25
Oct
14

I downgraded from Red Scarlet MX to Blackmagic Production Camera, but it feels like an upgrade!

Martin Beek https://livecrew.nl I’ve thought long and hard about my next move, camera-wise. My Red Scarlet MX was eligible for upgrading to an Epic for 9000US$, or upgrading to a Scarlet Dragon for 9500US$. I paid a small fortune for my Scarlet and adding another 9 grand meant that i could’ve better bought an Epic in the first place. IMHO, not much of a deal or “gesture” to Scarlet owners.

I decided eventually to sell the Scarlet now it’s still worth a few bucks. Emphasizing on “a few”.
I had to let it go a few weeks ago for 7200 euros including a cage, Redmote, two 64gb SSDs, 5″ LCD, sideSSD, etc.; the complete scarlet package plus tophandle and cage. That amount of money is peanuts, but hey, you know that it devaluates starting day one.

I decided to “downgrade” to a 3000US$ Blackmagic production camera, forMartin Beek https://livecrew.nl https://livecrew.nl/martinbeek having a camera around the place and have something to play with during the fall and winter. Bought myself a great Sigma 18-35 1.8 zoom and a cage with handles plus three 500GB SSDs. Still had enough money left to buy some extra audio gear, Vmount batteries and pay a few months of mortgage for the house! ;-)

I thought i’d bought Martin’s next plaything and considered it to be a downgrade just to please my desire to own a camera.
I was almost shocked to learn that the 3000$ silly looking package produced way sharper and detailed images that my Red scarlet ever did! It has roughly the same dynamic range and s/n ratio, but seems to reveal much more micro-detail instead of bags of noise when blowing images up to 200%. VERY VERY IMPRESSIVE!

https://livecrew.nl/martinbeek Martin Beek https://livecrew.nl I shoot 24p exclusively in 4K on any camera – i rent highspeed cameras when i need them. So the Blackmagic production camera is a gift from heaven to indie filmmakers. For the price of renting a Red (don’t you ever think of buying one!) you can buy two or three BMPCs !!!  And, just to make this clear, i am not paid of sponsored by BM to tell you this!😉

I’ll definitely shoot my next feature on multiple BMPCs, i swear!

Cons?

  • It needs bags of light (so buy a speedbooster or <=1.8 lens)
  • 400 ASA natively: use a ND filter and don’t switch to 200ASA (limiting DR)
  • 800 ASA is too noisy, just stick with the 400 ASA and crank the exposure up in post; it’ll look great!
  • No white balance. Just a range of Kelvins to choose from. Shoot a color card or WB card and adjust in post.
  • Internal battery wears down just below one hour. Buy one medium sized Vmount battery and you’re good for hours.
  • The BM CINEMADNG Raw codec is HUGE and will slurp your precious SSD gigabytes before you know it.
    BM HAS to device a way to adjust the compression level of the codec or come-up with something new, because this data-rate is outrageous. Recording just 12 minutes on a 500GB ssd is something i can NOT live with. Imagine shooting a feature film with this… My storage and backup costs would go through the roof! The Red Scarlet recorded 34 minutes of full 4K with low compression (1:6) on a 64GB ssd !

DSC_0133Pros?

  • Lightweight form factor, though very well build metal design – feels solid
  • Record prores and raw (Cinema DNG)
  • Super 35mm large sensor, great filmic shallow DOF with the right lenses
  • Comes with a fully licensed version of DaVinci Resolve (including dongle)!
  • Very nice skin color representation and silky smooth light transitions (just a personal / subjective opinion)
  • Low (audible) noise
  • full Canon EF lens communication and LANC (BeBop lanc controller will even control focus)
  • 4K SDI out
  • 12-35 volt input, so hookup any juice that doesn’t kill you😉
  • Easy operation, easy menu’s

DSC_0130

My next project… Taking a scene shot with my Scarlet, and repeating it with the same lens on the same location and under the same lighting conditions and show you the difference!
Shooting some hi-contrast winter footage with the BMPC!

Cheers!
Martin.


5 Responses to “I downgraded from Red Scarlet MX to Blackmagic Production Camera, but it feels like an upgrade!”


  1. October 26, 2014 at 2:00 am

    I Love mr BMPC!!! Congrats on the upward downgrade!!!

  2. December 11, 2014 at 5:50 am

    hey what is the rig you are using… I’m about to buy the BMPC but can’t decide on a rig

  3. January 6, 2015 at 1:00 am

    12 minutes on 500GB SSD? It’s +30 minutes on 240GB and 60-70 minutes on 480GB SSD, CinemaRAW.

  4. 4 marvelsfilm
    April 22, 2015 at 8:48 am

    You are right. My camera reports 14:55 after inserting a 500GB SSD and keeps showing that same time for about forty minutes; then it begins counting down somewhat aster than expected. I eventually had 53 minutes on the SSD when the SSD display sign started to flash red and i was able to put another 5 minutes to it.
    So, i don’t know if this issue has been fixed in 2.1 or higher firmware, but that’s the situation here. Not knowing how much there is left on a SSD is pretty disturbing… along with all the other disturbing issues this camera possesses.
    M.

  5. 5 marvelsfilm
    April 22, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Hello. That is the Wondlan Cage with metal/wooden grips. It’s very reliable and sturdy and comes in a flightcase.
    M.


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