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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera

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@Zak Forsman Mind if I ask what happened so far with your RMA? I've seen on BMDuser there was a bit of a communication hick up but I'm really following your story because I like what you do with the camera and it might have impact/inspiration for my buying decision.

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14 hours ago, squig said:

desismileys_4333.gif

Thanks, appreciate it.

 

Btw, I haven't seen it discussed here but this cage from 8sinn (polish company) is really great. Makes it a lot more throwable and droppable. 

http://www.8sinn.com/index.php/products/8sinn-bmcc-micro-cage.html

 

And the Hdmi lock is made in a way so the cable doesn't get fucked - I recommend it a lot!

 

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10 minutes ago, Jonatan said:

Thanks, appreciate it.

 

Btw, I haven't seen it discussed here but this cage from 8sinn (polish company) is really great. Makes it a lot more throwable and droppable. 

http://www.8sinn.com/index.php/products/8sinn-bmcc-micro-cage.html

 

And the Hdmi lock is made in a way so the cable doesn't get fucked - I recommend it a lot!

 

this is nice cage but it has only one middle 3/8 mounting point at the bottom :( also it seems that angle HDMI and D-sub adapters can't fit to this cage, so your wires will always stick out off the camera and you can't mount a side handle close to camera body.

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1 hour ago, Phil A said:

@Zak Forsman Mind if I ask what happened so far with your RMA? I've seen on BMDuser there was a bit of a communication hick up but I'm really following your story because I like what you do with the camera and it might have impact/inspiration for my buying decision.

yeah, it's going to arrive today via fedex. looking forward to seeing how it compares to my first one.

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3 hours ago, Zak Forsman said:

yeah, it's going to arrive today via fedex. looking forward to seeing how it compares to my first one.

Did you get any feedback from BMD support regarding this FPN problem? Or they just send new camera without any answers?

I wrote to BMD support with question about "is this hardware/sensor problem or it can be fixed with firmware updates" but don't get any reply yet.

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It's documented here...

http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?16955-BMD-rep-tells-me-my-Micro-Cinema-Camera-has-FPN-Should-I-send-it-in

short version is, they acknowledged the FPN in the initial DNGs I sent them. did their own tests when I sent my camera in. said the camera was "normal". I sent more DNGs I had as well as a side by side comparison with my Pocket (same sensor, different hardware). said they could only replicate what i was seeing by boosting exposure in post two stops. however, which is confusing to me because my DNGs had zero post processing. Despite that, they offered to send me a replacement but didn't think it would make a difference. I agreed to roll the dice on a replacement, but I also doubt it will be any different. It should arrive today via Fedex.

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i find a thread about 4k camera FPN and firmware updates http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=26972 so there is a chance that it can be fixed in future updates in Micro camera too. and bad news is that this update was released about a year after camera release :)

Here is also nice suggest from RED forum. In theory these things can affect FPN in Micro camera if you don't switch it off and on after changes.
Blackshade when:
- you make big changes to framerate/shutterspeed (switching from 4k/24fps to 1k/120fps for example)
- switching to long exposure modes (for timelapse etc.)
- dramatic temperature/environment changes

- on set, before a big shoot
- after you've updated your firmware
- maybe after you haven't used your camera for a few days/weeks

 

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I received the replacement today. The FPN is nearly the same but definitely a touch better. I'm glad I sent the old one in. 

By "better" I'd say the vertical lines in this new one don't "reach" as high into the exposure range as the old one. The lines reside a little deeper in the shadows than the last one, if that makes sense.

Going to work on making a clip to counter the noise pattern in post next.

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Hi Zak! I think I'm getting mine this week, and I just wanted to ask a quick question (I can't find any clear info lying around)... Which "flavors" of Raw recording do you have @ 24 and 60fps? Is there 3:1 and 4:1 Raw for both frame rates? Which one do you like to use?

Thanks in advance!

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Sent DNGs into BM for review... It's now going on 3 days for them to review the footage. The FPN, in the shadows, is inconsistent. It ranges in value. For example, there's definitely lines in the image about every 10 pixels. However, some of these lines, about every 100 to 200 pixels has a serious spike in exposure. It's easily seen if anything moves on camera, especially if you'r looking for it.

- - - - - - - -

It's in the ProRes "Film" mode at native ISOs. It's in the Raw at native ISOs.

Shooting in "Video" mode, however, when shooting at ISO 400 and 200 the vertical FPN is virtually eliminated.

- - - - - - - -

... The difficulty is in the grade. You can't access/accent this area as it only attenuates the FPN issue. IMO, that makes the camera much more of a "Video" mode camera. I also own a Pocket Cinema Camera and this camera does have a similar signs of FPN, but it's very, very low in the shadows and there aren't any areas that have varying exposure values. It's next to impossible to pick up on it, even when looking for it. Honestly, I may have a faulty Pocket too? Either way, this pocket handles "Film" mode and certainly offers the full dynamic range/grading capabilities.

 

- - - - - - - - -

Side note, this may be related to changing FPS? I've never turned the camera off after changing the FPS... Been capturing event coverage in the field with perfect 70 - 80 degree weather. Usually, I'll shoot off an entire battery before powering down and cycling. Anyway, will take note if there are any changes related to FPS and power cycles and respond. Interestingly, the GH4 makes you power down the camera when changing from true 4K 24P into 1080 60P. This may be a feature that BM will have to implement? 

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An interesting test would be to shoot something in Film mode & the in Video mode, then grade accordingly (e.g. make the Film mode look like Video mode & then some).

Then again, this could all be a conspiracy to force people to stop using milky blacks or just to light properly - but its most likely BM QC, since they're a small firm doing it all themselves & not out sourcing to China!

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6 hours ago, John Emery said:

Hi Zak! I think I'm getting mine this week, and I just wanted to ask a quick question (I can't find any clear info lying around)... Which "flavors" of Raw recording do you have @ 24 and 60fps? Is there 3:1 and 4:1 Raw for both frame rates? Which one do you like to use?

Thanks in advance!

No 4:1 on the Micro. Up to 30fps, you have the options of RAW and RAW 3:1. At 60fps, You only have RAW 3:1 available.

11 minutes ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

An interesting test would be to shoot something in Film mode & the in Video mode, then grade accordingly (e.g. make the Film mode look like Video mode & then some).

Then again, this could all be a conspiracy to force people to stop using milky blacks or just to light properly - but its most likely BM QC, since they're a small firm doing it all themselves & not out sourcing to China!

I'm hoping I can create a clip that's neutral other than the vertical lines, so i can use it to remove them. Because there are going to be setups where I can't avoid them. For example, if I were shooting a character and the night sky were in part of the background, I'd be out of luck. Although they'd probably go unnoticed if the shot were locked off. Or maybe the audience would think it was raining. That's production value! :)

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25 minutes ago, Zak Forsman said:

I'm hoping I can create a clip that's neutral other than the vertical lines, so i can use it to remove them. Because there are going to be setups where I can't avoid them. For example, if I were shooting a character and the night sky were in part of the background, I'd be out of luck. Although they'd probably go unnoticed if the shot were locked off. Or maybe the audience would think it was raining. That's production value! :)

Wow! So it's really that bad? Bummer!:astonished:

So, if it is really meant to be a drone camera (looking that way isn't it), then I wonder if anyone has done any night drone camera work with it or is that never an option? (gives new meaning to flying blind at night!) I think this is where it all lies & BM didn't need to release a camera better than the Pocket, just a camera that could be used in daylight on a drone (hence the better battery power etc...).

The silverlining in all this? - BM haven't released a firmware update yet & when they do, i'm sure these things can/will be ironed out eventually.

Shit, my production values are really basic to zero - boost practicals with stronger better bulbs, use cheap China Balls, reflectors & the use biggest light source known to man as much as I can, the sun. I'm cheap & I love it:glasses:

PS. Bet this never would have happened if the cameras were built in China or should that be Hong Kong

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1 hour ago, Xavier Plágaro Mussard said:

If there is a field where 4K makes sense 100% is in drone work. I wouldn't loose time with the BMMC, imho.

I'm just surprised that they even bothered.

They should have made a camera that was better for compact handheld work (Ikonoskop style) - larger than the BMPCC, smaller than the BMCC (you could rig it a little or use as is). Have an internal EVF (no poor screen), make it s16/s35 switchable, make it either 1080p or 2.5k & give it 60p for the slow-mo freaks.

They could still do this & kill the market dead!

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preliminary test is wiping out the lines 100%. 

1. Shot gray card out of focus at a light level that seemed to maximize the vertical lines.
2. Brought that clip into DaVinci and used Temporal NR to remove noise, leaving the lines intact. Raised it to 50 IRE. Removed all color. Then applied the inverted color LUT.
3. Exported that as a single frame 12bit dpx.
4. Re-imported and applied as a matte. Layer mixer set to Overlay blending mode.

and that's it. right now there is a slight shift in gain. which means I need to dial in how neutral the 50% gray is. it's a little too bright right now. I want to get it so it doesn't affect anything but the lines. Also wondering if I could use a luminance secondary to limit it just to the shadows.

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A quick additional note about what i did above to correct the FPN. You also need to dial it in so that the inverted pattern you use to counter the vertical lines only applies to the shadows, otherwise, you add new lines to the mids and highlights. I used a qualifier to limit the offset to the shadows. Easy enough.

07Nn1Qx.jpg

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