BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

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BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby ZeeShao on 07/19/2014, 6:04 am

Hi guys first I want to introduce myself a bit. I am a high school student with limited budget but I love filmmaking and hope to major in filmmaking in university. Now I just use a Nikon D3100 to shoot(I know it is not a good choice) and a windows laptop to edit.

I started to notice the Blackmagic cameras last year. The price is, far cheaper than other pro gear,but still a little bit high for me, so I never consider to get one. HOWEVER, now BMPCC offers such a big discount that make it possible for me to buy.

The problem is, I am a fish in filmmaking and piratically knows nothing about grading and colouring(except adjusting curves in AE). Also, I heard many other accessories are needed for BMPCC to work properly, which will also increase the cost. And with BMPCC’s ProRes Codecs and RAW, I seriously doubt my laptop is not powerful enough to handle the footage.

So I am struggling between buy it or not. Is it necessary to have a good camera to practice skills? I mean, the post-production workflow between DSLRs and cinema cameras are totally different. Does BMPCC make a good long-term investment in filmmaking study? I need some suggestions…

Sincerely,
Zee Shao
A passionate crazy guy.
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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby Farmfield on 07/19/2014, 6:08 pm

You should look into the Canon Eos M, a seriously failed attempt by Canon to get into the mirrorless camera business, lots and lots of crap reviews, and an all over a disaster for Canon.

But.

Because as no one wants them, they are dumped onto the market and you can get them dirt cheap - and the thing is, they actually got the same hardware as the 600/60/7D's so if you put an 40+mb/s r/w UHS-I card with the Magic Lantern hacked firmware into it, suddenly you have a camera that records 1080p at 24fps in 14-bit RAW. For <$300.

Now, due to how the hack works, you got a crop factor for the lens, it's a bit more hassle in terms of workflow as you need to do some filtering and convert the Eos M raw file to DNG and such compared to getting ProRes directly out of the card, as you do with the BMPCC, but it's still 1/2 the money - so check it out. :)
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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby RickAllenMedia on 07/20/2014, 8:44 am

hi
Last edited by RickAllenMedia on 07/31/2014, 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby barkingrhinos on 07/21/2014, 11:40 am

How much money do you have? In order to properly outfit a BMPCC you will need at least $1.5K. But it depends on what you use it for and what you already have. In your position I would get a t3i and put MagicLantern on it. RAW is overkill for you right now. It's overkill for most prosumer applications to be honest.
"When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these?" -Cave Johnson
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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby ZeeShao on 07/25/2014, 8:37 am

Hey guys thanks for the warm and useful responses.
I have decided not to hurry about getting new equipment and instead put more time on learning skills, just as RickAllenMedia says.
RickAllenMedia wrote:What you have already is all you need to learn to create decent video depending on what lens range you have. I went to your web site and I didn't see any videos that you have already made. So, without seeing any of your previous work I would have to say that most likely you need to learn storytelling, editing, visual narrative probably a lot more than getting new equipment.

What you have is great for learning to make great videos. Getting a different camera will generally not help you to learn to make better videos. Instead, its studying storytelling and learning how to edit. After effects will not teach you how to make better videos either. So, without seeing anything that you have made I can only say that you just need to learn with what you have.
I currently have a 18-55 zoom lens and a 35mm fixed lens which is enough. About the website...err...I built the site entirely for fun so I never update it(I am lazy >-|| )

And I will consider to buy a Cannon mirrorless if I want to upgrade my gears.

BTW, I just want to ask how you guys learn the filming related skills such as storytelling and editing. I usually go to filmmakerIQ.com and nofilmschool.com. Do you have any good place to go? And If I want to major in film in university, where should I go?

Thanks again
Zee
A passionate crazy guy.
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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby RickAllenMedia on 07/25/2014, 11:07 am

hi
Last edited by RickAllenMedia on 07/31/2014, 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby Farmfield on 07/25/2014, 11:48 am

ZeeShao wrote:And I will consider to buy a Cannon mirrorless if I want to upgrade my gears.

The Eos M is an amazing bargain considering what you'll get after installing Magic Lantern on it. :)

But I agree with Rick that your hardware isn't your main problem, a D3100 shoots good HD footage and that's more than most start out with.
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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby barkingrhinos on 07/25/2014, 1:45 pm

Make movies. But more importantly make better movies. Make something, enjoy making it, put your heart and soul into it, then look at it objectively and consider how you could have made it better. Then do it for your next movie. But don't tear it apart too much, any movie takes a ton of time and effort.

Apply what you learn. I recently presented at a state high school film festival, it was amazing how much all the highschoolers knew, but didn't use. They had been given information about how to properly light a scene, expose, get good audio and such, but they didn't do it. Then they were amazed at the movies I had produced, but all I did differently was apply. I'm their same age and go/went to school with a lot of them. There's no magic sauce that makes someone a good filmmaker, it's about time spent being productive. (I didn't have much of a social life :lol: )

Along the same lines: know your equipment. Be the worlds expert on you camera and lenses and know how to effectively use them. In the same presentation I asked the students what cameras they had, most had Canon DSLR's so I asked them if they knew about Magic Lantern, Technicolor Cinestyle. They looked at me blankly because they hadn't put in the time to learn. Google your camera and how to make movies with it. I also had to explain things to them such as Crop Factor, Aperture, Iso, Exposure time/Shutter Angle, Dynamic Range, RAW and ProRes, Audio Meters, Formatting, Depth of Field, Focal Length... The list goes on. I'm not saying they were lazy. A lot of them just didn't understand how much more there was to filmmaking than just pointing a camera and pressing the REC button.

OK, venting aside, my advice: read NoFilmSchool and other online articles and when you come across something you don't understand - Google it.

Last piece: At some point, you will need to have a purpose for your films (effects/shots/lighting/music). Practicing one of those as the primary purpose for a film is fine for a while - but story is king. If you have nothing to say, no one will listen. If you have no story to tell, no one will watch.

Hope that was helpful :D
"When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these?" -Cave Johnson
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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby Farmfield on 07/25/2014, 2:51 pm

Yeah, we've come a long way in filmmaking, just a few years back you had to hassle with direction, cinematography and all that. Nowadays we just shoot whatever, recreate the environment using photogrammetry, reproject the plates onto geometry, replace anything in the shot we don't like, or just make it into whatever we want, like Mars, then we simply relight it and finally we replace any and all acting with CGI characters.

And this is why all the movies nowaday is sooo much better than before. Right? :=~

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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby ZeeShao on 07/26/2014, 6:19 am

Hey guys thanks for the responses
RickAllenMedia wrote:After all this, I have still only a marginal education in all these separate fields. I had no idea really when I started all of this how much there really was to know about it. I have since learned that you can't learn it all and most of my business now has moved to web design. I still do a video now and then but what pays my bills now is web design.

My recommendation is to go to a top ten film school if you really want to learn all these things. There are simply too many people and too many places that will steer you wrong, waste your time, or flat out lie to you otherwise. I would contact Florida State University here if you really want to get into a great film school.

https://www.fsu.edu/

Directory Assistance 850-644-2525

I am considering the University of South California cause I heard it is a top-rated film school.
And what are the jobs one can do after graduate from a film school?
Is it better to become a independent filmmaker or work in films?(I don't know the industry very well)
I want to pursuit film dreams but I know too little things about the industry.
Besides, no one around me have any experience so all I know are from the internet which sometimes are misleading as you said.
I study in Singapore now and I plan to take SAT test next year and then go and study in USA. I am a little worried about my dream because it seems very far away and there are so many talented people in the industry.
BUT it is my goal so I will fight for it. After my O levels this year I will definitely spend more time experimenting more!
I have to say that this is really a good community here. You are all very professional, helpful and warm, so next time I if I have any more problems I will sure ask you guys!
Zee
A passionate crazy guy.
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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby RickAllenMedia on 07/26/2014, 10:48 am

hi
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Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby ZeeShao on 08/1/2014, 7:36 am

Hi RickAllenMedia I was busy with tests so I was not able to reply immediately.
I thought over your suggestions about programming and I have to say that you made a good point.
But I was a bit disappointed and even more confused about my goals and future.
I considered for some nights and concluded that storytelling skill(or writing skill) is important anyway so I will pay more attention to develop this skill. And about the other stuff I think I'll just put them all aside and focus on my current study.
Thanks for your advice and tips again.
Zee
A passionate crazy guy.
ZeeShao
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 08/31/2013, 5:14 am
Location: Singapore
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZdragonMagellan

Re: BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA: BUY OR NOT?

Postby Farmfield on 08/1/2014, 3:05 pm

ZeeShao wrote:Hi RickAllenMedia I was busy with tests so I was not able to reply immediately.
I thought over your suggestions about programming and I have to say that you made a good point.
But I was a bit disappointed and even more confused about my goals and future.
I considered for some nights and concluded that storytelling skill(or writing skill) is important anyway so I will pay more attention to develop this skill. And about the other stuff I think I'll just put them all aside and focus on my current study.
Thanks for your advice and tips again.
Zee

Spend your life doing what is reasonable and safe or spend it fighting for what you want to do, it's your choice, Zee. Personally I just never bothered with reason in terms of what to do in life but with a bit of luck, it kinda worked itself out. Kinda. But man have I had a lot of fun. ;)
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