Why BMPCC4k is much Better than BMPCC6k for Most Users… Let’s take a look at raw facts versus our silly desire of getting a bigger d$*k around the block. To start this little article I want to point out that yes I agree, bigger sensor and more K’s are “potentially” better, nobody argues about that. What I am gonna talk about however is the reality of all this and how it can instantly become bad purchase if you not prepared to face the consequences. One great thing about those two, that their sensors are almost identical meaning you can use same LUTS on both of them.
Unfortunately filmmaking world becoming ruthless corporate market where companies milking gullible uneducated masses and tricking them into believing into false hype and hysteria. Only few percent of “general” filmmakers are actually in business and filming on the regular basis. Most users simply in love with fetish idea of holding a camera like a superhero saving the world. Filmmaking groups growing like mushrooms on social media platforms. Buy this, buy that, you need this, you need that became a new gimmick of filmmaking reality.
With that “muscle flexing” comes part where everyone wants to show off how many K’s they got and why their K’s are better than yours. It’s a sad reality unfortunately. Nobody ever questions the actual color fidelity of the sensor, the dynamic range and many other more important aspects of film. Resolution above 4k is irrelevant, if you don’t believe me, check out fantastic piece by Steve Yedlin ASC
So what’s the deal with the new hype BMPCC6k ? I won’t be citing a brochure and will save that opportunity for yourself. I am here to chew bubble gum and state the facts. Now to be fair, I don’t bash on Blackmagic Design, I love them and been using their cameras since original BMCC 2.5k
BMPCC6k sensor is much larger than BMPCC4k, therefore there is a huge difference in space will require to digest whatever you shooting. Most users don’t really comprehend the difference in size between those two. It sounds a little bit bigger. But how much bigger ? Take a look at the size difference in this image below.
What about actual space ? Let’s take a look at some charts from Blackmagic Design
We are seeing almost double the size of the files. That means if you getting 72 minutes 3:1 BRAW on 500gb Samsung T5 SSD shooting at 24 frames a second, which by the way is the most popular among BMPCC4k users, now you only going to be getting roughly 36 minutes of that. That is just a “field” storage, now what about actual computer storage for the project? Now we talking about terabytes and terabytes of HARD DRIVES, for which you would also need a backup, assuming project is important. That quickly ads up to large sums of cash.
4k is a very heavy format for the computer, BMPCC4k camera delivers fantastic images at that resolution and working with those files on average computer is relatively difficult, because it takes a lot of processing juice. For many users who are planning on buying BMPCC6k, this will be very unpleasant surprise. Once you enter 6k roam and above, you are in the different dimension. To give a perspective, on my 2950x threadripper 4.2ghz with overclocked 1080ti 11gb graphics card, doing noise reduction at 6k resolution is practically impossible, especially if we talking about third party plugins such as Neat Video. I had to buy additional graphics card just for that. Rendering speeds drop drastically, editing from standard HDD will become problematic, as they will most likely will struggle on the project longer than couple minutes. Now ofcourse we can have this nonsense debate that “it runs fine” on my computer. But definition of fine is very vague. For serious work, you need to have real time playback, otherwise you not seeing what’s happening and it will cost you time and potential clients. So beefy computer at this point comes as a requirement to work with 6k files and if you planning on delivering top quality, second or possibly third graphics card will also be required.
Despite vast selection of full frame lenses, in particular EF that being advertised by BMPCC6k, full frame option may not be ideal. First of all let’s break this myth about the shallow depth of field. It’s a marketing gimmick BMD used to attract more unsuspected buyers. You get almost exactly same depth of field on BMPCC4k camera. Working with the smaller sensor, gives you much larger selection of lenses, in particular old school “aka vintage” lenses that look incredible on the p4k camera. With larger sensor, you tied up to large glass, which is fine if you already have your lenses ready, but if you planning on buying new glass, you may be limiting yourself to either standard modern selection Canon/Nikon and others, or expensive cinema glass that cost a fortune. For example I found fantastic vintage Angenieux Lens for under $300 on ebay. It’s my go to lens and looks absolutely fantastic.
This is just a tip of the iceberg. Film production is a complex pipeline that includes tons more variables that need to be considered. Breaking one of those variables drastically affects final image. I am not trying to be one of those tech savy aholes suggesting to use T2i, I just want to inform you of potential extra purchases you will need in order to use camera to a full potential. In the end of the day, can you process what you captured up to a standard? If not, don’t waste your money on extra resolution which will not benefit your work in any way.