DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

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devinpickering

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DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 5:09 pm

Okay so Blackmagic has killed Cinema DNG. I'm bummed. My company just bought an Ursa Mini Pro, and we've been testing it out the past few months. We've found that DNG has more detail than BM raw. Even in Q0 or Q5. That's one issue. The other issue which is far more concerning, is that BMRAW does not handle highlight recovery and shadow recovery the same way that a DNG file does. There is WAY more information in the image with DNG, and also many more options in the RAW controls in resolve than with BM raw.

Here are the options available with Cinema DNG in Resolve. You can see a dedicated slider for both highlights and shadows - the image shot here has been pushed all the way to the extremes, as you can see the shadows have been lifted and the highlights have been recovered.

https://ibb.co/k5j2MbJ



And here's the same shot with BMRAW - as you can see there is FAR less detail in the shadows and highlights, with no options for shadows or highlights in the RAW control box.

https://ibb.co/5Rwfff6



Now I thought that maybe just because those options in BMRAW aren't there like they are in DNG, that I could still move the shadows or highlights around in the color tab and push it as far as I could with DNG, but no, I cannot, the information seems to just not be there.

So I have to ask - What is BMRAW??? Is it really a true RAW format? Or is Blackmagic just calling it RAW for marketing? Because as far as I can see here - the only actual RAW control I have in post is the ability to change white balance and exposure. And that is not the same as a true RAW codec!

The fact that they are killing DNG so quickly is shocking. And as a production company/cinematographer the entire reason I wanted to work with BM cameras was because it was an affordable RAW option. Now that it's gone, I'm not sure what to do. Should I sell my camera now? I was ready to invest in an entire BM line of a few pocket cameras and the Ursa Mini Pro G2, but now without REAL DNG, I don't know...

Am I wrong?? Is there more flexibility for shadow and highlight recovery than I can find? Please help.
Last edited by devinpickering on Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:53 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Justin Jackson

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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 5:39 pm

Did you mean to link something..cause I dont see any images?

Thing is, they are dealing with patent issue, so you dont have a choice. It seems everyone thinks BM just took CDNG out because they feel BRAW is better. That isnt the case. Grant goes over this in detail in his video yesterday. They have some patent issues, and the cost to try to work through it, if they can even get through it, is way more than they are willing to spend when they built BRAW ground up to be every bit as good as other RAW formats.

I am not in the big industry, just a hobbyist, but other than doing some close up pixel peeping, side by side images look just as good to me.

Let me ask you this, who are your viewers of your final video product that are going to be able to tell the difference between the two? I am NOT trying to say not to complain about it because your end viewers wont see it, but more so that because most people watch video on phones or TV screens that typically are being fed compressed or highly compressed h.264/5 video anyway, the image you are getting is still much better than anything 99% of viewers will see.

I am told there are special VFX circumstances that the BRAW may prove to offer less than CDNG. But am also reading that you can do some things to BRAW to clean it up, sharpen it, etc.

The benefits though, are astounding. The workflow speed alone is just enormous. Editing several BRAW video tracks in real time with no slow down, vs one ProRes clip with one color grade that hiccups on playback, is unreal. BRAW is essentially making it possible for older/cheaper hardware to edit 4K video streams. Not to mention you are getting 12bit log video instead of 10bit 422 video to work with in smaller file sizes.

So I suspect you and others that are concerned are mostly those that work in green screen pixel peeping positions that every bit of detail is an enormous issue. In that case, given the price of this camera, and even the Ursa Mini Pro G1/G2, it seems likely you might need to try a different camera. I say that primarily because there isnt a thing anyone can do to get CDNG back. BM doesnt want to be sued/go out of business, so they removed it. Maybe they can resolve the patent issue eventually and add it back in down the road. But it sounds like as of now, they are putting their money in to BRAW, better hardware, etc. For the majority of BM camera owners, this is a good thing.
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 5:43 pm

1. Upgrade Resolve. Missing BRAW RAW controls have been restored.

2. Lack of real detail and/or lack of real dynamic range? Naw, not from my limited testing. Just different default processing. Both easily tweaked to taste.
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 5:46 pm

Justin Jackson wrote:So I suspect you and others that are concerned are mostly those that work in green screen pixel peeping positions that every bit of detail is an enormous issue. In that case, given the price of this camera, and even the Ursa Mini Pro G1/G2, it seems likely you might need to try a different camera.

If you can't pull a good key from BRAW footage, the camera isn't the weak link in your chain. ;-)

Seriously, though, the writing is on the wall for uncompressed RAW. REDCODE, ProRes RAW, BRAW...the industry is moving in one direction.
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 5:50 pm

joe12south wrote:Seriously, though, the writing is on the wall for uncompressed RAW. REDCODE, ProRes RAW, BRAW...the industry is moving in one direction.


Thankfully. The sheer file size of the footage can be a huge issue. I remember shooting a short film and basically staying up all night to offload the footage from a BMD 2.5K camera.

Smaller is better!
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 6:00 pm

There are plenty of raw controls. Update your software to the newest version of resolve. Looks like they removed some of the redundant controls that I usually use nodes for but otherwise, you get a lot of control including highlight recovery clicky box.

I concur with Joe that if you cannot get a good key from BRAW then you need to look at how you are shooting. I have been pulling green screen from much less detailed source footage than 4K prores or CDNG and have had clean keys, and nasty keys, which were all more dependent on how it was shot more than the codec used. If you have green spill because the subject is too close to the screen for example, even CDNG won't necessarily save you.
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 6:27 pm

Agreed all on the keying.. like I said if I, a total noob with it years ago (and still) could pull a "laughable" but watchable key from much older software and horrible 720p MP4 camera, no way it cant be done with BRAW.
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 8:24 pm

I have the latest version of resolve - for some reason I'm having a hard time posting photos on here (I'm a noob on this forum) and when I try to embed a link it says I can't embed URLs... sorry guys I can't figure it out.

Anyway the highlight recovery "click box" option provides like a tiny jump in difference of messing with overblown highlights - not like the amount of control you have in an ACR or other RAW dialogue box.

And just to point out - I'm not asking to "fixing it in post" at all really, but I want to control the image to how I want to grade it, and if a sky or a portion of the sky is blown out too much for my taste, I'd like to bring the highlights down, and in ARW it's no issue at all, but with prores or BMraw it is. It's more baked in and I don't have the ability to flex to image as much as I want to.

To answer
the question of people seeing the difference - YES. they will absolutely see a difference between how I could push an image in the color grade versus how I can't do anything besides more minor adjustments. it affects the final image totally. it's not a subtle difference.
Last edited by devinpickering on Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 8:33 pm

devinpickering wrote:Okay so Blackmagic has killed Cinema DNG. I'm shocked. My company just bought an Ursa Mini Pro, and we've been testing it out the past few months. We've found that DNG has more detail than BM raw. Even in Q0 or Q5... Please help.


Devin, I think we were all shocked by that change. I suppose one immediate option is simply stay with firmware 6.1 until you feel ready to go with BRAW.

I have the URSA Mini 4.6K, often shoot raw 3:1, and was looking forward to adding BRAW Q0/Q5 to it later this year. But that’s not going to happen before I have had time to get experience with BRAW on the BMPCC4K.


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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 10:41 pm

Cinema DNG Settings and Image example: shadow and highlight recovery set to the max position on the slider, bringing all the info back no problem..

https://ibb.co/k5j2MbJ

Blackmagic RAW Settings and Image Example: lifted the shadows and tried to squash the highlights but nowhere near the info here... not even close

https://ibb.co/5Rwfff6


I'm pretty sure it was Cinema DNG 3:1 and BRAW 3:1

What am I missing here? Am I the only one who's seen this disparity in the functionality?? I feel like a crazy person cause I haven't heard anyone talk about this yet..
Last edited by devinpickering on Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostWed Mar 06, 2019 11:07 pm

rick.lang wrote:
devinpickering wrote:Okay so Blackmagic has killed Cinema DNG. I'm shocked. My company just bought an Ursa Mini Pro, and we've been testing it out the past few months. We've found that DNG has more detail than BM raw. Even in Q0 or Q5... Please help.


Devin, I think we were all shocked by that change. I suppose one immediate option is simply stay with firmware 6.1 until you feel ready to go with BRAW.

I have the URSA Mini 4.6K, often shoot raw 3:1, and was looking forward to adding BRAW Q0/Q5 to it later this year. But that’s not going to happen before I have had time to get experience with BRAW on the BMPCC4K.


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Nope, you MUST modify the firmware on all cameras immediately. Failure to do so within 24 hours will prompt BMD sponsored commandos to infiltrate your premises and forcibly update your hardware. They will kidnap you and subject you to a month long re-education program that includes giving Grant Petty nightly jasmine scented full-body scrubs while chanting "DNG, bad. FPGA good."

True story. Happened to a friend of mine, and he was once a b-cam operator for a YouTube original series.
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Re: THEY KILLED DNG :( - DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 1:24 am

I think you need to set it on the left to Black Magic Raw. Those two images look drastically different. I suspect you need to do some more to the BRAW image. My BRAW is looking sweet.
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 1:45 am

joe12south wrote:… while chanting "DNG, bad. FPGA good.


And repeating the Mantra in your head: "Don't forget the Nyquist limit!"

Otherwise, you'll have to learn this whole article by heart:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist–Shannon_sampling_theorem
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 2:29 am

devinpickering wrote:Cinema DNG Settings and Image example: shadow and highlight recovery set to the max position on the slider, bringing all the info back no problem..

https://ibb.co/k5j2MbJ

Blackmagic RAW Settings and Image Example: lifted the shadows and tried to squash the highlights but nowhere near the info here... not even close

https://ibb.co/5Rwfff6


I'm pretty sure it was Cinema DNG 3:1 and BRAW 3:1

What am I missing here? Am I the only one who's seen this disparity in the functionality?? I feel like a crazy person cause I haven't heard anyone talk about this yet..


Hi, use the highlights and shadows controls in the primaries tabs with Blackmagic RAW. Those controls work exactly the same as the controls in the DNG tab. The shadow/highlight rolloff controls in Blackmagic RAW are different and control the custom gamma curve available in Blackmagic RAW.

Use these here bottom right:
Image
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Re: THEY KILLED DNG :( - DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 6:14 am

devinpickering, can you post original DNG and BRAW files to test?
Your result may be so different due different highlights/shadows works different in RAW tab. It is better never use highlights/shadows in RAW tab because it affects source video and your starting point for grading is not too "raw" anymore. Set Timeline to LOG and use Gain in linear gamma mode to boost expose and recover shadows, and lower Gain in normal mode to recover highlights.
P.S. I am also a big fan of recovering dynamic range from shadows. Played with DNG and ProRes samples from P4K and can't see any dramatic difference between formats in shadows recovery.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 11:53 am

My concern is not highlights and shadows but the observable loss of detail between BRAW and DNG. It's being dismissed in favour of arguments about more advantageous workflows, pixel peeping, false detail, etc but in my preliminary tests it seems to be a very observable fact when looking at details at 300%. Will it show up in real world situations is a reasonable question. Maybe. (On a 40 ft. screen from the first few rows.) But it's always been a general, operative principle in photography that there is no such thing as too much detail in a source image. It can be reduced as needed. So I regret the loss of the DNG option and I'd like to put the following question:

If compressed RAW is the potential legal problem why not give us uncompressed DNG? That way way we can have our workflow cake and eat our details, too.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 1:52 pm

David Cherniack wrote:My concern is not highlights and shadows but the observable loss of detail between BRAW and DNG. It's being dismissed in favour of arguments about more advantageous workflows, pixel peeping, false detail, etc but in my preliminary tests it seems to be a very observable fact when looking at details at 300%. Will it show up in real world situations is a reasonable question. Maybe. (On a 40 ft. screen from the first few rows.) But it's always been a general, operative principle in photography that there is no such thing as too much detail in a source image. It can be reduced as needed. So I regret the loss of the DNG option and I'd like to put the following question:

If compressed RAW is the potential legal problem why not give us uncompressed DNG? That way way we can have our workflow cake and eat our details, too.

Do you have clients asking you to deliver stills blown-up 300%? No? Carry on.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 2:45 pm

John Paines wrote:
David Cherniack wrote:But it's always been a general, operative principle in photography that there is no such thing as too much detail in a source image.


That is not at all true of cinematography -- look at all the resolution and detail-reducing filters available, and the mania for "vintage" lenses -- though everyone may not regard involuntarily reduced detail as a virtue.

But, viewed normally, can you really see any difference? It's hard enough for some people to distinguish HD from UHD, and in this case we're talking about resolved detail on a close-up of a superman doll, a subject without much emotive force (braw is likely to do justice to a real face).



I did say "general(ly)". There's always a specific use in which lower resolution is desirable however, it's just as "generally" true in cinematography that you can't get more from less. Thinking ahead a bit to intelligent uprezzing of 4k material to 8k I think we'd all rather have more resolution than less to work with.

BM should really give us uncompressed DNGs or give us an option of more detail in BRAW.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 2:55 pm

Going back to offering uncompressed raw might be an option. I don’t know what frame rate you would get with that. I don’t know if the patent concerns extend to the mathematically lossless raw option which could help with the frame rate limitation.

I’m personally keeping the URSA Mini 4.6K on CinemaDNG and I’m now comfortable shooting Q0/Q5 on the BMPCC4K for everything else having seen several encouraging results (still want to see beauty shots and clothing samples).


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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 3:08 pm

It’s not about “blowing up a still to 300%” or pixel peeping. It’s about shooting 4K and cropping in to a 1080p area, giving more coverage for interviews and different angles for covering jump cuts.

Most people shooting interviews in 4K shoot this way with a single camera, giving them the ability to crop in with extra resolution. Not everyone is shooting 4K for 4K delivery.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 3:10 pm

David Cherniack wrote:however, it's just as "generally" true in cinematography that you can't get more from less. Thinking ahead a bit to intelligent uprezzing of 4k material to 8k I think we'd all rather have more resolution than less to work with.


8K celebrity-free, no-budget movies are likely to screen where, exactly? And this is "thinking ahead?"

Such worries, for material which doesn't yet exist, to be shot on a $1299 camera, might strike some as strange.

All this recalls Jim Jannard's old marketing line, "future-proofing", for the legions of immortal movies Red types were going to shoot. Except nobody but the "community" cares, whether its 16k, 8k, 4k, 2k, SD, pixelvision, etc.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 3:22 pm

John Paines wrote:
David Cherniack wrote:however, it's just as "generally" true in cinematography that you can't get more from less. Thinking ahead a bit to intelligent uprezzing of 4k material to 8k I think we'd all rather have more resolution than less to work with.


8K celebrity-free, no-budget movies are likely to screen where, exactly? And this is "thinking ahead?"

Such worries, for material which doesn't exist, to be shot on a $1299 camera, might strike some as excessive, unwarranted or overly optimistic.


Well, some of us think, and do, big. Figuratively and literally. A $1299 camera is as big as what it's used for. If you don't use it that way, why question those who do?
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 3:25 pm

It's a tired retort, but how about your writing skills? Your directing skills? You're editing skills? Your lighting skills?

*That's* thinking big. Resolution is thinking small and easy.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 3:31 pm

No DNX, now no DNG. BM cameras are evolving into a Resolve only workflow which isn’t going to sit well with many. Would it be the end of days to admit that braw isn’t raw and put it in a QuickTime wrapper so that every NLE on the planet can use it?
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 3:36 pm

John Paines wrote:It's a tired retort, but how about your writing skills? Your directing skills? You're editing skills? Your lighting skills?

*That's* thinking big. Resolution is thinking small and easy.


You might want to find out more about me before tossing out tired retorts like that in my direction. But I totally agree with you :)
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 3:56 pm

David Cherniack wrote:
BM should really give us uncompressed DNGs or give us an option of more detail in BRAW.


You should e-mail them directly. Writing about it on the forums isn't likely to be noticed all that much. If enough people ask them to bring CDNG back, there's a higher chance that they might.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 3:58 pm

Kays Alatrakchi wrote:
David Cherniack wrote:
BM should really give us uncompressed DNGs or give us an option of more detail in BRAW.


You should e-mail them directly. Writing about it on the forums isn't likely to be noticed all that much. If enough people ask them to bring CDNG back, there's a higher chance that they might.


Oh, I think they've heard by now. But before bringing out more artillery, it would be fascinating to see if anyone could pass a blind test -- braw with sharpening v. CDNG.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 4:03 pm

Howard, they give the SDK away free, no license, etc. I dont see why Adobe, FCP, Vegas, etc wouldnt add support for it. They added ProRes support, which costs money. BRAW is a better format with smaller file sizes, why wouldnt NLEs add that in? Think of it another way... if more and more people who can afford to pay $50 a month for Adobe products.. but cant afford big cameras so buy BM, and start shooting BRAW.. start to switch to Resolve, and Resolve as many of us know is just as capable (if not more so IMO) than Adobe, wouldnt it be in Adobes best interest to try to keep BRAW shooting folks on their product by adding the free SDK for BRAW support? Business wise, it makes no sense not to do this. So I suspect that sooner than later BRAW will make its way to the top NLEs, maybe even the free ones.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 4:05 pm

I agree that the lossless CDNG should still be an option, or if they can offer a lossless BRAW.. e.g. single file, but lossless (possibly lightly compressed). Frankly some sort of lossless BRAW would be the way to go.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 4:22 pm

John Paines wrote:
Kays Alatrakchi wrote:
David Cherniack wrote:
BM should really give us uncompressed DNGs or give us an option of more detail in BRAW.


You should e-mail them directly. Writing about it on the forums isn't likely to be noticed all that much. If enough people ask them to bring CDNG back, there's a higher chance that they might.


Oh, I think they've heard by now. But before bringing out more artillery, it would be fascinating to see if anyone could pass a blind test -- braw with sharpening v. CDNG.


Tried it. BRAW with sharpening begins to quickly ring. Nowhere near CDNG
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 11:09 pm

Guys I think we’re getting a bit off topic here - i’d like to hear some more options or ideas about how the level of shadow detail and highlight recovery in cinema DNG differs from the amount of flexibility in BRAW.

I feel like it’s up to us as DP’s to fully understand what Blackmagic is doing with this codec. What bothers me although I understand they’re in some legal trouble, is that we’re suddenly left with this new codec (which I very much like) that is sold as a totally viable option to CDNG - but the more I look into what it is, the more it feels like a replacement for ProRes, in terms of really being able to manipulate the image in the color grade.

So far the work I’ve done with it has been nowhere near the level of information available with CDNG, I’d like to see who can find some better results with this, or figure out just what the limitations of this new codec are.

I’m worried that while everyone is very happy with efficiency, we’re losing the other half of it with fully realizing the total potential of these cameras in the image quality.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 11:22 pm

devin. What are we losing though? That is what I am not understanding. We can all agree what we gain.. file sizes are down, speed is very fast to copy/edit with, 12bit vs 10bit Prores, etc. But in a typical 4K image, that is almost certainly going to be turned in to h.264 before any eyeballs other than a few, see it... what are you losing? Dont get me wrong, I want the absolute utmost awesome image quality we can get. I was looking at buying a 4TB drive (possibly) to handle 60fps RAW. And I dont even need 720p h.264 quality for my audience. I just want it.. just in case. But BRAW satisfies just fine.

Are you and others saying, because of some of the detail missing, color correction will be bad, overall image quality is going to be less, etc.. to everyone that watches the youtube/bluray/bigscreen version of the video? Cause I dont see that. Short of doing 400x blown up VFX work, which still looks good to me, what are you losing on a day to day workflow?

It seems you and others (and not trying to say it in a mean way.. just pointing out that there are two camps) are nitpicking about something that is irrelevant in most video recording anyway. I mean, if you record 30 different scenes for a tv show, are all those 30 scenes in BRAW going to be ruined because you lost the quality that CDNG had? Are you really recording that many TBs of CDNG for everything you do such that a lot of it couldnt be done with BRAW (or even ProRes)? That is what I am baffled about. To my eye, blown up, it looks damn good. The superman image does seem a bit blurry on the BRAW version, but as others have done, there are a lot of example images that look nearly identical in both formats, and certainly enough to use for any purpose where not a single person is going to be like "OMG.. the detail is missing.. what did you record with". I just dont fully comprehend why this is such an issue I guess. Is it that oh man, they took something we had that was a hair better away from us.. so now we cant use the camera any more.. they took control from us? Or is it that you actually record everything in RAW, have a massive workstation to work with it all, and BRAW like ProRes and DNxHR just sickens you?
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 11:24 pm

devinpickering wrote:Guys I think we’re getting a bit off topic here - i’d like to hear some more options or ideas about how the level of shadow detail and highlight recovery in cinema DNG differs from the amount of flexibility in BRAW.

I feel like it’s up to us as DP’s to fully understand what Blackmagic is doing with this codec. What bothers me although I understand they’re in some legal trouble, is that we’re suddenly left with this new codec (which I very much like) that is sold as a totally viable option to CDNG - but the more I look into what it is, the more it feels like a replacement for ProRes, in terms of really being able to manipulate the image in the color grade.

So far the work I’ve done with it has been nowhere near the level of information available with CDNG, I’d like to see who can find some better results with this, or figure out just what the limitations of this new codec are.

I’m worried that while everyone is very happy with efficiency, we’re losing the other half of it with fully realizing the total potential of these cameras in the image quality.

Elsewhere, Captain Hook commented that BRAW shadow/highlight manipulation should be done in the 3-way corrector now to get the same results as one did in the RAW panel with DNG. The controls in the RAW panel work differently for BRAW, and now adjust the gamma curve. He assured - and I have observed - equal performance.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostThu Mar 07, 2019 11:36 pm

There must be a reasonable threshold for evaluation.

Is a desk flat? If a writer can write smoothly and her pencil doesn't roll-off, by her standard it is flat. But if a scientist were to get out an electron microscope and evaluate it. OMG, to him the desk is a pock-marked piece of ****!

If you're evaluating a motion picture codec by blowing up a still image 400%, are you acting more like the writer or the scientist?

...

PS.Now imagine that the writer's desk is dipped in pudding. That's the delivery compression from YouTube or Netflix. ;-)
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 12:00 am

joe12south wrote:There must be a reasonable threshold for evaluation.

Is a desk flat? If a writer can write smoothly and her pencil doesn't roll-off, by her standard it is flat. But if a scientist were to get out an electron microscope and evaluate it. OMG, to him the desk is a pock-marked piece of ****!

If you're evaluating a motion picture codec by blowing up a still image 400%, are you acting more like the writer or the scientist?

...

PS.Now imagine that the writer's desk is dipped in pudding. That's the delivery compression from YouTube or Netflix. ;-)

Brilliant, that's worth bookmarking!
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 11:10 am

John Morris wrote:
joe12south wrote:There must be a reasonable threshold for evaluation.

Is a desk flat? If a writer can write smoothly and her pencil doesn't roll-off, by her standard it is flat. But if a scientist were to get out an electron microscope and evaluate it. OMG, to him the desk is a pock-marked piece of ****!

If you're evaluating a motion picture codec by blowing up a still image 400%, are you acting more like the writer or the scientist?

...

PS.Now imagine that the writer's desk is dipped in pudding. That's the delivery compression from YouTube or Netflix. ;-)

Brilliant, that's worth bookmarking!



Except we ain't writing. We're creating images. Writing uses the medium of the imagination. We use the medium of the capture codec.

All the arguments here are that BRAW is a better editing codec when what's really being questioned is if it's a better capture codec. The consensus of those who are fully delighted with it for capture is that it's so good that we don't care about what's missing. Personally, for most things I'll be happy to use it over Prores. However, for foreground comp elements, especially around fuzzy edges like hair, I'd rather have the extra detail of CDNG.
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 11:57 am

devinpickering wrote:C

What am I missing here? Am I the only one who's seen this disparity in the functionality?? I feel like a crazy person cause I haven't heard anyone talk about this yet..


I don't have a problem matching my DNG and BRAW material.
Can you post the material, I would like to give it a try.

Meanwhile you may read my article on that issue:

https://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/20 ... er-at-all/
http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

I told you so :-)
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 12:31 pm

"Call me crazy, but IMHO the less contrasty edges of BRAW material also seem to have a positive effect on the motion cadence. It was the first thing that jumped out on me, when I did the first BRAW test – the motion looked smoother and more like, what you expect from film."

This is exactly what I said about mild/intimidate codec compression (eg. cDNG vs ProRes). That sometimes it's not bad thing as they behave like mild de-noising/low pass filtering which creates more organic looking images (not pixel perfect ones). I just hope BM RAW de-nosing will be lowered or at leat not increased. Maybe this is already a case for v1.3.
A side note- not everything ends on youtube. There is eg. cinema and Blu-ray as well and in both cases you can preserve most grain/noise (so it doesn't look like youtube for sure).
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 12:40 pm

Frank , great article. I find my self much in the same position. Was sceptical but became worshiper.
Only thing I’m gonna miss is the 120hd cDNG which I found superior when blown up to 4K.
But I guess I can live without it.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 12:58 pm

Nice article Frank! Sums up my thoughts as well. Thank you for taking the time!
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 1:26 pm

[Decided my first knee-jerk comment was inappropriate and non-constructive. Haven’t had my morning tea yet. No excuse. Deleted.]

On a more positive note – Frank, I appreciated your article as well. I pixel-peeped your images, and they do a great job of proving your point.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 1:39 pm

David Cherniack wrote:
John Morris wrote:
joe12south wrote:There must be a reasonable threshold for evaluation.

Is a desk flat? If a writer can write smoothly and her pencil doesn't roll-off, by her standard it is flat. But if a scientist were to get out an electron microscope and evaluate it. OMG, to him the desk is a pock-marked piece of ****!

If you're evaluating a motion picture codec by blowing up a still image 400%, are you acting more like the writer or the scientist?

...

PS.Now imagine that the writer's desk is dipped in pudding. That's the delivery compression from YouTube or Netflix. ;-)

Brilliant, that's worth bookmarking!



Except we ain't writing. We're creating images. Writing uses the medium of the imagination. We use the medium of the capture codec.

All the arguments here are that BRAW is a better editing codec when what's really being questioned is if it's a better capture codec. The consensus of those who are fully delighted with it for capture is that it's so good that we don't care about what's missing. Personally, for most things I'll be happy to use it over Prores. However, for foreground comp elements, especially around fuzzy edges like hair, I'd rather have the extra detail of CDNG.


1. No analogy is perfect, but this one holds: is the tool good enough for the job. If the job is making motion pictures, BRAW is more than good enough.

2. You might prefer the extra sharpness (and yes, I used that word intentionally vs detail) for keying, but I prefer the lack of edge artifacts like zippering that dogged Resolve's DNG debayer. The techniques are different and they both have strengths and weaknesses - which is better is up to personal choice.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 2:15 pm

The same idea how 2K CDNG raw upscaled to 4K or 2K directly will stay with 4K BRAW and ProRes in respect of critical resolution. I think it still to be between CDNG 4K and BRAW 4K.

https://frankglencairn.files.wordpress. ... /all-1.jpg

BRAW compare to CDNG simply soft codec may be good for film footage in many real situations but not all. If all this data to be transfered to standard film-lens MTF data chart as used in still film photography difference to be significant (as classic Ilford or Kodak film vs chinese Lacky).


My opinion it is better to have high end film (sensor) data and use proper Cine Line of Lenses for your footage Sharp or Soft for reproduction of fine landscape details or portrait and close up. So, no CDNG RAW in BM cameras at the moment from technical point of view is definitely a loss. I hope, BM should have plan B how to return back critical resolution and microcontrast to filmware in future. True Raw should be an option inside of BM brand cameras.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 3:46 pm

Justin Jackson wrote:devin. What are we losing though? That is what I am not understanding. We can all agree what we gain.. file sizes are down, speed is very fast to copy/edit with, 12bit vs 10bit Prores, etc. But in a typical 4K image, that is almost certainly going to be turned in to h.264 before any eyeballs other than a few, see it... what are you losing? Dont get me wrong, I want the absolute utmost awesome image quality we can get. I was looking at buying a 4TB drive (possibly) to handle 60fps RAW. And I dont even need 720p h.264 quality for my audience. I just want it.. just in case. But BRAW satisfies just fine.

Are you and others saying, because of some of the detail missing, color correction will be bad, overall image quality is going to be less, etc.. to everyone that watches the youtube/bluray/bigscreen version of the video? Cause I dont see that. Short of doing 400x blown up VFX work, which still looks good to me, what are you losing on a day to day workflow?

It seems you and others (and not trying to say it in a mean way.. just pointing out that there are two camps) are nitpicking about something that is irrelevant in most video recording anyway. I mean, if you record 30 different scenes for a tv show, are all those 30 scenes in BRAW going to be ruined because you lost the quality that CDNG had? Are you really recording that many TBs of CDNG for everything you do such that a lot of it couldnt be done with BRAW (or even ProRes)? That is what I am baffled about. To my eye, blown up, it looks damn good. The superman image does seem a bit blurry on the BRAW version, but as others have done, there are a lot of example images that look nearly identical in both formats, and certainly enough to use for any purpose where not a single person is going to be like "OMG.. the detail is missing.. what did you record with". I just dont fully comprehend why this is such an issue I guess. Is it that oh man, they took something we had that was a hair better away from us.. so now we cant use the camera any more.. they took control from us? Or is it that you actually record everything in RAW, have a massive workstation to work with it all, and BRAW like ProRes and DNxHR just sickens you?



I honestly hate this argument. I hear it all the time. "Who cares everyone is going to end up watching it on their phones anyway". Well, no actually. I'm trying to make movies, that end up on a big screen in a theater as a matter of fact. If that's the logic then who the hell cares what you shoot it on, let's just shoot all our movies on a hi-8 then, if it doesn't matter. I'm not saying you can't tell stories with any camera, that's not my point and I'd never argue that. I would love to use any camera to tell a story if that was the challenge.

I think my point is pretty simple - let's just say, as an example - that I don't have a grip truck. And no gaffer. But I'm faced with a very difficult or extreme shot, where my foreground is underexposed and my backround is overexposed, in that specific situation, I would like to shoot in the most uncompressed RAW format available, to work with that difficult exposure in the color grade, and I hate to say the term 'fix it in post because that's almost always indicative of lazy cinematography, but there are times, when I would like to either enhance light, or take it away according to how I feel it might help push the story. And if I might be doing something where it calls for that codec, I'd like to use it!

So I'm merely trying to understand what BRAW is capable of in the most extreme situations - it's not about will the audience see the difference in sharpness or detail, of course they won't, but it's something that's there, there IS a difference. And I really do love the BRAW codec, it's great! But I also really like what David Cherniak wrote earlier - which is "The consensus of those who are fully delighted with it for capture is that it's so good that we don't care about what's missing" - let's not be so happy with this that we're just ignoring anything that might not be great or something that they need to work on.

I also just wanna thank everyone for adding in their opinions on here, what a great community! After hearing your thoughts I went back into the color nodes and indeed have found more latitude in the shadow and highlight recovery areas within the color tabs themsleves like you suggested - and it's 'better' but not 'prefect' as it is with CDNG. And that's okay. I know we don't have a choice. I also understand and just hope - that BM will keep pushing this codec as far as it can go in the future. I'm sure we'll see updates and new functionality, I hope they keep working on it to make it even better. I really think they've created something VERY special and efficient, BM needed this very badly, but I just hope they keep pushing it further.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 4:14 pm

devinpickering wrote:After hearing your thoughts I went back into the color nodes and indeed have found more latitude in the shadow and highlight recovery areas within the color tabs themsleves like you suggested - and it's 'better' but not 'prefect' as it is with CDNG.


This sounds like the beginning of a new mythology -- the first was that cDNG offered miraculous color grading potential not found in Prores. I have no idea what your background is, but this line was routinely promoted by people who couldn't, putting it politely, grade footage convincingly.

And now the same claimed deficiency for braw. It would be fascinating to see an example, where the cDNG was "perfect" in its potential and the same braw shot was irreparable.
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Re: DNG vs. BM RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 5:28 pm

Frank Glencairn wrote:
I don't have a problem matching my DNG and BRAW material.
Can you post the material, I would like to give it a try.

Meanwhile you may read my article on that issue:

https://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/20 ... er-at-all/


This is really interesting, Frank. Thanks for doing this.

Do you also have a Pocket 4k you might be able to run the same test on? I've noticed that while the BRAW implementation on the UMP 4.6k is great, as you illustrate in your post, the BRAW implementation in the Pocket 4k doesn't seem to be quite as good. Would love to see some side by side using the same lenses/lighting.

Thanks!
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 5:46 pm

Valery Axenov wrote:The same idea how 2K CDNG raw upscaled to 4K or 2K directly will stay with 4K BRAW and ProRes in respect of critical resolution. I think it still to be between CDNG 4K and BRAW 4K.

https://frankglencairn.files.wordpress. ... /all-1.jpg

BRAW compare to CDNG simply soft codec may be good for film footage in many real situations but not all. If all this data to be transfered to standard film-lens MTF data chart as used in still film photography difference to be significant (as classic Ilford or Kodak film vs chinese Lacky).


My opinion it is better to have high end film (sensor) data and use proper Cine Line of Lenses for your footage Sharp or Soft for reproduction of fine landscape details or portrait and close up. So, no CDNG RAW in BM cameras at the moment from technical point of view is definitely a loss. I hope, BM should have plan B how to return back critical resolution and microcontrast to filmware in future. True Raw should be an option inside of BM brand cameras.


Yep, those grabs yet again confirm it. There is very real and visible loss of textures. I hope BM will reduce this "forced" de-nosing.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 5:54 pm

Frank.. excellent write up. Spot on.

Devin, completely fair points on your part. I like your stance as well, and appreciate it. Me NOT being a pro cinema/film maker like many here, I hold my opinion to a much lesser standard. If I didnt say it before, I will say I agree that if the lawsuit/issue is about compressing RAW, then hopefully they can add back the CDNG lossless option for those that want to have it. For most of us I suspect we are fine with the advantages BRAW offers.

My only concern right now is FFMPEG doesnt work with BRAW yet. For simple video reviews (e.g. shooting an entire soccer game and quickly putting it up on youtube to be viewed by team/coaches), it is nice to just FFMPEG transcode my video.. I have a couple scripts set up that overlay timecode, put several clips together, etc all in one shot that takes only a few seconds to run. Doing the same in resolve will take a bit more time to set up and it is slower at rendering things out. I suspect FFMPEG would embrace the BRAW SDK at some point and support BRAW, but who knows.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 6:35 pm

John Paines wrote:
devinpickering wrote:After hearing your thoughts I went back into the color nodes and indeed have found more latitude in the shadow and highlight recovery areas within the color tabs themsleves like you suggested - and it's 'better' but not 'prefect' as it is with CDNG.


This sounds like the beginning of a new mythology -- the first was that cDNG offered miraculous color grading potential not found in Prores. I have no idea what your background is, but this line was routinely promoted by people who couldn't, putting it politely, grade footage convincingly.

And now the same claimed deficiency for braw. It would be fascinating to see an example, where the cDNG was "perfect" in its potential and the same braw shot was irreparable.


Wow, alrighty then. I don't think you've read what I'm actually trying to figure out here... I never said you can't grade a BRAW image.

It's not about being able to grade an image in a nice way, I'm talking about how much data there is in the highlights and shadows, and the ability to recover or tweak those areas in the grade period.
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Re: DNG vs. Blackmagic RAW - help

PostFri Mar 08, 2019 6:40 pm

devinpickering wrote:It's not about being able to grade an image in a nice way, I'm talking about how much data there is in the highlights and shadows, and the ability to recover or tweak those areas in the grade period.


Exactly; that's what you want to demonstrate. Or anything goes -- everyone claims whatever he wants and belongs to one cult or another. Beyond raw highlight recovery, which is useless if all 3 channels are clipped, where's the proof of this claim, where it's perceptually/cinematically significant and available to the mostly non-professional colorists who use this camera?

Everyday, real-world, significant and easily perceived/achieved differences, with this camera, and the typical operator -- not the difference between Prores and Arriraw on an Arri 65 as manipulated by an army of post-production specialists.
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