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Red V F23


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#1 Stephen Williams

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 04:29 PM

Hi All,

Claudio Miranda recently tested a Red Camera, the camera was supplied by Red themselves, it was not an 'Ambush Test'

http://www.claudiomi...sf23/index.html

Stephen
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 04:47 PM

Rather similar in many ways (which favors the RED, cost-wise). The RED looks a hair sharper in some shots, and the F23 seems to have a more natural contrast range in some shots. The black dot in the center of the sun on one RED shot is clearly a bad artifact; hopefully that will be fixed soon.
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 04:58 PM

That is one very nasty flare pattern in the RED frames at sunset. Can anyone from RED comment?
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 05:05 PM

That is one very nasty flare pattern in the RED frames at sunset. Can anyone from RED comment?


Odd thing is that I would have expected that pattern in the F23, being a prism block camera -- I get that pattern all the time on the F900, so I figured it was an artifact of the prism block design (though in the case of the F900, it's worse because you get red, green, and blue patterns of dots in a grid pattern.) So now I'm going to take a guess and say it's an artifact of the low-pass filter? Because I can't explain the pattern of red circles in the grid pattern otherwise.

You also have to figure that the two cameras couldn't have been using the same lens, not that that explains the pattern, but it might explain other aspects of the flaring differences.
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 05:09 PM

That is one very nasty flare pattern in the RED frames at sunset. Can anyone from RED comment?


Hi Stuart,

I understand the 'new' Red One cameras will be improved or fixed, only time will tell.

Stephen
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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 05:40 PM

I understand the 'new' Red One cameras will be improved or fixed, only time will tell.


I'm sure they will. Great pictures otherwise.
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 06:17 PM

The dot is irksome, but frankly pretty easily fixed since it exists in a sea of white.

F23 pictures higher dynamic range. Red pictures quite a bit sharper. Exactly what one would have expected.

I wonder if the clipped reflection in the tunnel roof shows any matrixing artifacts from the F23. The Red clips to white sooner but this may be more... honest?

The flare pattern may or may not say quite a lot of interesting things about their imager and LPF!
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 06:28 PM

The flare pattern may or may not say quite a lot of interesting things about their imager and LPF!


Do you think the red dot pattern is a ghost reflection of the sensor on the backside of the OLPF?
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#9 John Sprung

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 07:43 PM

Do you think the red dot pattern is a ghost reflection of the sensor on the backside of the OLPF?

It's obviously some kind of reflection. Because the dot pattern is so large -- to me they look to be a couple hundred photosites wide -- I'd think the rear element of the lens is more likely to be involved than the OLPF.

Photons that hit the sensor aren't all absorbed, many of them bounce off. When we have an extremely hot spot, like the image of the sun, there are a lot of them to go bouncing around. So, my guess is that so many photons bounce off of the few sites in the image of the sun that a significant number are left after bouncing back from the back of the lens. The square grid pattern sure looks a lot like what we'd expect a magnified image of the sensor to be.

It would be interesting to try this with different lenses of the same focal length, and nearly the same focal length. If we get the same dot pattern every time, then my theory is wrong.

Another thought -- Given that a Bayer sensor has colored filters applied to its surface, could we do permanent harm with a hot image of the sun? Could we fry the dyes? If we shoot an evenly illuminated 18 gray card, I'd expect dye damage to show up as a permanent smudge.




-- J.S.
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#10 chuck colburn

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 07:51 PM

Do you think the red dot pattern is a ghost reflection of the sensor on the backside of the OLPF?


Yeah that thought passed thru my mind also. I take it this is one of the first batch cameras that has been recalled. Someone at the RED site said the OLPF is at a spacing of 8mm from the film plane on the replacements but he wasn't sure if that was different from the originals.
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#11 Keith Walters

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 09:11 PM

It's obviously some kind of reflection. Because the dot pattern is so large -- to me they look to be a couple hundred photosites wide -- I'd think the rear element of the lens is more likely to be involved than the OLPF.

Photons that hit the sensor aren't all absorbed, many of them bounce off. When we have an extremely hot spot, like the image of the sun, there are a lot of them to go bouncing around. So, my guess is that so many photons bounce off of the few sites in the image of the sun that a significant number are left after bouncing back from the back of the lens. The square grid pattern sure looks a lot like what we'd expect a magnified image of the sensor to be.

It would be interesting to try this with different lenses of the same focal length, and nearly the same focal length. If we get the same dot pattern every time, then my theory is wrong.

Another thought -- Given that a Bayer sensor has colored filters applied to its surface, could we do permanent harm with a hot image of the sun? Could we fry the dyes? If we shoot an evenly illuminated 18 gray card, I'd expect dye damage to show up as a permanent smudge.




-- J.S.

This brings back memories of working for JVC in the early 1980s!
With most professional 3 tube cameras, if you turned the camera off with its own switch,the lens iris servo would automatically close the aperture down to stop the camera tubes getting damaged if the camera accidentally was pointed at the sun. However if people simply disconnected the battery without shutting the camera down first, the iris would stay where it was.

To overcome this, more upmarket tube-based TV cameras (Sony etc) have an electromagnetically operated shutter in front of the prism block which only openes when there is power applied.

Cheaper single tube "Toy" cameras normally had a simple "galvanometer" type iris drive assembly which simp[ly drops to the closed position when there is no power.

We used to get people who had only ever used single-tube auto-iris cameras not realizing that the irises on our more-expensive-but-still-cheap 3-tube cameras were not quite so helpful!

The classic scenario was somebody taking delivery of their camera in the late afternoon, and pointing it out an East-facing window to avoid the setting sun. Then they would pull the power plug and go home, and the next morning wonder what this big "scratch" was. right up the middle of the screen!

Of course the "scratch" was a permanent image of the sun coming up and progressively "frying" the saticon image sensing surface! I've never heard of this happening to a single-chip sensor, but until recently single-chip cameras tended to be totally automatic consumer items.

It would be interesting to see what would happen to a RED sensor if someone pointed a wide-open cine lens at the sun. Perhaps Jannard and Co could try it with a reject that has an excessively high dead pixel count or something and tell us what happens!
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#12 Walter Graff

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 10:01 PM

I've often thought of these types of 'comparisons' with video as mostly a waste of time and more misleading than indicative of anything in particular.

Imagine asking two people to use a pencil, and asking them to draw and shade a person sitting on a bench. Alone, each would draw a rendition of what he sees. The structure of what the both saw (if asked to sketch a proportionally accurate rendition) would be nearly identical. If after they drew it, you looked at only one, then the other you would find relatively similar pictures with each artists rendition having different levels of shading and interpretations of contrast.

If you held both up side by side, you'd see even more differences. From that you could subjectively tell which one you liked better when asked which rendition was more lifelike.

Now go and ask both artists to do another sketch. This time artist number one is asked to sketch a tree. And the second artist is then asked to sketch the picture of the firsts artist rendering of that tree. Now hold them up individually, and you will see very similar renditions. Hold them up side by side and you will see two sketches very similar. There might be slight differences in shading and lines. But if you wanted to adjust the second to me more identical to the first, you could note slight differences to artist number two and he could make minor adjustments to compensate his sketch to look more like the original artists sketch.

But the big difference I the two ways you are asking the artists to draw and then you are making evaluations s the key. In the first versions, you are simply asking two standards to see something and interpret it. In the second scenario you are asking one version to reproduce a picture and using that as a standard to have the second sketch drawn.

And there you have what makes al the 'this VS this' in the world of video useless. A good friend and one of the most respected video engineers in the business named Rodger Macie could very easily tell you why these comparisons are useless, and he'd really tell you nothing more than the artists analogy I used.

First of all, he'd mention a baseline. A baseline is a place where we can find a similar look that both cameras could make. He'd mention that a baseline is needed because the fact of the mater is that no manufacture makes exactly the same camera. With elements like lenses, chips, the electronics that takes that analog signal and creates the digital signal, and other elements down to the types of capacitors used and the tolerance of the electronic circuitry used in the batches of cameras manufactured, all play a factor in how a camera sees a picture. He'd then explain that all those controls you have in a camera are for the purpose of registration and shading of that camera. And that it is a standard (usually a 14 scale industry accepted chip chart) that you would use along with a scope to adjust each camera so that is sees all shades of gray and all color similar. But of course the physical differences in design, and the nature of electronics mean that even in some instance, subtle differences due to design, the physical electronics of a camera, the types of analog devices used to gather light, the lenses used, and many other manufacturing factors mean you simply can not get cameras manufactured by two different companies to look exactly the same.

Now remember the important thing here is that you have established a baseline to say that these cameras have used a gold standard for reference. In the examples shown in this thread, there is no gold standard. Years ago Roger often faced the problems of shading different cameras from different manufactures while having networks and production companies who used them asking for him to adjust them to look as close as possible to one another in look. Roger spent a considerable amount of time finding a baseline that the two leading manufactures cameras could use so that indeed when using different manufactures cameras on the same shoot, would produce identical pictures. Roger eventually patented that process which he called the Macie process. That standard meant that if you sent him two cameras from different manufacturers, his adjustments of those two cameras (which could normally not look identical) would, using his standard.

Again, remember his purpose was to create identical looks for cameras of two different manufactures for situations such as in network multi-camera shooting where cameras needed to look similar or suffer in terms of color and shading when switching shots between cameras.

And that brings up my next point. For the purpose of single camera, film style shooting, to try to take two cameras and make reasonable comparisons of shots as presented here is so misleading as to be a fallacy. There is not a picture shown in this comparison that I could not easily make look more identical either in-camera or in post. But then again, remember, if you were shooting multi camera, you may have an issue, but you are not. You are shooting single camera style. And that means that such comparisons are fallacies in their own. But you might say, yea but I want the nest camera I can find? Yes and both of these cameras can make more identical pictures than dissimilar. It's very easy to make dissimilar pictures and then say wow look how different. But the reality as I have shown time and again in article after article and demonstration after demonstration is that its quite easy to get two different cameras to make a more similar picture.

Of course if the idea behind two cameras is to make pictures look similar, then that can be an issue when simply taking two cameras, snapping on a battery and shooting without proper engineering, but we are talking about single camera shooting. With that I would say that given the abilities of both cameras in question, if I was given both and asked to go out and shoot a sequence where I was given the opportunity to randomly interchange camera shots in the finished piece and asked to maintain some sort of standard in overall look, I doubt there would be anyone here that could see a difference, or clearly be able to tell me which camera was which. If anyone has a doubt to my statement, simply give me one of each camera and I will prove you wrong. I'd be willing to bet a great deal of money that not a single person here would be able to tell me which camera was which.

And there you have the biggest problem. I watched Apocalypto not too long ago and was devastated by the story and the cinematography. It was like someone took a crew and a film camera and went back in time and shot. And wouldn't you know it, at the end I found out it wasn't shot on a single inch of film. It didn't matter. In fact I wasn't waiting to find out. I simply was so moved by the film that I sat through the credits and noticed the used of video cameras for principle photography. But today all we have is a bunch of people who shoot all sorts of shots, from Coke bottles, to cityscapes, to stuffed animals, yet rarely is ever with a single story to give the pictures any reference to life or any justice.

There is a famous picture by an AP photographer named Eddie Adams. You all know it. It is a photograph of a person being executed on the street in Vietnam. Just to refresh your mind, I'll give you a link to it. And when you look at it, notice something. First of, the subjects were in shaded light so he really overexposed making for a very washed out background. His shot is actually quite soft overall. Might be from the camera he used, or the lens, or his inability at getting an accurate focus at the moment the lens snapped. Or it could have been the processing of the print, or any number of things. Notice that the detail of the face of the subject being executed is lost do to the shade. There are all sorts of things about this photo that one could say really showed the lack of quality. Here is the link:

http://www.cs.brown....es/canon/06.jpg

But let me ask you a question. In the end, do you care? Or is the story that that single 1/500th of a second tells more compelling than if it was taken with a cheap camera phone? As I see it, too many people on many of these boards don't aspire to be good at telling stories and using the visual medium of film/video to accomplish that. No I see a lot of people more interested in some imaginary gold standard of what a picture needs to be. Who needs a story when you can snap a shot so vivid and so lifelike that stories mean little? Quite sad and certainly a waste of a lot of time. Thankfully we still have a small number of people who do tell stories, and now a disproportionate number of people that take pictures that serve no purpose but are more akin to a book on optical illusions; fun as a coffee table book, but not anywhere as interesting as a novel.

I could point to at least ten films that were shot with everything from Sony FX1's to DVX100s and in the end not a single person would even guess that such a camera could make such a picture. But then again, you'd be so immersed in the story as not to care. There are two types of films, great films which are called great because they have great stories, and lousy films that have lousy stories. You can have the great looking film but with a crappy story, no one cares. And when you have a great film that is shot well, folks say what a great story, and it looked great too. And you can have just pictures, that by themselves and out of context of a story mislead you.

Sad that so many people are so misdirected about the visual medium of filmmaking and confuse a small part of the ability at telling a story only to a bunch of pictures.

I would not address the other 'issue' seen with the 'lens flares' on the RED camera because what is not being discussed are the actual causes and if they could be corrected. But then again I did a helecopter shot last summer on 35 and my shutter was in sequence with the movement of the chopper and the rotation of the blades to the point that something looks off at a certain moment. I don't need two side by side camera shots to see the issue of the patterning. In fact to me all the comparison does is allow someone ot use teh word 'better' instead of how do we fix the issue.
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#13 Gavin Greenwalt

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 10:39 PM

Red moved the OLPF forward in the new cameras and as a result the flare is no longer present.
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 11:36 PM

Sad that so many people are so misdirected about the visual medium of filmmaking and confuse a small part of the ability at telling a story only to a bunch of pictures.


Sad???

Walter, I think you need to apologize to Claudio Miranda. This is a successful cinematographer in commercials and now features. Shooting comparison tests of new equipment is standard operating procedure for many professionals. As stated in my other post, I just sat through a comparison test of 2K RGB vs. HDCAM-SR because I had to make a decision for a D.I. Claudio might have been asked by David Fincher or someone else to chose between RED or the F23 -- do you seriously think instead he's going to lecture David Fincher on the uselessness of comparison tests? Claudio is no dummy, he's well aware of the variables involved in shooting tests, that they are never definitive but they can be informative.

You often show up at some forum, look around you, and comment on how sad you are at what you see. How do you think that makes all of us feel?
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#15 Walter Graff

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 11:54 PM

David,

If you don't get my post, then that is your loss. Perhaps I didn't say it correctly. I am not talking about Claudio or any other qualified DP except to say that yes, in many ways even Claudio's 'comparison' is marred by fallacies as discussed here, once it is made into a "this" verses "that" as it is often done on boards like this. Sure, you can get a sense of how a camera performs from such a set up and see if two cameras can be considered in the same ball park. Any DP wants to know if a tool performs as it should. I test equipment all the time to se if it lives up to my needs. My tests are often to see if a particular, or various comparable pieces of equipment can be considered on a level playing ground. I am sure his tests are to do exactly that. I believe he has shown that. His test proves that both cameras are equal contenders. Beyond that, there isn't anything a qualified person in the field or in post couldn't do to take it even further, and that is where you have to then realize that just because the blacks on one camera don't look as good as another doesn't mean they can't. My post is about all the other folks who spend hour after hour searching the web for some sort of footage to validate their existence, as if some allegiance to some camera (any camera) is what is going to separate you from the pack. Talent does that, not tools. And a talented person knows that if you have two cameras that can create relatively equal quality pictures in such a test, then the decision about which camera you like is nothing more than subjective beyond that. And if folks don't get it, now they know. But it doesn't seem to matter. All that maters to the bread and circus is that they can find comfort knowing that their allegiances to some sort of higher power equipment God will let them sleep. Sort of no more different than when a monkey in a lab learns which lever gives them a treat. Great taste, but where can you go from there except to be fascinated that a lever gives you a treat. Nowhere in my post did I refer to anyone specific, only to how once again someone's valid tests could easily end up in the cog of A vs B which then looses it's purpose and becomes a match of insecurities and allegiances, than the real purpose of such tests. Hope that clears up what I was trying to say to the impressionable masses rather than as a comment to one mans work which it was not.
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#16 Bruce Greene

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 12:44 AM

To me this was a good test of two digital cinematography cameras under some extreme situations.

It's a good test because it is quite clear that there are some situations where the Red camera (the body tested) produced results that I would not want to see in a movie. Even if the Red is a little sharper, under most moving image situations the resolution looks pretty similar between the two cameras, but the F-23 images are clearly more pleasing and offer more options for post color correction.

This might change with newer versions of the Red camera, but for now...

I would be interested in seeing a comparison test of the F-23 with the new Panasonic HDX3000 though to see how close a much less expensive camera recording more compressed images can come to the F-23 --- for projects where the F-23 might be too expensive. Just rambling here though :rolleyes:

-bruce
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#17 Daren Findling

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 02:17 AM

I've often thought of these types of 'comparisons' with video as mostly a waste of... BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH ...teh word 'better' instead of how do we fix the issue.



Are you by chance high?
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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 02:37 AM

Are you by chance high?


Let's not go there, please. Walter has a completely valid point, I'm just objecting to the tone. Addressing a group by saying "Sad to see so many are misdirected..." comes off as "let me set all of you misguided souls straight". It's talking DOWN to people.

There are some things that cause a knee-jerk reaction in me on the internet. One of them is when a discussion is humming along with various people throwing in their two cents, and then suddenly someone steps in and says "this discussion is idiotic, you are all wrong to be talking about it, etc."

Great, stop the cocktail conversation dead and have everyone look at you while you proceed to lecture everyone as to how they all should really be talking and what they should be talking about. I've always hated that. Don't tell people who are interested in something that they shouldn't be interested in what they are interested in. If I have a question about a digital sensor I don't want to get lectured about how I'm not properly concerned over the art of cinematography or storytelling or something.

On the other hand, Walter certainly could have phrased his argument in a way that made the same points without the condescending tone, and I probably would have agreed to most of it. I've made some similar arguments myself. It's just the word "sad" in reference to people here at this forum that is annoying. A good teacher doesn't start the classroom lesson by saying "you people make me sad..."

This is about maintaining some level of mutual respect among ourselves, so responding to Walter's post with that comment doesn't help.
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#19 John Brawley

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 03:27 AM

Are you by chance high?


Walt has an alternative perspective. There's no need to make it personal. That's just unprofessional.

jb
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#20 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 07:31 AM

Thanks for the lecture, Walter. Thank god you were here to set us all straight. Your sig says 'working professional'. Well, guess what? There's quite a few of them on this board, and I'd guess that none of us enjoy being spoken to in such a condescending manner. As far as I'm aware, this forum exists for education and discussion, not as a platform for you to make godlike pronouncements about how wrong & misguided the rest of us are.
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