Thread: Why should I buy Komodo over BMD 6K Pro?

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  1. #1 Why should I buy Komodo over BMD 6K Pro? 
    Senior Member Michael Hastings's Avatar
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    I think anyone that has followed me at all on Reduser knows I’m not a RED troll and am a RED fan but not "Fanboy". I’ve owned and purchased every generation of RED camera the moment preorders happened (Redone SN206, DSMC1 Epic-M and Epic-X+Dragon Upgrade, DSMC2 Epic-W 8K, Hydrogen1) except Komodo - which I fully intended to purchase.

    However I was a bit put off by the Hydrogen debacle and the “it’s not us" stuff from RED but figured I would grab it with the $1000 “discount”. However, instead of giving us loyal Red/Hydrogen owners (that ordered through RED) first dibs on the 1000+ beta units we were pushed back pretty far in the line. During the waiting period the R5 was introduced and I jumped on it first day. I’ve been very happy with the R5 - just a phenomenal camera but that’s another story.

    I haven’t had much issue with the 29.59 limit or overheating but since I do a lot of underwater work it’s going to be an issue sometimes so I’m considering which camera to be the “B” cam. (I manufacture the housings so having two housings isn’t an economic issue for me.) As the pandemic winds down and travel to islands open up I expect to get back underwater and would like some "Reduser" help with this decision.

    Global shutter is nice but hasn’t been much of an issue for me (and rolling shutter has been there in every digital capture major and minor motion picture/TV show in the last dozen years.)

    Komodo dynamic range is a clear winner but I’m used to the 14+ of the R5 and previous REDs so not a huge benefit for me. Usually blown out sky is the only thing that I occasionally have problems with (and the sky replacement in Resolve is pretty amazing)

    Komodo wins:

    * Global shutter vs. Rolling shutter
    * Dynamic range (per mfrs.) 16 vs 13
    * 2.1 lbs vs 2.7 for BMD (most of that diff is the screen size)
    * RF mount (PS should have noted that PL to RF mount is easy and adapters readily available)
    * 4K SDI 30 (maybe 40) output vs BMD HDMI up to 1080p60
    * Maybe WIFI control (not sure WIFI on BMD, but has bluetooth iOS control - might be a wash)


    Nobody wins:
    * BMD RAW vs Komodo Raw (we can argue this but Komodo DCT compression is very different than previous r3d)
    * Cfast slot
    * Prores
    * Canon Battery 9xx vs Sony NP-F570 - dual on Komodo - $149 acc grip gives triple 570 on BMD
    * Blackmagic Design 3500mAh Li-ion Replacement Battery for Sony NP-F570-$55 each. 955 4900AH $195)
    * Operating temp - same


    BMD wins: (some of these specs are just copied from BMD site)

    * Price $2495 (-$295 if u don’t have Resolve/Fusion) vs $5995 Komodo

    * Also SDXC slot
    * Dual locking mini-xlrs with phantom Power (adptr to 2 XLRs $39) plus 1/8 inch. Vs only 1/8” on Komodo
    * Dual gain
    * Built in ND vs none on Komodo
    * 5” 1500 Nits tiltable touchscreen 1920 x1080 vs. 2.9" 1440X1440 fixed top touchscreen on Komodo
    * Better interface (mine and many other’s opinion)
    * Better ergonomics / physical feel and direct access buttons for important functions vs touchscreen

    * Iris wheel physical control on grip (pretty big deal if using Canon lenses) or touchscreen slider for manual iris adjustment on electronically controllable lenses, iris button for instant auto iris settings on compatible lenses.

    * $495 accy VF
    * Faster Bootup
    * dedicated stills button to record 21.2 megapixel images

    * Higher Frame rates and many more size and rate options vs. Komodo
    * 50 fps at 6144 x*3456 16:9 or 60 fps at 6144 x*2560 2.4:1 and 60 fps at 5744 x*3024 17:9. For*higher frame rates you can window the sensor and shoot up to 120 fps at 2.8K 2868 x*1512 17:9. You*can even work in true anamorphic 6:5 using anamorphic lenses in 3.7K 60 fps at 3728 x*3104.

    * I do some live-switch jobs and Red's progressive only outputs don't always play well with a lot of live systems.

    * Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera now works as a studio camera for live production when used with ATEM Mini! Video and control is via the HDMI connection, which is available as soon as you plug the cameras in.
    * The record light becomes a tally light so you can see which camera is on air!
    * The ATEM Software Control camera page has a camera control unit (CCU) style interface for adjusting and matching your cameras. Move the CCU control vertically for iris and left to right to adjust black level. It's the same as a broadcast CCU! There are also controls for color tint to balance cameras as well as focus, gain and shutter speed. You can even ISO record Blackmagic RAW in the camera for editing later!
    * Focus, Iris, zoom lens control through ATEM (also could be with external simple hand controller via ATEM protocol-think there are already 3rd parties for this but may need to be updated for HDMI interface since previous cams used the SDI connector)
    * Physical controls:
    * Scroll Wheel with push integrated into handgrip
    * ISO Button
    * White Balance Button
    * Shutter Button
    * 3 software configurable Fn buttons,
    * 2 ND filter button (up down)
    * Focus Button
    * IRIS Button
    * High Frame Rate (HFR) Button
    * Zoom (Image) Button
    * Menu Button
    * Playback Button.
    * Battery grip accy for even longer record
    *
    * includes a*full version of DaVinci Resolve Studio (includes Fusion)
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Michael Hastings's Avatar
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    Your thoughts? Do I need to change the signature I've had for over a year with the "Komodo soon" or make it just "Komodo".


    (I'll use this as a placeholder as well for future comment)
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  3. #3  
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    No one can answer why “you” should buy one product over another. But personally, outside of the reasons that you listed, the things that made the Komodo decision easy for me were the following:

    • Build quality - plastic vs full metal.
    • Form-factor - the Blackmagic is awkwardly shaped. Making rigging a challenge.
    • RF vs EF mount - as a owner of lots of RF glass this was a big factor “for me”.
    • Poor quality control - it seems several users have had issues with their brand new BMPCC6KPs.
    • Previous experience with BMD products. I’ve had them break on me. One Micro Studio Camera died. Shuts down immediately after power on. Unfortunately, that’s just one of several BMD products that I’ve owned that proved unreliable.

    Unsurprisingly, even the latest Timecode issue in this thread might be caused by Davinci Resolve, not the Komodo. I’m still trying to find an answer, so atm I cannot draw a conclusion either way. But the more I think about it, the more it seems possible that the issue is with Resolve... another BMD product.

    Of all the camera brands I’ve owned, NONE have been as unreliable for me as BMD... NONE! My preference is greatly influenced by my previous experiences. But... YMMV.
    Last edited by Han Vogen; 04-30-2021 at 05:28 AM.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Bérenger Brillante's Avatar
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    They should have put an SDI output
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  5. #5 responses 
    Senior Member Michael Hastings's Avatar
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    Excellent points Han

    My responses are from the "devil's advocate POV - why? because one is $2500 the other $6000 - and for discussion purposes. Long posts - many will say TLDR - so sorry but without history and detail the various opinions don’t carry much weight.

    * Build: Calling "carbon fiber polycarbonate composite "plastic" is technically accurate but misleading. It is essentially what RED offered in the Carbon Fiber Dragons that were $20,000 more than the Magnesium/Aluminum Dragons. Having 40 years experience working with acrylic, PVC, polycarbonate and aluminum on thousands of housings - polycarbonate is one of the toughest, most resilient and important engineering materials available and the addition of carbon fiber ramps it up a notch. I would suggest that a fall or impact on the CFPC vs aluminum, the CFPC is more likely to incur less or no damage, particularly regarding the internals. Aluminum is more likely to dent and/or transfer the energy to the internals while CFPC gives a bit and transfers less shock - that's why it is used in helmets, bumpers, etc. Also IIRC the internal structure is magnesium alloy on both.

    * Awkardly shaped: Disagree - BMD is obviously much nicer for handholding. As for rigging, first: Komodo pretty much requires an external monitor unless it is in a remote application - BMD does not. Second: for any substantial rigging both cry out for some sort of cage (readily available for both) and at that point not much difference - more dependent on the cage. AND the need to use the top monitor touchscreen for most functions on the Komodo are more likely to be a problem with cage or other rigging than the rear tiltable monitor and direct access buttons for all major functions on the BMD.

    * RF vs EF: I like the RF mount A LOT and one of the reasons I’m leaning toward Komodo. (Don’t have RF lenses yet for my R5 - all the ones I want are on backorder so using EF Ls with adapter.) Having been the very FIRST customer to use Canons on REDs (maybe even before Jim/Jarred) all the the way back to RedOne and using Canons almost exclusively on all my RED cameras as well as several BMDs (As a housing manufacturer I quite often have to buy cameras, test them, build housings and then end up reselling the camera to one of my customers so I get both direct and wide ranging followup feedback.) Red’s Canon and Nikon support hasn’t always been stellar, often a bit buggy. In my experience for Canon support I would give RED a C/C+ and BMD a B/B+. Given the difficulty of reverse engineering a new mount vs a 34 year old mount and the rapid introduction of quite a few RF lenses I doubt if that support will improve much any time soon. Also, I think it is harder (maybe not possible) to do switchable internal ND with the shorter flange distance of the RF mount.

    * Quality control: I’d give RED slight edge here - but - most of the evidence is anecdotal and hard to quantify because pretty sure BMD sells a much higher number of each model than RED does. I’ve owned about the same number of REDs and BMDs and personally haven’t had issues with either. I currently have a micro 4k and an Ursa Broadcast that I’ve used for a couple years with my live switch flight pack (B4 zooms and smaller sensors are a lot friendlier for that type of work than s35 “cinema” cams/lenses.) with no issues. BTW Redvolts and the Redmote were pretty much garbage and there seem to be quite a bit of probs with monitors and extremely expensive to get repaired. Further it seems that the biggest resistance to high end users NOT using REDs is perceived unreliability (same probably for BMD) so probably not the best differentiator.

    * Not sure about the timecode. BMD site says when you feed audio timecode into the 1/8” it resets and locks the internal TC generator so your using the camera TC so should be easy to verify in the field and match to other cameras as well. Seems like you are saying the issue is with using audio TC as the main TC and generally speaking I think the industry would agree that the BMD6K method is much preferred. The issues with audio track TC could be with either levels or noise on the camera side (internal audio recording quality through 1/8" has always been an issue with REDs) - or a bug in Resolve or both. It seems like you are conflating a somewhat obscure POSSIBLE bug in their edit/CC/VFX software program with possible unreliability in their camera hardware. That doesn’t seem fair with such a massive software program that may be the greatest bang-for-the-buck product (Resolve/Fusion/Fairlight) in the history of video/cinema products. And I think we are both aware that if it is a bug in Resolve it will be fixed in a timely manner.

    ----------

    Again, these are discussion points and not meant to be harsh toward Komodo.

    Even if global shutter isn’t that important for me right now, in the grand scheme, GS with high dynamic range is a BIG deal. Red developed Komodo primarily as a B/crashcam so maybe these points are useful to consider toward the next low cost/compact camera from RED. A next generation, low cost, global shutter, CFEXpress, RF mount, internal ND, ergonomic cam with direct access functions buttons, RED camera would be awesome and my next camera for sure!
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Dominik Muench's Avatar
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    the pocket does have a wonderful image performance ! how is the blackmagic with "budget" anamorphics such as the vazen or sirui ? do any of these work ? if so in which mount ?
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  7. #7  
    The answer, for me, is simple. There are two factors that make the choice a no brainer.
    1-a global shutter-for all the apps that claim to correct rolling shutter distortion, none of them really work effectively. For stabilization in post, there is less of a problem.
    2-the RF lens mount. IMHO, BMD really missed the boat by replaying the EOS mount on the 6K Pro. An RF mount give me so much more lens flexibility, insertable VND or 1.7x expanders.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Michael Hastings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
    The answer, for me, is simple. There are two factors that make the choice a no brainer.
    1-a global shutter-for all the apps that claim to correct rolling shutter distortion, none of them really work effectively. For stabilization in post, there is less of a problem.
    2-the RF lens mount. IMHO, BMD really missed the boat by replaying the EOS mount on the 6K Pro. An RF mount give me so much more lens flexibility, insertable VND or 1.7x expanders.
    -----
    PS./Foreword

    I know I can get a bit longwinded, but I've shot in pretty much any situation you can think of and been thinking intensely about this stuff for 40 years. Been on test teams and advisories for both Panasonic and Sony (was on a test team and actually in the ads for Sony's very first 3 chip camera back in 1986). My hope is to pass on some of that knowledge, experience and insight to others.

    -------

    1: As I said below I have great respect for the global shutter, there are certainly use cases where GS gives dramatic improvement. The question is whether it is worth the extra $3500 combined with the other crashcam style Komodo limitations or 6KPro advantages as listed below.

    If RED had a camera with the GS and the screen, direct buttons, and other 6KPro positives I outlined below for $6K or even a bit above I would jump on it (hint, hint RED for DSMC3) - I'm somewhat but not super price sensitive - I've already spent about $150K on REDs (although I'm pretty sure the Epic-W was the last camera I will ever spend more than $12K for - given what's available now and likely in the future below that price point.).

    I think we can probably agree that the $54K RED Monstro and some ($$$$$) version of Alexa represent the 2 "best" high end cinema cameras and neither have global shutters.

    2) I too like the flexibility of the RF mount - my only camera above 4K is the R5 with RF mount (sold my Epic-W anticipating Komodo with my Hydrogen discount for reduced size package for underwater. But we H1s were pushed so far down the line I lost some enthusiasm and bought the R5 and let my H1 discount lapse. (curious when did Hydrogen discounters start getting Komodo or are they still waiting?)

    I don't think BMD missed the boat really because nobody other than Canon has implemented decent RF lens support. BMD wanted to incorporate the internal NDs which is important to a lot of nature and run and gun type shooters. I think the shorter flange distance makes it pretty difficult otherwise I think RED would have done it. Internal NDs are on the C70 so it can be done. I only have the simple direct Canon EF-RF but the filter EF-RF adapters are not sealed at the camera side so I would be concerned about dust and moisture getting to the sensor area. The drop-ins would require frequent changes so definitely an issue and it seems a lot of people frown on variable NDs if singles are available for their application. (For me the electrically driven internals are pretty nice because the buttons are easily accessed in a housing while the adapter versions would be difficult if not impossible.)

    Not sure what your getting at with the expanders unless you want to adapt a 4/3 lens which doesn't seem a particularly good idea. If you meant speed boosters - no problem on the regular EF mount.

    Again I really like the RF mount and the specs/reviews on the lenses (I have a $11000 shopping list of the high end RF lenses on my Adorama account but they are all on backorder!). Apparently the wider throat and shorter flange distance have big advantages for lens designers but if I understand correctly you really only get substantial improvements over the older lenses on full frame sensors.

    I'll probably keep my Canon EF-S 10-22 and EF-S 17-55 for the Komodo/6KPro and sell my 4 L lenses toward the RFs (anybody want some Ls? ). I have a set of perfect Sony PL lenses that I bought B-stock and only used for some tests (I don't do those PL shoots much and haven't tried to rent them yet.) but that's a plus for the Komodo cause PLs are easy to adapt to RF.

    BTW for anyone buying either camera on a tight budget that 17-55 is a great choice. It was $1179 when introduced but is $599 new these days. It's an excellent lens, sharp, constant 2.8 aperture, parfocal, nice bokeh, nice mechanics. I was told by the Canon rep that it was built to L optical specs but they wouldn't put the L on it because won't fit on Canon full frame (has two UD elements usually only on L lenses at the time) and it looks and feels like an L to me.
    ------

    Regarding my thought about how much I would spend on a camera - it seems to me moving forward the investment in lenses is likely to be more important than the camera/sensor.
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  9. #9  
    Michael,

    Thanks for your knowledgeable post. The whole argument of global vs rolling shutter is quite subjective, I think. Personally, I find the jello effect quite unsettling for high motion shots.
    Apologies for the senior moment I had. Yes, I meant speed booster, not expander. Being able to choose a FF 35mm FOV or a super 35 FOV gives me an adaptability for all my stable of EF, L glass lenses. I just bought a 24-70 f/2.8 EOS lens specifically instead of the R mount equivalent, just so I could use the Canon speedbooster on my Canon R. I don't have an EF-s lenses...;) Guess I'm hoping that, eventually, R mount becomes as de riguer as EF mounts have become. Surely R mount opens up a much wider possibility for lens choices than EF, including the few FD legacy lenses I have.

    There's been some info from Breakthru Photography that they have a line of VND insertable filters that don't display the common VND artifacts. I'm taking a gamble that these reports are accurate. I just can't feel comfortable with BMD's design approach placing 3 different flip down ND's between the lens and the sensor, each one able to collect dirt and dust on their own.
    Last edited by Bill Ravens; 04-30-2021 at 04:08 PM.
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  10. #10  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    My words would ring hollow as I'm fairly biased as Komodo has unique features that make it more interesting to me.

    But, I'll reply what I did to one of the BMD Facebook groups when this question was asked. The best thing to do is to spend a day with each camera and make a decision based on that. They are pretty different cameras.

    With that said and out of the way. BMD 6K Pro has the slight edge on frame rates. I've pretty impressed by their menu system.

    Komodo is built to survive a Hulk Smash encounter and feels as such. I think SDI up to 4K out is the clear winner between these two. I don't use anything HDMI for professional work, but that's a me thing. Too many broken cables and connectors I've seen. RED Control with live monitoring is a big plus as is the streaming features of Komodo. Certainly capable of live broadcast really. Edge to REDCODE RAW on that front.

    Both aren't super sexy for low light, but I would say I like the highlight and color filter on Komodo a lot more. Not a big fan of the NDs found on the 6K Pro. Nice to have them in camera, not nice if you can achieve better results using better filters.

    Sensor size comparison just to post it:
    http://phfx.com/tools/formatCompare/...&focalLengths=

    Resolution is moderately a wash, but the sensor themselves are indeed different aspect ratios.

    With the BMD 6K Pro I strongly recommend adding an OLPF.

    Lens mount support is a bit better on Komodo for pretty much everything plus native RF.

    Form factor, Komodo. Batter options. Komodo. But the grip is an interesting solve for BMD.

    Touch screen, larger on BMD for sure.
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