Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thoughts on BMCC part 3

Random thoughts on Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

Lenses and stuff

BMCC camera has canon EF lens mount which means that it accepts all EF, EF-S and ZE lenses. With Nikon to Canon adapter, Nikon lenses should be also possible. Camera has electronic contacts to drive iris and focus (?, said to have focus control through LANC). Iris adjustments are made through menu or by pressing the IRIS button on camera which sets iris so that no pixel is clipped.

As the camera sensor is about 15.8x8.9 mm in size, it has a crop factor of approximately 2.3x in relation to full-frame (Vistavision size) sensor. This is larger than for example Canon 550D or 7D, both of which have crop factor of 1.6x. Compared to 35mm and 16mm film cameras, BMCC is placed somewhere inbetween as Super16 measures 12.52x7.41mm and 35mm is something like 22x12mm. BMCC is somewhat like oversized Super16 and resolution should also be similar to that of 16mm film scan.

A lot of people seem to complain about the not-so-great bokeh abilities due to small sensor but I can't really get the logic behind it. As this camera accepts the EF lenses and focal plane is at the same distance as DSLRs, only effect the smaller sensor has is cropping part of the image. In my eyes it makes the bokeh effect stronger not weaker because the relative size of bokeh rings increases. Anyway, how many shots will be having need for strong artistic bokeh? Not too many I think, because you wouldn't see a damn thing this way...

The last missing feature

Although the camera looks great it still has one missing feature in my opinion and that is genlock input. It could probably be added with firmware update by somehow utilizing the LANC or audio input socket. Don't know exactly if this is technically possible but it shouldn't be very difficult to do as BNC cables with 3.5mm  "mini genlock" jack exist and in the end it's only electricity and a bunch of wires.

Why would I need genlock input? I would like to use this camera for stereoscopic shooting and for that, genlock is a must. LANC could be used to start recording at the same time but without constant syncing, cameras would drift out of sync.

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