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Everything posted by peederj

  1. C100's are just as good as C300s for live streaming work, if not better due to the more compact size, and the low-light capability is significantly better than the FS700, even with the speed booster add-on. The FS700 is superior for overcrank, which of course is not a live application (unless you are doing "instant replay" things, in which case it would be a great option, but it will take significant time to offload the replay and rate conform it). The C100 supports eye-fi cards to continuously stream clips from the camera out to a computer wirelessly though there is lag...a Teradek Cube or something may be best for wireless streaming if you need it. The C300 has multicam timecode sync if you need it.   The Blackmagic products offer no benefit whatsoever for your needs...the ergonomics and workflow are hopeless for run'n'gun and rapid turnaround...the only advantage is the onboard RAW for those who have enough unpaid time on their hands for a leisurely post workflow.
  2. I don't see much value in buying anything between the t3i/GH2 and the 5D3. Either you go cheap or you go big, there's really no advantage gained between those that I can see. If you go with the GH2 option just use the kit zooms and driftwood hack and forget about being neurotic about image quality. You don't want to buy micro 4/3rds lenses when their future is as limited as it is. With the Rebel option, you can continue to use your EF mount lenses, the full-frame ones on the 5D3 and up DSLRs, and the EF-S APS-C ones on the C100 and up should you go that route.   The Blackmagic cameras have the best onboard codec options and much better color than the Panasonics, but don't have nearly the low-light and shallow depth of field of the Canons. The extant Blackmagics all suffer from noise and moire because of sensor limitations. You can get external recorders such as the Atomos Ninja 2 to provide the best ProRes 422 HQ codec to the 5D3 or C100 along with a helpful peaking monitor, or use the RAW hack on the 5D3 with a stack of fast cards and an offloading computer for similar expense. The C100 has the best ergonomic setup available for under $10K RTS. The 5D3 is the best all-around dual-use with stills shooting and every lens you buy for it will have a future for you. But if you are budget-constrained and still learning video, image quality is just one thing on a list of over a hundred you have to learn, and at the end of that learning, you will see things this way (and probably rent your cameras appropriate for each job instead of sinking money into something obsoleted in a year...especially now on the cusp of the 4K transition).   As for the 70D, it's just a technology demo of the dual-pixel AF system, it will eventually be placed in better cameras including I'm sure a future ENG-style shoulder mount camera also with a power zoom system. It is a prosumer camera for people used to using cellphones with tap-to-focus. I'm not surprised the IQ sucks...you don't need AF for filmmaking (though it is nice to have at times) so just get the Rebel. Same optics as the 7D, cheap loupes available, small and light for steadicam work with its kit lens...   Speaking of which I've tried the Movi and it works very nicely, hope the knockoffs (incl. the one in the article) work that well...glad I didn't spring for a fancy steadicam rig before this. Again the middle options may not be worth considering...rent the real thing (and an operator!) or get by with a $200 steadicam and make-it-work may be the only sensible choices.
  3. People always think I have some vendetta. No I have never, not once been in direct contact with a BMD employee or shareholder unless they were one of the undisclosed fluffers they sent out last year to work the online boards. Never did I buy or rent any BMD product. I also have no conflict of interest or contact whatsoever with any camera manufacturer, distributor, rental house or dealer other than as an ordinary customer. Can't I just be an honest person that dislikes bad business and feels the comments sections of blogs are where the truth should be found since the dealers and manufacturers sure aren't gonna provide it? Because that's exactly what you have here.   And I have no interest in making the conversation personal but I felt that disclosure should be made as the same sure isn't going to be volunteered by those who are, in fact, conflicted.   Enjoy your toy.
  4. The idea that everyone's in agony because they don't have their precious toy yet is good publicity.   The Heroic Pro Cinematographer that we're supposed to emulate saying the sensor on the new 4K camera sucks is devastating publicity.   The bungled, lurching marcomms is accurate publicity. Amateurish camera company. Amateurish products.
  5.   Make more noise about it. Twitter, facebook, etc. Don't let them leave you in the cold.   But yes that's not the right lens for steadycam. Ironically, I suggest the kit lens on a Rebel for that if you want to stay Canon. It's light, it's stabilized, it can certainly resolve well enough for 1080p H.264, and the lack of speed/variable aperture isn't a problem as you see you need a deep DoF.    If you want something fancy, how about the Voight 20mm pancake for your 5D3? They're something like $600 new and built in the same Cosina plant that makes Zeiss primes.   I suggest a narrow shutter angle for flying work because stabilization in post will benefit from a more even and lower degree of blur than suddenly having blurred frames and non-blurred ones. So e.g. 1/100th of a second.
  6. I concur with Maschwitz's analysis:   http://prolost.com/blog/2013/7/26/the-blackmagic-delays-everyone-saw-coming.html   And yeah, the "Chinese whispers" comment doesn't exactly display deft PR skills. That's, uh, a fairly large market for cameras.
  7. My workflow as of now is to cut in FCPX. I cut with the native capture, whatever that is, and then I take the clips I'm using and bake in Neat Video exporting each to ProRes 422 ("Master file"). I replace the original clips with the Neat ones (sometimes I will bake in "handles" in case I want to tighten up edits later) and can then finish off the rest of post very efficiently without having to wait for the NR to work on every frame.   If they could make an NR system as good as Neat that ran realtime...perhaps on the new Mac Pro with the dual GPUs...my life would be a lot easier. My current fastest setup just does 7fps with a temporal window of 1...less than a third of realtime. A specific batch processor for Neat would be great too, define profiles and presets for a large number of clips and send it off running. What I used to do was just turn it on at the very end but I find it's better to bake it in in the transcoding process overnight and then you can enjoy its benefits throughout grading and VFX and the like without any further delay. Cutting with the native capture is no problem in FCPX, there's no need to transcode for that step and this way I waste no time or processing on clips I'm not going to end up using. Any project that works will have to be changed, and I only want to spend the time noise reducing an entire sequence once, while I sleep. If I have to do quick touchup NR on newly exposed areas fair enough.   Personally I find Neat adds a good $10K to the image quality of any camera for $99. It does not clamp color but allows super whites/blacks. As long as your exposure and white balances are anywhere near the ballpark, and you avoid moire, using Neat plus good grain/dither can fool a lot of people. Another trick I use is luma-specific sharpening after any scaling/repo and before the grain...you want to blur and break up the chroma subsample artifacts, not accentuate them, but maximize luma detail. Bad moire however is just bad...try to get away from moire cameras, and failing that, moire camera placements. Hard to tell when the little LCDs on the cameras moire on their own, but use zoom assist religiously.
  8. To roughly test DR use a gray card in the frame and expose and post process for a defined value of that on your waveform/histogram. Then you will have a consistent baseline from which to measure latitude. You also need to note the gamma being used and normalize for that too. The original capture files and metadata would be useful of course. But this particular test isn't controlled and reproducible because sunlight is highly variable and may have changed drastically from one exposure to another merely by the presence of clouds.   What we need is a proper, scientifically controlled, reproducibly documented, fully independent test site for video as we have for stills (DPreview/DxO, which doesn't entirely meet my listed standards but gets closer than anything else). Then we can happily argue till we're blue in the face about subjective qualities...the objective ones will be established beyond argument.
  9. This is where the saying "The best camera is the one in my hands" comes from...
  10. Andrew they already had a costly recall with the EF mount flange distance problem and if they ship too many pocket units too quickly and have to suffer a major hardware recall (worldwide shipping to and from Oz at their expense) they could lose all profit on the entire project. Especially if refunds are justifiably demanded. They may have production resources but clearly lack enough QA resources and have to restrict and enlist the early adopters as unpaid beta testers.
  11. Lots of fisheye distortion correction plugins cropping up, spurred by the success of the GoPro.   This will help you:   http://www.andersenimages.com/tutorials/hyperfocal/
  12. Can't be the same exposure since the non-blown portions of the image aren't the same value.
  13. What experience do you have with the BMD4K sensor Andrew? You yourself reported today John Brawley (who has the best seat in the house to judge what BMD is doing) says he prefers the old BMCC sensor overall. We heard from a credible source a dealer back that judgment up (OK, potentially sourced from Brawley as well). They haven't gotten the ISO over 400 yet and refuse to post samples. And I've read test reports on that sensor that claim the effective dynamic range is more like 8 stops in global shutter mode. Dismal.   4K res only helps if you're in perfect focus. And the cam apparently only sends out 4K SDI to whatever EVF you might have wanted to assist focus with (how much will it cost to handle that?). Is the peaking so fantastic on that glare-filled unarticulated LCD that you can pull 4K-quality focus on it reliably?   I think Brawley looks out for number 1 quite well. He's not going to lash himself to the BMD mast, he has a career separate from them to preserve from Petty's hard and stealthy marketing. He lets it be known, albeit quietly, what the real truth is, and it's a credit to you that you amplify those reports.
  14. Andrew, if you ban me you'll be banned from all the sites you do the exact same thing on. Fair warning.
  15. The website still says "shipping July" but (all together now, with feeling!) it doesn't mention which year.   http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicproductioncamera4k/   Again I'm going long and betting the 4K camera never ships. The sensor sucks. Even worse than the BMCC.   It's one thing to destroy your reputation for timeliness. But far worse to destroy it for quality!  :o   They have one great product in Resolve and I can only imagine the Resolve guys (who were bought) praying this bizarre camera expedition Petty is on doesn't bring down the company. Scratch is a very powerful alternative (the bicubic filter is very cool...liquefy for video) but the design is a bit old-school like Apple Color was.
  16. Aperture and sensor size combined determine your depth of field and there's nothing you can do about that other than get a smaller sensor camera that will have deeper depth of field for the same aperture but will lose low-light capability and not win you much vs. sticking with your full frame sensor and cranking down the iris to f/11 or so.   When you get really wide like the Samyang 14mm/2.8 you can work hyperfocal, where you get infinity just in focus and everything in front of that to a distance of 1.5m or so will also be in focus. The wider the lens, the deeper the DoF at distance.   Are you worried about diffraction effects going above f/8? I.e. stars on highlights? If you want to knock down the light level, use an ND.   Otherwise I would suppose you'd be a customer for the Lytro.
  17.   Thank you very much for your prompt reportage and refreshing candor. I am disappointed but not surprised about the BMD4K output being worse than the BMCC, this sentiment coming from Brawley as well is the nail in that coffin. They will hold the product for the rest of the year trying to rectify that (perhaps abandoning global shutter) but I'm going to wager now that it's killed by the spring. I.e. no 4K camera from BMD for at least another year, until they can source a better sensor and one hopes create a more ergonomic casing.   I have no doubt the 5D3 has a better picture in more situations than the BMCC. I'm not even sure you need the RAW hack to get there.
  18. With Canon Log, all of it. 100%. With room to spare. There is a slight decrease in color fidelity due to the gamma vs. a linear mapping. But after I run it through Neat Video I can't see banding even on severe grades. Delivery codecs do far, far more damage than Canon Log into uncompressed 8 bit 4:2:2 via the HDMI out. Cinestyle HDMI out on the 5D3 v.1.2.1 is similar but not nearly as good in DR or resolution.   Anyway I've never known you to be arrogant Andrew. 
  19. Poorly done H.264/AVCHD 4:2:0 I will agree is regrettable, which is why I use the Ninja 2 with the C100 when I can. And I'd use it with the 5D3 too though the downsampling on that damages both the HDMI and the ML RAW similarly.   Absolute image quality is a nice-to-have but not a must-have compared to the practical realities of getting the shot in the first place. The C100 ergonomics and low light performance means an awful lot of shots are captured and captured better than they would with a high-ceremony camera. Add the Ninja 2 for direct-to-ProRes and you have a workflow that can actually be operated profitably and sworn by rather than abstractly theorized and sworn at. If you need IQ better than that you rent, full stop. The Alexa that nearly everyone rents is prized more for these practical factors than absolute image quality even though the image quality is outstanding too. Get comfy with a really well designed camera and it's hard to get motivated to complain about the failings of DSLRs and hacks, those are for fun not serious work.   I have the 5D3, with a 1000x card now, but I haven't tested the RAW yet. I use that for stills and as B-cam. I will test the RAW out when I get a multi-camera shoot that allows all that offloading to be justified in practice. That's a rare combination since multi-camera shoots are done for efficiently capturing ongoing events. Most even non-event shoots just aren't like that Andrew, you have moments to grab with a setting sun and lots of impatient people to juggle worrying about other things than IQ. It's not creating slideshow-like collages of nifty found scenes to demonstrate a camera output.   The 5D3's RAW is a good example of "marketing bits:" that camera offers about 11.5 stops (and that only at ISO100) and even in a standard contrast picture style will only use a little over 8 of those 14 bits you are fumbling with cards every ten minutes to preserve. The rest is noise or unused headroom. This is why a good 10-bit implementation for ML RAW would be costless if done well, and save you 30% wasted storage. MJPEG would be even better practically IMO.   I'm all for IQ and progress but I'm all against deceptive marketing and pound-foolishness. 4K 14-stop HFR RAW under $10K RTS will be nice in a couple years; until then there are <$10K RTS solutions that work and <$5K RTS half-measures for curious tinkerers. The extra $5,000 is a matter of whether you're actually doing this or just dipping your toe in.
  20. Some lingo for you: In R&D, "two weeks" equals "we know the issues but don't know how long it will take to fix them." "Three weeks" means "we don't know all the issues and god-only-knows how long it will be." A hard shipping date means R&D is complete and has released to production.
  21. Rec 709, far from a linear mapping, offers 11 stops into 8 bits. Log gammas cram more stops into 8 bits.   I think it's good you don't have a C100+Ninja2 Andrew. You'd wonder why people were still discussing cameras and you'd go make movies instead. But I enjoy the blog and the banter, so keep struggling with half-measures.
  22. The important question on bit depth is are the bits actually used? You could have 12 or even 16 bit output and many of those bits will never carry relevant information due to the inherent DR of the sensor and the gamma being used. These are known as "marketing bits."
  23. Fascinating that the manual includes instructions on replacing the fan (is that so common it's in the manual?) but claims the internal battery is off-limits to users. They really, really don't want you to have exchangeable batteries, but fans? I wonder if the few BMCC productions should carry spares.
  24. No I really think BMD has a staged rollout plan where only the most dedicated enthusiasts get their hands on one and they favor dealers who can handle significant numbers of returns painlessly (like B&H) rather than smaller or far-flung shops where a single return creates a channel hassle. They do this precisely as you surmise because consumer expectations are generally higher than people willing to suffer for their art, so they keep the products scarce while they are still very, uhm...RAW.
  25. An OLPF only works on downsampling sensors, e.g. taking 18MP down to 2MP. The BMCC has a native res sensor, 2.5MP is all you have to work with. The OLPF (from Mosaic or BMD or whoever) will only blur your output, it will not remove moire any better than you could in post (which is not very much at all). Therefore that sensor is stuck with the moire it suffers from; no tricks are available.
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