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BMCC, C100, or FS100 - Camera Advice
  • I've had the Black Magic Cinema Camera (EF version) since April, coming from a hacked GH2. I kind of jumped on the BMCC fanboy bandwagon and jumped into the camera without really studying other options at the time. It's capable of some pretty great images, but overall, I just don't like the camera. It stinks for any type of handheld shooting, the crop factor is a pain to deal with, pretty much every hard drive I own is full of RAW footage even though I try to delete what I'm not using, and it takes a ton of time just to grade a shot to get it to look "normal" and sync audio from my external recorder. No built in ND's (coupled with a native ISO of 800), lack of changeable battery, and poor audio with no audio meters is annoying as well. Like I said, the image quality can be great, but it is just no fun to shoot with and there is so much not to like about the camera. Sometimes I like to just pick up my camera and shoot something, but with the BMCC, this is really impractical.

    I'm not a professional, just an amateur/enthusiast obsessed with great video quality. I'm primarily looking for something that has a large sensor and can produce sharp, detailed images with minimal noise. I'd like something good for narrative with the bonus of having something I can run and gun with if I want to. I can hold my own with basic color grading, but I'm by no means highly skilled at it, so I feel I wouldn't lose too much if I no longer had RAW.

    I've narrowed my options to either selling the BMCC and buying a C100 or FS100, or sucking it up and keeping the BMCC. As for price I feel they are all somewhat similar. If I keep the BMCC I need to still buy ND's, a battery solution, a better rig for handheld, a wider lens, and probably some type of storage array for all this footage I'm amassing. For the FS100 I'd need to add the Speed Booster and ND's to get it up to the C100 configuration.

    For the C100, I'd probably pick up an Atomos recorder at some point in the future. For the FS100 I'd be shooting only with the Speed Booster as I have only EF glass.

    From what I've read it seems like the C100 should be an easy choice over the FS100, but I feel like the FS100 looks much more cinematic (maybe it's just that I've stumbled upon videos made by FS100 users with better skills than the C100 users? Or maybe it's just because the FS100 has been out longer?). Honestly all of these very cinematic pieces shot with the FS100 are pretty much the only reason it's on my radar as otherwise I believe the C100 to be superior.

    Any advice from people who have shot with either camera would be much appreciated. Is the C100 just as good or better than the FS100 when it comes to image quality?

    C100 Concerns: -Possibly not as cinematic as the FS100

    FS100 Concerns: -Would only be shooting with the Speed Booster (bugs/issues/etc. with this?) -It's a couple year old camera, so I'd probably be disappointed if Sony released a replacement shortly after I bought one -No ND's -Form factor not as much to my liking as the C100

  • 23 Replies sorted by
  • I'd invest more time in getting better with the BMCC before you jump. Once you're adept at Resolve you should be flying. Have you not tried shooting ProRes HQ Rec 709? It's still a better codec than what comes out by default on the others you listed.

  • Yeah, honestly if you're obsessed with IQ I agree with @itimjim: neither of those cameras will come close to the one you already own. Both the C100 and FS100 take far more work to reach a pleasing image. The C100 I don't have much experience with, but the C300 I do and the FS100/700. They're not inherently "nice looking" unless you nail your look in camera and spend time massaging it in post.

    Have you tried Captain Hook's LUT on your if you don't like to grade? That's pretty much what everyone's using.

    Also, like Jim said, ProRes is plenty good. You don't even have to use the 709, just shoot Film and drop Captain Hook's LUT on it.

    The rest of that stuff you'll have to either decide you want to overcome or not. If you have an EF mount then an IS lens like the 17-55/2.8 costs about 600.00 on ebay and gets you smooth handheld, and your entire range.

    Just my thoughts, but if the camera is annoying you really bad you might have to sacrifice IQ for usability in one of the other two.

  • I have shot ProRes as well. The image quality of the BMCC is great and I know that I'd probably sacrifice at least a bit of quality if jumping to another camera, but it's really all of the other issues more so than just the editing time that has turned me off to the BMCC.

    Thanks for the advice!

  • out of all the camera, you have the best one already. work on your organization skills, don't keep every shot you ever make, delete stuff, watch tutorials, do you own hands on learning.

    I would rather own one of the new sony handcam with the super stabilizers built in over the fs100 lol

    the c100 is just way over priced for what it is, and if you don't spend extra on the ninja IMO the c100 is a big waste of time.

    shooting handheld with the bmcc isn't pleasant, but it can be done. I can show you 2 clips I shot 100% handheld with post stabilization applied and you would probably call me a liar. lol I avoid handheld if I can. One of the main reasons I think BMD dropped the price of the BMCC is to allow for a little extra cash to get your accessories and so on......but that doesn't do us folks that already bought the camera any good. if anything, how most kickstarters are, give the early adopters cheaper price, and raise price when it's in full swing, oh well. I would say buy an affordable shoulder rig or build DIY before you completely jump ship on the BMCC, and please don't think EVERYTHING you shoot has to be RAW, lately most the ProRes stuff I've seen coming from the 2.5k looks REALLY nice.

  • Haven't tried Captain Hook's LUT yet, may have to give that a try. I've downloaded some "straight from the camera" C100 footage and graded it in FCP X and I'm happy with the results. Not necessarily what I can do with the BMCC, but fairly close.

  • Hopefully linking this is okay, but this is where it's at:

    That, the BMDTealOrange LUT that Deezid made, and Juan Malera's Film LUTs are what most people are using.

    I don't even grade straight, anymore. Still building my own LUT and I have a modified BMD Film to REC709 LUT.

    The other stuff, though, yeah... that's just kinda what the camera is. =T I imagine if you're mostly just doing it as a hobby it's a pain in the butt and likely not worth it.

  • if you like what you can do with the c100, you can do it with the bmcc x2 basically. not every car drives the same. to be honest, when I got the bmcc I was really frustrated for the first week or 2 and almost gave up on it. Instead, I shot several clips with various settings, then I put the camera away in a cabinet to get it out of my sight. When I forced myself to set down and learn resolve I discovered that it wasn't the camera I was unhappy with, it was the workflow. After a couple more weeks of forcing myself to learn the workflow and get more comfortable with it, I fell in love with all of it's power and haven't looked back since and am REALLY glad I forced myself to learn the best color grading software on the market (some may disagree, but not likely? lol) and resolve 10 is only going to be "that much better"

  • Workflow Workflow Workflow. But I do get it. If you want to do a lot of handheld stuff and don't have time or the money to rig the camera up the way it should or want to just pick a camera up and shoot, then this isn't for you. Some days I do look back at times I had with my HVX200. So easy, so fast :) I have a question though. Why did you buy this camera if that's what you want? It's not like any of those factors weren't know before?

  • After 3 weeks with the BMCC, I finally got the hang of it, quality image is the key word here for me.After little more research the last week or so, im really thinking about the FS700 with the slog2 , even at 8bit internal , mainly for now better DR and crazy fps, mainly with the BMCC lacks, also the crop factor in mind..but again its 4500-5000$ more. This whole process of using the BMCC really made me appreciate the hard work all the guys did on the GH2 here, the GH2 still holds its own with these guys .

  • bmcc ProRes, realllllyyy nice stuff. this is what I mean by you don't have to shoot RAW all the time. this footage also looks like it was handheld, but could be intentional with a shoulder rig

  • @GravitateMediaGroup I agree. We just shot a promo with ProRes and there's so much latitude for grading and it looks great. The feel, the grain, skin tones! I think a 250GB SSD holds 5 hours of footage or something like that. Not bad. I can only see myself switching over to RAW in rough shooting conditions and lighting or if I know I want to do some crazy Sin City Grade or something. I don't do green screen or heavy CGI stuff so no need. I liked the look of ProRes 422 on my HVX and I love the look of it on here!!

  • I have rented a c300 on many occasions and just recently bought a blackmagic with the price cut and it kicks its butt image wise.. the c300 is nice and light and very easy to handhold with sorter lenses with the grip etc. but the codec is dog rough and it just seems to be a beefed up 5d. The inbuilt ND's are brilliant and so is the lens support but its overpriced and the c100 i assume is a lot worse image wise... There is something in blackmagic footage that is just yummy i think you have the right camera just gotta find your methods.

    I have gotten really really great results just using a edelkron hand strap for my bmcc helps you grip it when handheld so you can concentrate on the shot and not dropping your baby, also wearing a backpack or a pillow or anything that is a bit cushioning on you chest for elbow support is a sure fire way of beautiful handheld, tis a bit of a oldschool dop trick and one mastered by a certain Chrisopher Doyle. Obvs shoulder support helps also but i dont have a rig yet just try various things... also closing tripod legs and hodling the tripod is a great way to add weight and stability to shots... just get inventive and find what works best for you.

  • I don´t get why one would drop the gh2 in the first place.. (if speed / run & gun ability / quality is desirable) - its still very much relevant.

    Obviously the bmdcc produces some stunning images (fantastic DR) but it´s a whole different entity alltogether. But, you can still lug it around on your shoulder. You don´t even need a fancy rig, any kind of support will do.

    Another thing is; the bmcc is a much better match with the micro four thirds mount. Canon glass is one thing but it will not nearly look as good as plenty of other stuff around, when magnified (cropped). c/y zeiss + speedbooster is a magnificent combination for smaller sensors (go with nikon or other lenses if you prefer them - there will be a canon / mft speedbooster shortly) which makes all this talk about crop factor obsolete, more or less.

    Stick to one cam and shoot, and learn how to overcome the issues (you find are genuine concerns over time) rather than jump from cam to cam. No cam is perfect.

    Storage is cheap.

  • Oh yeah, the audio sync problem you's called Plural Eyes. Load the footage, load the sound tracks, hit sync and walk away. Boom, done.

  • I've been testing out tons of cameras and have had a blast a hacked GF3 and a Fujian c-mount TV lens. About $130 for both, used on Amazon. Or you could pick up a G5 kit for $350. Great quality. Really, any pocket camera can be fun. As others have mentioned, it isn't the camera that's got you down, but the workflow. Your risk is that if you sell the camera and get something else you'll have easier workflow BUT might end up spending all your time trying to get the RAW look back! Once you know what can be done, it's hard to go back. Do you want 10 minutes of perfect footage to look at in 10 years, sitting by the fire, or 1,000 hours of blotchy video?

    Others might be annoyed with me, but I think there's very little difference between the native H.264 video that comes out of any of those Panasonic cameras and the FS100 (I don't own one)--unless you spend the time, need XBR audio, time-code, etc. Everything else is either RAW, or it isn't. That's the way the world is heading. Why go backwards?

  • @rygenova,

    With all due respect, if you are an enthusiast, then all the more you would have time on your hands to work with BMCC till you achieve a level of competency you can be proud of.

    The problem with technology now is that it's evolving and things are changing so quickly. Before we even understand 4k technology, 6k is already at our doorstep. We've got to ask ourselves if we are merely curious about cameras, or we are more keen to leverage technology in our creative pursuits.

    A camera is a poor investment unless you have gigs that pay for it.

  • if you have money to blow and want a simple workflow and some all around footage for ANY situation. This should be good, or the model below this the "200" or "250" possibly, P2 isn't anybodys favorite thing to work with, but with what the camera gives you its almost worth it.

  • @GravitateMediaGroup

    That 250 is a damn good video camera! I almost bought one instead of a GH2 when I upgraded from my HVX200. But holy crap they went up in price!!!! Not the prettiest images but a rock solid ENG style camera. But it doesn't say Canon on the side so people shy away.

  • @vicharris yep, price is the only thing that kept me from buying the 255, because you have to spend 6500 + p2 cards + a p2 reader. $ thank you, I'll buy a better image and put the rest into glass and accessories lol

  • Ouch! When it came out you could get it and a 64GB P@ card for under $6000. I was so close. Plus I already had items from my 200 like the 100GB external Firestore Drive that made it a much better deal.

  • @JBV_CINE Do you find that your Edelkrone hand strap blocks the fan? I'm considering the hand strap vs. a top handle for long periods of handheld. My two cents: Not sure what all the fuss is about re: handheld BMCC footage. Yes, it's heavy, but I recently did some handheld shooting with the BMCC/MFT & 17.5 Voigt, and the footage looked fine, totally usable. Beautiful, actually. (Yes, it need some stabilizing in some areas, but not as bad as I imagined.)

    Sure, it appears as a handheld aesthetic, because that's the point! It's certainly not ideal for long periods, but doable. Btw, I'm a lady shooter who is 5'3, with small hands and frame, and if I can handle the weight of this beauty, so can you broad-shouldered fellas.

    Loving my BMCC, although I do have to say the fan noise did surprise me at first. Had a strange metal-like noise come up after long periods of shooting. Adorama is replacing the camera as we speak.

    Recently, am exploring batch processing raw DNG via CameraBag2, then using Motion to reprocess to QT. So far, looks terrific.

    Frankly, couldn't be happier. And the things that others say were 'problems' with the camera, are things that I actually like:

    1. Built in batt: I'm tired of dragging a million little batteries everywhere like I do with my GHx's
    2. SSD's: I'm tired of dragging a million little SD cards everywhere like I do with my GHx's
    3. Raw: yum.

    No dropped frames or sun spots for me, because I format constantly. For the record, I'm not a DP; I'm a documentarian and I do work professionally. And the footage that I'm delivering out of my BMCC is outstanding.

    Minus that damn fan. That is a pain. Heard rumors that perhaps one day there will be a Third Party replacement fan that would be much quieter. Would love to see that happen.

  • Tested out Captain Hook's LUT tonight. It really cuts down the time getting my image to where I want it. Thanks for the advice! I think I've decided to stick with the BMCC and maybe invest in some type of good rig or stabilizer to help with some handheld shooting as well as a wider lens.

  • @rygenova Good on ya mate :) Grab a Viewfactor or Wooden Camera Basic cage, some handles, a shoulder pad and a battery or counter balance and give it another go.

    BTW, @Shians CGH works pretty well for the BMCC too in Resolve.