I've had my Blackmagic Cinema Camera for almost a year. It's touted as one of the greatest cameras around and with respect to image quality, I'd have to agree, but it's ergonomics and other features are lacking. This test serves to examine whether other cameras with much better ergonomics and far less robust codecs can stand up to the BMCC image quality.
I attempted to keep all factors as constant as possible across all cameras.
BMCC - Canon EF 24 ƒ/1.4L (had to use a wider lens to account for the crop factor)
a7R - Zeiss FE 55 ƒ/1.8
5D3 - Canon EF 50 ƒ/1.4
BMCC - 180°; a7R & 5D3 - 1/50
BMCC: 400; a7R - 200; 5D3 - 160
These varying ISOs yielded similar exposures
BMCC 2.5K RAW - Using Resolve 10, applied BMD Film to REC 709 LUT and exported as 1920x1080 ProRes 422.
All others were imported directly into FCP X.
Graded versions were lightly graded using FCP X only.
BMCC RAW - 3.33 GB for 28 seconds = 119 MB/s
BMCC ProRes - 459 MB for 21 seconds = 21.9 MB/s
a7R - 64.1 MB for 23 seconds = 2.79 MB/s
5D3 - 321 MB for 32 seconds = 10.0 MB/s
Although you may draw your own conclusions from the above video, I would call the BMCC RAW the winner, but only by a slim margin. The other cameras really hold their own against it and I really prefer the a7R or 5D3 to the BMCC ProRes. People have sung BMCC ProRes praises, but I've never really cared for it. Without pixel peeping and when displayed on a large TV it's difficult to call any of the footage "bad." Only side-by-side at the end of the video can I really see some slight quality differences in favor of the BMCC. The 5D3 is a little soft, but the a7R really has nice, sharp detail (to be fair, however, the a7R likely has the best lens in this test). Both the 5D3 and a7R sharpen quite well, but in fairness of this test I did not include that footage.
Overall, I think the BMCC enjoys a slight advantage when recording in RAW, but the gap is not nearly as large and many would claim (unless doing some massive, crazy grade that's likely far beyond the abilities of the vast majority of people using these cameras). The questions remain as to whether this modest increase in image quality is worth all the other drawbacks of the camera and how the C100, which is quickly declining in price, stacks up.
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