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TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)

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Richard Martz
TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 15, 2013 at 8:12:42 pm

There seems to be a lot of surprise when it comes to the overall cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. It appears from the posts that people may buy the camera and then realize it is not a total package in itself. I purchased a camera with the full knowledge that I was really only buying the basic optical block with some software and an AC adaptor. So I was pleasantly surprised with a few of the extras that WERE included.

Here were the essential items that I knew I needed to fully exploit the camera along with my very modest accessory budget (IN US DOLLARS:

Camera - $2000
Lenses - $3000 (This line item could easily have been tens of thousands of dollars)
Rail Mounting System - $450
Two Batteries 5Amp Hour - $900
Charger - $450
Zoom H4N audio recorder - $200
Matte box - $1000
Cage system with handle - $600
2, Sandisk Extreme 480GB - $1000

So the basic cost is around $9600

But I did not include the $4000 of 4x4 filters I already own. You may choose not to use filters and rely on the effects within your NLE to achieve your own cinematic look. Your requirements will be a bit different but I thought the people who are considering a BMCC purchase should consider the TOTAL cost as they approach the purchase.

Let me konw if you find this helpful. Onward!

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Blackmagic Cinema Camera
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John Fishback
Re: TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 16, 2013 at 3:55:08 pm

Good reasonable list. Some cage systems come with rails and baseplate so there might be savings there. You mention you have the filters, but a new owner might need to invest in IRND and other filters-maybe a variable ND. Only other optional item, as you have the Zoom, is a mic preamp.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.8.4, QT10.1, Kona 3, Dual Cinema 23, ATI Radeon HD 5870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.3, Motion 4.0.3, Comp 3.5.3, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.3)
FCP-X 10.0.9, Motion 5.0.7, Compressor 4.0.7

Pro Tools HD 10 w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec DSP Monitors, Prima CDQ120 ISDN


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Richard Martz
Re: TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 16, 2013 at 6:03:59 pm

TOTALLY correct. The 4x4 filters would have been several thousand additional dollars. I work with some directors now who just want everything recorded crisp and clean so that digital filters can be added later as desired. The rails and cage were budgeted separately because they came from different sources.

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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Marco Solorio
Re: TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 16, 2013 at 6:33:27 pm

The main objective for adding optical filtration in the mattebox isn't so much for a look that can be obtained in post, but to control exposure, IR, polarization, etc., which cannot be fixed in post in most cases. Bonus info: always ensure that there is absolutely NO light leak in your mattebox when using filters.

For example, using, say, an ND .9 soft grad to help reduce blow-out in the sky in a shot, would otherwise result in a white/gray sky without said filter. With the ND SG you retain sky information, including clouds, haze, etc.

Even a simple straight ND filter is used to maintain proper exposure for cases when you need to shoot outside in bright sun where you can't go below 200 ASA while maintaining a shutter at or close to 180°. With that, an IR-CUT is used to help reduce brown pollution in blacks with heavy NDs (true for any CMOS sensors, including ARRI).

Want to reduce reflections in glass, or deepen the color in asphalt or the sky? Gotta use a polarizing filter for that. There's no post-plugin that will knock out glass reflection—have to use a circular polarizer in front of the lens!

So if the director thinks they're getting a better image by NOT using filters in cases where it's needed, then you'll end up with a WORSE image in the end. It's the job of the DP to educate the director on why certain tools are required, including optical filters.

I agree with John: get a BMCC cage that already has rod support in it. My suggestion: Viewfactor.

You can get SanDisk 480 Extreme I SSD's for about $360 each, so there's some savings there (cheapest I've ever got them for was $309 each).

If you want to save some serious coin on batteries, there are V-mount solutions on Amazon and eBay that'll cost you much less. About $180 per battery or a two-battery + charger setup for about $600. We use everything from these solutions, to top-of-the-line Anton Bauer Dionic batteries and all of them work fantastic with the BMCC, which in of itself, draws little power comparatively. I can go anywhere from 4 to 8 hours on a single battery.

Honestly, you can build a competent BMCC rig for much less than $10k, including optical filters.

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


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John Fishback
Re: TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 16, 2013 at 7:33:34 pm

One more thing - an EVF and/or an on-camera monitor. These solutions can run from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.8.4, QT10.1, Kona 3, Dual Cinema 23, ATI Radeon HD 5870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.3, Motion 4.0.3, Comp 3.5.3, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.3)
FCP-X 10.0.9, Motion 5.0.7, Compressor 4.0.7

Pro Tools HD 10 w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec DSP Monitors, Prima CDQ120 ISDN


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Richard Martz
Re: TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 16, 2013 at 10:38:18 pm

YEP. I had already deployed HDMI monitors as my on-site monitoring. They are cheaper and work well for me. SO I was not eager to replace this with another combo SDI monitor. Also I don't worry about the safety of the monitor nearly as much as a $5000 monitor sitting next to the grip kit. Those guys have destroyed a lot of my gear over the last 5+ years. I took an economic short cut here. I mounted a Blackmagic SDI to HDMI mini converter on my rig and I power it from my camera battery so that I can monitor HDMI right at the camera or loop to other client monitors. The BMCC viewfinder is large enough to work well for me in portable situations so I'm only using the monitors when I park the camera for awhile. In a "run and gun" situation I want to be as light as possible and this approach lets me achieve that. But whenever it is practical I do use a monitor. All of our monitors mount on C stands or a light stand with a 5/8 stud. That way we can set up and strike gear with ruthless effectiveness.

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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Richard Martz
Re: TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 16, 2013 at 10:44:56 pm

Well said. The comment on being sure your matte box is sealed (side light) on your filters was a great idea as well. I was priviledged to take a cinematography course a few years ago with a guy who was an old experienced cinematographer. He showed us how to get an intentional effect - kind of like fog filtration - by using what he termed a "bias light" set a little less than 90 degrees and shining directly into the lens. Like a controlled flare. But I can imagine that the same thing would happen if a strong side light made it's way through the matte box directly to the filters as well.

Onward!

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!


Return to posts index

Marco Solorio
Re: TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 25, 2013 at 9:30:17 am

Hi Richard,

it's not so much about light spill per se, but the affect of reflection between the lens elements and the filters themselves. It's not so much a flare issue, but a very ugly reflection issue. By sealing the matte box to prevent light pollution (usually donuts will do the trick), then the problems associated with reflection will go away. And sometimes it's extremely hard to see on the LCD or EVF, but rears its ugly head when you view it in the edit suite on the broadcast monitors. Then you get that horrible feeling of, "damn it."

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


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Richard Martz
Re: TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 16, 2013 at 10:47:17 pm

Well said. The comment on being sure your matte box is sealed (side light) on your filters was a great idea as well. I was priviledged to take a cinematography course a few years ago with a guy who was an old experienced cinematographer. He showed us how to get an intentional effect - kind of like fog filtration - by using what he termed a "bias light" set a little less than 90 degrees and shining directly into the lens. Like a controlled flare. But I can imagine that the same thing would happen if a strong side light made it's way through the matte box directly to the filters as well.

And Marco, Thanks for all time you put into evaluations of the BMCC. I can honestly say it is the best purchase I ever made and your evaluations helped me make an informed purchase decision.

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!


Return to posts index


Marco Solorio
Re: TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 25, 2013 at 9:32:50 am

[Richard Martz] "And Marco, Thanks for all time you put into evaluations of the BMCC. I can honestly say it is the best purchase I ever made and your evaluations helped me make an informed purchase decision."

That's very nice to hear, Richard! Thanks for saying so! We've truly enjoyed using the BMCC cameras as well now... for about 1.5 years! Time flies.

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


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Mike Cohen
Re: TOTAL cost of implementing a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (Realistically speaking)
on Dec 31, 2013 at 8:32:31 pm

great thread. There is a disconnect between marketing of these full frame and larger cameras vs reality. Sites like Doddle like to post headlines like "filmmaker shoots documentary with XYZ cheap camera" then you read the article and realize that with all the extras it is no longer really a cheap camera. Even the folks shooting with an iPhone use a shoulder rig and external audio.

So in other words, by the time you buy accessories to make a DSLR or cinema camera head work like a broadcast camera, it is basically the same price, though perhaps with better image quality and interchangeable lenses which sub-$10,000 cameras do not always offer.

Good discussion about filters too. Even a simple ND filter present on a wheel in traditional video cameras is absent in the DSLR/Cinema cam world and also oddly absent in the sub-$4,000 video camera world as well.


Mike Cohen


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