Sony vs. Blackmagic
June/12/12 12:54 Filed in: Video Cameras
I mis-wrote when I said the BMCC is future-4k -- it's the Sony FS-700 that will have that capability. The BM is a 2.5k sensor.
Phillip Bloom reviews the Sony:
Well really kinda apples and oranges here, they're both nice but different. One thing that seems to get lost in the Blackmagic deal is that despite being a (future) 4k-capable imager, the chip is WAY smaller than the Sony. BOTH need lenses and other expensive add-ons. On the plus side of the BM vs. Sony is the built-in SSD recorder, includes Resolve AND Ultrascopes (each worth about a grand) though you pretty much need a Thunderbolt-capable computer to go with it. I would say the Sony is a more "traditional" camera (in a good way) from the functionality point of view. Plus it does awesome slo-mo. I would guess that it will generally make better images than the BM, due to the imager - but in order to be apple-to-apples there, the Sony requires an outboard recorder like the Atomos Samurai, etc.
What I mean by that is that the BM has an onboard hard drive recorder that can potentially record in any format - and on the high end natively records 12 bit RAW files. The Sony's internal recorder is NXCAM AVCHD compressed files. As with my EX1, which records XDCAM EX at 35mbps - you have to go out the SDI spigot to get a 4:2:2 uncompressed signal, and to record that properly you need an external recorder. The Samurai records ProRes in three flavors, I typically use the middle ProRes422 at 150mbps.
So if you wanted to truly compare the outputs of the BM and 700 apples-to-apples, you would need to record the Sony to a high res external recorder. (Or set the BM to record compressed) So - another point for the BM. $3k INCLUDING internal RAW recording capability AND full Resolve AND Ultra Scopes. That would be a deal at $5 or $6K. The Sony is $8k without lens (or external recorder, or Resolve or scopes).
This is not to say that the Sony's internal AVCHD files would not be fine for most stuff. A drive in my Samurai locked up on a recent shoot, and so all I had was the XDCAM on the cards in the camera as backup. Bummed me out, but the clients can't tell. And I sure was glad I had the backup rather than having to re-shoot a half day.
So it's a lot to sort out. I'm having this issue with a lot of items these days - not just what do they do, but what don't they do - and what's the best for my particular needs?