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ETHICS STATEMENT: BlackMagic supplied me a camera for testing and evaluation purposes. I have not been paid for this and will never be paid by a manufacturer to review a product. This was all done in my own time an for the readers of my blog. If you do decide after watching this to purchase the camera doing so through my affiliates makes these reviews possible (CVP for Europe and B&H for everywhere else links are below!) as I can’t work when making these! There are so many other cameras out there I can’t review simply down to how long it takes and how much it costs in time and manpower to make them. This was easier than most as it’s a simple add on to the original review. The original review was over 8 days of work! Please read more on my ethics statement here. Thanks!

NOW OUT! THE KESSLER POCKET JIB TRAVELLER! $599.95! Limited supply!

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A note for anyone looking to pixel peep you are watching a highly compressed version from around 220mb/s down to my upload of around 14mb/s and the vimeo stream of 5mb/s. This will add compression artefacts especially on any shots with the BMD fine noise like the shots lit by one candle light of the cats. I will try and upload a higher bit rate version of that soon, but not the original. It’s too damn big!

I reviewed the EF version back in September. You can read about it and watch the very in depth review of the camera here.  There were many pros and cons. Which outweighed which depended upon the indiviual needs, hence I just listed them. One of the biggest issues for me by far was the choice of lens mount. I love Canon glass and have a lot of it, but they are designed for way bigger sensors than the small BMD sensor. This resulted in a large 2.3x crop of the image, but worse than that, the only light hitting the BMD sensor was from the centre part of the glass, not the whole thing, meaning the image was compromised straight off because of that.

With with that version also being a fixed mount, you were stuck with the Canon mount. Micro Four Thirds always made more sense to me as the BMD sensor is just a bit smaller than the Gh2/ 3 so they would be a great match. Blackmagic thought so too, so just after I put out my epic review on the first day of IBC last year, they announced an MFT (Micro Four Thirds) version.

Yesterday I received the MFT version from Blackmagic to BETA test. So yes, this is not the final version, so anything I pick up on here could change when it is released. When that is I don’t know. The trickle of EF cameras has been painful. My order, which I put in back in April when it was announced, came into stock mid February! So hopefully production has ramped up a lot and will continue to because personally, I think this is a better camera than the EF version. Why? Watch my review below! After the video there are some additional thoughts from me. 

Glass used for the test shooting was the Voigtlander 25 and 17mmm F0.95 (links below) and the SLR MAGIC  35mm F1.4 and 50mm F0.95.

Review was shot on the MFT BlackMagic with the Voigtlander 25mm Lens. Shots of the cameras were done on the Canon 1DC in S35 mode using the Canon 100mm L macro and the 24-70 F2.8 V2 Canon

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B&H Photo Video Affiliate Link Below

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Review of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera Micro Four Thirds from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.

Mad Cat Lady: Rather cute test footage from the Blackmagic MFT Cinema Camera from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

 

 

Review of Blackmagic Cinema Camera from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.

 

So…I recommend the MFT over the EF BUT is this a blanket recommendation? No. Everyone’s needs and circumstances are different. When I say I recommend it, I mean it is my choice of the two…if you own no MFT glass at all and lots of Canon glass it’s hard to justify going that route. The only reason would be if you wanted to use the MFT with the Metabones Speedbooster giving it effectively an S35 look. The problem is that Blackmagic did not make this MFT mount active. This means no power for the metabones which means no iris control, no is and on some glass no focus. This is a huge issue. I don’t know the decision behind the lack of active mount but it’s a problem. I own lots of MFT glass as I have been a GH user since the GH1 but even here my lovely Olympus F2 zooms and Lumix glass are useless. They need power to control the iris, IS and focus. This means manual MFT glass only like the ones I used above or adding say a Leica mount, PL mount or something else.

The main reason I recommend this version is not a financial reason, that would be harder to justify as most would be forced into buying lots of MFT manual glass and there isn’t that much around and buying glass for just ONE type of mount is always risky* (see below) Certainly no zooms I know of. It’s just the flange distance makes way more sense for that sensor size and the image of the Blackmagic MFT with my Voigtlander glass is just damn gorgeous as it’s using more of less the whole lens.

Image fidelity is paramount and with this camera with the right glass we can get great images which with the EF version was much harder due to being locked into that mount.

So remember before buying decide what works best for you. It may well not be this camera, but for many it won’t. If you are dead set on a Blackmagic camera then PLEASE weigh up the pros and cons of both versions. For me, this makes the camera way better….I just wish it had power on that mount. DAMMIT! Maybe on the release version. Did I say i wished the MFT mount was active?! :)

*Oh yeah…the other massive caveat that you must remember if you are getting tthe MFT version and spending money on glass for it. Please remember this glass will only ever cover a micro four thirds sensor size max, so if you decided to go S35 at some point and if BMD bring our an S35 version this investment in MFT glass won’t be much of an investment. You will have to sell them. I do advise to buy glass that work across all cameras, normally that recommendation is Nikon glass. It works on almost anything. So remember that last caveat. Don’t spend a fortune on glass if you don’t think you will stay in the micro four thirds camp for quite a long time!!

I really hope production will ramp up soon as the trickle of cameras has been painful to watch and I know a lot of frustrated people out there! By the time they get their cameras Blackmagic may well have just announced V2…who knows!

Final note….I wish I could do more reviews…there are so many I haven not covered. These reviews are made with no financial support the so number i can do is severely limited. Please just be happy that I am able to do any :) Please remember when I do these I cannot work on paid gigs. In an ideal world I would find a sponsor to help get these made. I cannot accept money from manfuacturers. I do have a tip jar on the vimeo page which helps…but if you are interested in sponsoring these please get in touch with me…thanks! I would love to do more and if it were more financially viable I would do.

 

CVP LINK BELOW

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Comments

  1. diakoumo says:

    “…but worse than that, the only light hitting the BMD sensor was from the centre part of the glass, not the whole thing, meaning the image was compromised straight off because of that.”

    In what way is the image compromised in a crop sensor?
    I always thought that the center of the lens in general tends to be sharper, therefore crop lenses were relieved from soft borders or similar design flaws. I guess I was wrong, could you please elaborate a little bit more on this.
    Thank you for your excellent reviews.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      it is badly worded by me. i need to tweak that. you are magnifying 2.3x into a lens designed for a sensor which doesn’t do this so you are going to amplify any softness in the lens. The centre of the lens is good…better than the edges but using glass not designed for such a small sensor is never a good idea. Glass optimised like the Lumix and Voigtlanders give better overall performance.

      1. Thanks for the review.

        One thing worth considering is that if you’re using EF-S glass, you’re not magnifying nearly as much. EF-S lenses are designed for a 1.6x crop, so 2.3x is not nearly as much as a jump as it would be for full-frame glass. Agreed that you magnify any flaws in the centre of the lens, but if the centre is good, it’s all good.

        I suspect different people will prefer one model or the other based on the lenses they want to use with it, which makes perfect sense. Personally, I’m much happier with IS on the EF mount, but everyone’s different. The key is to disagree politely. :)

        1. Philip Bloom says:

          Totally agree. Ideally though this would be active mount and speedbooster. would make so much sense!

  2. stifledgenius says:

    You always have the best music.

  3. Aristotle384 says:

    Thanks for another amazing review, Philip! Your cats are just adorable–be sure to feature them again sometime.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      thanks! they actually are in a video already in my dslr films section!

  4. bloomingdale says:

    Hi philip,

    Thank you once again! And “bertie” is awesome ;-p. One question, yesterday i finally decided and pre-orderd a ef version.
    I own the samyang primes, and some m42 vintage lenses. I also don’t have plans to buy micro four thirds lenses. Simply because those voightlanders are out of my budget.

    Bit stupid to ask maybe, but would the mft version give me nicer results using adapters with these lenses i mentioned? Since it covers more of the glass? Or does that only counts for micro four thirds lenses?

    Would love to know, so i could stick with my current order, or moving on to the mft version.

    Thanks!

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      hi there

      any lens made for a specific flange difference, eg M42 which is similar to Nikon will make no difference on MFT as it still needs to sit same distance from sensor

  5. Thanks again for taking the time (especially so close to the holidays) to post a review of this. I guess for folks who have Panasonic/Olympus lenses the GH3 will be the highest end camera body that can go with their glass. Speaking of the GH3, has the beach camera shootout been scraped for the foreseeable future? Considering what a massive undertaking that would entail, I would think that followers would certainly be understanding if it was.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      i would love to resurrect it somehow…i didn’t get all the footage shot due to personal reasons outlined on 1st jan post and as i dont own all the cameras in it became too hard to finish…thought i could fix in edit. couldn’t

    2. kok88 says:

      Since you mentioned GH3, I am still desperately waiting for Philip Bloom’s review on the long awaiting GH3.

      1. Philip Bloom says:

        I just don’t have time sorry!

  6. Intenditore says:

    Oh, that’s such a great camera! I wish to have it, but low-light is a big issue. Thanks for video, you make probably the best reviews!
    I want to ask you for one more… How about 6D? It’s pretty interesting camera (of course, if we forget about lack of a lot of necessary features that every pro-cam has, that Canon does not add and castrated ergonomics), better in some aspects than 5D3. What do you think about it? When will you put your hands on 6D? I’m really interested to now your opinion.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      not a fan am afraid. better codec and low light but awful image issues. moire and aliasing

      1. Intenditore says:

        But it’s sharper, don’t you find it?
        I think moire is not such a huge issue now. I see it every day on tv, because now a lot of channels have FullHD versions. They looks fine, but for regular TV FullHD video stream has to be downsampled to DV and we start to see a lot of moire, even worse than on some 5D2′s shots)
        For me sharpness is much more important than aliasing, when I tried to play with 5D3′s footages I was dissappointed even after sharpening, It’s really not what I want to see shooting on dslr, it looks muddy like cheap camcorder.
        So 6D is (maybe) the only Canon’s DSLR that produces good picture. It has really bad ergonomics, foolish, artificial “entry-level” limitations, but best picture in all lineup. 5D… Dissappointment…
        Anyway, we would like to here your opinion on 6D, it’s really interesting!
        Sorry for mistakes, I’m not native speaker)

  7. I’m curious how many of the fast & wide 16mm/S16/CCTV C-mount lenses that ALMOST didn’t vignette on m43 would become viable with the extra crop of this sensor. More than likely I’ll never find out since this camera is so unsuitable for my work in so many other ways, but it’s an intriguing thought.

    1. MattMoses says:

      Just saw that SLR Magic http://www.slrmagic.com/products.php has a 12mm T1.7 MFT lens in stock. That is fairly nifty!

  8. mattrosendp says:

    How does not using the whole glass negatively affect image quality. I always thought of this as a selling point of micro 4/3, since it samples only the center tends to be the sharpest part of the frame.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      i mention it in the update video and text here to explain clearer. Simply glass is optomised for their projection. Glass which is made for much larger projection yields better results as you are cropping in a fair amount which amplifies the lens flaws and softness. MFT lenses use less glass making it easier to get better quality and just project a bit more than the sensor size. Optomised

  9. Sam Twyman says:

    Thanks for the review Philip! Great as always, so glad I went for the MFT option!
    BTW: If you export via After Effects, your fades will be smoother, don’t know why that is, but had similar issue myself recently!

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      how do i do that sam? open the project in after effects?

      1. DjWilly says:

        Hi,
        First, many thanks for your reviews. You are the man :)
        Ok, back to your question:
        I found it easy to right click on the clip(s) on the time line in premiere and then “replace it with after effects comp” once in after effects I do cc or VFX or even masking then export it from there.
        You can try export from premiere but try exporting Quick time with animation preset. Big files but smother transitions

        R. Abbas

  10. avalentiner says:

    I like to see a list of optimum lenses to use with the MFT mount version

    Voigtlander 25 and 17mmm F0.95
    SLR MAGIC 35mm F1.4 and 50mm F0.95

    any others recommended within a reasonable price under $1500?

  11. MattMoses says:

    SLR Magic http://www.slrmagic.com/products.php quotes a 12mm T1.7 MFT lens in stock at $549 – I wonder what the total price to get one in UK or USA is (VAT/Import TAX?)

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      not a bad lens…this may be a newer one. no idea of tax. 20% plus duty of whatever

  12. Mike says:

    Which lenses for your GH1/ GH2/ AF100/ AF101 etc…?
    http://philipbloom.net/2011/01/26/which-lenses-for-your-gh1-gh2-af100-af101-etc/

    Philip shows the Tokina 11-14mm F2.8 in this Canon 7D video

    Learn 2 Shoot Great Video on your Canon 7d trailer

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR63vXkrcEQ

    Remember if you live in the U.K. you do not need ND filters. LOL

    1. Mike says:

      Some good cheap Micro 4/3 low light manual focus lens.

      Low-light Lens Upgrade (Cheap vs. Expensive) // Best 2012 Moguler Reels : Indy News January 7, 2013

  13. Dustin James Leighton says:

    Philip, you have been such a big inspiration! I can’t begin to thank you enough for your reviews. I lost a good friend of mine a couple years back. It changed my life. I’ve had some wins the last couple years, but lately have been stuck. I came across your blog on google and read every post. I decided to begin sharing my journey by creating my own blog. It started March 20, 2013. And, after reviewing your Camera Conundrum AGAIN AND AGAIN I decided to purchase the BMCC. I’ve begun posting about it. And I include EVERYTHING! (For instance, I thought I’d be able to format the SSD card WITH the BMCC. Didn’t quite work out. LOL! I’m sharing all of it.)

    At any rate, I want you to know that you are respected and appreciated. If there’s ever anything I can do in return for this wonderful resource please don’t hesitate to ask.

    All my BMCC posts are under the tab ‘Independent Filmmaker’ located at yourcirclemysquare.com. It has a long ways to go to reach your level of content and it’s certainly a different approach, but this is week 2. Thanks for the inspiration, Philip! You’ve motivated me to share my journey and become a better filmmaker. And most importantly it’s helped me as a person.

    Side Note: I prefer the EF because I have all L-Series glass. And, I built an editing bay to process the RAW footage. It’s amazing how far technology has come!

  14. Florin says:

    I don`t get it with BlackMagic, they could have had a DSLR killer here if only they could have put a little bit larger sensor and replaceable battery pack, because from my point of view these are the largest drawbacks of this otherwise wonderful camera.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Give them a chance! It’s their first attempt at a camera!!

      1. Florin says:

        Well i understand that this is their firs camera, but i just sit and imagine if the sensor was a bit larger and you could use Sony NP-F type battery packs, i think we would have seen the 2008 5D Mark 2 frenzy reborn.

  15. Huey says:

    Hi All, love the cats Philip! Nicely done and love the music.

    I need advice badly though. I was just about to order the ef then I saw this MFT review. I own a Canon 60d with 2 good primes (50mm 1.4 Sigma and Lovely new €1000 Canon L 100mm) I also have one or two ef standard zooms. I’m not about to get rid of this setup as I need it for work.

    If I get the ef version I can use my existing glass but the primes will be too ‘tele’. I could get a tokina 11-16 but I’d like to be able to film with 50mm lenses etc. If I get the mft I can’t use the lenses I have, or can I?

    So confused now.. advice appreciated!

    Huey

  16. chauffeurdevan says:

    One thing we have to take in consideration about the “active” m43 lenses (both Olympus and Panasonic) is the high level of distortion that is generally correction digitally in cam. First, can BM add distortion correction in-cam (is it powerful enough ?). How this will translate on a lo-resolution cam (+/- 2mpix) like the BMCC – probably a bit blurry on the sides/corners.

    However, the old 43 zuiko would be awesome as they are opticaly corrected.

    Another thing is the focus-by-wire that is probable harder to control/manipulate.

    1. chauffeurdevan says:

      Also, I hope the annonced Schneider lenses will be optically corrected and that they will have mechanical focus instead of focus-by-wire.

  17. Mike says:

    I wonder why there is no power for Micro 4/3 lens, maybe there is some legal things? Like you have to pay for a licenses for the Micro 4/3 technology to power the lens. But with Canon their mount is so old their patent must have ran out.

    I know I’m going to go off topic a bit. The Metabone adapter can power Canon lens with the adapter. So why has no other company made another camera with the Canon mount. I know there is the Black Magic camera and the Red Epic, but thaty might be using a new firmware with code they own so Canon can not sue them.

    Back in the 90′s there was a company that made a Playstation 1 emulator called Bleem and Sony sued them and lost. The Bleem emulator was able to run PS1 games, but the Bleem emulator did not use any Sony code not even the bios.

    So that’s what I’m thinking these guys have to pay a licenses to the Micro 4/3 people but they do not want to spend that money and there are people trying to rewrite programing code for adapters and Black Magic camera that do not step on Micro 4/3 patents.

  18. GabeSpangler says:

    Some day this company will get it right and put a S35 sensor in this camera.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Dude that’s astonishingly harsh “one day”….that implies they have been making cameras for ages…this is their first only announced less than a year ago! Give them a chance! Great first attempt!

      1. deanoism says:

        Eggzakly. I think it’s really important to remember how ballsy it was of someone at BM Designs to say, hey, we’ve decided to make a camera that will be just what the indie community wants, with the best image quality south of a RED and cost $3000. Can you imagine tooling up to produce cameras, when you never did anything like that before? It boggles. While there are obvious shortcomings and reported issues, you have to admire these guys. By the way, I think we should all standardize our camera tests on cats. I think I have about 1TB of my 2 Siamese…

      2. GabeSpangler says:

        Oh, come on. You want this thing to have an S35, as well.

  19. symonty says:

    Ordered my BMCC the second I saw it at NAB 2012, WAITED A YEAR.. but decided to give up for now…

    To many changes , shipment issues and possible updates even before I got my BMCC. Initially they changed from EF ONLY and added passive MFT ( GREAT ! ) , and before I even have mine ( more than a year after I ordered it ) they may added electronic MFT mount…?

    I originally ordered the EF mount to replace my HVX but without any EF lenses ( only NIKON ) I was starting to add up the cost of lenses. They announced the MFT mount and immediately changed my order.

    Meanwhile I sold my HVX , phew… and started to collect MFT lenses and a second MFT body while I waited for my BMCC to arrive.

    Grabbed a Panasonic GH3, H-HS12035, H-HS35100, H-H020 and a H-FS100300 for all about the same price as the HVX kit sold for. Then I had a load of old minolta lenses, and grabbed the 17mm and 25mm Voigtländer F0.9… and waited.

    I am very happy with the GH3 for my corporate video work, but was looking forward to producing a better look, but in the end I gave up, for now.

    I am very happy with the MFT specifications, size and performance, happy to move to an “open” mount and one designed for modern CHIP ( not film ) cameras.

    Hoping BMCC will get there act together soon and be able to deliver the product , and maybe an electronic MFT mount! THEN I WILL IMMEDIATELY WAIT A YEAR AGAIN, hopefully less time this go round.

  20. egestroem says:

    Hi Mr. Bloom

    Would’nt it make (better) sense to buy a speed booster with M mount, and buy a nice range of leica,zeiss and voigtlander glass rather than MFT decided glass? I mean. With the M mount + speed booster you can almost react the low f stops that the Voigtlander Nocton MFT series provide. But with the M mount solution you also have lenses that with work with many more systems for both video og stills. The Nocton or other MFT only mounts, your sort of “stuck”. Say BM comes out with a “Mark ii/or new” body with a bigger sensor. What will you be using your MTF lenses for now? What are your thoughts on this topic :-)

  21. robert_b says:

    Hi Philip,

    Thank you for taking the time to do these great reviews! I have a question – how do you prevent dust from getting to the sensor (seeing that you filmed the sensor)? do you clean the sensor? Sorry if it’s a silly question, I’m a beginner.

    Cheers, Robert

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      That’s hard… Gentle blowing!

  22. Paul Abrahams says:

    I’m loving my EF mount especially nice with EF-S lenses, Canon 17-55mm and 10-22mm.

  23. silverface says:

    just a question from a newbie….if I used Panasonic’s 3d lens on the bm mtf would I be able to find a programme to convert the format bm gives out to get my 3d image thanks

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      nah…piece of crap. sorry!

  24. Coleman says:

    This was on the must-have list until the Pocket announcement. Now it seems like an indulgence.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      let us see…its not out yet and really do you need a camera that small for cinema? Anyway its a smaller sensor…it may be brilliant but I am holding off until i can use it!

      1. Coleman says:

        Yep, just realised that I’m trying to avoid redundancy on cameras that aren’t even available yet. That’s the reality of the market. I’m sure the BlackMagic Thumb Cinema Cam will make the Pocket Cam look like a bad buy within a year.

  25. Steele Rutherford says:

    I have a question that I believe only you can answer. Right now I own 2 GH3′s and a Hacked GH2. I also own a 12mm SLR Magic 1.6, Panasonic 20mm 1.7, Nikon 35mm 1.8, Canon 50mm 1.4, and a Rokinon 85mm 1.4. ( I only use primes). Today I just ordered a Sigma 20mm 1.8 EF, Zeiss 25mm F/2 ZE, Zeiss 35mm F2 ZE, and a Zeiss 50mm 1.4 ZE. I also bought adapters for all the lenses to use on the GHs. I ordered these lenses today because we plan on buying two BM4K cameras when they come out. In your opinion, was this a smart investment?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      sorry but what do you mean? the blackmagic camera or the glass? if its the camera not a clue never used it or seen it.

      Zeiss ZF glass is always a good investment for video

      best of luck

      p

      1. Steele Rutherford says:

        Based on your knowledge of cameras…Do you feel the Zeiss lenses will be a good fit for the Black Magic 4k S35 sensor?

        1. Steele Rutherford says:

          Why do I feel like I’ m doing something wrong?

          vimeo 70082200

          Hacked GH2 – Zeiss 50mm 1.4 – Cinemorph filer – Handheld. Edited in Sony Vegas.

          Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all you do to help inspire us.

  26. DjWilly says:

    Philip, you are great, man.. Thanks a lot for the review.
    I am moving into the world of cameras now and really don’t know a lot about technical issues. Could you please explain little bit more about the power issue with mft mount? Is it that the lenses need power to operate?
    Tried to watch the video couple of times but I am too newbie to understand :)

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      well the lumix lenses from panasonic need power for them to work…thats the problem!

  27. chrixtudio says:

    Hi Mr. Bloom.
    You recommend MFT or EF cinema camera?
    Thanks.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      That depends on you! Same camera…different glass!