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ProRes vs ProRes - A first look at uncompressed HDMI with the Nikon D5200 vs the Blackmagic Cinema Camera


Andrew Reid
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Oh no not you again.  I'll see my reply as a comic relief for general viewers since I strongly believe those that follow this site are not soft.  lol.  Therefore we have a nice double header at the movies!  1.  We've got a nice article, 2.  We've got a VFX artist from Texas theorizing on Turkey from general CNN.  I think the next time I go to Amsterdam I'm gonna roll a nice phat one and think about the every so boring conservative state of Texas.  

 

ROFL, wow, you're so baller.  

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The thing that frustrates me about Nikon is that they really have no reason to hold back when it comes to competing in the Cinema DLSR market.  Why are they stepping in so timidly when they can really just go all out with at least one of their cameras and tweak it for Cinema use.  Put in a robust codec, LOG Profile... You know just get serious and kick Canon in the teeth.  Even if they didn't go all out and do a 4K camera, why not a 2.5k D800 or D7100? 

 

The D5200 comes so close to giving people what they want in an affordable Hybrid camera and yet such basic flaws in the camera that don't seem to need to be there.  How much more would it cost them to ask Pros what they should deliver in Cinema Nikon?  As long as they price their cameras under Canon they'd likely be successful as heck.  Still the D5200 is a heck of a bargain.  I can't wait to see what the deal is with the D7100.

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As long as they price their cameras under Canon they'd likely be successful as heck....

 

You'd almost think they had some kind of back room deal going so that none of them released any serious, deciding threat to each other or their own over-bloated pro lines.  Then along comes some little company (by comparison) with a camera called the BMCC who didn't get that memo and they're left looking rather lazy and stupid to all but serious stills photographers.

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You'd almost think they had some kind of back room deal going so that none of them released any serious, deciding threat to each other or their own over-bloated pro lines.

 

Maybe it's a patent or licensing issue? There are very similar output characteristics between the Canon & Nikon DSLR's and GH3 for that matter, not unreasonable to consider that there maybe patented or licensed tech in the pipeline from source frames in camera to h264 encoder?

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You'd almost think they had some kind of back room deal going so that none of them released any serious, deciding threat to each other or their own over-bloated pro lines.  Then along comes some little company (by comparison) with a camera called the BMCC who didn't get that memo and they're left looking rather lazy and stupid to all but serious stills photographers.

 

100% agree.

 

It's horizontal collusion (Which Japanese manufacturers are notorious for)  under the guise of "vertical product differentiation".

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Unless this camera is doing the C300's trick (when not in cine mode) and recording values above "clipping" in super white, so you can pull back in post, I'd guess clipped is clipped on this Nikon.

 

That's what the such an ND is for though, bring the sky down a bit to keep things in range, I don't see why it's funny! It's  a perfectly valid solution to such a problem. It certainly would allow someone to use a camera with low dynamic range and a filter to shoot a similar scene to that which could be shot without the filter and using a BMCC or similar raw camera.

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It is a good solution.

 

That comment makes you look a bit silly.

 

I laughed because he clearly misunderstood what I wrote.

We all know what an ND filter does, allowing proper fshutter speed and fast aperture even in bright sun.

What I wrote is "high dynamic range" scenes, which involves light spanning from dark areas to extremely bright ones.

And that's not solved at all by an ND filter.

 

Maybe he was moved by my sentence: "an overxposed sky", but what I meant is not a faulty shoot but a common problem (as for a indoor set with outside seen from the windows), where the change in light is not vertically graduated.

 

More politely, here the topic is the quality of data delivered by 10bit hdmi from D5200, not a possible solution for a generic outdoor scene with bright sun, so a gradient ND filter is not an appropriate answer.

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The thing that frustrates me about Nikon is that they really have no reason to hold back when it comes to competing in the Cinema DLSR market.  Why are they stepping in so timidly when they can really just go all out with at least one of their cameras and tweak it for Cinema use.  Put in a robust codec, LOG Profile... You know just get serious and kick Canon in the teeth.  Even if they didn't go all out and do a 4K camera, why not a 2.5k D800 or D7100? 

 

The D5200 comes so close to giving people what they want in an affordable Hybrid camera and yet such basic flaws in the camera that don't seem to need to be there.  How much more would it cost them to ask Pros what they should deliver in Cinema Nikon?  As long as they price their cameras under Canon they'd likely be successful as heck.  Still the D5200 is a heck of a bargain.  I can't wait to see what the deal is with the D7100.

 

A few things about the Nikon situation:

 

Nikon doesn't have the same long digital video background as Canon, Panasonic or Sony. They were the first to get out the D90 DSLR with video - but they never had DV & HDV cameras, so they are a bit of a latecomer to the video market. Stills photographers have constantly remained their main focus.

 

Also, remember the floodings in Thailand and tsunami in Japan? Nikon was the camera company that was hit the hardest by these. Nikon's main factories were in Thailand and Japan, and both were hit very seriously. If you compare with Canon, they also have factories in China, where Nikon didn't have any manufacturing except the lower end lenses. If you compare with Canon and Sony they also have a lot of other tech segments and factories that weren't affected. This means that as a percentage of total revenue, these companies weren't affected as much by these natural disasters.

 

Nikon D800 was delayed at least six months due to these events.

 

With that in hindsight, when looking at what Nikon has recently released lately in the form of video capable DSLRs, it does seem like they are putting efforts to video. But, they are likely slowed down in their process due to the disasters they've gone through. Since a large margin of Nikon's profits are for lenses - they are most likely interested in selling cameras for video use as well - so they can sell even more lenses.

 

My personal belief is that Nikon surely is observing the growing market with digital video cameras and that they don't want to miss out the potential growth of their business. But, considering the past and the current situation for Nikon, I still think it's quite a while until we'll see anything else than DSLRs with film mode + HDMI like the current generation (D5200, D7100, D800).

 

One interesting thing to note is that Nikon recently patented a new mount for mirrorless APS-C cameras. That could be an interesting sign of things to come...

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What I wrote is "high dynamic range" scenes, which involves light spanning from dark areas to extremely bright ones.

And that's not solved at all by an ND filter.

 

Then, again, same solution as with film, you use more light to remove the contrast.

 

"Black Magic" is the name of the camera and the company, they're not actually claiming the camera has magical properties, FYI.  And there's definitely no magic in the Nikon.

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The thing that frustrates me about Nikon is that they really have no reason to hold back when it comes to competing in the Cinema DLSR market.  Why are they stepping in so timidly when they can really just go all out with at least one of their cameras and tweak it for Cinema use.  Put in a robust codec, LOG Profile... You know just get serious and kick Canon in the teeth.  Even if they didn't go all out and do a 4K camera, why not a 2.5k D800 or D7100? 

 

The D5200 comes so close to giving people what they want in an affordable Hybrid camera and yet such basic flaws in the camera that don't seem to need to be there.  How much more would it cost them to ask Pros what they should deliver in Cinema Nikon?  As long as they price their cameras under Canon they'd likely be successful as heck.  Still the D5200 is a heck of a bargain.  I can't wait to see what the deal is with the D7100.

I just spoke with Panasonic RE the GH3 and had a similar gripe for them. In a nutshell this statement applies to all consumer and some pro divisions of the big camera companies. They don't give a hoot about REAL users. They are looking at customer trends and sales numbers and the marketing/strategy folks drive the whole product development process ( right into the ground IMHO).
I built my day job around the user centricity movement of the late1990's
It's a tragic story. All the resources are there for appliction of Kaizen & Gemba in prosumer camera gear manufacture, but the marketing/strategy guys are IN THE WAY.
RED Digital comes out and tries to be the hero and they succeed just in time to see Sony steal thier concepts and no doubt, put them out of business.
meanwhile, The big camera companies are only half listening to us.
The solution begins with a revolt (doesn't it always?)
We must STOP buying the beta releases and let the manufacturers know we are deliberately holding our money back till they get this stuff right. At the very least, we need modular and upgradable systems. not disposable DSLR's or MFT products.
If they want to know who to call to put it all together for them, they can call ME.

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Unless this camera is doing the C300's trick (when not in cine mode) and recording values above "clipping" in super white, so you can pull back in post, I'd guess clipped is clipped on this Nikon.

 

That's what the such an ND is for though, bring the sky down a bit to keep things in range, I don't see why it's funny! It's  a perfectly valid solution to such a problem. It certainly would allow someone to use a camera with low dynamic range and a filter to shoot a similar scene to that which could be shot without the filter and using a BMCC or similar raw camera.

Clipped has always meant CLIPPED when it comes to Nikon digital ;)

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Then, again, same solution as with film, you use more light to remove the contrast.

 

"Black Magic" is the name of the camera and the company, they're not actually claiming the camera has magical properties, FYI.  And there's definitely no magic in the Nikon.

 

Again, your solutions can be good in some practical situations (not in others, like real life documentaries), but this is not the purpose of this topic, where we are talking about tests to prove camera's qualities.

 

So, Zakuto shootouts (with intentional high range from shadows to lights) would be useless for you?

Think of the audience of the Shootouts answering: you could put more light there and solve the problem.

They would be missing totally the point. :)

 

And I'm not talking about magic, I'm talking about normal things allowed by floating point colour data.

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Unless this camera is doing the C300's trick (when not in cine mode) and recording values above "clipping" in super white, so you can pull back in post, I'd guess clipped is clipped on this Nikon.

 

That's what the such an ND is for though, bring the sky down a bit to keep things in range, I don't see why it's funny! It's  a perfectly valid solution to such a problem. It certainly would allow someone to use a camera with low dynamic range and a filter to shoot a similar scene to that which could be shot without the filter and using a BMCC or similar raw camera.

 

Clipped has always meant CLIPPED when it comes to Nikon digital ;)

 

In fact, this is false headroom - no magic in here. There is no more range in the data of the C300 the the Nikon (not talking about DR, but the data).

 

Like Yellow said in a different discussion, Nikon is just using the entire 8bit range (BT470) opposed to Rec709 where it records a 16-235 luma.

 

When you go super white (and sometime superblack), they record full range 8 bit data (at least in luma) and flagged that as Rec709. Are they using a BT470 matrix and wrongfully flag that as Rec709 ? I don't know.

 

Maybe Yellow would be able to confirm that - or have a better explanation.

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The comment about Nikon and CLIPPING, meah, whatever.

 

From the few native samples of C300 I've looked at it appears to be able to capture luma into 16 - 255, like many cameras. Certainly many Canon mpeg2 video camera sources I've seen are 16 - 255 luma but assume 16 - 240 chroma. Rec709 primaries, transfer and luma coeffs. But I don't think they use the mpeg2 sequence display extension to signal full levels, so unless some sort of luma scaling into 16 - 235 is done at decompression a 32bit float conversion to RGB will almost certainly be required to prevent software clipping of luma, all depending on camera use and exposure choice. Even then the preview will look clipped but the data safe to be 'graded' into 16 - 235 range for encoding out.

 

Nikon, Canon DSLR's & GH3 encoding into MOV all use full 8bit luma BUT also normalize chroma over the full range, not staying within 16 - 240. But use the h264 VUI Option 'fullrange' in the metadata of the h264 stream to signal to a well behaved decompressing codec to scale levels 16 - 235 before conversion to RGB.

 

VLC with hardware acceleration on ignores the fullrange flag so preview looks more contrasty with levels beyond 16 - 235 being crushed to black and compressed to white accordingly. NLE preview the same even at 32bit float as it's all display referred material but with 32bit float workspace the out of range data is held onto not lost.

 

Most NLE's these days respect the fullrange flag and avert any problem with software induced crushing and clipping.

 

It is possible to simply turn off the fullrange flag in the stream, which is something I personally do in order to avoid the scaling of levels into reduced range at import into the NLE, so you have access to super white and black, then work at 32bit float which holds onto RGB values beyond the 0.0 to 1.0 range but this needs care, then scale into strict rec709 for encoding out.

 

Why Nikon uses BT470 luma coeffs I'm unsure but guess it's to do with noise or hiding it, like they hide noise or at least have done previously by skewing the color channels.

 

Difficult to compare and ultimately pointless I guess to try to compare C300 mpeg2 with DSLR h264 with regard to any benefit of super whites.

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