I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give up

The place for questions about shooting with Blackmagic Cameras.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

Alex Garland

  • Posts: 5
  • Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:20 am

I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give up

PostSat Oct 15, 2016 2:32 am

Hi guys, I created an account here because I recently got the Blackmagic Pocket and getting 100% usable footage has been a pain.

First, a little background. I have more than 10 years of experience shooting with DSLRs from the T2i to the C100. I also consider myself an intermediate in the colorist department. I got the BMPCC for this reason. I also needed a more cinematic image.

While getting used to the shutter angle, RAW (even though I had RAW photography experience), battery changes, etc, I noticed something that I can't seem to get rid of and it's the red/brown color cast that ruins the whole grading process.

I'm using Film Convert and sometimes Captain Hook's LUT as a base to convert to Rec.709. The result: everything is brown. Skin tones are almost impossible to correct. Applying stylistic LUTs is worthless because the colors are all different. Using AE's CC Color Neutralizer didn't help either. It's not a white balance issue at all.

I did some Googling and found out that I needed an IR cut filter. I got one. I was also using a Hoya Vari ND.

More brown.

I went back to B&H and exchanged the Vari ND for Hoya ProNDs and kept the IR cut filter. STILL BROWN.
What am I doing wrong? I'd really appreciate the help.
Offline

Ben Johnston

  • Posts: 51
  • Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:43 pm

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostMon Oct 17, 2016 5:55 pm

Hi Alex. As you have 10 years experience, you'll know not to 'give up' so easily! Lots of people have produced great images from the pocket, so it sounds like a grading issue at your end.

Could you post some images, showing the original image from the camera and then the graded image? It does sound like you're experiencing IR issues, which the camera is prone to. Although the filters you've invested in should help with that.

It might be issues with how you're processing your images. When I look back at the first things I shot and graded from the pocket, they look pretty ugly compared to what I can do now with more knowledge of colour correction, scopes, etc.

100% usable footage is, of course, rather subjective. In poor quality light (not always low light), I sometimes struggle to get images I'm happy with from the pocket. I think this would be the same with any camera.

Post some images and people will be able to advise.
Offline

Denny Smith

  • Posts: 6957
  • Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:19 pm
  • Location: USA, Northern Calif.

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostMon Oct 17, 2016 6:04 pm

Just to be sure, are you setting the color balance in the camera menu to match the lighting, if shooting film log? Just check this and camera settings, try shooting some footage in Video/Rec 709 mode to see what the results look like. This will help rule out an sensor issue?
BTW, Welcome to the forum and the Magic that is BM.
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
Offline

Gene Kochanowsky

  • Posts: 783
  • Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:11 am
  • Location: Tallahassee, FL
  • Warnings: 1

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostMon Oct 17, 2016 7:43 pm

You can always shoot raw and grade in Resolve. That way color temperature doesn't matter and as far as I can tell, Resolve is the only NLE that knows how to process the raw from that camera. I love my BMPCC. It does take some rigging, but you can make it work well in all sorts of situations.

I hope that the next camera out of BM is a 2.5K BMPCC. That would be awesome.
Offline

Kyle Gordon

  • Posts: 399
  • Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:06 am

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostTue Oct 18, 2016 6:45 pm

Which IR Cut filter did you use? People have said that they vary widely in effectiveness.
Kyle Gordon
Professional Singer/Composer/Producer and Director/Editor/Colorist
Offline
User avatar

Benton Collins

  • Posts: 615
  • Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:03 am
  • Location: Brooklyn, New York

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostWed Oct 19, 2016 6:43 am

This definitely sounds like an IR problem. Try a Schneider True Cut 680 filter. If this filter doesn't remove the reddish brown, then there is something else going on. This filter eliminates the IR problem on BM cameras like no other IR cut filter that I'm aware of. The HOYA IR cut is generally good, but it's nothing like the True Cut 680 if you want to completely eliminate all trace of IR contamination. But be aware that the 680 will reduce some of the deep bright red within the visible spectrum, but much of this reduction can be dialed back in post.

But don't give up on the pocket, that camera continues to amaze me! I also have the original BMCC and the UM4.6 and that little pocket camera continues to blow me away. Not just because it's so small and inconspicuous, but because it's image may just be the most cinematic of them all. (at least with a minimum amount of fuss)
Offline

Mike Poff

  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:23 am

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostWed Oct 19, 2016 12:56 pm

Definitely IR pollution. Some filters don't hardly do anything. Also when using an ND that doesn't cut IR, you are essentially cutting all visible light to a lower level, but because the IR hasn't been cut, its going to come into the sensor with a larger level. So the more ND you use, the more important to have an IR CUT filter. The Schneider True Cut 680 should cut out all the IR frequencies that would ever hit the sensor.

Ive been told the Cinema 4k camera needs one so I paid $350 for one. I shot a white board and used a live SDI vector scope and with or without, there was no deviation so I feel like mine includes an IR cut. Maybe other cameras didn't have it and now they are produced with. IDK.
Risen Aerials
www.risenaerials.com
Offline

James Barber

  • Posts: 19
  • Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:20 pm

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostWed Oct 19, 2016 2:34 pm

Two immediate thoughts: IR pollution, or LUT.

If I were you, I'd post a couple of single DNG frames from two or more projects you feel are exemplary of the problem, and ask other people to see if they are getting the same results. I've seen tons of amazing stuff from the Pocket, so I don't think it's the device, but rather something else going on either before light hits the sensor, or in Resolve.

LUTs are a frequent cause of stress for grading and generally shouldn't be used for anything other than a quick preview, so this may be the problem. Do you have the same issue if you simply use the raw controls, and the curves/color wheels?
Offline

Stu Aitken

  • Posts: 107
  • Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 6:30 pm

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostWed Oct 19, 2016 4:05 pm

the other possibility is that you simply don't like the pockets native colour science?

one mans 'filmic' maybe another man's 'brown'?

the pocket colour is a bit on the nostalgic side IMO compared with say the ursa mini 4.6k or somehting like red film - of course this is why a lot of people like it :)

as others have noted please post some images so we can see what you're seeing :)
Offline
User avatar

Dmitry Shijan

  • Posts: 246
  • Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:15 pm
  • Location: UA

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostWed Oct 19, 2016 5:59 pm

RAW cameras and proper RAW developing is geeky way. Its better to use LUTCalc https://cameramanben.github.io/LUTCalc/ ... index.html to generate nice looking final export LUT. You need to use it with color space transform node because LUTCalc still don't have BMD film input color gamut because Blackmagic still don't release official specification for it. Alexa or LC709 will give you best colors and highlights rolloff. Captain Hook's LUT are not netural at all, they have color tints and too much clipping.
Offline

Ben Johnston

  • Posts: 51
  • Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:43 pm

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostWed Oct 19, 2016 6:39 pm

I'm no expert, but I think it's important to point out that LUTs take your image from point A to point B, by a fixed amount. They can't intelligently 'correct' your image. They don't know how your starting image is exposed, what temperature the light is, etc.

If people are using them as a kind of one-click 'look', they might get lucky, but will usually end up with a mess without making other adjustments before the LUT.
Offline
User avatar

Graham Spice

  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:42 pm

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostMon Jun 19, 2017 6:00 am

I've also been confused by this black->brown color shift in my BM cameras (one cinema and one pocket).

When I have tried to add these cameras on live streaming shoots, the dark tones always come out brown instead of black and I can't use them in the live cut. I work mostly inside in a controlled lighting environment: a concert hall with a mix of tungsten and LED lighting (all white). The Canon XA25 and Marshall HD PTZ cameras that I generally use have similar black color spaces but the Blackmagic cameras don't even come close.

Do you think that an IR filter like the Schneider True Cut 680 would really make a huge difference with these dark areas? It is a pretty expensive filter so I'd like to solicit some opinions about this. In particular, Stu's comment about the "native colour science" is of interest. Is the native colour science that much different than a Canon XA25?
Offline

Piotr Naumowicz

  • Posts: 43
  • Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:15 am

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostMon Jun 19, 2017 4:49 pm

Guys just sent some dngs and then we can check if it is ahuman error or camera problem. I have micro and my log footage is a little bit green but it is easly corrected. Raw is joy to work - better skintones than bmcc but to be frank i like 2,5k resolution of bmcc. if bm would could give use 2,5k 60p camera with small formfactor, then i would jump right in - no need for 4k right now.
Offline

Denny Smith

  • Posts: 6957
  • Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:19 pm
  • Location: USA, Northern Calif.

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostMon Jun 19, 2017 6:15 pm

Graham, the BMCC and Pocket are not designed for live streaming, and their video output (even using Rec709 out) will never match a camera designed for live output/mix situations. For live events, tiu'should look at the Micro Studio camera whichmiutouts a normally saturated Rec709 signal. The Cinema cameras output a flat image (even in Rec 709) designed for grading. The Rec709 output setting is for monitoring only. IR pollution could also be involved here as well. You can try a IR Cut filter to help out the blacks, but you will be hard pressed to get colors to match the Canon and PZ cameras.

Piotr, the log outputmof the Micro Cinema is slightly green, which as you discovered can be corrected easily. A Color Checker in the shot will help get this aligned properly. BM has already stated, they have moved on for. 2K and 2.5K sensors, and have no plans to make a new camera with less than 4K resolution, as the market for cameras under 4K is very limited today. We are at the same cross roads now, as SD/HD was 4-5 years ago, HD replaced SD, which was a good upgrade (Cinema had already gone to 2K production then) and now UHD/4K is replacing HD -- five years from now (or less), UHD will be going out, replaced by ? Technology marches on... :mrgreen:
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
Offline
User avatar

Dmitry Shijan

  • Posts: 246
  • Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:15 pm
  • Location: UA

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostMon Jun 19, 2017 9:21 pm

Micro Cinema Camera + OLPF filter + IR filter + Color Checker + 0.5 XY transform to remove cross-hatching effect + Chroma noise reduction + Amira709 1D LUT generated in LUT calc + Color space Transform node and your image will look like this:
:!: BTW, if someone needs Mosaic OLPF filter + 77mm Hoya IR filter kit i put it for sale now :!:

Image
Image
Last edited by Dmitry Shijan on Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Offline

Ben Mart

  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:34 pm

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostMon Jun 19, 2017 10:18 pm

Dmitry Shijan wrote:Micro Cinema Camera + OLPF filter + IR filter + Color Checker + 0.5 XY transform to remove cross-hatching effect + Chroma noise reduction + Amira709 1D LUT generated in LUT calc + Color space Transform node and your image will look like this:
:!: BTW, if someone needs Mosaic OLPF filter + 77mm Hoya IR filter kit i put it for sale now :!:

Image
Image

Images look fantastic, but to me that's a ball ache esp with the xy cross hair bollox.

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 7543
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: I'm very frustrated with this camera and about to give u

PostTue Jun 20, 2017 5:51 am

Graham, I use both a screw-on 86mm B+W 486 MRC that is an IR Cut 680nm and a 4"x4" Schneider True-Cut 715 and both are giving me great results. The True-Cut 680 may be a safer bet, but I bought the 715 to improve skin rendition in beauty shots. I've been pleasantly surprised that in practice it's giving me very good results in general use.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Rick Lang

Return to Cinematography

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 11 guests