1dcvssebvsbm4k
Well, the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K is finally here. And we’ve put it through a bunch of tests comparing it to the Canon 1DC, the 4K flagship HDSLR by Canon.

Note: On the Production Camera 4K we tested we later found sensor problems which we looked further into in this post.

4KWhen the first Blackmagic Camera with RAW capabilities was announced at an extremely competitive price it made a big impact on the film industry. A year later the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K was presented and its specs shook us once again. At $3000 these are very amazing specs for a camera and finally we get a chance to see if the camera can live up to its expectations.

Since we had two of the really cool Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 lenses lying around we equipped the Blackmagic 4K and Canon 1DC with them and went out to shoot some first side by side tests. This is the first batch of our Blackmagic Production Camera 4K reviews. More will follow in the next days.

You can see the results in the video above and since the video was uploaded in 4K we recommend you download the source file to see the full quality of it over on vimeo (source is 4K).

First Results:

The first thing that strikes you is the pricetag. $3000, for a 4K camera that shoots the Apple ProRes (HQ) codec. Wow. And yes, that is a wow, it can’t be neglected. The camera we compared it to costs $12,000 and that’s a whole different league indeed, but it’s our reference camera in 4K, producing beautiful results.

In terms of ergonomics nothing has changed. Blackmagic decided to use the same housing as the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. We, as run and gun shooters were not too fond of the design and though it was not very ergonomic, but we also know Blackmagic has put a lot of thought in it and had a reason for every design choice, even the internal, non-removable battery and we as filmmakers should respect that. This camera is officially laid out for production environments, it’s created not for the lowlight run and gunner, but for using it with accessories and a crew. Fair.

In terms of image quality the 4K of the Blackmagic very well matches the 4K of the 1DC. Sharpness is visually identical and gone is moiré and aliasing as we had seen it on the first Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Nice!!!

In terms of image size the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K has a slightly lower resultion than the 1DC. The 1DC sports a full 4K (4096×2160) as it is used in cinema, the Blackmagic uses the 16:9 aspect (3840×2160) UltraHD. To be honest, at 4K that is so sharp I personally couldn’t care less about a few missing pixels. Actually 16:9 serves me well as it is still the most commonly used aspect.

Another size difference can be seen when looking at the sensor. The 1DC uses an APC-H crop of its full frame sensor which in our comparison proved to be 28% larger than Blackmagic’s Super35mm sized sensor. This is a big step up from the previous Blackmagic Cinema Camera that had a very small sensor.
The result is a more shallow depth of field on the 1DC, but on the downside it usually requires full frame lenses. The Blackmagic can take APS-C sized lenses.

In the lowlight and dynamic range test the Blackmagic has room for improvement in comparison to the exceptionally lowlight powerful Canon 1DC. The Production Camera was said to be weak in this area which can be a reason to hold back for many who want to shoot quickly and efficiently. Just like on most RED cameras with the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K you will sometimes need additional light sources indoors. If you have those available then this will not be an obstacle, but it is definitely a point to consider.

Finally rolling shutter: A weakness many HDSLR cameras suffer. On the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K there is no more of that. The global shutter reads out the whole image and once and wins in this category.

All in all this camera is very noteworthy and exceeds our expectations in terms of quality. There is the known weakness in ergonomic design, lowight and dynamic range, but here’s a camera that records directly to ProRes (HQ) in a very evenly balanced and sharp 4K. This is truly a production camera, so if you have a studio setup there’s hardly a question whether this investment makes sense.

Sidenote: Blackmagic promised a free firmware update unlocking the RAW functionality for this camera soon.

Find part 2 and part 3 of our BMPC4K review here:
Review Part 2: Blackmagic Production Camera 4K in the field
Review Part 3: Blackmagic Production Camera 4K – sensor problems or not?

Song kindly provided by themusicbed
Steven Gutheinz – With the Leaves

Availability:   available now

Recommended Retailers:

US: $ 2,995

Buy

Watch it on Vimeo

Reply
Kyle February 14, 2014

Since the cam has a global shutter, is it still considered a CMOS sensor?

Reply
Peter J. DeCrescenzo February 15, 2014

The BMPC-4K has a CMOS sensor with a global shutter. It’s one of the first CMOS cameras to feature a global shutter.

Just to add: BMD has said they intend to add visually lossless 4K UHD 12-bit RAW recording capability to the BMPC-4K as a free firmware update “soon”. This will be in addition to its current 4K UHD & 1080p ProRes HQ 10-bit 4:2:2 recording capability.

Reply
Bertzie March 14, 2014

CMOS refers to the technology of the sensor. It stands for Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor, vs a CCD which stands for Charged-Coupled Device.

Whether it’s rolling or global shutter doesn’t matter. :)

Steven Milo Ordorica Reply
Steven Milo Ordorica February 14, 2014

Eh, not surprised…how about comparing the GH4 to the BM4k?

Reply
Rob February 15, 2014

Thanks for the review. Just one thing I miss on the BMPC is faster framerates for slowmo.

Reply
adhesivo February 15, 2014

Please, stop saying the BM4K has a super35mm sensor. It’s much smaller than super35mm, read the actual specs. It would be great if you could fix your video regarding the sensor size comparison.
Thanks

Reply
Chris February 15, 2014

It’s a super 35 sensor. Read the specs with your normal eyes … Not your crazy eyes.

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 15, 2014

Hi, The sensor size difference was mesured, not calculated. We had the same lens on both cameras set to 18mm. For the other shots we adjusted the zoom on the 1DC accordingly.

Reply
adhesivo February 15, 2014

From the blackmagic website:

Effective Sensor Size
21.12mm x 11.88mm

They can call it whatever they want, but that’s is far from super35, which is 24.9mm wide. The BM4K has a sensor that is aprox 30% smaller than super35mm.

Period.

Reply
Mo February 15, 2014

I amnot sure how to evaluate the dynamic range comment. The black magic camera looks slightly more contrasty, doesn’t tend to show any blown out highlights or lost information in the shadows. It would be interesting to see both gamma-curves in order to be properly able to judge the range. Obviously, the noise starts to eliminate any useful information in the shadows in comparison to the 1DC once the iso is being pushed above the native rating.

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 15, 2014

We put the image through a histogram tool. The BMPC4K is rated at 12 stops by the manufacturer and Canon mentions “800%” for the 1DC which seems to translate into actual 12.5 stops. I think the difference is slightly higher.

Reply
Simon February 16, 2014

You will find 1DC 12.5 stops only max out at ISO 100 and has a faster DR drop as ISO gets higher. The BMPC 4K in Prores DR max out at 12 stop at ISO 400 but only drop slightly either side of ISO 400. The problem with the 1DC is it is only 8 bits and is prone to falling apart when you tried to grade the footage compare to Prores 10 bits in the BMPC 4K.

Reply
Andree February 16, 2014

Simon, you don’t come across as an actual 1Dc owner.

What if someone reads what you are saying and take it for fact? You need to dress your opinions appropriately so that everyone understands that they are just that. And you are entitled to think what you want about the 1Dc.

To get the most out of the 1Dc, you shoot 4k in Canon Log. To maximize Canon Log you shoot ISO400 and above.

Maybe you’ve spent time on DxO and looked at dynamic range for the 1Dx? The raw sensor DR capacity is not how the 1Dc achieves 12 stops in Canon log…

Have you graded a lot of footage? I immediately transcode my mjpeg files to ProRes on import and the ProRes becomes my new master. I have no issues pushing my files around quite a bit. Yes, 10bit is a richer, much nicer color space, but you need to remember that basically all monitors and TV sets out there are 8-bit. It works. Especially when captured in 422.

Reply
Simon February 16, 2014

It doesnt matter what log you shot the 1DC only does 8 bits and only accept light grading. Anythng more and it falls apart with banding.
The only thing I’m seeing in favor of the 1DC is a very slight resolution advantage and half a stop baked in DR advanatage at base ISO.

Reply
Timothy Naylor February 17, 2014

I’ve used 1DC’s and C 300′s on numerous jobs. Sure it’s 8 bit but it’s not prone to “falling apart” in grading unless you really loused up the exposure. Also, the lowlight of the Canon’s can’t be underestimated. There’s a reason they’ve become the doc camera of choice these days by broadcast and indies. 400 ASA almost defeats the purpose of a camera designed for the lower budget filmmaker. Such low ASA’s profoundly impact the lighting needs and crew to the point where I’m thinking why not rent a more sensitive camera (F5, F55, Alexa, C500/300) and save on lighting / labour costs.

Reply
Nipi March 5, 2014

I think there is a nasty knee two stops below clipping point on the Blackmagic. It looks weird when only one channel is clipping.

Reply
Andrew Ray February 15, 2014

Great comparison Sebastian. What would you say is the highest ISO you would feel comfortable using the BMPC at? Also, did you get a sense of the battery life of the BMPC? Finally are you able to post a link to an original BMPC file so that we can test grade ourselves? Thanks again!

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 15, 2014

Thanks Andrew.
Well the camera only goes until ISO800 which I think is already on the more noisy side. On Vimeo someone who also tested the camera recommends shooting at ISO400 and boosting afterwards for better results. We haven’t tried that yet. This one is really weak in lowlight, you just need sufficient light to use this camera.

Reply
Simon February 16, 2014

Yes you shouldnt treat the BMPC as a dSLR. You should shoot at ISO 400 and grade.
Everyone knows dSLR strong point is it handling of lowlight video using internal gains and noise reduction. Low light ability is not necessary a test of how good the video camera is. RED cameras has even worse lowlight handling than BMPC but cost many times more. In fact the cheapest BMD camera the Pocket has very good lowlight ability better than BMPC.

Reply
Timothy Naylor February 17, 2014

“RED cameras has even worse lowlight handling than BMPC but cost many times more”. I think you’re a bit off here. I’ve routinely rated Epic’s at 1200 without any noise issues. They also have (pre-dragon), at least two stops more DR. Are you pulling your facts from blogs or actual use? I’ve never seen that kind of noise at 800 on an Epic that I see in the BMC

Reply
Andree February 15, 2014

Nice short test.

You should have added a few graded clips at the end. Not everyone, apparently, understands the Log concept.

Reply
Akpe February 15, 2014

Can someone please tell me if the BMPC 4K hoots slow-mo and what frame rates (50/60p 4k or 50/60p 1080p?)

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 15, 2014

No

Reply
Akpe February 16, 2014

Thanks for the reply dude.
Am really surprise that it doesn’t shoot any form of slow-mo :(

Reply
William Koehler February 17, 2014

I am not surprised. The data rates shooting 4K ProRes are already very high. Shooting any form of slow-motion would at minimum double those already high data rates yet again.

Reply
Martin February 15, 2014

The only thing that holds me back is the concern that the fan noise may be a problem when using it in a quiet room. What’s your opinion on that?

Reply
marklondon February 16, 2014

So its essentially like shooting 400asa film? Nice.
I love this camera but I really need even 48frame overcrank.
BM seem pathologically against it.
Very very tempted – just have to see what hits the market in the next 3/4 months.

Reply
Luuk February 16, 2014

What is the average data rate on both camera’s in seconds?
I heard the blackmagic is around 880mb/sec which i find fairly high but i could be mistaken.

Reply
William Koehler February 17, 2014

On BlackMagic Design’s website they list 480 GB lasting 72 minutes. That works out to 111 MB/second or 888 Mbps. So what you heard is very close.

Reply
Janek February 16, 2014

Sigma 18-35 is for crop sensor.
1DC with Sigma? How?

Reply
Andree February 16, 2014

You can put the Sigma on a 5Dmk3 as well, even though it’s full frame, since it’s a normal EF-mount.

The question becomes how much vignetting you get and can live with.

The 1Dc’s 4k mode is roughly a 1.3 crop. The Sigma does well from around 22mm or so up to 35mm? But I mean, that still leaves plenty of range of sharp 4k at 1.8 worth looking into.

Reply
Tim February 16, 2014

I’ll wait for BMCC 4K vs GH4. 1DC is lil pricy (no global shutter).

Reply
Clayton Moore February 16, 2014

Canion 1DC, better in some ways? … sure, $9,000 better….. hardly.
Case closed.

Reply
Andree February 16, 2014

You’re thinking about it wrong.

The 1Dc is better in many ways (not only about video).

Its price makes it an exclusive camera that sets it apart. You can buy it and make money with it. My 1Dc has paid for itself and more – my 5Dmk3 didn’t do that (not that I was trying at the time).

It is not Canon’s goal or obligation to dump equipment on the market with minimum margin.

The 1Dc was imagined and excecuted to keep it out of the hands of the masses. If that is you, or not, is totally up to you.

While I feel BMPC ProRes doesn’t quite get there, raw probably will. But before yelling ‘hooray’ you will want to think about what 4k raw actually means, workflow wise.

Reply
Simon February 16, 2014

So Prores is not quite there and RAW maybe but you think 1DC 8 bit is already there?
Craziest shit I ever heard.

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 16, 2014

Simon take it easy. I agree with all Andree said. The 8bit of the 1DC is more powerful than you might think.

Reply
Gerbert Floor February 16, 2014

apparantly, dit you see the comparison. Its easy to only look at specs, but its the overall package that counts and the usability for the camera. Im sure the black magic is a killer cam for small film production or some commercial shoots.

But as a wedding videographer I would take the 1DC any day over it. Less noise in dark situations, better audio, better usability, and smaller files.
Unfortunately no magic lantern :(

Reply
Andree February 16, 2014

The saying goes: “the proof is in the pudding”. I’m not looking for agitation.

Download the 4k source. Look for the 800% blowup in the video, and then at the colors and highlights in the building front and center. Also look at the rendition of edges and fine detail. Assuming you have an OK monitor…

The 1Dc 8bit 422 at 520Mbit/s is superior. Also, don’t mistake the higher contrast setting in the BMPC for resolution. We will see graded clips soon.

Now, raw lets the user do what they want, but 4k raw won’t come cheap. At all.

I’m not bashing the BMPC – I think it’s great at this price. A blessing for MANY users. Is full DaVinci still included?

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 16, 2014

I’m glad we have people with a professional approach and an obvservant view in our audience.
As an overall package I also think the 1DC is superior. And I also agree that a 4K workflow can be expensive and time consuming and in most cases probably unnecessary.

Reply
kholi February 16, 2014

Sebastian,

Appreciate your test.

I know you aren’t going to redo it, but now that you know you didn’t test the lowlight right, why not put a disclaimer that you didn’t have optimal settings?

Right now, your test is misinforming a community, and it’s kind of irresponsible to let it continue without rectifying it.

To me, it’s not about “do your own test”, it’s about being as accurate as possible when you do present your tests, otherwise when people do the test the right way, you become an untrustworthy source of information.

Simon is absolutely right, there isn’t a single flavor of 8-bit that has anything on Master Quality ProREs 422 HQ….

Your lowlight test is just done wrong, making it appear as if the ProRes or even the camera is to blame, versus inadequate knowledge of the tool.

I’m not attacking you, just opening up the conversation.

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 16, 2014

Kholi, for the sake of respect I’m answering this time, but it will be the last kindness on this kind of tone. No place for trolls here.

This review was done right and according to the manual of the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K which can be found here: http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support
ISO was used in the way recommended by the manufacturer and we are evaluating the camera’s performance accordingly.

Having said that we are looking at the effect of staying at ISO400 and will share recommendations for ideal use of the camera soon. However the verdict regarding the 1DC in terms of lowlight will not be affected by the use of either ISO400 or ISO800 for that matter.

Reply
kholi February 17, 2014

I don’t see anything about my comment that’s trollish. It’s unfortunate that you feel this way, because it’s merely there to help curtail misinformation being spread in your video.

As a community leader, I’d be surprised if you didn’t want to actually make sure the information you spread is somewhat accurate.

Blackmagic recommends, specifically for the 4K camera, to use the lowest available ISO setting for lighting conditions. It’s in the manual indeed.

The verdict may not change (afterall, that’s why internal noise reduction exist, to remove noise… unlike most cinema cameras what do not do this in camera) but your results show performance from settings that are not optimal.

You can take that as trolling, but it seems like we’re on the same page outbound superficial titles: at least one of the tests could have been tested further before posting results.

No one should be labeled a troll for attempting to dispel myths within our community. Take it as you will.

Reply
jaye February 17, 2014

Blah blah 8 bit is still 8 bit , its 2014 and for 12k 8 bit should be a minimum not the only option

Reply
Andree February 17, 2014

What bitrate and recording media are you thinking would be good?

Give me some data rates.

Reply
Oscar February 17, 2014

Seems that the 5D3 is having 1D´s for breakfast these days :)

I have no problems having
My 5D3 pay for itself + more :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lANSUsG39zk
5d3 Raw :) cheers´

I agree BM is so overrated in here . I don’t get it ?
I had the 2.5 and did not like it at all.

Reply
Andree February 17, 2014

I still had my mk3 when ML made the raw hack public. After some evaluation I stepped up to the 1Dc.

ML adds tremendous value to the 5Dmk3 and I’m happy for you if it’s a good fit.

Regarding the linked video: over sharpening doesn’t do it for me, but I’m sure it’s a punchy look for many. As has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread: most viewers aren’t image snobs.

Reply
Oscar February 17, 2014

I agree with the sharpening in this sample. Not to my taste eaither. I´m also still struggeling with finding the best workflow for ML RAW.
It is def. time consuming.

Reply
Justin March 29, 2014

Great stuff, Oscar.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 17, 2014

Hi kholi. Good to see you here!
Long time since we last talked over the legendary dvxuser.com

We will look again at the test we did, but let me tell you that after running with the camera for the all day yesterday there is definitely something to be concerned about regarding its lowlight capability.
We will share the footage (and my thoughts) soon. We are just waiting for BM to respond as they deserve the respect for doing the best bringing an affordable working tool for the community.

Take care and again, I’m very happy to see you here!!

Johnnie

Reply
kholi February 17, 2014

Hey John,

I typically only stick to my neighborhoods, haha, so posting on someone else’s blog — and likely in an unfavorable manner, is definitely out of my realm.

In no way did I mean to come off as trollish, only concerned.

The lowlight performance, in comparison to cameras that have noise reduction built-in along with compression, will not be much to write home about.

On my end, coming from shooting larger less-compressed formats, sticking to 400ISO the Lowlight performance is beyond adequate, bordering surprising. It’s not a zero-light camera, like an FS100 would be, but as long as you’re sticking to 400 ISO and fast glass (1.4~2), well yeah. This is, again, from having the camera for quite some time before release.

800 ISO lowlight footage will not look good.

Thanks for chiming in, John. I actually didn’t know you were part of C5D!

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 17, 2014

Hi kholi.

As I said, very happy t see you here!

Your point is very clear!.
The question is, this camera has 3 ISO settings. 200/400 and 800

Many people are very “spoiled” with DSLRs and 800 ISO looks very normal for them to use, The question is, does a higher ISO settings that look “not so good in camera” should be included in the first place (and I am not talking about including 25000 ISO)…or it should be avoided….

I am holding back posting more footage for now as we are waiting for Blackmagic’s clarifications to our findings.

Thanks and please continue contributing from your experience and knowledge to the friends here.

Johnnie

Reply
kholi February 17, 2014

I think there is a point for 800 ISO, however. It’s likely for very high contrast situations where you’d need to shift some DR to the low end so that you don’t ink out blacks.

200, however, I’m not sure about.

I agree with you, it seems natural to want to switch to 800 ISO to dig out shadows.

Anyway, if you guys are waiting on BMD to qualify what I’m suggesting, they should soon. Either in a revised manual or look out on their forums.

Keep it up John!

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 19, 2014

Hi Kholi.

Tried register to bmcuser.com and share my footage with the comunity. (looks like i can not log myself in to the new forum with a dvxuser password). Anyway, I am waiting to be “approved” for almost a day now…Can you help?

Thanks

Johnnie

Reply
kholi February 20, 2014

Just sawr this: check in with Jason Ramsey over on the forum. He’s the one that handles that.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 21, 2014

OK, thanks!

Reply
Clayton Moore February 17, 2014

Andree

Having worked for Apple for 15 years, I understand the value of market exclusivity and pricing that supports healthy margins, and I also understand the overhead that a 4k “Raw” workflow represents. I know editors out my way in California are not crazy about dealing with that additional overhead. Added stuff that studios and producers will be loathed to pay more for.

I also understand the strategy of pricing “the masses” out of a market, until recently Apple built an empire on that. But back in the early 2000’s Apple took a lot of heat from competitors when they bought up millions in code then proceeded to give it away for free. It was the Steve Jobs obsession with the “consumer market” that started the slow pivot away from the pro market. Now Steve is gone and things are shifting again with no clear indication yet of just where its going to end up.

I don’t know …. perhaps if the 1DC is that far from the BMCC, its an unfair comparison. But its probably valuable when you consider that the about 95% of audience that views your work on broadcast or in the movies could never tell the difference at all. So in the end if works for you……cool. Maybe if I actually got my hands on one, Id love it. :-)

Reply
Andree February 17, 2014

Hi Clayton,

I understand the frustration with Canon. I’m also frustrated with them at times.

I wanted the 1Dc to be much cheaper. But in the end I still bought it because it’s the cheapest camera on the market that does what I want. I think it’s the only one. And I wasn’t even looking for 4k.

Had the 5Dmk3 been able to resolve a wide shot, I would have stuck to that.

The 1Dc is a “camera”-camera. Not a specialized production tool. It has several features that only other DSLRs can match. These features are often completely disregarded by the hard core BMCC/BMPC and whatnot crowd when they compare that one spec that is important to them…. and then look at the price.

The price is for the whole camera—not just the few things that you need. For example: if you don’t do stills… why even look at the 1Dc? If you buy one, then you probably know that it will pay for itself.

The GH4 comes closer in terms of all roundness, but I personally would not consider it in the same league as a full frame Canon.

Feel free to single out and compare single features like video resolution and DR, but then disregard the price. If you do look at the price, you have to look at the complete feature set including format, ergonomics, AF-system and much more.

Reply
Clayton Moore February 17, 2014

Andree,

There you go ……… The Canon is a “DLSR” – a very high end still camera that shoots great 4K video. My point (poorly stated) was as a video camera, the 1DC was not worth paying that added $$$. But I’d bet that you’ve made some good money without ever shooting a second of video. Could Canon have given you this camera for $6,000, sure probably…… sigh…Personally, Id rather see Andree spend the extra 5 grand on other creative tools or travel expenses ….or….whatever would enhance his game even more from a talent perspective.

Problem that Canon has now is that if they try and keep ahead of the (example) GH4 – at a 2k price point, they run the risk of compromising an already pretty mature digital cinema market space. There are clear advantages to: Full Frame, Mirrored DSLR design etc…. but the GH4’s of the market are gradually chipping away at the value of those features.

When you realize that the canon C-500, Arri Alexa, even the Canon T4i all have ether exactly or very close to super 35mm movie sensor size you realize that other then the value of a device as a high end “full frame” still camera, that up against the likes of a GH4, Canon may be backing themselves into a corner on the moving picture market. In time, whats left may be high end industrial design features and build quality and not so much the image quality itself. Then its a matter if how much thats worth.

Someone asked Steve Jobs very early on, why not charge _xx__ for a given feature since thats closer to what it cost instead of 10x what it cost. His answer, “Because I can”.
Those days are already gone, which is why Apple changed their name from Apple Computer to Apple Inc. I think Canon’s got some changes ahead as well……we’ll just have to wait and see.

Reply
Andree February 18, 2014

The 1Dc is a top of the line small format stills camera AND a top of the line compressed format video camera. It is probably the world’s best video camera in that area.

We pay about $6k each for both of those cameras baked into one. It was launched as a unique hybrid camera. As time goes by we will see other cameras offering similar features. The question will be: who is after the 4k spec as a selling point, and who is serious about actual passable 4k IQ in a compressed format?

I see the 1Dc as a different breed than the 4k+ raw/compressed raw shooting offerings out there.

My 1Dc paid for itself solely by shooting video.

When I said I would rather pay less, it’s because once I knew what I needed I went out and bought the cheapest camera out there. It was the 1Dc.

Reply
ARC February 17, 2014

This is a good idea for Canon people, C100 firmware update with 2.5K recording!!!! and C300 with 3.5k, next days running all cheap cameras will record 4k , I have a c100 and I think it should at least record 2.5k only is HD for $ 5,000, a lot of money for that today, now we all want to 4k, the companies of cameras are driving us crazy, and end of the day is not the camera is the part that is behind the camera!!!!!! (DP & OPERATOR)

Reply
Jerome February 17, 2014

Sebastien,

I realize English isn’t your first language, but thought I’d give you a heads up on the last sentence. There is no such thing as a “powerhorse,”but it’s easy to see where the mistake comes from…

Powerhouse: a person or thing of great energy, strength, or power.

Workhorse: a person or machine that dependably performs hard work over a long period of time.

Maybe the last sentence (with another correction in CAPS) could read: “If you have a studio setup there’s hardly a question WHETHER you should invest this in this camera or not.”

WETHER: a castrated ram
WHETHER: expressing a doubt or choice between alternatives

All the best,

J

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 17, 2014

give me a break, i wrote this at the end of a very long day. anyway, corrections always welcome.

Reply
Jerome February 18, 2014

;^)

Reply
Timothy Naylor February 17, 2014

Sebastian, great preliminary review. If price weren’t an issue, I’d take the 1 DC in a heartbeat. While many here moan about it being 8 bit, that becomes much less a factor if you’re delivering in 1080p (where you theoretically can extract a higher bit / color space from 4k 8bit). That aside, if your exposures are good, the grading penally of 8 bit is negligible and Canon’s C log is infinitely more grade able than anything that came out a GH camera.

The selling point for me is the light sensitivity. If the BMC is intended more for “lit” shoots, the low ASA’s of the BMC adds additional lighting equipment and labor costs that defeat the purpose of a “low budget” camera. Considering the camera needs to be used with rigs, external power, monitor, etc, for a narrative project, I’d rather just rent an f5 with its incredibly higher ASA and 16 bit color. The savings in lighting would make up for the higher camera rental and yield a better pic.

Reply
Timothy Naylor February 17, 2014

It’d be nice to see how both cameras perform when downsampled and graded in 1080p. That’ll at least 99 % of deliverables for quite some time.

Reply
Clayton Moore February 18, 2014

This is a great review of the 1DC:

He said what messed with his head about its pricing is —
Its worth the money but over priced. By that he means (he owns a iDX) says its the same camera still wise so all the extra 6k gets you is the video and thats over priced. Yet if you dont own either camera its worth the money “grin”

http://vimeo.com/58263312

Reply
Myles February 18, 2014

I thought – having sold the BMCC – that the guys at Cinema 5D were decidedly against Black Magic products? You wrote on Facebook: “I personally do not recommend the camera (BMCC), neither do I recommend the BMPC or 4K camera. They look good on paper, but it’s not the same when you hold in your hands”.

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 18, 2014

Hi Myles,
I stand by that opinion, but it is a personal opinion which I will in that form not write on a review. On a review I try to be more objective and keep in mind that others might still like to use these cameras. Lowlight is one of the biggest factors for me. If a camera doesn’t do lowlight it will make my other costs explode and often add headaches in post. I’m just not a big crew kind of shooter. I like to be quick and spontaneous. And I don’t like the idea of handling big light units if it can be avoided.

Reply
Myles February 18, 2014

OK, thanks for the clarification.

Reply
Josh Greene February 24, 2014

Hi Sebastian,

I get your point as well. However, I think it’s a bit extreme to say you need to lug around huge lights to shoot with the BM cameras. I don’t think people like J Brawley, Captain Hook, or Kholi from above are trucking big lighting packages to shoot with these products.

Cheers

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 28, 2014

Hi Josh,
I think that really depends on your shoot. And even when working with little light any stop the camera gives you means a smaller and cheaper light unit.

Reply
Jean-Côme BOUDEN February 19, 2014

The thing that disturbs me when comparing definition (and not resolution, which is the number of pixel in a digital image) is that the 1DC and BMPC4K have different gamma curves, with different black levels.

Definition is directly linked with contrast, because when you adjust your blacks to 20 mV the perception of micro-contrasts (= definition) is way much better than with a flat image. If the black levels change, your perception of micro contrast will of course be different. That’s why I think that comparing definition between two cameras should be with an ISO 12233 mire, with blacks adjust to the same level. Shooting with that mire allow to know the MTF resolution, and then, the circle of confusion, which is very useful to calculate your depth of field.

Of course this is not a scientific test, and it allows us to have an idea of the different definition. But I think that an huge website like Cinema5D (sponsored by B&H !) should be able to furnish this kind of test. Let’s find out with the next test if they will !

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 19, 2014

Hi Jean-Côme,
Don’t tell: We are in the process of making our reviews more scientific and once that’s done an ISO 12233 test chart with correct readout and MTF comparisons will definitely be part of the deal.

Reply
Jean-Côme BOUDEN February 20, 2014

Cool, thanks for answering. Waiting to see it ! Greetings from France

Reply
dio February 22, 2014

favorite movie film camera arri lt
favorite video camera 1Dc

Reply
Clayton Moore February 24, 2014

According to the WSJ, sales of DSLR’s fell by 10% last year. High end, mirror-less apears to be the only camera market that’s not that suffered to that degree. Personally I would not want to be heavily invested in the manufacturing of DSLR glass right now.
As soon as EVF technology is good enough for 90% of the user base, and DSLR sales fall by another 5%, cameras like the 1DC may be the only DSLRs left on the market. A 15-20% drop in DSLR sales and things will move fast.

Reply
Mitchell Quiring February 25, 2014

Is there any vignetting with the sigma 18-35 on the BMPC4k?

Reply
Sebastian Wöber February 25, 2014

None of significance.

Reply
Joe Trimmer March 7, 2014

Hi Sebastian.

Is the BMPC 4k’s LCD touchscreen still limited in its visibility like the BMCC?

Reply
Sebastian Wöber March 8, 2014

Hi Joe,
I think the screen is better, but I could be wrong, didn’t have the direct comparison. When using it for the video above I wasn’t distracted though. Sorry I can’t tell you more, maybe Tom can help, he used both cameras extensively:
http://tomantosfilms.com/3613/bmpc4k-review/

Reply
Jabbar Kallaracakl March 30, 2014

Blackmagic cheats their customers by saying it shoots 2k/4kraw. Its a lie. Presenly it wil shoot only 1080 prores (422) and 4k prores. Nothing is possible. Even 60FPS in 1080. But they mentioned all these record formats in their advertisement and manual. Its a shit camera. Dont jump into Black magic camera bofore you test it. Anybody seen blackmagic camera a camera shoot 4k raw????
Its a clear case of cheating by hiding the actual fact from their customers.

Reply
Jabbar Kallaracakl March 30, 2014

Blackmagic 4k wont shoot 4k Raw or 2k row for now. They are cheating customers.

Reply
Strike Films April 9, 2014

I really feel like the 1Dc is very overpriced, the BM is a definite win IMO

Reply
Highline Studios April 19, 2014

Canon 1Dc over the BMC anyday.

Reply
Rajesh June 2, 2014

I am considering to purchase BM Cinema Camera 4 K to shoot feature film. May I know the specifications of lenses required so that I can manage budget? An early reply is requested.

Reply
Sebastian Wöber June 2, 2014

Hi Rajesh,
If you want to be “affordable” you can get all the EF-S lenses which will cover the super35mm sized sensor: http://c5d.at/210
If you’re looking for affordable prime lenses we always recommend the Samyangs: http://c5d.at/1rx
And if you have more money to spend of course there are many nice Canon “L” lenses http://c5d.at/211, or even the Zeiss primes http://c5d.at/212.
On this review we used the new Sigma zoom which we also use for our own work and is a very nice lens too: http://c5d.at/213
Hope it helps.

Reply
Emrah Cahit OZER June 3, 2014

How can 1DC’S 8 bits 4:2:0 MJPEG 500mbit codec has more DR than BMPC’S 10bit 4:2:2 prores HQ ? Thats not logical…

Reply
Sebastian Wöber June 3, 2014

Hi Emrah,
bit-depth has nothing to do with dynamic-range. The bits only define the detail of color resolution/steps, not how far the reach of the sensor is.
And 1DC’s MJPEG is 4:2:2 by the way.

Reply
Emrah Cahit OZER June 3, 2014

Sorry u r right ’bout 1DC’S MJPEG it was 4:2:2 TY.

Leave a Comment

Connect with:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


three × 5 =