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What do you think about the Low-End Cinema Camera's


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#1 Paul Bartok

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:11 AM

Hi guys, I want to get your thought's based on the current marketplace.

I plan to replace the old 7D but I still haven't decided yet on what it would most likely be next year.
With a budget of around 5K- and would be used mostly for shooting commercials, shorts and VFX work.

The choices seem to be
- Nikon D800 8 bit, 4:2:2. HD
- Digital Bolex 4:4:4 12bit. 2K (tho supposedly the Kodak sensor can't achieve 4:4:4)
- Black magic 4:2:2 10bit 2.5k

I like the sound of the digital Bolex but I'm not sure about the brand in terms of support etc.
The Blackmagic sounds good on paper but again will they disappear there camera line or become serious manufactures, ugly design btw.
And the Nikon seems good especially since I shoot still's as well but HDMI out could become a pain, imagine the cable
coming out all the time plus all my glass wont be compatible.
I would love the 1D-C but atm 15k is a bit much.

IDK what do you guys think.
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#2 Travis Gray

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:49 AM

Why do you need to replace the 7D? Gear lust?
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#3 Mark Dunn

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:30 AM

Agreed, that camera is less than 2 years old.
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#4 Paul Bartok

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:21 AM

Don't get me wrong I love the 7D for what it is, but...

Over heating.
4.2.0 chroma sampling
Compression artefacts.
H.264 8bit grading is poor.
Rolling Shutter is a nightmare.
Maximum record time 12 Min. (If you've ever tried doing events, weddings, documentaries you would see how annoying that is.
If you look at the real output of the camera it's actually sub HD and then in camera is up scaled to 1080P with the the high compression making any VFX work three times as hard or impossible.)
LCD output is flimsy especially when you switch to menu mode take forever to go back and forward, and the cable comes out all the time.
and obviously no HD-SDI out for external recoding.

So yeah like I said the camera is good for what it is but I need would like to upgrade.

2 years is a long time in the digital world think of Moore's law.
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#5 Travis Gray

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:45 AM

I would ask if any of that is currently holding you back in how you're working.

I shoot with the FS100 now, it just was one of the better solutions for how I wanted to work, but obviously not the best solution... 4:4:4 would be great. RAW would be cool. HD-SDI would be awesome. etc etc. But from what I had heard and saw, some awesome stuff came out of it, and I knew it would work fine for me for the time being. I'm not losing clients because I'm shooting on it. I own a D7000 for still photo work and as a B camera when I need something quick, and I could shoot events with that without running into any issues as well.

If you do what you can in camera, you shouldn't have to push a grade too hard, so 4:2:0 isn't as big of an issue. If you know how to combat rolling shutter, also not a big issue. External recorder? It records on to cards. See previous statement about 4:2:0. Maximum record time? Know your events to anticipate when to factor in a break. Overheating... yeah.. maybe an issue (never had an issue with the D7000. Shot a whole event with it a couple months ago.)

If you get a client who requires something better, work a rental into the cost.

Especially with the rate cameras are coming out now... save up until you really outgrow the 7D. I wanted to go back to XLR inputs and peaking, etc, so I outgrew my short period of shooting on DSLRs.

I've seen some very good things coming out of the 7D, and I know I've seen some professional productions done with them as well (can't remember credits off hand, I think I read some stuff in AC mag... maybe that cancelled horse racing show in some shots?) I would really evaluate what you need a new camera for, and with a budget of 5K, I don't think you'll be getting much of a true upgrade.
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#6 Martin Hong

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:28 PM

Digital Bolex and Black Magic are both S16 format, DB comes with a limitation of ISO range of 100, 200, 400. As for Black Magic Cinema there no official data about it.
Nikon D800 is a great DSLR when it comes to the still photography, but as for the video, you can find footage comparing to the Canon's, Canon slightly has better image quality (not on 4:2:2, tested footage from camera) Specially the sensitivity. When you use high ISO on the camera you'd get noise. Another thing to consider comparing to the other two cameras that is the Full Frame size, despite that it uses Line Skipping (another artifact to consider)

So that you have: Imagery Area vs. Sensibility vs. Color depth
As for the VFS work, 4:4:4 12bit seems more likely what you are looking for.
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#7 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:39 PM

Hi guys, I want to get your thought's based on the current marketplace. I plan to replace the old 7D but I still haven't decided yet on what it would most likely be next year. With a budget of around 5K- and would be used mostly for shooting commercials, shorts and VFX work. The choices seem to be - Nikon D800 8 bit, 4:2:2. HD - Digital Bolex 4:4:4 12bit. 2K (tho supposedly the Kodak sensor can't achieve 4:4:4) - Black magic 4:2:2 10bit 2.5k I like the sound of the digital Bolex but I'm not sure about the brand in terms of support etc. The Blackmagic sounds good on paper but again will they disappear there camera line or become serious manufactures, ugly design btw. And the Nikon seems good especially since I shoot still's as well but HDMI out could become a pain, imagine the cable coming out all the time plus all my glass wont be compatible. I would love the 1D-C but atm 15k is a bit much. IDK what do you guys think.



Of the camera specs you list above, I'm familiar enough with two of the cameras to know that some of your information is incorrect.

The Nikon D800 DSLR has a full frame (VistaVison) size sensor. It's highest quality internal HD video recording format is 1080p 8-bit 4:2:0 H.264 at 24 megabits/sec. Its HDMI 8-bit 4:2:2 output is recordable on compatible external recorders such as the Atomos Ninja 2 (in a 10-bit 1080p ProRes 422 HQ file w. Rec. 709 gamma). The D800 features a 1/8" unbalanced stereo mic input and headphone output. The D800 exhibits noticeable aliasing & moire in its HD recordings, but perhaps less than the Canon 5DM2. The D800 is shipping now. At $3,000 US list, I think the D800 is one of the best all-round digital still & HD video DSLR cameras for the price.
http://imaging.nikon.../features02.htm

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera sensor size is between that of S16 and m43. It's highest quality HD video recording format will be 2.5K 12-bit RAW CinemaDNG at, according to its specs, "5 MB/frame in RAW 2.5K fits about 30 minutes of 24p video on a 256 GB solid state disk. Compressed HD formats fit more than 5 times the amount of RAW video." 13-stops of latitude are promised. The compressed formats are 1080p ProRes 422 HQ & DNxHD and these can be recorded with either log or Rec. 709 gamma.

The BMCC will feature a high-quality HD-SDI output, two 1/4" balanced mic inputs, 5" LCD touchscreen, Thunderbolt, LANC, headphone jack, and a >1.5 hour built-in uninterruptible power supply (battery) w. 12-30VDC ext. power input. The BMCC has an electronic EF mount which supports Canon lenses, and can be easily adapted to Nikon F manual lenses. BmD has announced that the BMCC will support up to ISO 1600. The BMCC's amount of aliasing & moire artifacts are yet unknown, but given its sensor size & resolution, potentially should be far less than any DSLR.

The BMCC is scheduled to begin shipping "July 2012". The BMCC lists at $2,995 US and includes full versions of Resolve & UltraScope software. If it performs as promised, the BMCC will be an incredible value.
http://www.blackmagi...mera/techspecs/

I haven't paid close attention to the Digital Bolex because I'm not interested in its announced specs & features, nor impressed by the company history, or the cam's far-off ship date. However, this is just my opinion and preference. What they have announced may be a good match for some users, and that's cool. As a company they are tiny compared to Nikon and Blackmagic Design.

I use a Sony FS100 camera frequently. I was considering purchasing one, but then the BMCC was announced. Although the BMCC design doesn't exactly match my wish-list, its announced features include most of what I'm looking for, and in some cases more than I hoped for, and at a price within my budget.

I've pre-ordered a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Initially I plan to shoot using my old Nikkor F manual prime lenses and the camera's 1080 24p & 30p 10-bit ProRes 422 HQ mode w. Rec.709 or log gamma, and occasionally use its 2.5K 12-bit RAW CinemaDNG & DNxHD modes as clients & projects require them.

If you haven't already seen it, there's good information about the BMCC on John Brawley's blog, and in Adam Wilt's article on PVC:
http://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/
http://provideocoali...new_red_part_2/

The BMCC has been added to AbelCine's FOV Comparator:
http://www.abelcine.com/fov/

Cheers.
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#8 Mei Lewis

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:53 AM

What sort of films do you shoot/want to shoot?
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