Anybody have an opinion on black magic products?

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Anybody have an opinion on black magic products?

PostMon Apr 12, 2021 3:09 pm

I am thinking about purchasing a camera, I am starting to get film envy. Ordinarily I would go with a dslr but I have been hearing a lot about the black magic products and I love the black magic portable. I am just curious if you guys have an opinion on whether to try out the black magic or go with a dslr.

I will use the camera for shooting plates for small VFX projects and for shooting footage to play with.



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Re: Anybody have an opinion on black magic products?

PostSun Apr 18, 2021 12:01 pm

If video quality is your biggest concern and you don't want to invest too much into gear then Blackmagic has the best value. Are you doing your VFX shots in 2k or 4K ? ILM use Canon 5D mk3 for model passes (there is a YT video for The Mandalorian that shows this!) so there is a wide range of options for you these days. SO many people these days want their camera to have everything; built-in NDs, perfect autofocus, accurate skin tones without any color correction, cinema-quality video. The Blackmagic line of cameras is for people who have the time to adjust and tweak their files in editing and not everyone has that time. In my case, I (also) make narrative films that are sent to film festivals so these cameras are great for work that is projected in a theatre.

You can build up to look impressive for a client or just use the body and a lens with a few batteries. Don't listen to people who say you have to rig it out and spend 500-1000$..., I use the camera half the time with nothing on it, especially if I don't want any attention. I would suggest getting the battery grip though.

The best scenario is to rent the camera if you have the option for a specific job and see if it matches your expectation. The native editing software RESOLVE has a free version so you are off and running.

Jim Simon

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Re: Anybody have an opinion on black magic products?

PostSun Apr 18, 2021 3:54 pm

I'm a HUGE fan of the P4K. For Indy, Documentary, Corporate or Event filmmaking, that thing is damn near perfect!

(The same applies to the 6K models. I just happen to own m4/3 glass.)

rNeil H

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Re: Anybody have an opinion on black magic products?

PostSun Apr 18, 2021 5:50 pm

Agree with Jim. My P4K produces excellent files and is a wondrous workhorse no matter how much or little i kit it out.

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Kel Philm

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Re: Anybody have an opinion on black magic products?

PostSun Apr 18, 2021 8:26 pm

I am VFX artist and I own a UMP G1 but also shoot a lot of non VFX stuff. I think the 6k would be a great way to go for someone like yourself, the extra pixels, sensor size and codec options would be great for VFX work and the camera itself is very good (we shoot a lot of stuff on rigs and hand held with it), if you could afford the Pro version that would be even better.
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: Anybody have an opinion on black magic products?

PostMon Apr 19, 2021 6:35 am

If you're looking for a camera that is primarily a stills camera that can also record video, then dSLR or mirrorless makes perfect sense. If you're looking for a cinema camera that costs a lot less than it should, there's only one game in town, and it's not a dSLR, though Black Magic doesn't use mirrors, either.

Seriously... a Pocket 4K is enough to make a professional quality feature film if you have the talent to get the most from the camera.

A Pocket 6K is nicer still, but in case your budget limits you to a 4K model, well... so what? It still has great color, dynamic range, and in-camera raw recording.
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Anybody have an opinion on black magic products?

PostMon Apr 19, 2021 8:25 am

Give them right light quantity and every Blackmagic Design camera give you a gorgeous picture quality.
Excellent for vfx and not only for robust prores and braw codecs but also for a great color science (today more and more better with cs5).
With every camera you receive a full resolve studio and fusion studio license (fusion 17 work also with digital license).
Small investment big deal for quality.
Like others told you, start with camera, one lens and battery grip or battery adapter for bigger battery then you will see what you need more.
I did excellent green and blue screen with all Blackmagic Design cameras, and not only, I shoot documentary, short, and more.
Recently with pocket6k i shoot sequence converted in photo sequence to do photogrammetry to convert in 3d+texture object. 6k mean 21 mpx raw at rate of 50 FPS, no dslr or mirrorless can do that for more than 3-5 seconds, I did for 7 minutes and later I choose what I need.

ILM use slr and Dslr from since 30 years, every time to shoot single frame sequence, for models they use from more than ten years dslr in tethering to replace stop motion camera, to have better quality and more resolution than single frame of digital movie camera.
They start to experiment with a modified analog nikon in Indiana Jones and temple of Doom, you can find it in the first book of ILM, and the use of nikon and canon digital is in the second book of ILM where they show the digital evolution.

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Frank Engel

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Re: Anybody have an opinion on black magic products?

PostMon Apr 19, 2021 8:32 am

A DSLR or similar mirrorless camera will offer more convenience in a lot of ways: autofocus, more manageable file sizes in many cases, in-body image stabilizer on some models, etc.

The BMD cameras are actual cinema cameras and do not provide many of these conveniences (there is very limited autofocus, but not like what you would find in a mirrorless or DSLR). In the highest-quality settings, the captured video may look "flat" out of camera as it shoots in something much more like a traditional "log" format, so color grading will be required to optimize the look - but the end product has the potential for much higher image quality as a result (a lot more usable data is available for use when grading).

If you need to work fast when shooting, must rely heavily on autofocus, need to work handheld with any frequency, or have limited storage to work with (and need the smaller file sizes), then a DSLR or mirrorless camera may be a better option.

If you can manually focus, can work mounted on a tripod or other support in most cases, and can accept the larger file sizes and the need to do color grading after the fact (which you really should be doing either way when possible), then a cinema camera such as those from BMD will give you the potential for much better quality in the end results.

Gary Collins

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Re: Anybody have an opinion on black magic products?

PostMon Apr 19, 2021 10:44 am


Blackmagic are very well priced for the image quality you can get - the colours are beautiful. Slightly more work than a dslr - but the trade off in image quality is unreal. I am pretty much a neebie when it comes to actual camera skill - but becasue I have used the original pocket and the original bmpc 4k, I have been accused of faking footage or using fake footage of fake weddings becasue the cameras capture things so fantastically. You already know how to do things like plates, vfx work etc so you are a skilled camera guy - therefore in your hands one of the Blackmagic cameras' footage will be astounding. Go for it buddy, get yourself a BM cam - slightly less convenience but a truly beautiful image capture. There is no real equal for the price I think.

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