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Everything posted by Policar

  1. The C100 Mk II is sharper than the Alexa (1080p mode vs 1080p mode, but even upscaled to 2k it is arguably sharper, especially if you have an external recorder). The Alexa's 4k is "smoother" and has more resolution, however, and is the best image available affordably. It's nowhere near as good a camera, but not on the basis of sharpness. I cut between the CX00 and Alexa all the time and part of Canon's more "video" look is its sharper image (more pixels on the sensor and a sharper downscaling algorithm). I would suggest you did something wrong in post if that's your concern. Other concerns (lack of DR, lack of timecode sync) are worthy of consideration.
  2. Don't be too cynical. Friends have gotten wavers that led to acceptances (at Sundance). Friends have gotten rejected from Sundance but into SXSW to get into Sundance and win best film and be nominated for Oscars. I have had many friends with major awards at Sundance and all without deep connections, except one thing that connects their films–excellence. And now they have more than that, they have opportunity. It's a club. Outsiders have difficulty joining. But I doubt if most of us posted our best work, we'd be Sundance-caliber. If your work is, apply!!!
  3. Agreed. He was the greatest voice on the site. But I also feel that if he was at odds with it, he might be better off articulating his voice in a more meaningful medium, like film.
  4. That's too bad. He seemed smart and passionate and had his own aesthetic views. I always liked the t2i, too. I did my best work with that camera. I hope he translates his enthusiasm into storytelling and making a short and if he's exiled from this site he forgets its fixation on quantitative metrics. He's honest–too honest. And if too much honesty gets you banned while sociophatic dishonesty gives you empathy, well... I suppose it's good the best of us was banned. He won't get scammed by a sociopath. I hope he forgets it all and makes the next Tiny Furniture. The first step is living a life interesting enough to make a film about. That life isn't lived here. Godspeed, Zach. Wherever you are. I look forward to your opus, but think big. The world is huge. Or think small. Our basest emotions run more in common with other people than we ever dare to admit... Admit it–publicly–and you hit a chord.
  5. This sounds about right. Good on Slamdance, though! Of course, that's the one festival that I submitted to that rejected my short but offered a fee waiver in the future. Haha...
  6. This is a great question. Walter Murch told me that the first time he watches the footage he treats pretty sacredly and he just tries to not think about anything like structure prematurely. He's editing it for someone whose first impression is key (the audience) so he holds his first impression with respect. He'll observe his emotional response to footage, then try to work around the right emotion, stringing the rest together, and making compromises for continuity etc. along the way. There's no map of the coverage. It's just wow that show has emotion. We'll use it. If you're not prepared to throw it all out (not all of it, but any given shot), hire an editor. I mean you need some structure to get things done reasonably quickly so chances are you won't throw every single good shot out. But never consider the time on set because then you'll feel you need to do penance in post spending equally as much time making it work when you can just... delete... Getting notes can help. When I feel like I'm up my own ass I get notes. Someone recommended getting client notes often so they feel like they're on the same page. As soon as it's presentable, but make sure it's presentable. For personal work, if I watch something with family members in particular (they're usually by some margin the most critical audience, I've found) I can tell when something is working and it isn't. But they're usually so mean I just give up so I only show them the best stuff and instead I ask friends who offer more constructive criticism generally.
  7. You can customize Canon's scene file settings using the given gamma curves and matrices from standard, cinema, wide dr, eos, and canon log to create customized looks and with quite a lot of power (adjusting each color's relative balance, gamma, IRE clipping point, knee, noise reduction, sharpening, etc.). However cinema locked is... locked. And I just use those settings. It is undoubtedly the best gamma I've used for getting an image with decent dynamic range and tonality from an 8 bit signal.
  8. Until it has Canon Log it's not a useful professional video camera, though. Canon Log has a two stop push to protect highlights and delivers nearly 12 stops of DR (vs 7-9 on other Canon dSLRs, including the 1DX II) and is leagues ahead of technicolor's horrible look. The sensor might be great, but it's a stills-only camera so far as anyone serious about "cinematic" video is concerned. For sports it could be okay... The 1DC seems nice. Canon Log etc. but still no "cinema" or "video" features as regards ergonomics so kitting it out makes it big and expensive. I mean how do you focus and meter with that thing. This doesn't mean you'll get bad results and the images you posted of the Brighton pier are very nice, you have a good eye clearly, but they were taken under unchallenging lighting conditions and that's just a photogenic area (I used to spend a lot of time there). But under challenging conditions your DR will be severely capped in the highlights and clients might want flexible footage you can't provide. But for personal use it delivers a nice image it seems and the stills capability is awesome. Those are really nice shots, better than what I was shooting when I lived in Brighton. When I say "professional" I mean it more as a derogatory term than anything. Amateurs are free to do what they want, pros (especially those using ultra low end cameras) are delivering to clients, who are typically clueless. More accurate might be hacks and artists than pros and amateurs and this site is definitely more geared towards artists and tinkerers...
  9. Edit: noticed that was from the Q7 via raw. That could make a big difference running through the Q7 if you set everything just right. More money there but it could be a great option for those who are okay with the cost and ergonomics.
  10. That video doesn't look bad (it doesn't look great either, it could be from anything), but those are literally the least challenging conditions imaginable. Let's try mixed lighting. Looking at her hair you can see there might be chroma clipping until challenging light but it's hard to know. I wouldn't go for that camera, at least not without Sony's Alexa emulation LUT (can that be installed on the FS5? it is literally the saving grace of the F5 and F55 because chroma clipping cannot be graded out and it solves it completely in camera). And the codec is still a bit weak from what I've seen. Someone sitting and not moving in a well lit environment won't stress it, but I was surprised even the F5 did not have a strong enough codec to completely transform the image in post. Bottom two stops are very gnarly, needs to be rated at 800-1000 ISO base to function then DR is no better than C300. Also the C100 Mk 1's viewfinder is hot garbage. Useable is a very very generous term. The viewfinder with a loupe is 10X better but isn't that what we were trying to get away from when we spend $6000k instead of $600? Regarding the above, the 2.5k black magic (haven't used the 4.6k yet) has a nice clean image that cuts well with the Alexa but the rest of the line is not great in terms of IQ. But if you kit that camera out to be production ready it's more expensive than a Canon. Their 4k sensor is rather bad. Like... yikes level. This is only advice for the original poster. If you like a video look and/or have a lot of time in post or are on the aggressive LUT covering up natural color train and need 240fps then the FS5 will blow your mind, but for someone who's looking to get a neutral Alexa-like look and doing just regular narrative/doc primarily, the Canons and Black Magic 2.5k are the next best thing.
  11. Except that the FS5 has a bad, buggy image with weird video colors in a codec that's too thin to fix them. But other than that. Yeah. Maybe with some firmware updates and external recorders it'll be great (the FS7 is pretty great), but it isn't now. Honest question, can you load Sony's F5 film and Alexa emulation LUTs on the FS5? These are awesome and everyone shooting Sony should be using them. Big improvement, completely changes what's possible because the chroma clipping makes those cameras near unusable under some lighting with out of the box settings and with these at least you get a starting point that's really cinematic and workable and with a strong codec you can get a very good image with some work in post. The deal killer on the C100 is the horrible EVF and no 60fps. If you use an EVF enough that a loupe on the LCD won't cut it or shoot 60fps and slow motion... really at all (there's a surprisingly okay 60i to 60p to 24fps slow motion Compressor workflow... Compressor's motion estimation deinterlacing is better than any other... but it's unusably slow and like... come on... no one is doing this unless they're truly desperate) it's not much of a choice. I'd spend the extra but I don't know your financial situation or your clients' needs.
  12. Agreed, granted I don't know much about this but particularly with a larger sensor I'd think a leaf shutter would be far preferable. If I recall only the Pentax 67 among 6x6 and larger SLRs had a film plane shutter and it caused softness from being so big and inducing camera shake. The mirror slap was intense on my RZ67 and the Hasselblads, so I guess that's a bigger issue, but I think the motion from the shutter is less and the flash sync superior. Mamiya 7 is still my dream camera. That's what I thought of when I saw this. What's your preference for film plane shutters? Just curious. Especially with no mirror a leaf shutter seems way better, way better/faster for flash sync, too. Imo way preferable for something like this but again it's been a while since I was shooting MF and I'm a novice at it.
  13. Your inability to expose and grade shouldn't have any bearing on anyone else's purchase. The GH4 has maybe 10-11 stops of DR; Nikons 9-10; the C300 has 12, on par with the Red MX, but below the F5, FS7, AS7, and Dragon (if shot at 5000K+, it's worse than the rest with tungsten). If you had trouble shooting and grading so you could access the information (you'll lose the entire advantage if you treat super whites incorrectly and accidentally clip them or apply an S curve instead of hard clipping at the bottom and a life on the gamma and gain, unlike true LOG) that's fine, but for someone with extensive experience in post (like the original poster and myself), you will get far more dynamic range out of the cinema camera. And its weakest point is DR. The ergonomics are really easy to use after a week or two. There are more buttons, but each is mapped to a function, unlike the vast menus of dSLRs (which I find confusing, I even find the Amira more confusing than the Alexa, though, to be fair). But "I tried a professional camera and couldn't figure it out" is no reason to dismiss it. The viewfinder on the Mk I is the worst thing ever, though, I'll give you that. And it doesn't make exposing easy. I use a 758 cine and have had good luck with that, and after learning the waveform monitor I can expose competently without an external meter. If you're having trouble exposing, I suggest calibrating your meter; the sekonics are often off by as much as a half stop and, to be fair, the internal codec appreciates a little overexposure so it can be tricky.
  14. Another vote for the C100 Mk II. Far better image quality than the 5D RAW (and black magic for what that's worth) and best in class ergonomics if you like a pineapple/dSLR rig. I too work 95% with Alexa footage (in post), mostly network/tier one cable, advertorial, and indie features, and have found the C100 and C300 to be the best b cameras and I have shot everything out there. I recently rented my C100 kit to the studio where I worked (I would use it as a B camera for their Alexa, after grading we couldn't tell the difference, but the image is much thinner on the Canon, must be exposed much more carefully, and we had an external recorder and frankly I know how to expose correctly as I grew up on 4x5 slide film) and it was their choice and the DP's choice for Alexa B camera. Where I often work now shoots Alexa with a C300 as back up and for pick ups and they intercut much better than Alexa and Red. I know the camera gets a bad rap for its small efficient codec, but in most of the work it's designed for–low end corporate (Alexa being the high end corporate standard), weddings, low end documentary, etc. it's good to have small files. Beware the lack of timecode sync, however. The F3 isn't bad but the internal codec (despite a higher bit rate) is poor and the ergonomics are a nightmare, the lens situation is dire due to the PL mount, too. But the F3 is a nice camera, weirdly I have had better luck with it than the F5, though in-camera LUTs can turn the F5's image into a boring one that can be graded well, whereas bare SLOG2 has chroma clipping that's disastrous, a knock against the A7S, too.
  15. 5v DC looks like it should work with a USB adapter. Depending on the size/configuration of the DC in, finding the correct adapter might be difficult, however. I used a cable that came with a Ninja 2 (I believe) with my Nyrius Pro (same price at the time but certainly not 30m range).
  16. If you haven't paid off a new camera within three months of buying it, you should consider it a toy. C300 Mk II seems like a deal now. Best image other than Alexa, SLOG 3 will really improve performance dramatically, too, and eliminate sensor banding.
  17. Good focus pullers. A lot of high speed SR3s. NFL films shoots "cinematic" content for highlight reels (a friend used to edit for them); the game itself, of course, is shot and broadcast on video. Not sure what NFL films is shooting now, but it's a separate category from broadcast. They have a lot of money. The NFL is a big organization.
  18. It has timecode sync, which makes it a professional camera. Image quality seems okay. I see it on a lot of low budget documentary tv and high end corporate. I tried to rent my C100 and 5D raw out, but no one took them seriously, preference was toward hvx200 and dramatically toward AF100 because of timecode sync. Image seems fine to me, ergonomics good. That said, plural eyes has improved a lot. Seems like a decent camera to me if you have the lenses for it. If not, Canon and Sony offer up a lot of good doc cameras. C100/C300 are fantastic. F3 isn't bad, just big and deceptively more expensive due to need for adapting lenses and annoying menu system. In some respects the F3 is technically better. C300 is the best last generation documentary camera going, but hasn't fallen in price. C100 has the same image, but not pro–no timecode sync for dual system sound.
  19. I don't think ever C300 owner on here is paying $1200/hr to get their footage properly graded. They were only able to afford the grade after getting into Cannes and Sundance. But yeah, it's all what you make of it. I think the colors out of camera look nice, anyway, but they are associated with a sort of corporate video look. Just because you slap a garish LUT on something doesn't make it "cinematic" either. It's just another version of different.
  20. The black magic 4k has about 10-11 stops of DR, less than the GH4 and any Canon cinema camera and it suffers from fixed pattern noise. It's the only black magic camera with sub par image quality, the others are pretty nice if you don't mind oddities and don't need good low light performance. Exposed well it can look very good, however. Furthermore, the raw is more flexible in post than AVCHD by far and has a less baked in look. Canon's baked in look has ineed become very associated with "cheap documentary" because they make the best cheap documentary cameras, but my friends produced a movie shot on the C300 that looks very cinematic (Blue Ruin), but it required an expensive grade or the ability to grade carefully and expose well–the movie is also very well shot. Similarly, Red MX footage looks "cheap" unless heavily graded, partially due to poor color, partially due to it being a victim of its own success in the indie world. Black Magic hasn't made as good cameras, so they don't have that problem, but they have some really good image quality in some of their crop it's just the build and reliability that's poor. The 4.6k, if it's even as good a sensor as the 2.5k sensor, should be excellent with caveats that I consider deal-breaking (no AA filter, poor low light) but others won't mind compared with the wealth of image information it offers, more resolution and better DR than the Canon surely. Do your own tests, though. Your needs will vary. You are making a $5k+ decision, you can afford to rent before you make it. No one here is universally or necessarily right (though a few people are clearly specifically wrong), people's needs just vary.
  21. Same, most of the projects I work on (I don't direct them) are six figure budgets and no one has requested 4k. I own the same camera and absolutely love it, but if you have really good light and a full crew and a lot of time in post you can definitely get better results on something better, and that's why almost everyone seems to be shooting Alexa lately. But the Canon cinema series are the best thing going for small (fewer than 20 people) crews imo and are (along with the 2.5k black magic, I think) really popular B cameras. Netflix, YouTube Red, Amazon, etc. do require 4k. But the budgets there are seven figures plus, to be fair, they have the crews. And I know a lot of YouTube Red is shot on Alexa, so they must accept upscale. So some clients will require it, but right now it's mostly narrative web content for which you need 4k, which I feel few here are working on. Anyhow, I have no idea. Try both cameras out in a controlled environment then on set and then decide. They seem so wildly different that I think you need to define your criteria first. I usually end up buying and selling cameras until I find one that works for me, which is more expensive in the long run than renting, but it definitely results in you ending up with something you like unless you run out of money first.
  22. The C300 definitely holds onto more shadow detail at high ISOs than the C100 mk I. A really heavy grade can also pull the image apart if exposed wrong. I think these are cameras for people who just want a simple path to a good image. The C500 is quite different (I find it to be a headache) but it also seems to have a lot of potential in the right hands. Definitely Canon's odd duck (it and the 1DC). The C500 does have SUPER sharp 4k. The Alexa is in another league entirely from the C500 imo, but much softer.
  23. ProRes being edit friendly is key to the Alexa's success on the high end. Look at Sony and Red quickly trying to catch up. If you bring in an assistant editor to transcode footage and it takes an extra day to transcode it all, that's $400 at least to hire an ae. Pretty quickly the difference in price between an Amira an F55 become irrelevant. With the Red this is an even slower process.
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