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Which is better, gh4 or bmpcc + gh2?


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#1 Maldorior

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 02:39 AM

I am looking for an excellent cinema camera to work on a music video soon and eventually cinema in 16mm or 32 film. I would also like to take good quality stills. I could buy a bmpcc and gh2 if the bmpcc is really that more cinematic, but it will cost more. Would a 15mm rokinon be suitable for both photo and video? Cheers.
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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 03:18 AM

Well the Panasonic GH2 is really a still camera that shoots video. It records low-quality 8 bit 4:2:0 MPEG files, like it's later generation GH4 and DSLR's. By contrast, the Blackmagic Pocket camera shoots 10 bit 4:2:2 or 12 bit RAW. This gives you the full dynamic range of the imager for post production cleanup.

If you want a still camera, buy a still camera.
If you want a cinema camera, buy a cinema camera.

Mixing the two can give you mixed results as MOST of the double purpose cameras are better at stills then moving image, mostly lacking a decent recording format.

Now, I have two pocket cameras and for the little shows I produce, they works adequately. Nothing I shoot with it is going to the theaters, but for short subject narrative, doc, music videos, commercials, for web or broadcast, it works great. I use a Canon EF lens adaptor which allows me to run the Rokinon cine primes. I also have an older Canon Rebel still camera, but I use Canon glass with it. The reason is quite simple, most of the still glass has auto focus, stabilization and zoom, which are very nice to have for stills. With cinematography, you're generally taking your time to setup a shot, but with stills, you may wish to capture something that's moving. Having those three things will help greatly for still photography. So picking up a camera and glass specifically for stills, is probably a wise idea. Interchangeability is nice for those few times you're doing still life and can take your time setting up a shot, then you can use the Rokinon primes on your still camera.

If you wish to learn more about the power of the Pocket camera, you can check out my video all about it below. Unfortunately, it's starting to get long in the tooth and Blackmagic will probably release something new for that form factor at NAB in 2016.


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#3 aapo lettinen

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 07:06 AM

GH4 makes lot less jello effect than bmpcc or gh2 which is very important in music videos.

 

I would buy a Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera (global shutter at lower frame rates, possibility to shoot 50 and 60fps compared to only 30fps and rolling shutter of the bmpcc) and cheap onboard monitor to operate it, and then whatever still camera would be needed, for example gh2. LP-E6 batteries can be used by most onboard monitors also so you'll need only one type of batteries for the whole system. You also have more usable hdmi connector which does not break after 2min shooting :P

 

from my experience the Blackmagics are not the most reliable cameras on market so it's good to have a backup camera just in case something goes wrong with the blackmagic. 

For example our company's Production Camera 4K 's  touchscreen stopped working just like that without any reason 4 hours before shoot and the camera can't be adjusted at all without the darn screen. stupid design choice to not leave a backup button interface option, I had to shoot at wrong framerate, shutter angle, recording format and gamma mode. firmware update/downgrade did not help at all  :angry:


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#4 aapo lettinen

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 07:16 AM

you will have compression artefacts with the GH4 for sure. it's shot dependent if it's critical or not but for web use it's not usually bad if you don't gain over 400 ISO. with blackmagics you can manage with less light/can use higher framerate because the camera is a tad more sensitive. GH4 is not that good if recording HD directly in camera, for more pleasing grain+compression+almost inexistent moire it is mandatory to shoot UHD or 4K with it and transcode afterwards to HD if that's your editing and output format. IF you can get the accessory breakout 'handle' for it very cheaply you could shoot uncompressed 4k with it which would be nice although it's not very sensitive camera as said.  I myself try to avoid anything other than 200 ISO with the GH4 and change to other cameras if I have to shoot even 400 or 800 ISO


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#5 aapo lettinen

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 07:33 AM

one thing with Blackmagic seems to be btw that they don't release anything camera related on scheduled/promised time, they always have "problems" with slamming the finished products to a package they could actually sell.... so they are creating hype even *years* before anything is actually released and can be bought for actual use. 

That said, I would not wait for their NAB2016 releases, it may take 1,5 - 2 years before you see any of those products even if they promise those would be available in couple of months  :wacko:   

 

(not like RED though which marketed lots of products they were never intending to manufacture  <_<   remember their super badass large format, ultra high resolution video/stills camera which was supposed to have a sensor 10 - 20cm wide if I remember correctly? one of the products they never made, they just tested the hype with throwing out some drafts and quickly speculated specs and tested if they could find enough potential customers to actually design and manufacture anything remotely resembling that draft  :blink:  )


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#6 John E Clark

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 12:43 PM

I have the GH-1, and rather that continue in the Lumx line, I bought the BMPCC. Ok, there was the 1/2 price sale, but I was considering it anyway... 1/2 price made the decision for 'right now'...

 

I like shooting in RAW mode, and the dynamic range that allows. I always have said that at the point where HD/1920x1080 was 'ok', then the DSLR manufacturers should take a pause on the spatial resolution and work on real dynamic range... they basically didn't and seem to be catering to a crowd that wants spatial resolution over DR... ok... BMPCC 'solved' that problem for my price range... which is nothing and less that nothing...

 

With the Nikon mount for my manual lenses, and a c-mount adapter for old 16mm lenses, as well as my original 14-140mm Lumix lens, I have what need... well... except for a group that wants to make films... well... my films... in my area... it's like herding cats... but I digress...

 

I don't recall the details of the GH-2, but if it is under $2-300(or even less now that it is 2 gens back...) for good condition, I'd go for it...

 

As a note, I also did not do the 'hacks' for the GH-1, but used the standard firmware from Panasonic... I know people who have used the hacks, but I never liked having to go that route to 'get better'. Even the Canon Magic Lantern... why can't the manufacturer supply a 'performance' option to customers who want to use their cameras beyond the 'point and shoot' level...

 

Anyway... the Blackmagic cameras do have RAW capability as well as reasonable Pro Res recording...


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#7 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 12:44 PM

from my experience the Blackmagics are not the most reliable cameras on market so it's good to have a backup camera just in case something goes wrong with the blackmagic. 


The production cameras are no good. They over heat and blow up the internal battery. The 4k imager is real garbage and they are not friendly to work with. Honestly they were just a toy and people really assumed they were something else. The only real cameras blackmagic make are the pocket and Ursa/Ursa mini. I wouldn't bother with the new micro camera either, too many accessories to make work as a production camera. Plus you can get pocket cameras used for peanuts on eBay.
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#8 Maldorior

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 04:35 PM

From what I've gathered the best camera for specifically cinema because of its large dynamic range, raw, proper color grading, and film-like qualities is the Black Magic Pocket Camera. I guess I will go for the GH2 which is around 400 canadian as a proper still camera.

Now my only question is, what would be the best lens for my needs? Most of what I shoot is outdoors with wide angle landscapes, and in the music video a band playing surrounded by a landscape. I've heard a lot of great things about  the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 wide angle. Do I really need a rokinon for the best quality, and would I be getting excellent quality for stills with a rokinon cinema lens that I could switch between both bodies?

Thanks to everyone for replying.


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#9 John E Clark

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 06:13 PM

For the GH series, 14mm that you mentioned earlier is a bit short. For the GH-1 'normal' is about 25mm, and for the Pocket about 17mm.

 

What is 'normal'... a lens that yields about a 40 deg Angle of View, along it's longest dimension...

 

I use the Lumix 14-140mm zoom, and it seems reasonable but doesn't have the 'speed'... f/3.5-4... the faster lenses that I have are fixed, 25mm c-mount and f/1.9 and a 28mm f/2.0 Nikon. The Nikon is pretty sharp, so I use it more... but not in conditions where damage could occur... so I use the c-mount in those situations...

 

One can easily get in to spending money... very easily... of course only if one has it...


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#10 aapo lettinen

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Posted 25 November 2015 - 07:01 AM

my point was that it's usually a bad idea to shoot music videos with rolling shutter camera, especially if the camera makes lots of jello compared to alternatives. 

You can't undo jello effect completely in post if you are shooting anything other than flat immobile surfaces (if the picture has depth or moving elements the jello effect is different in different parts of the image. the classic example is are the drumsticks which look like made of rubber if shot with rolling shutter camera. of course it is also impossible to use strobes or anything other flashing fixtures because of the artefacts.) 

 

you will probably need onboard monitor anyway when shooting projects, especially music videos where low/high angles/dolly shots are common, so there is no anything extra needed with the Micro Camera compared to Pocket. the difference is the possibility to shoot slo-mo shots, strobes, high/low angles, etc and no rolling shutter at normal speeds.

 

Of course we don't know when the Micro comes out, I believe it's still couple of months away  :rolleyes:


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#11 Othello Jay Ubalde

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 11:27 AM

I tested a number of cameras including the BMPCC before we shot our feature, The Interior, in a forest at Salt Spring Island in BC last year. We decided on the GH4 as it has excellent low light capabilities. That said, you need to tweak the settings to shoot relatively clean blacks. Out of the box, it's the shadows are pretty noisy. Also, using a Metabones speedbooster helped. I shot in mostly natural light and a single light source for night exteriors and was quite happy with the images and the reliability of the cam in some challenging conditions. You just have to understand and work within the limitations of the cam.

 

When you say cinematic, I'm not exactly sure what your definition is of that. Do you mean an image that doesn't look video-ish? About lens selection, each one has a certain characteristics. Pick one that would supports the look your trying to go for and that's within your budget.

 

Here's the trailer. Keep in mind that we used the GH4 for only the forest scenes.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=vRB-iKHc1so


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#12 Don Norberto

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 11:46 AM

best wide prime for bmpcc is the Kern 10 mm c mount...but hard to handle focus. The colour and texture of the images are better right off the pocket than 99.9% of all so called cinematic clips with the sigma and speedbooster gadgets. I've tested hundreds of lenses with the pocket. If you go for vintage and cinematic the Kern should make you happy.
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#13 Shawn Sagady

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 12:00 AM

The production cameras are no good. They over heat and blow up the internal battery. The 4k imager is real garbage and they are not friendly to work with. Honestly they were just a toy and people really assumed they were something else. The only real cameras blackmagic make are the pocket and Ursa/Ursa mini. I wouldn't bother with the new micro camera either, too many accessories to make work as a production camera. Plus you can get pocket cameras used for peanuts on eBay.

 

As for the Micro's if you already exist or are looking at a BMPCC ecology there is very little change to cope with.  You need an external monitor (which you should probably have anyways due to the very small size of the BMPCC monitor) and you would need a different cage.  Its an identical price point to the bmpcc and you get MUCH better form factor for locations of items buttons and connections. Solid on board battery using standard LP-7s.  60FPS and Global Shutter at 30FPS and down, all that and the great imaging and color rendition of the bmpcc.  Its an obvious upgrade in my opinion and fantastic camera at that price point.


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