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Should a beginner invest in a camera like the new Blackmagic Cinema Camera?


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#1 Alexander Curtis

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:26 PM

Hi all,

A little background; I'm a 'semi-beginner.' I've taken one class on Directing/Filmmaking which included writing and directing a short film, which was my first "real" movie. Other than that I have done some things with friends the past years with my Canon HV40 which works well but I'm looking to upgrade.

I saw a short film made on the Black Magic Cinema Camera and was amazed and how great it looked. I started researching the camera and of course ran across the news of the Pocket Cinema Camera and the new BMCC being released.

So basically my question is this, is it a smart idea to go out and buy a $4,000 camera (plus whatever I'll spend on the lenses and other gear) or would it be more advisable to go for the cheaper Pocket Camera or the older version BMCC which is now selling for $2,000?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 09:32 PM

It would probably be most advisable to save that money to eat while you look for work, or to pay down your student debt. In all honesty, you'd be much better served by picking up something like a cheap DSLR to learn on, or as I always recommend a stills SLR with film to learn how to think about making an image, then to invest about 8K in a camera package like black magic (lenses/tripod/monitors/mattebox/followfocus/SSDs/camera/storage/editing)

You're talking, you could live off of that for a year or so if you're careful while taking paying gigs to network which will get you a lot more work than just owning a camera.


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#3 Alexander Curtis

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:53 PM

Thanks for the response,

My most immediate concern is not getting work (I don't think I'm quite there yet) but learning and making short films independently. I want the purchase to be something I can learn from (I've never worked with prime lenses before, for example) and something that will last (both educational and for my personal projects).
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 11:23 PM

Digital cameras really don't last too long.

But you can certainly learn with any camera. The HV40 is fine to learn on, though you won't learn much about focus fall offs and things, hence why so many go to a vDSLR. Something like a T2i will be dirt cheap now, and you can pick up primes for it. It'll work fine for little projects and save you thousands because by the time you are ready for bigger things there will be a new crop of cameras out as they tend to come out yearly with the newest and best and final best camera of all time....Even with black magic, before they even got the BMCC out they announced the 4K and pocket....


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#5 Alexander Curtis

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:26 AM

Right. I'll check out the T2i. I was looking at the 5D but it's just as expensive as the BMCC and from the footage I've seen them BMCC had it beat by quite a bit. I'm also waiting to hear what people have to say about the Pocket camera once it ships. I'm looking forward to checking out that footage for sure.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:30 AM

I will say I have a pocket on pre-order. However that is primarily because I already own all the PL mount S16mm lenses.

All the BMC cameras will have issues finding wide-lenses for them due to the odd sensor sizes of the Cinema and the 4K and the S16mm sensor size of the pocket (the market for S16mm lenses is depressed right now; but prices will soon probably go up as they ship).

Rokinon makes lenses which look good on paper but i haven't played with them myself. They are cheap enough though to merit buying and will get you down to an 8mm, though that's a fish eye. the 14mm looks promising, but is rather slow, still worthwhile, though. And then once you get up around 16mm or higher, you can use SLR lenses; Sigma makes a nice old 16mm and 24mm, both F2.8 Not super fast, but they're nice well built lenses.


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#7 aapo lettinen

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:41 AM

Rokinon makes lenses which look good on paper but i haven't played with them myself. They are cheap enough though to merit buying and will get you down to an 8mm, though that's a fish eye. the 14mm looks promising, but is rather slow, still worthwhile, though. 

I have the 8mm and 85mm, and according to my experience they are worthwile if you can't get better lenses. the contrast is a bit, how would I say, stuffy  <_<  and the mechanics are not that excellent. They also have a little bit of chromatic aberration (not much, though) ... 


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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:48 AM

I don't mind lower contrast lenses, personally, saves a slot in the filter tray on occasion ;)

 

but the price is rather nice and while I know the marks are off, I'm thankful for the gearing at least.


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#9 Alan Rencher

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:11 AM

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a camera just to learn on, why don't you find someone with some experience and learn from him or her. Most professionals work their way up on sets, and working is the best way to learn.
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#10 Alexander Curtis

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:21 AM

Alan,

I don't disagree with your point, but I want to be able to work on and make my own projects as well.
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#11 Alan Rencher

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:39 PM

Have you looked into renting?


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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:22 PM

I used to take the attitude that renting was the right way to go.

 

The thing is, the lower-end DSLRs are now so cheap that they tend to end up costing little more than a day's rental plus insurance, so even if you're a very occasional user, it seems to me that owning could make sense again.

 

Still, for the higher end stuff, not so much.

 

P


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#13 Alexander Curtis

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 06:12 PM

I haven't looked into renting for the time being because it most likely wouldn't be worth the hassle with the sporadic schedules I'll be using the camera, plus I'd like to have my own that I can use anytime and learn from.
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