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View Full Version : Why BMC and not Digital Bolex?



Taikonaut
05-26-2012, 06:54 AM
Of these two competing models what advantage or disadvantage from either?

Fabián Matas
05-26-2012, 07:16 AM
Here some info:
http://nikitapavlov.com/blog/digital-bolex-d16-vs-blackmagic-cinema-camera-comparison-table/

Fluoro
05-26-2012, 07:44 AM
Joe Rubinstein from Dbolex comments on that page saying "Do you want something without rolling shutter to use on location in a more organic way, or do you want something with a bigger built in monitor, that will probably live in doors on a tripod almost all of it’s life. " Does he realise the Alexa has a rolling shutter? He's talking as though rolling shutter makes a camera unusable except on a tripod. Strange.

mhood
05-26-2012, 07:47 AM
I noticed that "BlackMagic Cinema Camera" deleted their comments ( ... ). I guess they weren't up for a spitting match.

Grug
05-26-2012, 08:32 AM
I'd say the most obvious point (even though it hardly needs to be stated) is simply that one company has a history of delivering high-quality products, and the other has no history at all.

Personally, I have all fingers firmly crossed that both cameras turn out superbly.

That said, I find it very hard to believe the 12-stops of dynamic range mentioned in Fabian's link - from the sample footage of the Bolex we've seen so far, it doesn't look anywhere near that level.

laco
05-26-2012, 08:34 AM
Does he realise the Alexa has a rolling shutter? He's talking as though rolling shutter makes a camera unusable except on a tripod. Strange.

Well, the Alexa has a lot of models, and the Alexa Studio offers a rotating mirror shutter instead of electronical shutter eliminating rolling shutter artifacts: http://www.arri.com/camera/digital_cameras/cameras/camera_details.html?product=6&cHash=96b45186ce


Back to the thread, I chose the BMC because:
- base sensitivity is 800ASA
- besides of RAW recording, Prores and DNxHD recording is also available
- claimed DR
- HD-SDI output
- recording to SSDs
- Davinci Resolve for free
- comes from a company that I trust in because of their earlier products.
- camera form...

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-26-2012, 08:39 AM
Personally, I have all fingers firmly crossed that both cameras turn out superbly.


Me too. I have room in my life for more than one camera & I really want the folks @ dB to succeed. I actually missed the kickstarter preorder for them, but I'm eager to see what they turn out.

pharpsied
05-26-2012, 08:55 AM
I hope to get both...
Me too. I have room in my life for more than one camera & I really want the folks @ dB to succeed. I actually missed the kickstarter preorder for them, but I'm eager to see what they turn out.
+1

Jason R. Johnston
05-26-2012, 09:55 AM
I wish both cameras well. However, I made my choice based on several reasons most already covered here, and the Bolex strikes me as the kind of retro throwback niche-within-a-niche product that hippies would buy for their "production companies" which are really weekend gigs made up of mostly hippy music videos: ya know? A lonely girl in a sundress and a big hat from the '20s playing a sad love song in a park overlooking the San Francisco bay area and EVERYTHING is out of focus or "soft" for "effect" and not an obvious lack of skill...not that there's anything wrong with that. The Blackmagic, on the other hand, I see being bought and used for bill-paying business projects from dudes sincerely trying to make it in the business and hopefully be able to afford one of those nice Arri compact zooms one day. Mmmmm...

But anyway, I'd buy both cameras if I could...

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-26-2012, 10:39 AM
hippy music videos: ya know? A lonely girl in a sundress and a big hat from the '20s playing a sad love song in a park overlooking the San Francisco bay area and EVERYTHING is out of focus or "soft" for "effect" and not an obvious lack of skill...not that there's anything wrong with that.

That was a very striking visual image! I even heard the sad song playing in the background. Lots of strings but upbeat & poppy. Monaural.

I looked at your site. You really know how to move a camera around. Those shots you pulled off while being eaten alive by fire ants...very impressive.

Jason R. Johnston
05-26-2012, 12:20 PM
Lots of strings but upbeat & poppy. Monaural.

I see you're no stranger to Vimeo, either. :D


Those shots you pulled off while being eaten alive by fire ants...very impressive.

Thanks! I'd never used a "Steadicam" before, either. It was the producer's Glidecam 4000 and my little T2i wasn't heavy enough nor did the guy know where the extra counterweights were. Basically, I had to simultaneously push the arm down to compensate while also doing all the other stuff...and DoP'ing...my life hurts just thinking about it.

Anyway, I had a good instructor: Mario Ortiz, who was my boss on the first two "real movies" I worked on: two straight-to-DVD flicks I operated A-camera and was his 1st AC when he operated his actual Steadicam. One day I got to strap in for a few minutes while on location with the RED One and, though I'd operated with the thing on my shoulder for a lot of it, wearing the extra bajillion pounds of arms and vest and counterweights and razzle dazzle pretty much made a man out of me.

I cried shortly thereafter.

But that's why I prefer actual field training to classrooms, but that's an entirely different thread...

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-26-2012, 12:58 PM
But that's why I prefer actual field training to classrooms, but that's an entirely different thread...

Or not. This one's fine. Were you on a surfboard in that one shot in your reel? The one where you rush up on the actor standing in the ocean.

Damn. You've put in your dues. Cool reel!

Taikonaut
05-26-2012, 01:37 PM
I wish both cameras well. However, I made my choice based on several reasons most already covered here, and the Bolex strikes me as the kind of retro throwback niche-within-a-niche product that hippies would buy for their "production companies" which are really weekend gigs made up of mostly hippy music videos: ya know? A lonely girl in a sundress and a big hat from the '20s playing a sad love song in a park overlooking the San Francisco bay area and EVERYTHING is out of focus or "soft" for "effect" and not an obvious lack of skill...not that there's anything wrong with that. The Blackmagic, on the other hand, I see being bought and used for bill-paying business projects from dudes sincerely trying to make it in the business and hopefully be able to afford one of those nice Arri compact zooms one day. Mmmmm...
But anyway, I'd buy both cameras if I could...

Digital Bolex CCD actually look sharper.

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-26-2012, 02:19 PM
Digital Bolex CCD actually look sharper.

Really? I thought it looked softer & gauzier... very 60s feel to the overall look, which matched the period of the short.
I adore the footage I've seen from both of them. I think that BMCC will be the far more popular and widely used of the two,
but I think there's a strong appeal to and market for the dB.

Barry Green
05-26-2012, 05:11 PM
Does he realise the Alexa has a rolling shutter?
The Alexa "technically" has a rolling shutter, but it is so insanely quick that it acts, for all intents and purposes, like a global shutter. Watch the SCCE, the Alexa's shutter performance is astonishing and looks nearly exactly like film, it's vastly superior to the Red or the F3 or any other rolling shutter camera.

Fluoro
05-26-2012, 10:05 PM
The Alexa "technically" has a rolling shutter, but it is so insanely quick that it acts, for all intents and purposes, like a global shutter. Watch the SCCE, the Alexa's shutter performance is astonishing and looks nearly exactly like film, it's vastly superior to the Red or the F3 or any other rolling shutter camera.
Interesting. I knew it was far superior to the BMC, FS100 etc but didn't realise it was in such a league of its own.

Oh and let me state that I want the DBolex to do well. It definitely has it's pluses- who wouldn't want global shutter?

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-26-2012, 10:14 PM
Here's hoping that we get to have the same "look vs. look" debate about the BMCC and the dB as we get to have about Alexa vs. Red. :)

Taikonaut
05-27-2012, 01:32 AM
Really? I thought it looked softer & gauzier... very 60s feel to the overall look, which matched the period of the short.
I adore the footage I've seen from both of them. I think that BMCC will be the far more popular and widely used of the two,
but I think there's a strong appeal to and market for the dB.

The footage I've seen on the Digital Bolex are sharp giving it an instant pop, as from good CCD sensor. Detail and sharpness are not the same thing. CMOS is seen to deliver better dynamic range and more filmic. Problem with CCD is it has that electronic look and not as advance in controlling low light.

laco
05-27-2012, 03:28 AM
The Alexa "technically" has a rolling shutter, but it is so insanely quick that it acts, for all intents and purposes, like a global shutter. Watch the SCCE, the Alexa's shutter performance is astonishing and looks nearly exactly like film, it's vastly superior to the Red or the F3 or any other rolling shutter camera.

Barry, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the Alexa Studio has a rotating mirror shutter: http://www.arri.com/camera/digital_cameras/cameras/camera_details.html?product=6&cHash=96b45186ce
Also it has an optical viewfinder, seems nice:) (Of course it can be a bit too dark because the sensor's base sensitivity)

John Brawley
05-27-2012, 04:03 AM
Barry, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the Alexa Studio has a rotating mirror shutter: http://www.arri.com/camera/digital_cameras/cameras/camera_details.html?product=6&cHash=96b45186ce
Also it has an optical viewfinder, seems nice:) (Of course it can be a bit too dark because the sensor's base sensitivity)

And it's another 30K on top of the Alexa's standard price. Plus you'll pay the equivalent of a BM camera just to pay for a software licence to unlock software features like anamorphic monitoring, or higher frame rate options.

jb

razz16mm
05-27-2012, 12:19 PM
...the Bolex strikes me as the kind of retro throwback niche-within-a-niche product that hippies would buy for their "production companies" which are really weekend gigs made up of mostly hippy music videos: ya know?


Hey! I resemble that remark! :cool:

For a personal hobby camera I prefer the Bolex for multiple reasons.

More modular system design.

Interchangeable lens mounts: I have a cabinet full of vintage 16mm format lenses, some c-mount some Arri mount, plus a set of Minolta MD Rokkors and a couple of Leica M mount lenses, all of which can be used on the DB.

A broad range of format VS frame rate options from 2336X1752 4:3 at up to 32fps to 720 x 480 @ 90fps max.

Hand cranked frame rates via that oh so retro hand crank encoder.

Same Kodak CCD sensor technology as used in Leica M series cameras. Great image quality potential within its DR and resolution limits.

Ergonomics for hand held solo doc shooting. Side and top hot shoes for mounting EVF and a microphone. Nifty handle with record trigger. Built in battery for small profile plus external power connection for aftermarket batteries.

Records to off the shelf SD media buffered by an internal 256GB SSD to eliminate write speed issues.

Cinema DNG raw. I am only interested in raw acquisition. I am not limited by the the time and preferred format constraints of the videocentric commercial production world. Prores and DNXHD recording not needed. I wonder how good the in camera debayer and encode algorithms will be for the BMC vs post debayer processing not constrained by real time demands?
I want to explore the creative possibilities of end to end raw workflows where the last step in the post chain is video encoding, not the first.

I like the minimalist operational approach of the Bolex. It is a camera that will be simple to shoot film style using a light meter and Ansel Adams Zone technique adapted to the digital raw medium. No worries about what the image looks like on a view finder beyond composition, focus and a reasonable representation of midrange grayscale values.

For the experimental hobbyist filmmaker who will find enough paid weekend gigs to cover the cost of the gear, including hippy music fests, the DB is a more flexible and fun choice.

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-27-2012, 01:08 PM
I'll bet this will be a GREAT documentary camera. Do you have any information about when the Kickstarter models get released? I signed up on the site to be notified when the product will be released.

nickjbedford
05-27-2012, 03:51 PM
The BMD generally seems like a more capable camera to be honest. Not that there's anything wrong with the Bolex. I suppose the other thing is that it's also a real product that's being released shortly. As far I can see, the DB is still mockups and blueprints?

Jason R. Johnston
05-27-2012, 04:06 PM
For a personal hobby camera I prefer the Bolex for multiple reasons...a more flexible and fun choice.

Everything you said is precisely why I would own a Bolex and what I would use it for. I break it down like this: BMC = serious bill-paying work; Bolex = red hot American summer. But as much as I like pencil-thin vegans in sundresses with naturally curly hair and thick plastic-framed eyeglasses (note: NOT sarcasm! I have a weakness and it started with Carly Simon...), unfortunately, I gotta take the bill-paying work camera first! :D

Jason R. Johnston
05-27-2012, 04:17 PM
Were you on a surfboard in that one shot in your reel? The one where you rush up on the actor standing in the ocean.

I was standing on a muddy underwater sand bar 100' from shore being slapped in the back and being carried by the waves as much as the actor was with nothing but my body protecting MY T2i. Afterward the gaffer (that was the entire camera/lighting/electrical dept) and I walked into the nearest public shower and literally gave it a bath.

There's video of that somewhere.

Being a photographer I've had experience with dropping cameras in horrible places and surviving. It was the last shot of the day, I had a backup and I thought "FILM IS FOREVER!!!" and jumped in...without a change of clothes either. Stupid? Hell yes! But, look at that shot! And that emotional scene of pathetic realization and humiliation is more powerful because of it. I told the director I'm running out their with him and he said ok and stayed on the shore. I don't want to get into detail of the kind of person the director is but he was appreciative.

No, I would not take a rental out there without a waterproof housing. Yes, the camera not only survived, it worked without problems immediately afterward and has served me well up to...last night where I was back on the beach shooting a friend of mine crooning with a jazz band from Dallas. The BMC is intended to replace my T2i as soon as I can afford it...

razz16mm
05-27-2012, 04:46 PM
I'll bet this will be a GREAT documentary camera. Do you have any information about when the Kickstarter models get released? I signed up on the site to be notified when the product will be released.

End of August is the current target date. So far they say they are on track. Hardware design has been fully locked for production at this point. The only thing that hasn't been confirmed in the final spec is audio. They were looking at different audio chip solutions. But it is not like Red or even Ikonoskop the hardware is all off the shelf readily available proven technology with the exception of the custom CNC body.

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-27-2012, 05:26 PM
The BMC is intended to replace my T2i as soon as I can afford it...

I'm a T2i guy, too. You've been more adventurous with yours than I have :). And the shot was worth it!

nickjbedford
05-27-2012, 06:04 PM
You've been more adventurous with yours than I have :)

Time is a precious commodity!

Jason R. Johnston
05-27-2012, 06:32 PM
You've been more adventurous with yours than I have


Time is a precious commodity!

Indeed.

"But you know you haven't done it all because you know everything keeps evolving and changing; and you know you can evolve with it if you grow and develop as a human being." - Conrad L. Hall, ASC, as quoted from Masters of Light: Conversations with Contemporary Cinematographers (Schaefer/Salvato;1986)

mhood
05-27-2012, 09:37 PM
Time is a precious commodity!

Spontaneity is usually opressed by structure. In this case, the director let it happen in spite of the script.

nickjbedford
05-27-2012, 09:42 PM
Spontaneity is usually opressed by structure. In this case, the director let it happen in spite of the script.

I was mainly talking about time to do film-stuff :p I work full time and have a "full time" band to commit to before all this, but somehow I fit it all in.

mhood
05-27-2012, 09:50 PM
Everybody is doing what they can... ;-)

nickjbedford
05-27-2012, 09:58 PM
Everybody is doing what they can... ;-)

It's easy to fall pray to the lures of cinema (read: making videos in general).