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Updtaed ISO for BMCC

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Ali Quintana
Updtaed ISO for BMCC
on Aug 19, 2014 at 9:30:01 pm

Hi, I am very exvited with the new update, espessially the
autofocus, very handy if you have no additional HD monitor present.

Question: any one tried the 1600 iso at night? It shiuld have been
addressed and I really hope so.

How does a l lower isos do in very bright sundlight?


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Updtaed ISO for BMCC
on Aug 22, 2014 at 2:33:13 pm

Generally speaking, the BMCC line does not consist of "low light" cameras. Certainly not something like you would see in a Sony A7s but obviously that's an unfair comparison.

I've used ISO 1600 on the BMCC and it's pretty good. Haven't really had noise issues and it is a welcome stop. It will not see in the dark though and having an on board light at the very least I would think is necessary if you are trying to be documentary style which it sounds like you are. If you are doing narratives, light for the situation.

Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
2008 Mac Pro 2.6 Ghz 8 Core, 10GB RAM
AJA IoXT, Blackmagic Intensity Pro, Blackmagic Mini Monitor
Adobe Production Premium CC, Avid Media Composer 7, Final Cut Pro Studio 3


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Ali Quintana
Re: Updtaed ISO for BMCC
on Sep 1, 2014 at 5:08:34 pm

Thank you, I remember on this forum it was said that native iso is 800 and this is what the cam performs best at.

Now with the upgrade, would you say its safe to film at 1600 at night? and still get pro results?

What about harsh sunlight? would you still prefer 800 or go down?


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Updtaed ISO for BMCC
on Sep 1, 2014 at 5:35:04 pm

Technically yes, 800 is native for the Cinema and Pocket Cameras while 400 is native for the Production Camera and I would imagine the URSA.

There is an argument that has been made that 400 is better for the Cinema and Pocket as well but I typically try to shoot at 800. The upgrade doesn't really effect performance of the sensor. The new sensor calibration does have sharper images in compressed codecs where debayering is concerned, but it doesn't change, and a software update really can't change, the low light performance.

Low light performance is largely a hardware limitation based on factors such as pixel size, and sensor component and circuitry design. For instance, a global shutter has different circuity which blocks more light from reaching the photo sites and as a result tends to have less overall low light performance. All of these factors contribute to the overall signal to noise ratio. There's a lot more to it, but that's the basics.

As I've stated. Whenever possible I try to shoot at the native 800 ISO. This though would imply that I have the time and the resources to do what I want in reference to light control and modification. If it is a matter of getting the shot or not, and time is a limiting factor (as it often is), I change the ISO and move on.

"Pro results" too is an incredibly subjective term. I don't know the type of work that you're doing so I don't know what "pro" is in your field. In the reality world, getting the shot and capturing the moment is pro enough. In cinema, the most "pro" thing is your lighting, not your camera.

Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
2008 Mac Pro 2.6 Ghz 8 Core, 10GB RAM
AJA IoXT, Blackmagic Intensity Pro, Blackmagic Mini Monitor
Adobe Production Premium CC, Avid Media Composer 7, Final Cut Pro Studio 3


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Ali Quintana
Re: Updtaed ISO for BMCC
on Sep 2, 2014 at 12:22:28 am

Great info thx.

So in full sunligh you would still prefer to shoot at 800 iso (BMCC) at 22 apreture? or use an ND filter at 800 iso?


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Updtaed ISO for BMCC
on Sep 2, 2014 at 3:47:11 am

Absolutely ND filter over stopping the lens all the way down. I would want to have the ability to control my depth of field which if I am exposing at the mercy of the sun, I have no chance.

So you can use ND and you can use silks and flags to knock down the ambient light on your subjects.

If shooting outside in bright daylight, always use a circular polarizer. This will lower exposure further and it should be calculated in your overall exposure.

Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
2008 Mac Pro 2.6 Ghz 8 Core, 10GB RAM
AJA IoXT, Blackmagic Intensity Pro, Blackmagic Mini Monitor
Adobe Production Premium CC, Avid Media Composer 7, Final Cut Pro Studio 3


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Ali Quintana
Re: Updtaed ISO for BMCC
on Sep 2, 2014 at 5:00:25 pm

Acctually, I plan to film a "Caribbean SUNSET". On tripod.

Takes 2 min or so for the full sun set.

Plan to use apreture of 22 or so, to get all in focus.

Will try 800 iso see how it goes, I live 10 min away from the beach so I can always go back the next day.

Thing is, it starts real sunny and bright, but as the sun goes down it gets less and less bright.

Still a 1080p raw sunset will be great.


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