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BMCC 4K versus C100 dilemna


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#1 Raj Kowoski

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 03:48 PM

So, here is my conundrum. Once again. Was initially planning to shoot narrative feature on BMCC 4K (ProRes 422) until found out that my DP owns a C-100 and doesn't have rig for BMCC. Goal is to create 35mm Kodak look using plugins after color correction. DP convincing me that if we shoot flat using c-100 with atmos Ninja (rates upto 128mbps/sec), I can get any look I want in the post. No need to go with BMCC. I don't have much of an idea on c-log. Assuming that format is similar to RAW except a lot smaller file sizes. Question:

 

Can anyone on this board please advise? I'm aiming for that 80's look..creamy, saturated, look you see in movies like "Evid Dead 2", "Friday the 13th", "Halloween", etc. Both camera's have 12 stops.

 

Distribution for this feature will most probably won't be on big screen.

 

Anyone help please.

 

raj


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#2 Oron Cohen

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 04:33 PM

I really try and urge directors to do tests if possible, before setting out on a production.

 

It could be a small test, like taking your DOP C100 to a rental house and shoot around the rental house side by side comparison with the BMPC, then apply all the plugins to both and decide,  or if you got a bit more time, get one or all your  actors  and set out to the actual location you're filming and ( if possible) also bring lights to see the effect on skin tones, highlights etc. 

 

Personally and generally speaking, I disagree with your dop in the sense that every image sensor is a bit different, it's almost as if  every digital camera imager is like a different film stock, and like with film stocks, you could match Fuji and Kodak pretty well but it doesn't mean they look the same or you can get every look you want with them. 

 

Also, I'm not sure if you could get the Blackmagic for free or not like you get the C100, it might have an effect on other important areas like art directing having more funds, which sometimes helps more than the camera.  


Edited by Oron Cohen, 23 February 2015 - 04:34 PM.

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#3 Oron Cohen

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 04:54 PM

I forgot to also mention the obvious fact, that apart from the look, one camera is UHD and one is HD, UHD can be a great benefit in post and in downscaling for 2K DCP, but again, it's the look you're after that is the most important, C100 still might suite you better after a testing both for this specific film. 


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 05:28 PM

Agree with Oron, ask your DP to shoot a camera test so you guys can lock in your look and workflow in pre-production. Once you're actually in production, you won't have time to figure that stuff out.
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#5 Raj Kowoski

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 09:36 AM

Thanks, Guys. Per recommendations, following is what I plan to test this weeked. Take actors at location. All shots EXT. F-Stops are TBD depending on how bright it is and how much my ND filter supports. Any recommendations on C100 recording comparable format? I own BMCC 4K and C100 is new to me. Goal - Color Grade each of the following 10 second clip and see how it looks.

 

ISO/ASA LENS FORMAT
200 24mm ProRes422
400 24mm ProRes422
200 24mm RAW
400 24mm RAW
200 24mm ProRes HD
400 24mm ProRes HD
200 85mm ProRes
400 85mm ProRes
200 85mm RAW
400 85mm RAW
200 85mm ProRes HD
400 85mm ProRes HD


Edited by Raj Kowoski, 24 February 2015 - 09:41 AM.

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#6 Albion Hockney

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 11:19 AM

Alot of people shoot features on the c300. the c100 puts out a comparable picture.

 

my experience is that the 4k blackmagic camera is a really bad highlight clip and is like maybe 10 stops of latitude where as the c100 is closer to 12. C100 also can handle 850 ISO up to 1600/3200 with the black magic 800 is pushing it.

 

 

you'll never create a real "35mm" look with either of these cameras its hard to do that with an Alexa let alone a c100 ...but I'd say the c100 will get you closer.


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#7 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 12:40 PM

The moment you pass the signal down an HDMI cable to an external recorder, you're stuck with that color space forever.

Plus, the C100 HDMI port spits out 60i and the Ninja recognizes the frame rate at 24. However, it doesn't do the pulldown, so your captured files need the pull-down interlaced flags removed and then you can work with them. Plus the Ninja2 isn't quite 10 bit. The tests I've seen say it's 512 samples, not 1024 like 10 bit. So it's an in-between, like 9 bit or something like that.

Finally… the Blackmagic 4k Cinema camera records in 12 bit 4:4:4 color space with 12 stops of latitude and a global shutter. You can't beat the price vs performance. Plus, the Pro Res 4444 files are native to Avid, Premiere and Final Cut Pro. So you don't even need to transcode or mess with them in post production. Simply back everything up and edit with you original camera masters! Why not! :)
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#8 Raj Kowoski

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 12:58 PM

Albion Hockney, you make good points. Nothing can get you 35mm look except ...of course, 35mm stock. Having said that, in recent history there have been several features shot on digital medium and are darn "close" to those kodak images. At least for the masses. However, my biggest concerns are EXT daylight shots. Could just be me, but Digital medium just lacks that color space. Color Correct, they try to mask those shortcomings but "video" element is still there.

 

One other option is to shoot EXT shots using film camera. Perhaps, S16mm to save $$ and have it telecined. All in all, I've got probably 20 minutes of scenes that require EXT DAY and if push comes to shove, I can shoot those on Film. Question then becomes, would those look film or telecine takes a bit out of those .

 

INT scenes, I'm not too overly concerned about. With right lighting, shallow DOF and post work I can probably sell those as film.

 

thoughts? 


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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 01:55 PM

With right lighting, shallow DOF and post work I can probably sell those as film.


Depends of who is buying... ;-)
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#10 Raj Kowoski

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 02:02 PM

Hey David:-)  We met in late 2004 in Austin when you were down to shoot "Dot" at UT. I remember buying you dinner in downtown with my Associate Jenny in exchange for photography wisdom;-).

 

As long as masses (including me) buy that "film" look, I'm golden:-)


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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 02:29 PM

INT scenes, I'm not too overly concerned about. With right lighting, shallow DOF and post work I can probably sell those as film.


Not really… the C100 looks like an HD video camera. The Blackmagic 4k camera, looks more like an Alexa, but still nothing like film. Sure, in DaVinci you can add film LUT's, which will enhance the image greatly. But things like the rolling shutter and white clipping issues on the C100, will stand out like sore thumbs. Plus, the C100 HDMI output starts as interlaced and the de-interlacing process, doesn't guarantee you perfect progressive images. This means, reflections that clip, can have black lines in the clipping.

So even with interiors, you have to be very careful to not let any clipping into your shot.

I'm not saying the Blackmagic 4k cinema camera isn't faultless because it has lots of small issues. The two biggest ones are the battery and audio. If you're shooting a film, you'll have external audio anyway. The battery issue isn't too bad because there are many solutions on the market.

If you want a "cinematic look" you start with a cinema camera like the Blackmagic, Red or Alexa.
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#12 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 02:31 PM

CameraComp.jpg


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#13 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 03:49 PM

Thanks, Guys. Per recommendations, following is what I plan to test this weeked. Take actors at location. All shots EXT. F-Stops are TBD depending on how bright it is and how much my ND filter supports. Any recommendations on C100 recording comparable format? I own BMCC 4K and C100 is new to me. Goal - Color Grade each of the following 10 second clip and see how it looks.
 
ISO/ASA LENS FORMAT
200 24mm ProRes422
400 24mm ProRes422
200 24mm RAW
400 24mm RAW
200 24mm ProRes HD
400 24mm ProRes HD
200 85mm ProRes
400 85mm ProRes
200 85mm RAW
400 85mm RAW
200 85mm ProRes HD
400 85mm ProRes HD

This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. If you're going to shoot a test with the C100 and record to Prores, you might as well record to the highest bitrate codec allowed by the recorder, either 4444 or HQ. C100's native ISO is 850 just like the C300. If you want a cleaner image, overexpose slightly and shoot at 500 ISO. If you will be shooting in low light and need to use high ISOs, test that as well.

What you actually should be testing is lighting, over/under-exposure, any color treatment you want to do in-camera or in post, filters, LUTs, post color correction including your film look, wardrobe, makeup, etc. so that you figure out what your intended final look should be and exactly what steps to take in order to achieve that.

But really, all of this is your DP's job. Leave them alone to do whatever they are going to do and just watch the final result. If it's close to what you wanted, then great! Just direct them to make small adjustments as needed. If it's way off, then talk to them about what specifically is wrong with the test, direct them toward the look you want in more specific detail, and have them shoot a second test. If it's still not working out, then maybe you need a new DP.
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#14 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 03:17 PM

... I own BMCC 4K ...

 

ISO/ASA LENS FORMAT
200 24mm ProRes422
400 24mm ProRes422
200 24mm RAW
400 24mm RAW
200 24mm ProRes HD
400 24mm ProRes HD
200 85mm ProRes
400 85mm ProRes
200 85mm RAW
400 85mm RAW
200 85mm ProRes HD
400 85mm ProRes HD

 

Which camera do you actually own?

 

"BMCC 4K"?

 

Blackmagic Design sells various cameras, but not a "BMCC 4K". 

 

For example, there's the "BMCC 2.5K" ("Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5K"), which can record 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes & DNxHD at 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution, and 12-bit RAW at 2.5K (2400 x 1350) resolution.

 

And there's the "BMPC-4K" ("Blackmagic Production Camera 4K"), which can record 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes at 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution, and 12-bit RAW at 4000 x 2160 resolution.

 

Which do you have?

 

If you have a BMCC 2.5K and want to record at its best quality, shoot 12-bit RAW at 2400 x 1350 resolution at its native ISO 800.

 

Or, if you have a BMPC-4K and want to record at its best quality, shoot 12-bit RAW at 4000 x 2160 resolution at its native ISO 400.

 

The C100 is an 8-bit camera system. Recording to an external recorder at a higher bit depth won't change that or result in better quality. Recording externally at a data rate higher than the C100's internal recorder may reduce motion artifacts. However, with adequate light a Blackmagic camera's internal RAW (or ProRes "HQ") recordings are a much more robust and higher-quality starting point for grading (higher bit depth, higher data rate, and higher resolution) than anything output from a C100.


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#15 Raj Kowoski

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 03:32 PM

Many thanks. I own Black Magic Cinema Camera 4K EF mount. Plan to use Rokinon Cine lens. 24mm for wide, 85mm for tight. RAW may not be an option but would like to see is color grade material is significantly different between HD, Prores 422 and RAW for an average human eye. Especially on screen less than 100 inches. From what I've read, ISO 400 works best with 4K. Table above i plan for BMCC. Not sure if there are equivalent tests for Canon esp. if I shoot c-log. I will post results in couple of weeks with some sample videos.  


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#16 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 03:52 PM

... I own Black Magic Cinema Camera 4K EF mount. ... RAW may not be an option but would like to see is color grade material is significantly different between HD, Prores 422 and RAW for an average human eye. Especially on screen less than 100 inches. From what I've read, ISO 400 works best with 4K. ...

 

Again, there is no camera named "Black Magic Cinema Camera 4K". Read my post again.

 

Also, Apple has specific names for its ProRes recording modes. For example, "ProRes HQ" is noticeably higher quality than "ProRes 422", especially for high-motion, high-detail scenes. If you don't shoot RAW, shoot "ProRes HQ" on the BMCC, or "4K ProRes HQ" on the BMPC-4K. With either camera, use the "Film" (log) mode for best quality.


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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 04:12 PM

https://www.blackmag...s/cinemacameras

Blackmagic Production Camera 4K EF

 

They call their series of cameras "Cinema Cameras"... and one of them is a "Production Camera 4K EF".

 

The only other 4K camera they have (besides the PL-mount version of the PC-4K) is the URSA -- do you think by saying "BMCC 4K", it could be confused between the PC-4K and the URSA?  I just sort of assumed he was referring to the Production Camera.


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