Anyone have any insights to the new black magic scanner 2?
Edited by victor huey, 23 April 2018 - 03:51 AM.
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Black Magic scanner
27 replies to this topic
Posted 23 April 2018 - 08:03 AM
I looked at it at NAB. The main difference between the current model and this is the interface. They added a PCIe port, since thunderbolt is essentially non-existent in the Windows World. This lets you use a cheap PCIe card in a PC and connect it via a cable to the scanner.
HDR is new, but it's a wacky implementation. Instead of scanning each frame twice as it's going through the machine, you have to run two passes of the film - one at real time and one at 10fps. This is significantly slower than doing it in a single pass. Of course, because the scanner is still sprocketed, this may be ok since you're really only going to be using it for newer film, not archival material. HDR will be available as a software update to owners of the current scanner, so it's not specific to the v2 model.
I dunno, this scanner remains an odd duck in my mind.
Edited by Perry Paolantonio, 23 April 2018 - 08:03 AM.
Posted 23 April 2018 - 09:14 AM
The real problem with the Cintel is the focus. We bought one and kept it two months only, because all the footage scanned with it seemed out of focus compared to other standard machines. This is the real problem, and the focus system on the Cintel 2 looks as cheap as the previous model.
Posted 23 April 2018 - 01:08 PM
I've never really been a fan of this scanner, mainly because the imager isn't very good. I feel BMD need to use their 4.6k imager from the UMP which is far superior. I'm shocked the released a new version of the scanner without an imager update. Outside of the imager, the scanner does function very well. I've used it quite a bit and with a fast enough computer, you can scan 4k in real time no problem.
If it were $9,999 with the current imager, I'd be ok with it. But for $29,999 no way.... it needs to have a better imager.
Posted 24 April 2018 - 10:46 PM
Its sort of amazing that they can build a scanner and sell it for $30K but then again you get what you pay for.
Sort of ok for 35mm? I guess.
Posted 24 April 2018 - 10:48 PM
I learned long ago, never bet against the Australians. Anyone who can pull off short shorts and hats as they have with flip flops... well, there you go.
Posted 25 April 2018 - 07:10 AM
Even though BMD is making the camera in this, the camera is only a part of the equation. Thousands of engineering hours go into building machines like this, and someone has to pay for that. Complaining that the scanner is $30k is a little ridiculous. For what it does that's a pretty amazing price.
I still think it's a weird machine and I don't understand the market for it, but I've considered buying one to gut and rebuild because it's a nice simple transport. It'd be a great starting point for a higher resolution, custom built film scanner.
Posted 25 April 2018 - 03:37 PM
Every scanning pro I've talked to has had the same issues with it discussed here. Plus the non-movable sensor so 16mm is only captured at 2k. One house in Atlanta that shall remain nameless wanted to use it for 16mm dailies and found it not even suitable for that.
Looks very cool. They just need the sensor to catch up with the looks. If BlackMagic decides to make it kick ass, they could...they just have to decide to do it and listen to their clients.
Posted 25 April 2018 - 04:05 PM
Perry, what about a used DiTTo? Or did Blackmagic buy all those up for the chassis?
Posted 26 April 2018 - 09:21 AM
Haven't seen one used yet - I don't think they sold very many of them. There are a bunch of old telecines and scanners out there that would work, really. The BMD Cintel has the advantage of being fairly small (compared to a DSX or a Rank or similar). We have enough 1200lb dinosaurs in the office already, thank you very much.
Posted 26 April 2018 - 10:24 AM
There have been a few DiTTo Cintel machines on eBay over the years, I think there was one on there for $60k for a number of years till they gave up..
Posted 26 April 2018 - 09:11 PM
The level of support needed to keep a Ditto or Spirit or whatever of that caliber, is often equal or more than the purchase price over a decade of service.
It's one thing to buy it, another to run it properly...
Anyway, many scanners over a decade old are EOL (end of life) as far as the manufacturers are concerned. Good luck getting parts...
Posted 28 April 2018 - 06:11 AM
I don't think anyone (in their right mind) would buy one of these machines and use it as-is. Hacking a modern camera and motor controllers onto it though, that's another story!
Of course, if anyone is interested in a Northlight, we're still selling ours (and you can get support for that one).
Posted 28 April 2018 - 05:31 PM
I feel like theres gotta be a way to do a hack of the BMD scanner to get a better image out of it, if only to re utilize the movement system and replacing the imager and light source. I wish they had a swappable lens to get to 4k in 16mm (or at least real 2k). Alas there arnt exactly lots of used ones lying around to experiment with
Posted 30 April 2018 - 05:02 PM
Well you could talk to DCS they offer retrofit kits for many telecine systems and up to 10K scans and full immersion Liquid gate etc etc.
I doubt the new Cintel BMD machine is all that easy to hack.
Posted 01 May 2018 - 07:00 AM
I'm curious why you think that. I haven't looked inside of it, but given the price point, I've got to think they're using mostly commodity parts under the hood.
Posted 01 May 2018 - 09:34 AM
I think precisely because it is so small and inexpensive that it is probably a single board that does everything and it has that oddball Thunderbolt interface which is only controlled by Resolve. I just figured it would be hard to isolate the stuff one would want like transport control and led illumination from the stuff you don't like the embedded controller and whatever they use to interface the camera.
Posted 01 May 2018 - 09:37 AM
Ahh - no I wouldn't try to use their controller (which probably is proprietary). Rather, i'd leave the transport in place - motors, sensors, rollers, etc, and replace the camera and the embedded controller with something else. The motors are almost certainly commodity items, for which there are data sheets. If you're replacing the camera, you'd probably use a different interface than the tbolt/pcie ports they have now - something like Cameralink or even USB3, depending on the speed you need.
Posted 01 May 2018 - 01:04 PM
thats kinda what I meant, really just repurposing the transport / movement system and building a new controller and capture system, possibly reusing the LED assembly. Maybe thats less "hacking" and more repurposing though.
Posted 01 May 2018 - 02:26 PM
Well if you were going to do that I would really strongly suggest getting a better transport like a used Cintel URSA which cost far far far more to make than the current BMD scanner. YOu could take out the deck plate from the URSA and rehouse it in a smaller package and have a transport that cost 2-3x more to build than what the BMD sells for.
Also the BMD scanner is dual sprocket drive which is less than ideal.