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My BMCC Experience

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David C Jones
My BMCC Experience
on Jun 7, 2013 at 2:02:35 pm

Greetings Everyone!

Just got back from a documentary shoot using the BMCC and, though there's already a lot of reviews out there, I thought I'd share my two-cents worth.

I LOVE THIS CAMERA!

First, let me say I was expecting something around the size of a DSLR and the weight to match. Not the BMCC; this camera is much larger than it looks and seriously solid! I've used ARRI 35mm & 16mm cameras so, I'm used to solid, heavy beasts.

We shot 2.5K RAW and as far as we can tell, didn't have any dropped frames (which I've heard can be a problem with the BMCC). We used the Sand Disk 480GB SSD and used the NewerTech Voyager Q Hard Drive Docking Solution to transfer from the SSD to a portable harddrive. All worked flawlessly.

The one problem we had was with the screen: it's horrible in daylight, and not much better inside; you want to get an external monitor. This may sound obvious but, not having used or seen the camera in person before, the screen looked and sounded like it was all we needed for a basic setup. Wrong! I now can't stress enough to GET AN EXTERNAL MONITOR.

I know this is a very short review but, please feel free to ask questions; I'd love to talk more about it!

Best,

Dave J


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jun 7, 2013 at 4:18:31 pm

The SanDisk is definitely the best out there for the BMCC. All around reliable in my experience. I have three of the 240s myself and honestly couldn't be happier. The 240s are not on the approved list but I too have had no issues. I opted for the smaller drives to have faster offloads for more cycling of drives. Also using the Voyager Q and no complaints. I'm curious though, what your audio rig? There has been a good deal of discussion here for best audio practices and audio issues. Did you record in camera? If so what was your set up and your experiences?

Definitely agree on the external monitor as well. I'm saving up for one myself and using my HyperDeck shuttle as an SDI/HDMI converter to run my Zacuto EVF.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
Adobe Production Premium CS6, Avid Symphony 6, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
The College of William and Mary


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David C Jones
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jun 7, 2013 at 11:50:31 pm

Actually, we didn't do any audio, just b-roll that will have music & narration under it. That said, I've always shot film for my projects so, it's always been "double system" for me. I would most likely continue that practice with the BMCC but, would also be open to some sort of mixer attached underneath. I'm a fan of SoundDevices stuff and I know they have a small mixer they've touted for DSLR use but, would love to hear what others are using ;)

Dave J


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Marco Solorio
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jun 12, 2013 at 6:29:38 pm

[David C Jones] "We shot 2.5K RAW and as far as we can tell, didn't have any dropped frames (which I've heard can be a problem with the BMCC)."

It's only a problem when using non-approved SSDs. I've been shooting with the BMCC for about a year now, and have had the MFT model for some time as well. In all my shooting to date, we've never had a single dropped frame in both RAW and ProRes HQ using the SanDisk Extreme 480GB.

[David C Jones] "I'm a fan of SoundDevices stuff and I know they have a small mixer they've touted for DSLR use but, would love to hear what others are using"

We've been using the Sound Devices MixPre-D with the BMCCs and the unit is totally solid. The creme de la creme! Shown here in my latest rigging configuration:

http://instagram.com/p/YoKMf-pqa7/

We've been using the BMCCs in all sorts of shooting genres, including documentary and it has been excellent. It's like you said, David, if you've shot docs with 16mm film cameras, the BMCC shouldn't be any more difficult. Sure it's not as easy as an ENG camera, but the images are to die for and worth the extra effort IMO.

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


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David C Jones
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jun 12, 2013 at 10:57:50 pm

Love your BMCC setup! How are you mounting the MixPre D? I actually have one and would love to use it in the future. Can you post a pic of it?

Dave J


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Marco Solorio
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jun 13, 2013 at 12:29:57 am

Thanks, Dave. I have it mounted to a V-mount plate, which then mounts to the V-mount battery mount (it has a V-mount plate on each side). I'll try and snap a pic of it closer up when it's rigged up again and I get a chance. It's very rare when I don't use the MixPre-D with the BMCC!

Cheers,

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


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jun 13, 2013 at 3:40:11 pm

I also use the MixPre-D and it is fantastic. I've mounted mine to rails but I do like the V-Mount idea as well I had not thought of that.

To mount it on rails I got the Wooden Camera 15mm Lightweight rod clamp;
http://woodencamera.corecommerce.com/Blackmagic/Rail-Components-BMC/Rod-Cla...

It's relatively inexpensive and it works brilliantly. It also makes it instantly compatible with any 15mm LW rail system which is nearly everything these days. I have the Shape support rig as well and I mount it on the top rails of the cage. This puts it slightly higher than my head when on my shoulder so I don't have XLRs in my neck. The only criticism that I have with it is that the right amount of torque, and it comes loose and spins due to the one 1/4 20. However, this is easily fixable and I have been meaning to do so. All you need to do is go to Home Depot and get a small sheet of rubber and small piece of foam core or even foam insulation (there is window insulation that's peel and stick that is rubberized and works brilliantly), and then you can cut it to go on in between the MixPre0D and the rail clamp and it will have the grip so it won't slide around if you accidently torque it.

By the way, I know that sounds complex, but it's really not. I've done before in similar situations and I've been to do it to this for quite a while now. I'll try to do it tonight and snap a few photos of my rig all together.

Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
Adobe Production Premium CS6, Avid Symphony 6, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
The College of William and Mary


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Marco Solorio
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jun 13, 2013 at 4:12:07 pm

Yes, I sometimes mount the MixPre-D directly to the rails as well. For that I use a little Jag35 rod clamp. Only $30 and has a built-in thumbscrew to tighten everything together; no tools necessary:

http://jag35.com/railblock.html

For cabling with the MixPre-D I use the Laird BMCC Audio Breakout cable. The two-foot version was a direct request by me to Laird, to which they modified and added to their product lineup. Wish I got a nickel for every one sold!

http://www.lairddigitalcinema.com/Product.asp?cat=CABLES&subcat=AUDIOCAB&pr...

They're in the process of building other BMCC cables I've recommended to them. Stay tuned.

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


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jun 13, 2013 at 4:38:55 pm

I like that clamp a lot! Kinda wish I had known about it. Not needing the tools is very nice. Though I do like that the Wooden clamp adds a couple small mounting points should I need them. They're in an awkward place, but you never know.

I had a similar cable made like the Laird BMCC at Professional Sound Services in NYC. I actually tried to get the Laird but B&H couldn't get it in stock in time. Had it made as a 3' though which is admittedly long on my rig but I tie it up with a Bongo tie and it's all good. Had it made also with a headphone return so I can monitor camera audio through the MixPre and bounce back and forth between mixer audio and camera audio to check levels and hear the differences. Had it built with all right angle connections on the camera side. Very happy with it. Mogami cabling and Neutrik connections.



Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
Adobe Production Premium CS6, Avid Symphony 6, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
The College of William and Mary


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Marco Solorio
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jun 13, 2013 at 4:55:37 pm

Yup, the three-in-one cable you're showing is one of the cables I'm having Laird build. Not sure why it's taking them so long! =) Mogami + Neutrik = win.

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


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jun 15, 2013 at 3:53:17 pm

FYI: I've had Remote Audio make me a custom cable in the past. Not inexpensive, but high-quality:
http://www.remoteaudio.com/cables_adapters/custom/

Someday, when I grow up, I want to own one of their "high noise" headphones:
http://www.remoteaudio.com/high_noise_headset/

:-)

-

---

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


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Ali Quintana
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Sep 2, 2013 at 8:41:40 pm

HI, I read that you have used both BMCC, mft and ef.

I am just about to buy one. Most probably the EF, but I am changing
my mind daily almost.

There is one question: Is the image quality the same of the EF and MFT. I mean if u have a equal type of quality lens?


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Marco Solorio
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Sep 2, 2013 at 9:13:55 pm

[Ali Quintana] "There is one question: Is the image quality the same of the EF and MFT. I mean if u have a equal type of quality lens?"

Both the EF and MFT models share the same exact sensor. They will look identical using the same compatible lens between them. We have both the EF and MFT models.

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

PLEASE VOTE FOR ME TO PRESENT AT SXSW 2014!


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Ali Quintana
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Sep 3, 2013 at 12:03:30 am

Thanks for that reply, I am buying mine this week from a supplyer that has both in stock.


If the image quality is the same, I will for sure get the EF version.

The reason why asking is that the EF version does not seem to use the intire lens. Just part of the lens, or am I mistaken?


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Marco Solorio
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Sep 3, 2013 at 3:19:53 pm

[Ali Quintana] "The reason why asking is that the EF version does not seem to use the intire lens. Just part of the lens, or am I mistaken?"

Correct. Both the EF and MFT model use the same sensor which is slightly smaller than a standard MFT sensor, (which is smaller than a full frame 35mm sensor). Because of this size reduction, the sensor "crops" the image circle of a full-frame lens by a factor of about 2.3, hence the term, "a crop factor of 2.3". The benefit is you only use the sweet spot of the lens circle where edge smearing and vignetting are avoided. The downfall is that by not using the entire image circle of the lens you do not use all the width, speed and light ability the full-frame lens has to offer, as well as a possible reduction in sharpness, depending on the lens. Keep an eye on the new Speed Booster adapters from Metabones that help to counteract these downfalls I mention which work for full-frame lenses on the MFT model (will not be available on the EF model).

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

PLEASE VOTE FOR ME TO PRESENT AT SXSW 2014!


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Ali Quintana
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Sep 3, 2013 at 3:29:24 pm

Thank you,so with all this in mind with similar lens on both EF and MFT will deliver same image quality?

EF will not be inferior quality to MFT version?

I am sorry for kind of repeating my question... I am just about to buy mine from the supplier here.

Thank you


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Paul Abrahams
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jul 15, 2013 at 12:55:01 pm

Hi David, I've had my BMCC for a few months, fairly low budget here trying to decide which monitor to get. My first shoot was a live band under typical bands lights. You guess it, not enough light to do much in post. 2nd experience is underway now, a short 20 min student film.

The outdoor shots were pretty easy to expose but indoors again I was fooled by the REC709 on the BMC. I was considering the BMD Smartscope Duo (8") to have scopes and to see the lighting/framing and DOF better. The other option is a regular monitor with some exposure tools, false colours perhaps.

I'm in two minds as I know the Smartscope will work great but lots of people get by with a small field monitor.

I don't have the experience like most of you guys here, lighting for me is experimental and without the proper exposure tools I'm winging it and while it looks good to the eye... I need to judge exposure better.

The director insists on using incidental lighting and I can't stress enough to him the need for me to have more light for this sensor. If I had scopes I can visually show him what is truly happening with exposure.

Any advice appreciated.


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jul 15, 2013 at 3:51:14 pm

Honestly you need a monitor with a waveform. Smartscope Duo won't really help you unless you have a rack setup which will probably get cumbersome. The BMD monitors are ideally suited to studio and OB van situations. Personally I would look to the TVLogic 5.4" monitors. There are a few Marshals that are good but I am a big fan of the TVLogic. Been on the pre-order for the SmallHD DP7 for a while now but it sounds like you need it sooner than that.

Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
Adobe Production Premium CS6, Avid Symphony 6, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
The College of William and Mary


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Paul Abrahams
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Jul 16, 2013 at 2:33:21 pm

Hi Matthew,

This is the sort of insight I need, having not used any of these monitors I don't know (jack) :)
My knowledge of waveform and use in Davinci is growing every time I practice correction & grading so I agree, waveform would be great to have live.

So a small SDI field monitor with waveform or perhaps an SDI EVF with waveform?


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Dimi Arhontidis
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Feb 17, 2014 at 6:07:15 pm

Heya, this has been a great thread. Would you recommend an external monitor or a EVF for more handheld setups with the BMCC? If so do you guys have one you recommend?

Thanks!


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: My BMCC Experience
on Feb 17, 2014 at 9:36:33 pm

I definitely recommend using an external monitor as the one on the camera is not sharp enough for critical focus or judging color. It also suffers severely from off axis color shift and glare reflections. I personally recommend the TVLogic VFM-056W or the SmallHD DP7 Pro LCD or OLED if you want to spend on it.

Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
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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