Jump to content


Photo

Low lights condition - 4K or Full HD?


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Ale Capo

Ale Capo

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Student
  • London

Posted 24 November 2016 - 07:28 AM

Hi everybody,

 

my question is: in situation of low light condition (in my case, I'm shooting in a cave where my key light is a small fireplace), does the 4k respond in a worse way than the full hd?.

 

Cameras in question: Canon C300 mark I, and Canon C300 mark II 

 

I'm doing this question because with 4K the pixels in the sensor should be more compressed than with Full HD. Consequently, each pixel should be capable to capture less amount of light than the pixels with Full HD.

 

Is this argument right?

 

Thanks!


  • 0




#2 aapo lettinen

aapo lettinen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 770 posts
  • Other
  • Finland

Posted 24 November 2016 - 08:56 AM

the C300 mark1 also has 4k sensor, it just processes the output to fullhd.  I would take the Mk2 for sure


  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18958 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 24 November 2016 - 11:42 AM

The sensitivity is partially determined by the physical size of each individual photosite on the sensor combined with the noise of the overall system. Fewer but larger photosites on the same sized sensor area compared to more but smaller photosites should be more effective collectors of light -- hence why the 12MP / 4K sensor of the full-frame 35mm Sony A7S is so sensitive.

 

So whether you used the whole 4K sensor or just a smaller HD portion of the sensor, the size of the photosites are the same, and the noise may or may not be worse by using a smaller area (but the same or maybe a bit better if reducing the 4K area down to an HD recording, whether in-camera or in post.)

 

One advantage of recording 4K for an HD finish is that a noise reduction pass to the 4K image, though that might soften the image a bit, would still give you enough resolution to reduce to HD.

 

The only situation where maybe you'd have better low-light capability if using a smaller, let's say, 16mm size of the Canon's 35mm sized sensor, is that you could use something like a Metabones speed booster.  Or you could just use faster 35mm lenses.


  • 0

#4 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 24 November 2016 - 04:57 PM

Does the C300 have a 4K sensor..? I thought it didnt .. the MarkII does ..


  • 0

#5 Mark Kenfield

Mark Kenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 746 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 24 November 2016 - 05:25 PM

The C300 has a supersmart, quad-HD sensor, which downscales perfectly to HD. Just a shame they only let you have it in 8-bit 50mbps :/
  • 0

#6 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18958 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 24 November 2016 - 05:33 PM

https://www.usa.cano...ma-eos/eos-c300

 

Specs say a 4K sensor.

 

I think the main change with the Mk.II was the ability to record better HD codecs, such as 12-bit 444, and to be able to record 4K.  The Mark I only recorded 8-bit 4:2:0 HD I believe.


  • 0

#7 Tyler Purcell

Tyler Purcell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2574 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 25 November 2016 - 12:17 AM

Right, the MKI only recorded 1080p in Long Gop 50Mbps 8 bit 4:2:0.

I've shot with both cameras, the MKI is a piece of junk compared to the MKII. I can't believe Canon crippled the MKI so much.

In low light, the Canon imager is very noisy and iFrame MPEG compression is notorious for being noisy in the blacks as well. I have a few shots in this feature I'm coloring now which have underexposed areas in certain shots, captured 1600ISO and it's nearly impossible to bring up anything up without introducing a lot of noise. I have to crush the blacks in order to help reduce the MPEG noise in those areas. I'm actually working today on adding some noise reduction to help, but it's night and day different from the properly exposed shots around it.

If I were to use a low-light camera today, I'd really stick with Sony's. The FS7, F5/55 have excellent low light capabilities and don't have the same noise floor as the Canon. Even though I vastly prefer the C300MKII's imager due to it's fantastic color rendition, I prefer the Sony's for low light.

Personally, I'd invest in a few LED panels and light the scene properly so you don't have to deal with the noise floor in the blacks. Then you can get away with a lower ISO, which makes for a much cleaner image with the C300MKII. I'd also use the full imager all the time, it's a higher bit rate image and it allows for more manipulation in post.
  • 0

#8 aapo lettinen

aapo lettinen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 770 posts
  • Other
  • Finland

Posted 25 November 2016 - 03:26 AM

I handle tons of C300 mk1 50Mbps material at work and it usually looks fine when graded properly, even for 2k DCP output on big screen, but the codec is very bad and blocky when underexposed so you have to be extremely careful in low light. definitely take something with a higher bitrate, preferably prores or raw if possible. 

 

The F5 is a lot better camera than FS7 and depending on the specific FS7 body there may be a huge difference in noise levels, even something like double the noise on FS7 compared to F5. 

the FS7 is otherwise quite handy camera, just don't expect it to go any further than about ISO 1000 in low light. But if you can get a raw capable external recorder to it like Atomos or 7Q+  then it might be quite good choice, then you could take it a little further because you wouldn't need to worry about underexposing slog which may look bad in some situations.

 

if you are on a budget I would maybe take the A7S2 for the low light capabilities. but as Tyler said it is in any case much better to have some additional light in the first place so that you can control the shadow detail and also won't have as much problems with the huge contrast between flames and shadow areas which is hard for any camera, especially when dealing with low color temperature (very underexposed warm shadow areas --->huge underexposing of the blue channel---> very noisy and blocky blue channel which is very difficult to restore and needs lots of noise reduction and dealing with the compression artifacts, to the extent of having completely unusable blue channel which you have to blur to get usable image)


  • 0

#9 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 25 November 2016 - 06:47 AM

ah ok I get it.. it has a 4K sensor but you cant actually record 4K on the Mk1.. I knew it did 50 mbps.. there were the F3 lost out for broadcast at only 35.. and the C300 cleaned up.. 


  • 0

#10 Ale Capo

Ale Capo

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Student
  • London

Posted 26 November 2016 - 01:23 PM

Thanks for the advices and experiences about C300s.

 

I've never shot with the C300 before and I was a bit concerned about the codec. 

I will shoot in Lebanon and the rental house we are dealing with has nothing in middle way (in term of prices and quality) between the C300mkII and the Arri Amira.

 

It is a big step in terms of quality, but also in terms of budget.

Do you think I should convince my team to make the upgrade?

Thanks !


  • 0


Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Zylight

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Quantum Music Works

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Pro 8mm

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Quantum Music Works

Aerial Filmworks

Zylight

Pro 8mm

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc