Canon T5i or BlackMagic Cinema Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jblongz, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. jblongz macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2013
    I know the price gap is about 2k wide between the two, but here are my concerns:

    1) I've read complaints that DSLR's usually shutoff around 20mins of video recording because of heat issues. I've been searching the net to see if the BlackMagic cameras have similar issues..found none yet.

    2) SDXC cards seem to be less durable and have shorter lifespans than SSDs.

    3) I've seen really good videos on youtube with the T4i for music videos. Haven't found any compelling videos with the BlackMagic camera yet (possibly because of much less ownership).

    The BlackMagic camera really attracts me for its SSD and thunderbolt functionality as all my Macs have thunderbolt ports, and SSDs add the durability and capacity. I could take advantage features. But for the price, I want to be sure I could record without periodic interruptions due to overheating.

    Would be great if any owners of the two chime in here.
  2. salacious macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    I have a t3i/600d, im recording my film on it and I have so far shot three music videos on it.

    to answer your overheating complaint.. firstly unless recording a gig or something like that, there is no way you'll be recording for more than 20 minutes in one take!

    secondly, I filmed one music vid in London on a very hot and humid day (extremely rare) for 8 hours solid, camera did feel hot but I stuck white paper over the top to help a bit, I didn't suffer any issues I believe the temperature was around 31'c.

    Also you haven't said whether or not you can actually use a camera or DSLR or anything for that matter, as a beginner I would say the black magic is a step too far for you, why would you need such a camera? the money would be better spent on a t3i and really good lenses, I imported 48gb of data to my mac from SD card in around 8 minutes or so roughly

    so a bit more info about yourself would really help otherwise its like walking in a camera shop asking for a camera with no info at all to help your purchase..
  3. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Why not the BMD Pocket one as well?
    Seems to me (IMHO), the BMCC is a little late in the game now that a 4K version is coming out (soon?).
  4. jblongz thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2013
    I'm an pro music engineer/composer looking to become equally skilled in video production. I have done amateur edits of video game play using BMD Intensity pro to record my Xbox and dump into FCPx. Just subscribed to the Adobe Creative Cloud and want to take advantage of its video tools. I can settle for a DSLR... only considered the Black Magic camera so that I wouldn't have to reinvest once I'm on a pro level, and thunderbolt technology compliments my current ecosystem. Fortunately, I have an SDXC slot too.

    I was looking at the BMD Pocket, but haven't read any compelling reviews. As for the 4k version, it may be ahead of its time for mainstream. I don't own a 4k TV, and most people don't have an 80in screen or sit within 12 inches of the their television. The majority of viewers won't even notice that type of resolution. But thats from a viewer/non-pro perspective.
  5. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    I think at this point I'd take the BMC cam. Love that it's 4k and has RAW options plus you Davinci and other great software.

    You cannot go wrong with either the only downside is how quickly is Blackmagic going to get these cameras shipping? Some people had ordered the 2.5k model and hadn't received it the day BMD launched the 4K model. We'll see if their production woes have subsided.
  6. samryanfilms macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2012
    My vote would be to hold off on the BMC for now. It's a camera made by people who love digital cinema technology but completely forgot about the shooter. I shot a review with it and realized the only reason I would ever consider it would be strictly for in-studio use only.

    Here's why:
    - Internal battery: Are you kidding? This is completely impractical when shooting in the field. That's another grand right off the bat for an external AC/Anton Bauer or similar battery mount.
    - Ergonomics: You take it out of the box, set in on a flat table, and it falls over forward... The awkward angle of the design isn't really ideal for handheld use without an additional rig. (not that DSLR's are much better, but they still fit in your hand much better)
    - No HDMI: I had dreamt that perhaps you could use a thunderbolt to HDMI adapter, but no dice. SDI is of course the standard for professional applications, but for cheaper rigs and smaller onboard monitors it is harder to come by and much more expensive. This also means no ability to monitor/playback on a regular HDTV.
    - Touch screen: Aside from the fact that it's almost completely invisible in direct sunlight, the UI is clunky and not practical. With no physical buttons, it takes dangerously longer to access and change iso/shutter/white balance/iris than on a DSLR.
    - No overcranking: If you're shooting music videos, it is nice to at least have the option to do slo-mo. 60p on a DSLR isn't ideal, but it's better than nothing on the BMC.
    - Unbalanced audio input: I assume the idea behind no XLR was to save space, but at this point it's pretty much equivalent to DSLR audio capabilities.

    What the Blackmagic has going for it:
    Better codec and data rate. The image is obviously going to be cleaner. Not extremely noticeable visually, but in post production that extra information can be crucial. Much better for effects and keying.
    I don't think it gets anywhere near the 13 stops of dynamic range they claim it gets, however it is better than a DSLR.

    Ultimately the BMC just isn't suited for high paced, run-and-gun style shooting, which most music video shoots for me are like. For in-studio or narrative use where you can set up and build each shot, it's pretty capable.

    As some have noted, the lens choice is far more important than the camera, and this really can't be understated. I shot a music video on a 7D with some Zeiss ZE lenses and the footage looked way better than the RED Epic with old Nikon glass I was on the week before. Especially for music videos where you can get creative with lens choices, the quality and style of the optics is what defines the camera. (I suppose I'm not below the option to shamelessly self promote, so here's the link: Had some fader ND's so I could shoot the whole thing wide open at f/1.4)

    As far as the overheating issues for DSLR's, I think it's pretty much moot. Any camera can overheat. I shot a concert with my 7D in the 100 degree Texas heat with no issues, and there are cinema cameras I've had overheat in warm rooms after light use. They are all electronics, and therefore will react to their environments in unpredictable ways... Unless you're going to be shooting for hours on end in the desert, I wouldn't make it a deciding factor.

    Well that was long winded haha. Hope it helps. Both cameras will produce great images, but as a camera nerd myself I keep having to tell myself one thing - they are just tools and are only as good as the story you're telling!
  7. arjen92, Jun 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013

    arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    I don't think I have a lot to add to what the guys previously said, but here are my two cents.

    I believe that the recording limit has nothing to do with overheating but the money you pay for your camera. I believe they try to avoid camcorder taxes by having a limit.

    I worked on a crane on a festival with a 550D. It stayed on for 4/5 hours and then the camera displayed a red thermometer symbol. I guess that's when it got too hot. It still worked though, after at least 4 hours non stop of passing video on for the live projection. In a hot, closed, dancing environment.

    I turned it off to let it cool down just to be safe (I guess there's a valid reason it showed the red thermometer symbol). After two minutes it was back on.

    Also, you said
    Ask any photographer and ask them what they replace more; their pro lenses, or their pro bodies? It's their bodies, because these are improved a lot every year. The lenses are a good investment you can enjoy almost a lifetime.

    So once you get better, you can buy a new body. I wouldn't be surprised that once you get on the desired level, you would replace the BMC anyway because it is outdated.

    Second, I wouldn't invest that money in a camera that might record a little better. Invest it in stabilization, lights (what's the use of dynamic range if the source footage is bad anyway?) sound and lenses.

    For 2K I bought the 650D, 17-55 Canon F 1/2.8, Zoom H4N, quality Tripod, glidecam, and reflector.
  8. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    As awful as the video quality is, I'd recommend a t5i and a decent set of lenses...

    EF mount is getting popular for cinema use. The BMCC has an odd sensor size (despite also having an EOS mount!) and putting together a lens kit is a pain. The BMCC also aliases pretty badly and the ergonomics and post workflow are pretty bad (ergonomics especially) and once you've built it up with batteries and a cage it's an odd duck camera that still has a small sensor and aliasing except it set you back $8,000.

    With EF lenses you can easily migrate to 1DC, C100, C300, etc. or Scarlet or adapt your lenses to Sony.

    The Mark III is cute and the raw video is amazing quality, but it's still a pain to shoot with in raw.

    C100 (with an external recorder) is the best thing for the money (by far), but pricy. An easy step up from a dSLR, though. FS100 is janky but great used. F3 likewise. F700 not so hot unless you do slow motion.

    You'd need magic lantern to deal with recording time limits on the t5i, though. Really just get a t2i refurbished and wait for the next generation or to upgrade to a C100. Or consider other options entirely, but...

    Remember to count lenses and accessories into the price! And figure out how you'll pull focus for the content you shoot.
  9. genshi macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    Which is exactly why they made the forthcoming Pocket Cinema Camera. The perfect documentary style field camera.

    In my opinion, this is exactly the camera that you would want/need; it's using a Super 16mm sensor with a Micro 4/3 lens mount (the perfect combination of sensor and mount), so all those lenses, plus many of the vintage Bolex Super 16mm lenses on a small run-and-gun "cinema" quality camera for $995... really hard to beat that!

    I will be pre-ordering a couple of them this week.
  10. baypharm macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2007
    I was thinking along your lines - but changed my mind. It lacks an eyepiece so shooting in the sun or any bright light will be difficult if not impossible. Yes it's small I will give you that - but setting it on a table with a lens attached will cause it to tip forward. I prefer the old style camcorder "flat bottom" design. Also holding this camera "SLR" style is not optimal. Shooting with a monopod/fluid head would make a big difference. Yes it will take the new crop of 4/3 lenses but unless you already own some, the total package price will be into the thousands. For that amount of money I can rent a much better handling camera with finer optics. Those old Bolex and Angenieux lenses are great but they are still command alot of $$$ overall. I am not convinced that this new camera is the run and gun solution that it is hyped to be. I agree with you that the specs are impressive. However, what market is this camera ideally suited for? We have yet to see if the output is truly "cinema" quality. And I am a believer in that visuals are created by the person behind the camera - not the camera itself. Let's wait until the camera has been released and see what it can do. I am hoping for the best possible outcome as you are.
  11. genshi, Jul 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013

    genshi macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    For indie filmmakers on a budget, if you really dig into it, yes, this is the solution; for wedding or event videographers, probably not, get a camcorder instead...

    As for lenses; there are tons of good to great m43 lenses from $300 to $800 (Panasonic, Olympus, SLR Magic, et al) so just the Panasonic lens alone (shown with most of the Pocket Cinema Camera's advertising stuff) and the camera itself will cost you around $1500, and that's for a camera with 1080p, in ProRes 422 (HQ) or lossless CinemaDNG 12bit RAW (shooting in 12bit RAW is WAY better than something like the Canon 5D mark III; it definitely makes a difference shooting in 12bit vs 8bit) and 13 stops of dynamic range... you won't find better than this for under $2000. Especially in a camera this compact!

    As for lack of eyepiece, there are a couple of eye piece options you can get from third party vendors like Zacuto (the same vendors that make these same solutions for the larger BMCC, and for RED, Canon, etc.)

    I, myself, will be using a simple run-and-gun rig like this for Documentary shooting -


    As for footage, John Brawley has been showing rough test footage (including low light tests) as he beta tests this camera; the results have been pretty positive by most people.

    But yes, we'll all have to wait for the official release in a couple of weeks to be truly sure of what this camera is capable of... but for me personally, this is the camera for my needs.
  12. baypharm macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2007

    Whatever camera you do end up with - I'm quite sure you will use it to full advantage. I took a look at your Vimeo site and you do extraordinary work. I like the Los Angeles Railyard. Good job my friend! Keep it up!
  13. genshi macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    Thank you very much baypharm; your kind words are greatly appreciated! :)

    I'm still learning and growing with all of this...

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