BlackMagic Cinema vs. Canon 5D3 – The Camera Forum®
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BlackMagic Cinema vs. Canon 5D3

BlackMagic Cinema vs. Canon 5D3

Several of my professional photography friends and I have recently begun discussing our business futures.  As many of you know, the photography game as a business has changed pretty dramatically in the last three years.  Not only have the paying client jobs been fewer in number, but the client demands have increased.  Where once most of us shot only still photographs, today’s reality is we need to also provide video together with something more to set us apart from our competition.

Historically still photography and video capture are two entirely different fields.  The workflow, capture techniques, lighting, viewing angles, makeup, cameras, grip gear, editing, software tools and post processing techniques are very different each from the other.  While this has made for a difficult transition business wise for many, a few of the smarter photographers have begun experimenting with video in a multi-media technique called Hybrid Imaging.  Hybrid Imaging= Stills, Video, Sound, Music, and Special Effects combined together in a final video piece.

This “roll-up” of what used to be two very distinct professions goes against the grain of the “Age of Specialization” these formally individual professions enjoyed for many years.  As you would expect, this has caused quite a stir and triggered some pretty heated debates in the professional circles.  So have the various DSLR cameras vs. the new breed of small sensor hybrid imaging capture devices (mirrorless cameras) starting to flood onto the market.  Most are derived from a still camera design as a starting point.  In the case of the Black Magic Cinema Camera however, this was designed from the ground up, using a clean page.  How good is it?  Take a look for yourself:


After several DAYS of trying to upload this video to Vimeo, we’ve ultimately had to reduce the bit-rate compression down to 18mbps (Vimeo recommends 5mbps, ha!), which is down from our minimum quality level of 40mbps. This means the SOURCE file you can download will also inhibit some amount of compression blocking and smearing, even in the Cinema Camera footage, which doesn’t originally exist in our ProRes master file. We’ve tried EVERYTHING, multiple types of uploads, different encoding methods, you name it. This is as best as it will get unless someone can host our 40mbps H.264 file (about 3GB) on their server that the world can download from.

Although the downloadable source file is a little better than the streaming version, it still doesn’t compare to the original ProRes source file which imposes no banding, compression artifacts, or chrominance sub-sampling (down from 4:4:4 to H.264’s 4:2:0 space). Please keep this in mind when viewing.

Unfortunately Vimeo only allows 100 downloads per day, so check back to download the 2GB file if the queue is filled. And remember to always watch in FULL 1080 HD or you will have added scaling and moiré issues on some of the tests than what is already been added by Vimeo and our horrid bit-rate restrictions.

Background: This video compares the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera and the Canon 5D Mark III in several tests. This includes dynamic range, sharpness, pushing levels, banding, artifacts, rolling shutter, chromakeying, wide/telephoto lengths, DOF (depth of field), low light, macro blocking, contrast, and more.

Thanks for watching. Hope this is as informative for you as it was for me making it.

Marco Solorio



Chuck Jones

Digital Media Producer, Photographer, Video Storyteller, Cinemagraph Master. Only Semi-Reformed Hippy. Managing Editor of http://TheCameraForum.Com

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