Video review of the BlackMagic Cinema Camera!!

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 and it took A LOT of time 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 as I can’t work when making these! Please read more on my ethics statement here. If you want to make a small donation to help me make these I would be very grateful! Please use the flattr button at the bottom of the blog. I appreciate it!

Edit. I have just checked out the just announced micro four thirds version at IBC. Looks great but it’s passive so no iris control through the camera or IS. You need a manual lens like the Voigtlanders.

The good news is with a M43 mount you can put on any lens with easily available adaptors for PL, M, Nikon, Canon. C mount (make sure they cover sensor). It’s a much more flexible camera lens wise and makes more sense than the EF version here to be honest!

I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Amsterdam for IBC finishing the edit of the BlackMagic Cinema Camera. It has been a mammoth task, making sure I cover as much as I can, pros and cons…I haven’t reviewed Resolve as I am still so new to it but it seems incredible considering it comes free, although the lite version does most of what you need and that is free for all on the Blackmagic site to download…

Without a doubt I have missed a few things, nature of the beast, also much of what I cover will change with firmware updates…also remember this is just my opinion and take it as such!

The review is a whopping 45 minutes long. Sorry it’s so long but so much to cover and to be honest if you are thinking of spending $3k on a camera 45 minutes is not much of an investment…but PLEASE do not purchase on my review alone. Check out Vincent LaForet’s one here and many others.

Remember that this is just a camera. No need for fan boy rants or disrespectfulness in comments. If I see them in the moderation queue I will delete them. This camera is just another tool for us to use. Is the best tool for you? Only you can decided, obviously it’s not the best camera in the world…how can it be for such a low price…but it is incredibly impressive. I for one will continue to use my C300 for the bulk of my work as the workflow is way faster, the image super sharp and the dynamic range just a stop less than this camera. It isn’t raw though or prores HQ…but as most of my work is documentary work the C300 is by far the best choice for me…yes for me…It is an expensive camera and way out of the budget of many. This camera brings huge quality to the lower end of the market, something which can only be a good thing. The big boys will see this, see the incredible features on offer and will HAVE to respond…

Review footage and Dungeness footage graded in Magic Bullet Colorista II and Looks available below with 20% using code bloom 20. Finland footage graded in Resolve

Music is once again from the brilliant Music Bed


Dungeness shot on the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

I am not paid to make these so if you want to make a small donation to help me make these I would be very grateful! It helps me keep doing these! Please click the icon below!

B&H Photo Video Link Below


Zacuto Rigs for the Blackmagic Camera from Steve Weiss on Vimeo.

So now you have watched the review here are a few summary points…


Price…it’s a bargain!

Comes with Resolve and UltraScopes

Image is very filmic

13 stop dynamic range

Raw and ProRes both terrific

Feels solid

Micro four thirds mount makes more sense

Image responds super well to sharpening in post if desired. Image itself is nice and filmic but I added +17 in premiere to footage in review to bring out the detail

The Bad

Canon lens mount not ideal for this size sensor

Micro four thirds mount is passive  so no iris control

Bad rolling shutter issues, not as bad as DSRLS but worse than FS100/ C300

Terrible ergonomics

Needs a rig

Screen too reflective (fixable with same stuff you use on iPad)

Cinema DNG eats up a lot of SSD space

Needs Cinemform RAW. Uncompressed raw Cinema DNG is overkill and not needed. Please license!

No XLRs, 1/4 inch jacks

No Phantom Power

No meters on screen (firmware fixable?)

No exposure aids other than zebras (firmware fixable?)

Low light good but not great

No IS support currently (firmware fixable?)

No F-Stop display on screen (firmware fixable?)


Pink highlights in ProRes currently. (firmware fixable?)


24mm Samyang Cine F1.4

35mm Zeiss ZF F1.4

Canon 70-200mm F4

Sigma 8-16mm F4.5

Tokina 11-16 F2.8 (just in Finland)

Heliopan Variable ND filter

Miller DS20

Miller Compass 20

Kessler Bloom Black Signature Pocket Dolly


24-105 Canon F4 IS

17-55 Canon F2.8

Sanken COS11

Sony UWP wireless

Miller Compass 20


So, although the cons list is longer, most of these are niggles whereas the pro list is shorter but massive plusses there. I hope you have watched the review, it covers all this so much better and in way more detail!

Night filming in Helsinki. Miller Compass 20. 70-200mm F4 (wish I had 2.8 on me!)



Handheld with Samyang 24mm F1.4. Heliopan Variable ND filter, Zacuto Targer Shooter


With the lovely Sarah Estela who shot all the C300 footage for the review.




Getting skin tones…very very white skin tones!!





The camera got a lot of looks from people as it’s so unique looking





Filming in Dungeness in Kent




Getting a wide with the Sigma 8-16mm





The brand new Black Bloom Signature Edition Kessler Pocket Dolly Mini




  1. Philip two questions: Did you do some tests with DNxHD? About the sensor size: Will it give some nice DOF when you shoot a portrait? There is some very nice shallow DOF in this sample film but most of them is short focus range footage. Hungry for more footage.

  2. Hi Philip,
    it’s really great that you are doing this review of the BMCC. I guess you know that there are many people out there who are eagerly waiting for this.
    I have been quietly following your blog for about one year, but now it’s the time for me to say thank you! I have learned so much. Your positive attitude, your work and the advice you give is truly inspiring and quite often it’s entertaining too 🙂
    By the way the quality of the images from the BMCC is awesome. If that was “just” ProRes, I wonder what one can do with raw. Looking forward to your review.
    Kind regards

    1. ProRes 422 HQ, although not nearly as awesome as CinemaDNG, is an amazing codec. In fact, ProRes 422 HQ is the main reason I placed a pre-order for a BMCC immediately after it was announced in mid-April.

      ProRes 422 HQ is an industrial-strength codec, used in post-production throughout the world. Together with AVID DNxHD it’s one of the two most popular professional codecs in use. Until now, ProRes 422 HQ as an acquisition format was relatively costly, typically requiring an Alexa or use of an outboard recorder. Yet ProRes 422 HQ doesn’t require new or expensive Mac/Win hardware or software to edit.

      Do I wish the BMCC had a few more features or bit more improved performance? Sure. But based on BMD’s well-deserved reputation for designing relatively low-cost, state of the art, high-quality video devices, I figured they could do a first class job designing a very good, basic “cinema camera” for <$3K US. It appears I was correct, but it's all down to BMD. Cheers.

  3. Awesome video regardless of the camera. Great shots. Completely forgot about the small sensor size after watching this. This goes to prove yet once more that tools are just tools, except this one is pretty cheap and delivers 2.5k raw files. Looking forward to watching your review!

  4. I always love your choice in music. It’s one of the reasons I always enjoy your reviews. Using neptune in this, lifts it to a completely different level. It takes relatively ordinary things (shot superb), and makes the viewer feel like there is some bigger meaning to it. Can’t wait for the review!

    1. Oddly enough, Jonathan, I had to turn the audio down/off in sections because of the music. Too busy and distracting for me while Phil was speaking. (But I did discover you can read Phil’s lips perfectly!)

      Anyway, thanks, PB, for your continued efforts in educating the community. Great stuff as usual.

  5. Hi Philip,

    What I am really interrested in is the rolling shutter. How much does the image skew?

    The sharpness of the image is just mindblowing. Thanks for sharing footage with some sort of talent behind the camera. Most videos so far has been quite badly framed, color corrected or lots of compression for the web.

    /Thomas Läräng, Uppsala, Sweden

    1. i hope this review tests/compares the rolling shutter and not just mention it or even ignore it like all the other reviews i have seen so far.

      i dont understand how most users and reviewers ignore rolling shutter and how manufacturers get away with it.
      its an important aspect of the sensor and it can easily be regarded as a major flaw for various situations and shooting styles.

    2. Philip mentions above that in his opinion the BMCC rolling shutter is better than DSLRs but not as good as CMOS sensor cameras which cost >2 times as much. In my book, that sounds quite good and is about as expected.

      Technology isn’t free, and CMOS rolling shutter performance is generally relative to price. What to do? Most important: Stabilize CMOS cameras as much as possible. It also helps to use shorter focal length lenses when possible. Additional tips for working with CMOS cameras in this video by Panasonic:

      1. One thing to consider is Post. It you have a shot that has rolling shutter issues you can use Foundry’s Rolling shutter plugin in After Effects to fix the shot, however in a DSLR type camera with a 1080 maximum image you have to resort to cropping and scaling the image up (so your footage gets soft) or down convert the project to 720 (I don’t have to explain why this is bad). With the Black Magic recording at 2.5K you have more headroom for cropping the image without losing resolution. The same applies to image stabilization!

        In my opinion the 2.5K resolution is one of the more understated features that open a lot of possibilities for post currently unavailable to the indie film maker. This is what it means to me: Better camera tracking, better options for adding matte paintings, better roto/painting (yep, easier to paint out that cup that one of the pa’s left in the background), better greenscreen keys, easier to fix things like rolling shutter and shaky camera. Not to mention the color latitude that you get when taking the time to color correct your footage right not just doing a 1 light type color correction. With Resolve included you have a very powerful tool to make the most out of your footage.

        My .02

  6. Well that’s just gobsmacking – WOW! That’s just a whole other level of ‘cinematic.’ That makes HDSLRs look like photography cameras. I can’t stop smiling. The skies are 3 dimensional and freakishly realistic. It makes HDR look like a mardi gras dancer. That’s the best movie I’ve seen in years!!

  7. Hi philip

    I’m big fan of your work. Just want to know on top picture with BMC you used ZE lens there is filter front on ZE lens please let me know the name of that.

    I m waiting your full review about BMC.

  8. Also, how do you handle storage of your clips? Do you have a raid? Or do you just buy a ton of external drives? I’m having trouble with this. I assume that the BMC will take a lot of space. 😀

    1. Although it’s true the BMCC’s uncompressed 12-bit 2.5K RAW CinemaDNG footage requires 5 megaBYTES per frame for recording & storage, note that this video by Philip was shot using the BMCC’s fantastic compressed 10-bit 1080p ProRes 422 HQ recording format which requires 1/5th as much media & storage space (@220 megaBITS per second) compared to CinemaDNG.

      ProRes 422 HQ is workable even on somewhat older Mac & Windows computers and slower hard drives and older editing software. New fast computers, drives & software are good, too, because they make your work go faster in general, but not strictly required.

      nd as you can see, the BMCC’s ProRes 422 HQ recordings can look really great. ProRes 422 HQ can record higher quality video than about 99% of all other video cameras; not an exageration. Gets down to the skill of the shooter and the cameras’ other features and how they’re used. Cheers.

      1. That didn’t answer my question at all. I need a place to store my 5d footage as I have filled my 1 TB hard drive. Thanks for the response though. Informative.

          1. Where do you store your out-of-camera clips after you have edited a piece and it is exported. External HDs, RAID, Thumbdrives, Dropbox *sarcasm*? I have been using External HDs and it is a pain in the ass. Especially when they go corrupt. Any suggestions?

        1. 3TB 7200rpm SATA-3 bare hard drives now sell for less than $140 US. Next month the price will probably be less, and so forth.

          5400rpm HDDs cost even less and are fast enough for ProRes 422 HQ.

          True, HDDs aren’t free, but generally speaking the cost of storage for BMCC ProRes 422 HQ isn’t typically a barrier, unless one literally has no funds. That’s cool.

          As Philip discusses in his review, BMCC CinemaDNG footage requires 5 times as much storage, and it must be configured as a fast RAID. Cost effective for some, but much more expensive than working with ProRes 422 HQ.

          Just an FYI. Cheers.

        2. What you’re looking for is a more secure storage solution I guess. A RAID would do, but if you shoot on commercial projects a RAID alone won’t be good enough. RAIDs can (and will) fail, or your system can simply get stolen, or perhaps a fire will ruin it.

          I keep my files save locally on a RAID, and I have a external copy of this RAID – which is updated weekly and stored offsite. Archived projects are moved to external drives, one copy kept ‘here’ and a mirror of that drive offsite.

          I believe mr. Bloom’s storage workflow is somewhat similar. Hope this helped.

          1. Thanks everyone. I dont have a lot of money to spend as I spent it all on my camera. I will look into maybe getting a drobo or something like it. I like the idea of the 3 TB drives. I don’t want to spend more than $800-$1200. Its always hard to justify buying expensive storage when I could just as easily put that money towards more gear. I have just been shooting so much that I am filling all of my space.

              1. For the feature film I mentionned on which I’ll be media manager (or workflow manager don’t know how to call it !)
                I’ll need 60 TB of storage or 20 TBx3 (they don’t sell 16 TB fibre channel servers) to store all the Cinema DNG files plus to have some spare for the Proxies. That does not take in account sound files and others stuff needed for post production. And all that is an approximation based on the total time the director is planning to shoot and doesn’t take in account fi we have multiple angles at one time…
                So yeah, LOT of storage !

                1. Have a look at LTO tape storage solutions for archiving.

                  “A single $50 LTO4 tape can store 800GB of uncompressed video-that’s 26 whopping hours of 720/24p video from a Panasonic P2 camera, 38 hours of 1080/24p footage from a Sony EX3, or nearly 8 hours of 4K footage from a RED camera.
                  An LTO4 tape lasts about 30 years in normal storage conditions (ie, don’t leave it in your trunk indefinitely).
                  Some LTO4 drives can read/write data up to 120MBps-ie, much faster than reading/writing to a conventional SATA hard drive – so incremental backups go in a hurry.”

                  1. Interesting concept. I like it. Only problem is that readers are $1000+. This is definitely an option though. Thank you. This is a no brainer if you get a BMC. Its actually 3tb for $80. I don’t need it on demand so this looks like it may work. Would be cool to find a thunderbolt one. Are they rewritable?

  9. Wow…..ok. So what you have there is a pre release version?
    (I think you might already have but just incase) _Please do also include the recommended lenses for this camera as part of your review…..hope to see it soon sir.

  10. Getting very excited about this camera, Even more than all the new canon models coming out. Great workflow, dynamic range, price point, thunderbolt, ssd. Coming from the new school of dslr film making this seems like the next step up. Only gripe is the form factor and the built in battery (very apple) which I think could be a bit better, but overall it looks like another game changer.

    1. Most professional video cameras use external batteries & power systems. The BMCC’s wonderful, built-in 90-min. uninterruptible power supply works like a modern laptop or smartphone.

      With the BMCC’s built-in battery you can use it, charge it, or use most any external 12-30 VDC power source without giving it too much thought. It’s a huge convenience feature. (Although I agree with Philip that the “batt time remaining” display should be improved!)

      Another example of a BMCC kick *ss feature reinterpreted as a “limitation”. Just for fun see:


  11. Hi Philip,

    The footage looks great!

    We’re gearing up to shot a low budget feature film. As far as A cameras go, would you pick the BMC over a Canon 5D III? I know you’re still testing it out. But would just like to get your thoughts.

    We already own a couple of Canon DSLRs.


  12. First let me say Philip that you´re a competent and humorous person. It´s always great fun watching your reports. The BMC produces a kind of muddy picture. If this should be film-look, O.K.. I´m anxious to what you are thinking about this camera, compared to e.g. a Sony F3.

    1. This Vimeo download is very compressed (8-bit 1080p 4:2:0 h.264 @ <10 megabits/sec, probably ~5 mbs), so it will display far far less resolution and quite a lot of motion artifacts & noise compared to the camera-original ProRes 422 HQ footage (10-bit 1080p 4:2:2).

      Also, be sure you're viewing the Vimeo version of the file using Vimeo's "HD" button, otherwise it is downgraded further.

      1. RockRanitzky it is my understanding that the film color setting on the camera uses a log gamma curve to record the image and while the image looks like crap on the screen it provides more color latitude than the Video setting (Rec 709) when properly color corrected in post.

    1. I agree that a free-angle rotating LCD is a great thing to have on a video camera. It’s one of my favorite features on my GH1 & GH2 and other cameras I use.

      However, chances are very good that if the BMCC 5″ touchscreen display could be rotated it would probably increase the camera’s cost a not-inconsiderable amount. I’m not saying this makes it a bad idea, or an over-riding reason not to do it, but BMD has said that keeping the camera’s cost down without it being a “cheap” plastic cam — and while making it easy to record very high-quality video — were their primary goals with the camera.

      In fact, I think just about _every_ aspect of the BMCC’s physical design, shape, materials & GUI has to do with cost, simplicity and video quality. Based on the state of the art technology BMD had available to them 2 years ago when they began designing the camera, the result was almost guaranteed to “look” more or less like the BMCC we see today.

      I think the BMCC is very nice in that regard. It’s very much a form follows function device, with an emphasis on quality, simplicity, and relatively low cost.

  13. It is funny that you mention the Log-C of the Alexa as to my eyes, this camera is quite an Alexa Junior/Mini/Nano/Hobbit !
    (I can seriously see productions using the BMC for tight spaces and some action stuff where their Alexa can’t fit because of its bigger size… And as I said on Twitter, I might be Media Manager on a full length feature film that will be shot entirely on BMC ! [it depends of the shooting dates and if the local Apple Store hires me ’cause I need to make some money and make my editor/colorist job a part time job for a while])

  14. I am not sure why, but I am not enjoying the image out of this camera. It looks very gritty to me. Maybe thats just the subject matter of the video. Do I see some aliasing in the image as well? There appears to be some on the wood of the boat, and on some of the telephone lines. Can’t tell if its an image issue or if thats just how the objects actually look. Looking forward to the review

  15. Hi! I’ve been a long time follower of your blog, and it’s nice to see you’ve been to Helsinki (my hometown)! May I ask, what were you doing there and hod did you like it?

  16. Hey Phillip, this looks amazing, even in the Vimeo HD mode, it looks breathtaking. Colour and sharpness are splendid, very film-like. The music and montage are stunning too. I did see differences in the sharpness between shots, I’m guessing it might have to do with the lenses. Which lenses did you find to be more useful and which gave the best results on the shots?

  17. absolutely great demonstration about this camera.. no much to tell the image quality and 2.5k raw look dynamic range all this is a really really good pros but still are many of cons as you said my opinion I will be waiting for the new version … thanks Phil

  18. Dear Philip,

    Really thank for the review. I would interested what you think would be possible to use any super16 mm lens on it? Physically would that be possible to mount with an adapter, and what you think how would that perform? We should make it clear its a 16mm camera (sadly with a Canon EF mount), and i didn’t read or hear from any review yet the idea using original 16mm lenses like this one:

    Thanks for your answer and best wishes!

  19. Cracking review, been waiting for this like everyone else. Really surprised about some of the limitations, but no doubt updates or v2 may just be too good to miss. What’s the outro music by the way?! Lovely..

  20. Everything you’ve said is exactly what I was thinking.

    I really, really hope they put a S35 sensor in their next camera. If they also make the screen more usable and remove the dependency on 3rd party accessories it would literally make Canon, Sony and Panasonic sh*t themselves and force them to seriously step up their game.

    1. I’m certain the BMCC has already caused other camera manufacturers, including new ones we may not have heard of yet, to rethink some of their product design plans. They’ve had since NAB in April to start thinking.

      Meanwhile, lots of folks will use their BMCCs (once they get them!) very profitably. They won’t be waiting for a bigger sensor. The makers of “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Avatar” (just to name 2) didn’t allow 2/3″ video camera or S16 technology to stand between them and successful filmmaking.

      As for the need for 3rd party accessories, the BMCC really isn’t different in this regard compared to other removable lens cameras used professionally. How much gear you prefer to throw at a production will vary depending on the needs of the production and budget. As Philip shows, a BMCC is ready to go with only the addition of a lens & an SSD drive, and probably a mic. Period. Everything else (ND filters, tripod, external batts, etc.) is depends on what you want to shoot & your budget. Same as with all cams. Except those other cams don’t include the BMCC’s features & software bundle for anywhere near $3K US. That’s the whole point.

      So, yeah, the other cam companies have taken notice. Believe me. I’m mostly interested in seeing what the new “upstarts” will do. That’s where the real fun will come from. Meanwhile I hope my BMCC arrives _soon_. Cheers.

    2. s35 sensor will jack up the cost of camera and it becomes another Scarlet or C300 at $15000 US.
      All they had/have to do is trash the stupid,useless, un-functional lens controls through the LCD and put a generic lens mount for accepting m4/3 lenses on it. Then they could have owned a large segment of camera market for a long time around the world.

  21. Hello Phillip-

    After watching the review I am not sure why anyone would want such a camera? It seems that the $3,000.00 would be better spent on a GH2, AF100, D800, 5d MKII, or spend $500 more for the MKIII. I understand the allure of having more dynamic range to work in post. But wouldn’t the aforementioned cameras in some cases give you a better quality image. I am just scratching my head right now wondering who would buy this camera?

    1. A digital camera isn’t just sensor or just codec or just form factor. It’s a whole thing.
      While an AF101 has a more practical form factor than a Blackmagic camera, it has less dynamic range and a less good codec onboard. There is no perfect camera. Especially in this price bracket. (on a technical point of view, the Sony F65 is to me the best camera BUT it is REALLY expansive and it is an insane workflow)

      The Blackmagic Camera is, I think, for two kinds of filmmakers :
      A) those who love 16mm film but want to go digital

      B) those who cannot afford more than a DSLR, who might want a DSLR (for video only I mean) but who also want a better onboard compression solution.

      IF the camera can accept a PL mount adapter, you can find used 16mm lenses and have a blast with it.
      It’s like the Ikonoskop I think. It’s for a niche of people who want to buy a camera for a really artistic and specific point of view instead of for a specs point of view.

    2. I think you may need to re-watch Philip’s review and download his compressed sample footage again.

      It’s very clear that Philip mostly _loves_ the camera and considers it a great value for people who need its capabilities. Of course, there’s not 1 perfect camera for all productions, and your personal preference may lie elsewhere. That’s cool.

      But Philip really really likes more about the BMCC than he dislikes about it, and says several times it’s a bargain at $3K US. Cheers.

    3. This camera can be used for broadcast with its internal codec. Those others cannot. Offloading footage from ssd’s is WAAAY faster. Think of the downtime saved during a production day. The raw codec is superior for effects compositing chroma key etc. Shoot to edit time skips an entire step without having to transcode the internal compressed codecs. So i would think broadcasters would buy it, guys into green screen shoots would buy it and anyone who wants a RED Scarlet in a better priced option that doesn’t need it for slow motion would buy it.

  22. Philip I love your work, it´s just amazing. Well I was thinking that I could get this camera with a 5d mark ii Insted of the fs 100. I think that could be a good team. Well, I will need to read and think more about it, but thanks for this review!!

  23. Thank you Mr Bloom. Wonderful review as usual. Most of my work happened to be in the wider FOV. It’s a shame that such powerhouse camera turns so limited on the wide angle side. Whomever decided the EF mount on such small imager then made the lens mount as a part of body structure should be considered an Al-Aueda insurgent in BMD.
    I wonder who will be the first to put the hacksaw on that stupid cone to shorten it and then epoxy a Micro4/3 mount on to turn the camera to how it should’ve been in the first place.
    The noble idea of slapping a lens on a RAW shooting box got derailed somewhere ( by insurgents perhaps ) by the temptation of gimmicky lens controls from the LCD screen.

      1. good fun Peter on that writing, There are a lot to be said about all you are pointing out. Then the fun will turn to yet another knife fight in the back of the club. That said, can not resist to bring one out of the fun pack though:
        You say ( amongst many other fun things ) :

        ” … The BMCC’s sensor is “only” more than twice as big as the ones used to shoot many popular films, including “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Avatar”, the latter having earned >$2.75 billion and counting! ”

        Ahhhahha good one ! Really Funny especially when you consider on those cameras they design the body in a funny way that you can mount a wide range of lenses through adapters. I guess in this one joke is on BMD.
        Yes, I do believe that comedy is nothing but tragedy with a good timing. Unfortunately this one is only a tragedy.

        Let’s just admit that the choice of mount was a mistake and it should’ve been micro4/3rd.

        Thank you for reminding me about Slumdog Millioner. I’m going to rent it tonight and wonder how they shot all those beatiful vistas on such small sensor.

  24. Thank for the review: it confirmed some of my doubt. This camera will surely work for some people but it will not fit my workflow. Let’s hope BM will bring some improvements with the firmware.

    Additional: the form factor, the camera is big and I think it will catch a lot of wind. In combination with the field of view (long lens) I think it will give some nervous shots. About the FOV, that was one of the catchy things in the Fibland shots… you can see the Long Focal Length FOV and I like that FOV for some situations. That’s what I miss on my 5D: the very long lens option… working with leica primes my ongest focal length is 200mm… 400+ will be very nice for some situations. And that brings me to my conclusion: no camera is perfect and I will always dream of a Alexa with a 5D prize tag or a 5D + BMCC + etc etc…

    1. The BMCC weighs 1.7 kg / 3.75 lb, considerably heavier than most DSLRs.

      It’s not more prone to wind shaking it compared to most lighter-weight cams.

      I should add your perspective to my list of BMCC features reinterpreted as “limitations”. Thank you for that. Cheers. 🙂

  25. Really great review and really honest one.

    It really helps me to put things in perspective. Here are some questions :
    – How does the camera record audio when shooting RAW ? Since it is an images sequence, where does it put audio ? Into a separate BWF/WAV file ?
    – About metadatas, Blackmagic claims that you can tell the camera to do automatic updates of takes numbers etc… True ?
    – Is the camera fan noisy ?

    So for now, IF I had the money to buy the camera (and I mean with a small rig and some lenses and one or two SSDs… Let’s say if I had 10K €… Cause no, change rates does not apply when you buy stuff in France : 3000$ are 3000€) I would REALLY hesitate to buy the camera. The sensor size is mostly good for me BUT the difficulty to get a wide angle shot is quite a pain in the ass I think. And without any roadmap concerning the possibilities and dates for future firmware updates, it is a bit difficult and honestly seems unsecure to me to buy this camera…
    … BUT it does ProRes422HQ and RAW for 3K$ !… Seems to be a freakin’ catch phrase for a B movie.

    I’m a bit of a curious beast. I’m a professional editor/color grader (and VFX Artist) but since my cinema school had two years of “general cinema classes” I have enough skills to be an indie 90% pro director… (but I’m clearly not a good DP lol) And I’m a geek too. So I look to cameras from different point of views. I LOVE BIG sensors because it’s my tastes. The more shallow depth of field, the more I feel I have creative options (I really don’t need 3D. Just a good old 35mm sensor and a very fast lens !). But I am also a codec freak and I really love to have options for color grading (I DO love color grading). So… That Blackmagic offers me a fairly decent amount of shallow depth (capabilities ! Sometimes, a sharp depth of field is useful too^^) but a crazy, I mean CRA-ZY compression solution ! And I’m not even speaking of the Cinema DNG format. The ProRes 422HQ with the Log curve is nice for me. RAW is a lovely bonus.
    So for now it seems really tempting BUT really unsecure so… I don’t know. I can’t wait to see footage out of the C100 to compare how much I could do with the 4:2:0 AVC codec with Canon Log (obviously less but it has built in NDs, a form factor more easy to work with, a bigger sensor blablabla).

    I’m really wondering now what is Panasonic doing ?! They saw Sony’s and Canon’s answer to the AF101, and now there is a Blackmagic Camera to the market. Panasonic has a really good codec on their high end cameras : AVC-Intra100 (which, basically, is like a ProRes422 quality I think). Why don’t they bring a new m4/3 camera into their range ? I mean, AF101 is around 4500€. If there was an AVC-100 (on P2 or SSD) version of the AF101, with a slighly better dynamic range (let’s say 12 stops…) or even with the exact same sensor for less than 8000€, Panasonic would be king of the hill.

    Anyway, the only thing that seems sure for now on is that Blackmagic came to the game walls to the wall and it seems that the competition will get harder and that we might start to see better codec solutions than H264/AVCHD (which are nice, I just said better) in the lower price brackets. And that is a good thing.
    By the way : 3000$ !!!!

      1. As you said at the end of your review : it is really made for secured shooting like fictionnal stuff (shorts, series, feature films), commercials and music videos where you have the computer (not too far from the camera because I think the only Thunderbolt cable available right now is not very long) to monitor everything. By the way : good luck for handheld action stuff if you have to have the camera assistant running behind you with a computer… lol

        For VFX and green screen stuff, as you said (bis) : great little camera ! (if only I had this one last year on a shoot… It would have saved me DAYS of roto in After Effects !)

        1. What are you on Peter !!??
          Reduce the sugar or whatever you put in your coffee/tea man !
          These two gentlemen are discussing the possibility ( or lack of it ) of using Ultra scope through TB while shooting a one man band in the great out doors and you tell Phil he is not trying hard enough from the your armchair !!??
          I’m not quite sure if you are making a good case for BMD here. I think you owe Phil an apology !

      2. Understand, but I’m still drinking the BM kool aid here and was wondering how this actually worked. Your review actually took a lot of wind out of my sails, damn you PB for your honest reviews ! – looks like it’s an old FS100 or the new GH3 for me 🙁

  26. Great, well rounded review. The sensor size isn’t an issue for me as I shoot a lot with my GH2 and have grown accustomed to the the crop factor, however the canon mount gives me pause. I can see why they chose it from a business standpoint-this camera seems to be aimed at Canon DSLR shooters. I may wait to see if they come out with a micro 43rds mount and/or a removable battery. Thanks again for the wonderful review!

  27. Thanks Philip once again for this comprehensive review.

    This camera is, at the price, a no-brainer. Actually it’s a FREE camera if you think of the software it comes with, and if you recall how much Resolve was just 2 years ago (a quarter of a million), well…
    It’s just mind blowing what BMD has achieved in a few years.

    Your review was very nice, but I’m afraid you left aside the only REAL issue this camera might have: rolling shutter.
    Everything else you mark as negative aspects are really no-issues at all. Those might only be for the cash trapped 550/60D user, but not for everybody else, and certainly not for pros; and believe me, plenty of pros are looking (salivating) at this baby, if only to bring it on set as a B cam along with REDs/ALEXAs. But what about its rolling shutter, is it so bad that will prevent its use?

    You’re right that Canon’s C300 is the best at this moment for broadcast docos (but not for cinema) and if there was a proper servo lens for them they’ll also be great for ENG. On the other hand, for drama, commercials, high-end corporate, green screen, music videos and anything shot under controlled environment, the BMD will displace IMHO every other camera xcept for the ALEXA and EPIC.

    $3k for a 2.5k RAW camera? Gosh, anybody remembers how much a Viper, a D21 or an F35 cost?

    Yes $3k is barebones and it will need a few thousand € to (non-dedicate) configure it properly: a bebop cage+battery, Alphatron EVF, SoundDevices MixPre-D and an ARRI MMB-2. But even then it will still cost around the same as a basic C100 and half that of a C300, while images from this BMD will intercut with ALEXA footage, unlike any other cam below $30k. That is insane.

    As we wait for ours to arrive, please do update your review with a bit of rolling shutter info if you can. Everything else can easily be worked around (if somebody considers those issues a problem, which many of us don’t). Thx again for yor great work.

  28. Fetus Alexa – LOL! 😀

    This is the second best review I have seen you done Mr. Blom, (First was still the FS700 one), love the comedic apeal, the cat, and sheer honesty.

    I would have loved to see you dispel some myths about this camera low good (or good enough) is it. And DOF, probably use some F1.2s and blast some faces with it and see shallow the DOF looks like.

    But even with all the fair limitations you mentioned about the camera (majority of which ahve already been firmware fixed ) just still an amazingly featured camera at that price range..and nothing can match that color science, very very close to an Alexa definitely!

  29. Hi Philip,
    I was wondering if you might agree, that a lot of companies might be forgetting one of the most important aspects of the camera – and that is a viewfinder. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a good monitor LCD to look at, but really… the thing that really helps camera operators (or me) get into the zone when filming is to look into a viewfinder and really connect with what you are trying to capture, without having to even think about reflections or glare or anything except for what you are filming. And to go even further, the best way to do that is optically. I really wish there was someone who would be able to make this for us. What do you think?

  30. Philip,

    Blackmagic Design just announced the release of a four thirds version (only passive) of the BMCC in December. I only own a few EF lenses but it would be lovely to have the chance to buy a “cheap” and nice micro 4/3 lens. Do you think it is worth waiting? Or there are already EF-to-micro-4/3 adaptor in the market that I could use in my BMCC EF?

    Thanks a lot for your time!

  31. Excellent review as always. And it’s very pleasant to watch !
    You have rightly mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of a raw workflow. I’m not an expert, but watching your review, I’d be interested to know what you think about Cineform Raw ?
    Because Cineform RAW 2.5K files are very, very light and fast to play in Premiere. And it works very well with John Brawley’s RAW files on a simple PC. Have you tried it ?

  32. Hi Philip,

    hope to see you in Amsterdam on sunday or monday.
    As you told the crop factor is more than an issue. But I think there is a very good chance to make a big deal with that.
    As you know Sony’s Cinealta 750 & 900 have got almost the same sensor size of BMC and Zeiss and Canon prepared a primes lens series (B4 mount) which start from 4mm.

    This lenses – which are amazing for digital cinema – are now quite fancy because 750&900 are going to die (or they are already), and I think you can find the whole series for a bunch of money either to buy or rent.
    With this adapter:

    you can mount those lenses on the BMC.

    Ok, I know it could sound a bit crazy, but as when the HDSLR came to market and all the filmmakers went to their grandfather’s mansard and discovered their old distangon sets to use, now a new market of lenses could come back to life. And I’m not only talking about the Digiprimes’ one but also all the 16 and s16mm lenses which, using an adapter, could be a workaround to the BMC’s crop factor.

    What do you think about this?

  33. PB
    Thanks for another great review.

    I watched the highest resolution copy of Dungeness on my 1080 60″ plasma and it looked fantastic.

    I think the approach of building a cost effective camera that is simply “brains only” can make sense. But if they’re going to do it, then go all the way. Make it as simple and as modifiable as possible without obliterating the price point. Let the user build it as he or she needs. Give us options (with or without 3rd party support) to add: CF and SD compressed recording, uncompressed outs for external recorders, pro audio recording in camera, interchangeable lens mounts, removable batteries, firmware hacks, etc, etc.

    I’m personally okay with a smaller sensor if the price justifies it. Sensor quality has taken leaps and bounds in recent years. I hope we are approaching an era where cinematographers will pick a sensor like film, for it’s unique capturing qualities.

    Thanks again.

  34. Hey Philip, fantastic review!
    You’ve probably seen this already but in case you haven’t, I received an email from Blackmagic this morning announcing new products, and the first on the list: the Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT! It seems they will be shipping the BMCC with MFT mount in December.

    Here’s the copy from the email…

    Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT

    Since the Blackmagic Cinema Camera was announced we have been overwhelmed by the fantastic response. We have also been extremely happy with the response to the first shipments and have already seen some wonderful work done on them.

    We started shipping a few weeks ago, however the Cinema Camera is a highly advanced piece of equipment and it uses a large amount of high quality precision parts to build it. Some components are coming into our factory slower than we expected and this has caused the manufacturing of the cameras to slow.

    We expect to have this sorted out over the next few weeks and then can speed up and get more cameras delivered. In the mean time, our engineering has not been slowed down at all and we are continuing to develop the next software update with new features for release very soon.

    We have also been working on a Passive Micro Four Thirds model of the camera. People have been asking for this as there are a lot of nice high end manually operated MFT lenses on the market, and the MFT mount can also be easily adapted to PL and other lens mounts using third party adapters.

    The new Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT is expected to ship in December, and will be the same price as the original model. It’s identical in features as they are both the same camera, just with different lens mounts. The price will also be the same at $2,995. We will be working with our dealers to help people change their orders if they want.

  35. Definitely a step in the right direction. Looks like there are more cons than pros here but I still love the camera. I’ve been thinking about getting the Scarlet for sometime for our corporate work but I may have to go this route. Philip, since you’ve used them all how does the Image quality compare to the Epic, C300 and the F700?

  36. Philip,

    How are you getting these anamorphic images out of the camera. I noticed you aren’t using any anamorphic lenses, so how are you getting your 2:35:1 Aspect ratio? Are you scaling the Pro Ress Image or creating an anamorphic sequence?

    Also, did you see that B and H has now listed the BMC with a MFT mount?



    1. I’m allowing myself to reply to this : it is just cropped.
      To make 2:35 (2.40 is more accurate nowadays as it is the more common anamorphic aspect ratio in digital cinema) there’s not too many ways :
      – you crop your image (not real 2.40)

      – you use anamorphic lenses compatible with your sensor/camera technology (normally you need a 1.33 sensor with traditionnal anamorphic lenses BUT the RED cameras have a 1.89 sensor [which is the new digital 1.85 ratio… You tell me if it’s confusing lol] and you can do true anamorphic with them so I suppose they have a trick for that inside the cameras)

      Hope I helped.

  37. Hi Philip sorry for my terrible english, i’m from venezuela… i love and enjoy your web site and your job, because is very educative… y would like make 2 questions about the Black magic.. 1) Is a full frame camera? because i have a t2i and you now , this have a crop frame… , and 2) Is much better than a DSRL in the darkness?, i hate the noise of dsrl haha. Well, thank you very much for your time and sorry for the nuisance.

  38. Passive MFT by Dec. Finally !!!
    Thank you Mr Bloom for not washing over the sensor and mount issue in the first iteration of BMDCC. I’m sure they were just waiting to hear that from you.

    Guess what ; Peter J. Decrescenzo that’s been the official cheerLeader here has posted his first official and ” actual complaint against BMD over at John Brawley’s blog. Apparently he is upset because his electronic M4/3 lenses are not supported in this latest release news. Four those 3.5 others out there with electronic m4/3 lenses there could be hope. The language on the latest release note is mentioning in this ” initial ” release we are getting passive support for m4/3. That could get translated in many ways.

    Thank you BMD for being proactive.