Blackmagic Cinema Camera vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III notes

So much thanks to Marco Solorio and OneRiver Media for his detailed post comparing the cheaper Blackmagic Cinema Camera (BMCC home) ($3000) to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III ($3500).

Please note that they had a lot of Vimeo trouble uploading the video and finally had to compress it down to 18mbps from their 40mbps lowest quality standard.

Also remember this is h.264 4:2:0 compressed color space on Vimeo, so even when you download the original video source, there is slight banding and artifacts present in the video that are not present in the original BMCC footage.

The quality of the Blackmagic camera is simply so good, like RED or other RAW cameras, conforming to web services is incredibly hard to retain the full detail and color range.

Aside from that, enjoy the video and let me know what you think. Try and download it, Vimeo limits downloads to 100 per day.

Comparing the Cinema Camera & 5D Mk III


After several DAYS of trying to upload this video to Vimeo, we’ve ultimately had to reduce the bit-rate compression down to 18mbps (Vimeo recommends 5mbps, ha!), which is down from our minimum quality level of 40mbps. This means the SOURCE file you can download will also inhibit some amount of compression blocking and smearing, even in the Cinema Camera footage, which doesn’t originally exist in our ProRes master file. We’ve tried EVERYTHING, multiple types of uploads, different encoding methods, you name it. This is as best as it will get unless someone can host our 40mbps H.264 file (about 3GB) on their server that the world can download from.

Although the downloadable source file is a little better than the streaming version, it still doesn’t compare to the original ProRes source file which imposes no banding, compression artifacts, or chrominance sub-sampling (down from 4:4:4 to H.264‘s 4:2:0 space). Please keep this in mind when viewing.

Unfortunately Vimeo only allows 100 downloads per day, so check back to download the 2GB file if the queue is filled. And remember to always watch in FULL 1080 HD or you will have added scaling and moiré issues on some of the tests than what is already been added by Vimeo and our horrid bit-rate restrictions.

Background: This video compares the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera and the Canon 5D Mark III in several tests. This includes dynamic range, sharpness, pushing levels, banding, artifacts, rolling shutter, chromakeying, wide/telephoto lengths, DOF (depth of field), low light, macro blocking, contrast, and more.

Thanks for watching. Hope this is as informative for you as it was for me making it.

Marco Solorio

What do you think?

Did the Blackmagic Cinema Camera crush the Canon EOS 5D Mark III?

What did you think of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera footage? Does either camera look more filmic or more like video?

Sound off below!

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)