Spend a Day with Blackmagic Design & Marco Solorio – Los Angeles

Join Marco Solorio from OneRiver Media to review his work with the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera, Cinema Camera EF, Cinema Camera MFT, and Production Camera 4K. Marco will cover a range of uses and best practices for these cameras, his experiences with these devices on his BMW documentary feature film “Ten Tenths“, as well as share his thoughts on the Blackmagic URSA.

This is event is FREE but you have to sign up!

http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/spendaday

 

BMD-LA-Event-140724-Marco-Solorio

New eBooks by OneRiver Media

We’re excited to announce two new eBooks written by Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media! The first eBook, “Ultimate Comparison Guide to the URSA & CION” is available now and is 86 pages in length. The second book, “Rigging Your Cinema Camera” is due to release next month, with a current pre-sale discount at 60% off list. Both books are highly in-depth filled with charts, diagrams, photos, matrix outlines, and more. Please visit our official OneRiver Media eBook site for all the details!URSA-CION-Book-Cover-Angle.1

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2014 News & Upcoming Events

SXSW_Solorio_SlateWith the roll-out of 2014, we’ve been extremely busy on several production and post-production fronts. Marco Solorio (owner of OneRiver Media) has been extremely fortunate to be one of only few people in the world to be on the beta testing team for Blackmagic Design (since the development of the original Cinema Camera in mid-2012) and as such, has had the new Production 4K camera since December of 2013.

But aside from testing cameras, OneRiver Media has been extremely busy with both production and post-production on various projects for various clients, including OneRiver Media’s own content.

We’re also still fervently working on a lot of new exciting resources that will help users better understand how their cameras work; prior to production, during production and for post-production. Stay tuned on that news—lots of exciting things in store.

Next, we’re knee-deep in client-based projects and fulfilling deadlines for those projects. Being so busy is a good problem to have and as such, we have to make sure we maintain a balance between client work and our own work. So far, so good.

Since December of 2012, we’ve been in an active on-going production of our BMW documentary film, Ten Tenths, slated to release this year. We actually have several more production days left to complete for the film and we’re really excited how things are progressing.

lacpugMarco Solorio recently spoke at LACPUG in Hollywood on the comparisons between the Production 4K camera and the original Cinema Camera (along with footage from Ten Tenths). A lot of useful details were shared at this event and if you missed it, you can see most of the same information at the next event Marco will be presenting at:

sxswSXSW — Austin, Texas
Marco Solorio will be presenting at SXSW during Bob Caniglia’s presentation (of Blackmagic Design) this Saturday March 8th at 12:30 PM at the Austin Convention Center (details below). Marco will be showing real-world footage examples he’s shot using the 4K Production camera, which includes samples from OneRiver Media’s BMW documentary film, Ten Tenths.

Now, time for a little back up…

Back in the middle of 2013, we were actively promoting Marco Solorio’s pitch to present at SXSW as one of the potential headlining speakers. We were AMAZED at how much positive public response we got from this campaign. In fact, it’s clear that Marco’s presentation pitch was one of the absolute highest rated and received ideas for SXSW. But unfortunately, the general public’s vote only accounted for 30% of final voting (the remaining 70% by SXSW themselves).  So first and foremost, a HUGE thank you to all of you that took the time to vote and enjoyed our run of funny SXSW promotional photos. We are truly appreciative for everyone’s efforts.

But all is not lost! Blackmagic Design asked if Marco would present during Blackmagic’s presentation slot during SXSW, so Marco will still be at SXSW presenting. Maybe not the same extended topic or time allotment, but still great stuff to share nonetheless.

sfcuttersSF Cutters — San Francisco, California
Marco Solorio will be presenting at the next SF Cutters event on March 20th and will be bringing the Production 4K camera as well as (upon request) the Pocket Cinema Camera. Lots of insightful comparison footage between the 4K camera and the original Cinema Camera will be presented. Marco will include footage samples from OneRiver Media’s BMW documentary film, Ten Tenths. You must register for this event if you want to attend.

nabNational Association of Broadcasters — Las Vegas Nevada
Marco Solorio will also be presenting at NAB again this year, which includes Post|Production World 2014 as part of the official NAB workshops and events. Marco will have the Production 4K camera on-hand and will show in-depth comparison footage and charts between the 4K camera and the original Cinema Camera, which will include footage from OneRiver Media’s BMW documentary film, Ten Tenths.

Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media shooting in-studio footage for their BMW documentary film, Ten Tenths.

Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media shooting in-studio footage of the Performance Technic M3 race car for their BMW documentary film, Ten Tenths.

 

COMPLETE SXSW DETAILS
Below is more info about our presence at SXSW. Hope to see you there!

SXSW Presentation by Bob Caniglia of Blackmagic Design with guest speaker Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media
Day/Time: Saturday, March 8th from 12:30 – 1:30pm
Location: Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701
Room 13AB

Marco Solorio will discuss and show 4K footage from OneRiver Media’s BMW documentary film, Ten Tenths and will have his rigged-out Production 4K camera on-hand to see in person. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.

SXSW Happy Hour
Day/Time: Saturday, March 8th from 5:00 – 7:00pm.
Location: Stephen F’s Bar and Terrace – InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel, 701 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

OneRiver Media will be present with their rigged-out Production 4K camera on-hand to see in person with Q&A encouraged.

Come & Capture Film Factory Demo Pavilion
Day/Time: Sunday, March 9th through Wednesday the 12th
Show hours: Sunday, March 9th through Tuesday the 11th from 11:00am – 6:00pm and Wednesday, March 12th from 11:00am – 4:00pm
Location: Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701
Blackmagic Design booth #104

OneRiver Media will be present with their rigged-out Production 4K camera on-hand to see in person with Q&A encouraged.

Documentary Shooting with an ENG Cinema Camera

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In this exclusive article by Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media, he breaks the confines of what many perceived as an impossible task: shooting the Blackmagic Cinema Camera in an ENG configuration for documentary film production. As we quickly see, not only is the Cinema Camera more than capable of acting as an ENG camera, it does so with image quality that blows the doors off any traditional ENG camera. The results are so powerful in fact, that shooting any other style will be hard to go back to.

 

Take naysayers with a grain of salt
I remember reading long ago that the Blackmagic Cinema Camera would never be able to shoot super wide due to its crop factor. I happily showed that not only could you shoot wide with it, but that you could shoot as wide, or wider, than that of a Canon 5D Mk III.

I remember reading the Cinema Camera would never be able to shoot with narrow depth-of-field (DOF). Again, this notion was proven inaccurate with my real-world testing.

I remember reading the Cinema Camera would never be able to shoot in low light. Although not a low-light photon sucker, I again proved this notion inaccurate, thanks to the help of 12-bit RAW and proper exposing techniques.

Sony_HDW_F900R

The Sony HDW-F900R ENG camera was modified and used to shoot Star Wars Attack of the Clones, despite its small 2/3″ sensor and resistance of many in the production chain.

 

The thing that I commonly found interesting is that all the things people said the Cinema Camera “couldn’t do”, were from the same people that never really had a chance to actually shoot with the Cinema Camera in the first place, or in very limited fashion at most. These early speculations of the camera’s “deficiencies” were nothing more than assumptions without any controlled testing or extended use.

With that said, it came to no surprise when I read that the Cinema Camera will never be able to shoot in true ENG (Electronic News Gathering) style. Again, my initial feeling was that this was stemming from a small crowd of people that either don’t own a Cinema Camera, or did not put forth the effort to see how closely their Cinema Camera could in fact shoot in ENG style with proper rigging.

Is the Cinema Camera an ENG camera in of itself? No, of course not.

Can the Cinema Camera be configured to work like an ENG camera? Hell yeah it can!

Marco Solorio shooting footage for his BMW documentary film at Miller Motorsports Park, Utah. This rig is an early build of the ENG BMCC rig.

Marco Solorio shooting footage for his BMW documentary film at Miller Motorsports Park, Utah.
This rig is an early build of the ENG BMCC MFT rig, which has since been slightly modified for even more ergonomic functionality.

 

 

The foundation of ENG shooting
So let’s back up a little bit. Why is ENG shooting even important anyway?

For anyone that has shot with true ENG cameras, they will quickly tell you the sheer flexibility these cameras employ. When shooting true documentary style, where taking the time to swap lenses is not an option, an ENG camera is truly the only way to go, whether it’s a full-size ENG camera, like the tried and true Panasonic HDX-900, or a much more affordable alternative like the Sony EX1 or EX3 in smaller form factor.

At the heart of any true, full-size ENG camera is a form-factor that molds the camera body to your shoulder, the lens in your hands, the electronic viewfinder (EVF) on your eye. In essence, you become one with the camera.

The ENG lens (typically in B4 mount), is a stable extension of the ENG camera body, and allows the shooter to quickly (or slowly) zoom extremely wide and extremely long with an electronically controlled rocker, for highly accurate, and incredibly smooth zooms. So what kind of zoom throw do these ENG lenses have? If you’re only familiar with photographic still lenses, prepare for your sox to be blown off.

It’s not uncommon for most ENG lenses to start at the 15x zoom ratio at a minimum, but typically start at 11x, 15x, 17x, 20x, and even 22x (or as much as 42x for a paltry $80k). What does that exactly mean? If you have a 20x zoom that starts at 8mm natively, then you’ll have a zoom range of 8mm to 160mm. When finally mounted to the Cinema Camera, and the mathematical conversion is equated to relative full-frame sensor size, that’s an equivalent of about 16-320mm. Yup, this is the part where your sox get blown off. Oh but wait, this is only the beginning. Your pants may possibly get blown off too.

This quality Fujinon 17×7.6 HD lens is one of the ENG lenses we tested. Like photography lenses, there are a wide array of ENG lenses to choose from; wider zooms to longer zooms, short ranges to long ranges, low quality to high quality. The used ENG HD lens market fetches prices anywhere from $3k to $15k, depending on type and quality.

 

ENG lenses are fully manual at the heart of their build. Likewise, the focus ring, zoom ring, and aperture ring are all externally geared for added controllability (note that they’re a finer “mod” at  .4, .5, and .6, as opposed to .8 found in cinema lenses). And because we’re talking video lenses here, the aperture ring is smooth from end-to-end (non-clicked steps, unlike still photo lenses). And typically speaking with ENG lenses, the iris is also constant aperture throughout the zoom range. Inherently, these ENG lenses commonly open up at f/1.7 or f/1.8 (but when mounted to larger sensors, the result is about twice the stoppage… more about that in a minute).

Another major benefit to ENG lenses is their parfocal optical elements. Watch any ENG shooter work, and you’ll quickly notice they zoom all the way into their subject (where DOF becomes narrow and focusing more accurate), focus on the subject, and then zoom out to their desired composition. When the image is initially focused at their longest zoom range, any other zoom range selected will also stay in focus. The vast majority of still photography zoom lenses cannot do this, and require your focusing assessment to be made at the exact zoom length you’re currently at. If your zoom changes mid-shot, chances are your focus will be off if you don’t have a focus puller, or are paying attention to the focus yourself as the shooter. Once you start using parfocal lenses, it’s incredibly annoying to go back to anything else that doesn’t employ this focusing method.

To acheive the same 16-300mm zoom range as the ENG lenses tested, I have to use three of our Canon L lenses (16-35 f/2.8L II, 24-105 f/4L, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L). Note that each of these lenses are non-parfocal, so focus needs to be re-adjusted at each zoom range.

 

The more that I use manual lenses (even non-ENG lenses, and cinema primes) with the Cinema Camera, the more I dislike using electronic aperture photographic still lenses with the Cinema Camera. It’s not a fault of the camera itself, but manual lenses just offer such a greater array of controllability, flexibility, smoothness, speed, and almost a direct organic connection with the optics. Sounds crazy, I know, but you’ll quickly realize what I mean once you only use manual lenses for a long time, then switch back to electronic lenses. In the same vein, even low-cost Rokinon/Samyang fully manual cine prime lenses are such a treat to work with (on any video camera that can use them). I started using manual lenses thirty years ago with 35mm film cameras, and then again for video in the 1990’s, but as DSLR shooting became quick and easy, I slowly moved over to electronic lenses, almost forgetting how much I love using fully manual lenses. It’s very nice to work again with manual lenses more frequently these days.

Marco Solorio shooting footage for his BMW documentary film at Laguna Seca Raceway with the Cinema Camera MFT. Although barely hidden, his two left index fingers control the electronic rocker on the ENG lens to precisely and smoothly control the zoom rate, while his pinky lightly adjusts focus.

 

ENG lenses too good to be true?
With full manual control, geared focus/zoom/aperture rings, smooth aperture, perceivably fast and constant apertures, electronic zoom rocker, greater hand manipulation than other types of lenses… what’s the catch?

Indeed, there are some catches. The first and foremost is that these HD ENG lenses use a B4 mount. The mount itself is proven and strong, but these B4 mount lenses are built with 2/3” sensors in mind. The trick is using an ENG lens with a 2X telephoto extender built into it. It’s this 2X extender that allows the small native image circle to expand out, which results in covering the Cinema Camera’s sensor. If you don’t use the 2X extender, the resulting image will vignette like crazy, and will be completely useless. So if you decide to buy an ENG lens for your Cinema Camera, do not, under any circumstance, buy one without a 2X extender! This includes using it on a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera with its 16mm sensor… it’s still much larger than the 2/3″ sensor size origins of these ENG lenses.

The next catch is the quality of the glass in the ENG lens itself. I highly suggest against using SD ENG lenses with the Cinema Camera, and stick only with HD ENG lenses. After in-depth analysis and testing with the Cinema Camera, I’ve found SD ENG lenses just do not have the resolving power on the Cinema Camera as their HD counterparts do. In many cases, there’s noticeable edge smearing in real world footage, not just test charts. Start with a clean image, and smear the edges in post if you want that hipster look an SD lens would alternatively provide!

Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L still photo lens at about 350mm on the BMCC (no grade added). With much lower optical power than an ENG lens, this lens is inherently cleaner and sharper. Note that this lens is also more neutral in color, where the ENG lenses are warmer.

Fujinon 17×7.6 HD lens zoomed all the way in at about 300mm FF equivalence on the BMCC (no grade added). Although a little softer and some noticeable chromatic aberration than the Canon counterpart, the image is still acceptable for the purpose it provides.

Fujinon 20×8 SD lens zoomed all the way in at about 330mm FF equivalence on the BMCC (no grade added). With a visually noticeable amount of edge smearing and extended chromatic aberration, SD ENG lenses just don’t have the resolving power that their HD counterparts have.

I’m always curious how well any particular lens can perform on a resolution test chart. In some cases when a lens doesn’t bode well on charts, it may still be acceptable in many real-world shooting environments. But using an SD ENG lens, coupled with its 2X extender seems to go beyond that point of acceptability and suffers in both charts and real-world examples.

Time to get serious! Drilling holes into the Tilta shoulder mount plate so I can bolt it solidly to the Viewfactor cage. I originally posted this on our Instagram feed.

With HD ENG lenses, I’m getting very good results, even on test charts. I admit, the sharpness and resolving power is not as good as my Canon L zoom lenses, but my Canon L zooms don’t have anywhere near the zoom power and mechanical flexibility that ENG lenses so greatly provide… not by a long shot! Sorry for the pun.

Like many things in life, there’s a compromise; you have to decide for yourself if what you’re shooting requires speed and flexibility that ENG lenses provide, or if high quality photo lenses (or cinema lenses) give you the results you need. Use the tool that fits the job.

If you’re going for the highest quality, most cinematic look for your image, then ENG lenses probably aren’t best for you. But if you’re shooting documentary style, or in some cases, corporate or industrial videos, then HD ENG lenses could be your best friend. Personally, I do not use ENG lenses for any of our cinema style productions or commercial work. For documentary or some corporate work, ENG lenses are perfect.

Marco Solorio shooting footage for his BMW documentary film at Laguna Seca Raceway. With things happening on a split-second basis, there is absolutely NO time for lens swapping or critical shots WILL be lost forever. This is where ENG lenses are paramount in this type of documentary filmmaking.

Marco Solorio shooting footage for his BMW documentary film at Laguna Seca Raceway with the Cinema Camera MFT. With things happening on a split-second basis, there is absolutely NO time for lens swapping or critical shots WILL be lost forever. This is where ENG lenses are paramount in this type of documentary filmmaking.

 

ENG lenses in real world use
Every month since December of 2012, we’ve been in production on a BMW documentary film, and will complete production in January of 2014. The vast majority of cameras used for our documentary have been the Cinema Camera EF and MFT models. The Cinema Camera MFT model in particular is exceptionally flexible in regards to lens mounting. It costs less and provides a cleaner/sharper image using the Cinema Camera MFT model with an MTF Services B4 to MFT adapter, than it is to use a Cinema Camera EF model with a B4 to EF adapter. The latter example uses optics within the adapter to fit the image circle in the EF mount. ENG lenses already use a lot of glass, coupled with the 2X extender, so adding another layer of optics only adds to image degradation. This is not to say it looks bad, but if you have the choice, go with the MFT route. Again, it costs much less, and produces a cleaner image.

Side note: the Blackmagic Production 4K camera is EF mount and would require the latter said B4 to EF adapter. Optical quality in this configuration is not known at this time, but resolving power to the camera’s 4K resolution from all this layered HD glass may not be very high. Only an educated guess for now, as I do not have said optical B4 to EF adapter to test with.

In some of my recent presentations in Los Angeles, I previewed some samples from my BMW documentary film and how my ENG footage intercuts with other footage using high quality photo and cine optics. By in large, nobody in the viewing audience can discern which lens was used between the shots. And in reality, isn’t this truly what it boils down to? Overall, I’ve been extremely pleased with the optical results using HD ENG lenses on our Cinema Cameras for our documentary work. I’m so sold on it in fact, that I refuse to use any photographic zoom lenses when we need powerful zoom flexibility when shooting documentary format with no time for lens swapping.

The #46 Performance Technic BMW M3 race car putting laps in at Laguna Seca Raceway in the US Touring Car Championship series. This shot is pulled from our Cinema Camera ProRes HQ footage using the Fujinon 7.6x17 ENG HD lens.

The #46 Performance Technic BMW M3 race car putting laps in at Laguna Seca Raceway (here at the famous Corkscrew) in the US Touring Car Championship series. This shot for our BMW documentary film is pulled from our Cinema Camera (MFT) ProRes HQ footage using the Fujinon 17×7.6 ENG HD lens.

 

Having had the original Cinema Camera EF for about a year now (since before its public release), I’ve had the opportunity to use the camera in countless situations; jibs, dollies, cranes, sliders, glidecams, various interior/exterior car mounts, and of course, handheld and shoulder mount. The latter has been a little tricky to develop, but with a little ingenuity, a few components, and a drill, I have what I feel is a very capable ENG style rig for the Cinema Camera.

Using this rig I built for shooting our BMW documentary film is incredibly functional. I’m able to combine the powerful image quality the Cinema Camera delivers (12-bit RAW, ProRes HQ, and DNxHD), along with the flexibility an ENG camera provides.

In a nutshell, this is what my “ENG Cinema Camera” is capable of:

  • More than twice the imager size of a 2/3” ENG sensor
  • Option to shoot in 12-bit RAW, ProRes HQ, or DNxHD
  • Ability to use any B4 2X ENG lenses with their inherent advantages:
    • Extremely powerful zoom ratios, as much as 22X (and even as much as 48x if you have $80k+ laying around)
    • Electronic rocker zooms with fast/slow responses
    • Geared focus, zoom, and aperture rings
    • Aperture is smooth without incremental clicked steps
    • Parfocal optics allow for locked focus throughout zoom range
    • Solid handling with both hands on lens
    • Built in macro function
    • Ability to back-focus the lens to the camera
    • Front element is always stationary and will not hit filters in mattebox
  • XLR I/O audio with 48/24-volt phantom power, EQ, dynamic limiters, long meters, physical gain adjustments, live/playback monitoring, digital output.
  • Option of either LCD panel or EVF (Electronic View Finder) monitoring.
  • Adjustable V-mount battery plate with ability to mount two V-mount batteries together, two D-tap outputs, and five regulated LEMO power taps (14, 12, 12, 8.5, and 5 volts).
  • V-mount battery provides me at least 3 hours of continuous use, and in some cases, up to a full day of use, depending on the amount of gear plugged into it and each of their rated draw.
  • Quick-release V-lock plate with integrated shoulder brace.

All of these key features are what really make this rig work as a usable ENG camera replacement, but with the advantage of much higher image quality, dynamic range, and longer footage runs (each of my SanDisk Extreme 480 GB SSDs provide about four hours of ProRes HQ and one hour of 12-bit RAW).

The OneRiver Media ENG Cinema Camera consists of these key elements. The entire rear section can pivot and slide to gain access to the touchscreen menu. The Movcam battery plate is available in both V-mount and Anton Bauer gold mount.

The OneRiver Media ENG Cinema Camera consists of these key elements. The entire rear section can pivot and slide to gain access to the touchscreen menu. The Movcam battery plate is available in both V-mount and Anton Bauer gold mount.

 

Most ENG cameras run at 8-bit, with a small handful having the ability of 10-bit, but working in either format results in extremely compressed footage; temporally, spatially, and within sub-sampled chrominance reduction. Dynamic range is also limited in these cameras. Add to the fact that ENG camera sensors range in size between 1/3” and 2/3” (smaller than even 16mm film) and you quickly realize their image quality limitations.

 

Shooting with our ENG Cinema Camera vs. a traditional ENG camera

PROS

Higher Quality: Far superior BMCC image quality to that of any true ENG camera. 12-bit RAW and 10-bit ProRes HQ/DNxHD at 13 stops DR versus extremely compressed 8- or 10-bit images through a smaller 2/3” sensor and limited DR.

Lower Cost: Even fully rigged, overall cost is still less than a high quality ENG camera using inferior image quality.

Faster and Easier to Use: ProRes HQ and DNxHD allow for immediate desktop previewing and/or editing without proprietary mystery folders and a bunch of extra files that don’t make much sense.

Modularity: Disassembled from its ENG rigging, a Cinema Camera is very compact in tight shooting spaces or when blending in with a crowd.

CONS

Multiple Components: Rather than a unibody ENG camera with integrated components, the Cinema Camera method requires individual external components. One plus though is you can buy the exact components you need within your budget.

Fabrication: With no current ENG mounting hardware on the market specifically for the Cinema Camera, you might need to perform some slight modifications to exiting solutions. For my rig shown, I only needed to drill two extra holes in the shoulder mount plate.

Ergonomics: A true ENG camera may still feel more form fitting than the Cinema Camera solution to some. But take note, my rig shown in this article weighs the same as an ENG camera, shoulder mounts the same as an ENG camera, and is balanced the same as an ENG camera.

Marco Solorio presenting to a full crowd (standing room only!) on his experiences using his ENG rig on the Cinema Camera. Shown here is some sample footage to show how insane some of the ENG zoom ranges can go on the BMCC.

Marco Solorio recently presenting to a full crowd (standing room only!) on his experiences using his Cinema Camera ENG rig at the recent Blackmagic Design Expo Day in Los Angeles. Shown here is some sample footage to show how insane some of the ENG zoom ranges can go on the BMCC. Next stop: New York City, August 8th.

 

Conclusion
So in the end, you have a lot of options when shooting ENG style. My biggest tip is going with an HD ENG lens over an SD one. The low prices of SD ENG lenses are incredibly tempting, but you’ll squash all of the inherent beautiful detail the Cinema Camera offers. HD ENG lenses aren’t cheap, even in the used market (figure about $5000 for a high quality used HD ENG lens), so it’s an investment you’ll need to ensure you’re ready to embark on. Alternatively, renting HD ENG lenses is typically very cheap, so this may be a very good option for many shooters.

To complete your ENG Cinema Camera rig, you’ll want to invest in some type of shoulder mount V-lock plate (Tilta or Shape are good solutions), a battery solution (V-mount or Anton Bauer), an audio input device with phantom power (and preferable metering), a B4 to MFT adapter to mount your ENG lens to (I use MTF Services), and an EVF or LCD panel solution. Acquiring these key elements will get you in the right direction for building your own ENG style rig.

When shown from each angle, the Cinema Camera ENG rig is quite smaller than first expected. In fact, it's smaller than a traditional full size ENG camera rig. The BMCC solution weighs about the same, and balances and feels the same.

When shown from each angle, the Cinema Camera ENG rig is quite smaller than first expected. In fact, it’s smaller than a traditional full size ENG camera rig. The BMCC solution weighs about the same, and balances and feels the same.

 

More ENG Cinema Camera Rigging
I’m currently in the middle of a highly extensive eBook that goes beyond the scope of what this blog post covers, and in far greater detail, including various footage examples showing the comparisons between SD, HD, and still photography lenses.  I also dig deep into various rigging options, and the individual components I use (and why I use them compared to others) to accomplish each rigging style that I’ve amassed over the year I’ve used the Cinema Camera in real-world productions. Stay tuned and make sure you connect to my social network feeds so you get the first word of when this eBook will be available!

Twitter: @OneRiverMedia
Facebook: facebook.com/onerivermedia

Please sign up for our BMCC newsletter to ensure you get the first word of when this and our other Cinema Camera related materials are available from us:

BMCC Newletter: onerviermedia.com/bmcc

Thanks, and happy ENG shooting!

 

A very special thanks goes to my friend Dave Dunham of ICV Digital in Pleasanton, CA for their loaning of various ENG lenses for our testing, which not only helped us, but also ultimately helps you. These guys have incredible flypack packages and a host of ENG cameras. They also have a fantastic 3-wall cyc stage if you need to shoot in a spacious studio setup. Check them out!

 

To help support the time, effort, and cost of this and all our other blog posts we share freely with the public, please purchase the products mentioned or pictured in this article through these links. They cost you no additional money, and help offset our expenses. Thank you!


Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera MFT 2.5k Video Camera
Buy from Amazon!Buy from B&H Photo!

MTF Services B4 2/3″ to Micro 4/3 Adapter
Buy from B&H Photo!

ikan (Tilta) 15mm Quick-Release Shoulder V-lock Baseplate
Buy from Amazon!Buy from B&H Photo!

ikan (Tilta) 15mm Follow Focus with Hard Stops and three gear pitches
Buy from Amazon!Buy from B&H Photo!

ikan (Tilta) 15mm Shoulder V-lock Baseplate and Follow Focus KIT
Buy from Amazon!


Letus35 MCS Rotatable Rosette Top Handle
Buy from B&H Photo!

Alphatron Electronic View Finder Bracket
Buy from B&H Photo!

SHAPE Rod Bloc EVF Mount
Buy from B&H Photo!

Movcam Battery Bracket and Converter for V-Mount Batteries
Buy from B&H Photo!

Movcam Battery Bracket and Converter for Gold-Mount Batteries
Buy from B&H Photo!


Movcam 4-Pin LEMO to DC Cable. Note: I build my own for much lower cost.
Buy from B&H Photo!

Movcam 3-Pin Lemo 5V to DC Monitor Power Cable. Note: I build my own for much lower cost.
Buy from Amazon!Buy from B&H Photo!

Movcam 3-Pin Lemo 7.2 V to DC Cable. Note: I build my own for much lower cost.
Buy from B&H Photo!

Movcam 3-Pin Lemo 12 V to 4-Pin XLR Cable. Note: I build my own for much cheaper.
Buy from Amazon!Buy from B&H Photo!

2.1mm 12v DC to 12 Pin Hirose Cable. Fits Canon, Fujinon ENG.
Buy from Amazon!


Laird Telemedia Cinema Camera Audio Cable 3-foot. Note: I have the 2-foot version.
Buy from B&H Photo!

Sound Devices Hirose 4-pin Power Connector (DIY cable)
Buy from B&H Photo!

Sound Devices MixPre-D Compact Field Mixer
Buy from B&H Photo!

SanDisk Extreme II SSD 480 GB SATA 6.0
Buy from Amazon!Buy from B&H Photo!

Sony VCT-U14 Quick-Release V-lock Tripod Adapter
Buy from Amazon!Buy from B&H Photo!


Alphatron HD-SDI Electronic Viewfinder EVF-035W-3G
Buy from Amazon!Buy from B&H Photo!

Alphatron HD-SDI EVF-035W-3G + mount + eye-cushion KIT
Buy from B&H Photo!

Cineroid HD-SDI EVF4MSS Metal Display
Buy from B&H Photo!

Cineroid HD-SDI EVF4RVW with Retina Display
Buy from B&H Photo!

MTF Services MFT Mount 15mm Support
Buy from B&H Photo!


Fujinon ZA12x4.5BERD ENG HD Lens
4.5mm-54mm
Buy from B&H Photo!

Fujinon XA17x7.6BERM ENG HD Lens
7.6mm-129mm
Buy from B&H Photo!

Fujinon HA18x7.6BERM ENG HD Lens
7.6mm-137mm
Buy from B&H Photo!

Fujinon HA19x7.4BERM ENG HD Lens
7.4mm-141mm
Buy from B&H Photo!

Fujinon HA23x7.6BERM ENG HD Lens
7.6mm-175mm
Buy from B&H Photo!

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Off to NAB and TWO Cinema Cameras!

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Join Marco Solorio this Saturday at NAB Post Production World for a 90-minute presentation on the Cinema Camera EF and MFT models. New content that hasn’t been released will be presented!

 

We officially got the green light today that we can publicly speak about us having the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera MFT (Micro Four Thirds) model. We’ve actually had this camera, but due to our NDA with Blackmagic, we were bound to not say anything until they said so. This was tough, especially when others were posting about it!

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OneRiver Media’s EF and MFT models of the Cinema Camera. Get the scoop on both this Saturday at NAB!

Okay, we’re not going to actually physically bring both the EF model and the MFT model to NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) with us, but we ARE going to bring the MFT model. Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media is presenting BOTH models at NAB Post Production World this Saturday, April 6, 2013 for a full 90-minute presentation.

So what will be covered at this NAB presentation by Marco? Quite a lot actually, including some brand new stuff that Marco has NOT shared publicly yet with the MFT model. This includes testing a number of vintage lenses and adapters that work perfectly on the MFT model. Items include Canon FD lenses, Canon EF lenses (on MFT), Nikon F lenses, 2X anamorphic adapters, and 16×9 adapters for 2.35 anamorphic, wide angle adapters, and much, much more.

We've run our collection of lenses through the paces; see some of Marco's findings at the NAB presentation this Saturday.

We’ve run our collection of lenses through the paces; see some of Marco’s findings at the NAB presentation this Saturday.

You may have watched Marco’s two-part comparison videos on Vimeo, “Comparing the Cinema Camera & Canon 5D Mk III“, and “The Impact of 12-bit RAW” which have taken a lot of notice in the industry. Marco will interactively show how some of these finding work with the CinemaDNG RAW files the Cinema Camera can produce.

What's this rig all about? Find out this Saturday at NAB!

What’s this rig all about? Find out this Saturday at NAB!

Marco will also show some samples of his latest film in early production, “NEXUS The Critical Phase” and a new BMW documentary, which is also in early production. This footage will ONLY be showed during this NAB presentation.

Frame grab from our BMW documentary currently in production. Watch sample footage this Saturday at NAB!

Frame grab from our BMW documentary currently in production. Watch sample footage this Saturday at NAB!

During the NAB exhibition days, Marco will be pounding the pavement (padded carpet?) with the MFT BMCC, visiting various booths, and showcasing BMCC related products and recording it on the Cinema Camera as it happens. Please visit this page often as we will post new booth visits as we lock them in! You can come see the MFT BMCC in action, or even be part of the action!

Monday, April 8
Flanders Scientific — Time TBD
Viewfactor — Time TBD
Cinebags — Time TBD

Tuesday, April 9
Flanders Scientific — Time TBD
Zeiss — Time TBD

Wednesday, April 10
Flanders Scientific — Time TBD
Sachtler — Time TBD

Thursday, April 11
Will be roaming the floors, but may not schedule official visits on this day.

See you at NAB, and be sure to check back this page for updates to scheduled booth visits!  And follow us on Twitter where we’ll updates our events as well with #BMCC and #NABSHOW in our tweets. And don’t forget about our BMCC Newsletter. See you at NAB!

2-Day Cinema Camera Workshop in Atlanta

We’re Atlanta bound! Join us next week as we travel to Atlanta, Georgia for a 2-day Cinema Camera workshop, presented by Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media at the facility of Biscardi Creative Media. Seats are still available for both days and can be purchased here at eventbrite.

March 29-30, 2013. 9:15 AM to 5:00 PM, both days.

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So what’s in store for this workshop? A TON. Here are all the details.

This workshop will teach you the ins and outs of the Cinema Camera, give you an edge over your competition, quickly learn the camera’s full potential, get inside knowledge not available anywhere else, shorten your workflow learning curve, and improve your business’ bottom line through knowledge and action. Marco has been using the camera in all forms of production since mid-2012: short film (our current film in production www.nexus-film.com), documentary (our current BMW documentary in production), commercial, corporate, PSA, stock footage acquisition, event production, visual effects, instructional, chromakey, and best of all, just for fun! Marco will be sharing his breadth of Cinema Camera knowledge in this information-packed workshop.

The first day is geared for shooters of all backgrounds. We’ll have three live shooting setups to show how the camera works in different environments.

The second day is geared toward anyone in post-production that will soon have a flurry of this footage to deal with. Sign up for both days to save money to get a full circle of Cinema Camera production and post-production knowledge.

We’re keeping this limited to a very small group of attendees, so this 2-day event only holds 24 seats per day — act soon to ensure your spot! All registered participants will also gain access to Marco’s private Cinema Camera Facebook page that is not publicly linked or viewable. Lunch will also be provided on both days.

Thanks to our Sponsors, attendees will have huge give-away opportunities: A full license of Davinci Resolve, an UltraStudio Mini Monitor, an UltraStudio Mini Recorder an FSI LM-2140W Monitor, and ALL attendees will be given a $200 off gift certificate that can be used on any FSI monitor purchase! 

 

DAY 1 – Cinema Camera for DPs

9:15 am – 10:00 am Coffee Talk
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Workshop
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch (provided)
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Workshop

  • Cinema Camera background and overview
  • Rigging the Cinema Camera, large and small
  • Lenses
  • Audio (dual system and internal)
  • SSD, media transfers, and archiving
  • Calibration and monitoring
  • The good, the bad, and the ugly
  • Shooting for RAW vs. ProRes
  • Low-key, high-key, and chromakey shooting (live shooting in studio)
  • Working with Thunderbolt, Ultrascope, and Media Express
  • How shooting with the Cinema Camera can edge out your competition
  • Educating your clients on the benefits and hurdles of shooting RAW vs. ProRes
  • And as much more as we can cover time permitting.

 

DAY 2 – Cinema Camera for Editors and Post

9:15 am – 10:00 am Coffee Talk
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Workshop
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch (provided)
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm WorkshopCinema Camera background and overview

  • Transferring, managing, using, and archiving footage
  • RAW: Pros, cons, technical
  • ProRes HQ and DNxHD: Pros, cons, technical
  • Various RAW supported software overview (you’ll be surprised)
  • Interactively highlighting advantages of key RAW supported software
  • Various workflows for both RAW and ProRes
  • Using Cinema Camera footage for VFX and chromakey
  • RAW is now in the hands of everyone; are you ready for it?
  • System overhead demands and optimization
  • Educating your clients on the benefits and hurdles of editing RAW vs. ProRes
  • And as much more as we can cover, time permitting.

Registration info on Eventbrite here.

Looking forward to meeting new people and sharing experiences with everyone. See you soon!

Presenting at Hollywood Post Alliance

Just a quick post to update our presentation at the Hollywood Post Alliance, here in Palm Springs, California.

I had a GREAT time presenting at this year’s Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat in sunny Palm Springs this week! Not knowing what to expect, I was treated by a very large crowd of industry experts, most of which are in the feature film circles in Hollywood and beyond. A little bit of irony… here in this photo I am speaking to the audience about DaVinci Resolve and RAW workflow, only later to accidentally run into Dr. Henry Gu, the guy who basically invented DaVinci Resolve and who holds many patents on all sorts of color-correction technologies that were developed for Resolve. What a treat it was to speak with him one-on-one. Who’s teaching who?!?! Oh the circle of knowledge! Very fun event!

A lot was covered in my presentation, including RAW acquisition (the different cameras supporting RAW formats), the flurry of RAW footage that will soon flood editors in post-production and what to do about it, the advantages of RAW, an interactive example of RAW footage and the latitude you can achieve with it, some of the hurdles of RAW and what to do about it, tips on transferring RAW footage, an overview of various RAW-supported applications, an inside look at DaVinci Resolve and its inherent benefits specifically to RAW, an overview of various RAW workflows at the post-production phase, and how to best choose a RAW workflow for your needs.

A lot was covered and there was a good session of Q&A after the presentation.

Special thanks to Paul Chapman of Fotokem for moderating, and to Mark Schubin and Eileen Kramer of the Hollywood Post Alliance for organizing and inviting me to present at their event.

OneRiver Media featured in POST Magazine

As big fans of POST Magazine, we were excited to have been recently interviewed by Randi Altman of POST. Also interviewed in the article are Industrial Light & Magic, Colorflow, and Posthouse Pictures, and covers how Social Media is used by businesses in post-production. You can read the article in the latest February print issue of POST, or on their website.

And since this article is related to social media, you can find us here at these social media hotspots:

Facebook: facebook.com/onerivermedia
Twitter: twitter.com/OneRiverMedia
Instagram: instagram/onerivermedia
Blog: onerivermedia.com/blog
Vimeo: vimeo.com/onerivermedia
Flickr: flickr.com/onerivermedia
Pinterest: pinterest.com/onerivermedia
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/onerivermedia

Share with us how YOU use social media with your production or post-production business. Leave a comment below; we’d love to hear from you!

 

Cinema Camera Webinar: Moviola

This Thurday, November 29th, 2012 from 11:30 AM PST to 1:00 PM PST, Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media will be presenting a LIVE Cinema Camera webinar, with host, Michael Horton from LACPUG over at Moviola. An entire hour is being devoted for this presentation, ranging from production to post-production, specifically for use with the Cinema Camera. After the hour-long presentation, Q&A will be opened up to all attendees.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Blackmagic Design has given me a FREE LICENSE of DaVinci Resolve with USB dongle to give away at the webinar! That’s $1000 worth of software for free! But you have to register and watch to win!

Please go to the Moviola website for more details and registration.

Grant Petty’s Message to Marco Solorio

A message from Grant Petty, Founder and CEO of Blackmagic Design to Marco Solorio, Owner of OneRiver Media:

I was really amazed with Marco’s camera tests of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. With this camera, we had dozens of engineers who spent many hours and long nights working hard to get amazing film like images from a camera that everyone could afford.

However, what that means is thousands of hours working with electronics, machined metals, color science and software code, all in the hope that it’s going to produce the images you only dreamed it could. Marco’s test was significant because it showed what the Blackmagic Cinema Camera could do from a creative point of view, and in the end, that’s what matters.

I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the technical issues, with many camera purists being critical. However, I think that’s misunderstanding what the Blackmagic Cinema Camera was designed to be. It was designed to be a camera that had the technology to give a cinematic film look, while including recording to allow all that quality to be captured, in file formats editing software use at an overall price people could actually afford.

Marco has shown what kinds of images you can get, and I think in the end that’s what that matters the most. It’s very exciting. I’m not sure about everyone else, but I was really surprised watching Marco’s comparison video. We learned a lot from it as well!

 

 

Wow, well isn’t that nice! Thank you so much, Grant. This truly made my day!  I know you guys are intensely trying to get the camera out to the masses, so I truly appreciate your time in writing this. I know that once the camera gets out to all those waiting hands, those people will be as excited and happy with the camera as I have been all this time. As I’ve said before, I’m incredibly grateful that you guys trusted me with the camera before its release, and am happy you and your team found value in my shooting and testing of the camera. In the end, it helped me, Blackmagic Design, and those that will be getting their cameras with updates that I helped have a hand in; everyone wins!

Cheers to you and your team, thank you again, as I’m deeply appreciative.

Okay, I’m off to go shoot some more fun stuff with the Cinema Camera!

Cheers!

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