp images than it is to sharpen soft ones.

Fundamentally there is a lot of subjectivity involved in comparing the two, but I will say this -- a filmic, cinematic image owes a lot to how the footage is shot. Lighting, lenses, environment, framing, and the subject can have a much stronger impact on how cinematic something looks and feels then what the sensor is actually capturing.

I shot a short narrative film on the 2.5k so I know it quite well, and a friend of mine shot a feature film on it. We both agree that if given a choice, we would choose the Pocket 4k in an instant since the improvements and added capabilities far outweigh the slightly less cinematic way the sensor captures the image.


Do they still sell the original 2.5?
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 6:14 pm

What can be done to the new bmpcc4k to match the soft filmic look of the original bmpc 2.5?

im confused on what to do. i dont know if i should buy the new bmpcc 4k or a used bmpc 2.5??

I like the way the color looks on the new 4k
but... I love the way the image look (cinematic/fimic/soft) look on the original 2.5 model

so im wondering if there is adjustments that can be done to the new 4k model to match the old 2.5 model when it comes to the soft film look?


Oh...one thing i do not like about the 2.5 model...all of the videos i watch , seem to steer towards being dark for some reason.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 6:45 pm

What can be done to the new bmpcc4k to match the soft filmic look of the original bmpc 2.5?


just replace the sensor with the fairchild sensor? ;)

I think there is no way for BMPCC4K to achieve the cinematic/fimic look of BMPC, BMPCC/BMMCC...
Soft is possible with vintage lenses (e.g. canon fd).

You are not alone...see https://www.eoshd.com/comments/topic/28 ... and-bmmcc/

You have to make a decision, cinematic/filmic look, or the other... I have finally decided for cinematic/filmic... ;)

Oh...one thing i do not like about the 2.5 model...all of the videos i watch , seem to steer towards being dark for some reason.


BMPC, BMPCC/BMMCC... needs good light, as does almost all good cinema cameras.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 7:04 pm

lee4ever wrote:I think there is no way for BMPCC4K to achieve the cinematic/fimic look of BMPC, BMPCC/BMMCC...


1) define "cinematic/filmic look"

2) $1.99 says you can't tell the difference, if the BMPCC 4K footage is degraded sufficiently in post to look like the older cameras.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 7:15 pm

1) define "cinematic/filmic look"

it's already well defined with all the videos of BMPC, BMPCC/BMMCC...(with fairchild sensor) that you can find on the internet e.g. https://vimeo.com/316502829/0207ae8e29 . The difference can be seen immediately. Many say it looks cinematic/filmic/soft and to fall in love with. And honest people say that's what the BMPCC4k lacks.
Last edited by lee4ever on Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 7:22 pm

I see ... the answer is on the internet. Everyone knows, but nobody can say.

You didn't answer the second question. If you really know it when you see it, how much would you wager that you could tell the difference, if the BMPCC 4K was graded to match the earlier cameras?

A good cameras isn't one which imposes a look, but one which captures an image neutral enough to manipulated, as desired.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 7:25 pm

This https://vimeo.com/316502829/0207ae8e29 says more than words.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 7:34 pm

That clip says something about production value, but it doesn't prove your point. I also gather you've never used either camera, and have no grasp of what happens in post-production.

As a provocation, this is getting tiresome. Good luck.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 7:38 pm

You can believe what you want. I prefer to trust my eyes and see what I see. :)

No provocation.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 7:52 pm

Just don't shoot ProRes with it (adds sharpening even when turned off and lacks texture). Shoot RAW instead - which allows to deal properly with the red out of gamut issue as well.

Also avoid shooting at ISO100-400 and 1250-2500, unless there are no bright spots.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 7:55 pm

deezid wrote:Just don't shoot ProRes with it (adds sharpening even when turned off and lacks texture). Shoot RAW instead - which allows to deal properly with the red out of gamut issue as well.

Also avoid shooting at ISO100-400 and 1250-2500, unless there are no bright spots.


I tested the Prores sharpening claim when it first appeared, and could find no evidence of it. On the contrary, raw is significantly sharper than Prores and of course with more aliasing as well. Do you have comparative samples, raw v. Prores?

I'm not going to get into the ISO debate again, but your views are not universally held.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 8:11 pm

deezid wrote:Just don't shoot ProRes with it (adds sharpening even when turned off and lacks texture). Shoot RAW instead - which allows to deal properly with the red out of gamut issue as well.

Also avoid shooting at ISO100-400 and 1250-2500, unless there are no bright spots.


Sample video to see what it looks like?
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 9:28 pm

The problem is believing the camera is what give you the cinematic look...
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Dante Harbridge Robinson

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 9:34 pm

The 2.5K, original Pocket and Micro Cinema Camera all have larger photo sites than the Pocket 4K.

When Arri made 4K and 6K cameras they didn't cram more pixels into a smaller area, they just increased the sensor size.

I'm guessing a large photosite size is fundamental to a cinematic image.

4K displayed on an HD monitor looks 'sharp' to me. (Where you get very bright and very dark pixels juxtaposed) 4K on a 4K screen looks just as soft as HD on an HD screen because light to dark is transitioned though some kind of smooth gradient). Similarly IMAX film on a giant screen is as soft as Super16, it's just the screen is a lot bigger.
Last edited by Dante Harbridge Robinson on Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:11 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 9:37 pm

Ulysses Paiva wrote:The problem is believing the camera is what give you the cinematic look...

Then the filmmakers no longer need Arri. And also no BMPC, BMCC, BMPCC/BMMCC... which are very close to the Arri Alexa look.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 9:52 pm

lee4ever wrote:
Ulysses Paiva wrote:The problem is believing the camera is what give you the cinematic look...

Then the filmmakers no longer need Arri. And also no BMPC, BMCC, BMPCC/BMMCC... which are very close to the Arri Alexa look.


Or RED cameras, right? Since it's all about the camera?

...wait...

This was "Shot on RED"

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 9:57 pm

to prove the opposite, one looks for the worst RED recording of course? Please tell others (e.g. https://stephenfollows.com/digital-vs-f ... od-movies/ ) they don't need Arri and Red and Blackmagic (of course, the older ones with Fairchild sensors).... :)
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostFri Mar 01, 2019 10:13 pm

lee4ever wrote:to prove the opposite, one looks for the worst RED recording of course? Please tell others (e.g. https://stephenfollows.com/digital-vs-f ... od-movies/ ) they don't need Arri and Red and Blackmagic (of course, the older ones with Fairchild sensors).... :)


Would you like me to post some amazingly cinematic RED footage?



So can we agree that while you need to know your tools and how to best use them, it's not the camera that makes the difference?
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 3:41 am

Have a look at "Night Fishing" by Park Chan-wook and tell me it's the camera.
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 8:15 am

michaeldhead wrote:So can we agree that while you need to know your tools and how to best use them, it's not the camera that makes the difference?


Though it's true, there will always be ever more people trying to find a camera that gives them a "cinematic" look because it's easier than developing one's craft.
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austindonald1

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 3:36 pm

what about the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k comparing it to the Black Magic Production Camera 4k?

advantages and disadvantages?

i believe the Production camera has a larger sensor being one of the advantages?
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John Paines

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 4:32 pm

You'd never guess, reading this thread, that pre-digital, there were thousands of low budget 35mm color movies which no one would describe as "cinematic", since they looked more like studio TV than the latest from Vittorio Storaro or Gordon Willis. And thousands more on 16mm, whose only claim to "filmic" were their shortcomings --golf-ball grain from under-exposure, defocus from generation loss and scratches and noise from unkind projectors.

Other factors, like projector/gate weave, might actually be deemed desirable (a thread for another day?) but it's unlikely BMD or any other manufacturer is going to build those defects into their professional cameras.
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rick.lang

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 4:34 pm

austindonald1 wrote:what about the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k comparing it to the Black Magic Production Camera 4k?

advantages and disadvantages?

i believe the Production camera has a larger sensor being one of the advantages?


But the restriction of 4000x2160 photosites was something that was never front and centre. Take off four columns (3996x2160) and you have an old cinematic standard aspect ratio 1.85:1, but I’m sure it would have been more popular as a cinema camera if it was 4K DCI 4096x2160.


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Valery Axenov

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 7:10 pm

For me it is very simple theoretical explanation of cinematic and non cinematic look of footage directly out of the camera. Fist, human eye is a very sensitive instrument and human brain calculating a lot of thins you even can't imagine. Your brain understand how Leitz solve special differential equations in third and fifth order harmonics calculating let say the design of old single coated 50mm Summicron from 60th. The only problem is that you are able only to compare things. And give an answer good or bad. Filmic look in all cases to be better in post production than non filmic look. In film photography this have been explained by Ansel Adams in his book - The Negative. Bad negative to be more complex in post production. For me it is a clear Fact. Only one type of negative to be correct in all situations - good negative. Skills of printer man Adams put in different book - The Print.)) I think this is the most correct approach to this deal. Cine footage - the same thing.

Refer to cinematic and non cinematic look it self with old BM cameras and sensors types and new sony sensors. It is not good or bad in most real cases. It's may be the same thing as it was with old Leitz single coated "soft" lenses (for B/W) and new multi coated "more contrast" recalculated lenses for color films. Both lenses are good but different. The same thing is how Zeiss "green" coating treats the light source going directly to your lens. You are able to have good results in post production with any of this lenses and type of sensors. But, as the matter of fact, from my personal experience in film photography you will understand the different only if you will meet any critical lighting situation. You understand why let say Zeiss "green" coating is better or expensive pro cine lens is better. And only in this case you will be able to understand the limitation of your post production approach. So that means only one thing it is better to have filmic look image directly from you camera and lens than not to have it. And hope to post production only.
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Ivon Visalli

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 7:31 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:
michaeldhead wrote:So can we agree that while you need to know your tools and how to best use them, it's not the camera that makes the difference?


Though it's true, there will always be ever more people trying to find a camera that gives them a "cinematic" look because it's easier than developing one's craft.

It's a great observation. I suspect partly due to a consumer culture that has conditioned us to be proud of our ability to make smart purchases, but more so the desire to bypass years and years of hard won experience.

While I don't disparage the newbies that want to pick the perfect camera or lens or microphone or IR filter, the reality is there is no such thing. There are better or worse tools for the job and someone with deeper knowledge and experience can almost always get a great looking shot with the tools they have versus the less experienced person with the "perfect" camera.

Still, it's so rare to see a posting asking advice from a veteran about their experience versus whether they should buy this gadget now or wait for the next gadget. Maybe it's the nature of a camera forum on a brand site or maybe something else.
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 7:44 pm

Ivon Visalli wrote:While I don't disparage the newbies that want to pick the perfect camera or lens or microphone or IR filter, the reality is there is no such thing. There are better or worse tools for the job and someone with deeper knowledge and experience can almost always get a great looking shot with the tools they have versus the less experienced person with the "perfect" camera.


It's like people who are saving up money to make a film, and the first that they plan to spend their money on is a camera. One guy I know wanted to save $100K for a film and his first planned purchase was going to be a Red Dragon, apparently unaware of the that if he did that, he wouldn't have enough money left to actually MAKE the film unless it was all volunteer... and in that case the odds of getting a cinematographer on board with a clue were slim.

Still, it's so rare to see a posting asking advice from a veteran about their experience versus whether they should buy this gadget now or wait for the next gadget. Maybe it's the nature of a camera forum on a brand site or maybe something else.


Sadly it's becoming more common in film and photography for people to focus on the possibility that buying a camera is all it takes. It's easy; just take a job somewhere, live frugally, save up, and <poof> you can afford a camera.

Of course, when they realize that their work looks terrible, they can't admit that it's because they don't know what they're doing and so focus on the next best camera, and fall into the marketing traps... more K's, more dynamic range, bigger sensors, the fool of thurds...
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Ivon Visalli

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 8:03 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:Sadly it's becoming more common in film and photography for people to focus on the possibility that buying a camera is all it takes. It's easy; just take a job somewhere, live frugally, save up, and <poof> you can afford a camera.

Of course, when they realize that their work looks terrible, they can't admit that it's because they don't know what they're doing and so focus on the next best camera, and fall into the marketing traps... more K's, more dynamic range, bigger sensors, the fool of thurds...


I'm a fan of Matt Workman (https://nofilmschool.com/2016/07/working-for-free-cinematographer). In one of his videos he said something like "your beginning cinematography work is going to suck and it's going to suck for at least the first three years". I'm curious how the message would be received by many of the aspiring cinematographers here? Hey guys, buy any camera you want because it doesn't matter. Your stuff is going to suck for the first three years and will only get better if you are shooting for those three years and learning all you can.
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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 8:06 pm

If we're going to be brutally honest, the cinematography matters about as much (or, rather, as little) as the camera itself, when talking about "alternative", celebrity-free movies.

These films don't succeed or fail on production value, and thousands of them every year, with fully professional production values, go nowhere. No festival will take them and at best they sell for a few dollars to netflix.

Nobody wants to hear it on a camera forum, but assuming the basic ability to record image and sound with reasonable fidelity, the only useful preoccupation for the writer/director at this level is with the script, the cast and (eventually) the editing. The rest is absolutely useless
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Ivon Visalli

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 8:15 pm

John Paines wrote:If we're going to brutally honest, the cinematography matters about as much (or, rather, as little) as the camera itself, when talking about "alternative", celebrity-free movies.

My last two posts were directed toward new cinematographers, but you raise a good point as I suspect many of the people here actually see themselves as filmmakers. If you are a filmmaker it's even LESS important the kind of gear you have. All your time should be spent focusing on how you tell stories through film/video.

Oh, and if you are going to be picky about gear in spite of the advice, focus on sound. Getting good sound is far more important to audiences than a good image.
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rick.lang

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Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 9:53 pm

Alright, my three year apprenticeship on the URSA Mini 4.6K is ending next month. Enough of the learning curve after scores of projects. Second camera coming. Visuals are decent, lenses in place, kit is getting better with addition of the MKE2 lavalier mic and pending Sound Devices MixPre3/6. Need a better tripod/head. But these are just the carpenter’s tools.

Time to get serious about building something with those tools.


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Ivon Visalli

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSat Mar 02, 2019 9:57 pm

Rick, I am really looking forward to the results!
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Uli Plank

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Re: Original black magic VS the new 4k

PostSun Mar 03, 2019 3:41 am

Many years ago I made some money (being a film student in my final year myself) by teaching amateurs in a public institution on Super-8 (yes, I'm that old). Even if they were asked in the announcement to bring their movies if any, they all brought their cameras instead and the usual pissing contest started (all male). My zoom has so-and-so much reach, I have time-lapse and overcrank and yadda, yadda, yadda.

There was only one guy who didn't' bring his camera but had his film with him. When the others asked about his camera, he said it's nothing special, a cheap model from mailorder. I knew the model, we had some of that brand for the first year at the university: just 24 fps, very limited zoom, no special features.

He asked to have a look at his film together after the course, but I didn't have the time. I commanded the whole group to bring their films next time and I that I don't want to see any camera around. They did so and we screened, first without any discussion. The usual, boring stuff with what you torture family and friends after your holiday. Some of them were so long that I had to set a time limit for screening from the start after looking at the reels.

But one film stood out, with decent camera movements, sensible framing, and good editing, even telling a small story. And just about the right length. Guess who made it? When the group found out it was the guy with the simplest camera, I could hear the sound of a few jaws dropping. After all, they could perceive it was more cinematic than all the rest!

Well, to apply this to our thread again: get a second-hand HD pocket, some cheap lenses in C-mount and start filming. You can throw it in the bin after those three years, but I bet you'll keep it as a B-cam if it still works. You'll have to know the function of the buttons without looking by then, since the writing will be non-existent, though ;-)
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