BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

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simonspear

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BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostSat Aug 09, 2014 11:40 pm

Hi all

I've been using my BMPCC amongst other things as a B and/or C camera for events so I was delighted when the latest firmware update added ProRes versions with lower data rates.

Today I shot my first event with ProRes LT. The camera was running for a little over 1 hour and I used the same cards that I normally do for ProResHQ (Sandisk Extreme 64GB). Unfortunately after about 20 minutes recording I was getting dropped frames like crazy. Admittedly it was warm here today and the camera became very hot to touch, but I've never had dropped frames with these cards before and I've used the camera in similar conditions.

Could it be anything to do with the firmware update and/or the new ProRes implementation? Anyone else having an issue?
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Owen Parker

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostSun Aug 10, 2014 12:21 pm

I'd have thought it was more likely to be the heat than the card.
Did you fomat the card before use?
I'd run a test in a cool environment with a fresh re formatted card and see if you can replicate the results.
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Adam Lash

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 12, 2014 5:07 am

Yeah, did you format it before use? I've found it's always better to do that than to just delete the video files. I have the same card and haven't had this problem, and all I've ever used was the latest firmware.
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garrettgibbons

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostSat Aug 16, 2014 4:07 am

Today I was testing ProRes LT on my SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB card and also had dropped frames after maybe 20-25 minutes of shooting. I was able to record CinemaDNG continuously until the card filled up without any dropped frames. I'm going to be testing ProRes Proxy and 422 now to see if it's just something unique to ProRes LT.

I was running it indoors in my office, in a cool environment, but the camera body became very hot to the touch.

My guess is that it's the camera/firmware, not the card, especially since it recorded CinemaDNG without any problems.
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simonspear

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostSun Aug 17, 2014 10:43 am

Well it has happened again when recording on ProResLT. After approx 40 mins the camera started dropping frames like crazy.

I always format the cards after every use.

These are exactly the same cards that I have been using for ProResHQ with no issues whatsoever.

The only thing I can think of is the extended recording time causing the camera to overheat maybe? After all when recording ProResHQ I generally didn't get much more than 40 mins of footage before the 64GB card filled up, so I may just never have seen it.

Are there any additional processes going on in camera to record ProResLT over what is happening when recording HQ?

Is no one else getting this problem?
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MatsHelgesson

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostSun Aug 17, 2014 11:25 am

I get dropped frames in all Prores modes after 20 mins or so, the REC indicator starts to flash. Two different cards of Sandisk Extreme 95 MB/s. I'm going to try it on my other pocket cam as well now.

EDIT:

OK so after 42 minutes of Prores HQ recording on both cameras, no frames dropped. Continuing testing.

EDIT 2: Prores 422 frames started dropping on the first camera after 24 minutes 56 seconds
The second camera started dropping frames at 25 minutes 49 seconds.

LT tests have commenced.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostSun Aug 17, 2014 1:36 pm

I have tested all ProRes modes so far, except for 422 HQ. The formats I have tested (proxy, LT, 422) all drop frames after about 15-20 minutes.

I don't have dropped frames when recording CinemaDNG. I haven't tested ProRes 422 HQ yet.

I am using the SanDisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/s 64 GB card.
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MatsHelgesson

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostSun Aug 17, 2014 3:09 pm

In Prores LT, both cameras started dropping frames at exactly 17:35.

http://www.livingsound.se/framedrops.mp4

EDIT:
And in Prores Proxy the first one dropped frames after 45:17 and the second one after 48:31
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostSun Aug 17, 2014 5:47 pm

Second round of tests of Prores LT:
First camera dropped frames at 16:31
Second camera at 17:34
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostSun Aug 17, 2014 9:26 pm

Thanks for the testing Mats!

So HQ worked fine, but all other ProRes flavours appear to be dropping frames on extended records.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who would appreciate some input here from BMD as this more or less negates any benefit (for me) of adding the newer ProRes options.

I guess I'll be switching back to HQ...
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostMon Aug 18, 2014 5:41 am

What I found most odd is that they dropped frames at roughly the same time, or in the case I filmed - the exact same second... I did film all tests so I could see which second it fell through.

I turned off the HQ tests as the camera cards were filling up.

They both had Sandisk Extreme 95 MB/s cards (one of the newer cards and one older), both were using BM batteries but one of them was usually in charging mode. In the last test they were both on batteries.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostMon Aug 18, 2014 8:38 am

Yeah I've been noticing dropped frames on anything but Pro Res HQ even on cards that handle RAW with ease.

My assumption is that the firmware isn't quite there. If you're a single camera op filming 1 scene continuously you need to be aware that at some point it'll happen. When filming a stand-up gig recently I noticed it was happening around 20 minutes in, so I simply stopped recording and then immediately started it again. I didn't have problems again until a similar 20/30 minute mark.

Until a fix is a ready just keep an on the REC sign, you'll know it's dropping frames when it starts to flash.
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MatsHelgesson

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostMon Aug 18, 2014 11:11 am

W Scothern wrote:Until a fix is a ready just keep an on the REC sign, you'll know it's dropping frames when it starts to flash.


Yeah. But it doesn't really work when you're shooting four camera angles at the same time and are the one performing (I record concerts with my choir), at the same time recording audio and lighting the gig.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostMon Aug 18, 2014 11:15 am

MatsHelgesson wrote:
W Scothern wrote:Until a fix is a ready just keep an on the REC sign, you'll know it's dropping frames when it starts to flash.


Yeah. But it doesn't really work when you're shooting four camera angles at the same time and are the one performing (I record concerts with my choir), at the same time recording audio and lighting the gig.


Of course it doesn't. It's very frustrating to have to have something else to keep an eye on on top of a ton of other things. Personally I was very much looking forward to using LT when HQ was overkill.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostMon Aug 18, 2014 1:30 pm

It's a firmware issue - a lot of people have reported it on the Facebook BMPCC group. Weirdly enough, LT seems to work better with cheaper cards. Mileage may vary, but my Toshiba Exceria 64gb card can comfortably record ProResLT without dropping frames til it's full.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostMon Aug 18, 2014 4:46 pm

MatsHelgesson wrote:
W Scothern wrote:Until a fix is a ready just keep an on the REC sign, you'll know it's dropping frames when it starts to flash.


Yeah. But it doesn't really work when you're shooting four camera angles at the same time and are the one performing (I record concerts with my choir), at the same time recording audio and lighting the gig.


I can imagine the BMD response on this... "Just play/sing faster! - Until the firmware fix comes, due out in Summer 2017, PROMISE!" or something along those lines... ;)
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostMon Aug 18, 2014 10:59 pm

Hey guys, this is being looked into. Thanks!
https://vimeo.com/acoupleofnightowls/
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 12:40 am

my god :shock: captainhook is bluetext, that means... He's a BMD Employee now. Awesome.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 12:50 am

Dustin Boswell wrote:my god :shock: captainhook is bluetext, that means... He's a BMD Employee now. Awesome.

Yes, and thanks! :)
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 2:00 am

About time they brought someone on board who knows what they are doing ;)

Congrats captainhook!

Does this mean we can torment you also?
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 4:45 am

Anyone who sings"if your in love with a beautiful woman" has got to be a good thing!! #captainhook!!

Anyway same cards same issue. HQ not an issue LT dropped frames. Couldn't recall rely on it so back to HQ
It's only a Tool.

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 8:04 am

AJRubenstein wrote:It's a firmware issue - a lot of people have reported it on the Facebook BMPCC group. Weirdly enough, LT seems to work better with cheaper cards. Mileage may vary, but my Toshiba Exceria 64gb card can comfortably record ProResLT without dropping frames til it's full.


Thank you for the specific card recommendation! ProRes LT is all I need for most projects I use this camera for, and I will order that Toshiba card and test it out! At least the SanDisk Extreme Pro does work with raw and ProRes HQ!
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 9:08 am

CaptainHook wrote:Hey guys, this is being looked into. Thanks!


Awesome! Congrats btw :)
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Kristian Lam

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 12:01 pm

Can you guys post what frame rates you are shooting at?
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 12:12 pm

Kristian Lam wrote:Can you guys post what frame rates you are shooting at?


I was shooting 25fps.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 12:15 pm

Also 25fps
It's only a Tool.

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 12:41 pm

CaptainHook wrote:
Dustin Boswell wrote:my god :shock: captainhook is bluetext, that means... He's a BMD Employee now. Awesome.

Yes, and thanks! :)


Congrats! You've done a lot for this community already!
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 1:18 pm

Kristian Lam wrote:Can you guys post what frame rates you are shooting at?


25p
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 2:28 pm

Kristian Lam wrote:Can you guys post what frame rates you are shooting at?


24p
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 8:12 pm

Shooting 25p here also.

Most of the time and due to its size I'm putting the BMPCC in places where I can't put other cameras and it is definitely very difficult or even impossible to continually monitor for dropped frames.

Glad it's being looked into!
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostTue Aug 19, 2014 8:13 pm

Oh and awesome news on the Captain coming on board!
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostWed Aug 20, 2014 10:05 pm

Black Magic obviously knows that there's an overheating problem with the sensors on this line of cinema cameras, otherwise they wouldn't have come out with the URSA line which is water cooled and can shoot for hours. This is not a design flaw, but the price you pay for packing so much into such a small package. Remember when the Nikon D90 came out and wouldn't let you shoot past 5 minutes? Same problem, the technology has just advanced from there. It's physics. Because the BMPCC is such a small camera there's no room for air to circulate, therefore the sensor is going to overheat faster than bigger cameras with more room for ventilation.

My advice? Don't shoot so damn long, and if you have to...shoot with another camera that can handle the heat.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostWed Aug 20, 2014 10:47 pm

Michael,

This is not a heating problem. If it was, it will not be limited to just specific recording formats.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostThu Aug 21, 2014 9:57 am

Thanks for a fantastic job on the update of the cameras! They went from great to excellent :)

Unfortunately Prores LT @25p seems to drop at around 15 or 16 minutes. I've only done one test so far but it's quite similar to the last firmware.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostThu Aug 21, 2014 12:31 pm

Kristian Lam wrote:Can you guys post what frame rates you are shooting at?


25p mate. It dropped frames on the Sandisk on LT, Proxy and 422. HQ is fine, as is RAW. (I reported these findings over the phone to the OZ BMD guys too)
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 1:17 am

I trust that everyone has now installed the 1.9.3 update on their pocket cameras and is testing for dropped frames again? :) I was very happy to see that this issue was addressed in the update notes, but I am running some practical tests while I work today to see if I get more dropped frames.

3 hours and 15 minutes of ProRes Proxy remaining until I fill up my 64GB card. Let's see if it can go the whole time without a dropped frame!
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 1:39 am

25fps, I have the same dropped frames issue
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 1:40 am

Firmware 1.9.3

Recording 24p ProRes Proxy, started dropped frames after 24 minutes of continuous recording.

This firmware didn't fix it. Very disappointing.

UPDATE: 48 minutes into a ProRes LT recording and no dropped frames yet. This is encouraging. I'm going to continue to test.

UPDATE 2: 51 minutes into that ProRes LT test, it began dropping frames. At least 51 minutes is a lot better than 24. We still need consistent performance though, especially from "anointed"/approved cards like the SanDisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/s.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 6:37 am

I'm shooting at 23.976, and I have had the problem in ProRes HQ and LT.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 7:03 am

garrettgibbons wrote:I was very happy to see that this issue was addressed in the update notes

The update notes mention a fix for an issue with dropped frames during playback, something separate to this.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 12:21 pm

is this an issue with the BMCC also CaptainHook?

Also congrats on the BMD job....i think :) . Great to have you on board on the team. Hopefully this won't take you away from going and and shooting...the important things :)
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 12:56 pm

Darren Scott wrote:is this an issue with the BMCC also CaptainHook?

Also congrats on the BMD job....i think :) . Great to have you on board on the team. Hopefully this won't take you away from going and and shooting...the important things :)

Have you had a problem with dropped frames?
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MatsHelgesson

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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 2:34 pm

I recorded about one and a half hours of Prores LT without a single drop yesterday on the BMCC. Shouldn't be an issue. Have ha no drops so far. Well okay once, when I used a mechanical hard drive with Prores HQ.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 2:39 pm

MatsHelgesson wrote:I recorded about one and a half hours of Prores LT without a single drop yesterday on the BMCC. Shouldn't be an issue. Have ha no drops so far. Well okay once, when I used a mechanical hard drive with Prores HQ.


Yeah, but the pocket.... The pocket camera is still dropping frames.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 2:55 pm

Mark Davies wrote:Have you had a problem with dropped frames?


I have never tested that. I was just wondering if people also saw that happening with their bmcc. I have a bmcc not a pocket cam, and was curious.
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 5:59 pm

I've been getting dropped frames recording in ProResHQ since I received the BMPCC last October. It happens on San Disk Extreme Pro 64GB cards, and has been present in every firmware build I've installed up to and including 1.9.3

RMA'd the camera back to Blackmagic around firmware release 1.8. They tested it and said it was fine. I got the camera back, popped in a properly formatted San Disk Extreme Pro 64GB card, then lo and behold about 8 minutes in it drops frames. I've exchanged a number of emails with support and never once did they mention it was a known firmware issue that was being investigated. Instead, they claimed I had a problem that they couldn't replicate. For an unbelievably tiny $1K camera to shoot such high quality images I fully expect there to be trade offs and issues. However, I also expect honest answers from Blackmagic tech support. If it's a known issue, why has support pretended like it isn't?
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 7:43 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote:I've been getting dropped frames recording in ProResHQ since I received the BMPCC last October. It happens on San Disk Extreme Pro 64GB cards, and has been present in every firmware build I've installed up to and including 1.9.3

RMA'd the camera back to Blackmagic around firmware release 1.8. They tested it and said it was fine. I got the camera back, popped in a properly formatted San Disk Extreme Pro 64GB card, then lo and behold about 8 minutes in it drops frames. I've exchanged a number of emails with support and never once did they mention it was a known firmware issue that was being investigated. Instead, they claimed I had a problem that they couldn't replicate. For an unbelievably tiny $1K camera to shoot such high quality images I fully expect there to be trade offs and issues. However, I also expect honest answers from Blackmagic tech support. If it's a known issue, why has support pretended like it isn't?


This is important information. Blackmagic will hopefully see that many of us are experiencing the same issue with fast, high-end, approved memory cards. The first step is admitting that you have a problem....
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 8:28 pm

I emailed support again this morning and got a response back that their office wasn't aware of the problem when I sent my camera in. They reiterated what Caption Hook said above: Blackmagic engineering is aware of the problem and is working on a fix. Very glad to know they are on the case. Bravo Blackmagic!
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 8:48 pm

Good move by BM to hire Captain Hook. They seem to be doing a lot of right things lately!
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Re: BMPCC ProRes LT Dropped Frames

PostFri Aug 22, 2014 9:27 pm

I'll pitch in here too as I'm experiencing and have been, dropped frames when recording in any prores flavour, on both of my pocket cams and with all of my extreme pro 64gb cards.

They start dropping frames roughly 25-30mins into recording on both HQ and 422, with LT I get dropped frames roughly 20mins in. I just consider it a trade off as the price vs. performance of these cameras are unreal, but it is a very real issue and probably should be talked about more.
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