4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

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Jeffrey D Mathias

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4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 2:32 pm

With the URSA Mini Pro 12K my understanding is that 4K on the full sensor is accomplished by only reading a limited number of the pixels (photo-sites.) I would then guess that since 4K is one ninth the pixels of 12K that only one in nine pixels would be utilized. This leads me to wonder why not use all the pixels by reading nine pixels as one for 4K. It seems that this could provide nine times more information for even better color and lower light sensitivity.

Even if this would require more time and results in not achieving the 120 fps this would still be a nice option for me. To put it bluntly... 4K at present is inferior on the 12K. I cannot find any reason to use 4K because of this... unless to get 240 fps in super16 mode.

8K and super16 6K modes both work well and seem to give similar quality. Super16 6K uses the full density of the sensor on a smaller area. 8K although skipping pixels does give a nice fast sensor read. 12K giving the most but then limited in fps and bit rate efficiency.

So for 4K... would firmware be able to accomplish reading 27 red, 27 green, 27 blue and 81 white photo-sites? If not (or if so) this might be a worth while endeavor for next upgrade of this sensor/camera.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 4:46 pm

In my experience, the 4k from the 12k is exceptional. I would contact BMD if you are seeing a huge difference in quality between the 4k and 8k.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 5:11 pm

I’m struggling with the logic here.

The maths works the way it works, because of the geometrical arrangement of the photosite layout. This is why it’s 12K, 8K and 4K, but NOT 6K. The 6K is a windowed version of the 12K full sensor. It’s not just the number of pixels it’s WHERE they are located in relation to each other.

It only works the way it works because of the geometry or else EVERYONE would be doing this sensor scaling in RAW without a crop.

If you’re finding the 4K mode of the camera isn’t good enough, maybe you should consider getting a G2 if that’s what you principally shoot?

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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 5:16 pm

John Brawley wrote:If you’re finding the 4K mode of the camera isn’t good enough, maybe you should consider getting a G2 if that’s what you principally shoot?

Exactly my thinking as well. I think this is why the G2 is still an option for the market working and needing 4K and will be around with the same price point as the 12K until a suitable replacement will be announced. This is also the reason why I have not invested on the 12K because all what I need for can be accomplished (and at time much better) with the UMP 4.6K G2.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 8:52 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:
John Brawley wrote:If you’re finding the 4K mode of the camera isn’t good enough, maybe you should consider getting a G2 if that’s what you principally shoot?

Exactly my thinking as well. I think this is why the G2 is still an option for the market working and needing 4K and will be around with the same price point as the 12K until a suitable replacement will be announced. This is also the reason why I have not invested on the 12K because all what I need for can be accomplished (and at time much better) with the UMP 4.6K G2.

Ditto. Also, I need ProRes for clients a lot of the time still. So the G2 gives me that.

Now if only the G2 had Gen 5 Color Science so it could match the Pocket 6K cameras I have when shooting ProRes.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 9:43 pm

timbutt2 wrote:
Ellory Yu wrote:
John Brawley wrote:If you’re finding the 4K mode of the camera isn’t good enough, maybe you should consider getting a G2 if that’s what you principally shoot?

Exactly my thinking as well. I think this is why the G2 is still an option for the market working and needing 4K and will be around with the same price point as the 12K until a suitable replacement will be announced. This is also the reason why I have not invested on the 12K because all what I need for can be accomplished (and at time much better) with the UMP 4.6K G2.

Ditto. Also, I need ProRes for clients a lot of the time still. So the G2 gives me that.

Now if only the G2 had Gen 5 Color Science so it could match the Pocket 6K cameras I have when shooting ProRes.



It’s just going to depend.

The 12K supersample to 4K is WAY WAY nicer than just shooting 4K on the G2.

So, if the desire is to simply deliver 4K, then shoot 12K or even 8K and supersample down.

I assumed the OP was doing this because they’re trying to save drive space but have the option to shoot 8 or 12K.

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Jeffrey D Mathias

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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 9:49 pm

John,
perhaps you should re-read my original post.
If you or any others here think I am finding fault... think again... just the opposite. Especially look at the last paragraph. As for the G2... or any other bayer pattern sensor... they are not the same.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 10:21 pm

Jeffrey D Mathias wrote:Especially look at the last paragraph.


It doesn’t work that way. That’s the way the maths works.


You did say

“ To put it bluntly... 4K at present is inferior on the 12K”

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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 10:29 pm

That's not how it works. The camera doesn't pick and choose which pixels to absorb the light, the camera just downsamples the image to whatever resolution you want.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 10:41 pm

John Brawley wrote: That’s the way the maths works.



So then, is BMD skipping photo-sites to accomplish 4K (and 8K) or not? It seems to me they are.
If not all sites are being utilized then there may be some significant advantages to being able to utilize them all. To me it seems math might be re-written to accomplish a different utilization of combining sites. (maybe this is just a dream.)
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 10:42 pm

timbutt2 wrote:Now if only the G2 had Gen 5 Color Science so it could match the Pocket 6K cameras I have when shooting ProRes.

I've been asking for this but I no longer have any hopes. It will however be so great if this happens in an upcoming G2 firmware.

John Brawley wrote:The 12K supersample to 4K is WAY WAY nicer than just shooting 4K on the G2.

Maybe so but nicer is subjective and depends on what it is the filmmaker wants the image to look like. If it is just to have a sharper image with vivid colors, that can be accomplished on the G2 with the right lens, lighting, and probably production design. I've seen brilliant colors out of a G2 in windowed sensors that, unless you pixel peeped, is very hard to tell it came from a G2 and not from a down sampled process. Anyway, not debating this because I don't have a 12K to do my own comparison.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostWed Jan 26, 2022 11:07 pm

Jeffrey D Mathias wrote:
John Brawley wrote: That’s the way the maths works.



So then, is BMD skipping photo-sites to accomplish 4K (and 8K) or not? It seems to me they are.
If not all sites are being utilized then there may be some significant advantages to being able to utilize them all. To me it seems math might be re-written to accomplish a different utilization of combining sites. (maybe this is just a dream.)


Take a look at the patent.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US201 ... r&sort=new

Then look at the way the W pixels are arranged. Notice that they make a LINE in a certain direction….

The way the scaling can work is only if the arrangements can still be divisible. Again, 4K, 8K, 12K….4 is the denominator….like a grouping or arranging…which is why the 6K mode HAS to be cropped…

It’s the actual layout pattern than makes this possible, the actual mosaic itself.

JB

EDIT

Why hasn’t Arri or RED done this with their cameras if it’s just “read / bin the pixels differently”

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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostThu Jan 27, 2022 12:47 pm

John,
Thanks for the link.
Yes, and not only the arrangement but the whole concept of using various gaussian filter kernels. I think some of what I was thinking is summarized in paragraph 0036:

"In binning mode, the readout of each pair of pixels is read out together and the pixel values combined. Thus the sensitivity of each binned pixel pair is higher than the sensitivity of each individual pixel of the same type. Advantageously since only half the total number of pixel responses needs to be read out from the image sensor, it is possible to achieve double the frame rate while maintaining the same field of view compared to full readout mode of all individual pixels. The disadvantage of operating in the binning mode however, is reduced spatial resolution."

Another disadvantage, as I had not so eloquently described above, is the ability to then not use the advantage gained in sensitivity in a different fashion... maybe such as lower light sensitivity.

In any event I am sure there is much more that could be discovered with this sensor and would encourage further investigation. The math for various filter kernel scenarios can get pretty wild and I would not be surprised if BMD was looking into a processor with Apple (just speculation as they seem to be getting along with Resolve.)
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostThu Jan 27, 2022 3:40 pm

Jeff, I believe this was already something conceptually that was a design goal in the first place when they came up with the design. It’s why it’s been hinted in the patent.

You can take the RGB and W channels and turn them into a kind of high gain / low gain.

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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostThu Jan 27, 2022 5:36 pm

John Brawley wrote:It’s just going to depend.

The 12K supersample to 4K is WAY WAY nicer than just shooting 4K on the G2.

So, if the desire is to simply deliver 4K, then shoot 12K or even 8K and supersample down.

I assumed the OP was doing this because they’re trying to save drive space but have the option to shoot 8 or 12K.

JB

Again, I said it in the reason the G2 still works for me with certain clients: ProRes. Too often I'll have a client say: we want ProRes. Sometimes I'm even asked to bake in the color. I have one client who asks that for 1080 ProRes files. Currently the G2 is the only UMP camera that allows that option.

So, if I shoot ProRes on the Pocket 6K cameras the color science no longer matches. That's why I say an update would be ideal. I doubt it will happen. So I've separated the UMP and the Pockets now so that only one or the others are used. Unless shooting BRAW. Because at least then I can change to Gen 5 CS with the BRAW in Resolve.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostThu Jan 27, 2022 6:00 pm

timbutt2 wrote:
John Brawley wrote:It’s just going to depend.

The 12K supersample to 4K is WAY WAY nicer than just shooting 4K on the G2.

So, if the desire is to simply deliver 4K, then shoot 12K or even 8K and supersample down.

I assumed the OP was doing this because they’re trying to save drive space but have the option to shoot 8 or 12K.

JB

Again, I said it in the reason the G2 still works for me with certain clients: ProRes. Too often I'll have a client say: we want ProRes. Sometimes I'm even asked to bake in the color. I have one client who asks that for 1080 ProRes files. Currently the G2 is the only UMP camera that allows that option.



Well, you can transcode of course and then you DO have a “nicer” ProRes.

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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostThu Jan 27, 2022 6:41 pm

JB, I know I can transcode. But, I have clients that I shoot for and that day, after we finish, I hand them the card(s) and they dump the footage onto their drive(s). They want ProRes so that's why I shoot it. Sadly that means no transcoding possible on my end.

In an ideal world I could shoot BRAW always. In an ideal world clients I work for don't use Premiere Pro for editorial and instead use DaVinci Resolve.

We sadly don't live in an ideal world.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostFri Jan 28, 2022 5:51 pm

timbutt2 wrote:JB, I know I can transcode. But, I have clients that I shoot for and that day, after we finish, I hand them the card(s) and they dump the footage onto their drive(s). They want ProRes so that's why I shoot it. Sadly that means no transcoding possible on my end.

In an ideal world I could shoot BRAW always. In an ideal world clients I work for don't use Premiere Pro for editorial and instead use DaVinci Resolve.

We sadly don't live in an ideal world.

Ditto. I get weird request from clients at times with certain editors or colorist wanting things for them to use in PP that's not easy to provide right out of DVR. But they seem to be fine and dandy if I just give them the ProRes clips and they go their way.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostSat Jan 29, 2022 1:44 am

It's a bit sad given the flexibility of BRAW and the IQ of the 12K.
But then, ProRes ain't that bad and can be read everywhere, that's why clients want it.
The software may be free, but the hardware needed for smooth performance is not.

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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostSat Jan 29, 2022 5:37 am

Uli Plank wrote:It's a bit sad given the flexibility of BRAW and the IQ of the 12K.
But then, ProRes ain't that bad and can be read everywhere, that's why clients want it.

So can we have Gen 5 color science on the URSA Mini Pro G2 so at least we can have in camera Gen 5 and shoot in Prores? Some of us cannot shoot in BRAW and then get it to Gen 5 color in DVR and transcode to Prores to hand over to our clients. Many times it’s given to them at the end of the day on set.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostSat Jan 29, 2022 8:03 am

Unfortunately, BM has not (yet?) made such a firmware.
The software may be free, but the hardware needed for smooth performance is not.

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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostSat Jan 29, 2022 2:02 pm

When it comes to shooting ProRes now I separate the cameras. I am no longer shooting the UMPG2 with the Pockets. I'll only do the Pockets if shooting ProRes. Thus that means the UMP12K its not good for corporate work where you need ProRes.

Honestly, I'd be happy replacing both Pockets for a second UMPG2 because I do prefer the build of the UMP a lot more. But the Pockets are also great low cost options for certain clients.

In the end, I'll wait to see what Blackmagic does this year. The UMP12K V2 will be what I'm looking out for. And, that will be more for cinema and high end work. The Pockets will be for the low budget clients who need ProRes.
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostSat Jan 29, 2022 3:29 pm

timbutt2 wrote:When it comes to shooting ProRes now I separate the cameras. I am no longer shooting the UMPG2 with the Pockets. I'll only do the Pockets if shooting ProRes. Thus that means the UMP12K its not good for corporate work where you need ProRes.

Honestly, I'd be happy replacing both Pockets for a second UMPG2 because I do prefer the build of the UMP a lot more. But the Pockets are also great low cost options for certain clients.

In the end, I'll wait to see what Blackmagic does this year. The UMP12K V2 will be what I'm looking out for. And, that will be more for cinema and high end work. The Pockets will be for the low budget clients who need ProRes.


Are you baking in a look in camera in this case? The ProRes isn’t log?
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Re: 4K with the 12K - Is There A Better Way

PostSun Jan 30, 2022 5:21 am

Ryan Earl wrote:
timbutt2 wrote:When it comes to shooting ProRes now I separate the cameras. I am no longer shooting the UMPG2 with the Pockets. I'll only do the Pockets if shooting ProRes. Thus that means the UMP12K its not good for corporate work where you need ProRes.

Honestly, I'd be happy replacing both Pockets for a second UMPG2 because I do prefer the build of the UMP a lot more. But the Pockets are also great low cost options for certain clients.

In the end, I'll wait to see what Blackmagic does this year. The UMP12K V2 will be what I'm looking out for. And, that will be more for cinema and high end work. The Pockets will be for the low budget clients who need ProRes.


Are you baking in a look in camera in this case? The ProRes isn’t log?

Yeah, sometimes I'm asked to bake in a video look. So that is a case sample. Other times I do shoot Log, but I have found the the UMPG2 and the P6KPro don't match enough that it's unnecessary extra work to match them that I am unsure if that will annoy the client. Some clients can handle it. But some will ask why the cameras don't match. So it's easier to not mix them in case the client doesn't have color skills and isn't looking to pay a colorist. They are out there. And, I have dealt with them.

I shot last year for one who had all looks baked in on his C300s. And when using the 300ii and the C300iii the difference meant we spent time on set matching the colors in the camera settings. It was a pain the ass to do it that way. But that's how he wanted it. If he had shot log and was a good colorist then it wouldn't have taken long to match them. But, that's what he wanted so that's what we did. It was his money.
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