a DSLR/BMCC match?

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Brad Ballew

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a DSLR/BMCC match?

PostWed May 08, 2013 3:38 pm

Sometimes when shooting my ENG stuff, I get into situations where I need to shoot in some low light situations that the BMCC just can't handle that well. I was thinking of getting a DSLR that had good lowlight capabilities but could also be a good match to the BMCC image wise. I am talking color science here and not resolution. I just want something that can get close color wise to the BMCC. I know that I won't find anything exact.

For those who have experience with DSLRs, which cam do you think might be the best companion to a BMCC? About the only requirement is that I can adapt my EF lenses to whatever mount the camera has.
Brad Ballew
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sean mclennan

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Re: a DSLR/BMCC match?

PostWed May 08, 2013 4:12 pm

While I've never personally used one...a hacked GH2 would probably be your best best. My 2 cents...
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Matthew Silver

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Re: a DSLR/BMCC match?

PostWed May 08, 2013 5:34 pm

Love my hacked gh2. I use Nikon glass with mine with a m4/3 to F mount adapter. The only issue I've had was with long interview shoots the camera would sometimes shut down to deal with overheating. But these were 45+ minute interviews, so I know we were pushing it pretty hard.

Highly recommend the gh2 though, it's a great camera.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: a DSLR/BMCC match?

PostWed May 08, 2013 7:44 pm

As much as I love my hacked GH2, I'd recommend the new GH3.

The GH3 is as good or better than a GH2 in pretty much every regard. I especially like that the GH3 can shoot 1080p60 (which I'd use for slo-mo in 24p & 30p timelines), a headphone jack, and quite nice-looking 1080p video.

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Brad Ballew

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Re: a DSLR/BMCC match?

PostWed May 08, 2013 10:49 pm

Thanks for the responses. Have you guys cut together GH 3 and BMCC footage? Does it cut well together? I like the idea getting the slr magic 12mm for a GH3.
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Christian Schmeer

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Re: a DSLR/BMCC match?

PostWed May 08, 2013 11:22 pm

To be honest, after grading some C300 footage the other day, I wouldn't want to shoot anything below 10bits anymore. Amazing how quickly the image of a $15,000 camera falls apart.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: a DSLR/BMCC match?

PostWed May 08, 2013 11:42 pm

Christian Schmeer wrote:To be honest, after grading some C300 footage the other day, I wouldn't want to shoot anything below 10bits anymore. Amazing how quickly the image of a $15,000 camera falls apart.


It would be interesting to see if a GH3's live HDMI 8-bit 4:2:0 output recorded to a Atomos Ninja 2 (now only $650) recording ProRes HQ would hold up better than C300 footage in a heavy grade.

The GH3 live output recorded as ProRes HQ would still only be 8-bit 4:2:0 in a 10-bit 4:2:2 data stream, but recorded at 220 megabits/sec, so there would probably be less motion-induced compression artifacts compared to the C300's AVCHD recording.

Of course, the C300 will record far less noise in dim light than the GH3, and there would be other aspects of the C300 video which might be superior, but whether that would be enough for it to survive an intense grade, would be interesting to see.

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Last edited by Peter J. DeCrescenzo on Thu May 09, 2013 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Brad Ballew

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Re: a DSLR/BMCC match?

PostWed May 08, 2013 11:47 pm

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:
Christian Schmeer wrote:To be honest, after grading some C300 footage the other day, I wouldn't want to shoot anything below 10bits anymore. Amazing how quickly the image of a $15,000 camera falls apart.


It would be interesting to see if a GH3's live HDMI 8-bit 4:2:0 output recorded to a Atomos Ninja 2 (now only $650) recording ProRes HQ would hold up better than C300 footage in a heavy grade.

The GH3 live output recorded as ProRes HQ would still only be 8-bit 4:2:0 in a 10-bit 4:2:2 data stream, but recorded at 220 megabits/sec, so there would probably be less compression artifacts compared to the C300's AVCHD recording.

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Wonder if there are any good tests posted online. It would be interesting to see how much better the GH3s footage would hold up recorded externally vs in camera.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: a DSLR/BMCC match?

PostWed May 08, 2013 11:52 pm

Brad Ballew wrote:... GH 3 and BMCC footage? Does it cut well together? ...


It can cut well together, if the footage is carefully shot so it does cut well together.

The BMCC can record things (in high color depth, with low or no compression) that the GH3 cannot.

If you shoot things that the GH3 handles well (e.g.: scenes lit appropriately for a GH3), then its footage will cut together with a variety of cameras, including the BMCC.

BMCC footage will typically need to be graded "down" to look like GH3 footage. The reverse -- grading GH3 footage to look like BMCC footage -- is not usually possible. This of course is not unique to the GH3.
Last edited by Peter J. DeCrescenzo on Thu May 09, 2013 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: a DSLR/BMCC match?

PostThu May 09, 2013 12:00 am

Brad Ballew wrote:
Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:
Christian Schmeer wrote:To be honest, after grading some C300 footage the other day, I wouldn't want to shoot anything below 10bits anymore. Amazing how quickly the image of a $15,000 camera falls apart.


It would be interesting to see if a GH3's live HDMI 8-bit 4:2:0 output recorded to a Atomos Ninja 2 (now only $650) recording ProRes HQ would hold up better than C300 footage in a heavy grade.

The GH3 live output recorded as ProRes HQ would still only be 8-bit 4:2:0 in a 10-bit 4:2:2 data stream, but recorded at 220 megabits/sec, so there would probably be less compression artifacts compared to the C300's AVCHD recording.

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Wonder if there are any good tests posted online. It would be interesting to see how much better the GH3s footage would hold up recorded externally vs in camera.


Tests would be interesting, but not strictly necessary. The benefits of higher data rate recording for certain content -- especially for preserving high-detail in motion -- are well known.

In the case of the GH3 AVCHC vs. Ninja 2 ProRes HQ recordings, the latter is 5-10 times the data rate for a relatively small additional cost. The Ninja 2 will happily record ProRes HQ on inexpensive slow HDDs, or SSDs if physical shock-resistance is required.

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