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Low light test of 5D Mark III raw vs H.264


Andrew Reid
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The bit depth does not limit the Dynamic Range. It limits the number of distinguishable luma and chroma levels, which we can call "fidelity."

 

A "gamma" is used to map a given dynamic range to a given digital pixel code number. In a linear mapping, you need 1 bit for each 1 stop. But in say the standard sRGB mapping you are likely viewing this site with, you can map about 11 stops of DR to 8 bits, with fairly minor loss of distinguishable luma and chroma values. In a log gamma, you can map even more stops to a given bit depth. The more bits you have to work with the more levels you can distinguish and the less you need a log gamma.

 

Therefore the 8 bits of the HDMI output of the 5D3 and C100, using a log gamma (Cinestyle and Canon Log respectively) can represent the entire 11-12 stops of DR tests show those cameras capable of at their native ISOs. Will that you lose some fidelity, and therefore be susceptible to color banding with an extreme grading curve, compared to a linear mapping used for RAW? Sure, but you are cutting your storage needs per pixel nearly in half with not that much loss in fidelity. 14 bit RAW for an 11 stop sensor is overkill; the extra 3 bits will just be noise or unused headroom anyway. Therefore you shouldn't evaluate bit depth as anything more than the potential for fidelity, not a guarantee of it.

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The Black magic cinema camera is said to be 13 stops on their website:

http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/

 

But if you look at the footage comparison with the 5d mark III raw and BMCC here:

http://***URL not allowed***/?p=17976

 

Focus on the sky, you clearly have more detail from the Canon. If it ain't 14Stops right there.. it's has to be close. 

 

H

-I would be curious to know if the rolling shutter has changed when recording raw

-Also 60fps tests in 720p would be awesome ;)

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If the 5D3 hack was out 3 months ago, I would have bought 2 5D3 instead of 2 D800.  I have both systems but I was at a crossroads.  This may still cause me to switch as the 5D3 is 6fps and has this crazy good video capability.

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This is hilarious, Canon rumors forum is now all Canon video, every thread on the front is about video!! It appears a lot of people are suddenly interested in shooting video, plenty of "I have lots of stills experience and would like to make a production film now".
Well, ML has just turned the visual media world on it's head (again?), what would be hilarious is if Canon still doesn't respond, and instead it's Nikon that brings out a firmware upgrade to say, the D800 to provide raw video, then what would happen?

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Now is Nikon turn, they will come with stable D800 RAW video with SSD module and articulated LCD. :)))))))
If they will do it, and thay can because they have no video division, they will cut very deep cut in Canons trunk and create lot of headake to their droid management. But that will be not so important as how many freaky happy customers they will get. ;o)
Yes Nikon do it! :D

Then they can start to cinevise Nikon glass. ;-)

... and add some anamorphic beast glass with orgasmic lens flares :))

Film is dead and h.264 too :D
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It's already posted.

 

I got 12,8000 exposure in the raw by matching it to the H.264 at ISO 12,800.

 

The DNG frame is independent from ISO. In order to get your ISO you change the exposure of the raw frame in post. Just download the raw frame and play with it.

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@EOSHD Andrew, I notice you have responded to a more recent post but haven't clarified  what you meant by the line "In its factory guise whilst not quite as clean as the Canon C300 or Sony FS100, it is the best DSLR for low light shooting (though the Nikon D5200 puts up a good fight)." Do you mean the best "value" as opposed to "highest performing"?

 

Either way, you really should address how you feel it measures up against the 1DX, 1DC, D4 and D3s since those are all DSLRs as well. For instane you mentioned thinking the 1D C outperformed the C100 in a previous post - which has fairly similar lowlight performance (minus codec differences) to the C300, which you say above outperforms the 5DMkIII.

And then there are your earlier blogs about the 1D X video quality, etc. which do not seem to indicate that the 5DMkIII is somehow massively better, making it seem odd that the 1D X sensor (which has been objectively and repeatedly tested to provide superior low light performance to the 5DMkIII in RAW stils) would somehow have more noise at high ISOs than the 5DMkIII.

 

Anyway, if you could just clarify what you meant - like "the best lowlight DSLR under x number of dollars" or something, I think many of your readers would appreciate it. :)

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Andrew wrote..

"Colour cast
I notice that noise in the shadows and blacks in general have a magenta cast if you have a warmer white balance and the magenta tint slider to the right but if you put the magenta tint slider back towards green, the warmer yellows go way too green for my liking. This could be a light issue rather than a camera one. Energy saving practical lights do give a green cast. The solution in post was to avoid anything higher than 3200k white balance – this was more keeping with the LED practical light I had for fill lighting in the scene any way."

 

 

What's up with the magenta tint to all this RAW footage? The H264 versions seems to filter it out?

 

 

A sensor issue. The image processing engine filters it out and counter acts it normally.

 

Usually when developing RAW files, the magenta tint at the dark areas is due to RAW Black Point set at a lower than the correct value. Inverselly if the BP is higher than the correct we take green tint.

This behavior is because of the WB multiplicators which are almost always bigger for the R and B channels than the Green. So the result is excessive R and B components which combined gives magenta tint plus less contrast and the combination is magenta fog ...

 

Canon 5DIII's RAW Black Point (photo mode) is at 2047-2048. Same was the BP with the first gen DNGs by ML, those was not cropped and included the side "optically black" area where one can measure the Black Point value with RawDigger (and I did so ..it was 2047).

But ML tags the BP (DNG metadata) a bit lower at 2038. I believe this is an error by ML team and the BP should be 2047-2048.

There is a possibility that they chose lower BP to have the beneffit of lower noise (negative and positive deviations counteract) and better gradation at the darks ... and correct the resulting inbalance and lowish contrast with a LUT at a later stage (something that looks to me a very difficult task).

 

At the moment a user can change this tag in DNG exif (with exitool) or develop the raw with Rawtherapee and set there (in RT) the Raw.Black levels at +10.0.

 

BlackMagick went the other way .. set the BP higher (to clip what is mostly noise) .. thats why there was the problem with greenish tint developing the early DNG samples.

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The Black magic cinema camera is said to be 13 stops on their website:

http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/

 

But if you look at the footage comparison with the 5d mark III raw and BMCC here:

http://***URL not allowed***/?p=17976

 

Focus on the sky, you clearly have more detail from the Canon. If it ain't 14Stops right there.. it's has to be close. 

 

H

-I would be curious to know if the rolling shutter has changed when recording raw

-Also 60fps tests in 720p would be awesome ;)

 

If you looks at the actual raw files the DR advantage for the BMCC is clear.

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I understand that about RAW, but would you mind posting one of the low-light frames with the candle on?

 

I'm very interested in this hack, and would put it on my 5D3... but I literally just upgraded it to 1.2.1 for a project that requires the Atomos.

 

It'll be great once they apply Magic Lantern with the RAW hack to 1.2.1, and we can record soundless RAW images and ProRes 422 HQ over HDMI at the same time...  but I'm probably just dreaming...  :-/

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If you looks at the actual raw files the DR advantage for the BMCC is clear.

 

You bought a BMC. Good job. Your insecurity with your purchase is clearly evident, so please get off your high horse and stop justifying your purchase to everyone here on the forum when comparing it to the 5D3. The BMC has a stop better highlights and a shit ton more moire. Awesome. We get it. 

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You bought a BMC. Good job. Your insecurity with your purchase is clearly evident, so please get off your high horse and stop justifying your purchase to everyone here on the forum when comparing it to the 5D3. The BMC has a stop better highlights and a shit ton more moire. Awesome. We get it. 

 

You forgot to mention that the BMCC also has a body of work that speaks for itself.  

 

And which camera do you use? Exactly.

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You forgot to mention that the BMCC also has a body of work that speaks for itself.  

 

And which camera do you use? Exactly.

 

Body of work from the 5 people who actually received their camera they ordered over a year ago? The fact that this hack by ML even comes close to the quality of the BMC is astounding. See that for what it is and let your constant comparisons proving the BMC is slightly better go, please. It's obnoxious to say the least. Yes there's slightly more resolution and more convenience in recording to SSD's but the BMC was designed to record raw from the beginning. Let the hack develop and stop talking about how the BMC is slightly better in whatever regard you may think. No one is denying this and no one really cares. ML has gotten 14 bit raw out of a camera that was at the bottom of their totem pole image quality-wise for video. With this hack the 5D3 is now near the top of that totem pole and it has come at absolutely zero cost, which makes it even more ridiculous.

 

I shoot photos and video with my 5D3 mainly. I also use two 60D's and a 5D2 during my weddings.  

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Body of work from the 5 people who actually received their camera they ordered over a year ago? The fact that this hack by ML even comes close to the quality of the BMC is astounding. See that for what it is and let your constant comparisons proving the BMC is slightly better go, please. It's obnoxious to say the least. Yes there's slightly more resolution and more convenience in recording to SSD's but the BMC was designed to record raw from the beginning. Let the hack develop and stop talking about how the BMC is slightly better in whatever regard you may think. No one is denying this and no one really cares. ML has gotten 14 bit raw out of a camera that was at the bottom of their totem pole image quality-wise for video. With this hack the 5D3 is now near the top of that totem pole and it has come at absolutely zero cost, which makes it even more ridiculous.

I shoot photos and video with my 5D3 mainly. I also use two 60D's and a 5D2 during my weddings.


I care, a little bit. I'd probably buy a bmcc over 5D right now for work.
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I care, a little bit. I'd probably buy a bmcc over 5D right now for work.

Great. I would love to see your "work" when they can't even ship the camera to you within 6 months. I'm sure you'd get loads of "work" done with that imaginary BMC of yours. 

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