A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

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Howard Roll

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostWed Apr 01, 2020 5:14 pm

I've never been so happy to be wrong.

Nice one!
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Donnell Henry

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostWed Apr 01, 2020 7:35 pm

Nice!!! happy to have gotten it wrong. When final viewing most people can’t tell the difference.
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rick.lang

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A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostWed Apr 01, 2020 7:45 pm

Excellent, Ray! Camera 1 and 3 are very similar. I enjoy using camera 2 so much I thought it had to be the best, but Raymond may have proven his point that the BMCC remains very special and my go-to BMPCC4K could be considered the ‘worst’ image of the three in the sample photos provided. Now I wager in lower light situations using higher ISO, the results might be different, but I owe the BMCC an apology when there’s sufficient light.
Last edited by rick.lang on Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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timbutt2

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostWed Apr 01, 2020 7:53 pm

Thanks for the game Robert! Truly shows that once graded the cameras match pretty well.

I will say that in the highlights I did a test that proved the 4.6K does retain more information. Also don’t forget the black sun dot with the 2.5K.

Either way, still love the 2.5K. Definitely gonna use it again with the G2.


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Fabián Aguirre

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostWed Apr 01, 2020 8:30 pm

Ha! This was great fun. Let’s do it again :)

Thanks again for posting them, Robert.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostWed Apr 01, 2020 9:37 pm

I might do a more comprehensive test now that I am under curfew. Those shots are from 2018, when my daughter was 3 years old and did not have the patience for a longer session. Maybe she shows more patience now and I can create a nice light setup and use all three cameras with similar fields of view and depth of field to make the challenge more difficult.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostThu Apr 02, 2020 12:09 am

Lovely job putting up those comparative shots Robert!

I would like to point out that your test shows two things:

1) Most of what we interpret as the "look" of a particular camera is down to how the sensor data is processed in post production.

2) While #1 is 100% true, there are technical limitations to every sensor that can be identified. The BMCC has a lower signal to noise ratio relative to the 4.6K and 4K sensors. And, I'm assuming here that you didn't apply any noise reduction and/or grain to any of the examples (although that would be a valid post production operation) which left image noise as a telltale difference. And, in fact, Fabián (the only person who shared his reasoning for his answers) did list that as a reason for his correct identification of the BMCC.
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timbutt2

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostThu Apr 02, 2020 12:15 am

Jamie LeJeune wrote:2) While #1 is 100% true, there are technical limitations to every sensor that can be identified. The BMCC has a lower signal to noise ratio relative to the 4.6K and 4K sensors. And, I'm assuming here that you didn't apply any noise reduction and/or grain to any of the examples (although that would be a valid post production operation) which left image noise as a telltale difference. And, in fact, Fabián (the only person who shared his reasoning for his answers) did list that as a reason for his correct identification of the BMCC.

I never applied any Noise Reduction to the BMCC 2.5K the whole time I shot with it. However, the UM4.6K I always applied quick and simple Noise Reduction on the first node. With the UMPG2 I don't do it as frequently, but I do still see noise that I would get rid of on occasion.

Signal to Noise Ratio wise I do think that the 2.5K had the best results. Especially with how film like the noise felt.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostThu Apr 02, 2020 1:36 am

timbutt2 wrote: Signal to Noise Ratio wise I do think that the 2.5K had the best results.
So you're stating that a much older sensor has a better signal to noise ratio?

That's a dubious claim and it requires unequivocal proof. Please provide some.

EDIT: BTW - What you're saying is that the 4.6K sensor has a lower dynamic range than the BMCC. Do you really believe that? Because every controlled test I've ever seen shows the opposite.
Last edited by Jamie LeJeune on Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostThu Apr 02, 2020 2:47 am

Jamie LeJeune wrote:
timbutt2 wrote: Signal to Noise Ratio wise I do think that the 2.5K had the best results.
So you're stating that a much older sensor has a better signal to noise ratio?

That's a dubious claim and it requires unequivocal proof. Please provide some.

EDIT: BTW - What you're saying is that the 4.6K sensor has a lower dynamic range than the BMCC. Do you really believe that? Because ever controlled test I've ever seen shows the opposite.

Sorry, I'm not claiming the 4.6K has less DR. The 4.6K definitely has more. I'm simply saying that the noise with the 2.5K was always pleasing and film like to my eyes and I never did noise reduction with that footage.

I used the wording "Signal to Noise Ratio" without thinking that that is commonly used to refer to dynamic range. What I probably should have written was "noise pattern wise" since I was specifically referring to noise here.

BRAW and CinemaDNG exhibit differences in noise as well. With the 2.5K BMCC I also shot most of the RAW as Uncompressed as once Lossless Compressed RAW came to the 2.5K I went to the 4.6K and so mainly shot Lossless Compressed RAW with with 4.6K for years. With the G2 I don't start with any noise reduction on the first node anymore.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostThu Apr 02, 2020 3:04 am

Fair enough.

Noise "character" is:

1) 100% Subjective

2) It can be changed in post production (and in most decently budgeted projects, it usually is changed)

I'd rather use the camera with a superior technical capture that sets me up best for post production.

And given that you appear to shoot most of your footage on BMD's 4.6K sensor cameras, it seems that is what you've been doing as well ;)
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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostThu Apr 02, 2020 4:56 am

Robert Niessner wrote:I might do a more comprehensive test now that I am under curfew... and I can create a nice light setup and use all three cameras with similar fields of view and depth of field to make the challenge more difficult.


Robert, presumably those additional tests will use the ‘native’ ISO for each sensor. I wonder if you would kindly consider including lower light tests at ISO 1600/3200 as appropriate? I’m trying to salvage some respect for the BMPCC4K that came off badly in the first fight. Perhaps in a rematch, the BMPCC4K will score a TKO! Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.
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Ulysses Paiva

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostMon Apr 06, 2020 3:11 pm

Shot with my BMCC 2.5k yesterday. Such a lovely image!
Picked up my P4k today. Such a lovely image!

Its not the same image. Both so interesting... I dont know what to say.

I think its like Robert blind test. You see there is some difference between the images but you cant tell which is which. Or which is better. And of course, this is only for us who know where to look and ONLY on a side by side comparison. I guarantee general audience wont notice a thing or even care.
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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostMon Apr 06, 2020 4:01 pm

Especially after grading as long as whatever clips is completely unimportant to the shot... still loving the BMPCC4K even after its last place finish in Robert’s shootout... because its dual ISO sensor is more important to me for what I do.
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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostMon Apr 06, 2020 4:26 pm

rick.lang wrote:Especially after grading as long as whatever clips is completely unimportant to the shot... still loving the BMPCC4K even after its last place finish in Robert’s shootout... because its dual ISO sensor is more important to me for what I do.


Great! I think you're good with both. The P4k has more features (slowmo, Braw, audio and monitoring options), but imagewise both are great with its own personalities. Hard to say which to choose. And the BMCC is a lot easier to balance on a gimbal. By a lot. Although its 500gr heavier :lol:
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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostMon Apr 06, 2020 11:11 pm

I think BMD put a lot of attention into camera balance with the URSA family, so the design of the new Pocket cameras is a departure since the design results in a camera that’s not as easy to balance.
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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostTue Apr 07, 2020 5:27 am

I do not think gimbal balance was part of the design criteria for the Pocket 4K. The Ursa Mini and Micro Cameras are very good on gimbals, perhaps a 4K Micro style camera is in the works... :roll:
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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostTue Apr 07, 2020 5:30 am

Thanks Robert.

Every generation of BMD camera usually brings with it users that will doggedly hold onto the previous generation as "better". And who's to say that's wrong for them. Maybe their total workflow, how they light, lens, expose and process all adds up to a workflow that means they think they're getting a better result. Great !

What I always find hilarious in these comparisons is that people do it on a still image. On a computer screen.

You perceive noise very differently when it's in motion to when you look at a still.

Video on a computer monitor looks very different to video on a Television too.

All these variables that are FUNDAMENTAL to how we work as moving image makers seem to always get forgotten.

Rob if you do a comparison, please do it in motion :-)

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John Paines

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostTue Apr 07, 2020 12:33 pm

I think we could go even further than that: the only thing these tests really prove is that people are much less able to identify cameras than they think, and that the differences are either trivial or easily leveled in post. And what's the point of cameras with 10 bit log Prores, if the image out of the camera is all you want?

It may be fun, but beyond that(?)
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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostTue Apr 07, 2020 12:43 pm

John Paines wrote:I think we could go even further than that: short of obvious DR or 8 v 10 bit banding differences, the only thing these tests really prove is that people are much less able to identify cameras than they think, and that the differences are either trivial or easily leveled in post. And what's the point of cameras with 10 bit log Prores, if the image out of the camera is all you want?

It may be fun, but beyond that(?)


Totally agree.

Whenever I’ve done these sorts of tests and made them public, I usually also try and make the source files available too.

A long time ago I shot a three min short film on seven different “cinema” cameras and even finished them all to a film print and then screened them in a cinema to an audience. People could see that there were differences but it was amazing how close a Canon 1D could look compared to a 35mm film camera.

https://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/2011/ ... ly-online/

This was “pre” the now infamous Coppola likes the GH2 best shootout.

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostTue Apr 07, 2020 1:01 pm

John Brawley wrote:People could see that there were differences but it was amazing how close a Canon 1D could look compared to a 35mm film camera.


I've posted this before, but there's a priceless quote from a DP in New York about "Sleepwalking in the Rift," a clothing advertisement/concept film directed by Cary Fukunaga that was shot on a couple of Canon 5Ds, but this guy was convinced it was shot on film.

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread ... as-Shot-On

Key quote here:

Ryan de Franco wrote:Image Texture
Skin tonality
Range
Light rendering
Under/over exposure qualities
Color accuracy*

(*think green channel)

None of these can be mimicked on Red, Alexa, or any digital system. This is film. Film is part of the reason this has so many hits and likes. Point an MX at that low sun and tell me what the shadows look like, or the running figures if you flicked on HDR. Point an Alexa at the girl against the tree and tell me her skin will look anything like the kind, clear, rich image you see here. Nothing compares.

Every time someone says "film is dead," someone shoots something that could only be captured on film.
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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostTue Apr 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Neat, the guys in this thread who think the BMCC has a distinct look correctly pulled the BMCC shot out of a line-up.

The people who think it's just numbers were unable to do so.

Give the man his thread.

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostTue Apr 07, 2020 2:18 pm

Howard Roll wrote:Neat, the guys in this thread who think the BMCC has a distinct look correctly pulled the BMCC shot out of a line-up.

The people who think it's just numbers were unable to do so.


And the correct guess came from someone who didn't give any reasons and expressed no confidence in his choice.

Keener observers than Raymond flunked Steven Yedlin's tests, and that was in a theater, with actual running footage, actual projection and controlled shooting conditions.

Even if Raymond possesses uncanny perceptual abilities (or more likely, clairvoyance, since we're dealing with jpegs), Yedlin is careful to distinguish between objective differences and cinematically significant differences.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostTue Apr 07, 2020 4:55 pm

John Brawley wrote:Thanks Robert.

Every generation of BMD camera usually brings with it users that will doggedly hold onto the previous generation as "better". And who's to say that's wrong for them. Maybe their total workflow, how they light, lens, expose and process all adds up to a workflow that means they think they're getting a better result. Great !

What I always find hilarious in these comparisons is that people do it on a still image. On a computer screen.

You perceive noise very differently when it's in motion to when you look at a still.

Video on a computer monitor looks very different to video on a Television too.

All these variables that are FUNDAMENTAL to how we work as moving image makers seem to always get forgotten.

Rob if you do a comparison, please do it in motion :-)

JB


John, I will do it in motion for sure. The reason I didn't post sample footage from this test is that I used my daughter as the model when she was only 3 years old. And it turned out to be very difficult to get a 3 year old child to pose for a test with one camera, let alone 3 cameras.
Now that she is 5, it is easier to do that with her, because she understands what this is about.
Although I already can hear her saying "daddy this is soooo booooring"
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: A call to resurrect the Cinema Camera (BMCC)

PostTue Apr 07, 2020 5:01 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:John, I will do it in motion for sure. The reason I didn't post sample footage from this test is that I used my daughter as the model when she was only 3 years old. And it turned out to be very difficult to get a 3 year old child to pose for a test with one camera, let alone 3 cameras.
Now that she is 5, it is easier to do that with her, because she understands what this is about.
Although I already can hear her saying "daddy this is soooo booooring"


Try it with cats ;)

Mine always assumed that pointing a camera at them meant that it was time for either attention or play, or both... and they didn't take stage directions all that well. I had to wait until they dozed off to get any shots of them, but even when they were dozing pointing a camera at them turned them frisky. :)

It's easier to film eagles and short-eared owls (if you can find 'em). They don't pay any attention to you while you film them, though they don't take stage directions any better than cats do.
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