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Soon-to-be BMCC owner (hopefully)

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Andrew Akada
Soon-to-be BMCC owner (hopefully)
on Mar 11, 2013 at 4:17:08 am

Though I risk making myself look entirely the amateur, I figured that I should crowd-source CC's share of opinions regarding my recent decision to purchase (or, at least commit to purchasing) a Black Magic Cinema Camera.

I've been doing research for months now, comparing prices, reading reviews, and evaluating my options and given my current budget it seems like the way to go (especially the MFT).

This is the first upper-grade prosumer camera that I've ever purchased and I figured I could let my pride take a back-seat if it enabled me to make a smart decision.

I don't want to be seduced by flashy accoutrements or luxuries. I'm fine roughing it and I'm used to a high learning curve. I'm not afraid of a challenge. But I need to be realistic about what the BMCC can do for me.

For most of my projects, I have some ambitious SFX experimentation in mind (both in-camera and in post). But short of that, I have no real frame to contextualize my needs. I simply want to make short narrative films.

I'm no novice when it comes to making movies and I have a firm grasp of the basic principles. I'm currently working as a line producer and script supervisor for a small production company but when it comes to the more vocational aspects of this medium I'm still learning.

That said, does anyone have any recommendations or tips for purchasing, supplementing and utilizing the BMCC? Any considerations for post-production workflow or ancillary equipment essential to optimal performance?

Be it technical or otherwise, I welcome as much information you can throw my way. Thanks a bunch!


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Soon-to-be BMCC owner (hopefully)
on Mar 11, 2013 at 11:03:21 am

For starters, I have a guide on rigging it that might help: http://wolfcrow.com/blog/master-guide-to-rigging-a-blackmagic-design-cinema...

The post workflow is well-documented by Blackmagic, and they have information on their website on how to use Cinema DNG with Resolve to prepare proxies for editing, as well as round-tripping once you're done.

To be honest, if you aren't sure what you need, or what you're going to shoot, I think it's better if you either buy cheap DSLRs, like the Canon 650D, or rent cameras for testing first. If you don't know what you want, how do you know you want a BMCC?

Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to Reds to the Arri Alexa.


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Andrew Akada
Re: Soon-to-be BMCC owner (hopefully)
on Mar 14, 2013 at 6:20:14 am

Thanks for the reply! As for my needs, I have some ideas in mind but I thought I'd start it off light and general. One of the things I was really curious about was the BMCC's ability to handle tilt-shift techniques in video.

E.G.






Some of the projects I'm planning are pretty straight-forward but if there's any considerations to be made at all it has to do with high-speed photography and low-light conditions (noir-ish settings a la Fritz Lang).

I'm planning on shooting a short film that utilizes a lot of in-camera effects with mirrors and miniatures and after the research I've done I know that the BMCC only has a variable frame-rate up to 30fps (if I'm not mistaken) so I understand that for some of the FX shots I'm planning I'll probably have to rent out something like a Panasonic HVX200.

But since I've worked with DSLRs (just never owned one), I really wanted to try to move beyond some of the cheaper alternatives and invest in something that I could use as a good A cam. Something I can get mileage out of and something that's adaptable (which is why I'm focusing on lens interchangeability w/ the MFT).


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Soon-to-be BMCC owner (hopefully)
on Mar 12, 2013 at 9:51:41 pm

Hi Andrew: I've written about how I plan to accessorize my BMCC-MFT camera (whenever it arrives). My general approach is "less is more", but I try not to cut too many corners:
http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/bmcc-rigged-thinking/

I recommend not buying BMCC-specific gear until you have your camera in-hand. For example, items such as SSDs go down in price relatively quickly over time, so are likely to be less-expensive by the time you receive your camera. Currently, BMCC users report having fewest problems using Sandisk Extreme 480GB SSDs, and although their 240GB drive isn't on BMD's list or tested drive, user reports are very positive.

Hopefully you already have your name on a BMCC-MFT pre-order list with your dealer, but even then the wait could be relatively long. I suppose there's a chance we may hear from BMD, between now & NAB expo next month, about BMCC-MFT availability.

Cheers.

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Andrew Akada
Re: Soon-to-be BMCC owner (hopefully)
on Mar 14, 2013 at 6:29:37 am

Peter: Thanks for the advice!

I've read some of your other posts in the forum and I really dig the minimalist philosophy you've adopted. That said, I'm compiling a wish-list for items and equipment considerations I need to make so I'll look into those drives and budget accordingly.

But aside from considerations with hardware like processors, is there any kind of considerations I need to make on-set or during pre-production when it comes to handling a RAW DNG workflow?

I'm scouring the BM site and related forums so I'm not playing dumb or anything but I'm trying to centralize some of these responses so I can have a means of verifying what I have or have not heard.

For instance, I heard that the battery life on the BMCC isn't very great. And is it fixed in the camera so you cannot swap out batteries like you would on a standard SLR.

I've also heard that you can use a 12-30-volt source (w/o a converter). Can you shed any light on these assertions?


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Soon-to-be BMCC owner (hopefully)
on Mar 15, 2013 at 12:55:49 am

[Andrew Akada] "... I heard that the battery life on the BMCC isn't very great. And is it fixed in the camera so you cannot swap out batteries like you would on a standard SLR. ...

When fully charged, the BMCC's internal battery lasts up to 90-min. Most users report getting somewhat less than that. It's a fantastic feature: The BMCC has a built-in uninterruptible power supply.

The BMCC is a cinema camera. It's not a DSLR. As with most professional video cameras, the majority of BMCC users will use external batteries or an AC power supply with the camera.

[Andrew Akada] ... I've also heard that you can use a 12-30-volt source (w/o a converter). ..."

That's correct. The external power can be connected & disconnected at any time, even while the BMCC is recording. The camera operates or charges from the external source automatically, similar to the way a smartphone or laptop works. Many plug-compatible battery solutions are already available (IDX, Anton-Bauer, Hawk-Woods, IKAN, Switronix, and others), and more have been announced.

Expect more BMCC-related accessories to be announced at the NAB expo next month.

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Andrew Akada
Re: Soon-to-be BMCC owner (hopefully)
on Mar 19, 2013 at 5:15:15 am

Peter: thanks again for the great information. I'll stay tuned for updates as they become available and I won't try to splurge all at once when it comes to augmenting my BMCC.

That said, as per my reply to Sareesh Sudhakaran, about tilt-shift capabilities, do you have any recommendations in that regard?


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Soon-to-be BMCC owner (hopefully)
on Mar 19, 2013 at 10:35:54 am

Canon probably makes the best tilt-shift lenses, but they are the most expensive.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have a Lensbaby, which is no fun for professional video.

Probably the best option, which gives you the greatest range of movements, is a technical view camera. You will need to find a rear standard adapter for the BMCC. There are some available for DSLRs, so you might want to get in touch with the folks who make them. Budget-wise, this will fall in between the first two options.

If speed is critical, nothing beats Canon glass. For precision and the greatest range of motion/coverage, nothing beats a technical view camera.

Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to Reds to the Arri Alexa.


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Andrew Akada
Re: Soon-to-be BMCC owner (hopefully)
on Mar 25, 2013 at 5:19:32 am

I'm planning on working up a decent collection of lenses as I go along but generally I'm bracketed by the pricing allotted me by my day job.

Any good middle-ground or interim options at my disposal?

I'm interested in hearing about the nuts-and-bolts of too. For instance, what is a "rear standard adapter", what is it designed to do and how exactly would it work with something like a BMCC?


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