I haven’t blogged much about cameras as I normally would have and I don’t think I’ve said a thing about the new BMD Cam. I really don’t see the point in speculating, but I do have thoughts. I’ve said before that I believe RAW is the last evolution of camera capture. Everything beyond that is sensor and processing. So naturally, that’s where I’m looking.
Interestingly, for this microbrew series I really want the 16mm HD look. Currently, the number one candidate is the A-Cam Dii. I haven’t seen anything from this camera I dislike. It certainly produces the aesthetic I like (let’s just assume the operator knows what he’s doing and get that out of the way now). Being that this is a personal project though, i’m not keen on the $12K price tag. The price would be far more justifiable if this were to be the primary camera for the long-term series we’re looking at doing. I’d love it, but I’m not the only decision maker.
I’ve been so far, completely unsuccessful on even getting a mildly passable recreation of the aesthetic of the Dii. The wildcard here is of course the BMD Cinema Camera that everyone’s talking about. The only things that excites me about this camera is the $3k price and that it uses SSDs. Nothing else grabs me about it. I could go on, but here are my top dislikes: 1) form factor 2) CMOS sensor (when there’s a CCD on the market) 3) my past experience with BMD. Let me explain that last one.
I’m a heavy BMD user having a Resolve station and running Avid and Adobe and Nuendo. What’s great is that the Decklink card works well with all my software. I also have an HDLink Pro I’ve been using. The problem is the reliability and build quality of these units. Over the course of a year and a half, I’ve replaced my Decklink twice due to hardware failures and my HDLink I’ve had replaced once due to hardware failures and now the LUT processing is bad. If the Cinema Cam suffers from the same poor build quality as the other products, I’m not keen on using it in the harsh conditions I have a knack for filming. Granted, for the price, I could buy two or three but it seems…unwise to spend money on extras of a product that’s not up to snuff to begin with.
Does the A-Cam have its negatives? Sure, but I am particularly attracted to the philosophy behind the camera. I feel they built the camera for guys like me. And in many respects, they’re very different cameras designed for different uses. I’ve written a few thoughts here.
Why have I not mentioned Red? They’re not an option for a variety of reasons for me.
Update: I’ve sourced an A-Cam Dii I’ll be renting for the new series this fall and cancelled my pre-order for the BMD Cam. Why buy a cam because it’s cheap when something else will give me the look I want?