A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

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Wayne Steven

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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 9:56 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:I guess Wayne is talking about this - the HDRC sensor.
https://www.ims-chips.de/home.php?id=a3b15c1de&adm=
https://sensorlab.ims-chips.de/content/ ... 0k1p3z.pdf

It has been developed by Prof. Dr. Bernd Höfflinger from the German IMS Institut. A CMOS sensor with logarithmic response. The HDRC project has been transformed into the HiDRaLoN project but so far the resulting sensor still hasn't resulted in a higher resolution than 1296x1092 pixels. There is still the problem with dark current and image noise. The sensor was used in cars from Daimler, and it seems also in medical imaging and some industrial application.

I've read about this sensor in the early years of this millenium, but it never went into any mass product.


Robert, thanks, but you just described it in production, it was on Omrons sensor production list. Plus there are other uses then mentioned, and Yiu could buy a camera with it from memory. I did explicitly say it needed investment to go to the next level didn't I. You should have pointed out how long ago that maximum resolution was obtained, I haven't noticed any investment towards higher resolution uses since then, hence 'needs investment'. Also, the noise levels back then we're higher accross the board, which doesn't equate But, all this doesn't matter, it has been done, it exists, end of story about the limitations of HDR being done theoretically low number in this topic. Isn't that the whole purpose of the illustration, we are not alone there is over HDR out there?
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Robert Niessner

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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 10:06 pm

Wayne, the sensor received funding in 2010 of EUR 4.8 Mio by German government and an additional 3.8 Mio by project partners C.R.S. iiMotion GmbH, viimagic GmbH, Philips Technologie GmbH, Pilz GmbH & Co. KG, Helion GmbH, Fraunhofer IMS and Institut für Mikroelektronik Stuttgart.
https://www.ims-chips.com/content/pdfte ... -26%20.pdf

The result of this was http://www.tridicam.de and this https://www.ims-chips.de/home.php?id=a2b7c32de&adm=
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 10:19 pm

John Brawley wrote:
Aaron Swann wrote:Wayne,

Perhaps all of your posts should be confined to "Off Topic"... Very little of the information you post is actually relative or helpful to a Cinematography thread. If you want to play the brain disease card


He always plays the attacked victim when you ask him to put up or shut up.

If he’s saying that for real then he just shouldn’t be posting. I’m going to ask for moderation. I suggest if anyone doesn’t like a post then you ask for moderators. Let’s get this cleaned up.

The long unreadably dense posts that say nothing but fantasy tech irrelevant to moving picture image making. Half the sensors he points out are for phones or shoot at super low resolution or just aren’t actually available.

JB


John, I've given you heaps of space and respect, but if you continue this libelous persecution, then this will have to start heading to court. Your ill informed harrasments are, and have always been, unwanted. You are, and have, wronged me often, and wish to up the ante. I'm sorry for you. I suggest you get out from behind ignore and examine what you have consistently done, and how I have brushed aside things in the past. I often have reasons not to reason, but do reason to the nth degree out of respect (if not for the person, then at least for the truth). You had the benefit of the doubt, then the benefit of tolerance, then the benefit of my light touch, but you have gone on long enough detailing truthful things I've said, and attacking me. I suggest you get a mirror and see what you have done. Your statements are demonstratebly false about me. I've suffered enough. Any person that would harrass somebody in my condition like this, is beneath contempt, it hasn't been on for a long time.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 10:26 pm

Robert, that's virtually 10 years ago, and you link to an industrial sensor use. How does that equate to funding for a realtively non industrial use to make a higher resolution sensor with latest technology for low noise? Or, are you saying this is where you got that camera resolution from? I thought they had that sort of resolution many years ago on their website. You know an industrial use doesn't aim for highest resolution and lowest noise technology, hence it doesn't prive a limit of technology?
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 10:28 pm

So, I did edit two previous posts, but there was not much to edit.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 10:31 pm

Wayne, the resolution I posted is the latest update so far. It seems they have not been able to push it any higher. I've read through several of the German papers and some of the older project websites are already dead. Seems like they never managed to get beyond industrial use.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 10:38 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:Wayne, the resolution I posted is the latest update so far. It seems they have not been able to push it any higher. I've read through several of the German papers and some of the older project websites are already dead. Seems like they never managed to get beyond industrial use.


What was the orientation of their funding, and the extent of their funding? "Seems" is a but unclear to me. Plus, seems I remember old sensor with an axis above 1000. I've really got heaps to do (to catch up) so I shouldn't go looking things up. However, superior HDR does exist, and that was it's use here.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 10:39 pm

Thanks for the new link by the way Robert.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 11:04 pm

Wayne Steven wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:Wayne, the resolution I posted is the latest update so far. It seems they have not been able to push it any higher. I've read through several of the German papers and some of the older project websites are already dead. Seems like they never managed to get beyond industrial use.


What was the orientation of their funding, and the extent of their funding? "Seems" is a but unclear to me. Plus, seems I remember old sensor with an axis above 1000. I've really got heaps to do (to catch up) so I shouldn't go looking things up. However, superior HDR does exist, and that was it's use here.


I have found a lot of German blabla when looking for more details and the so called Schlussbericht:
https://www.ims-chips.com/publication/e ... redirect=1

Which says that in 2013 they reached their goal of a new gen sensor at 1296x1092 pixels. So far I found no more recent papers
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 11:12 pm

Hey thanks for that Robert. I disregarded my own advice and had a look. Their website seems upgraded, but the documentation seems to have a lot of old stuff. I tried to find a date or SNR on that sensor pdf, nothing, and tried Wayback engine a bit which wasn't very useful so far. 2013 sounds right.

I found this for anybody interested in 720p stuff or 170 db HDR:

https://www.ims-chips.de/home.php?id=a3b15c1de&adm=

Old versions of the chip indeed say 30db SNR, but that was many years back.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 11:19 pm

Anyway, that's not a FF sensor and the HDR and dual gain, sub subjects are answered.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 11:20 pm

CaptainHook wrote:
You can read more about stitching where the above quote comes from here :

https://harvestimaging.com/blog/?p=1599

Part 1 about butting is here:

http://harvestimaging.com/blog/?p=1568


Thanks for those references!

Not specifically directed at any one, but a lot of cost is also the inevitable lower yield of good chips since there's much higher chance of getting a "defective" die/chip. Play with this tool and increase wafer/die size to Super35/Full Frame sizes and watch the estimated yield numbers decrease (top left as "Fab Yield") - remembering the wafer cost etc is the same but you have far less sensors you can put in cameras and sell. Also don't forget some of the 'good' ones still might not be good enough to pass calibration etc.


Yeah -- this is one of the reasons that, for example, AMD doesn't make a monolithic Zen2 processor... it would be gigantic, and the yields would be quite a bit lower than for the smaller chiplets... if a die is bad because one part of it is bad, you might well have to toss the whole thing, though some parts can be disabled to save the die if the die is designed that way.

But if you disable part of an image sensor, you end up with an image sensor that doesn't work, so there you go.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 11:23 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:To be fair, this time Wayne did apologize for his wrong claim...


There's a first time for everything, I suppose...
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 11:27 pm

Adam Silver wrote:I'm with both of you guys here. I started using Blackmagic cameras back in late 2016, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how many really good people are here to help each other out. Sure, there may be arguments from time to time. We're all human, but nearly every thread Wayne is involved in turns to crap. I'm so tired of it.


Agreed, most of the forum members here are a pretty friendly bunch.

I'm grateful for most of the regulars I see posting including Rick Lang, Denny Smith, John Brawley, Jamie LeJeune, Rakesh Malik, Ali Plank, Xtreemtec, Ellory Yu, carlomacchiavello, John Paines, Brad Hurley, timbutt2, Dmitry Shijan, Joseph Moore, Florent Piovesan, David Chapman, Andrew Kolakowski, Adam Langdon, and many more.


Glad to be among that number :)

I thank you all for teaching me new things or expanding my thought process on equipment, shooting style, lighting, sound, etc. I also think the BM staff is amazing including Grant, Kristian Lam, captainhook, and Tony Rivera among others.


One of the things that I like about BMD is that even the higher ups are actually quite nice. I met Stephanie Heuter and Grant Petty at NAB last year, and they're also quite friendly in person, so it's not just an act that they put on online.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostThu Jan 16, 2020 11:29 pm

Dennis Sørensen wrote:Me too Wayne. If just the fairchild sensors had FPN supression, then the 4.6K cameras would have been such popular cameras.


I've been able to find a foolproof way of eliminating FPN on the 4.6K sensor: light.

They're actually quite popular cameras. The reason that you don't hear much about them any more isn't reflective of their popularity, it's just that they've been around long enough that they make lousy clickbait.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 2:01 am

Image


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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 12:22 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:Wayne, the resolution I posted is the latest update so far. It seems they have not been able to push it any higher. I've read through several of the German papers and some of the older project websites are already dead. Seems like they never managed to get beyond industrial use.


I think this is the problem with constantly referencing old technology that isn’t relevant to moving images or even the OP.

There is plenty of amazing sensor technology out there.

But most of it can’t be applied to what we need as moving image makers.

They work fine in industrial settings but we have a totally different set of requirements as image makers.

Many sensors have HDR modes. But just because they offer that mode doesn’t make it relevant to moving images. There’s always an imaging “cost” to these modes. Increased noise or much less bit depth.

If you’re designing speed cameras to take photos of car plates in all lighting conditions then they don’t care about noise or colour fidelity because all they care about in that application is plate legibility.

Or a machine vision camera measurement of QA on an assembly line.

Those applications don’t care about the huge image quality cost that comes with HDR modes.

Constantly referencing tech like HDR and ignoring the imaging costs that come with those modes that make them useless for motion pictures is just going around in circles.

Referencing tech that hasn’t developed and can’t even be bought any more or that was never fully realised is just pie in the sky dreaming.

It’s great to talk about that tech but it’s never presented fully because it should have a giant caveat. Hey this tech isn’t available anymore but this is the direction it went. Hey this sensor has a HDR mode but there’s also imaging consequence to using those modes that dramatically affect the image.

This sensor used in the axiom has a HDR mode and was the same sensor used in some BMD cameras as well as AJA Cion.

I tested the HDR modes. They looked like crap and were unusable noisy rubbish. Yes you got the DR but less bit depth and image fidelity. So what’s the point ? It’s irrelevant because you can’t work around that and claiming 15 stops is just then a worse marketing lie.

https://www.4kshooters.net/2014/10/04/4 ... ange-mode/

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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 3:53 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:To be fair, this time Wayne did apologize for his wrong claim...


There's a first time for everything, I suppose...


Like apologising to me.

Rakesh Malik wrote:..

Agreed, most of the forum members here are a pretty friendly bunch.
..

One of the things that I like about BMD is that even the higher ups are actually quite nice. I met Stephanie Heuter and Grant Petty at NAB last year, and they're also quite friendly in person, so it's not just an act that they put on online.


You'll find I'm very friendly too. :)

I appreciate the modest reply Rakesh.

Freindly yes, but not all. But seriously, if you were in some forums before cheap cinema cameras, we had marvelous conversations and collaborations, where you could really learn things and ask questions without some less desirable person trying to close and disrupt conversations before they can even get going. Big time problems now. When cheap cameras came out all sorts moved in and a lot of helpful people left, to the stage where I could find I was virtually the only person interested in helping newcomers and others with their questions. As I grew sicker, I couldn't help them, or get help. You ask, and somebody with the wrong idea posts inappropriate answers and dismisses. The question then has one reply, so people pass by the thread. It's always the same three to several who is doing most of it. They then just stalk you trying to derail conversations, sucking all the life out of things. It's upsetting, but I've seen some bad things in life, and take it seriously but lightly.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 3:55 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:
Dennis Sørensen wrote:Me too Wayne. If just the fairchild sensors had FPN supression, then the 4.6K cameras would have been such popular cameras.


I've been able to find a foolproof way of eliminating FPN on the 4.6K sensor: light.

They're actually quite popular cameras. The reason that you don't hear much about them any more isn't reflective of their popularity, it's just that they've been around long enough that they make lousy clickbait.


Thanks for qouteing me and not taking the whole statement I made ;)

Dennis Sørensen wrote:Me too Wayne. If just the fairchild sensors had FPN supression, then the 4.6K cameras would have been such popular cameras. Why get a Kinefinity or Z-cam if they didnt have those. Sure you can always expose correct and the problems isnt there. Thats what I tell people.. But some times doing doc work you cant light a whole scene and it requires you to go 1-2+ stops in post, and it will deteriorate fast.


See what I write there? Sure light will fix it. But there are a lot of situations where you cannot light. For controllable narrative of cause you can light. But if you are doing doc work or low budget one-man-band stuff then you cant always and you have to record the situation as it is. Here a lot of people go for mirrorless or Canons Cinema series (C100-C300) because you can go to ISO 10.000-12.000 (with some varying degree of succes).

I have been force to record in situations where ISO 800 was so dark.. And ideally I would have to lift it 2-3 stops in post, but it fell apart because it was so dark. And I was at f/1.8

If the 4.6K sensor had FPN supression we could easily have lifted it to ISO 6400 (3 stops) and applied NR in post. It would have been soft and not as detailed as we know the 4.6K sensor can deliver, but it would have been a usable shot. But because of the FPN we cannot lift that much and no NR will help here.

And ya. They are very populare cameras! But I see a lot of people in the highend area trying it out, and because they may not expose it correct will throw FPN at them (at some point in their ealy usage) and they will never use the camera again because it let them down. They will quickly go back to their RED, go for a Z-cam, stay with their FS7 or something along the lines.

I truely believe that BMD cameras are some of the best on the market. I have used them since the start (BMCC 2.5K) and I had a Sony A7S and A7Sii as b-cam back then, and the colors of the Sonys just never were there. I hated dealing with Sony color. The venice is something else, but even that does not perfom in the same "linear" manner as my UMP.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 4:16 pm

Insulting each other on this forum is not going to get you anywhere other than removed so let's be civil and have educated discussions or we'll shut down the threads and any others where personal attacks become a thing in.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 4:40 pm

Can somebody point out to John, that it has been shown the technology is current, that it's actually video technology not stills, of course companies can use it and invest in it, as is standard business practice, howvreak world business is done, not fantasy pie in the sky, and it was in answer to his side tracking into HDR. Also, that the micro 4.6k dual gain was shown to be effectively a HDR feature, as far as HDR compromising picture quality goes :(

Can somebody point out, we were talking about shipping moving image technology, as amazing as it may have seemed. That the colour fidelity of the HDR technology quoted in reply to his HDR concerns is probably beyond Alexa, or any of our cameras. It produces constantly balanced colour through a very wide dynamic range. That he is testing lesser HDR technologies not all the better ones.

Somebody might also point out that industrial sensors have been used for cinema cameras (did the original BM use an industrial sensor?). That the fact is that they work as moving picture sensors, and often are designed so.

He is not reading things but making assertions.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostFri Jan 17, 2020 6:52 pm

Dennis Sørensen wrote:Thanks for qouteing me and not taking the whole statement I made ;)


Quoting makes the forum easier to read for everyone else, and provides enough info to find the context in case you need it.

Dennis Sørensen wrote:See what I write there? Sure light will fix it. But there are a lot of situations where you cannot light. For controllable narrative of cause you can light. But if you are doing doc work or low budget one-man-band stuff then you cant always and you have to record the situation as it is. Here a lot of people go for mirrorless or Canons Cinema series (C100-C300) because you can go to ISO 10.000-12.000 (with some varying degree of succes).


Ever heard of the phrase "horses for courses?"

No camera is perfect. The 4.6K is a wonderful camera for filmmaking; it has gorgeous color and is probably about the closest you're going to get to the quality of color and feature set of an Alexa Mini or Red Dragon-X for $10,000... but the thing that the complainers continue to miss is that while the price is nowhwere close to that of an Alexa Mini or Red Dragon-X, the image quality IS.

So while agree that the 4.6Ks aren't great for low light, I don't see that as a problem; it is instead a compromise. You get what IMO is the best cinema camera value in the business, and the trade off is that it wants more light than a camera made for operating in lower light levels. (Shocking.)

And ya. They are very populare cameras! But I see a lot of people in the highend area trying it out, and because they may not expose it correct will throw FPN at them (at some point in their ealy usage) and they will never use the camera again because it let them down. They will quickly go back to their RED, go for a Z-cam, stay with their FS7 or something along the lines.


Then they're not high end. If they were, they'd have exposed it correctly. Maybe it would end up not being ideal for their needs, but since FPN is a result of underexposure, it's not actually a bug; rather, it's just another feature that you should consider when deciding whether or not the camera is right for your needs.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostSat Jan 18, 2020 3:17 am

Back to FF. Hopefully Fairchild now has access to technology from it's newer owners and can add features to reduce FPN and add lower light, and more dynamic range in a FF. Maybe that is why there has been a delay in offering a chip which substantially upgrades over the 4.6k after all these years?

What I find a shame, is that the new pocket didn't have such an upgraded Fairchild sensor. Immediately I was not in love with the color and handling of brightness. Sure the ultra low light is great, but realistically, how often do we need such low light. A little less low light and a lot more bread and butter performance would be great.

Mobile performance on those tiny pixels, show just how far you can push performance, and acts as a good moving image REALISTIC comparison to what we should expect at least in the future. The fact that somebody could use such things to make a cinema camera (multipoint post adjustment camera, or native) is another valid point, and that company could be BM in a Pocket Slim, like a more realistic version of the Light 16 camera, or future Nano series of POV cameras which could be used on set and for whatever other purposes they can be used for (like the RX0 does). All legitimate business aims, which reduce production costs by increasing volume m. In this way we can get FF and MF IMAX in a Pocket Slim or micro, and never have to use another lens. That's practical realistic future that you either get or get left behind with. It s no use picking on some deficiency which is either practically too minor or will be sorted out with proper sensor and camera development. A few tests on the wrong thing, doesn't prove what can be done on the right thing. I have realistic practical confidence in the companies to sort these things out. Red did a heap of patents on multipoint and phones advocated to them by certain person, historical documented fact, but never went back to the supportive source to sort it out (their bad). So, Red is aiming to do exactly what I'm talking about. I represent the future, not the past which will be practically unrealistic. Sure, I hope we still see conventional lensed cinema camera models for many, many years alongside the new technology, but the bread and butter, the base rock and concrete will be the new technology. A realistic way for companies to go broke, is not to prepare for newer more realistic technologies and get stuck when the competition comes out. Fortunately fur us, Red has too much of a matey culture. The person you are freindly with might not be the best most practical person for the job. Notice how many projects stalled. They even work, but never go anywhere. You need really shrewed people for that. They may not be your mate, nor the freindliest (as long as you get along), but they will get you to the next level, or two three four.. ten levels. When those people leave companies, they tend to go in crises and even collapse. They are the realistic, practical, bread and butter of business. The creatively shrewd the goose who laid the golden egg, historical. So, if you want FF or MF to be "practical" for filming you need multipoint or other wide 3D technique. If you don't believe me, go ask a portable IMax camera operator what he thinks about using it for everyday in the field ENG work, or better weddings, and see the look on his face. If you ask him about shooting a feature film with it portable and non portable, you might see a glint in his eye at the possibility, but that's not what people around here ussually are about (otherwise more big Ursa's would be sold) they require realistic portable convenience. Notice how many more pockets get sold. Imagine if they had a good quality version of FF or MF slim pocket camera to choose from. But here's the rub, the days technology is moving towards processing that can fit all post filming processes into an ultra thin pocket format (not the crap quality phone versions we have) low powered. I even know a company that could do something now, though not as low energy or low heat. They are contracted out to develop solutions with their technology. But at the moment, such ultragrade performance is probably going start in a much bigger enclosure at 8k. So, a mini or old original BM, or pocket 4k case might be a realistic first generation enclosure size unless you have specific ASIC for it, and Light spent tens of millions on theirs. Maybe they have pro versions? It is called business planning.

All related to FF topic and MF. But here's another rub. My strategy, if you can just record Pro level multipoint feeds and do the post image changes (focus, aperture, exposure, zoom etc) in post, then even a mobile phone sized device can do 8k now, all you have to do is process the setup frame to see what you are looking at, at the start of filming, and maybe every second more it about less, so during filming. During filming this would still require high peak processing loads for key preview frames, which circuites are good at. The circuitry can momentarily switch and focus on doing the preview key frame, heating up, then switch off, cooling down. However, a basic lower energy preview would still be good and may run all frames. Practically realistic design strategy, real practical advancing contribution, versus people dismissing, disrupting and trying to close down conversations. Do we want no better or realistically better?

So, all this stuff is practical, and something BM could start on. Business wise I was looking at doing many times more than this, which requires big investments. To do the centermeters big and half a centermeter or less thick multipoint cinema camera I was budgeting 100 million, due to the amount of new realistic technology to be developed in the design. That's more pie in the sky, so I don't worry about pushing. However recently I have come up with a new technology proposal that could do that cheaper. I also came up with a proposal to do a surround multipoint system using high resolution heads which require some new technology, but recording timed that can go into weeks. But, around here, I mainly just stick to what can practically be done by a company like BM. Once other companies start offering realistic multipoint systems into the market, then, realistically, any company that doesn't may suffer. That should not be too far off. You prepare years beforehand in business.
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Denis Kazlowski

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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostSat Jan 18, 2020 6:15 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:No camera is perfect. The 4.6K is a wonderful camera for filmmaking; it has gorgeous color and is probably about the closest you're going to get to the quality of color and feature set of an Alexa Mini or Red Dragon-X for $10,000... but the thing that the complainers continue to miss is that while the price is nowhwere close to that of an Alexa Mini or Red Dragon-X, the image quality IS.

So while agree that the 4.6Ks aren't great for low light, I don't see that as a problem.


This reply is somewhat out of context - but It is a problem. The Louis CK Loui show and Soderberghs Bitter Pill/Bad Medicine was shot in "mostly" available light (with very minor electrical) on the day. You can only do that and not have problems in QA with RED or Alexa's or pushing 500ASA film. This creative option is not available for BM gear and for that matter everyone down the line till you hit some DSLRS. So whatever you don't spend on imaging you have to spend on G&E and lose a lot of creative choices. Early Alexa shows like PAN-AM also just rated the camera at 800ASA sometimes with generous shutter angles and were dimly lit on stages and wearing stacks of ND filters exterior. Even for nigh FPN is bad, where the setups are a cherry picker, and at most a china ball on a boom and only practicals - not even halide or party gel sources - most of the time, for time and budget. It does depend on the DP's and Key Gaffers choices. But even Boardwalk Empire which was shot on Panavision - was dimly lit, and it had to scan and do VFX to delete modern buildings and other - it was like Chimeras were a big choice on that show for interiors and cherry pickers and silks that had either a 1K or 2K into them - for exteriors - mainly night exteriors. How those were lit, a BM product would not have survived the dark areas of the picture gracefully. As a matter of fact, not a single show that I've seen shot on the east coast used any major stuff unless they were fighting with or augmenting exterior daylight, or shooting inside some place trying to emulate daylight at night - like diners and shopping malls with windows or any other location that you can only get at night time.

So if the point of everyone who keeps talking about ETTR and light is to treat the URSA lineup as a "show grade" camera - requiring lighting that was needed for 100D/125T film stock back in the day when used as rated- then that is a disaster for any narrative with a modest budget. At that point the choice is going to be obvious - renting an Alexa or RED.

Because it does not play into the argument of diminishing returns too well, unlike choosing to originate in 2.3k or 4k for a narrative non vfx show.

It's literally limiting, where everyone in the chain would have to adjust from wardrobe, makeup to gaffers to post to the BM sensors. Where ARRI and RED made that transition somewhat easier, with ARRI being at the top of being a more film like camera. So basically the common narrative here is you need to learn to light for BM sensors, while un-teaching yourself on how to light for just about any other camera thats not a BM clone - including actual film. Same for ENG use cases and those lineups. So it's like it's neither here nor there.
My post is not a complaint per se. just an observation of whats being discussed, as nobody really cares at the end of the day how you got to doing a film or a music video or a doc. They only care about the output, and if BM makes claims that the output is commensurate with Alexa/RED - then it should be just as easy to use without fear of x y or z cropping up.

I mean do this as a fun experiment, grab a 1k Tungsten - bang it into an opal 4x4 - and use bead board or foam-core as fill - shoot a talking head and take an URSA 400ASA/URSA Mini 800ASA and try to get anything usable above T2 on the glass - then ratchet an original Alexa on the same setup. It's not a 10% advantage, it's simply night and day between the two.

On a narrative set, mostly it's matching turn-arounds (coverage), so severe adjustments only need be made
in partly cloudy conditions where you're ether waiting for clouds or filling direct sunlight - to keep the camera rated same throughout the day or at magic hour AM and PM where you're rapidly losing or gaining stop and stop of light. The last thing a DP wants to worry about is what the camera is doing to the picture - or not doing. But you won't be able to get away with what Loui got away with - which was a RED ONE, 25mm Zeiss Ultra Prime and a steadicam or handheld or tripod and mostly only available light. I gather it's okay for EPK, Corporate and other things, but definately narrative and dramma is exponentially harder and not by a small margin - don't even get me started on jam sync with the URSA lineup and the clock drift.

But obviously this is a thread about something else, so I'm not going to attempt and hijack it.
Last edited by Denis Kazlowski on Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostSat Jan 18, 2020 7:00 pm

Denis Kazlowski wrote:This reply is somewhat out of context - but It is a problem. The Louis CK Loui show and Soderberghs Bitter Pill/Bad Medicine was shot in "mostly" available light (with very minor electrical) on the day. You can only do that and not have problems in QA with RED or Alexa's or pushing 500ASA film.


Not nearly to the extent that it sounds like you're assuming, with the exception of the Gemini.

This creative option is not available for BM gear and for that matter everyone down the line till you hit some DSLRS.


Of course it is. And at a bargain. It's just not the 4.6K line that's designed for that.

So if the point of everyone who keeps talking about ETTR and light is to treat the URSA lineup as a "show grade" camera - requiring lighting that was needed for 100D/125T film stock back in the day when used as rated- then that is a disaster for any narrative with a modest budget. At that point the choice is going to be obvious - renting an Alexa or RED.


I've shot lots with BMD cameras on modest budgets without noise problems, though that was pre-4.6K and I've never used the ETTR technique.

So basically the common narrative here is you need to learn to light for BM sensors, while un-teaching yourself on how to light for just about any other camera thats not a BM clone - including actual film.


That's completely incorrect. It's not like lighting for a Black Magic sensor is a special art; it's just a matter of learning the sensor's characteristics. You shoot tests with it, get to know it, and get to work. It's exactly the same process as learning to light for a film stock that you've never used before.

They only care about the output, and if BM makes claims that the output is commensurate with Alexa/RED - then it should be just as easy to use without fear of x y or z cropping up.


It's because the output IS comparable.

BMD's cameras are not the limiting factor in the quality of the footage we've seen from them, based on personal experience and comparing them with footage shot on Red.
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Denis Kazlowski

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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostSat Jan 18, 2020 7:34 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:That's completely incorrect. It's not like lighting for a Black Magic sensor is a special art; it's just a matter of learning the sensor's characteristics. You shoot tests with it, get to know it, and get to work. It's exactly the same process as learning to light for a film stock that you've never used before.


Not to that degree, So like between Vision 2 and Vision 3 switch or even Fujifilm, if you did the tech it was mainly lenses and lens matching for color shift, clipping color in DI, how far you can push or pull film and grain structure, cross processing, first light dailies look, mag sizes for HH/Steady/GearHead - noise the camera would produce - but the general expectation of black being black and not video noise was there.

I'm strictly speaking from narrative filming perspective. Obviously commercials shot on reversal or other edge cases were different. I've shot BM 4k and 4.6k - it's lacking it's like BM's designers can't make up their mind wether it's a narrative film camera or an ENG camera. Like episodic sets have a high end reluctance to change - "this is how we did it, this is how we're going to do it." - Definitely the bigger commercials are more like chill, less schedule oriented and laid back - but retraining your Key Gaffer for BM... cmon, - not to say that initially people who shot on RED instead of Alexa did not feel pain, and with Alexa if you wanted normal HH for the show - you had to get their Mirrored D20/D21 camera in the kit to match. But I digress.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostSat Jan 18, 2020 10:02 pm

Denis, you’re on a roll, but when you take a coffee break, I’ll let you know if a BMD URSA camera Timecode drifts, just leave an inexpensive Tentacle Sync E on it while recording... all day or night.
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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostSun Jan 19, 2020 2:54 am

Dennis, a lot of wisdom there, but how do the new low light pockets go with the lighting, or cameras with variable gain? I miss variable gain, but appreciate it's not used due to noise concerns. Pity no virtual variable gain function in the multiple gain function of pixels. But, it's really about what sort of FF BM you want. If you expect nothing great from a company, you may not be disappointed. We are only fortunate that Grant expected great cameras, and too some degree Jim of Red. We need somebody like Grant with Jim's drive to get Alexa truely KOed. But truely great technical visionaries are far and few between.

I have modest expectations documentary wise. So, a FF Fairchild with low noise and light ability halfway to the pocket with 14-16 bit output, would be an significant step. But the full way with triple or quad virtual variable gain mixing on 16 bit+ and more stops of dynamic range to help this, would be fantastic. That is worth paying Fairchild for in a new sensor. Alexa blitz the competition for a decade with a design that was out there which could get close to our visual expectations. It is a business strategy decision to produce a sensor to last another decade. Between the capability of Sony and Fairchild we are close to that, if only the two technologies were available in the one package. However, the foveon X3 technology should be out of patent sometime for anybody to use in their designs, and Sony, Canon etc have their own alternatives. Add that into the mix with updated forms of either of the others, then you have great things which are possible, for a future FF. It's about business decisions.
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: A full-frame Blackmagic Camera?

PostMon Jan 20, 2020 4:46 am

Denis Kazlowski wrote:Not to that degree, So like between Vision 2 and Vision 3 switch or even Fujifilm, if you did the tech it was mainly lenses and lens matching for color shift, clipping color in DI, how far you can push or pull film and grain structure, cross processing, first light dailies look, mag sizes for HH/Steady/GearHead - noise the camera would produce - but the general expectation of black being black and not video noise was there.


I shot with several Fuji film stocks starting with reversal film as well as Kodak Vision 3 when I started shooting in motion. I've also worked with several flavors of Panasonic, Nikon, Red, and Black Magic cameras, plus a couple of oddballs like the Sigma fp and some ZCam models, and even an AJA Cion.

Since most people can't determine which cameras I used for which films in my portfolio, it's clear that the differences you're alluding to have more to do with brand envy than with reality.

Definitely the bigger commercials are more like chill, less schedule oriented and laid back - but retraining your Key Gaffer for BM... cmon, -


The DP is the one who needs to know how to light, in order to design the lighting plan. If your DP can't figure out how to light for a Black Magic camera, you should looked for a competent one; they're easy to light for -- a LOT easier than for say an AJA Cion, due to the Cion's harsh clipping and low sensitivity. A Pocket 4K/6K or UM 4.6K really aren't hard to light for... at least for competent cinematographers.
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