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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

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@webrunner5 @thebrothersthre3 @Emanuel I agree that we should be able to degrade the P4K footage to look like the older cameras.  Things like bit-depth, resolution, or noise can't be improved, but given a sufficiently high-quality source I think that the 'look' should be able to be replicated.

If anyone owns the P4K and other relevant "classic" cameras and is willing to shoot a short clip of the same scene (with both cameras right next to each other and recording at the same time) then I'll give it a red-hot go to "fix" the P4K footage and share the settings of how I got there.

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2 minutes ago, kye said:

@webrunner5 @thebrothersthre3 @Emanuel I agree that we should be able to degrade the P4K footage to look like the older cameras.  Things like bit-depth, resolution, or noise can't be improved, but given a sufficiently high-quality source I think that the 'look' should be able to be replicated.

If anyone owns the P4K and other relevant "classic" cameras and is willing to shoot a short clip of the same scene (with both cameras right next to each other and recording at the same time) then I'll give it a red-hot go to "fix" the P4K footage and share the settings of how I got there.

And actually, it would be even better if we could get a GH5 shot in there too.  That way those GH5 owners who are fans of the classic look (like me!) can also benefit.  Maybe a P4K, BMPCC and GH5 lineup perhaps?

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This shows a pretty good difference between what the PK4 mindset is for more of a Cine, Filmic look is than what Panny was doing to the GH5. Both have their place. A OG BMPCC would be even more gruff looking than the PK4. This video may have been here before. looks kind of familiar? Can you make them look alike, well yeah maybe, but not very easy to do. Now matching up with the GH5s might be a bit easier I would think.

 

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14 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

This shows a pretty good difference between what the PK4 mindset is for more of a Cine, Filmic look is than what Panny was doing to the GH5. Both have their place. A OG BMPCC would be even more gruff looking than the PK4. This video may have been here before. looks kind of familiar? Can you make them look alike, well yeah maybe, but not very easy to do. Now matching up with the GH5s might be a bit easier I would think.

 

I don't care what they look like when made to "look good" or even how well other people have matched the colours or whatever.

I'm talking about a full-out attempt to make them indistinguishable.  @Sage has included some modifications to sharpness of the GH5 vs Alexa in his GHa LUT packs, and I'm talking about that kind of thing.

If I can work out how to make the P4K look like the BMPCC then I think there are a bunch of things in there we can learn.  Yes, that's a pretty big change, but we can always apply the different adjustments at varying levels of severity according to taste.

At the very least we'll all learn something.  I don't have a P4K or BMPCC but I'm still up for it because trying things is the only way to really advance, and I know you guys can see stuff that I can't so I'm keen to see through your eyes as it were.  

I'm talking a new thread, posting comparison clips, sharing what adjustments I made, taking feedback from the group, and really trying to nail it.  Who can shoot the clips?

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54 minutes ago, kye said:

I don't care what they look like when made to "look good" or even how well other people have matched the colours or whatever.

I'm talking about a full-out attempt to make them indistinguishable.  @Sage has included some modifications to sharpness of the GH5 vs Alexa in his GHa LUT packs, and I'm talking about that kind of thing.

If I can work out how to make the P4K look like the BMPCC then I think there are a bunch of things in there we can learn.  Yes, that's a pretty big change, but we can always apply the different adjustments at varying levels of severity according to taste.

At the very least we'll all learn something.  I don't have a P4K or BMPCC but I'm still up for it because trying things is the only way to really advance, and I know you guys can see stuff that I can't so I'm keen to see through your eyes as it were.  

I'm talking a new thread, posting comparison clips, sharing what adjustments I made, taking feedback from the group, and really trying to nail it.  Who can shoot the clips?

I would but I unfortunately don't own any of those cameras. 

You should be able to get 14 bit RAW to looks like most anything though. Heck Sage is making the GH5 10 bit 422 H264 match an Alexa. 

Would be a cool thread though. 

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1 hour ago, kye said:

I don't care what they look like when made to "look good" or even how well other people have matched the colours or whatever.

I'm talking about a full-out attempt to make them indistinguishable.  @Sage has included some modifications to sharpness of the GH5 vs Alexa in his GHa LUT packs, and I'm talking about that kind of thing.

If I can work out how to make the P4K look like the BMPCC then I think there are a bunch of things in there we can learn.  Yes, that's a pretty big change, but we can always apply the different adjustments at varying levels of severity according to taste.

At the very least we'll all learn something.  I don't have a P4K or BMPCC but I'm still up for it because trying things is the only way to really advance, and I know you guys can see stuff that I can't so I'm keen to see through your eyes as it were.  

I'm talking a new thread, posting comparison clips, sharing what adjustments I made, taking feedback from the group, and really trying to nail it.  Who can shoot the clips?

Hell I thought you were talking the differences LoL. I don't really think it is going to be the same ever. It is a Sony sensor. I don't care what you do with it, it is not  going to look alike. And all the cameras that use that sensor really look alike. None of them look like a OG BMPCC.

There has never been a camera that looks like the original C100. Even the C100 mk II doesn't look at all like it. Some cameras just have a certain, special look.

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20 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

Hell I thought you were talking the differences LoL. I don't really think it is going to be the same ever. It is a Sony sensor. I don't care what you do with it, it is not  going to look alike. And all the cameras that use that sensor really look alike. None of them look like a OG BMPCC.

There has never been a camera that looks like the original C100. Even the C100 mk II doesn't look at all like it. Some cameras just have a certain, special look.

I don't know if a Gh5 can match an Alexa I think anything's possible

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35 minutes ago, graphicnatured said:

I can shoot the same scene with a P4k, a OG Pocket and a Micro Cinema if you want. Tell me what you want shot and I'll do it and share the raw files.

Awesome!  

I'm thinking we should do this carefully and properly, unlike all the other BS camera comparisons we all justifiably hang shit on.

I think there's two approaches

  1. Shoot all of cameras simultaneously, which would mean no differences in what they're filming and we can sync them up for direct comparison.  The downside to this is that you can't use the same lens on each of them, unless you can borrow some duplicates from somewhere, and the angles would be slightly different, but with a long focal length this is passable.
  2. Shoot them sequentially and have a completely controlled scene, so 100% artificial lighting (already warmed up), etc.  The upside is we can get the same angle and lens, the downside is that any human movement or poses won't be identical.

In terms of what to shoot, we absolutely need movement, we absolutely need skin tones, and we absolutely need to have a range of highlights/shadows and different colours.

I'm not going to be able to match the colours exactly like @Sage has done with the GHa, I'm more interested in making the footage from the P4K look like it was shot with either of the other two cameras, ie, to be believable.  I'm with @DBounce that motion plays a critical role here.  I'm also thinking that resolution and softness are in the mix somehow too.

And if we can get a GH5 in there too that would be absolutely brilliant!

There really is something special about the BMPCC and some of these old cameras, and maybe @webrunner5 is right, but maybe not, and i'm not sure if anyone has given it a serious go or not.

What does everyone think about how to shoot it?

I'm going to need guidance from everyone else on this project for sure :)

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I don't have a gh5, unfortunately, I have access to the three cameras mentioned as well as an Ursa Mini Pro, but that isn't part of this conversation. I have Kino Flos and Astras, bounces, etc.. A adorable eight year-old I can use as a model or can find someone to help, and I live in a pretty beautiful place (San Diego) I'm looking forward to this. If anyone in the forum is from around here and has a GH5 they want to bring, I'm all for it. I think so many are really interested in matching the new look to the old look though. Shooting simultaneously makes sense unless we light it, then I don't think that matters as long as we get the movement to be close. My lenses are all Nikon mount: I have (nikon) 85 1.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 vr1, 35mm f2, Sigma 50 1.4, Tokina 11-16, Tokina 100 macro, Helios 44-2, jupiter 9, helios 40, slr magic variable nd 2, hoya ir cut --- Both OG Pocket and Micro have Speedboosters, P4k has Viltrox. I would love to collaborate if anyone in Socal wants in on this.

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I don't think using the exact same lens on each camera is optional and its where a lot of these comparison videos on YouTube are doomed before they start.

With the very different sensor sizes between the original and new Pocket cameras it is going to have to be a zoom one to match the FOV of the shots. To reduce the advantage the smaller sensor camera has by virtue of it using the stronger performing area of the lens, it should be a lens that covers full frame. 

And a constant aperture one obviously.

From the list that @graphicnatured has just put up that would be the Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 that would be the most appropriate.

If you only have one copy of the lens and want exact matched content with movement in it then the solution to not being able to shoot simultaneously would be to actually have a static scene but have the camera on a motorised slider which would then give you a consistent repeatable movement.

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36 minutes ago, graphicnatured said:

I don't have a gh5, unfortunately, I have access to the three cameras mentioned as well as an Ursa Mini Pro, but that isn't part of this conversation. I have Kino Flos and Astras, bounces, etc.. A adorable eight year-old I can use as a model or can find someone to help, and I live in a pretty beautiful place (San Diego) I'm looking forward to this. If anyone in the forum is from around here and has a GH5 they want to bring, I'm all for it. I think so many are really interested in matching the new look to the old look though. Shooting simultaneously makes sense unless we light it, then I don't think that matters as long as we get the movement to be close. My lenses are all Nikon mount: I have (nikon) 85 1.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 vr1, 35mm f2, Sigma 50 1.4, Tokina 11-16, Tokina 100 macro, Helios 44-2, jupiter 9, helios 40, slr magic variable nd 2, hoya ir cut --- Both OG Pocket and Micro have Speedboosters, P4k has Viltrox. I would love to collaborate if anyone in Socal wants in on this.

Awesome!

These camera tests are a lot more work than they seem, so including whatever other cameras (and helpers to come with them!) is a lot easier than trying to repeat the test with those missing cameras, or to try and shoot something equivalent under different conditions.

I'm totally fine for someone on social to get in on this too, I'm after knowledge not fame :)

37 minutes ago, graphicnatured said:

I think so many are really interested in matching the new look to the old look though.

This is my primary drive, so exact colours and whatever don't matter as much to me.  

When you look at old BMPCC footage that "x-factor" is apparent, so I don't think we need identical movements.  It's a "we'll know it when we see it" kind of thing, and that's why I think so many are interested in it but no-one can really describe what "it" is.  Thus why we invent new words like Mojo :)

17 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

I don't think using the exact same lens on each camera is optional and its where a lot of these comparison videos on YouTube are doomed before they start.

My vote is for matching the "soul" of the cameras so I don't care if the movement is identical, so now we just have to pick the most cinematic lens... lol.

....

So, artificial lighting, adorable 8-year old, Nikkor 24-70 f2.8, adapters, cameras and a tripod.  

In terms of the setup, how do we shoot it so that the character of each camera is most emphasised?  I'm thinking more dramatic lighting and lots of movement perhaps?  Should we use mixed lighting?  
What really makes the BM cameras sing?

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This one is not a bad test at all but the suspense element was completely lost by not matching the FOV of the cameras (odd because it uses a zoom) and of course there being consistency between the two legacy cameras making it obvious which one was the new one.

And the difference is definitely clear in the ungraded footage.

Definitely adds to the weight of needing movement in the test.

 

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12 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

And the difference is definitely clear in the ungraded footage.

Definitely adds to the weight of needing movement in the test.

+1 for movement.

The difference might have been clear, but the x-factor was completely missing.  I'm not sitting and looking at the images going "wow those cameras are great", I'm thinking "these make terrible photo cameras" :)

We also need to be sure to nail focus too.  I'd suggest stopping down to mostly eliminate it as a variable.  I'm thinking there's mojo in these cameras even without fast lenses, so stopping down isn't going to prevent us from seeing the magic.

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^^ If that iphoneographers (lol) test were limited to just log it might be worth something, but it focuses on graded footage - graded by someone who's seemingly completely incompetent in it.

Also, looks like it has unmatching color balance/tint between the BMPCC4K and the older cameras. Mind you, he may have dialed the color balance to match by numbers, but the old v1 color science is notorious for having off-whack white balance (where the most usable range was about 3800 to 5000K) and a heavy brown/green tint (for the past month I've been grading a feature film shot on Ursa Mini 4,6K and a BMCC2,5K and while I can match them well, the process always starts with transforming the 2,5K into Color Science v4 and dialing down the green tint).

In the log footage you can clearly see the P4K having warmer image - likely dialed to be too warm for the situation.

P4K uses the fourth generation color science which has its own quirks. I'm guessing after Ursa Mini and its proneness to magenta they pulled back towards green and slightly browner, less red yellow tones, since those are the colors I tend to have to tweak when matching UM and P4K. This leads me to believe that in the test they had the tint pushed towards magenta on the P4K or had a magenta cast coming from the LED light - because of the all the aberrations the P4K has, magenta cast isn't one I've encountered.

I don't really even want to go all zealot on the P4K but the rose-tinted glasses towards the old BMD cameras feel extremely silly from the POV of someone who has used them for years and dealt with the headaches and color issues they had. Sure, like with lo-fi 8mm or 16mm film, you can have an opinion that it has more character than something more hi-fi. But they're certainly not superior and the V4 color science (even the in-camera V3 in URSA Mini 4,6K) are lightyears more malleable and pleasant to use.

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Another thought, a colour chart would be useful, and maybe something with predictable movement, like a fan.

That way we can verify that any movement-related differences aren't related to shutter angle, and the colour chart would help in matching colours.

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Guys and girls, how is your order status so far?

I asked the official BM importer here and they couldn't give me a timetable for delivery. They still haven't service pre-orders from months ago, so I didn't pre order yet.

Has anyone NOT received his pre-ordered P4K yet? And when do you people pre-ordered.

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RE: comparison test... IMO this test should be performed outdoors where the BMPCC shines. Also, the test should include IR Cut filtration... with and without. I have noticed what appears to be IR contamination in P4K footage and others online have thought so too, but the believers adamantly fight against its existence. I’m very curious to know if I ever get my hands on one, if I’ll need an IR Cut Filter. Another question with the P4K compared to the OG is that the P4K does not handle highlights as well... so a test shot showing highlight rolloff would be excellent.

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