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In depth test - 5D Mark III and 7D Raw vs Blackmagic Pocket vs GH3


Andrew Reid
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You guys are not getting the REAL concept of dynamic range. You guys are thinking that a great dynamic range is just a detailed sky or detailed shadow. Nope! When we talk about dynamic range we are talking about highlights, midtones and shadows - and the gradations between them - those are the steps of dynamic range.

 

If your camera has 8 stops of dynamic range in video mode, it doesnt matter what you will do in post, it will still have 8 stops.

 

When you expose your GH3 for the highlights and recover the shadows, you are NOT increasing your dynamic range. You have the same amount of stops. You are just favoring the highlights and the shadows. What happens then? You simply crush and destroy the midtones. In the video posted above you can clearly see that. In the video, everything looks like its made of plastic. You have no gradation in the midtones. The cars look like a colored stain.

 

The image is NOT cinematic at all. In the BMPCC you will have beautiful gradations well distributed in the highlights, shadows and midtones, and thats why they look cinematic.

 

So remember, good dynamic range is not about seeing the clouds or whats in the shadows, its all about having great gradations from the bottom to the top!

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Here you can see some Blackmagic Pocket videos graded by me. The GH3 could never create images like that. The video posted in the last page looks totally artificial and he pushed the grading so much that the video is falling apart.

 

Look how those images are true to life. You have great gradations in the highlights, midtones and in the shadows.

 

Just ignore what I wrote in the video. I was just kidding with some guy in another forum.

Some shots  are not graded because they are just a sound test.

 

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzaQaPI4BwM[/video]

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@ D.L.Watson

Nice clip. Good pans. Which tripod do you use?

 

Manfrotto with a 502 head. 

 

This doesn't exactly give you the "cinematic" look.... It looks like a .jpg that's been molested by Trey Ratcliff in Photomatix.

 

Oh I get it, you think Trey Ratcliff is a talentless photographic molester. Well, at least he's successful at what he loves.

 

You may not consider this footage to look very cinematic and that is your subjective opinion. In my opinion, I could grade Canon footage the same way and the image would fall apart.

 

But you are right, using the Blackmagic Cinema Camera will tell the story of any film much better. 

 

You guys are not getting the REAL concept of dynamic range. You guys are thinking that a great dynamic range is just a detailed sky or detailed shadow. Nope! When we talk about dynamic range we are talking about highlights, midtones and shadows - and the gradations between them - those are the steps of dynamic range.

 

If your camera has 8 stops of dynamic range in video mode, it doesnt matter what you will do in post, it will still have 8 stops.

 

When you expose your GH3 for the highlights and recover the shadows, you are NOT increasing your dynamic range. You have the same amount of stops. You are just favoring the highlights and the shadows. What happens then? You simply crush and destroy the midtones. In the video posted above you can clearly see that. In the video, everything looks like its made of plastic. You have no gradation in the midtones. The cars look like a colored stain.

 

The image is NOT cinematic at all. In the BMPCC you will have beautiful gradations well distributed in the highlights, shadows and midtones, and thats why they look cinematic.

 

So remember, good dynamic range is not about seeing the clouds or whats in the shadows, its all about having great gradations from the bottom to the top!

 

I understand perfectly what Dynamic Range is. I know the BMPCC has wonderful graduations between highlights, shadows, and mid-tones. And I agree, the mid-tones are a little flat in my video. My point is, I graded that video in like 20 minutes in resolve. I believe with a little more time (and more talented colorist), one could produce extremely beautiful cinematic video from the GH3 and would be a great alternative to the BMPCC.

 

It's a nice camera to buy until Blackmagic gives us proper audio metering, compressed RAW, and oh yeah - make them available to buy and shipped within a week. 

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Really torn between the 5D mkiii and BMPCC.  I already own a bunch of Canon lenses, but would love to have a BMPCC for the portability factor.  After some calculations, seems like i'd have to invest about a total of $5k towards the BMPCC package to cover all the lenses, body and accessories I'd need.  Does that seem about right?

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Manfrotto with a 502 head. 

 

 

Oh I get it, you think Trey Ratcliff is a talentless photographic molester. Well, at least he's successful at what he loves.

 

You may not consider this footage to look very cinematic and that is your subjective opinion. In my opinion, I could grade Canon footage the same way and the image would fall apart.

 

But you are right, using the Blackmagic Cinema Camera will tell the story of any film much better. 

 

 

I understand perfectly what Dynamic Range is. I know the BMPCC has wonderful graduations between highlights, shadows, and mid-tones. And I agree, the mid-tones are a little flat in my video. My point is, I graded that video in like 20 minutes in resolve. I believe with a little more time (and more talented colorist), one could produce extremely beautiful cinematic video from the GH3 and would be a great alternative to the BMPCC.

 

It's a nice camera to buy until Blackmagic gives us proper audio metering, compressed RAW, and oh yeah - make them available to buy and shipped within a week. 

oh man...

lets face it, the GH3 has no place next to raw out of any camera that we've seen to date. i'm not here to slam your grade either.

i'm not saying i don't see a niche for G cameras, they're great and cost effective.

i have shot with many cameras, and just had the opportunity to shoot with some Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon FF-Prime's on a C300. lovely image.

but for me, nothing comes close to the 5D3 for the cost. unbelievable image coming out of that camera. even if I had all the money in the world, i would still be looking through the Canon 5D3.

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oh man...

lets face it, the GH3 has no place next to raw out of any camera that we've seen to date. i'm not here to slam your grade either.

i'm not saying i don't see a niche for G cameras, they're great and cost effective.

i have shot with many cameras, and just had the opportunity to shoot with some Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon FF-Prime's on a C300. lovely image.

but for me, nothing comes close to the 5D3 for the cost. unbelievable image coming out of that camera. even if I had all the money in the world, i would still be looking through the Canon 5D3.

 

Hey man. I totally understand that. The 5D Mark III is the perfect cinema camera in my opinion. It produces the best RAW images I've seen out of any camera. There is not question about that. I guess my point I was trying to make failed to resonate about the GH3. I've worked with RAW, Blackmagic, and RED, and for the price, the functionality, and lack of needed accessories - the GH3 holds up fairly well. 

 

But I guess I don't know what I'm talking about. I just create images that look like they had been molested by Trey Ratcliff. :P

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When comparing these for video, don't forget:

* video recording limit (GH3: 30min in EU because still unhacked, BMPCC: card limit+external power option, 5D+7D ?)

* ability for an external microphone (GH3+5DmkII yes, including displayed levels, BMPCC records low, noisy audio levels, no display)

* avaliable frame rates (GH3: PAL or NTSC decided at purchase, BMPCC: all options). Think travelling abroad here.

* LANC (BMPCC only. Start/Stop okay. Zooming doesn't seem to work. Focusing not tested yet.)

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Really torn between the 5D mkiii and BMPCC.  I already own a bunch of Canon lenses, but would love to have a BMPCC for the portability factor.  After some calculations, seems like i'd have to invest about a total of $5k towards the BMPCC package to cover all the lenses, body and accessories I'd need.  Does that seem about right?

 

If you want portability, the EOS-M will do BMPCC like dynamic range at 720p. You can use all your lenses.  If you can live with 720p, and some post-processing extra work, bodies are about $250.  I maintain a thread on ML here: http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=8825.msg82944#msg82944  (hope you don't mind the link Andrew)

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here you can see some Blackmagic Pocket videos graded by me. The GH3 could never create images like that. The video posted in the last page looks totally artificial and he pushed the grading so much that the video is falling apart.

 

Look how those images are true to life. You have great gradations in the highlights, midtones and in the shadows.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Hmmmm

I know what you are getting at, smoothness in the midtones and all that, and I am not a real big fan of the GH3 either...but honestly this footage is sooo boring, I know you are not going for content...I understand that, but even as a test ..its just dead boring.

 

I have seen a ton of images from the GH2 I would rather look at than this, what is art? if its not inviting in some way?

This reminds me of people who talk about perfect hand wound pickups that have ultra fidelity and smooth tone on a Strat and they proceeed to play some totally uninteresting piece to demonstrate this, personally I would far rather hear someone who can play and compose on a cheap set of pickups in any guitar without great tone.

 

Just trying to make the point that in the right hands a GH3 or even a GH2 is very capable of producing a vid that is more inviting and compelling than a BM Cinema Cam or a 5DM3 could produce in not such capable hands...( and I have seen a ton of them) art is art...despite the smoothness of dynamic range and all the rest of it.

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This is great and all, truly. Many thanks for posting. But let's not forget how to make GREAT movies....

 

1. Get a good camera, good glass, properly compose the frame, light and expose the shot.

 

2. Get something great to happen in front of the camera.

 

3. Repeat step #2.

 

4. Don't forget steps 2&3.

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This is great and all, truly. Many thanks for posting. But let's not forget how to make GREAT movies....

 

1. Get a good camera, good glass, properly compose the frame, light and expose the shot.

 

2. Get something great to happen in front of the camera.

 

3. Repeat step #2.

 

4. Don't forget steps 2&3.

 

More useful tips... sigh.

 

Don't forget to use actors, words and to take the lens cap off.

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When comparing these for video, don't forget:

* video recording limit (GH3: 30min in EU because still unhacked, BMPCC: card limit+external power option, 5D+7D ?)

* ability for an external microphone (GH3+5DmkII yes, including displayed levels, BMPCC records low, noisy audio levels, no display)

* avaliable frame rates (GH3: PAL or NTSC decided at purchase, BMPCC: all options). Think travelling abroad here.

* LANC (BMPCC only. Start/Stop okay. Zooming doesn't seem to work. Focusing not tested yet.)

 

Anyone tried the FS100 handgrip via LANC on the Pocket camera yet?

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Hi Andrew great test, thanks. Having just got the BMPCC I was happy to see the black orb and blooming was addressed however, (with my lumix 14-42 f3.5) in low light instances I've noticed this "vertical noise pattern" that seems to be attached to the sensor. It looks like a transparent linen fabric swatch in front of the lens. I made a video showing the issue and put it on Vimeo, compression seemed to hide it a little but it's there. You can download the origional. Anyone with info please feel free to share, I call the BM folks (US) and sent them a link to the video along with a screen grab. Thanks, I'll keep you posted only findings.

https://vimeo.com/77426950
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These forums are like a warzone sometimes. Poor D.L Watson for sharing his work on the GH3, I don't see anyone else coughing up and showing their jpeg-like masterpiece eh? 

 

I think D.L should go out and make a Zack Snyder inspired masterpiece with an iPhone 5s, like of some ninjas chopping up mangos or something and grade it in Resolve while hanging upside down. Or you could get a raw camera, sit on a bench and get a really shallow focus shot of a leaf. 

 

Oh, and the 7D footage sucks a bit. Doesn't matter though. It's a Grandpa now in camera years. 

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Astro, I wonder what are you doing in this topic. Do you think that a camera test with objects not moving is something entertaining? Is this a topic about camera performance or about content and entertainment?

 

If you are a talented shooter, you just have to look to the camera performance and judge for yourself. If its good, buy one and make better videos. Please, make a topic about awesome content and wait for the answers. ;)

 

And please, look at that beautiful painting while you read my text, so you can be entertained and appreciate some art. I dont want to waste your time with technical stuff.

 

Art-watercolor-autumn-red-maple-forest-w

 


Hmmmm

I know what you are getting at, smoothness in the midtones and all that, and I am not a real big fan of the GH3 either...but honestly this footage is sooo boring, I know you are not going for content...I understand that, but even as a test ..its just dead boring.

 

I have seen a ton of images from the GH2 I would rather look at than this, what is art? if its not inviting in some way?

This reminds me of people who talk about perfect hand wound pickups that have ultra fidelity and smooth tone on a Strat and they proceeed to play some totally uninteresting piece to demonstrate this, personally I would far rather hear someone who can play and compose on a cheap set of pickups in any guitar without great tone.

 

Just trying to make the point that in the right hands a GH3 or even a GH2 is very capable of producing a vid that is more inviting and compelling than a BM Cinema Cam or a 5DM3 could produce in not such capable hands...( and I have seen a ton of them) art is art...despite the smoothness of dynamic range and all the rest of it.

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If you want portability, the EOS-M will do BMPCC like dynamic range at 720p. You can use all your lenses.  If you can live with 720p, and some post-processing extra work, bodies are about $250.  I maintain a thread on ML here: http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=8825.msg82944#msg82944  (hope you don't mind the link Andrew)

For what I want to do with the BMPCC, I can definitely live with 720P.  Maybe I'll buy the 5DMKiii and a EOS-M.  Will take a look at the forum and such.

Thanks for the info!  

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