Jump to content


Photo

Need some serious help please (ASAP) I beg you!!


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Devin Gibson

Devin Gibson

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Director
  • New York

Posted 11 February 2017 - 06:41 PM

Hello everybody,

I recently purchased the ursa mini 4.6k and I am in love with this system. The thing is, I love darkness and shooting underexposed. I know the ursa isn't a low light camera (whatever that really means lol) and i know the native iso of the sensor is 800. Usually when I'm shooting into darkness with the Alexa I tend to shoot at a very low iso as it certainly gives me more latitude in shadow areas and the image is clean and looks amazing. When i shoot with the ursa at 200 iso the image is super clean but when i bring the ursa footage into resolve the blacks gets these weird artifacts and blockiness. I hate this to pieces. Just to paint a picture : no I'm not trying to lift the shadows in post i leave them where i shot them and feel o should be able to.

So the Ursa isn't a low light camera i get that, but as a cinematograoher i don't mind not seeing information in certain areas if its by design shouldn't black just be black? Not sure if anyone has seen la la land but the scenes where everything goes pitch dark and its only a spot light on them, i should be able to achieve the same amount of darkness and not have to worry about artifacts and blockiness. I know lala land was shot on film etc etc but thats besides the point. Im not comparing film to digital I'm simply saying black should be black without blockiness on film or digital right?

Please keep in mind i am not having a noise issue in fact the image is super clean as I'm shooting with the lowest iso and i know exactly my reasons for doing so. Did i find a scenario that the Ursa simply cant handle? Once again I'm not discussing whats a low light camera I know the rumors that the black magic cameras are not good in low light but what does that mean besides the obvious and in relation to my problem exactly. Most people say its not a low light camera because they all try to shoot at the native 800 iso in low light and wonder why its noisy. For night time scenes i'm trying to see into the shadows so the more stops in the underexposure by shooting at a lower iso is what I crave.

Please help how do i shoot jet black and a persons face in the middle of the frame perfectly exposed surrounded by darkness without artifacts/blockiness on the Ursa mini 4.6k. I love this little camera so much would hate to return it for something like this but might have to as i am a lover are darkness. I'll take any advice or tips.

thanks so much in advance.
  • 0

#2 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4071 posts
  • Other
  • Right on the edge in London

Posted 11 February 2017 - 07:26 PM

I don't get what you mean. You say you want it to drop off into inky blacks but then you say you want to see right into the shadows but those two things are the opposite of one another.

 

Freya


  • 0

#3 Devin Gibson

Devin Gibson

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Director
  • New York

Posted 11 February 2017 - 07:29 PM

Thanks for clarifying that. I want total darkness without blockiness or artifacts. Sometimes i want to see into the shadows in any event the issue i face now is artifacts in complete darkness. Thanks
  • 0

#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19200 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 February 2017 - 07:38 PM

Macro blocking is more of a noise + compression problem -- so either you are using too much compression in the recording codec or later in the chain.
  • 0

#5 Akos Baranya

Akos Baranya
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts
  • Other
  • EU

Posted 11 February 2017 - 07:45 PM

I think the answer for your problem in a way would be to have everything exposed properly and then grade it darker. You would still need to light the frame.


  • 0

#6 Devin Gibson

Devin Gibson

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Director
  • New York

Posted 11 February 2017 - 10:36 PM

Macro blocking is more of a noise + compression problem -- so either you are using too much compression in the recording codec or later in the chain.


You must be correct as i do shoot with a 3:1 compression perhaps it will be different if i shoot raw lossless thanks so much i will be testing this out for sure. So would you suggust if im shooting with some sort of compression to simply lift the shadows with lighting and then crush the blacks later in post?
  • 0

#7 Devin Gibson

Devin Gibson

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Director
  • New York

Posted 11 February 2017 - 10:39 PM

I think the answer for your problem in a way would be to have everything exposed properly and then grade it darker. You would still need to light the frame.


Thanks im taking this suggestion into consideration and will begin my testing first thing tomorrow.
  • 0

#8 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19200 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 February 2017 - 12:41 AM

You must be correct as i do shoot with a 3:1 compression perhaps it will be different if i shoot raw lossless thanks so much i will be testing this out for sure. So would you suggust if im shooting with some sort of compression to simply lift the shadows with lighting and then crush the blacks later in post?


Not a bad idea within limits, you don't want to overdue it or else it can look artificial. But a decent exposure overall with enough shadow detail gives you more flexibility in post, if you want or need that. But the compression problem may be later in the chain.
  • 0

#9 Jay Young

Jay Young
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 431 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Lexington KY

Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:25 AM

Thanks for clarifying that. I want total darkness without blockiness or artifacts. Sometimes i want to see into the shadows in any event the issue i face now is artifacts in complete darkness. Thanks

 

Have you done tests at higher ISO?  Remember that the Blackmagic cameras simply shoot at 800 no matter what, and encode the metadata to tell the software (ideally Resolve) at which ISO to interpret the footage. 

 

I would first shoot uncompressed RAW tests at each end of the speed settings.  I find that while 1600 is noisy, I seem to get much better results out of the shadow area and highlights that are decent. But, at 200iso, the highlights go very quickly - its un-intuitive.  

 

Also, Blackmagic cameras need a bit more light that one things. The Alexa tends to reach into the darkness more; the Blackmagics tend to need about 1/3 overexposure - from my experience. 


  • 0

#10 Devin Gibson

Devin Gibson

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Director
  • New York

Posted 12 February 2017 - 08:14 AM

 
Have you done tests at higher ISO?  Remember that the Blackmagic cameras simply shoot at 800 no matter what, and encode the metadata to tell the software (ideally Resolve) at which ISO to interpret the footage. 
 
I would first shoot uncompressed RAW tests at each end of the speed settings.  I find that while 1600 is noisy, I seem to get much better results out of the shadow area and highlights that are decent. But, at 200iso, the highlights go very quickly - its un-intuitive.  
 
Also, Blackmagic cameras need a bit more light that one things. The Alexa tends to reach into the darkness more; the Blackmagics tend to need about 1/3 overexposure - from my experience. 

Hey Jay, thsnks so much for your response. Shooting at iso 1600 in a scene where its intended for low light renders some disgusting results in regards to noise, FPN, you name it. Just yesterday I shot 1600 iso outdoors in the snow, and boy did that help me to obtain some extra lattitude in highlights. The only reason i could see myself shooting at such an high iso for a night scene is if I intentionally want the look to have built in noise aesthetically. For this low light scene I dont need more lattitude in the highlights especially in controlled environments, and if i need more exposure to see into the shadows i can simply add more light instead. Maybe I'm wrong but choosing an ISO setting is much more than using it to crank up brightness. My feeling is mutual with the idea of fast lenses only being used for low light shooting, once again i feel t stops are associted so much to the feeling the story demands. This scene im shooting indoor at night at a T8.

Its obvious in a low lit environment if i crank up the iso to 1600 it would appear I'm seeing more shadows the problems arise when you pull the shadows down in post. I know this concept is hard for most to grasp but, low light shooting usually renders best to use an iso that gives more in the underexposure but then again theres solid reasons to shoot higher as well. Every iso setting is the start of the canvas

Edited by Devin Gibson, 12 February 2017 - 08:21 AM.

  • 0


Ritter Battery

Zylight

Abel Cine

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Quantum Music Works

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Willys Widgets

CineLab

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

ZoomCrane

Pro 8mm

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Zylight

Pro 8mm

ZoomCrane

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Quantum Music Works

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine