42nd Floor by Logan Stewart
The BlackMagic Cinema Camera (BMCC, $1999) and its smaller cousin, the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC, $999) are rapidly infiltrating the world of high-definition video, with its advertised 13 stops of dynamic range and Super 16 and Super 35 resolution. The above video demonstrates the camera’s capabilities pretty well (taken from the BlackMagic Channel on Vimeo).
For the money, these cameras are certainly hard to beat. The ability to shoot RAW video is a massive upgrade over certain DSLRs who promise only compressed and lossy formats. But the trade-off, as many reviewers report, is time. Out-of-the-box colors shot on these cameras look very flat, and need significant post-production finesse to get the colors saturated as seen above. Color grading, a technique not unlike doing Photoshop color and contrast adjustments for video, has long been the realm of the professional. But with DaVinci Resolve, BlackMagic’s own color grading software, included with the purchase of these cameras, we may soon see that skill become democratized for the masses, particularly at this super-attractive price point.
What do you think? Would you buy a dedicated, high-dynamic range digital cinema camera knowing the learning curve was steep? Or would you stick to a Canon 5D Mark 3 or your own DSLR to preserve ease-of-use?