REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Blackmagic DesignCinema Camera with EF Mount
 
4.4

(based on 76 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (46)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

93%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great picture quality (64)
  • Easy to use (53)
  • Large clear LCD (39)
  • Good in low light (25)
  • Image stabilization (10)

Cons

  • Poor sound (17)
  • Poor in low light (7)
  • Complicated to operate (5)
  • No image stabilization (4)

Best Uses

  • Movies/short films (58)
  • HD shooting (51)
  • Documentaries (42)
  • Weddings (17)
  • Travel (16)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro videographer (44), Semi-pro (22), Enthusiast (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (67)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Outstanding camera, but "hidden costs"

Am VERY happy with this purchase. I use this camera for projects ranging from documentary to commercial advertising. The image quality, dynamic range, color depth, and RAW ability make this camera an...Read complete review

Am VERY happy with this purchase. I use this camera for projects ranging from documentary to commercial advertising. The image quality, dynamic range, color depth, and RAW ability make this camera an outstanding device for any form of motion picture capture. The faults (more like warnings) I have with the camera is the ergonomics of it and its more of an investment than it appears at first. You will not be able to properly shoot with this camera without a cinema kit. At least a Matte box and focus pull knob at bare minimum. The RAW format also eats up a lot of space, aprox. 250 gigs per 30 minutes of footage, so have spare SSDs. The camera also has a set internal battery, that has about 1 hour of life in it, with over an hour charge time, so a battery solution is a must in most environments. With that, a good lens for the camera can set you back the cost of the camera or more. If you are serious about production, and willing to shell out the "hidden costs", then this is a great camera! Also, be aware you are taking on a much more extensive work flow than with typical digital capture devices, especially when in the RAW format. The controls while shooting, on the other hand, are very simple and easy to understand.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not so much

Read all of the reviews and blogs carefully. Excited about the potential and I felt I had a pretty good understanding about the shortcomings, form factor etc. I purchased three lenses from...Read complete review

Read all of the reviews and blogs carefully. Excited about the potential and I felt I had a pretty good understanding about the shortcomings, form factor etc. I purchased three lenses from B&H to beat the crop factor. Canon 24-70 f2.8, Tokina 11-16 f2.8, Rokinon 8mm cine prime f3.5. After taking the camera into the studio to do some testing I noticed I could not make the Rokinon or the Tokina focus to infiniti below a 5.6. The Tokina is getting heavy praise by the reviewers as a great zoom to work around the crop factor. The Rokinon is a low price lens and I assumed there might be distortion around the edges. Trouble is the image is soft all over the frame. Both the Tokina and Rokinon were soft all over the frame from wide open to 5.6 and were not tack sharp at that point. The Canon 24-70 would seemingly focus to infiniti, but if you zoomed into 70 and focused on an object and pulled back to 24 the object you just focused on would then be significantly soft.
I contacted Black Magic support and they dismissed the Rokinon and Tokina as inferior lenses and would only address the Canon 24-70. Apparently EF mount really doesn't mean all EF lenses. All of the lenses shoot sharp images on a Canon DSLR. It has been three days with no communication. I packed up the camera and shipped it back to B&H for a refund. I have no particular beef with Black Magic, but no time or inclination to be the guinea pig to sort this out. I post this only so others can thoroughly evaluate the purchase. I will continue my camera search for another camera.

Reviewed by 76 customers

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4.0

Great Value for the Money

By KS Pete

from Kansas City, MO

About Me Pro Videographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • 12 Bit Raw
  • Great Picture Quality
  • Ssd Recording

Cons

  • Missing Audio Meters
  • Terrible Preamps

Best Uses

  • Documentaries
  • Movies/Short Films

Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

The ability to extract extremely high quality from a budget-priced piece of equipment is the number one reason this camera is awesome.

If you're used to shooting in a professional environment with separate audio recording, lighting, etc., you will be as impressed with the image quality as I have been, particularly shooting RAW.

You will need one heck of a computer for post, most likely a new Mac Pro.

Caveat: If you are thinking about using this camera to run and gun, you are deluded. That's not what it was made for and you won't be happy with the results. Do not try and record your primary audio with the camera, the preamps are terrible, even after you get past the missing XLR and Phantom power. Record audio, sure, but use it as scratch and then sync some good audio using PluralEyes.

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  • No

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4.0

Good and Getting Better

By Gary

from MA

About Me Semi-pro Videographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Great Picture Quality

Cons

  • Poor Sound

Best Uses

    Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

    I almost always use the BMCC in Prores 1080p Film mode which gives me an outstanding flat detailed image. Uncompressed 2.5k takes up too much space for me to use on a regular basis. The only time i have used 2.5k is for quick (30 sec) spots where i want the extra resolution.

    The firmware it shipped with wasnt good and i knew this (no audio meters, histogram, formatting options, ect..) but after a longggg wait blackmagic seems to be working on this. They came out with a new firmware (1.8) yesterday 6/2014 and said they will keep coming out with more. I am confident that they will add audio meters (which is the biggest glaring omission in the next few months)

    The ergonomics arnt great but neither are a DSLR's. You will spend the extra money you save on purchasing this camera at this price on extra equipment to kit it out.

    In all the camera outputs a great image even if the ergonomics are a little on the "slower to operate" side.

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    • No

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    4.0

    More than acceptable!

    By Shoe

    from USA

    About Me Pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Large Clear LCD

    Cons

    • Unconventional Auto Input

    Best Uses

    • Documentaries
    • HD Shooting
    • Nice For Lens Work

    Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

    EF mount, focus peaking, ease of use, connections, compatibility, compression settings. Nice compact hard case.

    Intuitive!

    I love it I'll keep it even though it makes me spend more money, but I like new toys.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Definitely worth looking into

    By Ethan the Video Guy

    from Lancaster, PA

    About Me Semi-pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Good in Low Light
    • Great Picture Quality

    Cons

    • Crop Sensor
    • Short Battery Life

    Best Uses

    • Documentaries
    • HD Shooting
    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Movies/Short Films

    Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

    This camera is certainly unique and it's a great camera to buy if you're looking to step up the quality of your video. The only reason I rated this camera a 4 instead of the 5 is because of how it's marketed. The biggest attraction to this camera is it's ability to record in 120bit RAW at a 2.5K resolution. That's great and all, but unless you have the time and the patience to process the huge file sizes, you're not going to want to play around with it. The reason I still decided to purchase this camera is because of the ability to shoot in ProRes. This is still a compressed 1080p format, but the quality from the camera is amazing.Some other things that I like about the Cinema Camera are it's EF mount for all of my Canon EF lenses that I already own, the customizable Meta Data, built in SSD recorder, and it's Thunderbolt port for viewing video scopes. The only other downside for me is the short battery life; but that's inevitable when you have an impressive touch screen display and the ability to record to a large format SSD. All you have to do is by an external battery back and you'll be set.If you are looking to upgrade from a DSLR then you should definitely consider this camera. It's less than $2,000 which is unusual for a cinema camera. The footage looks great and I am very happy with the usability.PS - you will have to format your SSD before using it with your Cinema Camera

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Awesome Camera

    By German Carranza

    from Coral Springs, FL

    About Me Semi-pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Good Image Stabilization
    • Great Picture Quality
    • Great Sound
    • Great Zoom
    • Large Clear LCD
    • Zoom range/performance

    Cons

    • Poor In Low Light

    Best Uses

    • Documentaries
    • HD Shooting
    • Movies/Short Films

    Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

    This camera takes such high quality videos. The LCD touch screen is large and easy to use. The control settings are as user-friendly as the settings app on an iPhone. Although it's a little heavier than I expected, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera feels rugged and well made. The grip material on the front face and back is excellent quality. I highly recommend purchasing a quality tripod or at least a camera rig as you really feel the weight of the camera after filming only a few minutes.

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Absolute godsend

    By Broken Media Studios

    from St. Charles, MO

    Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

    Have only had a couple of day and this camera has far exceeded my expectations. It is having a professional production camera at a consumer cost. You can not beat that.

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    (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Falls way short of expectations

    By djfern

    from Hamilton, ONtario

    About Me Pro Videographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Affordable
    • Great Picture Quality

    Cons

    • Dim Inaccurate Lcd
    • Over 2x Crop Factor
    • Poor In Low Light
    • Poor Sound

    Best Uses

    • Movies/Short Films

    Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

    It's not a terrible camera, and for the price, it's possible to achieve a high degree of quality.

    However, the faults with this camera, even at this price point are many and deserve to be understood by any prospective buyer:

    1) The LCD screen on the back is useless outdoors and is not colour accurate.

    2) There are no sound meters, so if recording sound IN the camera is necessary for you, forget it. It's almost useless. On that note, even when it does record sound, there's a loud hissy pre-amp. And the built-in mic, which is barely ok for scratch track, is located next to the fan at the bottom of the camera. ?! Seriously. It's almost completely unusable for sound recording.

    3) The ergonomics are terrible. You NEED a rig to hand hold this, and pretty much do anything with it. So add in the cost of an external monitor, battery system, cage and it's not such a great deal any more.

    4) The APSC sized sensor is a big pain with a 2.5X magnification. It makes your 50mm lens a 75, your 24 a 36, etc... To get 'wide' you pretty much need to buy a lens in the 15mm or less range. Also because of the sensor size, it's difficult to get a nice shallow depth of field, so if that's important to you, this camera is sure to disappoint.

    5) The RAW recording is ok, but the post-process is cumbersome. It records individual still images for each frame which must be compiled with Davinci Resolve before you can edit. If you're ok with that, the dynamic range is truly amazing. If you're in a rush, you'll find yourself wishing for 12bit ProRes recording instead... The included 10bit ProRes422(HQ) is not good enough for serious grading unfortunately.

    6) It is noisy like nothing I've ever seen before. I thought the RED One was bad. Be absolutely certain that your image is exposed properly, because if you underexpose in ProRes, with a dark shot, you're going to find some very ugly noise banding. It could make your image unusable. Low light noise in the blacks is very bad.

    7) Don't expect Blackmagic to ever update the firmware and add features. They've proven that they won't. What you see if what you get. Period.

    Who this is for:

    1) Indie filmmakers on a budget who want RAW recoding with an EF mount camera at a very affordable price.

    2) People who don't mind a complex post workflow.

    3) People who have or have access to quality sound recording equipment that can record sound separately to be synced with the footage later.

    4) People with about $3k-$6k extra to spend on accessories.

    Who this is NOT for:

    1) Documentary filmmakers.

    2) People who expect professional video camera features to be present or added.

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    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Blackmagic Cinema Camera

    By Iamdondada

    from Global Citizen

    About Me Pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Great Picture Quality
    • Great Sound
    • Large Clear LCD

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Documentaries
      • HD Shooting
      • Home Movies
      • Movies/Short Films
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

      with 2.5k image sensor, this camera is next big bang.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Awesome Camera period

      By cme4tv

      from Virginia Beach VA

      About Me Pro Videographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good in Low Light
      • Great Picture Quality

      Cons

      • Poor Sound

      Best Uses

      • Documentaries
      • HD Shooting
      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Movies/Short Films
      • Travel
      • TV Commercials

      Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

      I've been in video production since 1994, I've watched many things change for the better especially NLE streamline production. This camera shoots beautiful footage when matched with a decent lens, even a cheaper lens you still get an awesome image to work with in post. The reviews about the onboard audio are correct the fan noise is horrible so you will need to ad lav mics or external audio recording etc but the pay off is GREAT VIDEO that looks and feels like FILM! I bought one and I love it so far, I wish it didn't have an internal battery and WISH IT had XLR audio input as well as AUDIO METER!!! but for the cost vs what you get it's well worth the investment in my opinion. You will need and external battery power pack so just buy one.

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      (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Battery Exploded

      By Forest

      from Seattle

      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good in Low Light
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Great Sound
      • Large Clear LCD
      • Self Destruct Feature
      • Zoom range/performance

      Cons

      • Battery Explodes
      • Minor Burns
      • Smoke Damage

      Best Uses

        Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

        Had been using the camera for the last 6 months and been loving it... until yesterday, when the battery exploded, violently spewing smoke everywhere and filling my studio. The camera is destroyed, along with my SSD and all of my footage. I was using one of the recommended external battery packs to supplement the internal battery. [*]

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        • No

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        5.0

        Great Camera

        By Lee

        from Richmond Virginia

        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

              This is a great camera, the picture quality is amazing!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              WOW! Just WOW!

              By EricButts

              from Lexington, KY

              About Me Pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Great Picture Quality

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • HD Shooting
                • Movies/Short Films

                Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

                If this thing was $ it would still be a great deal! As someone who upgraded from DSLRs, the image quality on this blows my mind! Even in the ProRes it's such a huge improvement! The 2.5k raw footage will take about 1 TB per 2hrs, so be prepared to invest in lots of storage and make sure you at least have USB 3.0 connections. The camera design is a bit bulky and is not great for hand held on it's own. Once you put even a short lens on, it becomes front heavy and wants to tip, but I've rigged it to my Redrock Micro rods and everything works fine!The screen has major glare issue when in the sun, but an external monitor works around that nicely!The few features the camera is lacking can for the most part be made up for with additional gear!The inclusion of Davinci makes it a no-brainer! The software is every bit as powerful and intuitive as claimed!If you're looking for something better than DSLR, don't even think about it! Just get it!

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                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great sensor, great encoding on a budget

                By Luke

                from Nashville

                About Me Video Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Large Clear LCD

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Movies/Short Films

                  Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

                  I was initially drawn to this camera because I have a range of good EF lenses from my work with stills photography. The more I read about it: the dynamic range, the 4:2:2 (that's double the color information of most consumer kit) with advanced codecs or RAW shooting, the happier I became. I bought this hoping it would be a creative tool, and it is one-- miles ahead of my Vixia. I understand it is also superior to most DSLRs.My real passion is stills photography, but this has made me very strict about quality. This fits the bill even with the few shortcomings it has. The only big negative point is the super 16 sensor, but you know about this coming in. If you are coming up from consumer kit, this is much bigger than what you are used to and will give you a big bump in image sharpness and resolution. I also don't think it's as big a problem for depth of field as some people are making out. The other small negative is the lack of a "space remaining on SSD" feature. For my personal use this is not a problem.

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                  4.0

                  Just Great

                  By Wholesome Sam

                  from Chinatown, LA, CA

                  About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality

                  Cons

                  • Limited Zoom
                  • Poor Sound

                  Best Uses

                  • Movies/Short Films

                  Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

                  I like the Blackmagic. it is sleek and films well. I have had no problems as of yet.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Awesome camera!

                  By Taylor Jai

                  from Columbia, SC

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Large Clear LCD
                  • Zoom range/performance

                  Cons

                  • Poor Sound

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Home Movies
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Movies/Short Films
                  • Travel
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

                  We went into this purchase knowing that there would be "extras". The images are just breath taking--and it's extremely easy to use!!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  4.0

                  Pros and Cons

                  By Alexander

                  from Toronto, ON

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Large Clear LCD

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • HD Shooting
                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Movies/Short Films
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

                    I use the product for commercial production for largely online use, some television.

                    This camera has pros and cons, it is about accepting the downsides and taking advantage of the pros.

                    The image quality is amazing, the sharpness and flat colour capture is miles above and dslr. Davinci resolve is amazing for even basic colour correction and file conversions.

                    Cons, battery life, cropped sensor, frame rates, form factor.

                    Despite all the cons it is great camera, I prefer the quality over the 5D and despite the cons the most important thing is quality.

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                    • No

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                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Good Product

                    By Tsiry Andria Sarysyfeo

                    from Antananarivo Madagascar

                    About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Large Clear LCD

                    Cons

                    • No image stabilization

                    Best Uses

                    • Documentaries
                    • HD Shooting
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

                    I like it

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Execellent

                    By Ze´s Produções

                    from Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

                    About Me Pro Videographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Good Image Stabilization
                    • Good in Low Light
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Large Clear LCD

                    Cons

                    • Audio Conectors

                    Best Uses

                    • HD Shooting
                    • Movies/Short Films

                    Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

                    The camera is better than I tought
                    The price is incredible.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Sweet Files!

                    By caseyhyer

                    from Salt Lake City, UT

                    About Me Pro Videographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Dynamic Range
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Large Clear LCD

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Documentaries
                      • HD Shooting
                      • Home Movies
                      • Movies/Short Films
                      • Travel
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

                      I've mostly been a 5dIII user. These files are quite a bit better. Don't think twice. Just get it. Also pick up a few drives, thunderbolt SSD reader, a cage, and a 8mm.

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                      • No

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                      5.0

                      Works great

                      By Jim the runner

                      from san jose, CA

                      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy to Use
                      • Great Picture Quality
                      • Large Clear LCD
                      • Zoom range/performance

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount:

                          Everything that is said about this camera is spot on. The build is solid and the UI is crisp and responds immediately. While the battery life is short and the screen is super reflective the footage this thing captures is stunning. Not to mention how powerful the software that comes free with the camera is. Best purchase i have made in a while!

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                          • No

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