Blackmagic Video Assist 4k - Editing Help

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John Captain

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  • Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:50 am
  • Location: Knoxville, TN

Blackmagic Video Assist 4k - Editing Help

PostThu Jul 13, 2017 3:36 am

Hello, I'm new and need some help! :)

I just got the BM Video Assist 4k, I read the manual, set everything up and shot with it for the first time this weekend with some friends. Setup was the Fuji XT-2 recording via HDMI to the BMVA4K in ProRes 422 at 59.94 in 1080P onto 128GB Sandisk extreme pro cards. I Shot with both Nikon adapted lenses and with Fuji lenses using manual focus, 3X checked the focus on the monitor before each shot...

My question is:

I just downloaded the footage from the shoot into Final Cut Pro X, project settings for the timeline are 1920x1080, 59.94p, ProRes 422, Stereo 48kHZ. I dropped some footage in the timeline, did a light color grade (no other editing) and exported it (Apple devices 1080P setting). I opened the exported video and... It looks really bad. The footage is very soft and not detailed, there are a lot of jaggies and pixels visible, it looks more like up-sampled footage than 1080P, clearly something went wrong... I went back to the timeline, removed the color grade, re-exported and looked at the unedited footage and it is the same, low detail, very soft, pixels and jaggies everywhere...

I've shot quite a bit of 1080P and 4K on the camera internally to memory cards with no image quality issues before, I don't believe the camera is the issue. I'm familiar with FCPX, but I'm new to the BMVA4K, so I assume I have done something wrong in setting up the BMVA4K with the camera or I've done something wrong with importing the 10 bit video footage and editing it within FCPX...

Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated, I will try to add some screen shots (captures on my 27" iMac screen) below of the exported video for visual reference. Thanks!
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John Captain

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:50 am
  • Location: Knoxville, TN

Re: Blackmagic Video Assist 4k - Editing Help

PostWed Jul 19, 2017 3:29 am

So after a week of testing the Fuji XT-2 with the BM Video Assist 4k (and with a Canon 80D, Fuji XT-1 and renting a BM URSA Mini 4K for good measure) I am able to state with certainty that:

I would NOT consider the FUJI XT-2/XT-1 to be compatible for recording video with the BM Video Assist 4k.

The issue seems to be with the X-Trans sensor and the processor/color filter array that the camera uses. I also tested out the Fuji XT-1 and had the same image quality issues. The appearance of jaggies/aliasing in the video footage, specifically with wide angle lenses, renders the image quality of the recorded video to be unusable. I tested the Fuji 14mm, 16mm, 18mm and 18-55 mm lenses on the camera and found all of them to produce the jaggies/aliasing effects anytime a pattern of any type, or a hard edge (like a building or car) was recorded by the BM Video Assist 4k. I reviewed the footage in both FCPX and DaVinci Resolve, and tried various techniques unsuccessfully to export the footage without the jaggies/aliasing effect. I would consider the footage captured by the BM Video Assist 4k via the Fuji XT-2/XT-1 cameras to be unusable as a whole.

The jaggies/aliasing effect is less noticeable with "normal" or "telephoto" lenses, however objects such as metal or hard surfaces like a counter top, still displayed the jaggies/aliasing effect in the recorded video files. I tested the Fuji 35mm, 56mm, 90mm lenses as well as the Nikon Ais 50mm and 105mm lenses on the Fuji XT-2 with the BM Video Assist 4k and found the footage to be strangely "soft" and "lacking in detail" in comparison to the footage recorded directly out of the camera. It appears that the issue with the X-Trans sensor and the processor/color filter array also affects the detail and sharpness of the video files recorded by the BM Video Assist 4k. The footage recorded by the BM Video Assist 4k using the Fuji XT-2/XT-1 cameras with "normal" or "telephoto" lenses, can only be described as "mushy."

I also tested the Canon 80D with the BM Video Assist 4k to see if I possibly received a "malfunctioning" unit. I used the Canon 18-55mm lens as well as the same manual focus Nikon lenses listed above to shoot the same test footage. The footage I recorded on the BM Video Assist 4k via the Canon 80D displayed none of the jaggies/aliasing effects that I saw in the footage from the Fuji Fuji XT-2/XT-1 cameras. The Canon 18-55mm at 18mm did not display any of the jaggies/aliasing effects I saw on the Fuji cameras, also the footage shot with the 50mm and 105mm Nikon lenses on the 80D appeared to be very sharp and detailed in comparison to the Fuji XT-2/XT-1 camera footage.

At the end of the week I decided to rent a BM URSA Mini 4K in Canon mount to test and compare the footage against the Canon 80D, Fuji XT-2/XT-1 cameras. I received the camera yesterday so I will begin testing it this week.

Hopefully this info helps someone else out and saves them the time and trouble of shooting unusable footage with the Fuji XT-2/XT-1 cameras using the BM Video Assist 4k.

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