Does the Blackmagic Cinema Camera shine? a review from LjFilms

by planetMitchLeave a Comment

The other day (well, ok, before NAB actually), I got a ping from Lionel Josh Lee (he goes by LJ) telling me of his ‘documentary/review' of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and I've just had a watch and it is indeed very interesting…

Hi Mitch, a big fan of planet5D!

This is LJ from LjFilms and just wanted to share my recent documentary review I've made on the new Blackmagic camera.

Took a different turn and made a short live documentary on where this camera really fits in.

Keep up the great works, thanks!

LJ Lee

I love the different take on doing a ‘review' by asking different shooters to try the camera and then LJ interviewed them to get some of their opinions. So you don't just get one guy's thoughts here.

While I don't always agree with the review, it is well done and you should have a look if you're interested in the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. But also note that LJ encountered the ‘black spot' problem that has plagued the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and was also a big problem for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II when it was first released. LJ wasn't even aware of the problem until they encountered it in the filming of the review.

REVIEW: Blackmagic Camera – Resolution VS Raw

Here's LJ's ‘documentary/review' [tentblogger-youtube U7gkRvHGHyM]

LJ also shared his opinion:

Personal Thoughts on the Camera : We all know this camera got us excited as filmmakers and I am such honored to try this out and make a review out of it. I had the camera with me for 4 days and I really got to understand this tool.

From the form factor itself as a camera, it was very odd to hold and feel like a video camera; unlike the dslrs, it has no grip that can make it easier to use in handheld purposes. However, I believe it's the matter of getting used with it since I found it comfortable to use on the last day using this camera. I like the fact that it offers what basic production needs to make a great video.

Raw is Great; however how will the transition look like to those who suffer from budget issues? But also, you can choose to record in ProRes or DNxHD. As said in the video, this camera will still have to go through some stages to meet my expectations and with your help, they will improve drastically.

Just can't wait for this upcoming NAB on what they will release to surprise us again!

  What are your thoughts on LJ's review and/or the Blackmagic Cinema Camera?  

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The black spot problem

(Note: I've pointed out this ‘black spot' problem several times in the past – here's one note about it – I'm frankly kind of surprised it hasn't been fixed yet, nor has there been a major uproar about it like there was when the Canon EOS 5D Mark II had it 4 years ago)

It does seem that Blackmagic Design hasn't figured out the black spot problem… Josh discovered the problem in this amazing sample while shooting:

Sample of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera "black spot" problem when shooting into lights or in this case the sun

Sample of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera “black spot” problem when shooting into lights or in this case the sun

Film credits/description from youtube

This Review was made my own time and it took A LOT of time for the readers of my blog.
This video wasn't meant to make you decide if you would get the camera or not, this is a short documentary that covers the importance of raw and resolution and where the blackmagic camera really fits in. Further specs and features are your assignments to find out and decide. This review is based on my opinion and the interviewee's ideas on the camera. Enjoy!

*The Camera is the first generation EF Mount, with upgraded firmware for aperture reading.
*Music from

Director/Producer/Editor : LJ Lee
Producer/Camera : Vitaliano Rave
Grip/AC/Boom : Ramond Daquina
Rapahael Pranga (Mayad Studios)
Raffy Francisco (Commercial Director)
Adrian Tecson (Underground Logic)
Toni Gozum (Colorist)
Jordan Arabejo (Cinematographer)
Michael Dolero (VFX Artist)

Jemariz Austria
Amir Candao

Footages from:

Special Thanks To
Girlie Rodis/DJ Lamar (Equipments)
Patrick de Silva/Aleks Castaneda (Media Village)
JA Tadena/Dix Buhay (Cinematographer)
Edwin Tan (Blackmagic Sales Manager)

LjFilms in association with Barrio's artists
*All rights are served 2013.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

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