Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

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AJKinOHIO

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Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostThu Feb 22, 2024 4:30 am

I wish I would have done more research before getting my BMPC4k but I blindly trusted a friend and I believe it's coming back to haunt me.

The main problem I'm having is focus. Real eye opener getting this thing out of the box and learning that I would have to be doing all the focusing while shooting. No idea why I assumed, let's not even go there lol. So far it's a disaster unless it's on a tripod and that's not what I want to be doing with my camera 100% of the time.

My main trajectory is weddings so I need to be very mobile and there's no way I'm going to be getting the shots and angles I want while also trying to focus and I would image that would also be true with a focus puller as well.

Now, I was told that there might be a way to auto focus with the BMPC4k and that had everything to do with the lens. I'm mentioning this, and writing this thread, because I'm trying to salvage this purchase as I don't want to lose a ton of money selling the thing and then getting something that suits my needs.

Currently I'm using the Canon EFS 18-55mm (which does have an AF/MF button but switching it to AF does not actually AF. Works great with my Canon EOS 70D but that's an entirely different camera of course.)

I am by no means an expert with gear, as you have already gathered, but my educated guess is the adapter I'm using will also play a part in this whole equation. I have the Vello LAE-MFT-CEFII micro four thirds adapter, I do not believe it has the latest firmware which I know is important yet wonder if it even matters at this point.

Thank you for listening to my plight, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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SalopFilms

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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostThu Feb 22, 2024 8:55 am

Yes something as film-makers we have to address but unless you are going to practice manual focusing, and there is focus peaking to help you with this then you will struggle.

You may find other camera's that fulfill your requirements, say the Canon C70 ?

I know there are users who use 4K or 6K for weddings and they seem happy but if you are not totally happy with the image that your 4K provides, then time to move on.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostThu Feb 22, 2024 10:38 am

AJKinOHIO wrote:

My main trajectory is weddings

Now, I was told that there might be a way to auto focus with the BMPC4k and that had everything to do with the lens. I'm mentioning this, and writing this thread, because I'm trying to salvage this purchase as I don't want to lose a ton of money selling the thing and then getting something that suits my needs.

Currently I'm using the Canon EFS 18-55mm (which does have an AF/MF button but switching it to AF does not actually AF. Works great with my Canon EOS 70D but that's an entirely different camera of course.)

I am by no means an expert with gear, as you have already gathered, b
Thank you for listening to my plight, any advice would be greatly appreciated.


You have asked for advice so please take the following as straight-talking friendly advice. There is no point in beating around the bush.

From what you write, you are clearly a beginner in image making in general. "By no means an expert" is a serious understatement. The idea that switching a lens to autofocus might magically result in your BMPC camera developing autofocus capabilities is evidence of the level of your knowledge. Buying a cinema camera without checking what it is capable of is more evidence. The Canon camera and lens you mention are entry level kit, not intended for professional use. The camera dates back to 2103. That speaks for itself.

One does not have to be an expert in tech to be a professional image maker but a certain baseline level is essential. I am presuming the statement that My main trajectory is weddings means that is your plan for where you are going rather than something you are actually doing.

My advice would be to thoroughly learn the craft before you ever offer professional services. It takes a lot of skill to photograph or video a wedding to a professional standard and taking on a wedding without the necessary knowledge, skill and equipment can and probably will lead to disaster.

There is nothing wrong with being a beginner. We have all been beginners at one point and the road carries you through some very exciting places. What camera you use is your choice. The principles are pretty much the same whatever kit you use.

Best of luck on your journey.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostThu Feb 22, 2024 11:44 am

The above posts are good general advice, but not really a practical solution you want/need right now.

I'm guessing you bought the BMPCC4K thinking it had continuous autofocus that's standard in many hybrid/content creation cameras these days, which it does not. However - what you've mentioned about hearing of ways to achieve continuous autofocus with a lens sounds like the LiDAR autofocus systems that are out there these days.

I'm not super familiar with them personally so would encourage you do some serious research about whether it suits your needs to not before buying, but it's an option. I've heard the DJI one is good, if you're looking for a place to start.


----

As an aside, threads like this make me think it's not okay to keep saying "it's a cinema camera what did you expect" when BM cameras don't have the features people expect of them. The line between cinema camera and content camera is getting blurred more than ever and BM should probably get with the times.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostThu Feb 22, 2024 12:44 pm

Chris Cronin wrote:The above posts are good general advice, but not really a practical solution you want/need right now.


I realise I didn't actually offer any practical advice on whether he should stick with the BMPC or go for something in the hybrid mirrorless market. However, my reason for that is I think it is presently not yet really relevant to his presumed intention to continue his trajectory towards wedding videography as he appears to have so much to learn before that should even start appearing on his horizon. Any decent modern camera will do for learning, even his existing DSLR, although that is pretty ancient and probably limited in terms of learning video in particular.

I think it would probably be easier for a beginner to start with an entry level mirrorless hybrid kit, of which there are numerous options at reasonable prices and where there is an opportunity to try auto and manual focusing as well as learn all there is to learn about the basics of image making. The BMPC is not a beginner's camera but I wouldn't suggest getting rid of it if he can afford to invest in a basic mirrorless hybrid kit for starters. It might come in very handy down the line.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostThu Feb 22, 2024 7:47 pm

AJKinOHIO wrote:I wish I would have done more research before getting my BMPC4k but I blindly trusted a friend and I believe it's coming back to haunt me.

The main problem I'm having is focus. Real eye opener getting this thing out of the box and learning that I would have to be doing all the focusing while shooting. No idea why I assumed, let's not even go there lol. So far it's a disaster unless it's on a tripod and that's not what I want to be doing with my camera 100% of the time.

My main trajectory is weddings so I need to be very mobile and there's no way I'm going to be getting the shots and angles I want while also trying to focus and I would image that would also be true with a focus puller as well.

Now, I was told that there might be a way to auto focus with the BMPC4k and that had everything to do with the lens. I'm mentioning this, and writing this thread, because I'm trying to salvage this purchase as I don't want to lose a ton of money selling the thing and then getting something that suits my needs.

Currently I'm using the Canon EFS 18-55mm (which does have an AF/MF button but switching it to AF does not actually AF. Works great with my Canon EOS 70D but that's an entirely different camera of course.)

I am by no means an expert with gear, as you have already gathered, but my educated guess is the adapter I'm using will also play a part in this whole equation. I have the Vello LAE-MFT-CEFII micro four thirds adapter, I do not believe it has the latest firmware which I know is important yet wonder if it even matters at this point.

Thank you for listening to my plight, any advice would be greatly appreciated.


as a wedding videographer... canon r5, c70 or sony fx3/fx30 should be your choice.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostThu Feb 22, 2024 8:28 pm

mickspixels wrote:
From what you write, you are clearly a beginner in image making in general. "By no means an expert" is a serious understatement.

My advice would be to thoroughly learn the craft before you ever offer professional services.

^^^ This was the BEST advice.

A professional uses more than one camera. You don't take a fork in the road because one camera wasn't what you thought it should be. You identify its strength and include it in the workflow for what it CAN do somewhere else. One camera never works. You can't be everywhere at once, you can't man them all at the same time and sometimes what makes you the hero to the client was that there was ONE that got the shot that was most important to THEM. It's not always the one that was most important to you. 6 cameras is not too many if it meant that one got that important shot while the other 5 were blocked or out of position. Skip weddings for now and learn the craft.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostThu Feb 22, 2024 9:44 pm

AJKinOHIO wrote:My main trajectory is weddings so I need to be very mobile and there's no way I'm going to be getting the shots and angles I want while also trying to focus and I would image that would also be true with a focus puller as well.

You'll be better off getting a Panasonic GH6, a Sony, or a Canon. They all come with autofocus and image stabilization.

The BMPC a fine camera but it is mainly for recording scenes using a tripod not for run-and-gun situations.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 1:51 am

Michael may have come around a bit rude, but he's right. Learn to handle different types of cameras by just renting them before investing further.
Generally, I'd say that for run-n-gun the modern hybrids are better, their AF and automatic exposure is based on years of research and improvements, while BM has carved a different niche for theirs.
Good luck with being a lonesome cowboy for weddings, where you just can't ask for another try. They are not that different from wildlife ;-)
For serious wedding photography and videography I'd recommend forming a team with two, better three cameras. A BMPCC can very well be a part of that.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 3:07 am

Uli Plank wrote:For serious wedding photography and videography I'd recommend forming a team with two, better three cameras. A BMPCC can very well be a part of that.

I agree, if you are setting up scenes with tripods, lights, mikes etc the BMPC is great.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 3:50 am

Chris Cronin wrote: I'm guessing you bought the BMPCC4K thinking it had continuous autofocus that's standard in many hybrid/content creation cameras these days, which it does not. However - what you've mentioned about hearing of ways to achieve continuous autofocus with a lens sounds like the LiDAR autofocus systems that are out there these days.


I did think it would have continuous autofocus, after all, how the heck is someone going to move the camera around and at the same time keep focus, while watching where they're walking and of course making sure the subject is still in frame. It's just not practical.

The LiDAR system concerns me. On the surface it seems like a great idea, but after watching a video review of it this guy is describing the switch from going to AF back to manual and then M to AF and it doesn't sound fluid. Sounds clunky and sounds like a shot pretty messed up. I haven't read a ton on it and I will be doing more, I'm just going off the 1st video I saw.

Another thing that concerns me is that pricetag. I was hoping some kind of AF system would be around $300, but at double that I have to sit back and do the math. If I buy the system and then compare the price of the BMPC + LiDAR vs buying a brand new AF camera, what's cheaper and more importantly, what's going to give the better shot.

My gut tells me the AF camera, but again, I am just starting this "project"

Finally, how are you defining a content camera?
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 3:55 am

mickspixels wrote: I realise I didn't actually offer any practical advice on whether he should stick with the BMPC or go for something in the hybrid mirrorless market. However, my reason for that is I think it is presently not yet really relevant to his presumed intention to continue his trajectory towards wedding videography as he appears to have so much to learn before that should even start appearing on his horizon. Any decent modern camera will do for learning, even his existing DSLR, although that is pretty ancient and probably limited in terms of learning video in particular.


Canon 70D and videography are a strong no. 1080p.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 3:57 am

AlwaysWritePat wrote:as a wedding videographer... canon r5, c70 or sony fx3/fx30 should be your choice.


Thanks! Which of these do you prefer and why?
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 4:03 am

Tom Roper wrote:A professional uses more than one camera. You don't take a fork in the road because one camera wasn't what you thought it should be. You identify its strength and include it in the workflow for what it CAN do somewhere else. One camera never works. You can't be everywhere at once, you can't man them all at the same time and sometimes what makes you the hero to the client was that there was ONE that got the shot that was most important to THEM. It's not always the one that was most important to you. 6 cameras is not too many if it meant that one got that important shot while the other 5 were blocked or out of position. Skip weddings for now and learn the craft.


Agree with everything you say. Just don't understand the last sentence.

I guess I've miscommunicated regarding these weddings.

There is no skipping the weddings needed as I have zero booked and didn't plan on attempting a wedding until I several things in place. I am aware of the professionalism needed to shoot such an event; I just commented on it expressing where I want to go, which, has nothing to do with where I currently am.

And 6 cameras is def not too many. All I keep thinking of is Aviator and not having it with the million cameras he was using :)
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 4:18 am

Cary Knoop wrote:
AJKinOHIO wrote:My main trajectory is weddings so I need to be very mobile and there's no way I'm going to be getting the shots and angles I want while also trying to focus and I would image that would also be true with a focus puller as well.

You'll be better off getting a Panasonic GH6, a Sony, or a Canon. They all come with autofocus and image stabilization.

The BMPC a fine camera but it is mainly for recording scenes using a tripod not for run-and-gun situations.


I'm not sure about that. Why would an expensive camera that has all these bells and whistles be best on a tripod? Doesn't make sense to me. Nor does it make sense why it doesn't seem to be user friendly off the tripod. lol. lose lose situation? shrug.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 4:21 am

Uli Plank wrote:Michael may have come around a bit rude, but he's right. Learn to handle different types of cameras by just renting them before investing further.
Generally, I'd say that for run-n-gun the modern hybrids are better, their AF and automatic exposure is based on years of research and improvements, while BM has carved a different niche for theirs.
Good luck with being a lonesome cowboy for weddings, where you just can't ask for another try. They are not that different from wildlife ;-)
For serious wedding photography and videography I'd recommend forming a team with two, better three cameras. A BMPCC can very well be a part of that.


When you mention modern hybrids, which one(s) did you have in mind?

Ahh yes, for the weddings I will be employing the wife :) She may be on a tripod. The whole wedding. With a BMPC4k ;)
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 5:10 am

Makes a lot of sense. Make her operate that camera as conservatively as possible, so when editing you always have one safe image. Then move around running and gunning with a camera with good autofocus.

Personally, I use Sony hybrid cameras because of the great lenses I have, both modern and vintage.
But AF of the Canons is just as good, so it comes down to lens choice.
Nikon is close behind in AF, and Panasonic is catching up recently as I read (I didn't test the current Panasonics).

All those cameras are good if you can record H.265 in 10 bit and 4:2:2, but only if your computer is up to it.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 6:40 am

AJKinOHIO wrote:
Cary Knoop wrote:
AJKinOHIO wrote:My main trajectory is weddings so I need to be very mobile and there's no way I'm going to be getting the shots and angles I want while also trying to focus and I would image that would also be true with a focus puller as well.

You'll be better off getting a Panasonic GH6, a Sony, or a Canon. They all come with autofocus and image stabilization.

The BMPC a fine camera but it is mainly for recording scenes using a tripod not for run-and-gun situations.


I'm not sure about that. Why would an expensive camera that has all these bells and whistles be best on a tripod? Doesn't make sense to me. Nor does it make sense why it doesn't seem to be user friendly off the tripod. lol. lose lose situation? shrug.

Because there is no autofocus or image stabilization.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 8:36 am

Well I am using BM cameras for run and gun all the time, I never use cameras with auto focus and it is never a problem.
When on Steadycam or Gimbal I use focus puller.
Some feel it as pain not having AF but sins I have always used MF I never even think of it at all, never missed it.
Needs some practice to get used to it yeah but in my opinion it really is worth it.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 9:55 am

I think the issues you are encountering can be traced to the word "cinema" in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. A cinema camera is designed to be used for cinema, where everything is rehearsed and multiple takes can be made, the lighting is managed and adequate, and you have a crew (including a focus puller). For mobile shots you'd be using a Steadicam, dollies, cranes, etc. Autofocus is more of a liability than an asset in those situations because you don't want the camera making focus decisions for you.

A wedding is the exact opposite of that scenario. There is no second take; you can't ask them to repeat the ceremony or the reception so you can get a better shot.

This isn't to say that you can't use a BMPCC or manual-focus lenses for anything but cinema; people use these cameras for weddings and other events, documentaries, dances, concerts, travel videos, and many other things. And Blackmagic Design has examples of those uses in the video galleries for these cameras on its website. But it wasn't designed for those purposes. If you're going to use it for anything outside of cinema you're using it because you want that image quality and are willing to work for it.

Weddings are high-pressure, high-stakes gigs for a videographer; everything needs to go right. If it were me, I'd choose the right tool for the job, and if you can only have one camera (which as others have pointed out is a bad idea) you should sell your BMPCC and pick up any of the cameras mentioned here that have autofocus and internal stabilization (the BMPCC does have gyro stabilization but you'll need to account the cropping that it imposes while you frame your shots).

If it were me I'd look into the Sony FX-30. It's pretty affordable, is APS-C (a larger format than the BMPCC 4K but very close to the Super 35 format used in most cinema), offers both IBIS and gyro stabilization, and autofocus. It is in Sony's cinema line and is called a cinema camera but that's just marketing: it lacks some basic cinema camera features and I think Sony calls it a "cinema" camera to make it attractive to youtubers who want to brag that they're using a cinema camera for their videos.

Can the BMPCC 4K be used for weddings? Of course, and you can find lots of videos to prove it. But to make it work you need to be willing/able to work with its constraints. If you aren't or if they seem too challenging, cut your losses now and switch.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 11:56 am

Uli Plank wrote:Michael may have come around a bit rude, but he's right. Learn to handle different types of cameras by just renting them before investing further.

For serious wedding photography and videography I'd recommend forming a team with two, better three cameras. A BMPCC can very well be a part of that.


There was me thinking I was being diplomatic :D. I was just being direct really, not intending to be in any way mean - as I said no point in beating around the bush.

I do wedding photography on my own but it is very high pressure and requires every bit of skill and knowledge I have assimilated over the years. As my old uncle used to say "if it can go wrong Mike, you can be sure that it will go wrong". There are so many things that can go wrong in a wedding. You don't pause to think and fiddle with camera settings. It has to be innate: you become half-man half-camera. And then there is the people skill - diplomacy is essential :D. An absolute minimum of two very decent cameras is essential as well as all the other bits and pieces - tripods, monopods, flashes, lights etc. The requirements for quality wedding video would probably be even greater. I haven't even mentioned insurance (public liability and professional indemnity are vital for anyone considering wedding photography or videography), marketing, getting a portfolio together etc. Then there is the post processing and the equipment to do this properly as well.

To broadly paraphrase the Jodie Foster character in the recent True Detective, I don't think the OP is asking the right questions. This is why I responded as I did - the question is moot. As Tom Roper said "You don't take a fork in the road because one camera wasn't what you thought it should be." The question really is more about developing the essential skills to do wedding videography, not whether he should keep or sell one camera, the cost of which is only a relatively small proportion of what will be required to do this to a professional standard.

Judging from the various things he has said, I think he is looking at a few years at least getting the basic experience before even thinking about offering a professional service.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 12:17 pm

AJKinOHIO wrote:I'm not sure about that. Why would an expensive camera that has all these bells and whistles be best on a tripod? Doesn't make sense to me. Nor does it make sense why it doesn't seem to be user friendly off the tripod. lol. lose lose situation? shrug.

This is just one instance where you are showing a clear lack of understanding of image making in general. I won't try to explain. This will become entirely obvious as you learn the craft.

Just to be clear. I was not intending to be rude or nasty to you. I'm not like that. I respect people online. But I do think it's better to talk straight. It is clear you are pretty much a beginner and there is nothing wrong with that at all. However, I have this thing about inexperienced people offering their services for weddings. It is one area where experience and skill are essential and that takes time to develop.

AJKinOHIO wrote:When you mention modern hybrids, which one(s) did you have in mind?

Everybody talks Canon, Sony and Panasonic. Also consider Nikon. I've been a Nikon user since almost forever as a photographer and I'm glad I've stuck with Nikon. Although Nikon have been latecomers to the mirrorless hybrid and video market, they have made huge technological advances in video the last few years in their higher end professional hybrids (internal 8K raw video among other things) and this tech is now starting to trickle down into the prosumer market where they are also among the most affordable.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 1:25 pm

AJKinOHIO wrote:My main trajectory is weddings so I need to be very mobile and there's no way I'm going to be getting the shots and angles I want while also trying to focus
I do. ;)

The Panasonic 12-25 and 35-100 are great pairings for the P4K.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 1:31 pm

AJKinOHIO wrote:I'm not sure about that. Why would an expensive camera that has all these bells and whistles be best on a tripod? Doesn't make sense to me. Nor does it make sense why it doesn't seem to be user friendly off the tripod. lol. lose lose situation? shrug.

I'm afraid that you wouldn't find any product that fulfills all your, in fact everyone's, needs and requirements, it's a subjective matter.

I'm also not professional nor am I beginner, I'm one step ahead of beginners. However, when I started my research for a video camera, I first focused on hybrid cameras. Then I stumbled upon BMD cameras. I did my job comparing between both technologies; pros and cons, prices, lenses, features, etc. I also considered what machine I would need for editing, I had no idea that video editing is demanding.

For example, I needed full frame camera because I need as wide field of view as possible, because I do real estate photo/videography. Another essential point was image quality and workflow; BMCC6K's footage impresses me, so does the way DR handles BRAW.

To rephrase and emphasize Michael's rude comment (j/k :lol: ), you have to do your homework researching what you need based on the environment you are going to work in. Finding the perfect package in one camera is nearly impossible, therefore you will have to compromise and/or adapt to what you have in hand so you reach your goals.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 1:35 pm

Cary Knoop wrote:The BMPC a fine camera but it is mainly for recording scenes using a tripod not for run-and-gun situations.
Oh, I have to disagree with that. Using a lens with OIS, and developing your handheld skills, the P4K is an excellent run and gun camera.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 1:38 pm

AJKinOHIO wrote:how the heck is someone going to move the camera around and at the same time keep focus, while watching where they're walking and of course making sure the subject is still in frame. It's just not practical.
That's exactly what I do when I film weddings.

The Pocket actually makes things a little easier than something like the GH6. Shooting RAW, I don't have to worry as much about perfect exposure or White Balance. So long as I'm in the right neighborhood, I can "fix it in post". :)

And let's talk about the menu system, actually using the camera. There is none better than BMD.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 1:47 pm

Then you must be superman, Jim. A useful comparison is not to the GH6, but to something like the Canon C70. And you're vastly overestimating the capabilities of raw compared to log.

Of course, it helps greatly to have lay clients. The bride's mother-in-law probably doesn't have a great eye for focus, composition, color grading and exposure.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 3:14 pm

Jim Simon wrote:
AJKinOHIO wrote:how the heck is someone going to move the camera around and at the same time keep focus, while watching where they're walking and of course making sure the subject is still in frame. It's just not practical.

That's exactly what I do when I film weddings.

John Paines wrote:Then you must be superman, Jim. .

At the same time as replying to multiple posts on the BMD forum, cape swinging, rain pouring down, holding umbrella over the happy couple :D.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 4:38 pm

It's not required to be superman to understand your craft. The pocket series and FF offer multiple pathways to exposure, to stabilization, compression and focus. Not every scene shot at a wedding is about focus to a point. The bride is in a group with the mother in-law, uncle, grandma, sister, all at slightly different distances from the focal point. What does an AF camera do? It draws little boxes around all of the faces and computes an average distance. I do the same thing all the time manually. It's called "focus to a distance," e.g. if I set my focus mark to 5 ft, all I have to do is keep the same distance to subject when moving around and everybody will be in focus.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 4:56 pm

believe me and others telling the same thing, it is quite easy to focus pull manually using manual lenses and cameras, it has been done sins beginning of cameras.
Yes you need to get used to it but in the end it is really is easy no matther what you are shooting.
That is what I have done for 28 years now shooting films, doing live broadcast for TV, shooting documentaries, sports and all kind of run and gun.

Just about all cameras I have ever used all that time do not have AF nor IS and the few I have used that had them I always turn those OFF.
After those 28 years never have I missed or wished I had AF or IS on my cameras at all.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 5:33 pm

It's not surprising that folks who shoot manually would claim their event work is great. And maybe it is, though that discussion is beyond the scope of this thread.

But the BMPCC 4K as a great run and gun camera, in response to the OP's question? There's no good reason, for example, why the Canon C-series cameras are rental house workhorses for event, sports and documentary work?
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 6:05 pm

Johannes Jonsson wrote:believe me and others telling the same thing, it is quite easy to focus pull manually using manual lenses and cameras, it has been done sins beginning of cameras.
Yes you need to get used to it but in the end it is really is easy no matther what you are shooting.
That is what I have done for 28 years now shooting films, doing live broadcast for TV, shooting documentaries, sports and all kind of run and gun.

Just about all cameras I have ever used all that time do not have AF nor IS and the few I have used that had them I always turn those OFF.
After those 28 years never have I missed or wished I had AF or IS on my cameras at all.


Tom Roper wrote: What does an AF camera do? It draws little boxes around all of the faces and computes an average distance. I do the same thing all the time manually. It's called "focus to a distance," e.g. if I set my focus mark to 5 ft, all I have to do is keep the same distance to subject when moving around and everybody will be in focus.


OK here's a genuine open-minded question. Is there an actual advantage to using manual focus over autofocus for videography?

As a stills photographer going back to the time when there was no such thing as autofocus, I learnt to do everything manually. I learnt various manual focusing techniques (hyperfocal, anticipation of movement etc) but the developments in AF have been such that it would not be sensible to stick with manual focus as a stills photographer.

Obviously it takes a lot of practice to get manual focus for video down right. I can see what Tom is talking about with focus to a distance. But is there an actual advantage with manual focus for video over a quality autofocus system that tracks the subject near-perfectly or is it just what you guys are used to?

I was considering buying a BMD camera a couple of years ago but decided against it primarily because of the lack of autofocus. I'm doing a lot of close-up photography and video of flowers/plants and manual focus would be a nightmare whereas the AF tracking in my Nikons is amazing even at very close range. It does take some practice as well to use AF properly, as there are usually multiple options, different in every camera, especially with developments such as person, animal, bird recognition. You definitely have to digest the manual and practise.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 7:43 pm

mickspixels wrote:
OK here's a genuine open-minded question. Is there an actual advantage to using manual focus over autofocus for videography?

Obviously it takes a lot of practice to get manual focus for video down right. I can see what Tom is talking about with focus to a distance. But is there an actual advantage with manual focus for video over a quality autofocus system that tracks the subject near-perfectly or is it just what you guys are used to?


It's an open-ended reply as well. So let's start with a metaphor. Is there an actual advantage to a self driving, driverless car for ferrying passengers? There could be, but it's not a certainty. Autofocus system that tracks a subject near perfectly, but which subject? Animal and human face in the same frame. Subject however is the animal. Camera probably defaults to human. Strike one for auto, it's not truly autofocus because it needs your assist to know which target you intend to be the subject. Maybe you tap the subject on the screen. Maybe you dive into a menu. In full manual, you keep two fingers on the lens focus ring. Animal enters the picture. You refocus manually on the animal but over compensate, a bit of back and forth before settling into focus. Strike one against manual. If AF knows you want animal here, it locks the target faster. In full manual, you could focus to a distance. Animal turns head, spins around, focus remains consistent. In AF, animal turns head, it refocuses, spins around, same thing, focus is readjusting. This kind of AF is characteristic of mirrorless or dslr lenses designed for still pictures. The focus hunting causes lens breathing, the image swells and shrinks, an obvious distraction and unprofessional. There are exceptions to everything I said. For me, manual control means things stay under my control, may not be perfect but no surprises either. It just depends on what's important and what you think looks more professional, a focus making compensations not under your control versus the risk of not being able to follow the action manually. To the latter point, you can practice. AF may not have the ability to learn much, may need your supervision. Is that worth it? You have to decide. I see advantages and disadvantages to both, therefore I use cameras that suit both styles. No problem for me with run and gun MF with the pocket series, but AF could be better for quickly locking focus on a bird in flight. With practice you get better with MF. Developing a skill is a characteristic of a professional. With AF, you remain the same novice you always were.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 10:00 pm

mickspixels wrote:
Johannes Jonsson wrote:believe me and others telling the same thing, it is quite easy to focus pull manually using manual lenses and cameras, it has been done sins beginning of cameras.
Yes you need to get used to it but in the end it is really is easy no matther what you are shooting.
That is what I have done for 28 years now shooting films, doing live broadcast for TV, shooting documentaries, sports and all kind of run and gun.

Just about all cameras I have ever used all that time do not have AF nor IS and the few I have used that had them I always turn those OFF.
After those 28 years never have I missed or wished I had AF or IS on my cameras at all.


Tom Roper wrote: What does an AF camera do? It draws little boxes around all of the faces and computes an average distance. I do the same thing all the time manually. It's called "focus to a distance," e.g. if I set my focus mark to 5 ft, all I have to do is keep the same distance to subject when moving around and everybody will be in focus.


OK here's a genuine open-minded question. Is there an actual advantage to using manual focus over autofocus for videography?

As a stills photographer going back to the time when there was no such thing as autofocus, I learnt to do everything manually. I learnt various manual focusing techniques (hyperfocal, anticipation of movement etc) but the developments in AF have been such that it would not be sensible to stick with manual focus as a stills photographer.

Obviously it takes a lot of practice to get manual focus for video down right. I can see what Tom is talking about with focus to a distance. But is there an actual advantage with manual focus for video over a quality autofocus system that tracks the subject near-perfectly or is it just what you guys are used to?

I was considering buying a BMD camera a couple of years ago but decided against it primarily because of the lack of autofocus. I'm doing a lot of close-up photography and video of flowers/plants and manual focus would be a nightmare whereas the AF tracking in my Nikons is amazing even at very close range. It does take some practice as well to use AF properly, as there are usually multiple options, different in every camera, especially with developments such as person, animal, bird recognition. You definitely have to digest the manual and practise.


It is simple really.
Focus jump and focus in wrong places. the shot is ruined because of that and not possible to redo because it is a run and gun like wedding, documentary and other type of filming.
I have seen so many otherwise great shots ending up in the trashcan just because of that.
Seen it so many times shot on all kind of camera brands and types.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 10:24 pm

Johannes Jonsson wrote:It is simple really.
Focus jump and focus in wrong places. the shot is ruined.


Have either of you guys actually used dual-pixel focusing tech? You might still prefer manual focus, but I don't think you would be making these arguments, which are way behind the times.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 10:37 pm

My Camera B on a two camera shoot used a Nikon Z6 with autofocus. Generally good results, but one brief reaction shot of a seated actor relatively motionless was actually out of focus and the operator didn’t notice, because with autofocus you may be assuming everything is fine. Lesson learned.

I have done several weddings with the manual UM4.6K on a tripod. The odd time I wish I could retake a shot, so it doesn’t survive the edit. Never been a loss of a critical shot. To do that I do a site visit with the bride at least a few days ahead of the shoot so we can plan all the wedding and reception shots and arrange blocking so that I can follow most motion without changing focus significantly. Planning is essential to any success I’ve had. I learn the several places where I’ll place my tripod and the bride lets you know what’s important to her. Believe me the bride is always right and she’ll love seeing the results.

For example, a continuous take descending a staircase (minimum focus change), slowly walking toward the groom, saying vows (minimum zoom and focus change), and quickly walking by me a married couple (large zoom and focus change). In that single shot, the last portion was a mess but it was very brief and motion blur suited the culmination of the excitement.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostFri Feb 23, 2024 10:46 pm

John Paines wrote:
Johannes Jonsson wrote:It is simple really.
Focus jump and focus in wrong places. the shot is ruined.


Have either of you guys actually used dual-pixel focusing tech? You might still prefer manual focus, but I don't think you would be making these arguments, which are way behind the times.


I am editing quite a lot of material coming from cameramen using Canons with dual pixel focusing and yeah the problem is also there and I need to throw a lot of shots that otherwise would have been dream shots.

Shooting handheld using UMP G2 with viewfinder and use monitor when on gimbal or steadycam is what I do + focus puller.
When using the pocket I use ether the the build in display or external monitor.
Both works perfectly
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 12:12 am

Uli Plank wrote:Makes a lot of sense. Make her operate that camera as conservatively as possible, so when editing you always have one safe image. Then move around running and gunning with a camera with good autofocus.

Personally, I use Sony hybrid cameras because of the great lenses I have, both modern and vintage.
But AF of the Canons is just as good, so it comes down to lens choice.
Nikon is close behind in AF, and Panasonic is catching up recently as I read (I didn't test the current Panasonics).

All those cameras are good if you can record H.265 in 10 bit and 4:2:2, but only if your computer is up to it.


And by hybrid I assume you mean it has AF and M options on it that you can switch back and forth?

I haven't even begun looking at other cameras but it sounds like other brands operate in a similar fashion as BM in that you can use different lenses on them? This was the selling point that my friend convinced me this was my camera was that if I got an adapter I could use any brand lenses on it. Which is a cool feature, but what good is a million dollar lens if you can get shots in focus lol.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 12:19 am

Johannes Jonsson wrote:Well I am using BM cameras for run and gun all the time, I never use cameras with auto focus and it is never a problem.


This is the first response where I've heard focus is not a problem for them. My question would be what is it you're using the camera for?
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 1:00 am

Wading through this was worth it just for the image of a wedding photographer dressed up in a Steadicam rig :)

Anthony, I think this comes down to whether you want to learn to use a manual focus camera. If so, I'd suggest that you join a Leica workshop focused on street photography, where you'll learn the key things that you need to know in a weekend. First and foremost, you'll learn about the relationship between lens focal length and apparent depth of field. You'll be taught about zone focusing, which is important to documentary manual photography regardless of whether one is talking about stills or video. You might be inspired, in which case the next step is learning to use your Pocket 4K fully manually. Alternatively, you might decide that manual photography isn't for you.

If you're going to be happier using a modern camera with lens stabilization and autofocus, just sell the Pocket and get a camera that has the features you want.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 1:35 am

John Paines wrote:Have either of you guys actually used dual-pixel focusing tech? You might still prefer manual focus, but I don't think you would be making these arguments, which are way behind the times.

On my gimbal I use a 4K Sony mirrorless with 315 phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast detection points, real-time eye AF and real-time tracking, and I use this on every wedding shoot.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 10:13 am

AJKinOHIO wrote:
Johannes Jonsson wrote:Well I am using BM cameras for run and gun all the time, I never use cameras with auto focus and it is never a problem.


This is the first response where I've heard focus is not a problem for them. My question would be what is it you're using the camera for?


What I use my cameras for are just about everything possible.
I use it for futures, documentary films witch often have lots of run and gun in mix with static, weekly TV shows that are 90% run and gun, sports, some weddings that are run and gun 99% of the shooting and other things.
All of above are shot MF.

I want to be 100% in control of everything in the camera and for me it is critical to be 100% in control of focus, lets say if the subject is standing between other persons walking around in between other persons and other things that could come between the subject and the camera influencing the focus, in my personal opinion the shot is ruined if I get focus jumping.

P.s. just to be clear I am not telling anyone that they should not use AF, my point is all about manual focusing is pretty easy, you just need to get used to it.

AF is a choice if that is what you want, it is your personal preference and nothing wrong with that.

Me not wanting to use AF because I do not trust it because of material I have got into my hands to edit is my personal preference and using MF is easy really if you get used to it and it gives me what I want.

All I am saying is MF is easy.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 11:02 am

Johannes Jonsson wrote:

I want to be 100% in control of everything in the camera and for me it is critical to be 100% in control of focus,

AF is a choice if that is what you want, it is your personal preference and nothing wrong with that.

Me not wanting to use AF because I do not trust it because of material I have got into my hands to edit is my personal preference and using MF is easy really if you get used to it and it gives me what I want.

All I am saying is MF is easy.


I think that is a good summary. It's about being in control and being as close to 100% sure as possible that you will get what you are intending to get. Getting used to it is the operative term here as it is with every aspect of image making. Control is key and you can't have control unless you really understand what you are doing in every situation. MF is relatively simple in concept but needs lots of practice to perfect, especially in dynamic situations.

It's the same for effective use of AF - it's about practice and understanding how the system works and when it won't work effectively. Modern AF systems are complex and there is a lot can go wrong. If there is any doubt at all that AF won't work in a given situation, then use MF, especially in any situation where there is no opportunity to repeat the shot. It's all about practice and understanding. Whatever focusing system you use, you need an understanding of depth of field and how to control it.

Fundamentally it all comes down to control.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 12:00 pm

robedge wrote:Wading through this was worth it just for the image of a wedding photographer dressed up in a Steadicam rig :).


Not done that in weddings, yet :lol:
That´s an idea thought but just addressing different situations
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 12:11 pm

Your post has been extremely helpful. Thank you for taking the time to post.

Brad Hurley wrote:(the BMPCC does have gyro stabilization but you'll need to account the cropping that it imposes while you frame your shots).


I shot some scenes where the camera was moving around a bit and I ran it through gyro and I swore it made it even more shaky. As people have mentioned, I need to make sure I have image stabilization on the next camera I get.

Brad Hurley wrote:It is in Sony's cinema line and is called a cinema camera but that's just marketing: it lacks some basic cinema camera features



What what basic cinema camera features does it lack that you think are important to have?
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 12:19 pm

mickspixels wrote:
I do wedding photography on my own but it is very high pressure and requires every bit of skill and knowledge I have assimilated over the years. As my old uncle used to say "if it can go wrong Mike, you can be sure that it will go wrong". There are so many things that can go wrong in a wedding.


Have no experience doing video for a wedding but a lot of 2nd shooter at them. So, of course, it's been a lot less pressure. I think a good approach is making sure catastrophic things don't go wrong when starting out and to quell the minor issues as quickly as possible. Have any horror stories you're willing to share? lol

mickspixels wrote:
Judging from the various things he has said, I think he is looking at a few years at least getting the basic experience before even thinking about offering a professional service.


I'll do it in the fraction of that time. I have a full time job that pays well and allows extreme flexibility and 4 weddings lined up this year with a photographer friend that I won't make money on but will get plenty of experience on. I'm starting early to get all my ducks in a row before wedding #1. This thread has been extremely helpful. Along with a movie set I'm on, who, thankfully are patient with the million questions I throw at them.

I'm set for success, I just gotta put in the work.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 12:27 pm

mickspixels wrote:This is just one instance where you are showing a clear lack of understanding of image making in general. I won't try to explain. This will become entirely obvious as you learn the craft.

Just to be clear. I was not intending to be rude or nasty to you. I'm not like that. I respect people online. But I do think it's better to talk straight. It is clear you are pretty much a beginner and there is nothing wrong with that at all. However, I have this thing about inexperienced people offering their services for weddings. It is one area where experience and skill are essential and that takes time to develop.


No harm, no foul. To be fair though I mentioned weddings was my trajectory, not what I'm doing tomorrow :) I am fully aware of the importance that goes into a wedding and where a photography and videographer should be before doing one.

mickspixels wrote:(internal 8K raw video among other things) and this tech is now starting to trickle down into the prosumer market where they are also among the most affordable.


Have no intentions of getting an 8k camera anytime soon. Nor a 6. 4k is the standard right now and I don't need to pay more for overkill. Also the file sizes on those I can imagine to be quite redic.

Same principle with a TV... not understanding these people that are buying anything above a 4k when no one is broadcasting content in anything above 6. I bought the 4k addon with YouTube TV and promptly cancelled it after the World Series.

It's people with money that want to brag about gear they don't currently need imo.
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 12:33 pm

Omar Mohammad wrote:I'm afraid that you wouldn't find any product that fulfills all your, in fact everyone's, needs and requirements, it's a subjective matter.


Agree! lol. When Kurt Cobain went to Fender to design a hybrid of a Mustang and Jag, the only reason he was able to get everything he wanted out of a guitar was because he had a unique relationship with Fender.

Omar Mohammad wrote:For example, I needed full frame camera because I need as wide field of view as possible, because I do real estate photo/videography. Another essential point was image quality and workflow; BMCC6K's footage impresses me, so does the way DR handles BRAW.


You don't find 6k, 8k, to be overkill? 4k is the standard so I never understood shooting in anything above 4, or buying a TV above 4. shrug.


Omar Mohammad wrote:To rephrase and emphasize Michael's rude comment (j/k :lol: ), you have to do your homework researching what you need based on the environment you are going to work in. Finding the perfect package in one camera is nearly impossible, therefore you will have to compromise and/or adapt to what you have in hand so you reach your goals.


Indeed! In my approach, this is where the homework starts because it narrows down the homework I have to do before buying :) This thread has been extremely helpful including your posts, so I thank you!
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 12:36 pm

Jim Simon wrote:
Cary Knoop wrote:The BMPC a fine camera but it is mainly for recording scenes using a tripod not for run-and-gun situations.
Oh, I have to disagree with that. Using a lens with OIS, and developing your handheld skills, the P4K is an excellent run and gun camera.


When I think run and gun I think 2 features that are essential. Image stabilization and AF. OIS lenses just handle the former.

What am I missing here?
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Re: Fork in the road - stay with BMPC or go to... ?

PostSat Feb 24, 2024 12:39 pm

Jim Simon wrote:Shooting RAW, I don't have to worry as much about perfect exposure or White Balance. So long as I'm in the right neighborhood, I can "fix it in post". :)

And let's talk about the menu system, actually using the camera. There is none better than BMD.



Shooting RAW is just simply an amazing thing isn't it :) I love it as well.

I have not been on a lot of other cameras so what I'm thinking you're saying is that you have and they're all junk compared to BMD?
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