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April 8, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

My Non-Existent Dilemma

By Dayton from SLN More Blogs by This Author

I have a dilemma. As you may have gathered from the title, it doesn't really exist yet...so I suppose in reality I wish I had a dilemma. In a world that I had a bunch of money falling out of my pockets (which I don't) I would be looking to increase the awesomeness of my films. I have quickly found out, after purchasing my first DSLR (Canon t4i), that I am looking for something MORE...I have kicked around the idea of the new Canon 6D. It has a full frame sensor and a few crazy options that no one will ever use like gps or something. Then I read a few reviews about the 6d and how it has awful problems with moire when it is on the video setting!

EEK! LOOK AT IT! AHHH!!

So that go crossed off of my list pretty quickly, the next thing that I looked in to was the obvious next step, the Canon 5D mkIII, a camera that is proven to have excellent video quality. Then I stumbled across the Black Magic Cinema Camera and I freaked out a little bit! Black Magic brought to the table a cinema camera that shoots in 2.5k, for the same price as the 5D mkIII, $3000. This price point automatically leads to some internal conflict.

The BMCC has a much smaller sensor than the 5D, but it has a much higher resolution. This has some drawbacks and advantages. The Canon really stands out with it's full frame look. All of the lenses that I slap on that thing are going to have a much wider angle of view than the BMCC, a direct result of the Canon having a larger sensor. Another advantage of the Canon, or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it, is that it has the ability to produce a much shallower feeling depth of field. The BMCC, though creating very smooth and fantastically professional bokeh, doesn't seem to create the same look. This can be good or this can be bad, depending on what you want. The super shallow DOF has become the norm on places like Vimeo...and everyone knows Vimeo is the hipster filmmaker mecca where you are required to shoot with a wide open aperture OR ELSE!


The resolution of the BMCC (2.5k) goes hand in hand with its RAW recording format. This gives you fantastic images! Compared to the 5D in every shooting situation, the BMCC is going to get not only a crisper, but deeper shots (as far as color is concerned.) The BMCC also comes with a color grading software called DaVinci Resolve, so you can have the most control over the look of the end product. Shots that may have been completely unbalanced can be restored to normals with the vast amount of information that the BMCC format holds. If you accidentally shoot an unbalanced shot with the Canon, it is going to be much harder getting the baked-in colors to change. 

So it's a no-brainer right? Why WOULDN'T someone get a BMCC? There is 1 thing that keeps me from jumpin' on the 2.5k revolution...and that is the workflow. 

Black Magic Workflow

In the world of the on-board compressed video, you shoot the video, stick your memory card in the computer, and drop it into the timeline and start editing. Super great and easy right? 

When you are shooting in RAW, there are a few complications. After you shoot, you need to first transfer the data to your computer, hopefully you have a very fast connector like thunderbolt, or else it is going to take FOREVER. Then you need to bring your footage into a program that can translate RAW into actual video. Once you do that, you can color grade the footage into gorgeous video with a higher dynamic range and better color depth than H.264. THEN you can put it into your editor and make the awesome.

The biggest issue with me is how long the transfers would take. I don't have a thunderbolt equipped computer, so getting everything on the computer would be a pain. Even though the footage would be so awesome, I don't know if it is worth the extra money (of upgrading a computer), or the extra time. And seriously, I fill up my 500gb hard drive on a regular basis without a raw workflow, so it stresses me.

Luckily I don't have to deal with this right now! But maybe someday I can have such awesome dilemmas...til next time...

Happy Filming :D! 

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