Jump to content
liork

The Nikon Z6 will be the firat consumer camera to output 12 bit video

Recommended Posts

@Geoff_L cameras are constantly evolving so today’s best may be surpassed by something else in the future. This certainly holds true for specs... but the same may not necessarily hold true for the overall cinematic or organic imagery that each camera produces. 

All of the past cameras I have reviewed were perfectly capable of producing good quality images. The GH5S is a fantastic camera... hindered by less than great AF and a low resolution sensor... effectively relegating it to video use only. The GH5 is limited by poor lowlight performance. I use to carry both when I would travel.

The Fuji X-T3 was a wonderful little camera. It’s S35 sensor is a great compromise for video use. If not for the fact that after committing over $15k, into two bodies and a selection of their best photo glass... and MK cinema lenses... both bodies up and died, with no harsh use, while only being weeks old, I would still be happily shooting with them. The Fuji’s have their own mojo. They are also fun to shoot with. My only real complaint was reliability as per my own experience after owning two bodies. For reference, I have never had any other brand of camera body die on me... not completely anyway.

The Nikon Z6 is a great showing for a first try at a full frame mirrorless camera. Similar in image to the Sony. But with better color science imo. The reliability of the Nikon was solid. The video performance clean. The stills performance... subpar. Far behind Sony and Canon; Especially in challenging lighting conditions. It’s a good image overall, but lacks any mojo... something the Canons and Fuji both have. You are left with an image that has you working harder, both in production and in post to somehow make it look special. It’s a tiresome effort. But again highly subjective.

I will concur... the 1DC looked great. Indeed, it’s hard to argue the 1DC did not produce one of the most filmic images of any digital camera to date. No list of most filmic digital hybrid could be complete without mentioning it. I would truly love to see that camera... with a sensible codec, make a return in mirrorless form. But I think the days of $15k DSLRs are behind us, so hopefully Canon will give us something a bit more reasonable. At that kind of money there are smarter choices for video than a hybrid.

It’s not that any one of theses cameras cannot produce cinematic imagery... it’s just that some do not require the same amount of lift to get you there. I’m not a pro, so I like things to be as easy as possible. If there was a camera with a “instant Hollywood blockbuster” mode... and if it looked convincing... I would be all over that thing. For me, the less time and energy I need to spend getting the image I want, the better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

The Z6 certainly has drawbacks but external recorder or not Full Frame 12 bit 444 is a really cool option for $2500 or under. Motion Cadence is not something that can be fixed in post but getting 12 bit 444 out of 10 bit files isn't something that can happen either. I don't think anyone other than the types that hang out on these forums will call you out on motion cadence. If one needs auto focus switching to internal recording is not a bad option. Nikon lets you import custom profiles to the camera so no internal log is not really a big issue IMO. I can say I am pretty excited about what Nikon will do next, not so much for Canon. 

Saying that I am certainly the type to chase the film look or else I wouldn't have purchased the original BMPCC and have pretty much decided not to purchase any full frame cameras. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

The Z6 certainly has drawbacks but external recorder or not Full Frame 12 bit 444 is a really cool option for $2500 or under. Motion Cadence is not something that can be fixed in post but getting 12 bit 444 out of 10 bit files isn't something that can happen either. I don't think anyone other than the types that hang out on these forums will call you out on motion cadence. If one needs auto focus switching to internal recording is not a bad option. Nikon lets you import custom profiles to the camera so no internal log is not really a big issue IMO. 

Saying that I am certainly the type to chase the film look or else I wouldn't have purchased the original BMPCC. 

12 bit, 444 and raw are important if green screen or correcting for exposure are important. But generally not so important. I’m mostly shooting 8 bit on the C200. It’s nice to have the option of higher bit depth, color or raw, but there are trade offs in speed and size that take precedence imo.

Then there are things that make life easy every time you go to shoot. Things like reliability, AF, ergonomics, menu navigation, media type, flippy screen, etc...

Combine that with easy post processing and you end up with a camera that is a pleasure to work with. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, DBounce said:

12 bit, 444 and raw are important if green screen or correcting for exposure are important. But generally not so important. I’m mostly shooting 8 bit on the C200. It’s nice to have the option of higher bit depth, color or raw, but there are trade offs in speed and size that take precedence imo.

Then there are things that make life easy every time you go to shoot. Things like reliability, AF, ergonomics, menu navigation, media type, flippy screen, etc...

Combine that with easy post processing and you end up with a camera that is a pleasure to work with. 

Definitely and I'm mostly in the same boat. However for those who do need it there's now an option in a very compact cheap package, with a pretty remarkable full frame sensor. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, DBounce said:

I’m mostly shooting 8 bit on the C200. It’s nice to have the option of higher bit depth, color or raw, but there are trade offs in speed and size that take precedence imo.

Yeah, but that's kind of cheating because the 8-bit on the C200 is way better than it should be :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/17/2019 at 1:47 AM, Danyyyel said:

I just don't understand what people expect anymore. The size and weight of a z6 and a Ninja 5 is smaller that using one of those entry level dslr and a small flash. That is less than the average Japanase/chinese tourist with his small Nikon/canon camera walking around taking photos in some random tourist location. The C200 is much bigger and not full frame, to have a full frame video camera with 10 bit just 5 month ago was the Canon C300 a much bigger shoulder only camera and now you have to add a codex recorder to put RAW. The fact is that your type of (small, unassuming, versatile, total lightweight package, easy to mount on gimbal, etc) does not need more than 8 bit shooting, 10 bit and even prores is an overkill to shoot those low level production.

The C300 is S35

The smallest 4K 10bit S35 camera (not counting using a speedbooster) a handful of months ago (prior to the likes of the X-T3 and such being released) would have been the Panasonic EVA1

On 2/17/2019 at 1:47 AM, Danyyyel said:

 

Just six month ago, absolutely no one was expecting any manufacturer (I even include the likes of blackmagic)was going to release a full frame camera with RAW. In fact everyone was begging for 10 bit for at least the last 2-5 years. Just for a measure, this is the Nikon d3200, the smallest Nikon dslr compared to the z6-z7. In pure volume the Z6 is smaller (much thinner) and I advise anyone to look at the Nikon D3000 series camera in a showroom or people using it. This thing is tiny to the point of being uncomfortable if you have average man hand.

nikon-z6-vs-nikon-d3200-top-a.jpg

nikon-z6-vs-nikon-d3200-front-a.jpg

But I fully agree with the gist of the point you're making overall 

 

12 hours ago, Geoff_L said:

In fact, we can argue that Canon got a special mojo, given by the motion cadence or whatever technical stuff, but I've seen a massive amount of shitty video shot with Canon

I'm sure I've seen MORE awful video footage out of Canons than any other camera brand!

(but that is purely because Canon is/was more popular with newbies)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding a video-ish look to the Z6 footage, I found the following video interesting.  Nikon seems to overexpose by about a stop or so compared to Sony.  I remember when I used to shoot with a d5200 a few years back I got in the habit of underexposing by a stop or two and pulling up my images in post.  Considering clipped or blown out highlights is one of the major contributors to a "video look", my guess is that Nikon's default exposure levels may be to blame for this opinion among some shooters who shoot mostly full auto.

Luckily the easy solution is to underexpose and balance the exposure in post.  I remember my old d5200 footage graded really well in post as long as I protected the highlights. It produced a really nice, thick, cinematic image with some minor corrections in post.  That thing was a gem of a camera for $500.  But yeah, if you shot standard profile and just auto-exposed it, the result was pretty crap.  Nikon even let you install custom exposure curves into it so you could tweak the rolloff for highlights and shadows.  I remember we intercut it with a $50,000 cinema camera on a few projects and nobody was the wiser.  😄

While, I know there are a lot of really talented filmmakers who experiment, measure, and adjust their workflow to wring every last drop out of the images their camera's make, I think there are a lot of folks who shoot "full auto", drop their video into a timeline and become disappointed by the result.  Hell, one youtuber's whole approach is that he's just an average guy who shoots everything at pretty much default settings, and then he does camera reviews.  Nothing wrong with that for the target market I guess.  Here you can see him blowing out the sky and background in his video while the exposure auto-adjusts.  Nikon needs to work on getting better default settings into their cameras to help support this crowd.  I think it's a weak spot for them from the video reviews I've been seeing because I know with even just a little effort they can create a superb image.

Canon cameras also produce great images, but one of Canon's strengths, IMO, is that their default out of the camera results are really exceptional.  Whoever does the final tweaking for their cameras seems to be really good at ensuring the default settings come out of the camera looking really nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhhh, "Motion Cadence".  I love it when that old chestnut gets pulled out regarding a cinematic image.  I've spent many days in my career tracking and matchmoving a wide variety of camera footage from scanned film, to digital cinema cameras, to cheap DSLR footage.  So I find the whole motion cadence thing fascinating since I sometimes spend hours to days staring at one shot trying to reverse engineer the movement of a camera so it can be layered with CGI.

So leaving out subtle magical qualities visible to a select subset of humans who have superior visual perception, or describing it like the tasting of a fine wine, I can only think of a few possible reasons for perceptible motion cadence.  I'll lay them out here, but I'm genuinely curious as to any other factors that may contribute to it, because "motion cadence" in general plays hell with computer generated images that typically have zero motion cadence.

#1  ROLLING SHUTTER.  The bane of VFX.  Hate it!  Hate it! Hate it!  For me personally, this must be 90% of what people refer to as motion cadence.  Plays hell with the registration of anything you are trying to add into a moving image.  Pictures, and billboards have to be skewed and fulling rendered images slip in the frame depending on whether you are pinning it to the top, middle, or bottom of the frame.  I work extensively with a software package called Syntheyes that tries to adjust for this, but it can never be fully corrected.  For pinning 2d objects into a shot, Mocha in After Effects offers a skew parameter that will slant the tracking solution to help compensate.  This helps marginally.

#2 Codec Encoding issues.  I have to think this contributes minimally since I think extreme encoding errors would show up more as noise.  I've read theories about how long GOP can contribute to this versus All-I, but I've never really noticed it bending or changing an image in a way I could detect.  I'd think it would be more influenced by rolling shutter however, so I can only think it would contribute to like 5-10% of the motion cadence in an image.  Would love to know if I'm wrong here and if it's a major factor.  More than just casual observation, anything technical I could read regarding this would be welcome.

#3 Variable inconsistent frame recording.  This is what I think most people think they are referring to when they bring up the motion cadence of a camera.  But outside of a camera doing something really bizarro like recording at 30 fps then dropping frames to encode at 24, I can't believe that cameras are that variable in their recording rates.  I may be totally wrong, but do people believe that cameras record frames sometimes a few milliseconds faster and slower from frame to frame?  Does this really happen in DSLR and mirrorless cameras?  I find it hard to believe this would happen.  I could see a possibility of a camera waiting on a buffer to clear before scanning the sensor for the next frame, but I can't believe its all that highly variable.  If it is really that common wouldn't it be fairly trivial to measure and test?  At the very least some kind of millisecond timer could be displayed on a 144 hz or higher monitor and then recorded at 24p to see if the timer interval varies appreciably.

#4 Incorrect shutter angle.  This could be from user error.  I've seen enough of it on Youtube to know it's common.  I'd assume it's also possible that a camera would read the sensor at a non-constant rate for some reason, but I'd think that would show up in rolling shutter anomalies as well.  Dunno about this one, but think it may be more of a stretch.  Should also be visible on a frame level by looking for tearing, warping, or some kind of smearing on the frame.  So, I doubt this happens much, but it should be measurable like rolling shutter with a grid or chart and detectable by matchmoving software the way rolling shutter is.

That's generally all I can think of, and without any kind of proof, I'm calling bulshit on #3, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.  I'd be genuinely intrigued to find that some camera's vary their frame recording intervals at any amount visible to the human eye.

If anyone has any real insight into this, I'd love to read more about it because it directly affects something I deal with frequently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn’t find that slanted lens comparison of Z6 vs A7iii much better than the rest of the YouTube stuff.

I’m not sure the Nikon is over-exposing. Isn’t it more that Sony (and Fujifilm) are underexposed? They had to raise the exposure in post of all the Sony images since they weren’t correctly exposed with the lightmeter reading. 

Looks like they’re shooting the Nikon with its default sharpening (which is too high).

The Z 6 colour and white balance is to my eyes far nicer than the Sony.

PS And Canon too for that matter. I never liked Canon colour - much to warm and glossy-feeling. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Color Science is rather subjective and also relative imo to what you are shooting/look you are going for. I like Nikon CS better for landscape & fine arts. Canon more for portraits.

Shoot in RAW/Log and you can match footage most of the time anyways.

However accurate WB & exposure/metering is much more scientific and it does help when the camera does it correctly (unless you are using WB cards / light meters and doing everything manual all the time).

Highlight roll off, noise reduction & digital sharpening can also be critical in ruining shots.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Castorp said:

I didn’t find that slanted lens comparison of Z6 vs A7iii much better than the rest of the YouTube stuff.

I’m not sure the Nikon is over-exposing. Isn’t it more that Sony (and Fujifilm) are underexposed? They had to raise the exposure in post of all the Sony images since they weren’t correctly exposed with the lightmeter reading. 

Looks like they’re shooting the Nikon with its default sharpening (which is too high).

The Z 6 colour and white balance is to my eyes far nicer than the Sony.

PS And Canon too for that matter. I never liked Canon colour - much to warm and glossy-feeling. 

The thing about the Slanted Lens comparison for me was just that it was obvious at regular exposures, the Nikon was clipping whites earlier than the Sony and general consensus seems to be that they are using a very similar if not the same sensor.  Maybe the same sensor thing is wrong though.

I do think that clipping or overexposing highlights does give a video-ish look.  You may be right though that the Fuji and Sony cameras underexpose on purpose to help protect them.  

It is interesting in the test how much detail in the shadows could be recovered by the Nikon.  That's been my general experience with Nikon.  I *think* I also remember some extra highlight superwhite detail that could be pulled out of the Nikon video image once it was brought in to grade, so that may be what accounts for the clipping. But I could be totally misremembering.

I agree Canon footage renders skin too warm and pinkish, but people seem to like that and they seem to give pretty good results out of the box without adjustments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aye the Nikon clipped. But they had metered for her face, using a lightmeter, and the face was correctly exposed. Both Canon and Nikon have similar brightness and correspond well with lightmeter. I would be annoyed if I take a reading for her face and then it comes out underexposed (the Sony). Of course with any camera one will learn how it works and will adjust accordingly so it’s not a big problem.

Personally I prefer when the camera I’m using correspond with lightmeter standard. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...