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5D RAW for large screen projection of a doc?


Ty Harper
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Hey all,

Looking for feedback on the 5D RAW image's performance on a large screen projector. 

This is for a doc I've been working on for a bit about the history of Toronto's hip-hop scene.

I mention it's a hip-hop doc because I'm also thinking it might be possible to use the 5D RAW image's limitations at that screen size for an aesthetic advantage (?)

Additionally this doc is a political exercise, meant to show local communities - whose histories filmmakers/media companies consume for profit - can create, own, tell and watch their histories in a theatre without having to subscribe to the rules and exploitative tendencies of the established film and television industry.

Any constructive feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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I wanna see it.

Not sure what you mean by image limitations. Tangerine was shot on an iPhone and had a theatrical release. Act of Valor was shot with a 5D MK2 (not raw, but lots of big $ post tweaks). German film Victoria was shot with a C300 and looks cool. I'm shooting a feature http://www.gamma-movie.com with the 5D MK3 raw for theatrical release. I recently tested the Blackmagic micro cinema camera, and the 5D beat it in just about every test; same goes for the A7s and D5200.

This dude might be able to give you some ML projection tips-

 

 

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37 minutes ago, squig said:

I wanna see it.

Not sure what you mean by image limitations. Tangerine was shot on an iPhone and had a theatrical release. Act of Valor was shot with a 5D MK2 (not raw, but lots of big $ post tweaks). German film Victoria was shot with a C300 and looks cool. I'm shooting a feature http://www.gamma-movie.com with the 5D MK3 raw for theatrical release. I recently tested the Blackmagic micro cinema camera, and the 5D beat it in just about every test; same goes for the A7s and D5200.

This dude might be able to give you some ML projection tips-

 

 

Thanks for the info!

I haven't seen a lot of discussion about 5D RAW projected on a big screen (just a thread on the RED forum) so my assumption up to this point has been it's because it might not hold up well. But if that's not the case that's amazing news for me. 

Hopefully there are other knowledgable filmmakers who can chime in as well but thanks again!

 

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I watched 70D internal H.264 projected on the big screen (major theater) and it looked fine. 5D3 RAW will look even better.

After a bit of matching the A7S II to the C300 II in 4K, 5D3 RAW is finished for me. I can now get better skintones with less effort (and tiny 100Mbit/s files) on the A7S II with SGamut3.cine+Slog2+16 Saturation and ARRI Alexa SL LUT in PP CC (plus additional tweaks which are easy once learned). The C300 II is of course better, but not by much for YouTube delivery (AF, RS, audio, and post gradability are vastly better on the C300 II. A7S II can't AF any Canon lenses in video mode (also not usable for stills: the 5D3 rules for stills)). For ultra gradability in post, 5D3 RAW is still a player with amazing performance for the cost. It will look great on the big screen (full 1080 ML RAW capture).

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2 minutes ago, Ty Harper said:

Thanks for the info!

I haven't seen a lot of discussion about 5D RAW projected on a big screen (just a thread on the RED forum) so my assumption up to this point has been it's because it might not hold up well. But if that's not the case that's amazing news for me. 

Hopefully there are other knowledgable filmmakers who can chime in as well but thanks again!

 

I wouldn't be worried about projection at all. I haven't bothered to do any projection tests; Magic Lantern IQ looks great at 2K. 14bit CDNG is the gold standard for digital filmmaking.

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54 minutes ago, squig said:

I wanna see it.

Not sure what you mean by image limitations. Tangerine was shot on an iPhone and had a theatrical release. I'm shooting a feature http://www.gamma-movie.com with the 5D MK3 raw for theatrical release. Magic Lantern records 14bit digital negatives, the gold standard for digital filmmaking. I recently tested the Blackmagic micro cinema camera, and the 5D beat it in just about every test; same goes for the A7s and D5200. The MK3 raw is great for shooting with practical light in clubs and studios. The only other cameras I'd consider would be the D750 and the C100MKII, both with an external prores recorder. Maybe the D500 too, but nobody's done any extensive tests on that one yet. Those 3 cameras may be a little better in low light but they can't record 14bit raw. Raw gives you a lot of flexibility to work on the aesthetic in post.

 

 

Thank you Squig for your continued discussion of the 5D iii raw. I've put off Canon for so long, I just haven't really paid attention. But I am finally considering this camera for raw. It's images are gorgeous. What are the drawbacks, other than large file sizes and obvious raw workflow stuff?

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55 minutes ago, squig said:

This dude might be able to give you some ML projection tips...[...]

Looks great squig! Check out the A7S II- can cut well with 5D3 RAW, with more DR and much better low light (+IBIS).

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1 minute ago, Jonesy Jones said:

Thank you Squig for your continued discussion of the 5D iii raw. I've put off Canon for so long, I just haven't really paid attention. But I am finally considering this camera for raw. It's images are gorgeous. What are the drawbacks, other than large file sizes and obvious raw workflow stuff?

I'm gonna start a thread soon "Squig's apocalypse" with some behind the scenes tech stuff, and I'll show some snippets of 5D raw stuff from the film there. Workflow is a breeze now using MLVFS; you can just load up the MLV raw files in Resolve or Premiere without any transcoding. I get realtime playback in Resolve with up to 12 nodes on my 2010 6 core 3.33GHz Mac Pro with a  GeForce GTX-980. I've got 4 x 4Tb internal drives running a 12Tb raid 5 with SoftRAID 5, and a 1TB SSD system disk. That's enough storage for around a 40 day narrative shoot (75min per day) filming a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, and backing up to LTO-5 tape.

There aren't really any drawbacks I can think of, there were so bugs but they've been squashed and stability is really good. There's analog gain added to the signal past 1600 ISO but I'm comfortable with the IQ up to 6400 ISO, but I expose to the right and blow the highlights a bit to keep the fixed pattern noise at bay. Highlight recovery and rolloff are good, better than the BMMCC. I shoot 60p 720p 1.5x anamorphic and stretch it to 2K.

28 minutes ago, jcs said:

Looks great squig! Check out the A7S II- can cut well with 5D3 RAW, with more DR and much better low light (+IBIS).

I've still got my A7s but I'm only using it for production stills. From what I've seen the A7sII has much better skin tones, and is better in low light, but the rolling shutter is too high for my liking. I really like the D750 image, and I might have a play with one; I like the C series look too, but I love how raw grades and I'm not sure I could go back to compressed codecs.

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Squig, what settings you usually use with auto ETTR in ML? (if you use it) It is a little bit hard to tell how much one can blow out the highlights to recover it i post later, so i usually expose to keep all the highlights (and when using AETTR highlight ignore is 0,1%, midtone and shadow snr are off).

What is your opinion about 5d3 raw vs 1dc/1dxII 4k mjpeg on just image quality? Both seems amazing (i used 550d and 6d both with ML and now 5d3 for 3 years, i love it) but i wondered if anybody who use 5d3 with ML a lot (like me) and is familiar with all the features and the very recent workflow would change 2k raw for 4k mjpeg? I am constantly tempted by DPAF and 120fps 1080p but i think that at the end of the day i would cry after leaving raw back to 8bit compressed (great looking though).

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1 hour ago, squig said:

I've still got my A7s but I'm only using it for production stills. From what I've seen the A7sII has much better skin tones, and is better in low light, but the rolling shutter is too high for my liking. I really like the D750 image, and I might have a play with one; I like the C series look too, but I love how raw grades and I'm not sure I could go back to compressed codecs.

Yeah the A7S II RS is a weak point, though for tripod/steadicam/gimbal it's not really an issue. I did a shoot with the A7S II and the Sony 24-240 IS mostly at the long end, handheld with a rod-to-belt stabilizer, and after post stabilization looked decent (only certain motions occasionally produced weird RS artifacts/wobbles. FCPX's stabilizer and RS reduction works vastly better and much faster than PP CC (I edit mostly in PP CC- rendered out to stabilize in FCPX).

Our latest project is for online only, and we're shooting with the C300 II at 1080p/24 using the 10-bit 422 50Mbit/s IPB codec. It's shot in a studio on tripod and after A/B comparing 50Mbps IPB to the much higher bitrate ALL-I codecs, we're shooting everything at 50Mbps (on green screen to boot- keys just fine with Ultra in PP CC). The next shoot will be with 3 cameras- will try to match the old A7S (Slog2 with Pro/Rec709 color and tweaks) with the A7S II and C300 II. Just did a test with the A7S- it will match close enough with studio lighting. The A7S II is much improved vs. the A7S (hadn't shot them in the same environment before).

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1 hour ago, kgv5 said:

Squig, what settings you usually use with auto ETTR in ML? (if you use it) It is a little bit hard to tell how much one can blow out the highlights to recover it i post later, so i usually expose to keep all the highlights (and when using AETTR highlight ignore is 0,1%, midtone and shadow snr are off).

What is your opinion about 5d3 raw vs 1dc/1dxII 4k mjpeg on just image quality? Both seems amazing (i used 550d and 6d both with ML and now 5d3 for 3 years, i love it) but i wondered if anybody who use 5d3 with ML a lot (like me) and is familiar with all the features and the very recent workflow would change 2k raw for 4k mjpeg? I am constantly tempted by DPAF and 120fps 1080p but i think that at the end of the day i would cry after leaving raw back to 8bit compressed (great looking though).

I don't use auto ETTR, just the ETTR exposure hint in the histogram. I tend to push the exposure 'till it hits the "over" point in the histogram, but it really depends on the shot. The 5D needs a hot signal to minimise the noise. I like the look of the 1Dc and 1DxII mjpeg, it's a lot better than H.264, but I wouldn't trade raw for mjpeg, especially for that price. I love the size and weight of the 5D, and I wouldn't go for anything bigger unless there was a substantial IQ improvement, I'm talking Alexa good. I'm not interested in 4K at all, I just want another 2 stops of dynamic range. Too bad the Nikon raw hack didn't succeed, but maybe the Sony hackers will crack raw, or ML might try to crack the 5D MK4.

1 hour ago, jcs said:

Our latest project is for online only, and we're shooting with the C300 II at 1080p/24 using the 10-bit 422 50Mbit/s IPB codec. It's shot in a studio on tripod and after A/B comparing 50Mbps IPB to the much higher bitrate ALL-I codecs, we're shooting everything at 50Mbps (on green screen to boot- keys just fine with Ultra in PP CC). The next shoot will be with 3 cameras- will try to match the old A7S (Slog2 with Pro/Rec709 color and tweaks) with the A7S II and C300 II. Just did a test with the A7S- it will match close enough with studio lighting. The A7S II is much improved vs. the A7S (hadn't shot them in the same environment before).

The only time I've ever been able to make the A7s look any good is under studio lighting. Well lit the A7s 1080p codec holds up pretty well, but it's not as resolute as the 5D raw, and the DR looks about the same graded. I look forward to the day Canon, Sony, or especially Nikon DSLRs record raw out of the factory.; or Blackmagic sources some higher sensitivity sensors. If you haven't seen that German film 'Victoria' shot on the C300 check it out. I was really impressed with the cine, all shot in one take and mostly with practicals. If the 5D couldn't shoot raw I'd be all over a C100MKII and a ninja star or BM video assist. I might have to hire a D750 and a C100MKII just to convince myself once and for all that the MK3 is the right tool for the job.

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5D RAW is good enough for projection on a big screen. Made it several times with always good results. DCP in jpeg2k and you're done. Just have to upscale your size from the native 1920x1080 to 2K. Projectors accept only DCI standards and no 1080...

 

Concerning the project : a doc. For documentary for sure i'd go with an A7SII and not a 5D RAW... By far. I've got the two bodies at home and as jcs said, the only major drawback of the A7SII is the jello effect from the Rolling shutter technology... Too bad really. Annoying even on tripod with micro jitters. But when you know it you do with it. The A7SII has by far more little files, has better dynamic, and better low light abilities... Everything i would go with for a documentary. Get a power bank like an Anker astro E7 26800 mAh and you have more than 2 days of shooting with you.

 

After using the A7SII, i never use anymore my 5D for video... I only use it for pictures, where it shines a lot compared to the A7SII.

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This trailer is for a feature documentary (80 minutes) I shot that was projected at three different theaters for festivals. I screened on Blu-Ray for the festivals because DCP wasn't an option for one reason or another. To qualify what I write, I made tests of DCP vs Blu Ray for another film at a theater and found that Blu Ray washes out color without losing much in resolution. I have also projected two different films at festivals occasionally on Blu Ray, one shot on 35mm and another on the Alexa.

In my experience, 5D Raw has noticeably less resolution than the Alexa and 35mm (with 2K DI). It looks great on my large computer screen but the lower resolution was surprising for me once it played on the big screen. For me, it didn't seem good enough (with all due respect to what others have said), but this is very subjective. I haven't had a chance to compare it to the C300 or any lower end cameras. I still use my 5D for casual shooting, but in the future, I would try to film on the C300 for any documentaries. The C300 seem to be fine on large screens, and the ergonomics and workflow are so much better for documentary filming. The price for these cameras used are so cheap now, and they are not huge cameras.

If you do go ahead with the 5D, I noticed that anything I filmed 400ASA and under held up much better. And on the positive side, you save a ton of money if you already own the camera, and the film will look great on smaller screens. No one at the festival screenings seemed to be bothered by the cinematography in our doc, and we received many compliments on it.

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42 minutes ago, squig said:

I wouldn't touch the A7sII for a doco. The last I wanna do is white balance mixed practicals when I need to be focusing on focusing and framing the action.

I've been having good luck setting the WB on the A7SII to the dominant light color and doing any WB tweaks in post. This was not possible with the A7S. The big issue with the A7S is magenta-green color shift depending on exposure. To really get color right on the A7S requires secondary / masked / separate shadow/mid/high WB.

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56 minutes ago, LIC said:

In my experience, 5D Raw has noticeably less resolution than the Alexa and 35mm (with 2K DI). It looks great on my large computer screen but the lower resolution was surprising for me once it played on the big screen. For me, it didn't seem good enough (with all due respect to what others have said), but this is very subjective. I haven't had a chance to compare it to the C300 or any lower end cameras.

Did you do any post sharpening? I usually sharpen my 5D raw shots a bit in resolve, it doesn't fall apart and look unnaturally sharpened like most compressed footage does. Adding some grain also increases the perceived resolution.

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5D Raw will look excellent. You need to do the sharpening yourself as RAW codecs don't do it for you. Or just keep it slightly soft, looks great anyway.

7 hours ago, LIC said:

In my experience, 5D Raw has noticeably less resolution than the Alexa and 35mm (with 2K DI). It looks great on my large computer screen but the lower resolution was surprising for me once it played on the big screen.

Couple of things here. Alexa and 35mm are usually already sharpened, especially if you use the prores variation of the Alexa. You need to do the sharpening yourself on the 5d material. With a 2k DI there is a limit to the maximum amount of detail and the 5d raw is already quite near that limit. Everything else is how you do the postwork.

Also adding grain (which is already there with the 35mm stuff) will also increase "apparent" sharpness.

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