Blackmagic camera

Discussion in 'Cameras' started by Tabb Firchau, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Mark Melville

    Mark Melville Member

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    Brad I figured as much. I know I'll need a down converter. Right now I'm running Axi 2814 motors and APC props with 2 batteries (4c-6400) and standard MK electronics. The question is what mods do I need to make to lift that camera?

    I'm really torn on this whole camera issue. I really do like the GH3 but being 8bit it becomes an issue in grading. Now granted the grading I would be doing for aerials is not that extreme. More than likely I would have my DIT uprez it to Prores 4.4.4.4. So it matches the output of the Alexa. Now for my TV episodic work and commercials it's fine but I also do features. My concern is it's codec and will it hold up on the big screen.

    The BMC on the other hand would fit the bill for all the various types of work that I do. Granted it cost slightly more and weighs more. I see it's a bit over 5 pounds. I think the Epic is even heavier and I know guys are flying that. The 2.5k RAW is fine for feature work. Most mortals can't tell the difference between that and 4k. 4k works great if you doing heavy VFX work. On the other hand the show I'm doing now has tons of VFX and we're shooting ProRes 4.4.4.4 and the EFX guys are happy with it.

    What impressed me about the BMC was the look of the camera. Very very nice and quite cinematic for a small sensor and for me that's a must because my work is narrative film making.
     
  2. Brad McGiveron

    Brad McGiveron Active Member

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    Yup...our Epic/Scarlet multi combo rolls in around 11kg auw and I bet the BMC will come in around 8-9 kg. The problem really is that although the CS8 in stock form could lift that weight, it won't fly very well and be on its limits. To improve that you are going to need more power. More power equals bigger motors and bigger esc's... which means no MK BL's and more weight. You get the idea here as it most likely means a rebuild from a power and electronic point of view.
    What is your multi's weight now with everything except camera? I would just get out the trusty http://www.ecalc.ch/xcoptercalc_e.htm and start doing math. You might be able to make it work with the bare essentials but I doubt it will fly like it should.
     
  3. Mark Melville

    Mark Melville Member

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    I figured I would have to trade out the BL's for something that will handle higher amps. I think my motors have something left in the tank but could be wrong on that. Weight wise it's coming in around 5.6 kilos with dual battery setup. Factoring a BMC that would put it somewhere around 8.5 kilos or so with an SDI down converter which is what you estimated

    What motors and props would you suggest if I want to go that route. And it does need to fly well and not be at limit or the shots will suffer and that makes for unhappy clients.

    By the way how's things in Vancouver? Great town been there several times and really liked it. Preferred it to Seattle where i lived for a few years. At one point I thought about emigrating when the work was really drying up down in LA but never really got around to doing all that pesky paper work. Great city, I really do love the Pacific Northwest.
     
  4. Brad McGiveron

    Brad McGiveron Active Member

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    Ya its a tuff spot weight wise... you are kinda in no mans land at 8-9 kg. Different speed controllers and thus a different FC is needed. Unless you go the I2C converter route, which worked well when I tried it but was more of an experiment as I put WKM on that frame since then.
    Yes... 8.5 kg is too much for those motors in summer heat that's for sure as they'd be on fire I'd bet. You can always try and see if they handle it. The Tiger 3515 motors are cheap and either some CC 50's or something else. You might need to go to 5s or 6s. You can use your props with this but overall its a major change otherwise.
    Maybe wait to see if Tabb and the boys comes out with something because once you start to change a few things you may as well target 11-13 kg because its the same cost and a 8 kg load will fly great on that same system. Or consider the GH3 :)

    Vancouver is doing great! The usual wet winter but lots of activities to do in the snow. Lots of film work here as you know, but more competition with other cities now and the lack of tax incentives have been bad for productions. Still a ton of infrastructure here so no bottoming out yet.
    The northwest is a lovely area for sure.
     
  5. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    My first tests with the blackmagic were pretty bad, to the point where I had to go back to the GH2 for a gig because I couldn't get useable video, due to jitter. Seems like it's too much weight for the gimbal. And when i compared the resolution difference to the hacked GH2 it seemed only marginally better. Sure is nice to have that dynamic range though.

    Is anyone else having success? Is this a bad choice for aerial camera?

    I like the idea of the Indiecam better, 170 grams, global shutter.
     
  6. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    Anyone?

    Also, the rolling shutter is pretty bad on the bmc. Seems about the same as my gh2.
     
  7. Brad McGiveron

    Brad McGiveron Active Member

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    I got one coming in a few weeks so I'll give you my impressions after that. Its destined for a rental so I am not going to use it much but I have a feeling this first gen of the camera isn't going to make it a great option for aerial after seeing some less than ideal feedback.
    Hows the aliasing and moire with wide shots in the air? The weight seems to be distributed too lateral and vertical, it must be a little harder to get balanced on the mount?
     
  8. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    The moire is as bad as the 7D/5D when you 'hit' it, but it seems to pop up less than those camera did. I don't think trees and abstract detail will be a problem. Bricks and siding on buildings definitely will pop from time to time. Not a good camera for the colleges around here!

    The balance was tough. I hung it from above. After doing a radian OFF test, I could see that most if the jitters were coming from the tilt gain being too high. I was already down to 60 though. On my gh2 I was at 300! But even with the radian off, the play in the geartrain and gimbal made it jitter.

    I opened it up and considered moulding a lightweight case or machining the body out, but I don't think it's worth it and would kill the resale value, as well as make ground shooting more complicated.
     
  9. Brad McGiveron

    Brad McGiveron Active Member

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    Ya thanks for the info... that's what I feared as far as the tilt goes.

    I think the camera will be a lot better with a low pass on it but how much softer is it going to be is the question I guess.

    I was thinking about getting a 1DC but the whole too much lateral/vertical weight like the BMC made me rethink that option.
     
  10. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    Yes, it's a beefy camera too.
     
  11. Mark McGuire

    Mark McGuire Distributor

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    Hey Brad did you get to test the BMCC, was there need for any gimbal alterations? interested to hear if you managed to get her balanced & with what lens, thinking of getting the new version of this camera when its released. thanks.
     
  12. Brad McGiveron

    Brad McGiveron Active Member

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    Hey Mark

    Yes I did... Well it worked ok but it is really a weird camera to balance. After Tim's comments I figured it was going to be less than ideal and although I didn't have too much issue with vibration, using a longer heavy lens was not easy to balance. It had some shaking in tilt slew.
    With 4K it is probably going to make trying to sort it out more worth it, but currently I was less than impressed with it as an aerial camera.
    The small 1080 BM looks more interesting to me if it isn't riddled with aliasing and moire, but that's probably because I already have Reds for 4K +.
    I can understand peoples desire to get some ultra HD at a reasonable price. It just might not be the best aerial camera due to its shape :(
     
  13. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Brad, folks have said it's prone to rolling shutter, too. Did you see any of that?
     
  14. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    I bet he did. It's on par with my GH2, which is pretty bad.
    The new 4K blackmagic with global shutter might be good with some mods.
    I took apart my BMC to see about lightening it. The battery is pretty heavy and so is the whole screen assembly. I successfully ran it and recorded with the screen and touchscreen plugs removed.
    But for now, I need it for ground shooting so I'll leave it as is.
     

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  15. Brad McGiveron

    Brad McGiveron Active Member

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    Ya Steve there seems a little more but nothing that's a show stopper when under control in the planning of shots. I am sure it would be even worse if your vibrations aren't in check.


    I gotta say that the thing really does look like a toaster. Slowly I am starting to accept it o_O
    Just not for aerial work for me.
     
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  16. Mark McGuire

    Mark McGuire Distributor

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    Thanks Brad, the new one might be better to balance with the ef mount & some wide canon glass..Rolling shutter should be corrected too. i could put up with the toaster like appearance..lol. Tim have you any more pics of the battery & how much did the battery weigh.
     
  17. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    I don't really have any more pics that show the battery, but it is about the same size and weight as a 3s 2200mah lipo. When I took it out and held the camera it didn't make enough of a difference to me to have it out. Really, the screen assembly would need to come off and the case machined or moulded in a lightweight material to make a significant weight savings. The buttons and screen would need to have a quick disconnect too, since it's the only way to change some settings. It's complicated.
    I will wait for the pocket camera, which looks quite amazing already. Yes, it will still have rolling shutter, but it won't matter when we all have brushless gimbals! :)

     
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