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First Video Comparison of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera's ProRes & 12 Bit RAW

11.12.13 @ 7:30PM Tags : , , , , , , ,

BMPCC ProRes vs RAWJust last night, Blackmagic Design released a firmware update for their Pocket Cinema Camera that we’ve all been waiting for since the day the camera was released several months ago, a firmware update that gave the minuscule camera the ability to shoot compressed RAW CinemaDNG files directly to the internal SD cards. With the recently released update, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing comparison videos of the BMPCC’s ProRes shooting mode and the newly possible RAW mode. Here’s the first of these videos:

This video comes to us courtesy of filmmaker D.L. Watson. Check it out:


Despite the fact that the rain in this video makes it difficult to analyze the results with a critical eye, the 12 bit RAW still looks a hell of lot better than the camera’s native ProRes, especially in terms of fine detail and dynamic range. Without any post sharpening or denoising of any kind, the (lightly) compressed RAW from this tiny little camera looks just as good as its bigger brother, the original BMCC.

It appears that one of the major drawbacks to the RAW shooting option on this camera will be the moire. From the video it’s pretty easy to tell that the sensor (combined with the fact that the camera doesn’t have an optical low pass filter of any kind) is extremely sensitive to finely detailed portions of the image to the point of extreme moire. Just like we all learned to avoid certain shooting situations with our DSLR’s so as to avoid aliasing and moire, we’ll have to do the same with the BMPCC.

Of course, the RAW recording option on this camera is limited immensely by the relatively small and slow SD cards, so it certainly won’t be ideal (or even practical) for most projects. However, the immediate jump in image quality that can be had from the RAW shooting mode is certainly substantial, and could very well be used to great effect given the right circumstances.

What do you guys think of the video? Let us know in the comments!

Link: D.L. Watson – Vimeo

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  • You write – “Of course, the RAW recording option on this camera is limited immensely by the relatively small and slow SD cards, so it certainly won’t be ideal (or even practical) for most projects.”

    Sandisk extreme PRO 95Mbps cards work just fine for RAW. 20 minutes on a 64gb card. Where’s the problem.

    • I guess slow isn’t really an issue, but size certainly is. If you want to shoot for a full day out in the field, you’re going to need a whole lot of those cards, which certainly aren’t cheap, at least compared to every other SD card on the market.

      It’s one of those things that you’ll have to use sparingly, much like film stock.

      • Wouldn’t it be fairly easy to offload these cards with a USB3 card reader or directly to a laptop once they’re full, format and reuse them? You mightn’t need more than 3-4 to do the job. Just pass them to someone trustworthy, back them up as soon as they’re copied over and you’re good to go.

        • Yes… I’ve been using 5 32gb Sandisk Extreme Pros shooting RAW on the pocket for a few weeks, never had an issue with offloading from the SD slot on my Macbook Retina to a USB3.0 hard drive.

          It’s fast enough despite the individual weight of the DNG files.

          Would prefer 64gbs for narrative, sometimes you just need to do 3-5 minute takes, one 32gb card’s 10 minutes of footage.

          • If you’ve got a dedicated DIT, then constantly offloading cards isn’t a problem. But this camera is priced for the kind of filmmakers who are either doing things themselves or with a very limited crew. In that case, having to constantly offload cards is likely more hassle than it’s worth just to have RAW images.

          • I’ve done many shoots one-man-band, just offloading cards really isn’t an issue. You set it to offload, leave it, come back in between takes, duplicate, shoot more, repeat.

            It’s great to have someone there doing that and managing it.

            There were filmmakers that shot Super16 one-man-band… why is this being labeled as difficult or expensive?

          • Kholi, you are asking “why are people saying that this is difficult or expensive” when comparing it to something that is difficult and expensive. Just sayin’.

          • I’m comparing it to something that’s far more cumbersome, difficult, and expensive to shoot… I’d be surprised if anyone actually thought that it was as expensive or taxing to shoot and post RAW from this camera as it would be S16 Film.

            … Shocked, even.

      • I guess it warrants mentioning: I got myself a portable copier when I first bought my 7D way back in 2009 that I’ve been using as my DIT. I had just enough money to buy the kit, and couldn’t afford larger capacities of the faster cards, which initially everyone said were a requirement if you didn’t want dropped frames. So I bought this:

        http://www.hypershop.com/HyperDrive/UDMA-2/

        The first Hyperdrive UDMA was meant solely for photographers, so you could view images, even RAW files, but not videos. All the folders are named sequentially, and will automatically be checked for any copying errors. You can also script stuff to sort them, which isn’t that hard to do. I’d take a picture to have a browse-able take library that I could go through after. You can also swap out the harddrive yourself, at home, for a bigger one if you want to upgrade. UDMA 2 will let you copy and play files wirelessly over wifi, even via iOS or Android. You can also get a USB OTG adapter, and just attach a harddrive to copy directly off the device, and verify things just as you would with the card. they’re great investments I think, and take a lot of stress out of the shooting process. and it supports practically any and every memory card you could possibly be using for photography or otherwise.

      • Anthony Brown on 11.14.13 @ 6:04PM

        Don’t shoot Raw if you don’t have the process to back it up, shoot pro res??? hiring a DIT to work for free is pretty normal on a zero budget shoot, on a shoot with a budget… hire a DIT??. A DIT should be in place on any shoot or at least a trust worthy crew member who backs up the shoot. When will Raw acquisition ever be easy to shoot on where a DIT process wouldn’t be needed? the films safety is always going to be a concern no matter how technology advances. Backing up your footage is the norm, this is a non issue

    • Nothing wrong with the wording there – ‘slow’ refers to (at a guess) 99% of all SD cards currently available in the market. There are only a select few that are fast enough to be able to write raw and they are certainly not cheap. So yeah that IS a problem as it rules out its usefulness in so many situations, especially considering the barley noticeable gains you get by shooting in it. Dont get me wrong RAW is great and is so amazing to have the option, but I doubt many will end up using it nearly as much as they think they will.

  • Am I the only one who likes the ProRes more?

    I cant say that the RAW is an epic win.

    • Yes. RAW is sharper and has more in highlights.

    • Yes, I also see much better the prores. Raw has more moiré, and doesn`t have more dynamic range, it´s just an illusion made but the heavy tone maping applied by the “videographer”. Prores looks so much better!!
      This is the problem of raw, people don`t know how to develop and end up doing HDR. Just ugly.

  • okay usually moire is not that big of a deal to me, but the one in the video is crazy. Need to see more tests on this!

  • Very surprised at the difference between the two. I was expecting something much more subtle. However, the raw workflow is still less than ideal. Hopefully the Mac Pro will change that.

    • What?
      The cards are the problem with the camera, if you have workflow issues in post, then that’s “your problem” as they say.

  • Posted on the video as well, but… does Resolve add sharpening as part of its raw interpretation? Or Adobe’s tools? If you sharpen the ProRes with a light unsharp mask, does it look a lot closer to the raw?

  • I think people need to remember that a 500′ mag only ran for about 5mins of footage with 35mm. The BMPCC is a great advancement in camera tech.

  • I don’t think either looks all that sharp, compared to even a downsampled 4K footage. A certain well known blogger said today, referring to the NAB’14 and the various 4K news and rumors, that he thinks “1080p has less than six months to live”. By then, a 1080p pro tier camera will be an anachronism.

    • Shaun Fontaine on 11.12.13 @ 9:23PM

      I’m tired of hearing this whole, 1080p is dead argument, it’s not and it won’t be in six monthd regardless of what anyone persons opinion is. It looks sharp enough for me. Resolution isn’t the only thing important to an image. Plus any lack of sharpness can be attributed to a lot of things other than resolution, maybe it’s the lens. Red have everybody convinced you must shoot on 4K, otherwise it’s not good enough. Well maybe Indie film makers like to feel better having 4K, but there are plenty of Hollywood Movies still being shot in 1080p. Skyfall was shot on 1080p, if it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for me. I’m not anti 4K but people need to stop spreading rubbish. Never have I watched a movie shot at 1080p that was done professionally and thought it wasn’t good enough.

      • Skyfall was Arri RAW, Arri RAW is around 3K.

      • I agree. Small correction, Skyfall was 2.5K. (2432 x 1366). Still 1080 raw is quite powerful. Most main stream films are scanned to 2.5K. If your target audience is not IMAX viewers, forget 4K for now. Most theaters only project in 2.5K. This is as good as it gets for what you pay, at least now. Having the power of 12 bit raw is phenomenal. Of course with BMPC, you’ll have limitations like moire, rolling shutter, battery life etc. But you get creative within the limitations. Well crafted 1080 shots will comfortably upscale to 2.5K. Consider this. ’28 days later’ used upscaled DV shots and it still looks great. So did ‘Open Water’ and ‘Dancer in the dark’.

        12 bit raw + MFT lenses. It screams one message: affordability. What more can an indie filmmaker ask? It opens up so many possibilities.

        Before 4K, I’d like higher frame rates.

        • I’m not arguing against it, just saying that it wasn’t 1080.

          I’ve been shooting with the Pocket RAW update for a month now, anyone doubting 1080 RAW at this price point should pick up a camera and test it out.

          Uprez it to 2.5K if that’s what you want, and while you’re at it, uprez the 2.5K to 4K.

          You start to realize why BMD did not put OLPFs in the camera, despite the moire backlash.

        • Slight correction… standard Cinema DCP’s are 2K…. no real 2.5K exists for deliverables. The projectors in 2K cinemas have a native maximum resolution of 2048×1080. 1.85:1 (aka FLAT) movies are mastered to 1998×1080 and 2.39:1 movies are mastered to 2048×858.

          So, unless you are going to a cinema using a 4K projection system showing a 4K DCP… you are essentially viewing what is just slightly higher than 1920x1080p HDTV-resolution (1.77:1 native resolution).

          Now, that being said. While movies like Baraka and Lord of the Rings look stunning in 2K and 1080p formats. Most people (by that I mean most consumers) have only seen a properly calibrated 1080p image on cinema. They buy FULL HD TV’s. Set it to “dynamic contrast”, add some frame-blending tech to make it 500Hz. And some cranked up noise-reduction and ambilight for good measure. Then they feed it horribly compressed 1080p video from their iPhones and blame the resulting smeary mess all on the resolution.

          I finally had the oppurtunity to witness a UHD-screen on a electronic-sales floor. And yes. It looked better than the mess they showed on the “standard” fullHD-screens along-side it. But so would my properly calibrated 720p rear-projection-system with slight blue hues burnt into the lower corners. And still it didn’t look as good as the Barco 2K projector fed with a properly mastered 1080p BluRay source….

          An analogy would be to compare it to a regular driver complaining about the performance of a mclaren F1 car and wishing it was the new super-car from another competitor only because the only people he has seen drive the mclaren is shitty drivers…

          or in short… handled properly, a 1080p sourced screening will look far better than a poorly handled UHD or 4K screening…

          • Great explaination, analogies, and execution of words.

            Plenty of films have been shot 1080 and some of them handled in post correctily look better than some of the indie crap shot on RED cameras. Blue ray is not far off from 1080p aswell.

            Also all this talk about RAW is not that big of a deal blah blah, but people forget that with RAW you are also getting 12bit color space, this is amazing, there is a vast and big difference between 10 bit and 12bit.

            The RAW update was meant for medium or small productions who transfer files over to prrofessional color graders for features and tv productions, not home youtube videos.

          • Daniel Mimura on 11.20.13 @ 4:29AM

            Bad example cuz McLaren F1 sux this year! Not a single podium. Poor Jenson.

            But, I joke. I get your point.

      • But some of Skyfall was shot in 4K.

        I’m pretty sure it’s true that 4K is the future of movie making. Higher resolution is too pretty to think it isn’t. But 6 months is way to soon. I think DLD was just quoting that blogger and doesn’t really think that himself.

        But hey, if 1080p is dead it will make the price of the AG/AF100 drop like a rock, and I have some friends across America that will love to own a few.

        • Oh, BTW, I don’t like 4K because Red has fooled me or something. I like 4K because it is awesome. There is nothing in the 1080p world of video that is its equal. And I’ll say this preemptively so to head off some replies—i don’t think 1080p looks bad. I think it looks great. But 4K, and even more so 6K, trump it.

          • Again with the 4K psychosis on a post about a 1080p camera.. lol.. Amazing. Why stop at 4K, or 6K? Why not go on and on how 10K will blow 1080p out of orbit?? Wow.

          • 4K was brought up by someone else. I was responding to it. Play attention to the ball.

            By the way 16K is feasible. Can’t wait to see it.

            720p is still available. It’s ok to go there and stay if you like. No one is forcing you to like higher resolution. I don’t see any complaints about people leaving 720p to go to 1080p. Why do you like 1080p anyway? Why haven’t you found outlandish fault with those that have left 720p for the higher resolution of 1080p?? How is it 1080p has found safe sailing in your sea of disapproval over progress? When 4K is brought up some feel the need to to start using the worst kind of images to describe those who like it. Psychotic, really? Psychotic? Sheesh dude.

            Sorry to go on but you guys are unbelievable.

        • I think 2.5K is the perfect resolution for the moment (until it goes up to 4K and then 8K) and I think, as I have posted in this thread, major manufacturers should have it available (with a decent output rate too, though not necessarily Pro-Res HQ 180 Mbps) at under $1,500. IMO, that allows for a perfect combination of resolution and workflow. Hopefully, a decent dynamic range and higher FPS will follow the resolution down the price points.
          .
          As a side story, I stumbled onto a D-4 vs. OMD EM-1 “shootout” on YouTube today but, as I was watching a considerable bit of nonsense between the hosts of the clip, I was nonetheless very impressed by the quality of footage that they shot in and around Portland. At the end of the video, as the credits rolled, it was revealed that the entire episode was recorded on GH3. Which is why it remains my favorite “budget” camera.
          .
          PS. Alexa’s horizontal is 2880 x whatever aspect one is interested in. It does get processed down to ~ 2.5K but, as been mentioned many times before, Arri uses their own custom designed sensor and processing software to get the final image. In other words, not all 2.5K sensors are created equally.

        • “But some of Skyfall was shot in 4K.”

          I thought only the overhead crane shots of the train were shot on Red?

          I watched ‘Skyfall’ on Blu-Ray and thought it looked incredibly sharp, although too colourful maybe.

          • I like more color myself. It’s a movie, story telling. I like that the story is colorful. Makes it a little more worth my dollars and time to see the beauty.

        • Luke Lasley on 11.13.13 @ 5:02AM

          The aerial shots in skyfall were the only shots done with the red epic because of weight restrictions. Roger said that he would have rather used an Alexa for those shots.

          he talks about the alexa and resolution more in depth here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBvA1ChExAI

        • Majority of skyfall was shot on alexa at 2.5k

          Most movie productions projections are 2k, unless you are sitting really close to the screen, the pixels will not make that much of a difference,

          The most used digital CAMERA today technically is not an ALEXA, its the sony f35/panavision genesis which is used on many tv productions, has been used on plenty of motion pictures and recently in the past few years have been replaced with alexas.

          4 pocket cameras and you got yourself a true professional production company with additon to lens, media, and lighting of course, but 12bit color space for under a grand

          THANK YOU BLACK MAGIC camera

      • Hussain Al-Khalil on 11.13.13 @ 1:22AM

        Most movies aren’t super sharp. I don’t see why people demand that so much when movies you watch have soft edges. Much more pleasing to the eye

        • Yeah not really sold on 1080p being dead in 6 months – Obviously it depends on what you are shooting, but ‘Proper’ 1080p or 2.5k with good glass is wicked sharp! Most people I know who shoot on RED or F65 etc use softening filters anyway! – some things I think make a camera great, is the usability, global shutter, colour science, DR, price, colour depth, low light ability, frame rate – not necessarily resolution.

          Yes we will get there, 4K will become the norm, then 8K will be the next buzz word – But first lets fine tune and get the most out of 1080p/2k.

          • “But first lets fine tune and get the most out of 1080p/2k”.

            Agreed. I don’t see 12-bit, 1080P being a limitation for a long awhile. It will be just one of a wide array of capture options that will coexist with higher and even a of the few of the lower codecs with legs.

      • If it’s good enough for Sam Mendes, it’s good enough for me :-)

    • lol, I hear back in 2008 that dv will live long, and it’s almost gone by 2010, even in russian tv segment. true 1080 became a reality in late 2011, before that it’s only marketing sheet. so as 4k hysteria.

      • Privet. What’s the tech like in the current Russian TV? I have seen a few recent TV films produced by the main channels and, often, the video quality – including lighting – is just terrible. I like”Gagarin’s” look but it seems to have been shot on a much higher budget.

  • Why is there Moire in the radiator grille when it’s supposed to be RAW? Have I just grown too accustomed to Red material.

    • That’s due partly to the lack of an OLPF, but I suspect it’s also due to Adobe’s terrible debayering…I’d love to see this processed with Resolve using the same film gamma the ProRes was shot in.

      • Steve Mullen on 11.13.13 @ 5:05PM

        “I understand that having an uncompressed file gives you more leeway to do color correction.”

        The PC does not record uncompressed video. The video is compressed, but not so much as to visually degrade it.

        Does anyone know what the PC’s compression ratio is?

        “I suspect it’s also due to Adobe’s terrible debayering…”

        At the Adobe site they specifically state they only support UNCOMPRESSED CinemaDNG. So it would seem that Adobe deBayering could not account for the Moire.

        • If you look on the video comments, the guy specifically says Resolve kept crashing so he used After Effects. Adobe just released an update for better DNG support from BM’s cameras.

          The pocket camera uses lossless compression, which is the kind of compression that happens when you put something in a zip or rar archive. I’ve heard the ratio is somewhere around 2:1, I believe the typical theoretical ratio for lossless in general is 2.5:1.

          • Steve Mullen on 11.13.13 @ 10:27PM

            ” Adobe just released an update for better DNG support from BM’s cameras.”

            Reports are that Premiere Pro cannot open compressed CinemaDNGs.

            So I wonder how he did it.

          • @Steve, well using After Effects instead of Premiere is probably a good start.

          • I used the traditional method of importing the DNG files into After Effects and used Adobe Camera RAW to debayer the files. All my sharpening and noise reduction settings were set to zero.

            I’ve recently discovered Resolve was crashing because the version I had, which was the 10 beta, did not support Blackmagic’s Pocket DNG’s. By updating, I can now process inside of Resolve.

          • Steve Mullen on 11.14.13 @ 1:12PM

            Thank you D.L., I can continue to AE CS6 as I have in the past.

            I’ve been using 32-bit float for processing RAW and exporting ProRes 4444. But since I have an SSD, I’ve been thinking of Apple 10-bit 422 uncompressed which I should be able import into Premier Pro CS6.

            Once Adobe fixes Premiere Pro, I’ll try CC. That may be a bit of a wait.

  • Alex Davidson on 11.12.13 @ 8:34PM

    Looks good!

  • I understand that having an uncompressed file gives you more leeway to do color correction. I understand that technology advances constantly, and fighting it is pointless. But I still ask. Why are we so obsessed with RAW and 4k? And I ask this humbly. I really do want to know. I see these perfectly pristine images and just want to grain and grit them up, give them just the right amount of characterful smear. Because this kind of clarity is not so pleasing to my eyes. It seems almost un-cinematic. Are we lusting for these things because as gear obsessed consumers we naturally want the latest and greatest, and this just happens to be it right now? Or is there a more obvious reason? I think about the fact that one of my favorite films of the year, Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, was shot on a hacked GH2, and, to my eyes, is also one of the best looking films of the year despite the limitations of what it was shot on. Just beautiful and inventive cinematography. Basically I really am just wondering if this is a wagon I should be jumping on and I’m just not understanding why yet, or if it really just isn’t for me and I should be on my way with the tools I have.

    • thadon calico on 11.12.13 @ 9:12PM

      And what did Shane chose to shoot his next film on? Exactly! Even he himself knows the advantage of having options. He said in an interview he wished they had shot on something else but that’s all they could afford for the budget. The raid redemption was a classic and shot on Panasonic but the second installment was shot on red. Shooting the best/highest quality gives u the extra leeway you need in post and u could cut out or scale down but if u put less in, u can’t expect more. I do vfx work and some clients come to you with poorly shot 8 bit footage and want u to work magic but don’t wanna pay the extra amount for the extra added manual labor to be done with their footage. Let’s leave the cutting corners to producers. As production, our job is to ensure the highest standard image

      • can you link to where shane carruth says he wishes he’d shot on something better and was shooting his next film on a better camera please? not calling you a liar but i thought i’d read/listened to every interview with him and never heard him mention this…

        • They’re shooting the new one on the Red, all you have to do is look at the trailer and you can tell the difference in quality of the image.

  • By the way, a major manufacturer can kill this BMD niche by simply putting a 2.5K acquisition onto a $1K camera. Nikon’s D5300 has 1080p at 60 fps (the Pocket Cam does not), which means it has a sufficiently powerful data processor/video engine (Expeed 4) to run a 2.5K image out of even an $800 DSLR. The same goes for D610 or 70D. However, they choose to cripple their own product to protect their higher end models.
    .
    Of course, this isn’t going to last long. As soon as a single 2.5K model appears – and it can come from anywhere, including the smaller producers from Fuji to Pentax to Olympus – everyone else will quickly be jumping on the 2.5K bandwagon. And if Panasonic can deliver a quality 4K for around $3,000 (200 Mbps in All-I), there’ll be next to no reason to keep putzing around with 1080p Raw.

    • Nikon isn’t crippling their products. They have just always said that their focus is still photography and they don’t have plans to change that. Video has always been low-priority for them.

      • I wish Nikon would make a camcorder using the video tech in the V1. It makes beautiful video! It could be just a simple, little, inexpensive camcorder.

      • Nikon was the one who introduced motion video into the DSLR market. And, once video function is enabled, there’s no reason to make it inferior, given the technology available. And the technology is available.
        .
        As to “Nikon doesn’t do video”, it’s just a PR version of “we want to protect our margins”.

        • Gorgeous video like this makes me wish Nikon would make a little 4K camcorder. I LOVE that color palette:

          http://vimeo.com/72247280

          • You can shoot in these 1 sec bursts at a stationary subject. For continuous, you need a bigger buffer. Then again, the cost of memory is just peanuts these days and 4K recording should be a priority for even the middle-class cameras.
            .
            As a side note, Charter Cable – hereto largely known as a purveyor of inferior quality mostly analog service – went all digital today, upping the speeds to 45 Mpbs (on the low end, as I understand it). There’s your instant 4K. Buy a 55″ Hisense at Sears for $2,000. Don’t worry. Be happy.

          • Gigabit internet from Sonic–but in very limited areas right now:

            http://www.sonic.net/

            Gigabit internet: a market just waiting to be capitalized on.

  • sebastian R on 11.12.13 @ 8:58PM

    omg i though i loved the prores but that raw looks even better!! awesome .

  • Raw for $1000 on an SD card. The moire is pretty bad, but no worse than the 5D2 when I started out. This is still a serious super kickass option for a budding filmmaker to cut his/her teeth on.

    • Agreed. If someone had said 2 years ago that we’d be able to shoot RAW for $1000 some time in the near future, they probably would have been laughed at. These are certainly amazing times for technology, and even more amazing times to be a filmmaker.

  • I’m usually not a major pixel peeper, but I was really surprised by the moire in the grill. It was really strong and something I noticed right off the bat. I’m not even sure when I was shooting 7D that I ever got a moire pattern that bad. Can BMD fix that somehow? Or is the moire a lost cause?

    • Lost cause at the lens. Here are the solutions:

      - Avoid it
      - Softer glass (to help avoid it)
      - Denoise the moire/aliased area. It will leave the aliasing, but moire will at least vanish (this works well)
      - Mosaic filter if they decide it’s worth it.

      The 2.5K is worse, but different, however I’ve been testing the prototype Mosaic filter for the 2.5K and it’s great. They’re working on fine-tuning the design, should be around soon.

      Maybe if there were enough people willing to pay 200.00 – 300.00 for a moire filter on the pocket, they would consider it? You’re going to take a resolution hit, though.

    • Because it’s raw footage, there may be more options available for removing that moire. I know many of the major photo editing programs out there (Lightroom, DxO, etc.) now come with moire removal options.
      Considering most of what was shown above was color moire, it should be fairly simple to remove with those features. Of course, the workflow might become a bit more obtuse due to having to run all the footage through another program, but at least there is a solution.

      • PhotoNinja does a great job of reducing moire, and actually finding detail somehow. But, it’s almost completely unusable for that purpose.

        Other apps also seem to reduce overall color too much for my tastes, the localization of noise reduction + the option to use NeatVideo within a node+window makes a bit more sense.

    • I suspect this may be partly due to Adobe’s debayering, I’ve never seen anything that bad out of the BMCC’s raw processed in Resolve at 100% which should theoretically be the same.

  • can someone explain to me why the raw shot was “exposed to the right?” is that just to show off exactly how much data can be pulled out of the highlights?

    • The RAW is linear, so exposing to the right of the histogram– just under clipped highs, allows you access to the entire range the sensor’s able to capture.

      If you were in a bright scenic scenario without cloud cover, ETTR would be a great way to capture a large range within a scene. It’s also not fool proof: you ETTR in a bedroom because you want to save a lightbulb, at night, and you’ve basically just fired yourself.

      • By the way, I saw a clip of FS-700 + Odyssey Q7 today. 2K Raw shots looked better with “mild” zebras. Otherwise, it felt too dark, a tad like that Chiesa video. The image was very sharp though.

  • Kickass …. Filmmakers stop complaining and appreciate Black-magic’s
    ontribution to filmmaking. Goosh!!! Raw kicked proRes though. Lol.

  • I’ve always admired RED Camera for their pioneering work in digital cinema. The groundbreaking RED ONE camera delivered truly cinematic video at an affordable price for industry professionals. Then they promised us 3K for $3000 – finally, a cinema camera for the rest of us – the “SCARLET”. Then they got cold feet after a certain NAB show. They issued a statement – they would be focusing exclusively on the professional market. The affordable SCARLET was gone, replaced by a $7000 version that wasn’t usable until you spent thousands more. So what happened?
    I’ll guess that the RED folks saw the DSLR revolution at that NAB show. They felt they couldn’t compete against CANON’s marketing muscle and it’s killer product, the 5D Mark II. The 5D offered truly cinematic video for $3000 – even if it wasn’t 3K resolution – and people were snapping it up. So RED went for the middle – above the price range of cameras like the 5D and the Sony FS100, but below the price point of the ARRI ALEXA – the industry leader. And RED went for higher resolution – they market this heavily, almost beating it into the ground. Even their most basic SCARLET-X has a resolution of 5K as compared to the ALEXA’s 2K. But this could actually be a big mistake.

    Peter Jackson released his film The HOBBIT in two versions. A regular 24fps 2K version and a 48fps high resolution version to test which audiences liked best. Audiences didn’t like the hi res version, complaining that it looked ugly and that you could see the pores on the actor’s faces.

    Is there such a thing as too much resolution? Are today’s audiences simply conditioned to like the 2K “film look” better? Will future audiences adapt and grow to like higher resolution films? Or is it something deeper? Will audiences never really like an image beyond 2K (or 4K)? All we really know about is now – that audiences don’t care for anything much beyond the 2K look. So just what exactly is a 6K RED camera good for if high resolution is it’s main selling point? Well, if your film has a lot of visual effects, RED’s higher resolution is helpful in post. But ultimately, RED’s high resolution isn’t what audiences want to see. And the “industry” seems to prefer the 2K ALEXA – it’s gained rapid acceptance in both the film and television communities. Is this just due to the “ARRI” name? Or is there something more important than mere resolution? The industry raves about the look the ALEXA produces – when they’re not using film instead.

    Canon has largely bailed out on the lower end market. Even the 5D Mark III is crippled so that it won’t compete with Canon’s higher end (C300 and C500) Cinema cams. So is now the time for RED to make an affordable (below $3000) camera? Sadly, even if they wanted too, it’s probably too late – others are stepping in to take RED’s place – RED is no longer the disruptive influence it once was.

    Currently, that honor now belongs to Blackmagic and their Cinema cameras. They have kept the promise that RED failed to honor – high resolution at a (truly) affordable price. Shame on you RED. RED raves about it’s new DRAGON sensor – but think about what that name really conjures up. Powerful yes, but also old and ancient – perhaps even irrelevant too. BLACK IS THE NEW RED – and it’s where my money’s going.

    • I think the main problem with ‘The Hobbit’ was the frame-rate. Having said that, the last ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ moviewas shot digitially and looked very sharp. I remember watching it and thinking that Johnny Depp no longer looked like a pirate but an actor who had black make-up smeared underneath his eyes; the illusion was shattered.

      High frame rate and super sharp visuals may be the one-two punch that destroys our suspension of disbelief.

      • +1

        “Pirates..” looked horrible to me.. Hi-res video, completely ruined the illusion.. Like a big budget b.t.s.. Kinda..

  • I wouldn’t neccesarily trust DL Watson’s video to be the genuine article. It could turn out to be GH2 footage blown out then pulled back.

    • Norm Rasner, is that you?

    • Steve Mullen on 11.14.13 @ 1:52PM

      Here’s the link to a RAW file from the PC: http://www.sendspace.com/file/f0wduy

      You’ll download a .rar file that you decompress using Stuffit Expander. Now you’ll have a folder full of DNGs and one WAV file..

      How do you know if these DNGs are compressed?

      Drag a folder of BMCC uncompressed RAW onto Preview and you’ll see all the DNG images.

      Now drag a folder of BMPCC compressed RAW onto Preview and you’ll see all the DNG images are simply garbage. This is exactly what should happen since Preview cannot read compressed DNGs.

      The good news is that the compressed DNGs open fine in AE.

      One odd thing is the uncorrected DNGs look very good. Once Florescent Lite is chose the image over-warmth goes away and the wood looks natural.

      I exported to Apple 10-bit 422 uncompressed.

      Loads and plays fine in FCP X (which supports 2048×1556 projects). It also works fine in Premiere Pro CS6.

      One puzzle. The file’s frame-rate is 24fps. BMs 2K Premiere preset is also 24fps. Shouldn’t both be 23.976?

  • I’m really sad by that moire :( Looks really bad…

  • The Raw picture emphasizes the false colors even more

  • The moire here in this BMC video looks absolutely disgusting. Worse than some of my old 7d stuff.

    I’ve been shooting with the 5dmarkIII and Magic Lanterns RAW-hack, the image has been wonderful. No moire. Great colors. If you happen to have the 5dmarkIII already, give it a shot.

    • I agree I think the 5dmkiii raw is brilliant, however it’s more expensive than the pocket. I think that’s what people are forgetting (not really talking about you, specifically). This is a 1,000$ camera that has raw if you want it. Some people expect the world for pennies. But we don’t want to admit that just a few years ago we’d trade in our dslrs for an affordable raw camera even if it meant some moire here and there.

  • A side by side by side comparison of BMPCC RAW vs. 5Diii vs. GH3/G2 Hacked would be nice.

  • Nooooo! The moire just kills it for me. I suffered so badly with moire on the canon 550d and I was looking to upgrade my camera to the bmpcc. Now i think i’ve changed my mind. Everything else about this camera is fantastic, but I can’t use a shot with bad moire :(

    • Anthony Brown on 11.14.13 @ 5:52PM

      Dude, buy into a matte box and filters, the guys I’ve worked with who are coming from a DSLR background who all use vari “polariser” ND’s and have never looked into proper ND filter’s via a matte box, have never come across the kinds of filters we use all the time in the industry to tone down sharp lenses or to address a shot when moire rears its head. I’m so glad Blackmagic didn’t go the route the AF100 did, that was filtered so much that it got a terrible rap for sharpness even though it was perfectly fine for shoots in 1080p. I still own my AF100 and i have a BMCC, moire and sharpness are not a problem on the AF100 and with filtration they need not be an issue on the BMCC either. They cost a little but when your getting 12 bit raw camera for £800 you should have the budget to kit it out and really push your craft forward

  • Horrible moire and chromatic aberrations all over the place… I’ll pass.

  • i think that it’s great to have the raw option but still, if I ever buy one (I hope I will once they’re available here in portugal) I think I will mostly shoot prores… in fact I think of the vmcc pocket (+lumix 12-35mm f2.8 OIS) as the perfect camera to take with me everywhere I go (barebones style… no rigs, cages and what not). For this use it doesn’t make sense to shoot raw but, as I said, I think it’s good to have that option “just in case”

    when you don’t mind all the extra workflow of raw shooting the MKIII + ML raw it’s just a much better option

  • Michael Bishop on 11.13.13 @ 1:15PM

    Here is some more CinemaDNG footage on YouTube posted by Fenchel & Janisch.

  • It’s just too much moiré and chromatic aberration. It’s so bad it’s hard to believe. I hope most of the CA is from the lens. A mosaic engineering filter is a must.

    • Anthony Brown on 11.14.13 @ 5:45PM

      CA is only going to come from the lens as far as i understand it, in fact I’m 100% sure I’m right on that, sensors are not prone to CA, it’s a lens aberration..….

      In regards to Moire, i get what your saying but let me pose these two possibilities at you. I know this is the pocket camera but considering the spec and cost, you can either say this camera is just for personal project as its cheap and small in which case your not going to care about moire in because of the benefits you get, Considering the spec, some are going to be buying one or two of these for a semi pro shoot or to implement into a professional shoot and if this is the case then you’re in an environment where we’ve been using matte box filters to tone down the sharpness of sensors for years and moire isn’t going to rear its head as much as you may think it will

  • Steve Mullen on 11.13.13 @ 4:38PM

    ” … standard Cinema DCP’s are 2K…. no real 2.5K exists for deliverables.”

    So:

    1) While 2.5K single-chip camera enables, after deBayering, the same LUMA resolution as a 3-chip camera, I’m fairly certain that the down-scale to 2K or 1920, results in a proportional decrease in luma resolution. So if there are no 2.5K delivery systems — what advantage is there to shooting 2.5K rather than ordinary 1920×1080?

    2) Downscaling 2.5K to 2.0K/1920×1080 is, for example, far more difficult than 4K to 2K. Thus, more likely to create artifacts. So why impose a down-scale that I think results in no greater luma resolution?

    “So, … you are essentially viewing what is just slightly higher than 1920x1080p HDTV-resolution.”

    One thought is that if your NLE supports 2.5K timelines, you can edit in a higher luma resolution and then down-scale only during export.

    PS: If there are no 2.5K distribution/viewing options — then this cannot be true: “So, … you are essentially viewing what is just slightly higher than 1920x1080p HDTV-resolution.

    • A good quality 2.5k->2k downscale will *absolutely* look better than straight 2k off a sensor. If the sensor has an OLPF it will be soft. If it doesn’t have an OLPF (like the pocket cam), then it’ll have artifacts plus the debayer algorithm limits your measured luma resolution to something like 70-80% the number of photosites. Downscalers can intelligently choose what detail to keep and what to throw away, which is much better than just a square grid with light hitting it.

      • Steve Mullen on 11.13.13 @ 10:23PM

        ” … the debayer algorithm limits your measured luma resolution to something like 70-80% the number of photosites.”

        I agree with the loss of luma resolution during deBayering. When you shoot 2.5K, at 78% efficiency you get about 1950 lines of luma resolution.

        A 2.5K image then requires a down-scale to 1920-lines that causes a loss of pixels to about 77% of the original. It seems unlikely that this loss — no matter the scaler’s smarts, does not cause an equal loss in luma resolution. So how can “A good quality 2.5k->2k downscale *absolutely* look better than straight 2k off a sensor?” I’d like to know more about the scalers you mention.

    • Anthony Brown on 11.14.13 @ 5:38PM

      You’ll get the usual, “you can reframe in post” which has its merits but will stimulate conversation such as “a true professional does not need to reframe!”….., stabilisation is another reason 2.5k is a better capture medium over 1080p and by that i mean little bumps in a dolly track or from inside a car on a perfect performance take need not be a problem, and of course for VFX plates, higher resolution helps distance tracking markers stay defined and singular shot elements (smoke, fire, dust etc) is always better at a higher resolution

  • normalornot on 11.13.13 @ 4:43PM

    pretty impressive for an iphone-size camera

  • The color corrected RAW looked really flat to me. Anyone else?

    That moire was pretty bad. But hey, you get some good technology for the price it’s offered at!

  • Andrey Valentsov on 11.18.13 @ 3:49AM

    About Moire

    Guys, I’ve used BMCC 2.5K for quite a long time, and I can say that moire can be really strong with it. But the solution for it is quite simple, if not really simple!
    The thing is, that this camera is really sharp in all the channels: that’s what causing this strong moire. What does OLPF does, how does it remove the moire? It blurs your image. Every camera, which has OLPF has a slightly blurred image because of this filter. Just check why Nikon has made 2 versions of D800 and you will understand what I’m talking now.

    The good thing is that you don’t need OLPF. With modern digital technologies, you can just blur the image yourself in post, and effectively remove that moire completely. More than that, you do not need to blur all the information, you can only blur the color information, leaving luminosity information intact, which will preserve much more details, than OLPF. Even more than that — you can blur only the part of the image (the part with moire), which will give you even better results, as the rest of image will be original.

    So now you know why ProRes has much less moire — it’s because it uses 422 compression, which blurs color. It’s that simple — if you want sharper colors, you have to shoot RAW, but what is the point of OLPF then, if it will blur everything back?

    I really like, that BMPC doesn’t have any OLPF, because it gives me a choice, and when I use it propely I get better results.
    Guys, this is a small but professional camera, it’s not point-and-click. You have to learn how to use it.

  • This video with the raw conversion is FABULOUS!!! The color clarity, the sharp focus, the dynamic range and endless color cirrection opportunity’s are exactly why I bought this camera.

  • finducinema on 11.26.13 @ 2:10AM

    This website, this ENTIRE COMMUNITY is built around the modern HD-DSLR.

    These cameras, through democratization, created a wider foundation for aspiring filmmakers than has existed in the one-hundred-plus years of motion picture history.

    For independent film community it was like Prometheus delivering fire.

    And most, if not all, have some form of DSLR in our possession, because we all rushed out to get one. But, we didn’t rush to buy for shallow purposes of wanting to own the latest toy, or because of some Black Friday induced madness.

    Our haste was fueled by the burning inside. The burning that cannot be contained, that drives us to continue despite the Law of Edward Murphy fighting us every single step of the way. The burning, which forces us to use film as The Medium of creation and conveyance.

    And now, despite nearly all of us having these marvels of engineering capability in our hands for some years, it would seem many never learned how to use the goddamn thing for it’s original purpose!

    Taking still photographs.

    Beautiful, gorgeous photographs that are worth looking at, instead of just another muddled single-button-snapped-JPEG that barely merits a place on Facebook.

    It seems as though there is a general ignorance about RAW itself, across the online independent film community. So, often I’ve seen questions brought on by confusion toward the multitude of new facets RAW will introduce into our already tech-complicated filmmaking world.

    You rarely encounter this confusion in the online pro/semi-pro photography community. For example the blog FStoppers where I’ve actually seen better more comprehensive coverage of CinemaDNG than on a lot film blogs. Of Course, FStoppers CAN’T COMPETE with NFS’s coverage, they do better than most other film blogs.

    I think the main reason is photographers were working with RAW files while we were still slugging it out in the wild with our standard definition Canon XL1’s (if we were lucky). Or, in the case of a few of us (my-now-dated-self included), we were merely praying to get close to decent exposure during the 28 seconds our crank powered Bolex H16’s, loaded with Kodak Tri-X B&W Reversal, would allow.

    We, as filmmakers/videographers must now unlearn much of what we spent the last five years figuring out. Even the techniques for attaining proper exposure are different from the methods of our crushingly compressed video-stone-age.

    Photographers have had many years to learn and perfect getting the most out of this format. And they’ve spent those last few years sharing their knowledge, just like what’s done here at NFS. I encourage all of you, even those who have a grasp on the wondrous potential of RAW to take a look around some decent photography blogs. After all, when you get down to it CinemaDNG is just a bunch of Adobe DNG files and photographers been working with Adobe DNG since it came out.

    I know filmmakers are puzzle-solvers and need to be challenged to do better constantly. Well fear not, there’s a limit to what those 1-frame-per-minute folk can teach us, we’ll still have to figure out things like metadata, wrappers, organization, cross platform translation, and of course, WORKFLOW. There’s plenty of fun and discovery to be had.

    • finducinema on 11.26.13 @ 2:19AM

      And for those under the delusion that ProRes is just as good or better than RAW?! Malarkey! ProRes is great and better suited in certain shooting situations; however, it can’t touch RAW when it comes to image quality and detail retention. Also, given what Adobe has already done with compressing DNG for photographs, with virtually no loss in detail, I’m excited for the day when a RAW format will surpass ProRes, and a few more heavily compressed codecs in not just image, but speed and size.

      But, if I cannot persuade, and you are convinced the two still look identical. Just wait a short while, current color-grading software has not yet fully adjusted. Wait for the day color-grading software catches up to the new demands and rises to elevate the new abilities. Perhaps then we will have a video-editing equivalent to Lightroom. Because with Lightroom one can make an audience not just look at a piece, but feel it. And so shall we.

    • finducinema on 11.26.13 @ 2:27AM

      Also, if anyone bothers to read the novel I’ve published above, I apologize for the numerous grammatical errors and occasional missing word.

      Forgive me.

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