BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different ranges

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Jamie LeJeune

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BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different ranges

PostSat Sep 04, 2021 2:05 am

I took a gig this week helping a fitness studio balance and match the BMD Micro Studio Camera 4K units that they are using to record the workouts through an ATEM switcher and ran into an issue that has me totally stumped.

One of the BMD Micro Studio Camera 4K units appears to be sending a totally different range signal to the ATEM, and the other BMD Micro Studio Camera 4K units are sending standard legal video range. The settings on each camera are identical, each one is attached to the ATEM switcher with the same brand of SDI cable and I zeroed out every possible control for every input to ensure there wasn't some hidden setting on for that camera. I am baffled why one of them seems to be sending a completely different range image than the others.

Has anyone encountered this before? What am I missing here?
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TimSimpson

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSat Sep 04, 2021 2:12 am

Did you try swapping the cables across the cameras? A signal drop in a channel from a bad cable stumped my guys at one point


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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSat Sep 04, 2021 2:26 am

Yeah, I tried different cables, and tried swapping the ATEM inputs to rule out signal path issues.
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Andy Coulthurst

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSat Sep 04, 2021 6:05 am

Perhaps they had different firmware versions ? Wasn't there a change to the gain ranges a while back ?
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Andy Coulthurst

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSat Sep 04, 2021 6:12 am

From the support notes of Camera update v4.7

Camera 4.7 Update
This software update includes features for the Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K and Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera. Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K now includes 720p50, 720p59.94 and 720p60 format support, along with improved sensor exposure sensitivity by 2 stops, new gain setting range from -12dB to +12dB, and RAW SDI output. This update also adds additional remote control options such as PTZ support via VISCA through the expansion port and in the Blackmagic SDI Control Protocol, additional tally support, ability to remotely trigger SDI and HDMI recording and more. Both Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K and the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera models now have additional S.Bus commands such as changing frame rate settings. Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera features include support for record start/stop triggers on HDMI output, support for timecode output on HDMI, as well as general performance improvements.

It shouldn't affect legal range , but perhaps its what you were seeing?
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSat Sep 04, 2021 7:23 am

Good thought.
I wondered whether it was firmware issue, so I did check and every camera had the same firmware version listed.
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Raphaël Jacquot

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSat Sep 04, 2021 7:29 am

Jamie LeJeune wrote:Good thought.
I wondered whether it was firmware issue, so I did check and every camera had the same firmware version listed.

there may be a lut loaded in the camera
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSat Sep 04, 2021 7:38 am

Raphaël Jacquot wrote:there may be a lut loaded in the camera
The BMD Micro Studio Camera 4K does not support LUTs in camera.
And while the larger original Studio Camera had a LUT button, according to the most up to date manual, it was never implemented in that model either.
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Howard Roll

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSun Sep 05, 2021 12:48 am

The hdmi output is capped at 940/100 IRE vs the SDI output which supports superwhite 1019/109IRE.

Firmware 4.7 made a slight modification to the color science, lifting the blacks a little and desaturating the image.

The cameras can be controlled by the Atem, parameters can be adjusted that are not accessible via the camera menu. The problem with this is that the parameters aren’t stored after a power cycle so a simple reboot should flush the settings.

It sounds broken, I’ve owned 7 or 8 of these and they all mostly look the same. There definitely isn’t any level disparity (according to the Tektronix) nor is there on-camera control that would enable it. Maybe the firmware didn’t take? It might be worth trying to reinstall 4.7.

Good Luck
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSun Sep 05, 2021 1:54 am

Only two out of the 6 cameras were not showing superwhites in the signal from the same exact settings (I had wiped everything from the ATEM so every input and camera was at default), same firmware in each camera. All connected via SDI to ATEM. The cameras without super white also appeared to be suffering from serious IR pollution in the shadows that was not affecting the other cameras. It was bizarre. I think the two odd cameras were perhaps defective or broken somehow, but I couldn't prove it in the limited time I had in the studio.
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Cristian Secară

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSun Sep 05, 2021 9:23 am

By "The settings on each camera are identical" you mean the settings at the ATEM side, or the settings on each camera internal menu ?

The problem looks the same if viewing the image on a HDMI monitor connected to camera's HDMI connector ?
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSun Sep 05, 2021 7:58 pm

Cristian Secară wrote:By "The settings on each camera are identical" you mean the settings at the ATEM side, or the settings on each camera internal menu ?

The problem looks the same if viewing the image on a HDMI monitor connected to camera's HDMI connector ?
Checked settings in camera and on ATEM. All the same across all cameras.
Everything was connected via SDI. I didn’t test HDMI. The reference display I had with me is SDI only.
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Cristian Secară

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSun Sep 05, 2021 8:58 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote:Checked settings in camera and on ATEM. All the same across all cameras.
Everything was connected via SDI. I didn’t test HDMI. The reference display I had with me is SDI only.

Hmm. How did you check the settings in camera if you didn't use the HDMI output ? The settings menu on Micro Studio Camera 4K is only viewable via HDMI.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSun Sep 05, 2021 9:48 pm

Cristian Secară wrote: Hmm. How did you check the settings in camera if you didn't use the HDMI output ? The settings menu on Micro Studio Camera 4K is only viewable via HDMI.

Sorry, I should have been more specific. The only calibrated reference display I had where I could trust the image was SDI. The HDMI monitors connected to the cameras were some super cheap 5” monitors bought off Alibaba. Washed out looking low quality LCD but enough to check menu settings and framing. Couldn’t use them to judge anything meaningful about the signal.
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Howard Roll

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostMon Sep 06, 2021 12:09 pm

The HDMI output is going to reveal base settings like ISO and WB. Any of the Atem camera control specific functions are only going to be displayed on the Atem side.

My guess is that the two cameras that look the same (in a bad way) share a cam ID thus have the same crapped up settings.

I would double check the cam IDs, manually zero all the cameras at the camera head, then plug them in first without the return/control SDI.

The Atem is funky in that it doesn’t actually poll the camera for information. It’s basically just blasting data (simplex) and assumes that the device on the other end is listening. The display on the Atem side reveals the parameters the Atem is transmitting not the actual camera parameters. Having two camera display a similarly odd look is the red flag. I have thousands of hours on these things and have never seen this particular fault, to have it on two cameras, for me, eliminates coincidence.

Good Luck
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Johannes Jonsson

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostMon Sep 06, 2021 3:41 pm

I agree with Howard, I always check every camera manually by connecting what ever monitor to the HDMI and go through all camera settings in the camera its self to be sure the base is the same on all of them.
The atem does not read those parameters in the camera.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostMon Sep 06, 2021 7:02 pm

Thank you Johannes and Howard.

I did not try resetting the cameras separate from the ATEM. I didn’t realize it was possible for internal to override or get out of sync with settings made on ATEM.
When the studio has me back in, I’ll check that.
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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostTue Sep 07, 2021 8:36 am

It wont!! Because the Atem is Always Master!! The moment you connect the return feed it WILL force the settings.

But with the new Atem software update you CAN make a mistake that will cause this. Because the new Atem firmware will allow you to set the camera model for each camera for CCU purposes.

IF you have a wrong camera model selected the range of CCU control can be different ;)

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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostTue Sep 07, 2021 9:21 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:IF you have a wrong camera model selected the range of CCU control can be different ;
Thank you! This is super helpful! I'll check it.
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Cristian Secară

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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostSun Sep 26, 2021 9:36 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:It wont!! Because the Atem is Always Master!! The moment you connect the return feed it WILL force the settings.

If my memory serves me right, there are just a few settings only adjustable via USB port – one of it being Auto Exposure, perhaps video format also (?).

Xtreemtec wrote:But with the new Atem software update you CAN make a mistake that will cause this. Because the new Atem firmware will allow you to set the camera model for each camera for CCU purposes.

In one of the above posts, Jamie LeJeun said he "tried swapping the ATEM inputs to rule out signal path issues", therefore if the issue remain tied to one specific camera and not to one specific switcher input, then this is not the case here.
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Re: BMD Micro Studio Camera 4Ks with totally different range

PostMon Sep 27, 2021 7:17 pm

And the sensors on the affected cameras are clean, I am assuming.

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