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Why do I like the look of the Canon 1D C and Blackmagic Micro Cinema so much than the Ursa, F55, FS7, and C300 mark ii?


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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Whole film on a 24mm, yuck. It needs a 35/50mm for the close-ups other wise a film is going to look very very dull, maybe a short.. A 24mm gives pretty bad perspective distortion for actors and couldn't be used as one one unless the story strongly required that specific need, even then I would never do it ALL.

I always say for a film you need a wide angle and a close-up lens, no more no less. a 24mm and a 50mm. If I had to shoot an entire film with one lens it'd never be a wide angle 24mm, but a 40mm-ish would be most adequate.

(This is all in 35mm cinema terms not FF where 35mm is a wide angle or om 65mm where 35mm is an ultra fish-ish wide angle or a s16 where 24mm is a close up tele)

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi
4 hours ago, kaylee said:

uhmm this is only slightly off topic lol....

if this is true http://www.canonrumors.com/there-will-be-a-4k-5d-camera-cr2 – that theres a 5d4ish 4k slr coming soon, would you all expect it to shoot motion jpeg for 4k like the 1dxii and 1dc? 

theres definitely something about the motion of the 1dc... it just feels like solid, independent frames to me, like film frames in that sense... hard to explain but i know what you guys mean 

If a 5D comes with 4K I'd save about 3-4 grand that I'll pay for the 1DXII super stills features I have zero need for. I'd take a 5D with the 1DXII 4K mode up to 30p and 120p HD and no c-log & DPAF with joystick as in 7dii body with no touch screen (how I see canon will do to protect the 1dxii) I just want a large sensor Canon image with today's standard high detail vs the current 720p-1080p they offer on all Canon cameras. Even a 5D with perfectly clean 1080p resolution is what i'd take. 

I sometimes think about the very cheap C100 mkI which does C-Log and has all the video features you need, huge battery and sound and NDs. Only problem for me is the lack of any slomotion ability, plus I don't get the same emotional attachment to the Cx00 image I get from the 1Dc, I think it's the internal oversampling that produces slightly too clinically perfect sharpness.

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16 minutes ago, Ebrahim Saadawi said:

Whole film on a 24mm, yuck. It needs a 35/50mm for the close-ups other wise a film is going to look very very dull, maybe a short.. A 24mm gives pretty bad perspective distortion for actors and couldn't be used as one one unless the story strongly required that specific need, even then I would never do it ALL.
 

Kubrick used wide lenses a lot. If I remember correctly most of Eyes Wide Shut was shot with a 19mm lens. 2x anamorphic lenses create a distorted perspective and many great films have been shot exclusively with them. Victoria was all shot in one take btw. 

28 minutes ago, User said:

I understand that some camera can have an overly sharp 'electronic' image which can set the stage for criticism, but I'm curious to know if anyone else finds many of the shots in 'Micro' to be soft?

All due to the run and gun nature of the shoot.

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I'm with you man. I'm loving the BMMCC footage way more than the Ursa 4.6K. A good analogy of how I feel: You're driving down a highway looking for an exit with a good place to eat. You pass 3 or 4 exits thinking you'll find something better soon. Suddenly you're at the edge of a town and realized you passed up the best option. You turn the car around and go back an exit to the best choice.

For camera tech we've been chasing the perfect camera and I believe we've hit the point where it's passed "the sweet spot" and we're taking back a notch to find the best images.

 

EDIT: Image quality is subjective, but I'm speaking for the people who want something similar to 16/35mm film. The classic look.

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Why does the Pocket & Micro footage look so much nicer? Simple, it has to be the S16 sized sensor!

Personally, my favourite lens combo with the pocket is the Nikon 24mm f2.8 & Iscorama 54 (no speedbooster or lesser clone).

Anyone thinking that S16 is a format or sensor size that isn't used, then you must be kidding yourself - its everywhere simply because it has that something...

DSLRs & the introduction of FF for filming has created a snobbery towards S16, which is completely unfounded.

I'd take S16 over FF any day of the week, it just has such a pleasing look to my eye - S35 is the standard (obviously).

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37 minutes ago, AaronChicago said:

I'm with you man. I'm loving the BMMCC footage way more than the Ursa 4.6K. A good analogy of how I feel: You're driving down a highway looking for an exit with a good place to eat. You pass 3 or 4 exits thinking you'll find something better soon. Suddenly you're at the edge of a town and realized you passed up the best option. You turn the car around and go back an exit to the best choice.

For camera tech we've been chasing the perfect camera and I believe we've hit the point where it's passed "the sweet spot" and we're taking back a notch to find the best images.

 

EDIT: Image quality is subjective, but I'm speaking for the people who want something similar to 16/35mm film. The classic look.

I'm with you on this too. 

The BMMCC has a much better feel to the motion, whereas the 4.6k feels very very modern, likes it's trying not to be electronic but it just is. 

I've been shooting Sony a lot for the past few years just based on the features (such as slo-mo). They are challenging cameras to use, concerning "look and feel". 

The 1DC gets it right in 4k - soft but HIGHLY detailed resolution. A 1DC II with the specs of the 1DX II but with 10 bit 422 internal + Clog2 would be hard to ignore. 

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I actually think the motion aspect of the camera 'look' is probably down to the ergonomics of the cameras.  for instance the 1dc needs to be used with an external vf or a loupe.  if someone has invested in the 1dc they will also not skimp on a good and solid loupe.  the weight and the ability to shoot with 3 or more points of contact without even having to think about it - the link between the eye and the camera by holding a dslr and a loupe is way different to how an fs7, fs5, f55, c100 can be rigged and handled.  all of which are generally handled as you would a documentary type camera.  they're turn key systems that work on their own - much like a eng camera.  none of the viewfinders on the video cameras have the same ability for the shooter to lock the arms, chest and head into a solid shooting stance like you can with a dslr held to the eye. - the number of points of contact with a 1dc and a loupe provides reduction in rotational wobble, up/down wobble and side to side wobble.  the shooters head is directly in control of the movement.  shoulder rigs don;t provide such a optimised shooting stance.

 

the bmpcc also needs to be handled differently, with novel techniques used to rig it in order to make it ergonomic.  Since it's a blank canvas those using the bmpcc in real situations are taking the time to rig it, adjust, and get it running perfect for their style of shooting.

 

 

 

  

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All well said.

I also think motion cadence is related to true frames captured vs compressed motion. My nx1 and fs7 tests with sharpness on minus 10 or as off as it could be w leica r lenses still has that digital feel.

But yes always w digital sharpening off.

The f35 has a beautiful buttery feel but the pocket camera has more dynamic range. I would be curious to do a test. Also pocket camera vs 1d c.

Digital bolex....my issue w it is native oso feels like 200 asa and only 12 stops dynamic range plus just a fischer price like build. No offense to those who own it. Same poor build found in the original pocket camera. That lcd was hvx200 bad.

 

Robert bressom shot an entire film on the 35mm lens. What was the film called. And chivo...did children of men with just wides. No need for any type of lens. There are no rules. Just make the film look good to support the story.

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4 minutes ago, richg101 said:

I actually think the motion aspect of the camera 'look' is probably down to the ergonomics of the cameras.  for instance the 1dc needs to be used with an external vf or a loupe.  if someone has invested in the 1dc they will also not skimp on a good and solid loupe.  the weight and the ability to shoot with 3 or more points of contact without even having to think about it - the link between the eye and the camera by holding a dslr and a loupe is way different to how an fs7, fs5, f55, c100 can be rigged and handled.  all of which are generally handled as you would a documentary type camera.  they're turn key systems that work on their own - much like a eng camera.  none of the viewfinders on the video cameras have the same ability for the shooter to lock the arms, chest and head into a solid shooting stance like you can with a dslr held to the eye. - the number of points of contact with a 1dc and a loupe provides reduction in rotational wobble, up/down wobble and side to side wobble.  the shooters head is directly in control of the movement.  shoulder rigs don;t provide such a optimised shooting stance.

 

the bmpcc also needs to be handled differently, with novel techniques used to rig it in order to make it ergonomic.  Since it's a blank canvas those using the bmpcc in real situations are taking the time to rig it, adjust, and get it running perfect for their style of shooting.

 

 

 

  

 

I see what you mean by this. 

I did a lot of shooting on the GH3, and I had to do it with a rig for hands and shoulder because barebones, the motion of the footage looked bloody terrible. Jolty and wobbly, not in the "independent film" good way. 

With the FS7, I find that handheld/shoulder mounted operation isn't very inventive. There isn't much motion at all as you need to keep relatively still and the shots are quite static, "normal", not cinematic but great for framing a shot on foot. 

The F55 is different. It has a global shutter and a proper EVF on the side. I shoulder rigged this camera, and found that moving around a bit actually produced some very pleasing motion. 

The A7SII is a lot of fun to work with, as you can change shot quickly and use it barebones with the IBIS. I'm able to pull off some minor steadicam, slider type moves with this - and if you have a slow, fluid handling of the camera, it can have a decent cinematic "feeling". HOWEVER the IBIS can be a bit robotic (stay still an watch the image slowly shift) and moving the A7SII with a lens above 50mm falls into jello insanity (not cinematic at all). 

I think part of it is psychological. I used the BMPCC with a loupe and support rig. I really felt I was within the image, just seeing nothing else but the content with one eye. You don't get the same connection with a regular LCD screen. I think the emotional connection subconsciously helps you to film better. 

So i think the variables the cinematic motion comes down to is (not including your camera settings and lenses): 

  • Ergonomic handling on the camera (fluidity of the camera movement/motion). 
  • Fast rolling shutter readout or global shutter. 
  • Connection the operator has with the footage (seeing the action through a large viewfinder, being in the image). 
  • Codec (huge and understated reason). 

There's probably more but i'm procrastinating and have work to do!

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On 2/26/2016 at 1:41 PM, Cinegain said:

Yeah, somehow the 1D C has got it down and got it down good.... But I just have to admit... there's something about that 1D C... the footage I've seen that comes out of this is hard to touch and it makes it look so effortless. Maybe everything else there is just trying too hard...

I don't have my 1DC anymore - I moved to a A7Rii for the weight, convenience and video features. But the other day I was working with some of my old 1DC footage and wow - there's so much information in the codec. It feels real, tangible.

For me the codec is the key. It has such an influence over the feel of an image, it's robustness and 'crunchiness'. I feel like Sony's codecs smooth out the image somehow, making it technically great but somehow lacking a bit of soul. It feels like it's been denoised, with some of the reality taken out of it somehow.

On the upside though the A7Rii colour is much improved from my A7s, and it's great for the one-man-band corporate work I do. I do like the image. I just don't LOVE it.

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I hope that color improvement will find its way to the A6300 as well! Though, it's like Erik Naso said somewhere around here: 'I don't get the Sony skin tone argrument really. I like most of you shot in LOG modes and grade the image to what you want it to look like. I shoot with a lot of cameras. C100, C300, A7s, GH4, FS7 and they all get graded to look the way I want'.

It probably just depends on the effort that has to go into it. That's why I mentioned Canon just makes it seems so effortless, which is something people keep on saying... you pick one up, there's no fuzz, it just works. A slight curve adjustment would probably suffice in a lot of conditions. That's pretty neat and saves you a lot of time in post because with Sony, if something just still looks a little off and you've looked at the footage for way too long already you need to take a break and come back later with fresh eyes. And then it can have all the features in the world, but then you gotta hand it to Canon... for what it is, it's really good.

Perhaps the 5D4K... but until that time, there's no denying the rich featuresets of these mirrorless cameras that anno 2016 can give you new creative possibilities... which could be the only way to go in some situations and all the digital aids does make things a whole lot easier on you during shooting. There's no best of both worlds yet. Well, I guess maybe Blackmagic's schtuff is pretty darn close.

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7 hours ago, Axel said:

I totally dislike the artificial look of Sony cameras. Even without prominent artifacts or something I could nail down, the image looks processed. The Micro would have been the answer to everything, had it only a bigger sensor.

 

I think you have this backwards. It's not that sony cameras can look artificial. Quite the opposite... they tend to look too real. I liken it to the difference of watching a movie on set as opposed to watching the finished production in a movie theater. Clearly the behind the scenes view is the more accurate representaction of what really transpired. The fact is you prefer surreal to real. 

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You know, I'm not sure I would recommend this for most shooting, but if we're talking about perceived sharpness and motion cadence, there's always the option to consider of shooting a 0° shutter.  Personally, I kind of like it for some stuff.  It definitely takes the video-edge off whatever you're doing.  It removes the clinical "too-clean" nature of digital motion.

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15 hours ago, DBounce said:

I think you have this backwards. It's not that sony cameras can look artificial. Quite the opposite... they tend to look too real. 

Ghostly looking skin tones, greens that shift in a weird way, sky becomes a cotton candy blue when it clips. Canon has been beating Sony in color for years on the prosumer/consumer level.

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23 hours ago, User said:

I understand that some camera can have an overly sharp 'electronic' image which can set the stage for criticism, but I'm curious to know if anyone else finds many of the shots in 'Micro' to be soft?

Squig already answered:

22 hours ago, squig said:

All due to the run and gun nature of the shoot.

First, I understand Users complain. The perceived softness here is clearly poor focussing, since many of the shots, while not being 'overly sharp', wouldn't have given any reason to complain. I want to emphasize this in order to get any possible confusion with low resolution out of the way. I commented on this in an older 4k frenzy thread.

21 hours ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

Anyone thinking that S16 is a format or sensor size that isn't used, then you must be kidding yourself -

That must be me. I am not here to be in the right. I am happy to be proven wrong, to get from mere opinion to some state of knowledge, see Eds thread The Importance Of Trusting Your Own Opinion. Aaron said it:

21 hours ago, AaronChicago said:

A good analogy of how I feel: You're driving down a highway looking for an exit with a good place to eat. You pass 3 or 4 exits thinking you'll find something better soon. Suddenly you're at the edge of a town and realized you passed up the best option. You turn the car around and go back an exit to the best choice.

When I wrote that it's difficult to focus I had my experiences with run&gun-style shots with my Pocket in mind. Now it's time to re-evaluate. Back then, I used peaking to judge focus. With non-speedboosted original MFT-lenses (I had a few then, left from GH2), the hyperfocal distance (which is influenced by sensor size) more often than not only showed the acceptable focus - everything glowed green in the display - and resulted in the aforementioned perceived softness. Also, those lenses (with the exception of Voigtlander and SLR) had no good focus rings. I agree with squig that with speedbooster, part of that problem is solved.

Another way to avoid misjudging focus is to use a better monitor, I'd prefer an EVF. 

17 hours ago, DBounce said:

I think you have this backwards. It's not that sony cameras can look artificial. Quite the opposite... they tend to look too real. I liken it to the difference of watching a movie on set as opposed to watching the finished production in a movie theater. Clearly the behind the scenes view is the more accurate representaction of what really transpired. The fact is you prefer surreal to real. 

Hm, maybe it's just me. To be honest, I don't know the niceties of cadence, I think you were right if you talked about 24/25p. Those are less real in comparison to 30/50/60p. But the Sony colors always strike me as terminator vision. And I consider myself not particularly demanding in that respect. I saw a whole two and a half hour movie, filmed in one shot with a C300 (Victoria), AWB probably, but I never found the colors to be distracting or ugly. The film is worth seeing just for this aspect.

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23 hours ago, squig said:

As I mentioned I'm getting a speed booster for all my Leicas (16, 24, 28, 35, 50, 60, 90, 135) to complement the hyperprime, however you can shoot a whole film with a 35mm equivalent lens; check out the German film 'Victoria' all shot with a 24mm lens on a C300. I checked out the bokeh of the SLR magic and thought it looked really creamy. The Sigma bokeh is very nice too, but I wanted something with a more vintage look to match my 70s era Leicas. Agreed the Sigma is the best compromise.

Heard an interview with the DP for The Witch. He said almost all of the film was shot with a 32mm. They used legit cinema lenses though.

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Lighting, grading, and lenses make a huge difference (often in that order). I think most cinematographers when surveyed cite lighting as the biggest factor in cinematography, rather than the camera. 

As far as complaints about Sony color, a lot of Hollywood thrillers/horrors intentionally have that "Sony" look, graded more towards green and yellow. None of their skin tones look "rich" or "beautiful." David Fincher's films look pretty Sony. Even House of Cards looks Sony. And Fincher has shot a lot of RED, or exclusively RED for the past decade. Roger Deakins shot Prisoners, which is somewhat similar, and that was shot on the Alexa. 

When I saw Lone Survivor, I honestly thought it was shot on Canon dslrs or C-series. It looked cheap, and way punchy, like Act of Valor, and I hated the look for the dark material/story...and it was shot on RED too.

So if the color is an intentional decision, then Sony's colors may not necessarily be less cinematic. Sure, many people do like Canon's out-of-the-box color. Even if you're grading C-log, it certainly takes less effort if the punchy vibrant color is the look you're going for. But subject matters too. If we're talking doing as little as possible beyond image capture, then there are more cinematic cameras depending on the project. Romantic comedy? Canon would work. Thriller? Why not Sony.

To be fair, motion cadence is harder to cover up. The dslrs/h brid cams struggle with this. I think smooth camera movements help alleviate the motion cadence issue. Slow-motion almost always has better motion cadence - and I think this is because it eliminates the micro jitters in real time that look video (unnatural). Aliasing is another. So soften the image a little (lenses or desharp) and limit shaky cam, and I think that would help motion cadence. Just a theory.

But really, almost everything is a compromise, isn't it? Including the Alexa, which is price. You have to find what works for you or your project. But we all have our hierarchy of preferences. I sold my Red when I saw how noisy it was in low light... compared to the blackmagic cinema camera 2.5K, which looked a lot more cinematic at 1600 ISO. And blackmagic has a nice cinematic image, but if your focus puller isn't very good, maybe you're missing focus, hunting, or having to stop down. And then maybe that dual pixel Canon is nailing rack focusing and shallow depth of focus, is starting to look far more cinematic. And then, maybe your lighting budget is cut, and you have to shoot fast, in very low light. None of those will look more cinematic than the A7Sii in that context. 

Lastly, "Cinematic" is a complex, fluid term with a lot of variables and different contexts, but when you say cinematic, you mean what's shown in movie theaters historically and culturally. Which has been film, until recently. Cinematic has evolved over the years. Black and white was cinematic until technicolor. Which looked cinematic until film color improved and improved. Until it peaked, then you have all these disruptive looks and fragmentation, 16mm in the 60s, grittier exploitation films in the 70s, home video's influence in the 90s, with blair witch project and paranormal activity. I think Alexa is popular for being that transition (digital emulation of film), but the reality is that film is no longer the capture medium. When it was revealed Skyfall was being shot in 35mm, nobody really noticed or cared. But with HDR, 3D and future technologies, and even more fragmentation, cinematic is changing. 

And in the end, what's the point? Serve the story, in an appropriate (and hopefully creative) way. As great as the cinematography was for Revenant (reminiscent of the New World, also shot by Lubezki), it wasn't as fresh and exciting to me as the cinematography for Victoria. Shot on a C300 with a single lens.

The best cinematic look is the result of the right tool, not the perfect one, and skills, experience, and hard work. And a good team. 

I think that's a factor too. No camera can deliver cinema. Roger Deakins claims he could care less about the camera, he'd shoot on anything, he'd make an iPhone image look cinematic. And I believe him, because he's mastered lighting, framing, lensing, movement. He almost always works with good directors and postproduction teams too, which helps cohere all the elements of filmmaking.

 

 

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