Blackmagic Production Camera 4k vs Red Epic recently posted a comparison video between the Blackmagic Production Camera 4k and the Red Epic, shot it in Frankfurt, Germany. It’s not quite a fair comparison, as we’re looking at a $3k camera body vs a $40k body, but it’s nice to see them side by side to get a glimpse at the capabilities of each camera. Check out the video below.

It’s always hard to compare cameras from a few short clips via web-compressed video, but I think it’s clear that the Epic footage looks noticeably better than the BMPC 4k. There’s a distinct gap in the dynamic range, and the Epic comes much closer to the cinema look that everyone’s striving for with their digital footage these days. There’s also the problem of highlight clipping on the Blackmagic, seen at 1:10 (the little purple dot over the sun). This is something that Blackmagic can hopefully fix with a firmware update soon, though it hasn’t happened yet.

Nevertheless, I would say that the BMPC 4k still holds its own against a much more expensive camera body. It’s not an equal comparison to begin with, and the filmmakers note this in the description: “This test is by no means scientific or should prove which camera is better or whatever! The intention was to check, if these cameras will work together as an A and B-Cam setup.” Unfortunately for comparison’s sake, it appears that the filmmakers used different lenses on each camera (noticeable in the lens flaring), and this isn’t even RAW footage from the BMPC- only ProRes. Despite the shortcomings of the comparison, however, the footage from the BMPC 4k still looks great for the price, and could definitely work as a b-cam under tighter budgets.

For the best image quality, renting a camera package like the Red Epic is still the way to go. But while the Epic remains one of the high standards for digital cinema, it’s exciting as an independent filmmaker to see better and better images from increasingly cheaper cameras.

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