BMD Camera Shootout

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Ryan Earl

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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 5:50 pm

John Paines wrote:Or take a tortured analogy: you wouldn't compare two loudspeakers by playing tones and trying to decide which tone you liked better or which was more accurate. (You might perform that test in an anechoic chamber and let a computer assess accuracy, but that won't tell won't tell you which sound you prefer.) You'd have to listen to actual music, and maybe various kinds of music.


Relating your comment to the color differences between apertures in lenses; I think you can show that viewers will have a preference for warm and cool in skin. Skin that's too green could make someone think the model's "sickly" even if it is arguably neutral and you'd then compensate with a filter or tint adjustment or opening the aperture to give the skin warmth.

Here's my fun GIF of Joe's new upload, you have to click the dropbox link to take a look.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ouv49hd376l48 ... 1.gif?dl=0
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 6:00 pm

joe12south wrote: 3. I genuinely want to learn what advantages to color reproduction the 12K offers, if any. Truly. This isn't a "gotcha" test. I want there to be improvements. I love that BMD pushed sensor tech in the way that they did. What I have said is, to date, I haven't seen a clear advantage with the limited amount of footage I've seen.
I upgraded my A camera from the Ursa Mini Pro G2 to the Ursa Mini Pro 12K a couple months ago. The reason I made the switch was for the full sensor scaling in BRAW and the higher frame rates, as these provide more options that I can offer clients. It turned out to be the right choice as despite the pandemic production drought, my clients have been quite pleased with the added flexibility and in a couple cases the 240fps was just enough that I didn’t have to rent a different camera to deliver an overcrank effect that a couple different directors wanted.

But, of course, with that new sensor tech in there I’ve been curious about that same question — is the color quality on the 12K meaningfully different than the G2?

Where I (fully subjectively) see a difference is while grading. The images from the 12K appear to have more malleable color deeper into the shadows, noise reduction seems to work much easier than on the G2 (smaller amounts of noise reduction, results in a cleaner image), and I can shift the hue, sat and luminance of particular colors further before the image appears to break. I also appear to get more subtle differentiation of hues in the shadows (and perhaps the highlights too). These differences seem more noticeable in HDR than in SDR (which makes sense as the available image data is being stretched over a larger range on the display, and it is why Dolby recommends 12bit color depth for their HDR spec, or at least that is my understanding).

Now, of course, those are fully my own subjective impressions while grading images I've shot on the 12K. So I want to be clear here — I’m not saying these differences that I think I see are objectively true.

But, if I was setting out to design a test to look for objective color differences in the 12K sensor data, I’d be investing most of the time into trying to figure out an objective repeatable method to compare those variables.

Also, since the launch BMD has presented the 12K as being useful for VFX work. I don't really do enough of that work to even begin to suggest which image attributes matter most for it (though I've been told that control of image noise is quite important) so I think that could be another area to mine for possible objectively testable differences.

EDIT: Just gonna add here, been spending part of today grading more files from the 12K. The images from that camera viewed on a calibrated 4K HDR display simply look damn good. I can't explain it in objective terms and who knows if the difference would get obliterated by YouTube compression. But, viewing the files in front of me on a calibrated monitor. Wow. They look absolutely fantastic.
Last edited by Jamie LeJeune on Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 6:39 pm

Steven Abrams wrote:If it shifted the colors it should have shifted the same for both pngs, not make them different. Makes no sense.

Best guess is they shifted (ever so slightly) differently because of the exposure difference.

Why won't you share the sources files for this pre test what are you trying to hide?

I'm across town at my studio prepping for tomorrow. And running errands. Put simply, I'm not at my workstation.

So you admit this isn't a scientific test by any stretch...

If this were true, only computers could conduct research.

You couldn't even prepare files for your own simple pre-test and want people to trust your blind test give me a break. Then you accused people of needing their eyes checked but it was you who made the mistake.

1. And I owned up to the mistake, and I corrected it.
2. I don't expect anyone to trust a random dude on the internet. If someone who isn't there tomorrow trusts me, they should not. They should question, and they should push and prod and poke and try to break.

Share the pre-test original files and stop being shady.

Asked. Answered. Will do.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 6:42 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote:
joe12south wrote: 3. I genuinely want to learn what advantages to color reproduction the 12K offers, if any. Truly. This isn't a "gotcha" test. I want there to be improvements. I love that BMD pushed sensor tech in the way that they did. What I have said is, to date, I haven't seen a clear advantage with the limited amount of footage I've seen.
I upgraded my A camera from the Ursa Mini Pro G2 to the Ursa Mini Pro 12K a couple months ago. The reason I made the switch was for the full sensor scaling in BRAW and the higher frame rates, as these provide more options that I can offer clients. It turned out to be the right choice as despite the pandemic production drought, my clients have been quite pleased with the added flexibility and in a couple cases the 240fps was just enough that I didn’t have to rent a different camera to deliver an overcrank effect that a couple different directors wanted.

But, of course, with that new sensor tech in there I’ve been curious about that same question — is the color quality on the 12K meaningfully different than the G2?

Where I (fully subjectively) see a difference is while grading. The images from the 12K appear to have more malleable color deeper into the shadows, noise reduction seems to work much easier than on the G2 (smaller amounts of noise reduction, results in a cleaner image), and I can shift the hue, sat and luminance of particular colors further before the image appears to break. I also appear to get more subtle differentiation of hues in the shadows (and perhaps the highlights too). These differences seem more noticeable in HDR than in SDR (which makes sense as the available image data is being stretched over a larger range on the display, and it is why Dolby recommends 12bit color depth for their HDR spec, or at least that is my understanding).

Now, of course, those are fully my own subjective impressions while grading images I've shot on the 12K. So I want to be clear here — I’m not saying these differences that I think I see are objectively true.

But, if I was setting out to design a test to look for objective color differences in the 12K sensor data, I’d be investing most of the time into trying to figure out an objective repeatable method to compare those variables.

Also, since the launch BMD has presented the 12K as being useful for VFX work. I don't really do enough of that work to even begin to suggest which image attributes matter most for it (though I've been told that control of image noise is quite important) so I think that could be another area to mine for possible objectively testable differences.

Jamie, do you have an opinion on whether or not it is okay to test the 12K exposing for ISO 400?
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 6:43 pm

Ryan Earl wrote:Here's my fun GIF of Joe's new upload, you have to click the dropbox link to take a look.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ouv49hd376l48 ... 1.gif?dl=0

If your gif making process introduces any color changes, I'm going to be crucified. :D
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 7:15 pm

Re: 12k @ ISO 400. I am shooting mostly at 400 as there seems to be less noise in most scenarios. But, if you need extra highlight latitude 800 will help.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 7:34 pm

Mark Wyatt wrote:Re: 12k @ ISO 400. I am shooting mostly at 400 as there seems to be less noise in most scenarios. But, if you need extra highlight latitude 800 will help.

Thanks, Mark. There's no perfect answer here for my test...it's a compromise either way...but unless someone with experience chimes in with a good reason to not shoot the 12K at ISO 400 then I think I will.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 8:19 pm

joe12south wrote:

What I doubt is that when presented an unidentified moving image at 4K, people – even highly trained people – will be able to reliably identify any given camera. I doubt this because of previous tests conducted by other people on even more disparate cameras.



And this is mostly because your audience is watching on YouTube or Vimeo on uncalibrated monitors in the least possible difference viewing conditions.

Where you notice the differences is when you start working with the images in a critical viewing environment.

joe12south wrote:

2. I will not be changing anything to "match" the cameras other than:
-a. Reduce tell-tale signs of sensor size. (By changing distance to subject and iris.)


Changing the IRIS will change the result. This was one of your bad assumptions.

joe12south wrote:3. I genuinely want to learn what advantages to color reproduction the 12K offers, if any. Truly. This isn't a "gotcha" test.


Except you have apparently advertised your clickbait intentions already as per your Facebook post ? This kind of blows any credibility.

Ryan Earl wrote:
And . . checking your own work before telling someone else to get their eyes checked helps.


Exactly.

joe12south wrote:1. I had a problem presenting the results.


No. You weren't even AWARE that changing aperture would affect the results you seem to already be looking for.

You have now changed your previously more ignorant testing methodology after initially denying that it should be changed because of the feedback you got in this thread, yet you keep making claims about results that others do not agree with.

joe12south wrote:
Now you’ve done your tests at fixed apertures.

No, I haven't. I didn't re-do the test at all, I simply changed to way I saved the files I uploaded to my website. The edison bulbs in the background clearly reveal the differing apertures.


Joe, you touted your skills as a tester and it literally blew up in your face and you did not publish your methodology, it was only under scrutiny here that it came out you'd screwed it up. What happens when you publish this wide and those of us that don't frequent the same FB pages you do let these kinds of errors be out in the world. Are you going to go and CORRECT every single instance where you make these errors ?

joe12south wrote:
Then you kind of messed up again because the methodology was wrong, and people could immediately see something that you were dismissing as negligible.

Again, no. The exported files had a color shift. (Common problem/mistake.) I later posted files "closer to the iron." that, I think, stay true.


Joe you were initially going to use aperture to match results in cameras with different ISO remember ? Remember WAY back when I said to use shutter and you dismissed it ? Then Hook tells you that aperture can affect the results of colour ?

joe12south wrote:My plan is to light for the least sensitive camera and then 1st use aperture to adjust and second shutter speed if needed.


You were about to introduce a variable in your testing methodology that I'm damn sure you would have said wasn't an issue if you'd just gone ahead and posted your results without this botched pre-test.

joe12south wrote:You expect the lens's color rendition will meaningfully change?


And by the way, Hook basically does this kind of test ALL the time. He is the lead on BRAW and Colour in all Blackmagic cameras. This kind of testing is his day job and he's very good at it.

joe12south wrote:
3. The scientific method starts with a hypothesis (or a "claim").

Your claims aren't posited as the preface to a test. Like "claiming" that aperture won't affect the test, or that the results of the pre-test you did here were "negligible". That's actually a conclusion that plenty here seem to disagree with.


joe12south wrote:
Ryan Earl wrote:Here's my fun GIF of Joe's new upload, you have to click the dropbox link to take a look.
If your gif making process introduces any color changes, I'm going to be crucified. :D


I'm more interested in why it seems like there's an exposure difference in the bottom right of this GIF. Can you explain this as happening as part of gif making process ? I haven't looked at the originals and am only judging on this gif.

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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 9:16 pm

John Brawley wrote:And this is mostly because your audience is watching on YouTube or Vimeo on uncalibrated monitors in the least possible difference viewing conditions.

Where you notice the differences is when you start working with the images in a critical viewing environment.

For the blind test portion, I will make 4K ProResHQ files available so that they can be judged absent the extra compression. (Previously stated.) I'm considering making them 8K, even though most of the cameras will have to be upscaled.

Changing the IRIS will change the result. This was one of your bad assumptions.

We'll see if it is a meaningful change. Remember, each camera will be custom white balanced. Regardless, I will try to change the iris the minimum amount possible between cameras. I'm staging a very flat scene so that DOF differences are as least noticeable as possible.

You have now changed your previously more ignorant testing methodology after initially denying that it should be changed because of the feedback you got in this thread, yet you keep making claims about results that others do not agree with.

I'm not, though. I am still going to change aperture depending on the camera format. I'm not doing this out of ignorance. Everything is a compromise, and to test what I want to test, this is one of those compromises.

What happens when you publish this wide and those of us that don't frequent the same FB pages you do let these kinds of errors be out in the world. Are you going to go and CORRECT every single instance where you make these errors ?

Good point. I'll endeavor to consolidate as much as possible in one place.

Joe you were initially going to use aperture to match results in cameras with different ISO remember ? Remember WAY back when I said to use shutter and you dismissed it ? Then Hook tells you that aperture can affect the results of colour ?

I still am. And I don't deny that changing the iris could cause a meaningful color shift. I only stated I hadn't noticed it in the past, and then I did a test to see how noticeable it will be with the lens I'm using. Despite the snafu posting a preview picture, I'm satisfied that the difference is less impactful than the difference of not adjusting it.

Because I don't want the sensor format to stick out like a sore thumb, and I want to test a scene in motion, this is the compromise I have to make. It might ruin the test. Will be interesting to see.

And by the way, Hook basically does this kind of test ALL the time. He is the lead on BRAW and Colour in all Blackmagic cameras. This kind of testing is his day job and he's very good at it.

Indeed. And I value his opinion and his willingness to share his expertise, both here and on other topics. He's been very generous, and I very much appreciate him. I hope he knows that.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 10:34 pm

Not so fun fact...
My motorized pan/tilt head can't handle the weight of the UMP12K + Sigma 35. The slider itself can, so we'll have the scene in motion, just won't be able to keep it centered.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 10:53 pm

The core issue is that the proposed test is alternately an acuity test and/or a camera test at the sole discression of the tester.

That said, I don't see any problem with both of these things co-existing so long as the testing methodology and files are revealed after the gotcha, ahem, I mean acuity portion of the test is concluded.

joe12south wrote:3. The scientific method starts with a hypothesis (or a "claim").


Scientific method starts with a question, starting with a "claim" is doing it back asswards.

Good Luck
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 11:18 pm

Howard Roll wrote:
joe12south wrote:3. The scientific method starts with a hypothesis (or a "claim").


Scientific method starts with a question, starting with a "claim" is doing it back asswards.

Good Luck

We can do it Jeopardy style and phrase it as a question. Or more accurately, questions. ;)
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSat Feb 27, 2021 11:54 pm

John Brawley wrote:I'm more interested in why it seems like there's an exposure difference in the bottom right of this GIF. Can you explain this as happening as part of gif making process ? I haven't looked at the originals and am only judging on this gif.

I think you are seeing the table go in and out of focus. That's the only thing I can think of since nothing moves and the lighting doesn't change.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 12:35 am

joe12south wrote:
John Brawley wrote:I'm more interested in why it seems like there's an exposure difference in the bottom right of this GIF. Can you explain this as happening as part of gif making process ? I haven't looked at the originals and am only judging on this gif.

I think you are seeing the table go in and out of focus. That's the only thing I can think of since nothing moves and the lighting doesn't change.


The corners darken in the 1.5 shot, so I'm going to say vignetting, if the cine version is anything like the ART stills lens it can be a little over 2 stops darker in the corners.

While I think that lens is very sharp in the center throughout the range, I do think it shifts pink to green open to close and has severe vignetting wide open.

I just agree with Jamie's comments about fixing as many variables as possible in a blind experiment, and to just add that you don't want to end up just comparing lens attributes over sensor or color differences.

You can make your own (or any) GIF by downloading the PNGs from the website files and putting them on top of each other as layers in photoshop then use the timeline feature to make a frame animation.

Even if you don't want to see my GIF, you can download the images yourself and compare them that way in Photoshop and just switch layers on and off. It will keep the parts of the image you're taking a look at in the same place in your monitor.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 12:38 am

Steven Abrams wrote:Image
joe12south wrote:I have an opinion, I have an open bias and I have an agenda.

I didn't know this is how it was being presented on social media and would not have got involved if I did (I have not checked the corrected files either). The third question is fair enough but the first two are very problematic to me for obvious reasons.

Its fine to post some camera original files for discussion of different opinions etc but please don't post any video here that is framed or advertised in such a way that might appear to be click bait to some or looking just to prove such a point you want to make as I don't think its helpful to users or the community. Thanks.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 1:24 am

Ryan Earl wrote:
The corners darken in the 1.5 shot, so I'm going to say vignetting, if the cine version is anything like the ART stills lens it can be a little over 2 stops darker in the corners.


It's a good theory...however...

I mostly see it in the bottom right corner. Although it's at a different illumination level the bottom left corner doesn't appear to darken, certainly not around the yellow streak of highlight on the table nor does the top left corer which has a bright lamp in the very spot you'd expect a darkening vignette to show up. The level of the background blue does change a little here.

Lens vignetting tends to be a darkening in all corners equally...

Again, I'm not looking at the originals, just the GIF.

joe12south wrote:I think you are seeing the table go in and out of focus. That's the only thing I can think of since nothing moves and the lighting doesn't change.


I don't think so.

The lens in shot on the left hand side doesn't change brightness but does go in and out of focus.

The filament in the lamp top left doesn't change brightness either.

The yellow strip to camera left of it doesn't change brightness as it blurs either, or barely if it does and not the same degree it is on the table on the right hand side.

There's a TINY bit of blue spill on the table, likely not intentional in the very far left doens't seem to change much in brightness.

Another tell is the very left leading edge of the Spyder colour chart seems to have a brightness change on the side of it as well in the T1.5 version. BUT, not all the way down. Look at the strip next to the 1, 2, 3 labels on the left edge of the chart. It's changing brightness as the focus changes which would support your theory. But then why is it only the top part of this that changes brightness ?

And the change stops at the same hight that the lens is...perhaps because the lens is a shadow on the chart for the stopped down version ?

Finally when I look at the specular ball on top of the CUBE of the chart, I can see a difference in brightness fob with the tungsten light AND whatever the blue light is that's doing the back wash on the wall.

The thing is, they change in the opposite directions as the focus changes. The tungsten gets brighter as the t stop is lower but the blue light seems to get darker.

I also see a red light, which isn't in evidence in the scene, likely to be a power LED somewhere in the room.

Damn if the longer I stare at this the more obvious the colour difference in the grey is too. Very Green or pink....

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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 2:47 am

John Brawley wrote:Damn if the longer I stare at this the more obvious the colour difference in the grey is too. Very Green or pink....

I experience this often when calibrating monitors. We (humans) are super-sensitive to even minute variations around middle grey. Stare at a greyscale ramp long enough and a delta less than 2, a delta within the margin of error of a good sensor, seems "very" green or "very" magenta. It can be maddening.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 3:08 am

CaptainHook wrote:The third question is fair enough but the first two are very problematic to me for obvious reasons.

I confess, it's not obvious to me. But out of respect I'll try to keep that sort of...I don't know what...out of here.

In fact, say the word and I'll stop posting about this completely.

Many, including yourself, have been quite helpful and the test tomorrow will be better for the insight and constructive criticism that has been offered. It would be helpful if I could continue to get expert feedback after the shoot as I prepare the blind test...BUT...I'm agitating people and all of the noise is distracting, so perhaps I should just go it alone.

My username/handle is the same everywhere, so it's not hard to find - or avoid - me should someone be interested in taking the blind test or grabbing the files afterward.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 3:16 am

joe12south wrote:I experience this often when calibrating monitors. We (humans) are super-sensitive to even minute variations around middle grey..


It's not me....it's you...

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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 8:45 am

I’ve been away - which camera won?
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 12:51 pm

John Griffin wrote:I’ve been away - which camera won?

We're all winners here.

Coffee, then heading into the studio. It will be at least a week before the blind test is live. If anyone wants to help QA the post process and presentation of the test, PM me, or find me on Messenger.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 9:27 pm

Here's a cool example of needing super accurate colours and doing it with a chart that only has four colours and four grey scale patches.

https://mastcamz.asu.edu/mars-in-full-color/

Of course, rarely do we want or prefer "accurate" colour in narrative filmmaking...

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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostMon Mar 01, 2021 2:49 am

Here's my only immediate editorializing from today's test:
While Canon's menus won't win any awards...Sony's are just a big ol' bag of hurt.

Whomever designed Blackmagic's UI...thank you. Thank you 1,000 times.
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostMon Mar 01, 2021 7:46 am

joe12south wrote:Here's my only immediate editorializing from today's test:
While Canon's menus won't win any awards...Sony's are just a big ol' bag of hurt.

Whomever designed Blackmagic's UI...thank you. Thank you 1,000 times.


Haha, yeah. That wtf moment when you have to work with a Sony FS7 and dig through the menus for a setting... The logic behind their way of working with A&B white balances alone is cringe worthy.
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joe12south

  • Posts: 734
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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostMon Mar 01, 2021 1:43 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:Haha, yeah. That wtf moment when you have to work with a Sony FS7 and dig through the menus for a setting... The logic behind their way of working with A&B white balances alone is cringe worthy.

The clearest indication of BMD's win wasn't my frustration with the other cameras' menus...it was the fact that the Canon and Sony operators had no problem adjusting to the BMD menus.

When I asked the Canon R5 owner to set a custom white balance and then saw what he had to go through...it's hard to imagine Canon designing that process as anything other than punishment for someone who stooped so low as to shoot video. ;)
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Leon Benzakein

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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostMon Mar 01, 2021 2:25 pm

joe12south wrote:it's hard to imagine Canon designing that process as anything other than punishment for someone who stooped so low as to shoot video.


:lol:
Television: Lighting/Cameraman, O.B. Camera Operator, Experience in EFP, EPG and ENG , Grip, Lamp Operator
Film: Grip, Lamp Operator
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John Griffin

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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostMon Mar 01, 2021 2:56 pm

joe12south wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:Haha, yeah. That wtf moment when you have to work with a Sony FS7 and dig through the menus for a setting... The logic behind their way of working with A&B white balances alone is cringe worthy.

The clearest indication of BMD's win wasn't my frustration with the other cameras' menus...it was the fact that the Canon and Sony operators had no problem adjusting to the BMD menus.

When I asked the Canon R5 owner to set a custom white balance and then saw what he had to go through...it's hard to imagine Canon designing that process as anything other than punishment for someone who stooped so low as to shoot video. ;)

Never understood why other manufacturers are still setting a custom WB with multiple menu inputs. BM's single button push should be on every camera that shoots video and indeed is/was a standard feature of video cameras in the past.
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Filmobsession

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Re: BMD Camera Shootout

PostMon Mar 01, 2021 3:19 pm

I don’t mind shooting video. XT4 is a decent camera. So is the GFX 100.
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