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Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?

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Dustin Parsons
Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Apr 10, 2013 at 7:42:07 pm

I know one of the biggest criticisms of the 2.5K BMCC is the crop sensor. I'm trying to figure out if the 4K Production Cam also has the same problem.

According to the BM website it has an "Effective Sensor Size of 21.12mm x 11.88mm (Super 35)" and looking at the chart below I don't know how it could be considered full frame with those specs.



So does this mean the Production Cam will have the same issue with wides as the Cinema Cam does?

I know the form factor and internal battery irked a lot of people when the BMCC launched but neither of those things bother me so I'm trying to figure out any other limitations/downfalls for the Production Cam because at only $4000 this thing seems almost too good to be true.


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David West
Re: Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Apr 10, 2013 at 8:20:57 pm

There's only a crop factor if you're comparing it to "full-frame" 135 film, which is a still picture format. But you really shouldn't even be comparing it to that. You should be comparing it to Super 35 film, which is a cinema standard. The sensor is, for all intents And purposes, the size of S35 film (I think the actual dimensions are slightly different, buy that's the case with several of the other big name S35 sized cameras). So when compared to traditional and high end digital CINEMA cameras there is NO crop factor. It's only when you're comparing it to the likes of a 5D or a traditional SLR that there seems to be a crop factor, but that same "problem" applies to Reds, Alexas, and traditional film-based cinema cameras.

The whole issue of crop factors is blown out of proportion by people. The 5D has given people a false perception of what they need. People complain about the Black magic Cinema Camera and Micro 4/3s cameras because of their crop factors of more than 2x When compared to a "full frame" 135-sized sensor, but what they don't realize is that these cameras have sensors MUCH closer in size to S35 film than they realize, and that is a much better comparison. They also don't realize that even smaller sensors like that are still VERY large and more capable of shallow DOF and low-light work than they realize. They're also bigger than 16mm film, which has veen used to shoot Oscar-winning films. Hurt locker? 16mm film. Much smaller then even a micro 4/3 sensor.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Apr 11, 2013 at 2:33:42 pm

Thank for the sane post! Crop factor, 4K, Raw etc are just out of hand with the Vimeo camera demo crowd, most of whom were probably shooting DVX100 not long ago.

After watching the beautiful images in the Canon 4K theater at NAB it was amazing what folks who just go out there and do it getting out of everything from the 7D to C500 - crazy good stuff. I was really blown away by the C100 too - a camera I looked down my nose at before NAB.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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David West
Re: Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Apr 12, 2013 at 10:13:24 am

Totally, but in particular 4K. Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome feature to have, but I'm personally MUCH more excited that a large-sensor camera with a global shutter and solid dynamic range is going to be available at this price point. As someone who does a lot of fast-motion action scenes and gunfire (with blanks, and even live ammo when safe, because doing it digital is lame) in my films, I think that the global shutter is by far the most important feature of this camera. I'd be super excited for the BMPC even if it was only pumping out 2.5k like it's little brother. I'd love to work with raw or at least pro-res, though. I love my GH2, but I've definitely ran into the limitations of 8-bit compression on several occasions.

That said, why everyone is constantly nit-picking today's affordable digital cameras is beyond me. I made my first short films almost 10 years ago in high school when all I had access to were cheap, borrowed Mini-DV camera. They were total crap, and I fantasized about being able to drop 5 grand on something like a Canon XL1, otherwise I would have had to spend $500 on a lame mini-DV camcorder that could never in a million years produce a cinematic looking result. Flash forward to today, and I'm shooting on a hacked GH2 that looks absolutely beautiful. I've got a pretty sweet kit with some great lenses (love my 25mm Voigtlander!), and yet my whole set-up costs way less than the high end stuff I was dreaming about back then and produces drastically better results. And hell, if I was a broke highschooler today (instead of a broke 20-something filmmaker...) the $500 bucks that would have got me a terrible mini-DV camera back in the day would easily get me a t2i and a kit lens nowadays. I would have killed to have that when I was 16...


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Steve Connor
Re: Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Apr 12, 2013 at 2:13:20 pm

[David West] "That said, why everyone is constantly nit-picking today's affordable digital cameras is beyond me."

No moaning from me, the camera choices we have today are simply amazing, From DSLR's to RED to BMD and the changes that Sony have made and beyond, it's all good.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Dustin Parsons
Re: Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Apr 11, 2013 at 7:08:25 pm

Wow, thanks Dave! Very informative


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Steve Connor
Re: Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Apr 11, 2013 at 1:36:52 pm

[Dustin Parsons] "I know the form factor and internal battery irked a lot of people when the BMCC launched but neither of those things bother me so I'm trying to figure out any other limitations/downfalls for the Production Cam because at only $4000 this thing seems almost too good to be true.
"


Even with the crop factor on our BMCC, you can still get wide enough and I never understood the moaning about the internal battery, it's a bonus not a problem!

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Apr 14, 2013 at 8:56:04 am

[Dustin Parsons] "... does this mean the Production Cam will have the same issue with wides as the Cinema Cam does? ..."

The crop factor for these two cameras are very different. They're not the same.

Relative to full-frame 135 still photography:
- BMPC-4K (approx. APS-C sensor size) crop is ~1.6
- BMCC's crop is ~2.3
- BMPCC (approx. S16 sensor size) is ~3.

Motion picture film S35 (16:9) is ~1.4, almost the same as the BMPC-4K.

See:
http://www.abelcine.com/fov/

Most cinema and television productions rarely use lenses wider than about 18mm or so when shooting with a S35 size sensor.

---

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


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Albin Neupert
Re: Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Jul 1, 2013 at 7:21:02 am

Well,

the whole thing about crop factor is lenses! With prime lenses no problem really.

But if you want to use a really fast wide-angle zoom, with a good zoom range, you pay a fortune.
Even when using my Nikon D800 (with uncompressed 4:2:2 HDMI-out) having a 135mm sensor, I can only use Nikon wide-zoom lenses with constant aperture having only a short zoom range, but at least there are good AF-S lenses with an aperture ring that can be declicked.

So with a Blackmagic 4K and a low budget for lenses, you have to live with zoom lenses that have a short range, are not very fast, are not ideal for follow focus and most of all, you have to adjust aperture manually over a touch screen, which is hopeless in many situations.

One suggestion: Use Nikon lenses with an Novoflex EOS EF/Nikon NT adaptor, which allows you to at least have manual aperture control via aperture ring .

Cheers


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Marco Solorio
Re: Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Mar 23, 2014 at 6:18:46 pm

[Albin Neupert] "So with a Blackmagic 4K and a low budget for lenses, you have to live with zoom lenses that have a short range, are not very fast, are not ideal for follow focus and most of all, you have to adjust aperture manually over a touch screen, which is hopeless in many situations. "

Just to clarify to those that are new to this stuff, this is true for anyone that has limited budget for ANY video camera. Photo lenses are the means to affordable glass when true cinema lenses are not a viable option. This isn't a case about the 4K camera itself. I see people all the time shooting with $50k RED cameras with Nikon F photo lenses and Canon EF lenses. Again, this isn't a case about the cameras themselves.

[Albin Neupert] "One suggestion: Use Nikon lenses with an Novoflex EOS EF/Nikon NT adaptor, which allows you to at least have manual aperture control via aperture ring ."

Or better yet, use fully manual Nikon F mount lenses, using any low-cost EF-to-F adapter. The cost is low enough that you can buy an adapter for each Nikon lens and always keep it with each lens.

Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | ORM Blog | Facebook | Twitter | BMCC Newsletter


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Stephen Allanson
Re: Is the 4k Black Magic Production Camera crop sensor?
on Mar 23, 2014 at 10:48:52 am

By my calculations they are very close.
An 18mm on your BM4k will be an equivalent FOV of a S35 sensor with a 20mm
Multiply your bM4k x 1.1 aprox to get S35 match


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