Blackmagic Cinema Camera – Documentary shooting style test

February 25th, 2013 Jump to Comment Section 26
Camera work/Picture editing: Johnnie Behiri Assistant: Claudia Würtl Johnnie Behiri is a BBC freelance cameraman/editor operating from Vienna Austria. When not BBCing, Johnnie is filming documentaries, commercials, music videos and testimonials/image videos.

Like others, I was excited finally getting my BMCC and immediately put it for a “documentary shooting style” test.
In this test I wanted to see how easy it was to work with the camera (operating and ergonomicaly wise).

I chose shooting in ProRes with colour “backed in”. I also decided to shoot in relatively harsh conditions and throughout the day as you can see with the changing lighting conditions.

Let me start from the end…
The BMCC is to my opinion a “niche” camera and has a very specific usage. It will never serve as my main camera.
For documentary shooting style, RAW is not an option. ProRes is great but the way the BMCC is built, functions and handled, makes it very hard to operate. At the end of the day the main reason to buy this camera is its price tag/recording formats. If you are whiling to compromise on a camera with a small sensor and functionality limitations (hope most can be fixed in a future firmware update), then it is the camera for you.

For me it wasn’t, hence it was sent back to my dealer.

In this test:
Footage shot on ProRes, PAL 1080/25p
Editing software: Adobe Premiere CS6 (no colour grading done, playing with contrast and brightness only and yes, blacks are a bit crashed).
At 2:18, shot with Canon 1Dc

Equipment used:
Tripod-Ace L
Lenses-Canon 17-55mm, 70-200mm f4 (I could not use my Tokina 11-16mm due to the infinity focus problem between the camera and some Tokina lenses)
Shape BMCC cage
Alphatron EVF
Swit battery

Camera weaknesses:
-Small sensor
-Terrible ergonomics
-Touch screen driven menu
-Low quality LCD
-fuzzy sound adjustment and connectors
-No sound level meters
-While being able to see a picture with LUT on the camera’s LCD when shooting flat, there is no way to output the LUT to an external monitor
-Not low light sensitive
-Internal battery not replaceable
-Strong moire is some filming conditions (see a sample at 00:31)
-Frame rates are limited to 30 frames per second

Camera strengths:
-RAW recording
-ProRes/DNxHD recording
-Free copy of DaVinci Resolve

Special thanks for the great people at for their hospitality


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