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Everything posted by maxotics

  1. I'm still in audio purgatory. My experience so far. Spending TIME experimenting/configuring a $25 Takstar mini-boom and $25 wired lav is better than MONEY spent on an expensive Rode NTG1. Environmental considerations FAR OUTWEIGH mic quality. For example, I set up my NTG1 in my office and was getting super audio. I then went to a friend's, similar sized room, but the audio came out horribly because my friend's room echoed a lot. (Yes, I listened on headphones but didn't hear it). I didn't have the experience/expertise to either get the mic closer or ditch it for a $25 lav. Therefore, I'm going to make a counter-intuitive suggestion. DO NOT GET a good mic first. Get a Takstar and Lav (or similar) and experiment trying to get good audio with each, writing down your findings, etc. Learning environment and levels has done the best for me. AND AND AND, working with post audio processing. Premiere has some amazing tools now "Essential Audio" that gives one a good idea of what's possible. Once you get all that sorted out, then shop for an expensive mic based on what you COULDN'T do with your cheap mics. That's what I'm doing now. The problem with an expensive mic is that unless you have all variations (boom, super cardoid, lav, wireless, etc.) you end up forcing whatever good mic you have into situations a cheaper solution would be better for. Again, I should have ditched the NTG1 for a cheap wired lav at my friend's place. BTW, the difference between my Takstar and Rode is VERY slight. I can only hear it because I'm listening for it. NO NORMAL person would notice a difference if I switched mics during the video. The bigger difference is the unbalanced mic could be wired up longer and has less risk of interference. Well, that's where I'm at!
  2. I wanted to delete this (my) post. I wish the OP would tell us something we don't already know about current smartphones in general. Or say something like "iPhone X is Better than GH5" so we could try to run him out of town What I'd say is the iPhone X shows that these phones will NEVER do commercial work. All improvements are mostly in computational photography, multi image synthesis, etc. They simply don't have the sensor size or horsepower to keep up with today's expectations. Think about it, there still isn't RAW video on any consumer camera. I'm actually surprised. The only reason to buy an iPhone X is to impress your friends. There, you can flame me now
  3. I wasn't aware there was any doubt, in anyone's mind, that HDR technology is buggy, in the real world I also can't believe anyone on this forum would doubt that you shot what you said you shot. They're just reporting what they see. I mean, even in this late, mature state of PHOTOGRAPHY one can print/view someone else's JPG that will look all F'd up! Even using color calibration systems I have found them to create unsuspecting problems in software that doesn't recognize them. So don't get down, Mark! I'm looking forward to looking at your stuff when I have HDR equipment.
  4. Agree, I've been burned so many times searching for this Holy Grail. I've used avidemux, various ffmpeg frontends, which worked for sometimes, then blew up, for reasons I still don't understand. Recently I tried https://lesspain.software/kyno/ and it blew me away, how well thought-out it is. I thought, finally, the perfect tool! But then it mangled some C100 footage--footage it should be able to deal with easily. I put in a bug report, to this day I have no idea if they've fixed it. Hopefully they do, because they're onto something.
  5. It's a taste thing, right, trading color saturation for greater dynamic range. We certainly wouldn't want HDR if it did that because people who favor saturation over DR would then be left with inferior images. We need both. When I say "saturation" (and maybe someone can give me a better term) I mean the amount of color information we need to discern all colors within the display gamut. Banding is the clearest example of what I mean. As I mentioned elsewhere, if you display, say 20 colors (saturation) of yellow on an 8-bit, 6DR gamut display, you will see banding, because your eye can tell the difference. Here are some examples I created. The first is all 255 shades of green an 8bit image, which should render "bandless" on a 6DR screen I can already see some banding, which tells me that the website might re-compresses images at a lower bit-depth. Here's a version where 18% of the colors are removed, let's call it 7-bit And now for 32% removed, call it 6-bit The less colors (saturation information) there is, the more our eye/brains detect a difference in the scene. HOWEVER, what the above examples show is that we don't really need even 8bits to get good images out of our current display gamuts. Most people probably wouldn't notice the difference if we were standardized on 6bit video. But that's a whole other story How does this relate to HDR? The more you shrink the gamut (more contrast-y) the less difference you see between the colors, right? In a very high contrast scene, a sky will just appear solid blue of one color. It's as we increase the gamut that we can see the gradations of blue. That is, there must always be enough bit-depth to fill the maximum gamut. For HDR to work for me, and you it sounds like (I believe we have the same tastes), it needs the bit-depth to keep up with the expansion in gamut. So doing some quick stupid math (someone can fix I hope), let's say that for every stop of DR we need 42 shades of any given color (255/6 DR). That's what we have in 8bit currently, I believe. Therefore, every extra stop of DR will require 297 (255+42) shades in each color channel, or 297*297*297 = 26,198,073. In 10bits, we can represent 1,024 shades, so roughly, 10-bit should give us another 24 stops of DR; that is, with 10bit, we should be able to show "bandless" color on a screen with 14 (even 20+) stops of DR. What I think it comes down to is better video is not a matter of improved bit-depth (10bit), or CODECs, etc., it's a matter of display technology. I suspect that when one sees good HDR it's not the video tech that's giving a better image, it's just the display's ability to show deeper blacks, or more subtle DR. That's why I believe someone's comment about the GH5 being plenty good enough to make HDR makes sense (though I'd extend it to most cameras). Anyway, I hope this articulates what I mean about color saturation. The other thing I must point out, that though I've argued that 10bit is suitable for HDR theoretically, I still believe one needs RAW source material to get a good image in non-studio environments. And finally, to answer the OP. I don't believe you need any special equipment for future HDR content. You, don't even need a full 8bits to render watchable video today. My guess is that any 8bit video graded to an HDR gamut will look just fine to 95% of the public. They may be able to notice the improvement in DR even though they're losing color information because again, in video, we seldom look at gradient skies. For my tastes, however, I will probably complain because LOG will still look like crap to me, even in HDR, in many situations 10bit? Well, we'll just have to see!
  6. I looked up HDR and wikipedia has this "SDR video, when using a conventional gamma curve and a bit depthof 8-bits per sample, has a dynamic range of about 6 stops (26=64:1).[1] When HDR content is displayed on a 2,000 cd/m2 display with a bit depth of 10-bits per sample it has a dynamic range of 200,000:1 or 17.6 stops,[1] a range not offered by the majority of current displays.[1]" Once, again, there seems to be a lot misinformation perpetrated by the manufacturers. Brightness information is not encoded in video, it is IMPLIED by the gamut. Current technology assumes we can discern 16 million colors within 6 stops. That is close to what scientists have determined about our biology. As far as I can tell, the only difference between HDR and SDR is that HDR displays more contrast between black and white. That is, it has a wider gamut. You don't need 10-bits to do that. You can do 8-bit. All you do is spread out the colors more (which is what LOG profiles do). No biggie unless you shooting solid colors where you might notice banding. There's no reason you can't shoot HDR in 8-bit IF the recording gamut matches the display gamut. THE PROBLEMS HERE, SEEMS TO ME, ARE ALL ABOUT MIS-MATCHED GAMUTS. If I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll hear it about it here In short, I believe you can manually change the brightness settings on a display to get HDR footage to look correct. So you might experiment with that! The reason the displays aren't doing this already (which is really SUPER TRIVIAL) is that the manufacturers are in a format war, so to speak. Which makes me wonder how good this stuff is? If it's so much better, why not allow one to simply choose an HDR gamut on their device? What am I missing here? I've said it here a gazillion annoying times. An 8-bit LOG profile sacrifices color to achieve gross DR expansion. Yes, I understand how 10-bit could theoretically show more DR on an HDR display, but I've yet to see it. So I'd love to see some tests, Mark, or anyone else, that shows HDR video that has as much saturation as SDR video but with more highlights in the sky, or detail in the shadows. When I look at the videos at BestBuy, on all the fancy TVS, they look a joke to me (all super high contrast). I'd love to be proven wrong here, but so far, seems a total bunch of BS (Not you guys, the manufacturers) I'm also still skeptical that wider display gamut would be comfortable to watch. Okay, rant over!
  7. maxotics

    Gear list

    1. Camera with a sensor made for video, Canon C###, Sony FS# or Panny EV1, etc (for when you shoot video). You MUST have XLRs and built-in NDs! 2. b-cam, for video that matches above, so XC15, Sony A7S or GH5 2. Parfocal zoom lens for when you shoot video (forget primes) 3. 2 High end wireless lavs for interviews 4. Portable lighting kit 5. Photography, any system, but get 3 flashes with wireless controllers Only spend 10% of your budget on consumer stuff. Make sure you budget for a PA too. Every shoot you should spend $200 to $500 on some kind of help. The tourism board doesn't want you to look like an amateur, no matter how talented you may be.
  8. Thanks for the kind words! I'm super happy to hear I've helped anyone get into Magic Lantern RAW. I currently have a 7D with ML RAW and agree, compared to those day, wow, not difficult anymore. You're right, I'm not caught up to Nikon. One day! I have a a6300 and see what you see. A monster camera, image IQ wise. It's the ease of use thing that stops me from fully embracing them as video cameras. I bought a used C100 and it gets me exactly the image I want right out of the camera at a reasonable file size. I'm now as passionate about Canon's Cinema line as I was about RAW those years ago Anyway, will try what you suggest with my A6300 the next time I shoot with it!!! Thanks for the tip!
  9. Yeah, and I just want to say, I love what you're doing artistically too! But... I think I understand. I get bent out of shape because there's a fair amount of snake-oil sold out there in the way of color profiles, etc (which I know you're not doing) which actually hurts the footage that new filmmakers take. This is a very interesting subject to me because, like you, I LUST after a low-contrast look. Nothing beats a RAW workflow in my book. It's just beautiful. But I'm lazy, like everyone else, and want a short-cut. So I've tried, like you, to make LOG work. But I couldn't for most situations. After some experimentations I figured out why it is impossible. But in the back of my mind, I'm still hopeful. So when I read your post I'm like, maybe he's done it! But I need to see certain things addressed to be convinced. So, all good. I'm enjoying this!
  10. You're going to get a standing ovation from me for sure Being of that age, yes, I'm very familiar with rating film slower and developing long/shorter, etc. However, even in film, you make a trade-off. Shooting the grand canyon is different than shooting a portrait. One pushes or pull films based on what they're shooting. They aren't doing something smarter than the manufacturer who wants to optimize their product for most shooting conditions. LOG can give you benefits in challenging lighting. Never disputing that.
  11. Waveform doesn't show color depth. I'm not arguing exposure one way or another. Are you trying to shock me or get a laugh? I'm not sure you understand ISO correctly. The core idea of ISO is to tell the photographer/videographer the amount of light that will provide the most accurate, color saturated image without any digital amplification (gain). Anything above base ISO (usually 100) is up to the manufacturer to determine because there is no accepted industry measurement of noise expectations for higher ISOs. So not sure how to respond here. Again, as long as you like your final image, hey, whatever inspires, whatever you want to say visually! I'm all for it. But when you argue certain things to other filmmakers about what the camera is doing and how you can grade away physical limitations of the equipment, I feel compelled to point out flaws in how you're coming to what are erroneous conclusions to me. You could have gotten the same images you got with a flat profile and ended up with more color depth (for future grades) than if you had shot LOG. You'd see this if you shoot a normal profile. Instead, you shot LOG, graded, and claimed it is better than a standard profile. Certainly, you must see the fundamental flaw there? I've posted this here before, just in case you haven't seen my experiements in this
  12. I'll try to put as succinctly as possible. Sensor outputs data in the range of 4 trillion colors. The most accurate colors are within 5 stops of a certain (correct) exposure. Those 5 stops of most-accurate color take up 16 million values (the maximum that can be stored in an 8-bit-per-color-channel data container). When you shoot LOG, the camera throws out accurate colors for noisy ones, above and below the 5-stop center of best exposure. You cannot grade the center-best values back. One doesn't have to take the time to understand what goes on under the hood of their camera, so to speak. But one day they will make a fool of themselves when they shoot LOG for a client and the client can't match it to footage shot by someone else, that maximized the color sensitivity of the camera. When they try to bring color back, the contrast will appear cartoonish, when they try to match the contrast, the colors will look washed out. That's the corner you shoot yourself into with LOG in a scene that doesn't call for it. To add some technical facts... Why does it band? Because in a solid color, like a sky, you don't see just one color of blue. You see a range of them, say 1 to 1,000. The "stupid" manufacturers have tested their products so that when you shoot a sky, you get just enough colors, say 1,000, to accurately show the gradient sky without contrast between two neighboring colors. Contrast happens when you essentially see TWO DIFFERENT COLORS! Okay, so in LOG, it doesn't take 1,000 colors in that blue range say, it takes 250. Normally, one doesn't notice. But if you shoot a scene where there is a blue gradient sky and it shows it to you in 250 shades of blue, they will look like DIFFERENT COLORS next to each other. That's BANDING! Of course, they are different colors, but you don't want them so different that the brain says they're not connected! Sadly, many people don't want to follow the logic that if LOG creates banding; that is, if LOG distorts the image there, that it does it everywhere, though not as easy to notice.
  13. Hey, if you get the image you want, great!!!! But I'm one of those people who are very critical of LOG profiles. I don't see what you gain using them in those shots because you crushed the contrast so heavily you even removed the noise inherent in the higher ISO the camera uses to achieve a LOG distribution of visual data. That is, you could have arrived at the same high contrast footage, with more color depth, shooting rec.709. The shot where she is on the staircase and part of the background is blown out, I could see LOG used there, but you don't use it to bring out the background, the dynamic range is severely narrowed in the end. LOG profiles only make sense to me when there is detail in part of the image (5+ stops away) that one wants even at the sacrifice of color saturation. One cannot get color back. Don't want to rain on your parade! I love what you did. Nice images, however you got them! But to be fair to yourself, shouldn't you have shot the scenes both in standard profile and LOG and THEN compared them? LOG trades higher saturation for higher contrast detail. There is no exposure trick to get your color back That footage can never be made to have more color depth. In short, if you want to show how you get the most out of a LOG profile, shoot a scene where you make a trade-off you can't get with rec.709. Why do you believe those scenes were better shot with LOG? Again, I know you put a lot of work into this! I enjoyed it! I think you should go out and do some more!
  14. My personal feeling is sharpness is objective
  15. I've modified my vlogging mirror to work on gimbals.
  16. Are you trying to embarrass me here I have the C100 mk1 (though with DPAF). However, I am blown away by what this camera can do. It just GETS SH_T DONE! And the image is so sweet. It really puts these DSLRs/Mirrorless cameras into perspective. For all the features of the A7RIII, I bet most people, in a blind test, will see the C100's quality as good as the A7RIII, and with no fuss. The only reason I can see wanting the A7R3 over what I have is for the photography stuff. Did I mention I'm in love with my C100?
  17. I won't know until the FS5 drops to the price I got my C100 at If you're right, then I look forward to it!!!!
  18. Thanks for posting video, hadn't seen it! However, the difference between 10bit and 8bit is not noticable to me unless I carefully look for it where there are solid colors, and then it is very minor. (Isn't it you who said compression causes more banding and artifacts than anything else? I agree when it comes to this.) The reason 4:2:0 works in the first place is we just aren't that sensitive to color shift in a moving image. Anyway, I feel the video supports what I'm saying. I can't see a significant difference. Also, these kinds of videos make me want to go into a full-blown RANT! "Before color grading" is the worst affectation in all of video land. There is NO image before color grading! All images are arbitrary conversions of data into something our equipment can display. No data "color" is naturally unsaturated or saturated. There is no perfect pitch in silicon CFA digital imaging, it's all RELATIVE PITCH. Yes, RAW data, that spans 4 trillion colors (or shades) of DR say, which is beyond the gamut of our displays, cannot easily be displayed in any agreed on saturation in an 8bit gamut. It' has become accepted practice to show RAW as unsaturated. Okay. But to take any 8bit video, which is what the above is, and show it grayed out, then "color graded" shows differences that are NOT really in the data to begin with.
  19. I really, seriously, for the life of me, don't get it. Canon maybe...Sony crippling their cameras? I can't see any real world difference between 10bit and 8bit in an 8bit space. I've tried. Please don't get angry with me, but for me 10bit is a sham. I don't look at the camera makers as giving me a better image, I look at them as marketing hokum. Whatever banding 10bit may eliminate in a clear blue sky is smoothed over by the time the image reaches the viewer, in the real world. The achilles heal of these cameras, vs cinema cameras, is highlight roll-off. So the question to me, is what would you rather have, HDR or a 10bit CODEC? Banding in a sky, shadows gone noisey -- I can deal with that. A face with a white blotch on it, no. It's horrible! For me, it's F-this camera time 10bit doesn't fix it because 10bit has nothing to do with dynamic range. Sure, you can shoot in S-LOG, but now you're sacrificing color detail. HDR, seems to me, might solve that problem. So why should Sony put out 10bit over HDR? It seems to me HDR is the real INNOVATION here (probably a type of dual ISO). If it works well, it can make a big real-world difference. Yet, I believe it will also be marketing hokum! It's probably what they call 10bit now Still, we need to see what the camera will do.
  20. The biggest difference between these cameras and cinema cameras is battery life and storage. So now the A7R will last twice as long? It will have a USB port that can transfer 4K video as fast as a card reader? It has dual recording slots, FTP over wireless, proxy recording? 10fps silent mode shooting. If this camera camera out a few years ago the title of the post would be "Sony just killed the Canon C100"
  21. Another option is to use both. Get an inexpensive shotgun (amazing what you can get for under $60, from Chinese DSLRs minis to the Rhode videomicro) and a decent lav (which you can't go cheap on). Unlike the others here, I don't do this for a living. However, I feel I can re-express some of what's being said. IF you're in a room that isn't echo-y (doesn't have bare walls), then a shotgun will work really well and is much simpler to set-up. Wiring people up is a pain and is invasive. So I'd invest in the lav, but also have a shotgun for primary or backup. Another thing not pointed out is a shotgun will pick up just enough room noise to feel really natural. The lav doesn't. The lav is also bass-y, being close to the chest and has movement noise risk, etc, as others have pointed out. Anyway, I'm always curious about this stuff too!
  22. Maybe if films like BR 2049 had real suspense people would keep quiet. That's the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. Yes, there are people who are simply rude in theaters (as in every other place). I've turned around and pushed a guy in the chest to get him to shut up. Which was stupid; three of them. So I hate people who talk in theaters too. However, once I get over my initial annoyance at someone talking, I often think about it and conclude I would have talked too if I had no interest in film-making itself. I enjoyed the cinematography of BR 2049. Hearing the dialogue added nothing, if anything, it made matters worse. The filmmaker has someone's undivided attention to start. The audience has paid real money. The saying in stand-up comedy that you must "kill" your audience is almost literal. The audience will show no mercy and "kill" the stand-up comedian if they're not funny. Hollywood gets lazy; good for the independents! In short, I no longer blame the audience when many people talk. Ironically, no one talked at my showing of BR 2049, but I respect my audience-mates less for it
  23. I tried to like it. The sets, fx and cinematography are certainly first rate. The actors are good, the direction, the editing. I was able to sit through it. Then the scene with the Wallace CEO, head cataract guy, that was NOT a Okay, I was a young guy once and can understand dropping a naked women out of a pastry sack and letting her writhe on the floor a bit. I can even understand the actor with the cataracts blathering the most inane stuff to his replicant! (And we thought Gossling was lonely ) But to knife her for no apparent reason put me into full annoyance mode. Why do we need to hate him, and if we do, why doesn't he get killed at the end like the maker in the first movie? In the first Blade Runner, there is a simple, strong story that keeps that morose movie together. Harrison Ford is in a sucky job, in a sucky city, hunting down merciless replicants. His life is meaningless. Then he falls in love with a replicant and begins to have doubts about his life values. Meanwhile, Rutger Hauer, knows his lot in life and wants to understand why it was made for him. So he searches out his maker. In the end, even though he is bred to kill, he has compassion and let's Harrison Ford live. The original Blade Runner put story first. What is the story of Blade Runner 2049? There is none, there are only pieces of story, none of which connect or make much sense. My fear that it's just a vanity project with too many cooks in the kitchen was borne out, for me. My favorite proof that no one with common sense had any control over the script is when the Wallace replicant kills a police forensics guy THEN the police chief and says to Harrison Ford that they're going to take him off-world where they can torture him. I'm wondering why they can't do it on Earth? I mean, there is no sense of society, government, police power. Again, just a mis-mash of half-baked story ideas. And why kill the police chief. Makes absolutely no sense. I never cared about any of the characters, except Gossling's hologram. Though I keep thinking, if Wallace industries makes her, why don't they know what he says to her? I guess someone got their "let's put in a little bit of 'Her' in BR 2049" You're in trouble when the only good thing about your movie is the little bit you plagiarized from another And the music. I don't care how good it is, it did not fit the story most of the time. There were many scenes that would have been stronger without it. Film-maker children with sound synthesized sound-grenades. I heard a young person leaving the theater saying it was "much better than the first one." On a bright note, I just finished "Trapped", the Icelandic series. Great film-making isn't dead.
  24. Nice videos, Mark! I built a close-up lens contraption for the X3000, have been curious about trying on the Yi. The footage looks great! Can you take some footage of someone standing in front the the Yi vlogging style, or just any object only a few feet away? Thanks! I also notice that the Yi+ also has an external mic possibility. The connector looks like an interference magnet Have you tried an external mic?
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