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Author Topic: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera  (Read 27472 times)

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« on: September 22, 2012, 01:08:59 PM »
From OneRiver Media
The folks at OneRiver Media decided to compare the EF model of the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. They put both cameras through a battery of tests to compare sharpness, dynamic range, lowlight performance as well as a few others.

OneRiver recommends that you download the video to your computer, as they weren’t completely happy with the compression on Vimeo. Although, even the compressed file shows the differences in the two cameras pretty easily.

Release Information


After several DAYS of trying to upload this video to Vimeo, we’ve ultimately had to reduce the bit-rate compression down to 18mbps (Vimeo recommends 5mbps, ha!), which is down from our minimum quality level of 40mbps. This means the SOURCE file you can download will also inhibit some amount of compression blocking and smearing, even in the Cinema Camera footage, which doesn’t originally exist in our ProRes master file. We’ve tried EVERYTHING, multiple types of uploads, different encoding methods, you name it. This is as best as it will get unless someone can host our 40mbps H.264 file (about 3GB) on their server that the world can download from.

Although the downloadable source file is a little better than the streaming version, it still doesn’t compare to the original ProRes source file which imposes no banding, compression artifacts, or chrominance sub-sampling (down from 4:4:4 to H.264′s 4:2:0 space). Please keep this in mind when viewing.

Unfortunately Vimeo only allows 100 downloads per day, so check back to download the 2GB file if the queue is filled. And remember to always watch in FULL 1080 HD or you will have added scaling and moiré issues on some of the tests than what is already been added by Vimeo and our horrid bit-rate restrictions.

Background: This video compares the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera and the Canon 5D Mark III in several tests. This includes dynamic range, sharpness, pushing levels, banding, artifacts, rolling shutter, chromakeying, wide/telephoto lengths, DOF (depth of field), low light, macro blocking, contrast, and more.

Thanks for watching. Hope this is as informative for you as it was for me making it.

Marco Solorio

Source: [Planet5D] via [OneRiver Media]

cr

« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 01:11:04 PM by Canon Rumors »
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Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« on: September 22, 2012, 01:08:59 PM »

NormanBates

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 01:23:29 PM »
The BMC has 14 stops of DR. Only Canon and the m43 guys are stuck at 10-11 stops of DR (and the GH3 may break away from this too).
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 01:25:28 PM by NormanBates »

dirtcastle

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 02:47:12 PM »
Considering the fact that the Blackmagic camera has an EF mount... it looks like the era of still cameras competing in the video-only market might be over. It's hard to beat specialization.

quartzie

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2012, 02:57:03 PM »
I really wonder what a comparison of 1D-C footage would look like. Canon should be able to pull out more color detail using different raw processing, but I'm skeptical about matching the dynamic range.

I'm not forgetting about the 5x higher price that Canon is asking for 4K video, but I wonder if the quality is really there...
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 04:09:11 PM by quartzie »

Axilrod

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 04:25:14 PM »
I really wonder what a comparison of 1D-C footage would look like. Canon should be able to pull out more color detail using different raw processing, but I'm skeptical about matching the dynamic range.

I'm not forgetting about the 5x higher price that Canon is asking for 4K video, but I wonder if the quality is really there...

The short I saw shot on the 1DC looked amazing even with Vimeo compression.  But I have to say this BMCC footage looks awesome too, I may have to pick one up, although the 2.3x crop is still pretty annoying.
5DIII/5DII/Bunch of L's and ZE's, currently rearranging.

JasonATL

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2012, 05:13:24 PM »
But I have to say this BMCC footage looks awesome too, I may have to pick one up, although the 2.3x crop is still pretty annoying.

If it weren't for the workflow, I would have ordered a BMCC immediately after seeing this video. But, the workflow is just something I'm not sure I want to deal with. But, now I know what I am missing. I have a feeling I'll figure out how to justify the workflow soon enough.

Axilrod

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2012, 05:19:25 PM »
If it weren't for the workflow, I would have ordered a BMCC immediately after seeing this video. But, the workflow is just something I'm not sure I want to deal with. But, now I know what I am missing. I have a feeling I'll figure out how to justify the workflow soon enough.

I agree, the RAW workflow can be a pain, and SSD space is pretty expensive (but getting cheaper).  But I'm sure the 1080p ProRes files look much better than the 5D3 also, and that's probably how I'd shoot most of it.  I'll probably end up getting one, although I'd like to check out the C100 too.

It's such a strange time right now with cameras, so many choices.  Not sure what I want to do, but I'm leaning closer to getting rid of the 5D3/5D2.  D800 footage from an external recorder looks amazing, BMCC footage looks amazing, it's a tough choice.  I was considering a D800 and Panasonic GH3, or just add the BMCC and keep the 5D3.  Decisions, decisions.
5DIII/5DII/Bunch of L's and ZE's, currently rearranging.

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2012, 05:19:25 PM »

JasonATL

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2012, 06:10:41 PM »
It's such a strange time right now with cameras, so many choices.  Not sure what I want to do, but I'm leaning closer to getting rid of the 5D3/5D2.  D800 footage from an external recorder looks amazing, BMCC footage looks amazing, it's a tough choice.  I was considering a D800 and Panasonic GH3, or just add the BMCC and keep the 5D3.  Decisions, decisions.

Add to that the developments with Magic Lantern. If I read the development forums (and the ML code) correctly, ML is the verge of getting much higher quality files out of the 5D3, perhaps even higher resolution than we currently have (this is my speculation, not official news from ML).

As you said, strange and interesting times. I'm not spending money right now. Beginning of 2013 looks like about when the picture should be clearer for me (pun intended).

Etienne

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2012, 02:03:48 AM »
I want to see how the GH3 does.... Panasonic has deep pockets, is eager, hungry, and talented. Canon cannot hold back, the competition is fierce and getting hotter.
I wish I was 30 years younger, such an exciting time for video and photography.

Midphase

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2012, 02:56:38 AM »
Problem with both GH3 and Sony a99 is that to me they both still look kinda video-y. At least, despite the small sensor, the BMCC does have a nice cinematic quality to the footage that I've seen so far.

nicku

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2012, 03:39:50 AM »
The  Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera  is blowing away the 5D3. at a lower price tag. Is normal... considering that 5D3 is primary a photographic camera not a video camera.

Marsu42

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2012, 04:19:37 AM »
Is normal... considering that 5D3 is primary a photographic camera not a video camera.

A pity they added such a strong aa filter on the 5d3 then, and no 5d3e in sight :-o

ML is the verge of getting much higher quality files out of the 5D3

"On the verge" might be too early, but the most important thing about the 5d3 (and maybe 650d) is that the digic5 is much faster so that's no barrier anymore - think custom codecs and 1080p/50.

NormanBates

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2012, 05:17:11 AM »
So far, the ML team has never been able to control the ASIC part of the Digic processors.
They've been very successful playing with the ARM part, but that's the one you use for the UI and for controlling the shot, and does nothing to process the footage.
So, unless the image processing in the ASIC can be tuned by parameters set from the ARM part, the image will be basically the same (as it was with the old models), and all you'll get are usability features (very welcome, in any case: I've already donated to the ML team at least a couple times).

The only way for better image is if the "decode the image for me" instruction includes a parameter for "with this final resolution" or "using this value in the quantitizer". We'll see...

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2012, 05:17:11 AM »

JasonATL

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2012, 08:41:43 AM »
"On the verge" might be too early, but the most important thing about the 5d3 (and maybe 650d) is that the digic5 is much faster so that's no barrier anymore - think custom codecs and 1080p/50.

Depends what we all take "on the verge" to mean ;). I know you that you know what ML has been able to do (e.g., alter quantization parameters and bitrate of the 5D3 codec). And, yes, they are being very professional about testing their hacks before calling them stable. So, they'll release it when they release it. "on the verge" to me means in the next year. Not tomorrow, not next month.

@NormamBates: while they can't process the footage directly (well, maybe they "can" by bypassing the encoder altogether), they can alter the encoder's parameters. I've used early beta versions of this on my 600D/T3i. I've been shooting ALL-I @100+Mbps on my 600D/T3i for a couple of weeks now and the results are quite impressive. To me, these are significant. As Marsu says, it isn't ready for primetime yet. But, it is enough of a "proof of concept" for me.

I still go back to my original comment. The BMD CC looks stunning. If I can get part of the way from the current 5D3 to the BMD CC with some improved image quality due to ML, I'll be happy I waited. But, I might not wait... I might just find a way to justify the headaches that come with a BMD CC.

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2012, 01:17:19 PM »
I just took another look at the video (topic of this thread). I put it on my NLE timeline.

The most striking comparisons to me were the night shots and the shots from the mountaintop. With regard to the latter, the differences are not quite as dramatic as they appear in the video. I applied sharpening and contrast to the Canon shot and it improved. Also, this is just my attempt to grade the Canon clips. Someone with better color grading skills could probably do better. Constrast and saturation are the main adds with a bit of color changing.

Shot comparison (no grading or sharpening): https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/eiBM_Pwg4tjhQOD2B6SfjdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
Shot comparison (Canon graded and sharpened): https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/eiBM_Pwg4tjhQOD2B6SfjdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

Still not to the level of the BMD camera, but closer. Also, the light was quite different in these two shots, contributing to differences (not necessarily favoring one over the other, but maybe).  I'm not suggesting that there was any deception here. Rather, it is my own conclusion that the differences are not quite as stark upon closer inspection. They are still there, though.

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2012, 01:17:19 PM »