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BSC Digital/Film Evaluation Roadshow (London)


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#1 Jonathan Flanagan

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 05:39 PM

The BSC have now announced the first Digital Evaluation Roadshow for the above will be at the National Film Theatre at the BFI on the South Bank in London on July 8th, where we will see the results of the side by side tests the BSC ran a few months ago. Tickets are £25 and you can register here, where there is also an interesting short making of demo video available.

www.bscine.com

See you there!


(Sorry the site would not let me put this in News and Events section, so please feel free to move it if necessary)
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#2 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 06:32 PM

I really hope that they will release their results online once they have finished touring around. I'd really like to see this but I'm in LA.
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#3 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 05:45 AM

I really hope that they will release their results online once they have finished touring around. I'd really like to see this but I'm in LA.


I should be there - any other members going?
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#4 Ian Coad

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 06:28 AM

can you elaborate on what these tests covered?
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:20 AM

How do I say "I'll go if anyone else is going" without sounding like a ten-year-old?

P
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#6 Thomas Dobbie

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 04:41 PM

I'm planning to be there,look forward to seeing others.

Tom.
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#7 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 05:00 PM

If anyone who is going could take notes and post them here, or at least type up a summary, I'd really appreciate it.

Also tell them to come to LA ;)
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#8 John Sprung

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 12:37 PM

I'd really like to see this but I'm in LA.


There's the ASC/PGA set of tests that have screened here a couple times. They A/B a 35mm film reference with various digital cameras: Genesis, F-35, D-21, Red, Varicam 3700, Viper, F-23, IIRC. These are very revealing, especially the Bob Primes single light bulb in frame as the only light source test, and Michael Goi's wine drinking in colored shirts. There's two and a half hours of test material to watch, plus all the explanations, so it's a long evening. Bring something to take notes with, there's way too much to remember. Some of the cameras do surprisingly poorly, but the gentlemen of the ASC have the tact to allow the pictures to speak for themselves, and the viewers to draw their own conclusions. I just wish they'd bring the shirts to the screenings. You end up wondering what they really look like.




-- J.S.
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#9 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 03:33 PM

Are you referring to this:

I just found out about that today from a friend on Facebook. I'd definitely like to go see it if possible, but I don't know where and when it's screening.
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 04:47 PM

That's the "Making of" video for the tests. (Have there ever before been tests big and important enough to rate a "Making of"?)

You really have to see the tests on a big screen with a good projector, so putting anything on the web would probably do more harm than good. You could contact the ASC and PGA to express interest in additional screenings. I saw them at the Linwood Dunn theater in the Academy's Pickford Center up on Vine St.



-- J.S.
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#11 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 06:22 PM

That's the "Making of" video for the tests. (Have there ever before been tests big and important enough to rate a "Making of"?)

You really have to see the tests on a big screen with a good projector, so putting anything on the web would probably do more harm than good. You could contact the ASC and PGA to express interest in additional screenings. I saw them at the Linwood Dunn theater in the Academy's Pickford Center up on Vine St.



-- J.S.

Yes, i picked up that the youtube video was an ad for the test, and not the test itself ;) I was saying that a friend had linked me to that clip earlier today, which was the first I had heard of the test.
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#12 Stephen Price

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 05:30 AM

It's a great idea, and I hope it can be a useful resource for people to use all over the world. It will great if they publish the results online. I participated in the test as the camera tecnician for the Sony 900R, SI-2K, Canon 5D MKII, Sony EX3 and Sony F35. I was dissapointed that the Phantom HD did not make the tests.

I am slighty dissapointed aswell with the schedualling for the screening in London, it's not so accessable for those of us who have work, being screened during the day. I hope I can catch it somewhere.

Stephen Price
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London
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#13 Ed Moore

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 09:55 AM

I'll be going - if any Cinematography.com users want to meet up for a coffee, I'm on 07980 524136!

Cheers,

Ed Moore
DoP | Steadicam
http://emoore.co.uk
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#14 Ed Moore

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 09:56 AM

I'll be going - if any Cinematography.com users want to meet up for a coffee, I'm on 07980 524136!

Cheers,

Ed Moore
DoP | Steadicam
http://emoore.co.uk
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#15 Tony Brown

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 02:11 PM

I was a little disappointed f I'm honest. Whilst i didn't expect any firm conclusions I did expect a slightly less biased slant on proceedings and I think the digital players at the gig felt a little miffed.

18 different systems were shown

The base for grading was taken from Macbeth charts, which I feel was a mistake. I would have prefered the grade to match skin tones as closley as possible and let me see where the rest of the image goes. I dont go into TK and start looking at charts, I look at skin.

Generally the the film shots seemed to be a little red, the digital was green, not in every case but pretty much

RED was virtually laughed out of the room though the issues I saw with it seemed to be based on under exposure. It was rated at 320, but I've heard many people rate it at 160. this I think would have sorted most of the problems I saw there today. The colourist said that RED was the most difficult to match to the Macbeth chart

SI 2K had some workflow issues which caused some discussion with no real conclusion

The Canon 5D stood out as the wierdo. Very nice look for certain standalone shots or projects but you'd never cut in the footage to a scene shot on any other system. Almost a bleach bypass look IMO. I want one.

There are no plans to make this available for download though the consensus was that this would be very useful, if only a series of stills. I agree

It was pointed out by somebody who had seen the ASC tests in LA that the BSC test were far more informative.
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#16 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 04:47 PM

Didn't end up going, but last year I did and I was shocked at how openly digi-hostile the BSC seem to be. I might be a "digital guy" but I don't think I overtly go around slagging film off.

RED was virtually laughed out of the room


I've never really seen it look good. Did have a chance to look at some TV pilots that were shot on Red in LA a couple of months ago, which were of course done by big clever expensive American union crews who should know what they're doing. Of course this is no guarantee and there are terribly experienced 35 guys who will produce complete junk from digi if they refuse to recognise the differences, but this stuff really did look rough. It somehow managed to be both clippy and noisy, particularly in the blue, with big ugly blotches of blue channel noise much in evidence. Usually digital gives you the choice of one or the other and I'm really not sure what was going on.

The Canon 5D stood out as the wierdo. Very nice look for certain standalone shots or projects but you'd never cut in the footage to a scene shot on any other system. Almost a bleach bypass look IMO. I want one.


If it looks contrasty, suspect the post workflow. The 5D's output is slightly strange in that it's "normal" h.264, which almost universally implies YUV (there are h.264 modes for RGB but few decoders would decode them), but it uses full swing values rather than studio swing values for the luminance. This means that a lot, practically all, decoders actually end up clipping the equivalent of about a stop or two of dynamic range off the thing. Unless it was specifically mentioned as having been worked-around, I would assume that this mistake was made, since it takes some special hoop jumping to get around it.

The 5D also fails horribly on a zone plate because it skips lines to get the sensor going fast enough. This is sometimes quite visible in things like ladies' finely-delineated eyebrow hairs. If it were not for this, and if you could get the image off the thing uncompressed, it would be staggeringly good; it looks superficially very nice. I measured the 5D's raw sensor data at over 10 stops.

P
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#17 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 04:47 PM

There are no plans to make this available for download though the consensus was that this would be very useful, if only a series of stills. I agree

It was pointed out by somebody who had seen the ASC tests in LA that the BSC test were far more informative.

Argh! Who wants to sponsor me on a trip to London ;)

Thanks for the writeup.
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#18 Nick G Smith

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 04:49 PM

I agree with Tony regarding the usefulness of looking at the colour of a grade from a Macbeth chart. What I did find useful was looking at the latitude of each recording medium.

Basically each Camera was pointed at the same scene - with the ASA rating set by the manufacturer or supplier. The 3200K scene had parts that were 5 to 6 stops over and and I think around 6 stops under. As I said for me the usefulness was looking at the latitude of the systems - not so much when they blow out as one can protect the whites on digital formats but in the subtle differences in contrast in mid tones. For what ever reason (exposure/post) the SI 2K and RED did not look that good. In this evaluation the EX3 looked better to me than the SI 2K.

I did come away with a number of thoughts - that the only tests that I have ever found really valuable are the ones I have done for myself for the film in hand - Post can be a minefield and usually is - It is getting harder for a DoP to control the look of the image shot as it disappears into the unregulated digital ether.

The evaluation was presented on a Digital Cinema Server. I would think the BSC website will have all the technical specs up somewhere.
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#19 John Sprung

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 05:22 PM

Did have a chance to look at some TV pilots that were shot on Red in LA a couple of months ago, ....


Can you reveal the titles? Some of us might have seen them too.




-- J.S.
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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 05:28 PM

Can you reveal the titles?


Nope, because I honestly don't know them - I happened to be hanging around a machine room while they were being graded, and we were bouncing around on the matrix looking at what various rooms were doing.

Sinister, eh.

P
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