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Andrew Reid

Most significant clue so far about Blackmagic Cinema Camera performance

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Hmmmm the plot thickens. I wasn't [i]that [/i]impressed with this stuff. I mean I know it's natural light with little augmentation so it's never going to look blockbuster, but larger-sensor cameras are able to make even mundane daytime scenes seem otherworldly, I think it may just be the nature of super 35 size and up.

My recent experience with digital medium format confirmed this for me! Looking through the lens is really eerie. Even with one eye it's almost stereoscopic looking. Panning has a beautiful but surreal sense of depth. Then again, since Leica lenses also have this look, perhaps it's more glass choice.

But there is an oddly electronic 'feel' to the image here. The motion itself is filmic (low jello and I-frame compression hand in hand there I reckon), but overall it's kind of... dead. Something tells me it's a combo of heavy sensor crop increasing DOF and reducing the 3D feel, plus the lens choice. It could be Canon L lenses here as the image is pretty warm, and I usually find them kind of sterile.

Incidentally, I don't think this camera should have an EF mount, it should have a removable electronic EF mount with a mirrorless one behind, then people could play with hired, high-end PL glass and the like, to give the camera a fair run against RED and Alexa.

The whole raw/prores/no in-cam NR or sharpness stuff is great, but this clip left me feeling a bit disappointed. Will be nice to see some footage that's really gone through its paces. I mean, in order to make EOS footage look the way I want takes a lot of processing (noise reduction, grades, film grain and more), so I'd love to get hold of some rushes and REALLY go to town on them, then judge the cam again. I suppose on balance, if we'd only ever seen straight rushes from the 5D MKii none of this revolution would ever have started ;)

But still, I've yet to feel excited by a real image from this camera, it's only the spec sheets that have got me going, and that doesn't feel right. Perhaps it'll look nicer with a good super fast wide on the front... I'm still watching closely.

Perhaps it's simpler than the above, and I just don't like the work of the film maker. After all, I've seen phenomenal work and average work and bad work come out of 5Ds.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
People should realize that this camera is not going to compete with DSLRs in low light performance, not at all. This is supposed to be a cinema camera, and people will have to light for it, the way they have to light for film. You can't just shoot film the way you shoot low light scenes with DSLRs.

This camera will be all about the cinematic look and the higher dynamic range, and hopefully no aliasing and rolling shutter issues.

Don't expect it to be too sharp either. The C300 needs to shoot at 4k so it has a sharp 2k image, the RED doesn't look that sharp either at 4k or 5k, and the GH2 also has a sensor with a much higher megapixel count.
By shooting 2.5k and scaling down to 2k the BMD camera will probably gain a bit of sharpness, but if extreme sharpness is what you're expecting, you'll be disappointed.

Most people will be shooting Prores, since RAW involves a cumbersome workflow that few DSLR shooters will be willing to go through, but Prores should be more than enough for most purposes, and if the camera does deliver in the dynamic range side of things, it will be a huge step up from compressed H264.

Pixel peeping will have you disappointed, but that is not what this camera is about.

16mm film is not that sharp and its low light sensitivity is quite limited, especially when compared to present day DSLRs, but still beautiful films shot in that format keep coming out even today (just look at Moonrise Kingdom or Beasts of the Southern Wild). It's all about the cinematic look and the lack of disturbing technical limitations in the image such as aliasing or rolling shutter. Hopefully this camera (and the Digital Bolex) will get us closer to that.

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i dont see how much better dslrs are in low light ...
try to shoot raw images( not video) @800 iso without NR and theres a lot of noise ....
h264 kills details and noise ...and dont forget small sensors need less light for same DOF ...
to get usable DOF in FF sensor u need to step down to 5.6f or more but with BMC 2.8f is more than enough ...
and all that super shallow DOF porn is more distracting than usable ....

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[quote name='cameraboy' timestamp='1344360969' post='15062']
i dont see how much better dslrs are in low light ...
try to shoot raw images( not video) @800 iso without NR and theres a lot of noise ....
h264 kills details and noise ...and dont forget small sensors need less light for same DOF ...
to get usable DOF in FF sensor u need to step down to 5.6f or more but with BMC 2.8f is more than enough ...
and all that super shallow DOF porn is more distracting than usable ....
[/quote]

I haven't mentioned anything regarding DOF. I agree that this sensor or an APS-C sized sensor are much easier to work with than a full frame one. I personally don't even like the full frame extreme shallow DOF look.

Regarding the low light capabilities, try shooting some stills or video on a 5D3 and then on an equivalent film camera...

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[quote name='HurtinMinorKey' timestamp='1344355635' post='15056']
Another Black Magic test that proves only one thing: They need to give the camera to someone else who knows what they are doing. I liked the pool footage better. This was shot with terrible lighting and bad camerawork. What's up with the huge sways durring the tracking shots?

It's got a small sensor(relative to most of the competition) so i'm not surprised about the low light perfromance, but I want to know what this thing can do when lit properly.
[/quote]
Just signed up here just to say, where do you get the balls?

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[quote name='tabac' timestamp='1344363313' post='15065']
Just signed up here just to say, where do you get the balls?
[/quote]

From a Y chromosome...duh.

What part of my criticism do you disagree with?

1. The handheld was shaky throughout, starting with the very first shot
2. Sloppy focus at 0:15
3. Guys face mostly in shadow, with a bright spot ocasionally hitting his forhead (1:45)
4. Weird tracking shot swaying back and forth (2:40 ish)
5. Guys face is too dark in the last scene

Look, it's not terrible, it's not even bad, but it's not what I'd put out there to show off new tech just weeks from the suposed launch.

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quote
Just signed up here just to say, where do you get the balls?

maybe becaus eyes bee a simpul cowboy an alls.
spent fars to much times on der lonesome trales
lets me get dis strayt youse joins dis forum to talks aboot a [b]mans balls [/b]
i tink youse joiins der wong plaice der fella
i tinks use nead der gaylord forum

ma daddy alweys sade a mans balls neads to be in his pants.
balls shud not bee talk about by udder men.
and balls shud not puts neers udder men folks
dat dere filum broken back moontan was not tru godamit
and wus maid by hollywood satanic degenerardes
dats alls eyem sayin

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this looks really promissing! Skin tones are great and DR is really good... By the end of the year I'll probably buy one with an upcoming rig developed for BMCC. I will just watch people test it, find its weakness points, how to deal with its workflow, test lenses and so on... then its time to buy.

Nonetheless, it is a great step forward! With experience it will fly!

DOF is right on the spot. would be good to know what lenses were used on this one...

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[quote name='HurtinMinorKey' timestamp='1344364520' post='15066']
From a Y chromosome...duh.

What part of my criticism do you disagree with?

1. The handheld was shaky throughout, starting with the very first shot
2. Sloppy focus at 0:15
3. Guys face mostly in shadow, with a bright spot ocasionally hitting his forhead (1:45)
4. Weird tracking shot swaying back and forth (2:40 ish)
5. Guys face is too dark in the last scene

Look, it's not terrible, it's not even bad, but it's not what I'd put out there to show off new tech just weeks from the suposed launch.
[/quote]
First of all, you allude to John Brawley's abilities as DP being not 'someone who knows what he's doing' - if you had read his post you'd know it is rushes from a short. The aesthetic they choose was probably down to one of two things. A) they like it like that, loose and informal, can be read as intimate. B) or because it was a 3 man crew, either way your comment was ill informed. What does "not surprised about the low light performance" even mean, point me to the examples of footage posted in which the cameras low light has been tested. You've seen next to nothing yet you demand something that doesn't have "terrible lighting". It's a daylight shoot with a 3 man crew!

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[quote name='tabac' timestamp='1344363313' post='15065']
Just signed up here just to say, where do you get the balls?
[/quote]

I actualy had similar feelings as he did, but there are so many reasons for this sort of video to be unpolished that I felt they were all forgiveable given the circumstance I bet the shooter was in.

Edit: I actually had similar feelings as a different post, but I did ask some similar questions.

I appreciate getting a look at the camera in action.

Maybe we could get more technical specifications to the shoot; lighting plots, lens choice, etc...

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[quote name='tabac' timestamp='1344367049' post='15069']
The aesthetic they choose was probably down to one of two things. A) they like it like that, loose and informal, can be read as intimate. B)
[/quote]

There is a difference between informal and sloppy. What we saw was sloppy work, for all the reasons I listed above.

[quote name='tabac' timestamp='1344367049' post='15069']
You've seen next to nothing yet you demand something that doesn't have "terrible lighting". It's a daylight shoot with a 3 man crew!
[/quote]

Last time I checked, a three man crew was enough to use a glidecam while someone else holds a reflector.

After going to John Brawley's website, and looking at his reel (and seeing how good it was), I'm even more disappointed with what we see here.

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[quote name='HurtinMinorKey' timestamp='1344368613' post='15071']
There is a difference between informal and sloppy. What we saw was sloppy work, for all the reasons I listed above.



Last time I checked, a three man crew was enough to use a glidecam while someone else holds a reflector.

After going to John Brawley's website, and looking at his reel (and seeing how good it was), I'm even more disappointed with what we see here.
[/quote]
Like I said, where'd you get the balls. Incredible.

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Hey, maybe he'll grade the shit out of this footage, make it look great, and I'll eat my words. I'm all for it. But if I didn't know any different, and you told me the same guy that made this:

http://www.johnbrawley.com/watch/showreel/

also made the BMC clips above, I'd call you a f***cking liar.

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[quote name='HurtinMinorKey' timestamp='1344368613' post='15071']
Last time I checked, a three man crew was enough to use a glidecam while someone else holds a reflector.
[/quote]

Handheld and steadycam are different styles, it's a matter of preference, not an inferior style in any way.
If anything, I'd say the wide lock off shots should have been shot handheld too, as they don't cut that well with the rest of the footage.

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[quote name='HurtinMinorKey' timestamp='1344364520' post='15066']
From a Y chromosome...duh.

What part of my criticism do you disagree with?

1. The handheld was shaky throughout, starting with the very first shot
2. Sloppy focus at 0:15
3. Guys face mostly in shadow, with a bright spot ocasionally hitting his forhead (1:45)
4. Weird tracking shot swaying back and forth (2:40 ish)
5. Guys face is too dark in the last scene

Look, it's not terrible, it's not even bad, but it's not what I'd put out there to show off new tech just weeks from the suposed launch.
[/quote]

If you want to judge a person's cinematography skills do it on your own time and critique their reel rather than some test footage from an unreleased camera. I would prefer that John continue to make appearances on this forum and answer questions related to the gear, and not have to listen to ridiculous jabs made toward his choices in composition which he decided to release for our benefit (and did not have to).

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[quote name='HurtinMinorKey' timestamp='1344364520' post='15066']
Look, it's not terrible, it's not even bad, but it's not what I'd put out there to show off new tech just weeks from the suposed launch.
[/quote]

You're also assuming this is official BMD marketing material...

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[quote name='MaxAperture Films' timestamp='1344369266' post='15075']
If you want to judge a person's cinematography skills do it on your own time and critique their reel rather than some test footage from an unreleased camera. I would prefer that John continue to make appearances on this forum and answer questions related to the gear, and not have to listen to ridiculous jabs made toward his choices in composition which he decided to release for our benefit (and did not have to).
[/quote]
+1

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I really think we're missing the point if we look at this footage and are critiquing the manner in which it was shot. It's a good thing that it wasn't a perfectly lit, steadycam'd, big production that accounted for every weakness the camera could have. What would we learn from that? With enough time and money you can make any camera look great and yet not know much about what the true character of the camera is. This is like a window into what the camera is really like minus all the trappings.

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[quote name='PAVP' timestamp='1344369725' post='15078']
I really think we're missing the point if we look at this footage and are critiquing the manner in which it was shot. It's a good thing that it wasn't a perfectly lit, steadycam'd, big production that accounted for every weakness the camera could have. What would we learn from that? With enough time and money you can make any camera look great and yet not know much about what the true character of the camera is. This is like a window into what the camera is really like minus all the trappings.
[/quote]

Exactly, couldn't agree more... John did us a huge favor by not inducing heavy grading so we can see an honest rendering of shadow noise, etc. I am stunned by the quality, it won't take that much work in post to really take advantage of this output.

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