Jump to content

Bruno

Members
  • Content Count

    742
  • Joined

  • Last visited


Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from richg101 in Crop modes closest to super 16mm   
    That would be awesome considering its image quality, and its sensor is pretty much the same size as S16!
    However, you might get a bunch of errors once you remove the lens, not sure how usable it will be after that, but if you're brave enough to do it, please let us know the results! :)
     
    (if you open it, maybe there's an easy way to just disconnect the lens before actually removing it, so you can see if it would still power up and work in manual mode)
  2. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Zach in Digital Bolex D16 cinema camera gets huge upgrade   
    The cameras already have all they need to record audio: power, storage, processor, even audio recording capabilities, why have all that again in a separate recorder? It's not like we're talking about adding audio to a camera that doesn't have it at all. The main difference in audio quality is down to the quality of the preamps, it doesn't take up more space or more engineering to implement decent audio, it takes a few more expensive components, since the rest is all there already. As far as we know, the audio in this camera could even already be as good as such a device, and the only absurd thing in this post is you picking on something they did well and saying the camera didn't need it just because YOU don't need it, that's not very positive is it?
  3. Like
    Bruno reacted to Andrew Reid in Digital Bolex D16 cinema camera gets huge upgrade   
    I really do believe people need to cut them some slack.
     
    It took a company with a backing of millions of dollars (Red) years to deliver their first camera and it was very late.
     
    These guys have what, $150,000 from Kickstarter? That is peanuts.
     
    They are delivering a camera which does 2.4K from a global shutter for $3000!!!
     
    This will be a fine back-up for the Blackmagic where rolling shutter would be an issue on the BMCC CMOS sensor.
     
    The image quality from the samples so far look great.
     
    The form factor is fine, it is is still a picture making box like all the other cameras. I don't see what is wild and weird about it. The handle comes off and you can rig it up like a DSLR or put it on a tripod. I do prefer the Epic's form factor but there were very few complaints about the original Bolex's form factor, and tons of interesting 16mm stuff was shot with just the handle and nothing else.
  4. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from HurtinMinorKey in Star Wars 3D cancelled   
    I don't think there's a shortage of small, intelligent films at all.
    What seems to be in extinction these days however, are the big, intelligent films!
  5. Like
    Bruno reacted to Dr. John R. Brinkley in Digital Bolex D16 cinema camera gets huge upgrade   
    Having good onboard audio is always a plus. With quality increasing and price dropping the lines have been blurred between what is professional and what is prosumer. I think many of the complaints are not taking into account a perspective outside your own.
     
    I know that many documentarians will love this camera as it has some sense of spirit and life to it, rather than being a dull functional box, and having audio will allow people to be a one man band, which is where everything is headed anyways.
     
    I think the pistol grip is kind of cool. It is an aesthetic allusion to the old home movie cameras. I think most normal non film people would say this camera looks cool and actually looks like a camera, not a hard drive with a hole for a lens.
     
    Also, if you read their blog you will notice that they are taking their time instead of releasing a version that then later needs to be immediately updated, like something Apple would do.
     
    It's hard for me to see anything wrong with this camera. And if it never makes it to market, it will still have an impact because it's another warning shot across the bow of the big camera companies. The market is changing.
  6. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Zach in Digital Bolex D16 cinema camera gets huge upgrade   
    That's all very relative, it wouldn't be that hard to stick a couple of quality preamps in a camera and then add it to the videofile at 24 bit resolution, it's all you need from those devices, a way to plug your xlr mics, power them and measure audio levels, do you think it's that hard to get it right in a camera (if that's the manufacturer's wish)?
     
    When you say "These systems are perfectly fine for film production", I know many audio guys that would argue otherwise, it's like saying that a Canon Rebel is perfectly fine for film production, which it could definitely be. Also you're talking about "film production" when I was talking about "single shooters".
     
    This guy would also disagree:
    http://youtu.be/KKVeBqhXMvM
  7. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Andrew Reid in Digital Bolex D16 cinema camera gets huge upgrade   
    And in this post they didn't mention one of the coolest improvements: full sensor recording, perfect for anamorphic!
  8. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from reboot81 in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    I just bought a Sony DSC-RX100. After a couple years shooting my personal projects on a Canon 7D, I needed something more compact that I could carry with me at all times, and the Sony DSC-RX100 looked like it could be the one. The great reviews, the ability to shoot 1080p at 50fps with a fast Zeiss IS lens, full manual control in video mode, focus peaking and a 16mm sized sensor convinced me to go for it!
     
    My footage shot on the 7D improved quite a lot during the time I've been using it, knowing a camera's strong points and especially its limitations is very important to getting good images out of it, so the first thing I did with the Sony DSC-RX100 was to shoot some tests to help me decide which settings I'll be using when shooting video with it.
     
    Like most people around here I learn so much from online reviews and discussion forums, and those have been a great help deciding my gear purchases, so I'm sharing what I learned from my tests as a way to return the favor and give something back to the community. There's been some good reviews of the Sony DSC-RX100 online, and some useful info spread around the internet, but I think this post will cover a lot of useful information for whoever's interested in this camera for video, and much of this info will also apply for any other similar camera.
     
    I started by turning off all the automatic picture improvement options, as they usually degrade the quality of the image and make it less gradable, then I set the codec to AVCHD at 28mbits and 50p (PS).
     
    SHOOTING MODE
    For video shooting I'd recommend setting the top wheel to video mode and then selecting video-M for manual video shooting
    The RX100 does have a dedicated Movie Recording button, and can shoot video on any Stills mode, but you might get aspect ratio and exposure changes once you hit the Record button in these modes. In video-M mode you'll get what you see on screen.
     
    RECORD SETTINGS
     
    The Sony RX100 can shoot movies in two different formats, MP4 and AVCHD. All MP4 options are below 1080p resolution though, so I won't get into those. In AVCHD mode however, we get 3 different 1080 options:
     
    50i 24M (FX) (50i @ 24Mbps, Blu-Ray AVCHD disc compliant)
    50i 17M (FH) (50i @ 17Mbps, DVD AVCHD disc compliant)
    50p 28M (PS) (50p @ 28Mbps, Progressive Scan)
     
    So it seems like we get 50i at 17Mbps and 24Mbps, and we get 50p at 28Mbps, but not really…
    The 50i mode is actually capturing 25p images out of the sensor and encoding them as 50i footage, this means that we do end up with interlaced footage, but since it was captured progressively, de-interlacing it will produce a clean 25p image!
     
    So if we're looking for the best possible video out of the RX100, we should use 50i 24M for 25fps video and 50p 28M for 50fps video.
    In theory, shooting 50i 24M gives us the best bitrate per frame in this camera, almost twice as much as shooting 50p 28M.
    Shooting 50fps however would have neighboring frames changing less than when shooting 25fps, helping the encoder do a better job, but still the per frame bitrate is lower, and here's a comparison that shows is. If you look at the darker areas in the back where the window is, you'll see that the 50i version is slightly cleaner.
     

     
    Here's an example of something in motion shot at 50i and 50p, the 50i frame was de-interlaced and as you can see there's no interlacing artifacts at all.
     

     
    Considering all of the above, I think it's safe to say that the 50i 24M mode, which is in fact 25p @ 24Mbps, will give you best video quality out of this camera.
      CREATIVE STYLES
    Creative Styles is the RX100's designation for Color Profiles.
    My first test was to choose the flattest Creative Style the camera had to offer, so I shot some footage of all the different styles.
     

     
    After looking at all these different images, I decided to go with the Portrait Creative Style, as it seems to be the flattest of them all.
     
    EXPLORING THE PORTRAIT CREATIVE STYLE
    Each Creative Style has settings for Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness that can be set from -3 to 3, so I shot some more footage using the Portrait Creative Style in a number of different settings.
     

     
    Using the Portrait Creative Style at the minimum settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3) definitely (and obviously) seems to be the flattest style in this camera, but I had to check how well it graded and how it compares to using the default values (Contrast: 0, Saturation: 0, Sharpness: 0).
     

     
    On the top left you have a frame shot using the Portrait Creative Style, with all the settings set to 0, on top right you have a frame shot using the Portrait Creative Style in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3).
    On the bottom right frame I added some sharpness to the flat image, which responded quite well, and on the bottom left frame I added not only sharpness but also increased the Saturation and Contrast in order to match the top left frame (Contrast: 0, Saturation: 0, Sharpness: 0).
    The result is an image that matches in color saturation and contrast, but with a much nicer detail and less compression artifacts. It looks sharper and cleaner overall, which made me decide to use this Creative Style and these settings from now on.
     
    SHOOTING BLACK & WHITE
    The following test is something I've been wanting to do for a while, regardless of the camera. The thinking behind this test was:
     
    "If the camera is compressing B&W footage instead of color footage, maybe it can do a much better job at it since it doesn't have all the color information to process, so even using the same bit rate could give us better results."
     
    Of course I don't know the details on the cameras' inner workings, but assuming the B&W Creative Style is applied BEFORE the footage is compressed to AVCHD, then this should work. Maybe.
     

     
    So I shot some footage using the B&W Creative Style in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3), which you can see on top left, and then some more footage using my new favorite Portrait Creative Style, also in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3).
     
    On the middle left frame, I increased the sharpness and the contrast on the image to make it less flat, and on the middle right frame I did the same, and also desaturated it. As you can see both images are different, since the B&W Creative Style's color conversion is not merely desaturating the image to create a B&W version, it's using a more clever process that also looks better, but anyway, the point here is to test the image compression and figure out which one gives cleaner results, so on the last test frames I increased the exposure by 2 stops to find out how well the images handled it.
    On the bottom left frame you can see how much cleaner the image shot with the B&W Creative Style is, compared with the one shot using the Portrait Creative Style, it's actually beautifully clean and overexposing it by 2 stops didn't show any ugly artifacts at all.
     
    So my conclusion on this one is, if you're shooting for black and white, and you're sure that's the look you'll want (since it's kind of hard to color B&W footage if you change your mind afterwards), then using the B&W Creative Style will give you far superior results!
     
    DYNAMIC RANGE OPTIMIZER
    The Dynamic Range Optimizer works when writing to compressed formats, such as JPG, MP4 or AVCHD. It has no effect when shooting RAW.
    Its purpose is to capture more detail in the areas that are more prone to get lost when using compressed formats, such as dark shadows. It works in the darker areas of the image, making them brighter and producing a flatter image, which makes it easier on the image compression to achieve better results.
    Here's a test scene shot using all the DRO levels available. There's also an Auto Mode, but I suspect it wouldn't give predictable results when shooting manual video.
     

     
    The result is quite clear on every mode. Personally I think 5 is too much and might be actually degrading the image more than it helps, but lower settings definitely look not just useable but very useful in achieving a flat and clean image. I'd say using the DRO in its modes 2 and 3 would definitely help achieving a better flat image. I'll probably leave it at 2 all the time and increase it to 3 in situations with more contrast.
     
    5DtoRGB
    I've used 5DtoRGB on Canon footage since the early beta versions, and I honestly don't understand how come it's not used by everyone. 5DtoRGB features one of the best YCbCr to RGB compression out there, and it's free!!!
    (the Pro version with batch capabilities costs $50 though)
     
    5DtoRGB does a great job improving aliasing and compression artifacts and transcoding to 10-bit Prores (can also transcode do DPX image sequences and DNxHD files), or at least it did with Canon DSLR footage, so I thought I'd try it with the RX100.
     

     
    The top frame is from the original AVCHD file and the bottom frame is from the Prores transcoded file out of 5DtoRGB.
    5DtoRGB automatically changed the Decoding Matrix setting to ITU-R BT.709, so I assume that's the one to use with the RX100 (Canon DSLRs like the 550D, 60D or 7D used the ITU-R BT.601 Decoding Matrix, the 5Dmk3 however used the ITU-R BT.709).
    Looking at it like this there's not much of a difference, so I went looking in the channels.
     

     
    The Red and Green channels looked quite clean in both versions, but looking closely at the Blue channel you can see how 5DtoRGB makes a pretty good job at smoothing out some of the compression blockiness, but mainly smoothing out the aliased lines you get on sharper edges.
    Using 5DtoRGB won't do any miracles, but when shooting to 8 bit compressed codecs, every little bit helps, and using it along with a flat Creative Style will definitely help you getting cleaner and better images.
     
    SHUTTER ANGLE / SHUTTER SPEED
    The Sony DSC-RX100 has the annoying feature of only shooting 50fps (or 60fps on NTSC markets).
    On one hand it's great to be able to shoot 50fps at 1080p, but on the other hand, shooting 25fps at the same bit rate would probably produce better results with less compression.
    One of the advantages of this could be that you'd always have the extra frames in case you needed the slow motion effect, but unfortunately that's not quite the case, since the ideal shutter speed for 25fps real time playback is different than the ideal shutter speed for 25fps slow motion playback.
    If you're planning on shooting for 25fps real time playback, then you should set your shutter to 1/50, but if you intend to shoot for slow motion playback at 25fps, then you should set your shutter speed to 1/100.
     

     
    Using a shutter speed of 1/100 for real time 25fps playback will not give you enough motion blur, and the motion playback will not be as smooth as it should. Also, playing back footage shot at 1/50 shutter speed at 25fps slow motion will have too much motion blur, making its motion look rather fuzzy.
     
     
    Here's a sample file you can download yourself.
    This was shot at AVCHD, 1080 50fps with a shutter speed of 1/50, meant to be used on a 25fps timeline, playing at real time:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8569573/rx100review/RX100videoSample1.mov
     
     
    That's it for now, I really hope it helps some people out. I have some videos I can share later on if you're interested, and I also might update this review with tests of the different Steady Shot modes once I get to them.
    Keep in kind that these are only my findings and personal opinions, it would be great to hear from people with different opinions, or about settings you think would give better results.
     
    Enjoy!
  9. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from jgharding in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    Sounds good, I'll add it to the list!
  10. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from earnesync in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    I just bought a Sony DSC-RX100. After a couple years shooting my personal projects on a Canon 7D, I needed something more compact that I could carry with me at all times, and the Sony DSC-RX100 looked like it could be the one. The great reviews, the ability to shoot 1080p at 50fps with a fast Zeiss IS lens, full manual control in video mode, focus peaking and a 16mm sized sensor convinced me to go for it!
     
    My footage shot on the 7D improved quite a lot during the time I've been using it, knowing a camera's strong points and especially its limitations is very important to getting good images out of it, so the first thing I did with the Sony DSC-RX100 was to shoot some tests to help me decide which settings I'll be using when shooting video with it.
     
    Like most people around here I learn so much from online reviews and discussion forums, and those have been a great help deciding my gear purchases, so I'm sharing what I learned from my tests as a way to return the favor and give something back to the community. There's been some good reviews of the Sony DSC-RX100 online, and some useful info spread around the internet, but I think this post will cover a lot of useful information for whoever's interested in this camera for video, and much of this info will also apply for any other similar camera.
     
    I started by turning off all the automatic picture improvement options, as they usually degrade the quality of the image and make it less gradable, then I set the codec to AVCHD at 28mbits and 50p (PS).
     
    SHOOTING MODE
    For video shooting I'd recommend setting the top wheel to video mode and then selecting video-M for manual video shooting
    The RX100 does have a dedicated Movie Recording button, and can shoot video on any Stills mode, but you might get aspect ratio and exposure changes once you hit the Record button in these modes. In video-M mode you'll get what you see on screen.
     
    RECORD SETTINGS
     
    The Sony RX100 can shoot movies in two different formats, MP4 and AVCHD. All MP4 options are below 1080p resolution though, so I won't get into those. In AVCHD mode however, we get 3 different 1080 options:
     
    50i 24M (FX) (50i @ 24Mbps, Blu-Ray AVCHD disc compliant)
    50i 17M (FH) (50i @ 17Mbps, DVD AVCHD disc compliant)
    50p 28M (PS) (50p @ 28Mbps, Progressive Scan)
     
    So it seems like we get 50i at 17Mbps and 24Mbps, and we get 50p at 28Mbps, but not really…
    The 50i mode is actually capturing 25p images out of the sensor and encoding them as 50i footage, this means that we do end up with interlaced footage, but since it was captured progressively, de-interlacing it will produce a clean 25p image!
     
    So if we're looking for the best possible video out of the RX100, we should use 50i 24M for 25fps video and 50p 28M for 50fps video.
    In theory, shooting 50i 24M gives us the best bitrate per frame in this camera, almost twice as much as shooting 50p 28M.
    Shooting 50fps however would have neighboring frames changing less than when shooting 25fps, helping the encoder do a better job, but still the per frame bitrate is lower, and here's a comparison that shows is. If you look at the darker areas in the back where the window is, you'll see that the 50i version is slightly cleaner.
     

     
    Here's an example of something in motion shot at 50i and 50p, the 50i frame was de-interlaced and as you can see there's no interlacing artifacts at all.
     

     
    Considering all of the above, I think it's safe to say that the 50i 24M mode, which is in fact 25p @ 24Mbps, will give you best video quality out of this camera.
      CREATIVE STYLES
    Creative Styles is the RX100's designation for Color Profiles.
    My first test was to choose the flattest Creative Style the camera had to offer, so I shot some footage of all the different styles.
     

     
    After looking at all these different images, I decided to go with the Portrait Creative Style, as it seems to be the flattest of them all.
     
    EXPLORING THE PORTRAIT CREATIVE STYLE
    Each Creative Style has settings for Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness that can be set from -3 to 3, so I shot some more footage using the Portrait Creative Style in a number of different settings.
     

     
    Using the Portrait Creative Style at the minimum settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3) definitely (and obviously) seems to be the flattest style in this camera, but I had to check how well it graded and how it compares to using the default values (Contrast: 0, Saturation: 0, Sharpness: 0).
     

     
    On the top left you have a frame shot using the Portrait Creative Style, with all the settings set to 0, on top right you have a frame shot using the Portrait Creative Style in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3).
    On the bottom right frame I added some sharpness to the flat image, which responded quite well, and on the bottom left frame I added not only sharpness but also increased the Saturation and Contrast in order to match the top left frame (Contrast: 0, Saturation: 0, Sharpness: 0).
    The result is an image that matches in color saturation and contrast, but with a much nicer detail and less compression artifacts. It looks sharper and cleaner overall, which made me decide to use this Creative Style and these settings from now on.
     
    SHOOTING BLACK & WHITE
    The following test is something I've been wanting to do for a while, regardless of the camera. The thinking behind this test was:
     
    "If the camera is compressing B&W footage instead of color footage, maybe it can do a much better job at it since it doesn't have all the color information to process, so even using the same bit rate could give us better results."
     
    Of course I don't know the details on the cameras' inner workings, but assuming the B&W Creative Style is applied BEFORE the footage is compressed to AVCHD, then this should work. Maybe.
     

     
    So I shot some footage using the B&W Creative Style in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3), which you can see on top left, and then some more footage using my new favorite Portrait Creative Style, also in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3).
     
    On the middle left frame, I increased the sharpness and the contrast on the image to make it less flat, and on the middle right frame I did the same, and also desaturated it. As you can see both images are different, since the B&W Creative Style's color conversion is not merely desaturating the image to create a B&W version, it's using a more clever process that also looks better, but anyway, the point here is to test the image compression and figure out which one gives cleaner results, so on the last test frames I increased the exposure by 2 stops to find out how well the images handled it.
    On the bottom left frame you can see how much cleaner the image shot with the B&W Creative Style is, compared with the one shot using the Portrait Creative Style, it's actually beautifully clean and overexposing it by 2 stops didn't show any ugly artifacts at all.
     
    So my conclusion on this one is, if you're shooting for black and white, and you're sure that's the look you'll want (since it's kind of hard to color B&W footage if you change your mind afterwards), then using the B&W Creative Style will give you far superior results!
     
    DYNAMIC RANGE OPTIMIZER
    The Dynamic Range Optimizer works when writing to compressed formats, such as JPG, MP4 or AVCHD. It has no effect when shooting RAW.
    Its purpose is to capture more detail in the areas that are more prone to get lost when using compressed formats, such as dark shadows. It works in the darker areas of the image, making them brighter and producing a flatter image, which makes it easier on the image compression to achieve better results.
    Here's a test scene shot using all the DRO levels available. There's also an Auto Mode, but I suspect it wouldn't give predictable results when shooting manual video.
     

     
    The result is quite clear on every mode. Personally I think 5 is too much and might be actually degrading the image more than it helps, but lower settings definitely look not just useable but very useful in achieving a flat and clean image. I'd say using the DRO in its modes 2 and 3 would definitely help achieving a better flat image. I'll probably leave it at 2 all the time and increase it to 3 in situations with more contrast.
     
    5DtoRGB
    I've used 5DtoRGB on Canon footage since the early beta versions, and I honestly don't understand how come it's not used by everyone. 5DtoRGB features one of the best YCbCr to RGB compression out there, and it's free!!!
    (the Pro version with batch capabilities costs $50 though)
     
    5DtoRGB does a great job improving aliasing and compression artifacts and transcoding to 10-bit Prores (can also transcode do DPX image sequences and DNxHD files), or at least it did with Canon DSLR footage, so I thought I'd try it with the RX100.
     

     
    The top frame is from the original AVCHD file and the bottom frame is from the Prores transcoded file out of 5DtoRGB.
    5DtoRGB automatically changed the Decoding Matrix setting to ITU-R BT.709, so I assume that's the one to use with the RX100 (Canon DSLRs like the 550D, 60D or 7D used the ITU-R BT.601 Decoding Matrix, the 5Dmk3 however used the ITU-R BT.709).
    Looking at it like this there's not much of a difference, so I went looking in the channels.
     

     
    The Red and Green channels looked quite clean in both versions, but looking closely at the Blue channel you can see how 5DtoRGB makes a pretty good job at smoothing out some of the compression blockiness, but mainly smoothing out the aliased lines you get on sharper edges.
    Using 5DtoRGB won't do any miracles, but when shooting to 8 bit compressed codecs, every little bit helps, and using it along with a flat Creative Style will definitely help you getting cleaner and better images.
     
    SHUTTER ANGLE / SHUTTER SPEED
    The Sony DSC-RX100 has the annoying feature of only shooting 50fps (or 60fps on NTSC markets).
    On one hand it's great to be able to shoot 50fps at 1080p, but on the other hand, shooting 25fps at the same bit rate would probably produce better results with less compression.
    One of the advantages of this could be that you'd always have the extra frames in case you needed the slow motion effect, but unfortunately that's not quite the case, since the ideal shutter speed for 25fps real time playback is different than the ideal shutter speed for 25fps slow motion playback.
    If you're planning on shooting for 25fps real time playback, then you should set your shutter to 1/50, but if you intend to shoot for slow motion playback at 25fps, then you should set your shutter speed to 1/100.
     

     
    Using a shutter speed of 1/100 for real time 25fps playback will not give you enough motion blur, and the motion playback will not be as smooth as it should. Also, playing back footage shot at 1/50 shutter speed at 25fps slow motion will have too much motion blur, making its motion look rather fuzzy.
     
     
    Here's a sample file you can download yourself.
    This was shot at AVCHD, 1080 50fps with a shutter speed of 1/50, meant to be used on a 25fps timeline, playing at real time:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8569573/rx100review/RX100videoSample1.mov
     
     
    That's it for now, I really hope it helps some people out. I have some videos I can share later on if you're interested, and I also might update this review with tests of the different Steady Shot modes once I get to them.
    Keep in kind that these are only my findings and personal opinions, it would be great to hear from people with different opinions, or about settings you think would give better results.
     
    Enjoy!
  11. Like
    Bruno reacted to Bruno in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    It also shoots MP4 files, but not at its highest bit rate, and not progressive, so if you wan the best quality it needs to be AVCHD.
    For these tests I rewrapped the AVCHD files as Quicktime movies using ClipWrap, but for proper work I'll be using 5DtoRGB and transcoding to Prores.
  12. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Taxrummawoodo in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    I just bought a Sony DSC-RX100. After a couple years shooting my personal projects on a Canon 7D, I needed something more compact that I could carry with me at all times, and the Sony DSC-RX100 looked like it could be the one. The great reviews, the ability to shoot 1080p at 50fps with a fast Zeiss IS lens, full manual control in video mode, focus peaking and a 16mm sized sensor convinced me to go for it!
     
    My footage shot on the 7D improved quite a lot during the time I've been using it, knowing a camera's strong points and especially its limitations is very important to getting good images out of it, so the first thing I did with the Sony DSC-RX100 was to shoot some tests to help me decide which settings I'll be using when shooting video with it.
     
    Like most people around here I learn so much from online reviews and discussion forums, and those have been a great help deciding my gear purchases, so I'm sharing what I learned from my tests as a way to return the favor and give something back to the community. There's been some good reviews of the Sony DSC-RX100 online, and some useful info spread around the internet, but I think this post will cover a lot of useful information for whoever's interested in this camera for video, and much of this info will also apply for any other similar camera.
     
    I started by turning off all the automatic picture improvement options, as they usually degrade the quality of the image and make it less gradable, then I set the codec to AVCHD at 28mbits and 50p (PS).
     
    SHOOTING MODE
    For video shooting I'd recommend setting the top wheel to video mode and then selecting video-M for manual video shooting
    The RX100 does have a dedicated Movie Recording button, and can shoot video on any Stills mode, but you might get aspect ratio and exposure changes once you hit the Record button in these modes. In video-M mode you'll get what you see on screen.
     
    RECORD SETTINGS
     
    The Sony RX100 can shoot movies in two different formats, MP4 and AVCHD. All MP4 options are below 1080p resolution though, so I won't get into those. In AVCHD mode however, we get 3 different 1080 options:
     
    50i 24M (FX) (50i @ 24Mbps, Blu-Ray AVCHD disc compliant)
    50i 17M (FH) (50i @ 17Mbps, DVD AVCHD disc compliant)
    50p 28M (PS) (50p @ 28Mbps, Progressive Scan)
     
    So it seems like we get 50i at 17Mbps and 24Mbps, and we get 50p at 28Mbps, but not really…
    The 50i mode is actually capturing 25p images out of the sensor and encoding them as 50i footage, this means that we do end up with interlaced footage, but since it was captured progressively, de-interlacing it will produce a clean 25p image!
     
    So if we're looking for the best possible video out of the RX100, we should use 50i 24M for 25fps video and 50p 28M for 50fps video.
    In theory, shooting 50i 24M gives us the best bitrate per frame in this camera, almost twice as much as shooting 50p 28M.
    Shooting 50fps however would have neighboring frames changing less than when shooting 25fps, helping the encoder do a better job, but still the per frame bitrate is lower, and here's a comparison that shows is. If you look at the darker areas in the back where the window is, you'll see that the 50i version is slightly cleaner.
     

     
    Here's an example of something in motion shot at 50i and 50p, the 50i frame was de-interlaced and as you can see there's no interlacing artifacts at all.
     

     
    Considering all of the above, I think it's safe to say that the 50i 24M mode, which is in fact 25p @ 24Mbps, will give you best video quality out of this camera.
      CREATIVE STYLES
    Creative Styles is the RX100's designation for Color Profiles.
    My first test was to choose the flattest Creative Style the camera had to offer, so I shot some footage of all the different styles.
     

     
    After looking at all these different images, I decided to go with the Portrait Creative Style, as it seems to be the flattest of them all.
     
    EXPLORING THE PORTRAIT CREATIVE STYLE
    Each Creative Style has settings for Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness that can be set from -3 to 3, so I shot some more footage using the Portrait Creative Style in a number of different settings.
     

     
    Using the Portrait Creative Style at the minimum settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3) definitely (and obviously) seems to be the flattest style in this camera, but I had to check how well it graded and how it compares to using the default values (Contrast: 0, Saturation: 0, Sharpness: 0).
     

     
    On the top left you have a frame shot using the Portrait Creative Style, with all the settings set to 0, on top right you have a frame shot using the Portrait Creative Style in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3).
    On the bottom right frame I added some sharpness to the flat image, which responded quite well, and on the bottom left frame I added not only sharpness but also increased the Saturation and Contrast in order to match the top left frame (Contrast: 0, Saturation: 0, Sharpness: 0).
    The result is an image that matches in color saturation and contrast, but with a much nicer detail and less compression artifacts. It looks sharper and cleaner overall, which made me decide to use this Creative Style and these settings from now on.
     
    SHOOTING BLACK & WHITE
    The following test is something I've been wanting to do for a while, regardless of the camera. The thinking behind this test was:
     
    "If the camera is compressing B&W footage instead of color footage, maybe it can do a much better job at it since it doesn't have all the color information to process, so even using the same bit rate could give us better results."
     
    Of course I don't know the details on the cameras' inner workings, but assuming the B&W Creative Style is applied BEFORE the footage is compressed to AVCHD, then this should work. Maybe.
     

     
    So I shot some footage using the B&W Creative Style in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3), which you can see on top left, and then some more footage using my new favorite Portrait Creative Style, also in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3).
     
    On the middle left frame, I increased the sharpness and the contrast on the image to make it less flat, and on the middle right frame I did the same, and also desaturated it. As you can see both images are different, since the B&W Creative Style's color conversion is not merely desaturating the image to create a B&W version, it's using a more clever process that also looks better, but anyway, the point here is to test the image compression and figure out which one gives cleaner results, so on the last test frames I increased the exposure by 2 stops to find out how well the images handled it.
    On the bottom left frame you can see how much cleaner the image shot with the B&W Creative Style is, compared with the one shot using the Portrait Creative Style, it's actually beautifully clean and overexposing it by 2 stops didn't show any ugly artifacts at all.
     
    So my conclusion on this one is, if you're shooting for black and white, and you're sure that's the look you'll want (since it's kind of hard to color B&W footage if you change your mind afterwards), then using the B&W Creative Style will give you far superior results!
     
    DYNAMIC RANGE OPTIMIZER
    The Dynamic Range Optimizer works when writing to compressed formats, such as JPG, MP4 or AVCHD. It has no effect when shooting RAW.
    Its purpose is to capture more detail in the areas that are more prone to get lost when using compressed formats, such as dark shadows. It works in the darker areas of the image, making them brighter and producing a flatter image, which makes it easier on the image compression to achieve better results.
    Here's a test scene shot using all the DRO levels available. There's also an Auto Mode, but I suspect it wouldn't give predictable results when shooting manual video.
     

     
    The result is quite clear on every mode. Personally I think 5 is too much and might be actually degrading the image more than it helps, but lower settings definitely look not just useable but very useful in achieving a flat and clean image. I'd say using the DRO in its modes 2 and 3 would definitely help achieving a better flat image. I'll probably leave it at 2 all the time and increase it to 3 in situations with more contrast.
     
    5DtoRGB
    I've used 5DtoRGB on Canon footage since the early beta versions, and I honestly don't understand how come it's not used by everyone. 5DtoRGB features one of the best YCbCr to RGB compression out there, and it's free!!!
    (the Pro version with batch capabilities costs $50 though)
     
    5DtoRGB does a great job improving aliasing and compression artifacts and transcoding to 10-bit Prores (can also transcode do DPX image sequences and DNxHD files), or at least it did with Canon DSLR footage, so I thought I'd try it with the RX100.
     

     
    The top frame is from the original AVCHD file and the bottom frame is from the Prores transcoded file out of 5DtoRGB.
    5DtoRGB automatically changed the Decoding Matrix setting to ITU-R BT.709, so I assume that's the one to use with the RX100 (Canon DSLRs like the 550D, 60D or 7D used the ITU-R BT.601 Decoding Matrix, the 5Dmk3 however used the ITU-R BT.709).
    Looking at it like this there's not much of a difference, so I went looking in the channels.
     

     
    The Red and Green channels looked quite clean in both versions, but looking closely at the Blue channel you can see how 5DtoRGB makes a pretty good job at smoothing out some of the compression blockiness, but mainly smoothing out the aliased lines you get on sharper edges.
    Using 5DtoRGB won't do any miracles, but when shooting to 8 bit compressed codecs, every little bit helps, and using it along with a flat Creative Style will definitely help you getting cleaner and better images.
     
    SHUTTER ANGLE / SHUTTER SPEED
    The Sony DSC-RX100 has the annoying feature of only shooting 50fps (or 60fps on NTSC markets).
    On one hand it's great to be able to shoot 50fps at 1080p, but on the other hand, shooting 25fps at the same bit rate would probably produce better results with less compression.
    One of the advantages of this could be that you'd always have the extra frames in case you needed the slow motion effect, but unfortunately that's not quite the case, since the ideal shutter speed for 25fps real time playback is different than the ideal shutter speed for 25fps slow motion playback.
    If you're planning on shooting for 25fps real time playback, then you should set your shutter to 1/50, but if you intend to shoot for slow motion playback at 25fps, then you should set your shutter speed to 1/100.
     

     
    Using a shutter speed of 1/100 for real time 25fps playback will not give you enough motion blur, and the motion playback will not be as smooth as it should. Also, playing back footage shot at 1/50 shutter speed at 25fps slow motion will have too much motion blur, making its motion look rather fuzzy.
     
     
    Here's a sample file you can download yourself.
    This was shot at AVCHD, 1080 50fps with a shutter speed of 1/50, meant to be used on a 25fps timeline, playing at real time:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8569573/rx100review/RX100videoSample1.mov
     
     
    That's it for now, I really hope it helps some people out. I have some videos I can share later on if you're interested, and I also might update this review with tests of the different Steady Shot modes once I get to them.
    Keep in kind that these are only my findings and personal opinions, it would be great to hear from people with different opinions, or about settings you think would give better results.
     
    Enjoy!
  13. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from jgharding in Automatic movie restart is disabled in future versions of Magic Lantern due to legal uncertainty   
    Canon and everyone else need to see the potential in this and open up their cameras for 3rd party apps.
    Some consumer cameras already support Android apps, I'd love to see professional cameras go the same route.
    Imagine if the BMCC supported 3rd party apps, no one would be complaining about the lack of audio meters and tools as you'd probably be able to choose between a bunch of different audio metering apps. Same goes for every single software feature request, they would only have to worry about doing a solid camera with a good SDK, and the rest would be taken care of by third party developers. Also, different users want different things, and the way one feature is implemented might be perfect for one user but totally backwards for another user, this way we'd have options, just look at how many photography apps are out there for the iPhone, and compare what they do to what the standard Camera app does. There's no reason every single camera couldn't be like this.
  14. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Sean Cunningham in Is 3D really dead again or just resting?   
    Someone from a big cinema at Leicester square told me they don't run the lamps as bright as they should in 3D movies so they last longer, since they're so expensive, so there you go, it's all about the money. Ones make 3D films because of money, the others project them darker because of the money, same old same old.
  15. Like
    Bruno reacted to ScreensPro in Why I think Canon have forgotten the indie filmmaker   
    The point you raised is that Canon have priced you out of making your project... Forcing you to either choose talent in front of the camera, or features in your camera.
     
    I put forward the counter argument that Canon have already created a budget indie camera that shot Shane's film and made him a good income and received praise from critics and viewers alike. In fact, they added a better codec, better low light, less aliasing and moire in their 5DIII upgrade.
     
    Face it, Canon have provided cameras that any indie film maker could shoot a watchable film on, if they have the script and talent.... prices from $500 to $30,000.
     
    I'm sure we'd all prefer more features.. resolution, dr etc.. and we'd all prefer things to be cheaper.... But the art of making an indie project succeed is to find ways around such problems and use your talents and script to drag people into the art.
     
    Anyone sat on a script thinking they need to wait to shoot it in 4K, or with 14 stops DR, or must have raw, or must have x lens are just wasting their own time.
     
    If you have a good script, buy a D800, a 5DIII, a 6D, a GH3... hell, grab a 2nd hand GH2 or 5DII.... Learn to light your scene and get pristine audio... and go do
  16. Like
    Bruno reacted to ScreensPro in Why I think Canon have forgotten the indie filmmaker   
    I'd ask why Panasonic, Sony and Nikon haven't even made a 4K DSLR, rather than bashing Canon for making it happen, but out pricing you.
     
    At least Canon have one on the market. If resolution is that important to your film making, shouldn't they be applauded for getting the ball rolling? It is still the cheapest (by some way) 4K solution on the market.
     
    As this article mentions Shane, you realise his film, "act of valor", shot on the 5DII, grossed millions and was well accepted by the film goers and critics? No one was sat moaning about it not being 4K.... They were just engrossed by the film.
     
    It seems to me that feature lust and pricing might be being used as an excuse by people to not just go out and shoot a project.
  17. Like
    Bruno reacted to QuickHitRecord in Why I think Canon have forgotten the indie filmmaker   
    I just wrapped a shoot with a rented C100. I can't comment on the footage yet as I have not seen it (obviously the recording codec has its limitations), but I was surprised by how much I loved the design of the camera. It was intuitive and handled beautifully and had everything that I needed within easy access, much more than the FS100, AF100, probably the BlackMagic and certainly moreso than any ENG-type camera I have ever used. By the look of it, the C300 and the C500 are the same. Based on this experience alone, I believe that Canon is still in the game even though I can't afford to own one of these cameras for personal projects.
     
    I believe that the "Democratization of Filmmaking" has already happened, and now we're just clamoring for slight IQ improvements. I've been caught up in it like so many others, but I'm trying to direct that energy towards shooting more stuff and building my skill set. The improvements will come sooner rather than later. But if I can't tell a story with a GH2 or a 5DIII, then those improvements will be lost on me when they get here.
  18. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from ScreensPro in 1D X has traces of 1D C firmware but Magic Lantern 'will never touch 1D series' as Canon threatens potential hackers with legal trouble   
    I'm not voting against anything, I'm speaking my mind, which is a problem around here every time the opinions differ from your own.
     
    Having an online community that promotes hacking cameras to "steal" features from higher end cameras without paying for them is what will hurt our community's interests and credibility. As was mentioned by many different people before, that's a common practice with so many different pieces of hardware, but you're biased against Canon as usual and you won't listen.
     
    I never said I think the price is right, I've mentioned several times before they should lower the prices on all their C series of cameras to at least half if they want to be taken seriously by the indie community, but that's a different story, and maybe it does show they don't care much about the indie community, and we should just move on, but these rants about missing features are pointless.
  19. Like
    Bruno reacted to chauffeurdevan in 1D X has traces of 1D C firmware but Magic Lantern 'will never touch 1D series' as Canon threatens potential hackers with legal trouble   
    I simply disagree, on about every point.
     
    First, the price should not be set on production (and must never be the only parameter on price settings. Even more, this is not a product from mass production. When marketing a product like that, the thinking is not of creating a bestseller - you should not set it a price low enough that is will sell five times more. It will cause more problem and more loses on medium/long term than the there is benefits to. Why ? Manufacturing.
     
    This camera is produced in small quantity. There is a small part of a factory dedicated to it. If your price is too low to be true and you sell much more than you can currently produce, your first problem will be the same problem as with the Black Magic Cinema Camera, a lot of unsatisfied people waiting way too long for it (however on the bmcc the price/quality is way too good for customers to be too much of a problem). So what's now ? You wan't to increase production. How do you do it ? You reduce the production of another camera to replace it with this one ? This is a high end camera so you are not reducing whatever Powershot manufacturing line to do it, so you'ill probably use the 5D line, but is it a good solution ? I don't think so. If not, maybe you can create a new factory, train new people just for a few thousands cameras (that is less profitable cause you reduced the price, remember ?)
     
    Also, I don't consider not exploiting the full ability of a component, crippling. It is in fact maximizing the manufacturing process by reducing the pieces count to a minimum as you reuse them in many products. That maximization help cutting the cost, that reduce the price at the end for the consumer. (12k for a 4k camera, how much was it 5 years ago ?) Does the iPhone 4S really that different from an iPod Touch to cost 2.5x more ?
     
    As for firmware. I believe that software can be sold to whatever price. Be it a single line of code, or thousands of classes and functions. There is a lot of software that is using the same exact code for the free version than the Pro version that sells for many thousands. It executes in a different way cause in the serial you set a 3 instead of a 4. I really do think that the 1DC is different enough, and the added value (yes, I'm talking about you, single line of code) gives a much more interesting product than the 1DX - Which camera for less than 12k gives you 4k 4:2:2 8bit (that you can convert to 1080p 12bit 4:4:4 !) Will I buy no. I'm not DP, just an Art Director. Would I buy it for 6k ? Hell no, if they sell it at 6k, I want Sony to sell its new F5 at 6k also !
  20. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Zach in Zoom h1 and canon t2i question..   
    24 bits will help if you need to do any post to the audio, even when just bringing the levels up.
    It's the equivalent of having more dynamic range in your image.
  21. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from nahua in The Hobbit HFR Review - my verdict on 48 frames per second   
    The "audience" argument is very relative, as it can be great but it can also completely ruin the experience.
     
    As for bashing popcorn movies, speaking for myself, even though I'd rather have 10 Moonrise Kingdoms a year than a Battleship as I said before, my problem is not with the popcorn movies, my problem is with BAD popcorn movies.
     
    There's something people seem to have forgotten when defending popcorn movies, which is the fact that POCORN MOVIES DON'T HAVE TO BE BAD MOVIES.
     
    In order to enjoy a blockbuster movie these days you need to check your brain at the door and not ever question or even think about anything you've seen. You're just expected to drool and go "wow" multiple times and then forget all about it. And repeat. Every single big movie I've watched lately has had massive plot holes, ridiculous characters and silly repetitive stories, and most people act like that's ok "it's just a popcorn movie". Well it's not ok!
     
    The first Indiana Jones movies were great, so was Big Trouble in Little China, or Back To The Future...
    These were all popcorn movies, good ones too. Back To The Future is extremely clever, I don't see anything like it in present day blockbusters, instead I see the same ideas from the highest grossing films being recycled over and over again, that's what producers want in their movies, the same exact sequences they saw in movies that made a lot of money.
     
    Pirates of the Caribbean was a great popcorn movie, a huge surprise to me, but then the sequels were just awful. Why? Because they didn't have anything else to say. They weren't driven by a new idea to advance the saga, they were driven by the money made by the first movie.
     
    I just watched the trailer for GI Joe 2, not that I was expecting it to be remotely good, but seriously, why bother? Every single shot in there has been done several times before just in the last few years. You could cut that exact same trailer using only stuff from other recent blockbusters.
     
    The case with The Hobbit and so many others nowadays is that it's just a technical showcase, 48fps and 4k were driving the making of the film, the story wasn't. Back in the day, they were inventing new techniques and tools in order to tell the story of Star Wars, these days it's the other way round, story is not driving these movies at all, it probably even gets in their way.
  22. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Sean Cunningham in The Hobbit HFR Review - my verdict on 48 frames per second   
    Totally agree, he might have felt some studio pressure in the first LOTS movies, but not after that, and then he just lost it.
    Like Zemeckis and Cameron before him, he got obsessed with the technical side of things, which didn't necessarily have to be a bad thing if done right. David Fincher can be extremely technical, but he's always done it in favor of the story he's telling, that's not the case with Zemeckis' mocap adventures or Peter Jackson's 48fps madness.
  23. Like
    Bruno reacted to jgharding in 48p The Hobbit - British and American critics verdict   
    HAHAHAHA
     
    [img]http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/6050494_700b.jpg[/img]
  24. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from jgharding in 48p The Hobbit - British and American critics verdict   
    When you watch King Kong or The Lovely Bones, it's quite clear that what PJ needed to make them good films was not 3D, 4K or 48fps...
     
    This is a gimmick, whether it sticks or not. We need to get used to these massive blockbuster films as roller coaster rides, entertainment events, call it what you want, but there's serious films and then there's these. It's not good or bad, it's what it is, and the truth is that the great majority of people go for these ones, and not for The Master or Moonrise Kingdom.
     
    These films employ many thousands of people and make billions, they help move the industry forward, and they help finance smaller and more important/serious films too, they do have their place in the industry, regardless of what they mean to me or any conservative film fan, many of the technologies developed for these films end up making smaller productions possible.
     
    With regards to 48fps, I hope it doesn't stick, because I think it just doesn't look good at all, I'd hate to see filmmaking in general get pushed in that direction.
    As I said before, 48fps could be easily achieved on film ages ago, and there's a reason why it didn't go there. Someone said it was for budget reasons, well I don't think that's the case in films like these, the film costs are nothing in a production of this size, shooting on super35 at 48fps would probably not be any more expensive than shooting vista vision, and so many big productions have been shot on vista vision, because it did look better! 48fps didn't.
     
    Jackson and Cameron are becoming very technically driven, and in a way even technically obsessed, without necessarily doing it in favor of the story. Using this technology/gimmick/novelty/whatever on a franchise which look was established on traditional film at 24fps not that long ago, might not be the greatest idea...
     
    Btw, I was reading a bunch of reviews the other day and thought it was quite alarming when two different reviewers compared the action sequences to Benny Hill! Don't think that's what they were going for at all, even though the singing in the trailer made me chuckle too.
  25. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Zach in 48p The Hobbit - British and American critics verdict   
    It became a trilogy a few weeks ago :)
×
×
  • Create New...