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Nobel Gomez

What's wrong with my camera?

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So, all the DNG files coming out of my week old BMCC look terrible, too dark, overly saturated and with tons of noise no matter the lighting. I uploaded a couple of files here http://we.tl/Ble91ZN7ad including a JPEG version of a DNG file, i'm able to somewhat make the DNG file usable in Lightroom but even after exporting it as a DNG file again, it still look terrible. Is there something wrong with my camera? The ProRes files in the same settings look great, my problem is only when shooting RAW.

 

For the record i'm using one of the recommended SSD. 

 

Any help would be appreciated. 

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Nothing's wrong with your BMPCC, judging from the DNGs you linked to.

 

1. The noise:

 

On the "left side" of the dynamic range (if you take a histogram) is black, and then more or less one "stop" of barely visible light, where the so-called 'signal-to-noise-ratio' is very unfavorable. The RAW community (I believe) coined the term 'noise floor'. It's got to be avoided. The way to avoid it is to 'ETTR' (ExposeToTheRight - meaning the right side of a histogram). For RAW, you set the zebra to 100%, and you close the aperture just so that zebra only shows in areas you allow to clip (the sun, a light bulb). At daytime and outside this will result in a perfect white display, so that you can't see anything, let alone focus. The trick then is, to dial down ISO to 400 or 200, which will make the image visible. Changing ISO has no effect on RAW images.

 

BUT: Your images look like low light, and then you can't avoid the noise floor. I don't know lightroom, but in ACR you could denoise. You can also denoise in Resolve full version or with Neat. 

 

BUT: As you may have noticed, there is less noise in ProRes, and therefore ProRes is more appropriate for low light.

 

How do you expose ProRes? 

 

You should also kind of ETTR, but use 95% zebra then. It is very important never to use the VIDEO recording mode for ProRes.

 

2. Too dark:

 

There may simply be not enough light, plus you probably didn't ETTR.

 

3. Overly saturated:

 

This is relative and can be easily changed. One could as well describe a ProRes image (in FILM log) as seriously undersaturated. My solution in FCP X is to draw an adjustment layer over my whole timeline and view my clips with a LUT applied to it. First I used the BlackMagic_film_to_rec709 LUT and graded underneath (gave me the possibility to recover highlights etc., which you can't if you had recorded in 709). Right now I find the Alexa_LogC-to_rec709 LUT more pleasing. More often than not I find myself increasing saturation even further.

 

What you didn't report: Moire.

 

This is something that's worse in RAW, and unless my desperately awaited diffusion filter (see thread) helps, I'm not gonna shoot anything in RAW anymore.

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You have to decide everything in post - whether it should look colorful or not, contrast, dynamic range, 'exposure' (=the gamma curve=gradation=basic grading), sharpening, everything ...

 

Nice dog.

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But should files look so colorful out of the camera? Looks as if i was shooting in video log. 

 

In RAW, there is no LOG. And yes, the images look colorful. You can take the colors out in post, as I wrote. As you can pump saturation into ProRes clips that look flat and desaturated. You can't trust the display or an external monitor, with the Pocket you just decide later. 

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