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Lots of noise in Cineform Raw from 5Dm3 ML hack?


Damon Mosier
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I've just shot a short film using the ML raw hack for the 5DmkIII. We are using a PC workflow so we transcoded the raw files into Cineform raw using GoPro Studio Premium, RAW2GPCFv113, and RAWinizer. Cineform seems like a much easier workflow than cinemaDNG, so that is what we went with.

However, the resulting Cineform .mov files that come out are pretty noisy. I shot almost the entire film at 100 ISO with Canon CN-E lenses so I'm pretty sure the noise is a result of the transcoding process.

 

Has anyone else worked with Cineform raw? Is the noise typical or am I doing something wrong? We purchased Andrew's 5D raw guide and I didn't see any mention of this, as either a problem to avoid or something typical to expect.

I assume Neat Video Pro would be capable of noise reduction while maintaining the high bitrate of Cineform raw, but is this really necessary? As it is some shots almost look unusable "out of the box" so to speak without some noise reduction.

I am posting this from work so the only clip I can show, at the moment, is this one I previously uploaded for the director to see. This one isn't particularly noisy but it is more noticeable in other clips.

 

https://vimeo.com/76398367

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I'm not really seeing the noise either, but the ML team do suggest ETTR - more light will give more detail & cleaner picture.

I've had really good results going for a higher ISO (multiples of 100), in combination with an ND filter.

However, i have noticed that you've got to be careful at lower ISOs when adding contrast/sharpening in post - it does bring out some noise.

Also, any noise you do get (& you'll always get some i think) is much more pleasing than H264 noise.

 

Try transcoding the footage to cinemaDNG & see if there's a difference.

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I find the RAWtoGPCF has problems.  Apparently a weak debayering algo, according to 1% on the forum.  The problem I see is when light comes through leaves it debayers to blue dots.  So I wouldn't be surprised if there is a noise problem.

 

I've done a fair amount of experimentation and find that LMMSE and Amaze do better de-bayering for ML RAW.   Might be subjective.

 

I believe RAW2GPCFv113 is old, and meant to show people Cineform 422, as an introduction.  So you might also contact GoPro about your problem, since you have the premium version.

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Nor does it look very noisy to me, but if you could enable downloads from Vimeo on that clip we could look at the original 1080p version and judge more clearly. Perhaps compression is hiding it.

 

 

Yeah... like I said, this isn't a "good" example because it isn't a problem in this shot. But this is the only one I have at the moment because my drive with all the cineform files completely went up in smoke last night and I lost everything. I still have the raw stuff on another drive but I have to reprocess everything from scratch. When I get another copy of the raw files from the director and can start reprocessing I will find a clip that is more noticeable. In any case, I enabled downloads for this clip but it still looks pretty clean when you download it.

 

I'm not sure if contacting GoPro is going to yield any help since RAW2GPCF isn't officially part of their software. I know the guy who wrote it works for them and uses it as the basis for his program, but I don't think they will help in any way. I will have to look into those other things you mentioned.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Damon,

 

Any updates on the noise issue you mentioned? I am just getting into 5d raw and I would like to establish the workflow I can use. If there is a noise issue with the cineform then perhaps I would go another route. Itseems that from some other posts here and on the ML site, some people are experiencing the same thing but none of them got much help on the matter. Interestingly enough, Andrew seems to be using the cineform workflow and his clips look noise free.

 

From the above, it seems that there are 2 possible reasons for the noise:

 

1) low iso (Most of Andrews clips on this website seem to be testing the boundaries of low light so maybe thats why his clips don't have this issue?

2) raw2gpcf converter not up to par

 

Love to hear from you!

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I have some links on my EOS-M shooters guide that you might find worth reading

 

http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=8825.msg82944#msg82944

 

The short answer is that ALL video you see in cameras under $5,000 has smoothed individual pixels into blocks of sampled chroma.  

 

ISO doesn't really mean much with RAW, except where the sensor will record its 14bit (16,383 range of values).  What you're looking at it what the camera sees BEFORE it is encoded into H.264 or MJPEG, whatever.  

 

It's up to you how hard you want to smooth out your pixel values.  Neat works well, but is a subject into itself.  (I still haven't been able to spend the time to learn all it's settings).  

 

What you're seeing isn't a defect, it's a feature :)

 

Again, raw2gpcf is limited because it is making all the RAW to image decisions for you.  I agree, it's easy, and is good for me.  But if you really want to finesse your image you need to go RAW to DNG to (debayering algo) to TIFF (or other intermediary) to NLE

 

 

Hope this helps.

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Thanks!

 

So I guess it comes down to either

 

1) a simpler workflow and hardware requirements (i.e. computing power, storage space) with cineform but with slightly less quality, but this can be improved in post (I presume the IQ after post here will still slightly be worse than the IQ after post in option 2 below), or

 

2) a more compllicated workflow and HW requirements (DNG)but with better IQ

 

That is universe divine! proves the saying you never get a free lunch, always pros and cons to each.

 

Also you mentioned that the raw2gpcf113 is an old version, do you knw which is the newest version or have the link to it? thanks!

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Adobe Camera Raw's (ACR) de-Bayer is one of the best in the industry (better than Resolve). It also performs excellent nearly artifact-free de-noising and sharpening. I used After Effects CS6 with CinemaDNGs which uses ACR to convert to DNxHD 10-bit 422 for editing. This isn't too bad on a fast machine to process (about 1/4 real-time). The resulting quality is excellent- detailed, sharp, and fantastic color with low noise (even better than Neat Video in terms of preserving detail after de-noising).

 

Cineform's current de-Bayer isn't in the same class as Resolve or ACR. De-noising and sharpening while de-Bayering also helps improve final quality (as with ACR). I haven't seen or heard of any solution yet which matches or surpasses ACR for 5D3 RAW.

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Thanks Maxotics Just downloaded it. So will this take raw files from say magic lantern and covert them to readable DNG files?

Cant test it as I don't have any ML raw..... Yet... Possibly

 

What my question was in regard to was the ACR denoising. I thought neat video was the best so Im keen to give adobe's version a go. The problem is I cant find it in After Effects?

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