Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Sony Vegas Pro

Weldon wrote on 8/2/2013, 8:54 PM
I have had a slight love affair with footage I have seen over the past year from the BMCC but due to seeing somewhere that Vegas is unable to work with RAW, I have not seriously thought of buying the camera. I read last night that Blackmagic has lowered the cost of the BMCC quite a bit and now I am flirting with buying the camera. Does anyone using Vegas have one and be willing to share their workflow? I know Pro Res and DNxHD are also available, but everyone I know that has shot RAW loves it...and the footage I have seen backs that up.
Thanks in advance for any feedback!


John_Cline wrote on 8/4/2013, 5:07 AM
Blackmagic has dropped the price of the Cinema Camera from $2,995 to $1,995. Along with the new Samsung 840 EVO SSD drives which set new benchmarks for speed and low cost and up to 1TB of storage, it makes the Cinema Camera a VERY attractive proposition. The BMCC records to 12-bit CinemaDNG, which is basically DNG files in an MXF wrapper. CinemaDNG is open-source and it's entirely possible that Vegas will have CinemaDNG support sooner than later. The free DaVinci Resolve that comes with the BMCC can be used for color grading and then export to a Vegas friendly format. In the meantime, DNxHD is a 10-bit codec and Vegas can handle them just fine. Come to think of it, Cineform Studio Premium includes their 4:4:4 12-bit codec, so maybe that's an option. I should see if Cineform is planning some sort of CinemaDNG to Cineform support in their HD Link conversion software. Like you, I've seen footage from the BMCC and it is spectacular. I'm keeping an eye on this.
John_Cline wrote on 8/4/2013, 5:13 AM
Here is what Dan May, president of Blackmagic, has said about CinemaDNG:

• The CinemaDNG format has been planned to be transferred into an open working group comprised of multiple companies. There are 30+ companies who are participating in this group and they will be handling all enhancements to the forum in the future as well as distribution of technical documentation for the CinemaDNG format.

• Technically, CinemaDNG is very a simple format and is really only an extension of the popular still camera DNG format that has been designed for video cameras. It includes a simple folder full of DNG files as well as an audio track file. This means you can open still frames in a CinemaDNG folder in any software that handles regular DNG still frames such as Adobe Photoshop, Apple Preview and virtually all image and photo management software.

• There is a lot of video software that already includes support CinemaDNG, including DaVinci Resolve for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux platforms. With DaVinci Resolve Lite, our free version, people can read DNG files and color grade them at absolutely no charge. Then if they want to use those files in other editing software such as Avid Media Composer, Apple Final Cut, Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas etc, they can simply export out of DaVinci Resolve beautifully graded shots in any format they like.

• Finally in relation to the RAW format that the Blackmagic Cinema Camera supports, its important to realize that the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a software based camera that can be upgraded. We can simply add or amend the file formats it supports at any time in the future. Even potential alternative RAW formats that might appear in the future.

We feel at Blackmagic Design that the CinemaDNG format is the most open and the highest quality RAW format available. It’s very easy to use and it is continuing to become even more open as the independent CinemaDNG group works to include support in more software and to add new features in the future.”
Weldon wrote on 8/4/2013, 9:05 AM
Thank you, John.
JasonATL wrote on 8/4/2013, 11:25 AM

I've had the BMCC for almost 5 months. Here is my main workflow for Vegas Pro when shooting raw:
1. Open raw footage in Resolve. Fix white balance. Do some image adjustment, such as noise reduction. There is a specific set of nodes that I use to help with moire/aliasing, in particular, which adds a bit of chroma blur. I might even color grade, depending on the project.
2. Export (render) a high bitrate DNxHD or MXF file from Resolve to use in Vegas Pro. If I plan to color grade in Vegas Pro, I export a log (FILM) gamma flat profile. If I will come back to Resolve to color grade or I won't color grade at all, I export a file that has a video gamma or is final (already color corrected and graded).
3. Edit in Vegas Pro.
4a. Color grade in Vegas Pro, if desired; OR
4b. Export to Resolve to color grade using raw files, render files for final render to be done in Vegas Pro.
5. Render in Vegas Pro.

I'm happy to fill in any blanks.

A couple of notes on this:
1. You asked for the raw workflow, so that is what I provided. I have shot a lot in raw and a lot using DNxHD and/or ProRes. The longer I have this camera, the more I'm shooting with DNxHD. The compressed footage is just so good and it is so flexible to color correct/grade, I just don't NEED to shoot raw for most projects. Plus, it is really convenient to go from camera to Vegas Pro (subject to the comments below). You can fix rather bad white balance problems even with the compressed footage. The bit depth is good (10, not 8), the color sampling decent (4:2:2), and the bitrate high (175 Mbit/s at 23.973p), so that this footage is really thick and robust if you shoot in Log (FILM) mode. In fact, I'll even shoot FILM mode DNxHD even if I plan to use Resolve to color grade. Yes, raw is great. That's why I bought the camera, too. But, I've not yet found a circumstance in which I wished I would have shot raw when I shot DNxHD - to my surprise.
2. I (and some others here) have had trouble with Vegas Pro loading a large number of .mov files. For me, Vegas Pro would hang once I had around 30 or so .mov clips on the timeline. This didn't seem to be unique to the BMCC, but was a new issue for me. I don't know if it was fixed in build 670, since I haven't tried it. The last project that I did was done totally in PPro, since I didn't want to bother with the Vegas issues. MXF was fine, but you can't get audio from Resolve renders of Vegas-readable MXF files, as far as I can tell. This may be a codec issue, but I don't have the right codec.

At $2k, the BMCC is truly incredible. I thought it was incredible at $3k. With the price reduction, I have seriously considered a second one, but will probably just rent a second one for the shoots that I do in which I need a second camera.

Raw is great. But, I find the DNxHD images to be great, too. It is a win-win.
Weldon wrote on 8/4/2013, 3:39 PM
Thanks, Jason. I have read a number of BMCC users saying similar things about the compressed images being very good.
If you don't mind me asking, what sort of rig are you using and what battery solution, if any, do you use?
JasonATL wrote on 8/5/2013, 6:44 AM
I have an Ikan shoulder rig. I started with their basic should kit and then added onto it. They ran a 50% off sale last January or February that made it quite reasonable. The BMCC is quite heavy. I've shot handheld with a DSLR with no rig and no image stabilization (IS). It just isn't possible for me to do that with the BMCC. I have shot handheld with a lens with IS and the results were decent.

I have been using the Switronix PB-70. It lasts so long that I've never had it run out. I used it for at least 3.5 hours straight one day. It acts as a nice counterweight on my shoulder rig.

Here's an interesting battery solution that someone suggested: the Energizer XP18000A power pack. It is lighter than the PB70, but a different sized brick (flatter, but longer and wider). It isn't a normal camera battery (no mounting plates), but with some Velcro or ties, it could be placed on a rig. I works with the BMCC. Plus, it powers almost anything, coming with connectors for laptops, phones, etc.. By most calculations, it could power the BMCC for more than 5 hours. I bought one just to try it with the BMCC and to use it to charge various electronics I have.
set wrote on 8/5/2013, 7:52 AM
JasonATL, any lens recommendations for BMCCs / BMPCC ?
I'm thinking of having one BMPCC, and looks like image stabilizing supported lens is needed.
JasonATL wrote on 8/5/2013, 11:30 AM
I only have the Cinema Camera. I had a Pocket Camera on pre-order, but canceled it because I knew I wouldn't like having an even larger crop factor than the Cinema Camera. I had planned on getting the Panasonic 14-35mm (?) lens that has OIS (~$1000). Again, the crop was just too much for me.

The Production Camera's S35 size sensor would be nice to have, since it would give me the same crop as I'm used to on my APS-C DSLR. But, I doubt I'll go for one any time soon.

Lens recommendations:
I just got the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 lens and I'm really impressed with it on the BMCC. This focal distance is great for the BMCC for my uses. I have a Zeiss 35mm f2.0 that I used to use on the camera a lot, but will probably not do so as much now that I have the Sigma. The Sigma actually beats the Zeiss for me at 35mm because it is slightly faster, but more importantly, it doesn't have as much chromatic aberration as the Zeiss wide open - so it is effectively about a stop or more faster. This lens gets me closer to the shallower DoF look I like from DSLR's. In the short time I've had the lens, I'm just really impressed. I love Zeiss lenses and I've just put my Zeiss 35mm on the bench in favor of this lens.

I also use the Canon 17-55mm f2.8 quite a bit because I can use it handheld with the image stabilization. It is a really nice lens. Very sharp. Downside is that it isn't very fast, which means that some shots end up with a deeper depth of field than I would prefer. So, I'm not in love with the look I get from this lens, especially at the wider end. As a practical matter, I need to have IS sometimes and this is the best way to get it for me.

If I had to choose between the Canon and the Sigma, it would be a tough choice. If I had to have IS, the choice is the Canon. But, if I was always going to use a rig, then the Sigma is the one that I would go for and get a decent 50mm prime (e.g., Canon 50mm f1.4 or Zeiss 50mm 1.4).

In summary, you can tell from the two zoom lenses I mentioned that I suggest wider lenses for this camera due to its crop. I've used my 85mm (my favorite lens on a full frame DSLR), but not very much. A lens in the 17-50mm range is a must, in my opinion. I would even say that a Tokina 11-16mm is a must if you are used to shooting at wide angles.
Mindmatter wrote on 8/5/2013, 1:10 PM
Excuse my ignorance, but can't one work with proxies when using RAW?

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, 12x 3.7 GHz
32 GB DDR4-3200 MHz (2x16GB), Dual-Channel
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 8GB GDDR6, HDMI, DP, studio drivers
7.1 (8-chanel) Surround-Sound, Digital Audio, onboard
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250GB, NVMe M.2 PCIe x4 SSD
be quiet! System Power 9 700W CM, 80+ Bronze, modular
2x WD red 6TB
2x Samsung 2TB SSD

JasonATL wrote on 8/5/2013, 2:07 PM
Mindmatter - I'm not sure what you mean by working with proxies. In some sense, the workflow that I outlined above is working with proxies. Proxies of the raw files are created in Resolve, then used to edit in Vegas, then return to Resolve to use the raw files for color correction/grading (then render to a "final" form).

If you mean that Vegas can use proxies, then no, Vegas cannot create proxies of raw files.
Mindmatter wrote on 8/5/2013, 3:05 PM
Thanks for clearing that up for me Jason, it's what I meant to ask.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, 12x 3.7 GHz
32 GB DDR4-3200 MHz (2x16GB), Dual-Channel
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 8GB GDDR6, HDMI, DP, studio drivers
7.1 (8-chanel) Surround-Sound, Digital Audio, onboard
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250GB, NVMe M.2 PCIe x4 SSD
be quiet! System Power 9 700W CM, 80+ Bronze, modular
2x WD red 6TB
2x Samsung 2TB SSD

Weldon wrote on 8/5/2013, 7:42 PM
Great info! Thanks tons Jason!
JasonATL wrote on 8/6/2013, 6:35 AM
I hope the info helps. Good luck with the BMCC. It really is a great camera.
set wrote on 8/6/2013, 8:24 AM
Thank you, JasonATL.

I just trying out the Prores sample from

It is doing great in contrast area, and that means I still looking the best way on grading the image.
K-Decisive wrote on 8/7/2013, 3:53 PM
Ditto to everything Jason said.
I've been doing the following:
BMCC (Raw or Prores) > Resolve > DNX or Cineform > vegas.
BMCC (Raw) > Cineform Raw > vegas. (not too much)

I haven't had the MOV freezing issue that others have reported. don't know about that one. Roundtripping is still a little weird but I haven't messed with it too much. The one thing I noticed is that going through DNX I lose a hair bit of color, it might make sense to over do it a little while you're in resolve.

This is the one bad thing I can say about the camera...It's soo good, when the shot's screwed can't blame the camera's that good.

I did a test where I shot the sun through a tree (with ND on), exposed for the sun (no blowing out) and in Resolve I can see the backs of the leaves...amazing..don't be afraid of dark either, you can pull a very nice low light shot (within reason) with the right NR processing. it at leaset does way better then my 7d FWIW.

On that note, I was wondering if the pocket might have a slight disadvanage when it came to NR, both because you don't get the full Resolve (with NR) and the camera is smaller and not activly cooled. plus depending on how you use it (raw?), the cost of media could be higher then using the SSD's in the BMC. A couple things that might make someone consider switching up to a BMCC over the pocket now that it's only 2K.....pure speculation...

happy shooting.