October 22, 2014, 10:03:39 PM

Author Topic: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos  (Read 7252 times)

Cgdillan

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Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« on: March 06, 2013, 11:41:46 PM »
I am currently using my 5D mkIII for all my video work, and I love it. But, I want better images. I love DSLRs for my weddings and they treat me well, but for things where I need only a single camera and have more time to figure out and setup my shots, I need something sharper, some more DR, and something more gradable. Wondering how much the RAW will benefit me from the BMCC vs the ease of use of the C100.

The issue is more with my Real Estate Listing video when I have many shots where I will be needing to shoot interiors but still want to see out the window to the ocean.

BMCC Pros:
RAW - More DR
2.5K - Downgrade to HD for a nicer HD image

C100 Pros
Fewer Components needed - Don't need extra battery pack etc..
Smaller file sizes and Cheaper Media
Much Better Ergonomics

I like everything about the C100 better than the BMCC, but, the BMCC can shoot raw. Will I notice the extra stop of DR when I am pulling down the highlights and bringing up the shadows for the high DR shots? (shooting interiors looking out a window)

I imagine the price of the two cameras would pretty much even out when you consider the cost of SSD drives, extra batteries for BMCC, and more hard drive space on the computer.

What do you think? worth the extra stop of DR and RAW Codec?
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Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« on: March 06, 2013, 11:41:46 PM »

Axilrod

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 12:43:13 AM »
I had the BMCC for 4 days a couple weeks ago.  Yeah the image quality is great, but there were plenty of negatives and after using it for the weekend I was a lot less excited than I was when I saw the specs.  Shooting RAW is a huge pain.  My  iMac with SSD/32GB RAM/Thunderbolt hard drives would barely play the files, not to mention they are absolutely massive.    Shoot 10 minutes of footage you have 14400 individual stills to deal with, it's kinda overwhelming.  Also, I tried shooting with a 120GB Samsung 840 SSD, only to find out later it wasn't fast enough.  Only the higher capacity hard drives are fast enough it (500GB in Samsung's case), minimum 256GB.  They are getting cheaper, but shooting RAW 1 256GB SSD will only get you about 30-40 minutes worth of footage.  And if you're doing this for multiple houses that's going to be a lot of files. 

Aside from that, the thing is alot heavier than it looks and the ergonomics suck.  Even with the BMCC handles it just feels awkward, and if you're using the handles how are you supposed to pull focus?  On my Redrock rig it was lopsided, since I had to use a riser so I could look directly at the back of the screen (No HDMI, only 3G-HDSDI, even my $1000 Marshall wont work with it).  When you push the iris button it automatically tries to adjust the aperture, and you have to hold it down and press the forward/backward keys and it just feels weird and you have to use both hands to pull it off.  And it's not like a DSLR in terms of low-light, so you may need to light dimmer spaces.

And then there is the sensor size.  The 2.4x crop feels kinda limiting and for me would immediately make it out of the question for real estate photography.  You want to get ultra-wide in some spaces, but with the BMCC you have to settle for a Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-f/5.6 to get as wide as you can (the equivalent of 19mm on full frame).  But 10mm=24mm so it feels really weird.  On the flipside a 135 f/2 becomes a 325mm f/2 or something like that, so that's cool.

More or less, I felt like the Prores footage looked great too, but RAW is what is so attractive about the camera.  But I wouldn't shoot RAW on this thing unless I was trying to make some serious award-winning type stuff.  You would just need a ridiculously fast computer to edit this stuff smoothly and tons of storage space for the flies.  That, coupled with the sensor/shipping issues with them and now people are saying their lenses won't focus at infinity, it's just really turned me off towards it.  If you're absolutely set on getting it I'd wait for the MFT version, with the Metabones Speed Booster the crop will be reduced to closer to 1.5x-1.6x.

I think the C100 is great though and have heard nothing but praise from friends that are using it.  But I think the BMCC is overkill for what you are doing, honestly I would think your 5D3 would do the job, have you thought about maybe adding something to your setup to improve the quality?  All I know is your average Joe probably can't tell a difference between the BMCC and 5D3, and if they can it's not big enough to make or break a sale. 
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 12:50:17 AM by Axilrod »
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Cgdillan

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 03:44:46 AM »
I had the BMCC for 4 days a couple weeks ago.  Yeah the image quality is great, but there were plenty of negatives and after using it for the weekend I was a lot less excited than I was when I saw the specs.  Shooting RAW is a huge pain.  My  iMac with SSD/32GB RAM/Thunderbolt hard drives would barely play the files, not to mention they are absolutely massive.    Shoot 10 minutes of footage you have 14400 individual stills to deal with, it's kinda overwhelming.  Also, I tried shooting with a 120GB Samsung 840 SSD, only to find out later it wasn't fast enough.  Only the higher capacity hard drives are fast enough it (500GB in Samsung's case), minimum 256GB.  They are getting cheaper, but shooting RAW 1 256GB SSD will only get you about 30-40 minutes worth of footage.  And if you're doing this for multiple houses that's going to be a lot of files. 

Aside from that, the thing is alot heavier than it looks and the ergonomics suck.  Even with the BMCC handles it just feels awkward, and if you're using the handles how are you supposed to pull focus?  On my Redrock rig it was lopsided, since I had to use a riser so I could look directly at the back of the screen (No HDMI, only 3G-HDSDI, even my $1000 Marshall wont work with it).  When you push the iris button it automatically tries to adjust the aperture, and you have to hold it down and press the forward/backward keys and it just feels weird and you have to use both hands to pull it off.  And it's not like a DSLR in terms of low-light, so you may need to light dimmer spaces.

And then there is the sensor size.  The 2.4x crop feels kinda limiting and for me would immediately make it out of the question for real estate photography.  You want to get ultra-wide in some spaces, but with the BMCC you have to settle for a Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-f/5.6 to get as wide as you can (the equivalent of 19mm on full frame).  But 10mm=24mm so it feels really weird.  On the flipside a 135 f/2 becomes a 325mm f/2 or something like that, so that's cool.

More or less, I felt like the Prores footage looked great too, but RAW is what is so attractive about the camera.  But I wouldn't shoot RAW on this thing unless I was trying to make some serious award-winning type stuff.  You would just need a ridiculously fast computer to edit this stuff smoothly and tons of storage space for the flies.  That, coupled with the sensor/shipping issues with them and now people are saying their lenses won't focus at infinity, it's just really turned me off towards it.  If you're absolutely set on getting it I'd wait for the MFT version, with the Metabones Speed Booster the crop will be reduced to closer to 1.5x-1.6x.

I think the C100 is great though and have heard nothing but praise from friends that are using it.  But I think the BMCC is overkill for what you are doing, honestly I would think your 5D3 would do the job, have you thought about maybe adding something to your setup to improve the quality?  All I know is your average Joe probably can't tell a difference between the BMCC and 5D3, and if they can it's not big enough to make or break a sale.

That is everything I was worried about with the BMCC. Thank you for sharing your experiences. The biggest issue is gradability, and lack of DR with the 5D3. Not sure what else I could add... suggestions? I am even open to other camera suggestions for great DR.
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JasonATL

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 07:29:58 AM »
The dynamic range of the BMCC is what I'm really excited about. I have a BMCC on order since the fall. However, axilrod brings up the key issues that I would be concerned with for real estate. Also, the wait with the BMCC is becoming quite frustrating. What has become clear to me is that they simply are not producing the BMCC in large quantities. Unless their production increases significantly over what it has been over the last 4 months, it seems that it might be a long-long time before people who order today receive their cameras.

You said that you are mainly concerned about the high DR shots in which you have plenty of time to set it up. Here's an off-the-wall idea. Get a slider (you probably have one already) with a very good motion control unit. Shoot the same shot at two exposures with your 5D3. Edit the footage together to have the "out the window" shot from the lower exposure and the interior from the higher exposure. HDR video.


Cgdillan

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 12:32:03 PM »
The dynamic range of the BMCC is what I'm really excited about. I have a BMCC on order since the fall. However, axilrod brings up the key issues that I would be concerned with for real estate. Also, the wait with the BMCC is becoming quite frustrating. What has become clear to me is that they simply are not producing the BMCC in large quantities. Unless their production increases significantly over what it has been over the last 4 months, it seems that it might be a long-long time before people who order today receive their cameras.

You said that you are mainly concerned about the high DR shots in which you have plenty of time to set it up. Here's an off-the-wall idea. Get a slider (you probably have one already) with a very good motion control unit. Shoot the same shot at two exposures with your 5D3. Edit the footage together to have the "out the window" shot from the lower exposure and the interior from the higher exposure. HDR video.

That's a good idea. I already have the konova slider. I could get the motion controller for it and do exactly that.
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cayenne

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 03:05:46 PM »
Interesting.
I was thinking at some time in the future getting one of the BlackMagic cameras to experiment with, but this one looks interesting too...The Bolex 16MM Digital camera...not sure how much longer they're available readily, but seemed an interesting camera..shoots raw, etc. I think the RAW files would be smaller and easier to deal with?

http://www.digitalbolex.com/products/bolex-d16/

They were a kickstarter thing, I think they made quite an impression on people and are working on them now...so, if you didn't have to buy right away, might give them time, and also, see if BM has any improvements.

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 07:56:18 PM »
I am in your same boat right now as I am opening a video production company this month in Sacramento, CA and I am going with a C100. I also have a 5d Mkiii that I have been using which impacts my decision.

These are my main reasons.

1. Lens choice.
I would need a whole different set of lenses for a BMCC than my 5D because the difference in crop is crazy between the two. Switching between FF and a 2.3 Crop is crazy. I also LOVE Zeiss lenses and although the 15mm Zeiss is nice, it costs 3k and still would only give me a 35mm FOV on a BMCC. The 1.6 crop of a C100 is really a good balance with a full frame B Cam.

2. Form Factor
The BMCC requires a lot rigging. I don't like rigging. It's intimidating to the clients and talent in front of it and therefore you get worse performances and interviews. I also do a lot of run and gun event videography and rigging slows you down and limits your creativity. The form factor of the C100 is awesome. Just a little bigger than my 5D but smaller than the C300.

3. Reliability
The BMCC is not terribly stable. From what I have read and been told, it's not a great professional Camera because you can't trust it with being your A Cam on a paid production. If its a creative piece, its great. You can redo a shot if some setting is off or defect happens. On a processional gig that will cause a lot of problems. I need to trust the tools I use. I make my living off them.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 07:56:18 PM »

Cgdillan

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 10:51:50 PM »
Yeah... I think it sounds like I will be going with the c100... I was hoping the raw would make it worth the trouble. But it sounds like the raw aspect of it alone is an issue that would be difficult to work with. And I'm not a huge fan of the lens choices on BMCC.. Thanks for your input guys! It really helps a lot.
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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 01:59:39 AM »
Addressing only the DR issue I would think that you may be expecting a bit much from the BMCC. While I am sure the file quality is excellent you may find that the DR is still insufficient to hold detail in windows.
We usually gelled windows with ND and lit the interiors to get that naturalistic look with film and that is still done with video today in productions that will pay for it.
We do still HDR because we want a fast and inexpensive solution to the problem of DR challenged scenes but a few good lights and some time and testing will get better results. However I know that time is money and our clients are not to lavish with either.

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 01:32:28 PM »
Addressing only the DR issue I would think that you may be expecting a bit much from the BMCC. While I am sure the file quality is excellent you may find that the DR is still insufficient to hold detail in windows.
We usually gelled windows with ND and lit the interiors to get that naturalistic look with film and that is still done with video today in productions that will pay for it.
We do still HDR because we want a fast and inexpensive solution to the problem of DR challenged scenes but a few good lights and some time and testing will get better results. However I know that time is money and our clients are not to lavish with either.

Exactly. I'm trying to find the best way to get better results without needing to charge much more than I do now.
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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 12:30:42 PM »
The C100 is an AMAZING camera. Very underrated. Awesome image and interface. It's closer to the Alexa than to the 5D Mark III. Resolution is great, colors are beautiful (if warmer/less accurate/more subjective than the Alexa, they're certainly way better than Red), and the interface and ergonomics are great and the battery lives forever. It's the prefect owner/operator cinema camera. One person can use it easily and yet the image quality is approaching other high end cinema cameras. It can be set to intercut with dSLRs, or used as a b-cam for the Alexa with an uncompressed recorder. WideDR mode has Canon Log levels of DR but in a linear space. The specs (AVCHD/8bit, etc.) are poor, but despite that it's great. It uses superwhites (watch these in post) and a wonky log curve to retain decent tonality despite the poor spec.

That said, DR is still not the C100's strength. It blows away dSLRs but it is not as good as the Alexa, F3 (though only a half stop away, though, from the F3 with slog and ACHD beats XDCAM, seriously), or Red with HDRx (it's, imo, on par with Red without HDRx, maybe better). Really only the Alexa has amazing DR out of the box. I haven't used the BMCC but my guess is it's decent, maybe better than the C100 in this regard.

The question boils down to if you want to do more work but have more control (BMCC), like if this were your hobby or if you wanted to do less work but have to do it right int he fist place (C100). It reminds me of the "pros shoot JPEG" mentality, but that's kind of how it is. The C100 can provide gorgeous footage but you need to be a competent shooter. With RAW you can do all sorts of dumb stuff (overexposure, WB shift) and salvage it in post, but that's so much more work.

In normally lit rooms during the day it holds highlights out the window way better than a dSLR, but worse than the Alexa. You might need to turn some lights on (bring in daylight balanced CFLs or something) or choose your angle and exposure carefully, but if you're a competent shooter it will blow away your dSLR. Unfortunately it's superior more for tonality, noise structure, reduced skew, color, etc. than for DR, but nonetheless it's in a whole other league from dSLRs without being more difficult to use. Love this camera.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 12:35:52 PM by Policar »

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2013, 02:59:38 PM »
I think the c100 could make your life a lot easier, but if you are really looking the biggest jump in IQ over your existing setup, i'd say the clear winner is BMC.

The pains of working with RAW are real, but being able to make the image look exactly like you want it too, without worrying about losing detail or banding, is a huge advantage.

But think about it this way,  even if you had to buy a brand new workstation to handle raw....

$3000 BMC + $3000 workstation< c100

Policar

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 03:54:14 PM »
I think the c100 could make your life a lot easier, but if you are really looking the biggest jump in IQ over your existing setup, i'd say the clear winner is BMC.

The pains of working with RAW are real, but being able to make the image look exactly like you want it too, without worrying about losing detail or banding, is a huge advantage.

But think about it this way,  even if you had to buy a brand new workstation to handle raw....

$3000 BMC + $3000 workstation< c100

Have you used either camera?

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 03:54:14 PM »

JasonATL

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2013, 10:33:01 AM »
I just received my BMCC earlier this week (thanks, Adorama!). I thought I'd revisit this thread with some thoughts after playing around with the camera and its files a little. These are still quite initial impressions - so it is FWIW, as always.

First, I am blown away at the dynamic range. Just playing around with the camera, I was taking a few shots of my wife in our kitchen during midday. The kitchen had no lights on - just what was coming in through the windows. I exposed to for the highlights (out the window) and indoor details were still discernible. Not well-exposed, mind you. But, discernible. Far better than I'd ever get with the 5D3. So, I think this might accomplish what the OP intended with regard to having both out-the-window detail and (some) indoor detail. Cgdillan - if there are any specific shots you'd like me to try, I can do so (I learn more every time I use the camera).

Second, the color is just amazing. Colors are so spot on compared to what I'm used to with Canon DSLRs. Not that I hate the colors of the DSLRs. It is just that the skin tones and colors are more natural on this camera. Add to that the flexibility of the color grading using raw, and it really is great if you can stomach/afford the workflow.

Finally, the camera is heavy and bulky compared to even the 5D3. The "bulky" statement comes from the feeling that the camera is just not as balanced as I'm used to with the 5D3. But, it isn't meant to be. It is a cinema camera.

For the OP's question, my suggestion would be to rent one and try it. I know that Lensrentals carries it.

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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2013, 01:23:17 PM »
I just received my BMCC earlier this week (thanks, Adorama!). I thought I'd revisit this thread with some thoughts after playing around with the camera and its files a little. These are still quite initial impressions - so it is FWIW, as always.

First, I am blown away at the dynamic range. Just playing around with the camera, I was taking a few shots of my wife in our kitchen during midday. The kitchen had no lights on - just what was coming in through the windows. I exposed to for the highlights (out the window) and indoor details were still discernible. Not well-exposed, mind you. But, discernible. Far better than I'd ever get with the 5D3. So, I think this might accomplish what the OP intended with regard to having both out-the-window detail and (some) indoor detail. Cgdillan - if there are any specific shots you'd like me to try, I can do so (I learn more every time I use the camera).

Second, the color is just amazing. Colors are so spot on compared to what I'm used to with Canon DSLRs. Not that I hate the colors of the DSLRs. It is just that the skin tones and colors are more natural on this camera. Add to that the flexibility of the color grading using raw, and it really is great if you can stomach/afford the workflow.

Finally, the camera is heavy and bulky compared to even the 5D3. The "bulky" statement comes from the feeling that the camera is just not as balanced as I'm used to with the 5D3. But, it isn't meant to be. It is a cinema camera.

For the OP's question, my suggestion would be to rent one and try it. I know that Lensrentals carries it.

That doesn't sound too bad. You just confused my decision a little bit more. haha. How do you feel the camera handles? picking your f/stop and shutter and ISO? Is it not as bad as some have made it sound? I really want to see a shot a bright sunny day with al the lights on indoor in any room, and in post, push the shadows way up and bring the highlights way down. I imagine I would expose more for the interior as its most important, but still under expose to be able to capture the exterior. If you were able to do that, that would really be awesome. do you think it's a camera that could be used on hand held glide cam? or is it too heavy? I will likely be renting one soon after hearing your thoughts. any suggestions on workflow for if/or when I rent it?
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Re: Help deciding between BMCC and C100 for RE Listing Videos
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2013, 01:23:17 PM »