BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

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Tom

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BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 2:24 pm

This test is an ISO test, focusing mostly on noise performance in typical filming conditions (not extreme low light)

In this test, both cameras sat at the same aperture, but different lenses and shutter speeds in order to let each camera be properly exposed. Properly exposed in this test was defined as a point at which there is no clipping in the highlights. So both cameras were exposed to the right as far as they could go without any clipping.

Because noise performance is hard to see clearly on compressed web video - I have saved these off as high quality PNG files.

I know the BMCC has a native iso of 800, and its only really metadata - whereas the 5dmkii has a built in analogue gain.

Both clips were processed the exact same, except that their exposure level was neutralised to about the same point from original ETTR exposure points - because the BMCC has higher dynamic range, it had to be pulled back down slightly further. This might lead some to claim the test is unfair - but in a real world shooting condition, when filming with raw video, ETTR is a good idea, and the degree at which each camera is able to be filmed this way is a clear indication of the overall performance of a camera, as such it is a valid comparison. Because both cameras were prevented from clipping, both cameras were able to use their full range. Neither cameras were pushed in post production.

To reiterate:
- SAME ISO EACH TIME -

- BOTH CAMERAS EXPOSED TO THE RIGHT BUT PREVENTED FROM CLIPPING -

- APART FROM EXPOSURE ADJUSTMENT DUE TO ETTR, BOTH CAMERAS WERE PROCESSED THE EXACT SAME WAY -

- NO SHARPENING OR NOISE REDUCTION WAS USED -

- DIFFERENT LENSES BUT AT SAME APERTURE EACH TIME -

- FILMED AT THE EXACT SAME MOMENT TO PREVENT AMBIENT LIGHT SHIFT -

- VARIATIONS IN LENS GLASS MAY INTERFERE WITH COLOURS, BUT SHOULD NOT AFFECT ISO NOISE PERFORMANCE -


DOWNLOAD LINKS:
ISO 200: http://we.tl/tUlTZdthKc
ISO 800: http://we.tl/Xiu1s8lsaB
ISO 1600: http://we.tl/srZvEgKoKJ

Quick Jpeg preview versions (quality level 12) for web browser viewing:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/544 ... iso200.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/544 ... iso800.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/544 ... so1600.jpg




Noise Performance considerations

The 5D Mkii does very well in low light, high iso situations. This is due to many reasons including its large photosite size, good internal noise reduction and analogue gain on the sensor. The BMCC does not have analogue gain or internal noise reduction, but it actually has larger photosites and better quantum efficiency than the sensor inside the 5d Mkii. So it would be reasonable to suggest that up to around iso 800, the bmcc could have better noise performance than the 5d Mkii. When the 5d Mkii is in iso 1600, it has analogue gain applied, which really helps to boost SNR, when the bmcc is at iso 1600 it is actually shooting at 800 with digital gain. While it is true to say that at very high iso's, the 5d Mkii is undoubtedly better in terms of noise than the BMCC - I have often found that the BMCC is actually cleaner at 800 and below than the 5d Mkii. Considering ive always tried to avoid filming above 800 on my 5D when it was my primary camera, this is quite interesting to me now that I have the BMCC. I am interested to see your own thoughts on this and if you agree with my own assessment, or perhaps wish to offer your own.

Remember, this situation is not a low light test. At ISO1600 in these shots, both cameras were at f10 - which if such a scene demanded a deep DOF, you would need to shoot at 1600 even in a well lit scene like this.
Tom Majerski
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Lucas Pfaff

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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 4:02 pm

Hey Tom,


thanks for this comparison!
Actually I prefer the BMCC even at ISO 1600. In darker parts of the image (the blue felt in the case, the binoculars) it's much cleaner IMHO; at least much easier to get rid of. The 5D produces much "hotspots" in these parts. Also it's more clumsy, less "organic" then with the BMCC.

Overall it seems the BMCC captures much more Details (not just because of Resolution) in graduation, aside from the horrific aliasing from the 5D (corpus of the violin, on its edge)

Regards,
Lucas
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 5:00 pm

In your test the higher ISO goes to the BMCC and at ISO 200 goes to 5DMkII. A complete reverse from what I had in mind. The Canon has so much more pop and DR punch at ISO 200 but at ISO 800 and 1600 the BMCC handles chroma noise much better.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 5:38 pm

I'm not sure that it makes sense to compare the ISO between these two cameras, as for one thing the BMCC is always ISO 800 when shooting raw.

However what would work is comparing:

Same field of view
Same depth of field
Same lighting
Same shutter speed
Same look in post processing
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 6:08 pm

Scott Pultz wrote:I'm not sure that it makes sense to compare the ISO between these two cameras, as for one thing the BMCC is always ISO 800 when shooting raw.

However what would work is comparing:

Same field of view
Same depth of field
Same lighting
Same shutter speed
Same look in post processing



It makes sense because if one camera has an advantage with noise performance when filming within typical iso ranges, it will be a reason to choose one camera over the other in certain situations.

Also, it is at the very least worth comparing it at iso 800, at which I would suggest the bmcc has better noise performance.


In this test, they did have the same lighting and post processing look.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 6:17 pm

myself experienced a different noise charactersistic between 5D and BMCC. I found BMCC noise characteristic has pretty smaller noise dots, more organic and tolerable. don't know what you guys think, i could be wrong.

Regards,
Rudy
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 6:30 pm

Very interesting--the BMCC holds up well. I like the grain of the BMCC more, at least in this well-lit scenario.

Are you planning on doing more of these comparisons? Your first one actually led me to really doubt whether the BMCC was the camera for me, because I liked the look of the 5D's much more.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 6:35 pm

TravisW wrote:Very interesting--the BMCC holds up well. I like the grain of the BMCC more, at least in this well-lit scenario.

Are you planning on doing more of these comparisons? Your first one actually led me to really doubt whether the BMCC was the camera for me, because I liked the look of the 5D's much more.



Speaking from someone who has and uses both - I would not trade my bmcc for x5 canon 5d's.

The 5d is great and this raw video mod is really impressive - but when using the footage, the bmcc has some kind of magic spark about it, not to mention it being more designed for raw video.

If you are ok with the extra expense and workflow change that raw video brings - get the bmcc without a doubt!
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 6:54 pm

Thank you for your time and dedication to the forum. Well, for me is crystal clear, BMC.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 7:25 pm

Thank you for the comparison! Apart from noise: did you see the difference in moire at higher iso, especially at the spyglasses eyepiece?
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 7:56 pm

From your test it would suggest that for maximum DR the 5DMkII is better suited for low ISO and brightly lit scene while the BMCC is more suited for lower light or indoor around ISO 800.
This would explain why we see so many superior bright outdoor scenes shot with the latest ML RAW hack because that is were it excells with the greatest DR and shadow details compare to the BMCC.

A comparison at ISO 100 for the Canon and ISO 800 for the BMCC would be more fair.

Of course the 5DMkIII is a different animal and may trump the BMCC even at ISO 800-1600.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 8:10 pm

Taikonaut wrote:From your test it would suggest that for maximum DR the 5DMkII is better suited for low ISO and brightly lit scene while the BMCC is more suited for lower light or indoor around ISO 800.
This would explain why we see so many superior bright outdoor scenes shot with the latest ML RAW hack because that is were it excells with the greatest DR and shadow details compare to the BMCC.

A comparison at ISO 100 for the Canon and ISO 800 for the BMCC would be more fair.

Of course the 5DMkIII is a different animal and may trump the BMCC even at ISO 800-1600.



According to dxo labs, the 5d has its most DR at iso 100. So it would corroborate what you just said.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 8:11 pm

Oscar Romero wrote:Thank you for your time and dedication to the forum. Well, for me is crystal clear, BMC.



You are very welcome!
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 8:13 pm

Mac Jaeger wrote:Thank you for the comparison! Apart from noise: did you see the difference in moire at higher iso, especially at the spyglasses eyepiece?


Not really different at the iso's, the moire was worse overall on the 5d Mkii. I have heard that the MKIII is much better in this regard.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 8:35 pm

Tom wrote:
TravisW wrote:Very interesting--the BMCC holds up well. I like the grain of the BMCC more, at least in this well-lit scenario.

Are you planning on doing more of these comparisons? Your first one actually led me to really doubt whether the BMCC was the camera for me, because I liked the look of the 5D's much more.



Speaking from someone who has and uses both - I would not trade my bmcc for x5 canon 5d's.

The 5d is great and this raw video mod is really impressive - but when using the footage, the bmcc has some kind of magic spark about it, not to mention it being more designed for raw video.

If you are ok with the extra expense and workflow change that raw video brings - get the bmcc without a doubt!


Good to know, especially considering I have all my gear picked out and beefed up my comp for the workflow. Thanks, looking forward to any other tests you put out.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 11:13 pm

Tom wrote:
Scott Pultz wrote:I'm not sure that it makes sense to compare the ISO between these two cameras, as for one thing the BMCC is always ISO 800 when shooting raw.

However what would work is comparing:

Same field of view
Same depth of field
Same lighting
Same shutter speed
Same look in post processing



It makes sense because if one camera has an advantage with noise performance when filming within typical iso ranges, it will be a reason to choose one camera over the other in certain situations.

Also, it is at the very least worth comparing it at iso 800, at which I would suggest the bmcc has better noise performance.


In this test, they did have the same lighting and post processing look.


I certainly care about noise performance, but I don't think that the ISO values themselves matter. What matters is the noise between two cameras with everything else equal:

Same field of view
Same perspective
Same depth of field
Same lighting
Same shutter speed
Same look/exposure in post processing

Does ISO 800 on the two cameras produce the exact same exposure when viewing the final image? If so that is great. If not then directly comparing ISO isn't super helpful. For example the 5D III and the 1DX have different exposures given the same ISO setting. If I remember correctly the 1DX requires about 1/3rd longer shutter speed to produce the same exposure as the 5D III with identical ISO settings.

So for example one could try this, assuming a 2.56 crop (I don't remember the exact value)

Both cameras in the same position
BMCC at 24mm F2
5D at 61mm F5
Shutter Speed 1/48
BMCC at ISO 800
5D at whatever ISO produces the best result
Post process to have the same exposure and look.

Then compare.

If one doesn't care about DOF for some reason, the 5D could be opened up to F2 for those who care more about noise than DOF.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostWed Jun 05, 2013 11:46 pm

5D3 and BV1 do not match as far as ISO values go: Rated 800 on BV1 is rating 1600 on MK3.

Having spent the last three days with 5D3RAW, this is my own blurt of'a breakdown:

5D3
- DR is mostly at the bottom end of the curve netting more detail in the lowest end over BV1, ISO effects the image thus giving you cleaner options at anything that needs to be rated beyond 1600 ISO in comparison
- Due to the ISO balance, You are forced to under expose the image drastically in many cases to capture range. Image is overall soft, seems to sharper better using a CInemaDNG workflow but you can barely push sharpness without it looking very unpleasant.
- clearly a much much wider/broader frame, hack adds many options for recorded frames.
- Does NOT look like it has less Rolling Shutter when cameras are matched lens to lens (50mm on 5D, 25ish on BV1).
- Fixed Pattern Noise in the image (I guess people are calling this vertical banding) makes it hard to denoise if you haven't chosen your ISO and lit appropriately.
- FAR less moire in the image in any given situation. Aliasing is present.
- Strange issue with very bright lights in lowlight: pixel-ridden edges.


BV1
-DR is very well balanced at native rating of 800, very confident that BV1 has greater than one stop top end advantage over 5D3RAW (Meaning it sees a good stop+ into highlights in comparison) which means you need less ND for the same brightly lit or contrasty setup.
- Smaller sensor wants more light, means if you hate noise you want to find the fastest glass that you can. Shadow detail isn't bad, definitely isn't 5D3RAW cleanly if you are in a situation that's requiring you to light to 1600ISO.
- Smaller sensor without accompanying glass reveals CA issues which take some time to correct, but can be corrected. Glass designed for M4/3 is much better.
-Smaller sensor in regards to wide end, major difference between 5D3RAW. Almost forgot how wide even a 50 can look Full Frame.
- Tangible difference in color fidelity, where BV1 RAW images have more color information from the start, and are more resilient to being pushed. Also observed a greater amount of separation in color overall in comparison.
- Sharpening is great, you have an upper limit but it takes a bit of pushing before it begins to look oversharpened.
- Denoising - No issues. Ripping chroma or luminance or both out, great.
- Noise in general in properly lit scenarios - no issue. Very low noise floor observed when handling the camera properly.
- Moire makes me sad.

Both Cameras
- Could use some black diffusion. Highlights can get ugly if you clip on either camera, with BV1 being slightly more forgiving (assumed due to 16-bit inherent files and sensor optimization).
- Can be equally cumbersome without gear.
- Desire power, starting with the batteries full, both were pretty drained equally by the time I packed it up. Of course, the difference is the 5D3 having replaceable internal batteries.
- Require an understanding of how the tool wants you to work with it, and the patience to optimize the images. Where the 5D was easier to figure out exposure in a no light situation, BV1 was far faster when exposing for raw due to the Zebras being mapped for sensor read out. I know exactly what I'm about to get, there are no surprises, and I'm shooting in the matter of a few seconds. In my opinion, the 5D needs this tool. BV1 could use black zebras or similar for lowlight.

My Opinion (take it or leave it):

I would not trade my BV1-MFT (and now EF after selling my lung to get that too because of the IS benefit... anyone want to send me some ramen? I"m hungry) for a 5D shooting RAW. It has definitely changed the tool that the 5D is, made it MUCH better in every regard, and it would be a good addition to the arsenal once the public release of the ML firmware is available.

Applications for my personal use would be: tight spaces, car mount, lowlight.

Having been spoiled by the dynamic range, color, and overall "look" of Blackmagic's first offering, having both side by side has really only caused me to appreciate what I already have much more, and wish I had more of my own work to use it on versus shooting for others. It is not a perfect tool, yet it is nearly the perfect tool for my personal tastes.

A final note: aside from the color and resolving power as both are very different here, you could likely fool anyone into thinking one was the other, even the hardest pixel peepers. If these things were equal, even sensor size difference or the dynamic range wouldn't really show.

These things, however, are just as important before the final product as they allow you to work as you see fit. Dynamic Range allows us to accomplish very mundane shots that usually look horrible in video format, and the larger sensor size allows us to make the most out of small locations.

Pick one, pick both, but shoot it up~
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostThu Jun 06, 2013 12:10 am

I was surprised to see so much moiré on the 5D, especially on the binoculars and chin rest (don´t know if that´s the name) on the violin.

Thanks for the test!
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostThu Jun 06, 2013 3:14 am

Thanks Kholi, I've noticed the same patterns of pixels in the 5D III footage that I have download. It isn't pleasant.

The BMCC moire can be frustrating as well. Hopefully an OLPF will be made for it.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostThu Jun 06, 2013 5:44 am

Kholi wrote:Having spent the last three days with 5D3RAW, this is my own blurt of'a breakdown:


How about IR contamination? I've heard that BMCC are vulnerable to that.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostThu Jun 06, 2013 6:29 am

Taikonaut wrote:
Kholi wrote:Having spent the last three days with 5D3RAW, this is my own blurt of'a breakdown:


How about IR contamination? I've heard that BMCC are vulnerable to that.


All CMOS sensors are highly susceptible to IR contamination. The 5D3 is certainly no different and requires IR beyond .6. Proof's in the scopes.

It's safe to say that BV1 should have IR at all NDs, I personally don't consider this a deal breaker for any camera if there're a set of NDs that fit the camera (for BV1 that's TIFFEN WW) as I learned years ago that's why IR ND combo sets exist.

Everyone should own them, if you shoot video, as there's no real post correction for IR contamination. Handle it before the lens.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostThu Jun 06, 2013 6:40 am

Kholi wrote:
Taikonaut wrote:
Kholi wrote:Having spent the last three days with 5D3RAW, this is my own blurt of'a breakdown:


How about IR contamination? I've heard that BMCC are vulnerable to that.


All CMOS sensors are highly susceptible to IR contamination. The 5D3 is certainly no different and requires IR beyond .6. Proof's in the scopes.

It's safe to say that BV1 should have IR at all NDs, I personally don't consider this a deal breaker for any camera if there're a set of NDs that fit the camera (for BV1 that's TIFFEN WW) as I learned years ago that's why IR ND combo sets exist.

Everyone should own them, if you shoot video, as there's no real post correction for IR contamination. Handle it before the lens.


Yes but is IR contimination more susceptable with BMCC? I see many video footages that look muddy brown. Not many from the Canon.

Tiffen WW ND with IR cut arent cheap and with a set of these cost do mount up.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostThu Jun 06, 2013 6:46 am

Taikonaut wrote:Yes but is IR contimination more susceptable with BMCC? I see many video footages that look muddy brown. Not many from the Canon.


It is more susceptible. Yet does more susceptible really mean anything in a world where everyone should be using IR NDs at every stop? The C300's built-in NDs are calibrated to perfection, yet if you use other NDs on the camera you can see the IR pollution creep in very easily.

I see plenty of contaminated footage on both cameras. Primarily because people are using faders and/or can't see the contamination.

It's important to try and help people into the IR ND mindset, doesn't really matter which camera it is, it's across the board. I believe Tiffen crafted an IR filter specifically for Alexa, Schneider for RED correct?

Is there a value in not purchasing good IR NDs that I'm missing or a question about saving a few dollars in comparison?
Last edited by Kholi Hicks on Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostThu Jun 06, 2013 8:25 am

Kholi wrote:
Taikonaut wrote:Yes but is IR contimination more susceptable with BMCC? I see many video footages that look muddy brown. Not many from the Canon.


It is more susceptible. Yet does more susceptible really mean anything in a world where everyone should be using IR NDs at every stop? The C300's built-in NDs are calibrated to perfection, yet if you use other NDs on the camera you can see the IR pollution creep in very easily.

I see plenty of contaminated footage on both cameras. Primarily because people are using faders and/or can't see the contamination.

It's important to try and help people into the IR ND mindset, doesn't really matter which camera it is, it's across the board. I believe Tiffen crafted an IR filter specifically for Alexa, Schneider for RED correct?

Is there a value in not purchasing good IR NDs that I'm missing or a question about saving a few dollars in comparison?


If money is not a problem then yes everyone will be using a set of IR cut ND filters, but then if money is not an issue will people be buying the BMCC? I doubt it.
The BMCC is targeting the wider market of the budget crowd and for these folks additional cost is very much a concern. The more susceptable to IR contamination means the less likely for the images to hold up in outdoor work. I will probably go with the IR cut ND filter but not the whole set.
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostThu Jun 06, 2013 8:36 am

Kholi wrote:

BV1
- Smaller sensor wants more light, means if you hate noise you want to find the fastest glass that you can. Shadow detail isn't bad, definitely isn't 5D3RAW cleanly if you are in a situation that's requiring you to light to 1600ISO.


The sensor size is not necessarily a factor for it needing more light. The photosite size is however. There is an overall net reduction in the amount of light hitting the bmcc sensor compared to a larger one, but each individual photosite is still getting the same amount. The photosites on the BMCC are actually larger and have better quantum efficiency meaning.

There are other factors which come into play regarding shadow noise or just noise performance in general, but the fact the sensor is smaller does not mean it needs more light.



Other than this, your post contained a lot of very good points! Thank you!
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Re: BMCC vs 5D MKII Magic Lantern raw video ISO test

PostThu Jun 06, 2013 8:46 am

Scott Pultz wrote:
I certainly care about noise performance, but I don't think that the ISO values themselves matter. What matters is the noise between two cameras with everything else equal:

Same field of view
Same perspective
Same depth of field
Same lighting
Same shutter speed
Same look/exposure in post processing

Does ISO 800 on the two cameras produce the exact same exposure when viewing the final image? If so that is great. If not then directly comparing ISO isn't super helpful. For example the 5D III and the 1DX have different exposures given the same ISO setting. If I remember correctly the 1DX requires about 1/3rd longer shutter speed to produce the same exposure as the 5D III with identical ISO settings.

So for example one could try this, assuming a 2.56 crop (I don't remember the exact value)

Both cameras in the same position
BMCC at 24mm F2
5D at 61mm F5
Shutter Speed 1/48
BMCC at ISO 800
5D at whatever ISO produces the best result
Post process to have the same exposure and look.

Then compare.

If one doesn't care about DOF for some reason, the 5D could be opened up to F2 for those who care more about noise than DOF.



field of view, perspective, depth of field, shutter speed do not affect noise performance.

In this test the lighting and post processing WAS the same.

When filming with either camera, you are likely to film at the various ISO levels. The gut reaction in general seems to be that the 5D mkII has better noise performance than the BMCC. By comparing the BMCC exposed at the various typical ISO settings with the 5D Mkii at the various typical ISO settings, we can see the reality of how each camera performs.

This test is not definitive and does not demonstrate many other key difference between the cameras, the test is designed to show one thing only - the noise performance of each camera when filming in their respective ISO settings.

In this hypothetical situation, the camera operator wanted to film a scene at certain apertures. In order to compensate for this each camera was set to film at different ISO values. These ISO values will change how clean the image is in each camera. If one camera performs better with this, then it might be worth considering when comparing the two.
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