While most of us have been waiting to see new material from the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, John Brawley has been shooting a great deal of footage with the camera. If you've been following his blog or following him on Twitter (he also frequents this site), you'll know that the camera has been thrown up against C300s and Alexas, and it has fared extremely well. At times he has even referred to it as a baby Alexa. This is not a toy, this is a proper digital cinema camera, and it has the image quality to back up its name. Though the first footage was released all the way back in April, John has now released some graded material on his blog, which you can check out below.
These are some still images from the footage is in the process of being graded. All of these were shot in ProRes HQ Log with Zeiss CP.2s (click on the images for the full size file):
It's amazing what can be pulled out of the image. The skin tones are nice and natural and the red lipstick and blouse have been accentuated. At times when using these types of log profiles on Canon cameras (or many compressed format cameras really), selectively bringing out particular colors can lead to a great deal of noise, and the image falls apart.
Taking a look at all of the footage that has been released and then looking at these graded still images, it's clear that Blackmagic is making color, and not specs, a priority. In the end, that's really what matters. What does the image look like? Granted, these are only still images, but you can see a lot in these, even in their compressed form. Opening up the ungraded still in Photoshop, I found that there is a tremendous amount of headroom, and the skin tones have an incredible ability to remain clean and natural even when the rest of the image is pushed to the extreme.
Here are two more:
In the photos above there is a lot of detail in the shadows, and you've still got highlights that haven't blown. That is extremely difficult to get naturally unless the camera has a tremendous amount of dynamic range. Things are surely going to get more interesting over the next year as other companies try to compete with this baby Alexa.
For more of these stills and details about this shoot and the lenses used, head on over to John Brawley's blog. Hopefully he will be allowed to release more footage soon, as these stills are only a glimpse of what this camera is really capable of.
[via John Brawley Blog]