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Craig Hawkes
Blackmagic 4k or Canon c100
on Dec 7, 2013 at 2:38:58 pm

i am starting a company where i will be making documentaries and music videos plus promo stuff. I have been doing plenty of research regards a full camera setup. initially i set my mind on the C100 and atomos ninja as a good start, however, after seeing the blackmagic 4k camera and its price (half the price of c100) it has made me reconsider and i now need help and advise on what to do?

i know the 4k footage wont be suitable to all projects because of the large files size - 480 gb will give 72 minutes of footage - however, this does give me the option if i need it in the future - its kind of future proof and the price is too good not to consider it.

also, i know the internal battery life is poor in the blackmagic but because of the low price tag means i can easily afford all the extras, especially compared with the price of the C100

and does anybody know of the performance of normal high def on the 4k - i.e. how many minutes a 480gb harddrive will give me

cheers

craig


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Richard Martz
Re: Blackmagic 4k or Canon c100
on Dec 15, 2013 at 7:47:27 pm

The two questions / comments you had:
What is the size of the 4K files?

This is pretty easy to figure out. 2K files generally record about 2 milion pixels and that translates to about 120 GB per hour at 29.97 frame rate.

The 4 K files are basically 4 times 2K or about 8 million pixels. So you should be going through about 480GB per hour if you shoot prores

"i know the internal battery life is poor in the blackmagic but because of the low price tag means i can easily afford all the extras, especially compared with the price of the C100"

Blackmagic was VERY forthright in identifying the battery life as being a maximum of 90 minutes. The ACTUAL life of the internal battery depends on several factors. If you set the brightness up to 100% the battery will not last as long because extra energy will be expended in the form of light being displayed on the viewfinder. Additionally different SSD drives have different power consumption rates. So unless you are only going to shoot for a few minutes doing some extremely portable hand-held work, you will probably need a battery system that will last for 8 hours or more. That will mean at least 2 batteries for most shooters.

The BMCC camera consumes on average 16-22 watts of power at 12VDC (14.4 volts, nominal). So I always have four BRIKPOWER batteries when I shoot in the field. I can run for the better part of two days with only four batteries without recharging. You can buy these on ebay at a fraction of the cost of some other batteries.

We don't really know what the exact real-world power consumption rate on the 4K cameras will be yet because there are so fe wof them out there. (I know of none in my area). We think they should be comparable to the BMCC though.

As you know most PROFESSIONAL cameras do not have "internal" batteries. Most pro cameras come equipped with the ability to accept either "shore power" or a traditional block-style battery. When you connect the batteries to the Blackmagic Cinema Camera what happens is a bit different from their Pro counterpart cams. Any time you connect power to the BMC Camera (AC adaptor or Battery) it begins first by charging the internal battery. This happens whether or not the camera is turned on. And it happens with the AC adaptor or if you use an external battery. So even if you are not aware of it, the battery you connect could be partially drained off by silently charging the internal battery.

The BRIKPOWER batteries i mentioned earlier have a switch and a bright red indicator light to help preserve your options in this regard. You can simply switch off the battery to avoid having it drained off to maintain the internal battery.

You can buy BRIKPOWER batteries and chargers on ebay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/BrikPower-BMCC1A-Battery-for-Blackmagic-Cinema-Came.....

SO...The battery on the BMCC should be probably thought of as a convenience rather than a primary battery and reliable source of legit power.

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Craig Hawkes
Re: Blackmagic 4k or Canon c100
on Dec 15, 2013 at 8:37:35 pm

thanks for your response. that really helps.

i think i was edging towards the c100 anyway and your response has confirmed it.

i was uncertain about the file sizes of the black magic and now knowing that the sizes are so large puts me off. the workflow of the large file sizes would mean i would need to budget for a new computer, which i dont have. whereas with the c100 i have the choice to use the smaller inbuilt codec or use the atomos ninja to get the better picture quality and the larger file size. i think 40% of my work will be going on youtube therefore the black magic will be a bit of an overkill. i like the fact that i have the choice with the c100 but i dont like the fact that i do not have the choice on the black magic

plus the c100's versatility helps - i can potentially not have a rig in certain cases with the c100.

your response has helped a lot and possible save me plenty of time and money!!

cheers


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Richard Martz
Re: Blackmagic 4k or Canon c100
on Dec 15, 2013 at 10:31:51 pm

Well… it all is a balancing act. Higher quality means larger file sizes. FYI… even though the C100 has a full frame sensor it does not record in 4K. And you will still have some of the same issues with the C100. And there are serious compromises in the way the C100 handles color. The C100 has a 4:2:0 colorspace versus the Blackmagic which is a 4:2:2 colorspace. That makes the Blackmagic a huge advantage. And the way the C100 gets those small file sizes is by using AVCHD which can be pretty compressed.

Here is comparison as to how much compression each camera has:

Canon C100 at 24MBS - 1 hour of record time = 12GB
Blackmagic Cinema Camera ProRes HQ - 1 hour record time= 120GB

So you can see how much compression each camera has. The C100 is literally 10 times more compressed. Compression = digital artifacts and a loss in color resolution.

I don't actually edit the prores HQ files. I convert them to much smaller proxy files and edit the proxys. Then when I'm satisfied with the edit, I reconnect all my files to the Prores hq files and output the final file.

But all that is relative. And if you need convenience features then the C100 is the obvious choice.

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Malcolm Matusky
Re: Blackmagic 4k or Canon c100
on Jan 18, 2014 at 5:03:59 am

You are comparing totally different cameras, they both excel, for different work. Are you working alone, or with a crew? Documentary or dramatic? Rig or no rig? HD or 4K? Very efficient codec or raw? Do you need slo-mo?

Define your work more accurately and then choose the camera to best fit your needs.

I bought the C100 & Ninja2, after having 2 DSLR's; for my work the C100 is much better for working quickly, alone, for documentary shooting.

The major advantage of the BMCC products is RAW at a very inexpensive price. If you are not shooting RAW, then why are you considering this camera? Many other cameras are easier to work with and are better hand held, and are much more sensitive for shooting with available light.

Define your specific needs and then get the best camera for the job, and then rent what you need on occasion when your prime camera falls short.

Good luck,

MJM

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Mauricio Beckmann
Re: Blackmagic 4k or Canon c100
on Feb 19, 2014 at 2:00:13 pm

Our company is considering the choice between both of these cameras now. We already have a Canon DSLR package of 3 cameras, lens, batteries, SD cards etc. All of our content ends up on television and it has to be a 5GB file for the television station to upload. Also, we've seen most clients not even look at our content in HD on YouTube or Vimeo because they don't know how or simply just don't care (care about what the message is really).

At the end of the day, none of our clients or our workflow production needs 4K raw shooting ability nor do we need slow motion, we could just rent camera that does a better job with slow motion if needed.

Sure, shooting then downscaling 4K in post would make our footage and shows look sharp and there is more flexibility in grading and color space, but our choice is more than likely going to be the C100.

We can not afford to loose time with battery exchanges, large file management and a set of SSDs and extra hard drives for projects.

Day to day, week to week the C100 will be our work horse. It's simple enough to rent higher end cinema cameras for projects that may require it.

Keep in mind where your final content will go as well and remember the craftsman makes the scene not the camera.

By the way everyone ... it's not RAW it's raw. RAW is not an acronym, it simply is raw (keep your caps lock button healthy). Like "eating raw meat" the files are raw and raw also doesn't mean it's uncompressed.


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Richard Martz
Re: Blackmagic 4k or Canon c100
on Feb 19, 2014 at 3:32:46 pm

Thanks for the tutelage on proper use of the CAPS key (whoops, there I go again).

Sincerely,
Richard Martz

MagicMartz Media
Atlanta, GA

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Richard Martz
Re: Blackmagic 4k or Canon c100
on Feb 19, 2014 at 3:38:32 pm

The C100 has a choice between 24mbps and 17mbps. Not much difference in the storage requirement.

Sincerely,
Richard Martz

MagicMartz Media
Atlanta, GA

FCP 7
FCP X
Blackmagic Cinema Camera
ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE CC
Premiere Pro
DaVinci Resolve 9.0
MAC 8 core
After Effects
PhotoShop
Illustrator
Sony HD Cameras
24' Camera Crane with Motorhead
8' jib arm
20K watts of lighting
Multitrack audio
Teleprompters
Grip Truck/trailer
Location video monitoring
Door and hood mounts
Lots of other Fun Stuff!


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