I am considering moving on from the Sony EX1 and purchasing the Black Magic Camera. I film dance live performance and I really need the freedom to use a remote zoom and constantly control my iris. Is this camera similar to working with a DSLR where that is not really possible? Also does the audio work like the DSLR cameras where you need an external audio recorder to take XLR in. I am curious others experiences in using this camera.
[Nel Shelby]"... I really need the freedom to use a remote zoom and constantly control my iris. Is this camera similar to working with a DSLR where that is not really possible? ..."
The BMCC is similar to a DSLR in that it's typically used with DSLR lenses.
The BMCC's LANC port feature allows a wired remote to control record start/stop, plus control the lens iris & focus, via specific LANC controllers (Manfrotto MVR901EPLA, and the Bebob ZOE-DVXL) with compatible, electronic-mount EF lenses such as those listed on BMD's forum: http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4651
Note the above does not include lens servo-zoom. To add that capability to a BMCC requires using a B4 mount lens with a built-in 2x extender, such as traditionally used on a 2/3" broadcast camcorder. Together with a B4-to-EF lens mount adapter, and a standard wired lens remote, and an appropriate lens power supply, it's possible to achieve the result you're looking for. These components are available from a variety of video equipment suppliers, and eBay, etc.
As shown in the video above, even a simple B4-to-EF lens mount adapter can yield good results. As always, the key is the quality of the lens itself.
[Nel Shelby]"... Also does the audio work like the DSLR cameras where you need an external audio recorder to take XLR in. ..."
I find the audio recording capability of the BMCC to be superior to most DSLRs, especially if you use a quality mic preamp connected to the BMCC's balanced, line-level inputs. Like most DSLRs, the BMCC's mic preamps aren't very good, it doesn't supply phantom power, and it doesn't display VU audio levels. However, the BMCC does have balanced inputs, sturdy 1/4" TRS input jacks, and good audio specs.
Refer to the details on the Vimeo page for info about how I recorded audio in-camera in the following example: