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Philip Lipetz
05-21-2012, 04:36 PM
It's either way, for me. Doesn't matter if it's locked off, doesn't matter if it's panning, doesn't matter if it's handheld.

Not trying to turn this into a thread about different cameras, but if you check the Magic Cam footage from John Brawley (http://vimeopro.com/johnbrawleytests/blackmagic-cinema-camera) particularly the one of the two guys testing the C300 near the sea, watch the shots where the guys are moving or even sitting still.

To me, the motion is perfect (if perfect describes what I've grown up seeing most of my life in film aesthetic). And, sometimes, the micro jitters from it being handheld crop up but never interfere with the motion at all.

At DVXuser there has been a very detailed discussion of what makes motion special in film as opposed to video (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?282513-Sony-cameras-and-the-quot-video-look-quot/page12). Kohli moved the conversation to the BMCC with the above quote.

My response was:



The motion is nearly the ONLY reason we have ordered two of the cameras, and a FS for low light, for our next project. It looks creamy smooth even on a good showroom monitor. Been driving me crazy because there are so many vital pieces left out of this camera, some that can be replaced by kit and some that will be forever missing. Yet, The footage creates a flow that will make it so much easier to immerse the audience in the projected reality rather than having them watch it from a distance. There is a sense of history, instead of the video now there is past, present and future. We are shooting a mystical piece and this flow is exactly what we need.

Ran tests with C300 and it is not there so look forward to any test Nirv or anyone less can do to recreate the same flow.

Kohli also commented on that fact that some people see it and others do not:


Yeah, I dunno what to tell ya. I think it's just some people can see it and some people cannot, but I'm willing to take a look at what you're referring to. Upload it if you can, then.

There isn't an example on the internet to my knowledge that's even close from the FS100 and honestly, any Sony camera. I couldn't get it there no matter what shutter, what lens, etc. Not from the internal compression, not from the NanoFlash. There could be a combination. Maybe I just haven't seen it, though.

Kholi
05-21-2012, 04:57 PM
Honestly, this has been something I've debated since the late DVX100 days, and it never fails that I'm either dubbed crazy, seeing things, or something else close to being out of my mind. However, it's refreshing to see that a lot of other people can spot it outside of my immediate group of friends.

It's a very good topic to discuss, and I would love to know what the heck is going on, how and why it changes between manufacturers.

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-21-2012, 06:49 PM
Are you saying that each camera possesses a unique motion aesthetic?

Mind blown again.

You guys keep doing that to me.

nickjbedford
05-21-2012, 07:21 PM
For the most part, the motion people are used to in films is 180 degree motion (half the motion of the frame rate). Hell, you can grab a DSLR, throw it in 24p at 1/50th (close enough), zoom in a bit and wallah! Instant cinematic...ness. Crop it to 2.35:1 and your video looks even more cinematic.

I make it sound like a gimmick, but it works, even when you're pointing it at nothing in particular. Of course the idea is not to make films that have nothing in particular on screen :P

Note Suwanchote
05-21-2012, 07:22 PM
I don't know if its the same but but some videos have a cinematic look but still video "feel"

and when you watch a film it's different in nature

Kholi
05-21-2012, 07:25 PM
Personally, I'm not talking cinematic, I'm talking a very specific cadence to rendered frames that sometimes is SO subtle it's undetectable, unless you're hyper sensitive to it.

Just zooming in a bit and 1/50th shutter, definitely doesn't help anything as far as motion goes. Sure, switching a CAnon over to 1/45 makes it tolerable, GH2 use 1/40th, but none of it looks like John Brawley's Magic Cam samples, none of it looks like Alexa, and I am sure none of it will look like the F65's footage due to the shutter mechanism.

And all of those just barely scratch real film.


I don't know if its the same but but some videos have a cinematic look but still video "feel"

and when you watch a film it's different in nature


This is exactly what we're talking about. Cinematic and Video-like are two different things. You can make any camera look cinematic, but you cannot erase the subtleties in cadence, etc.

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-21-2012, 07:29 PM
It is a gimmick, and a good one. It's something I always kind of knew, but hadn't heard anyone articulate it. There's a few threads about anamorphic shooting... what's your take on that? Better to shoot it that way or crop it in post?

nickjbedford
05-21-2012, 07:31 PM
I don't know if its the same but but some videos have a cinematic look but still video "feel"

and when you watch a film it's different in nature

Could I hazard a guess that it is the dynamic range and potential for crushed blacks and whites that often makes video feel less cinematic? Film productions have typically had access to wide, smooth dynamic range in their cameras (whether its film or high end digital cinema camera sensors). The image contains more detail at a lower, more real level of contrast. Your eyes don't see the dynamic range in the world as super saturated, high contrast. We see logarithmically, which is flatter and greyer. Films are usually somewhere in between.

Kholi
05-21-2012, 07:34 PM
Haha.

Let me clear the air:

Cinematic = great lighting, composition, acting, movement, around 24 frames a second etc. Point any camera at something that's well lit so on and so forth, it will look cinematic regardless of frame rate.

Video Feel/Look = a very subtle perhaps undetectable but present feeling that is completely inherent to capturing frames with a video camera.

Because this veers that way always, I want to stop that here: this is not about cinematic looks. This is strictly about the presence of a video-like cadence.

Cropping an image to 2.35:1 will provide a crutch to someone's footage, absolutely. It's been a crutch for a long time, and we could definitely discuss that (I think 2.35:1 is cheap and you can tell when someone doesn't know how to shoot it out, it's VERY obvious.).

But when it comes to the actual motion, you can see the difference between each of the manufacturers' cameras out.

nickjbedford
05-21-2012, 07:36 PM
Personally, I'm not talking cinematic, I'm talking a very specific cadence to rendered frames that sometimes is SO subtle it's undetectable, unless you're hyper sensitive to it.

Ahh, I get what you mean. Besides, they're fundamentally different mechanisms for exposing the medium to light.

You can get close by adhering to those things mentioned, shutter speed, frame rate and your image quality, but its still different.

nickjbedford
05-21-2012, 07:37 PM
Let me clear up that I'm grossly ignoring the fact that cinematic also involves the set in front of the camera :)

Note Suwanchote
05-21-2012, 07:39 PM
Could I hazard a guess that it is the dynamic range and potential for crushed blacks and whites that often makes video feel less cinematic? Film productions have typically had access to wide, smooth dynamic range in their cameras (whether its film or high end digital cinema camera sensors). The image contains more detail at a lower, more real level of contrast. Your eyes don't see the dynamic range in the world as super saturated, high contrast. We see logarithmically, which is flatter and greyer. Films are usually somewhere in between.

I could relate a huge majority to that but it seems that there is a part missing still. What is the DR of film btw?

Philip Lipetz
05-21-2012, 07:47 PM
It is not DR or lighting, but the way motion feels. What is the subtle feeling of flow between frames? All cameras will show the same overall movement but some cameras somehow seem more lifelike, even though both have exactly the same start and ending movements.

I many ways this relates to another debate at DVXuser, about Peter Jackson's use of 48p in The Hobbitt film. OS,e are saying that it destroys the sense of normal flow even though clearly we are receiving more information becuase the frame rate was doubled. So, the real question is if extra information overloads our senses and takes us away from our ordinary sense of reality that is blurred with background activity barely seen.

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-21-2012, 07:51 PM
Dunno... Part of me thinks that we're just conditioned to think/feel the way we do because of all the exposure we've had to 24p entertainment. Will there be a new "normal flow"?

Kholi
05-21-2012, 07:53 PM
Dunno... Part of me thinks that we're just conditioned to think/feel the way we do because of all the exposure we've had to 24p entertainment. Will there be a new "normal flow"?

There will be, it's destined to change unless the nostalgia pushes digital imagery toward the old. Which, it already has. If Arri is the gold standard (and it is) then we have a base that's very close/similar to film which all manufacturers should strive to emulate/match.

Even still, that's a change, because it's not EXACTLY like Film.

I also wonder if the limitations that brought twenty-four frames to be the standard ended up creating the perfect combination, anyway. Like, if 30 frames was the standard, then some filmmaker said "forget this Im doing 24", and suddenly people fell in love with that look, from then on everything was 24.

Not sure if that makes sense, but yeah, maybe someone'll get me.

pharpsied
05-21-2012, 07:55 PM
Personally, I'm not talking cinematic, I'm talking a very specific cadence to rendered frames that sometimes is SO subtle it's undetectable, unless you're hyper sensitive to it.

Just zooming in a bit and 1/50th shutter, definitely doesn't help anything as far as motion goes. Sure, switching a CAnon over to 1/45 makes it tolerable, GH2 use 1/40th, but none of it looks like John Brawley's Magic Cam samples, none of it looks like Alexa, and I am sure none of it will look like the F65's footage due to the shutter mechanism.

And all of those just barely scratch real film.

This is exactly what we're talking about. Cinematic and Video-like are two different things. You can make any camera look cinematic, but you cannot erase the subtleties in cadence, etc.

All I know is that I fell in love with Leah. The actual woman. It was the way she moved, the way she was rendered, that made me put down on my pre-order. It wasn't just the detail in the picture or the dynamic range, it was the character of the image that the camera captured. I still watch it. Still work out scenes based on that look in my head. I don't know if it is the same, but yes, I have noticed subtle differences in aesthetics since I put an XL2 and DVX up side by side with the first generation of HDV cameras and bought the DVX. It's why I Panasonic and never Sony. It's why I am playing the Leah clip right now as I type this and think, "July."

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-21-2012, 07:59 PM
If I remember my film school classes correctly, It was a matter of economics. 24 fps projected gave the closest "lifelike" response to the naked eye. Running projectors @ a higher rate would have less cost effective because you'd have to shoot more film for the same amount of screen time.

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-21-2012, 08:00 PM
All I know is that I fell in love with Leah. The actual woman. It was the way she moved, the way she was rendered, that made me put down on my pre-order. It wasn't just the detail in the picture or the dynamic range, it was the character of the image that the camera captured. I still watch it. Still work out scenes based on that look in my head. I don't know if it is the same, but yes, I have noticed subtle differences in the aesthetics since I put an XL2 and DVX up side by side with the first generation of HDV cameras and bought the DVX. It's why I Panasonic and never Sony. It's why I am playing the Leah clip right now as I type this and thinking, "July."

Each camera has a poetry, then.

pharpsied
05-21-2012, 08:14 PM
Each camera has a poetry, then.

IMO most definitely. This is the first camera that I am buying on feel rather than just specs (the specs are impressive). Truth be told, I am still confused about what the camera is exactly, but it feels right. I am a musician. I play piano/keyboard. Grand Pianos have the same shape, the same basic structure, and the same basic configuration, but a Steinway (and Bosendorfer for that matter) is magical and there is nothing like it. Also, Roland, Yamaha, Korg, Kurtzweil, they all have different tones, and textures, and feels to their keys and the weighted action; I guess cameras are the same, I dunno, but some do have a poetry to them that is unmistakeable.

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-21-2012, 08:33 PM
Let me clear up that I'm grossly ignoring the fact that cinematic also involves the set in front of the camera :)

The art directors! Incredibly underrated. Those guys and girls are the best. That's another job that I kinda don't miss. :)

Andrew
05-22-2012, 12:33 AM
I also wonder if the limitations that brought twenty-four frames to be the standard ended up creating the perfect combination, anyway. Like, if 30 frames was the standard, then some filmmaker said "forget this Im doing 24", and suddenly people fell in love with that look, from then on everything was 24.

Not sure if that makes sense, but yeah, maybe someone'll get me.

I get ya. I've wondered this too. It would be quite a coincidence I think, but who knows. I think in the future frame rate will just be another creative choice, and even though some movies will be shot and projected in 48p, 60p, or 120p others will use 24p as a creative choice.

High frame rates seem to work well when you want the audience to feel like they're a part of it all or actually there. Experiential cinema like theme park rides. I'm not sure that's desirable for certain narrative works.

nickjbedford
05-22-2012, 12:52 AM
Isn't the continued use of 24fps a bi-product of the fact that 24fps was the slowest frame rate deemed acceptable for the cost of film?

24fps is a cultural expectation. It has been engrained in our culture as the standard of "cinematic motion". Our cultural expectations say that 48fps is "too smooth to be cinematic". What Peter Jackson did in the preproduction of The Hobbit was do a lot of tests at both traditional 24fps and 48fps and also allow for adaptation to the new smoother, more lifelike motion of 48fps, and consequently now much prefers it.

Peter Jackson is now used to it, and I suspect that a lot of the cast and crew have grown to enjoy it in the same way.

It's the same way a person from Western culture may not be able to analyse foreign music well until they have become acclimatised to it.

John Brawley
05-22-2012, 04:51 AM
Isn't the continued use of 24fps a bi-product of the fact that 24fps was the slowest frame rate deemed acceptable for the cost of film?



Actually 18 FPS ( or thereabouts) was the standard in silent cinema. It changed to 24 FPS with the introduction of sound. Sound demanded a higher frame rate (data rate !).

Most hand cranked 35mm cameras would expose 9 frames per revolution or two cranks per second. The operators had various songs they would hum while cranking to help keep time. They also weren't strict about 18 FPS per seoncd either. it wasn't unusual to modify the frame rate depending on the action being shot. (the playback rate was always 18 FPS though)

24FPS was introduced with sound and that's when people started getting strict with the frame rate.

jb (who's shot with a lovely 1906 Pathe-Feres)

Brian@202020
05-22-2012, 06:06 AM
I saw this (http://www.tessive.com/) device recently and everything made more sense why film and video still look so different. A lot of steps have been made to make video look like film (24p, flat gamma curves, dynamic range, etc), but I feel the shutter is one of the most important differences. Maybe the BMC's shutter is turning on and off gradually and creating a nice film like shutter curve like the Tessive filter does instead of the jagged digital curve that plages most video cameras.

Philip Lipetz
05-22-2012, 08:25 AM
I saw this (http://www.tessive.com/) device recently and everything made more sense why film and video still look so different. A lot of steps have been made to make video look like film (24p, flat gamma curves, dynamic range, etc), but I feel the shutter is one of the most important differences. Maybe the BMC's shutter is turning on and off gradually and creating a nice film like shutter curve like the Tessive filter does instead of the jagged digital curve that plages most video cameras.


The Tessive filter works by reducing aliasing artifacts introduced by the video shutters opening and closing in a square wave fashion. Film shutters are rotating disks with curved edges that act as a sine wave, gradually opening and closing the shutter. Tessive filters are a secondary filter that approximates the way that film shutters open and close. This acts as a way to smear out shutter based aliasing introduced qui quickly scanning a moving object to create harmonic waves of amplified artifical intensity. The result of using the Tessive filter is that there is less aliasing associated with movements, and this this recreates the creamy look of film. The film look comes from the filter smearing temporal changes and thus reducing artificial harmonic aliasing created by the combination of a shutter and moving subject.

The Arri Alexa can use a mechanical mirror shutter to duplicate what the Tessive filter does, or it can use an electronic shutter modified to not have a square wave form (http://www.arri.de/?eID=registration&file_uid=8218). Similarly, the Sony F65 cine camera can be ordered with a mechanical shutter. So, this is something that is known to high end cine camera designers, but usually ignored in video cameras. That is why motion can be so different between cine and video cameras.

The BMCC appears to use a Fairchild chip that reduces this subtle aliasing in other ways. While it is possible the BM altered with the shutter activity, or has modified a sensor to work in a new way, the antialiasing characteristics of the Fairchild chip could account for a lot of the BMCC's magic, both in motion between frames and image within each frame.

The Fairchild sensor has also has greater sensitivity per pixel and antiblooming to prevent signals from spilling over from one pixel to another. These combine to allow the sensor to achieve greater resolution per pixel at a greater signal to noise ratio than is possible with conventional back lit CMOS sensors. While this creates greater dynamic range it also means less shutter aliasing.

While the fairchild sensor has a global shutter mode, the BMCC uses the rolling shutter mode so the camera will have jello type spatial aliasing but will have reduced artifacts from shutter aliasing of resolution based information.

The Fairchild site says, "As long as the frame rate is such that the camera is temporally oversampling object dynamics, negligible spatial distortion will be observed. Such oversampling is good imaging practice, since it is undesirable to have an object travel a significant distance during a single exposure." If BMCC uses the high sampling rate of this chip to over sample for each exposure then that will act like a film shutter to smear out shutter artifacts. Of course all we know is that oversampling is possible, not if the BMCC uses it.

While I have been discussing primarily luma information up to now the same sensor characteristics combine to allow less smearing and aliasing of chromatic information, especially since there is less blooming and noise to create spill over spill over between pixels optimized for different colors.

Video cameras, especially Sony cameras such as the FS100/700 have noisier sensors and are optimized for low light capture, not high signal to noise ratio. Therefore, they have built in signal processing that amplifies some alaising artifacts, there is no getting around this. While not glaringly obvious this shows up most visibly in the amplification of shutter based alaising, hence the Sony look, or just the video look since the sensors on most video cameras create the same design constraints.

The Sony FS700 is capable of very high frame rates and the engineers could have opted to use that to over sample each frame as a way to reduce shutter aliasing.

Moving into the area of pure speculation, perhaps the refusal of BM to offer higher ISO settings on the camera, when the sensor has a base ISO OF 800 and most base 800 ISO sensors can deliver decent images at ISO 6400 or beyond, is due to BM not wanting to use sensor circuitry that will create these subtle aliasing artifacts. Hopefully the motion looks as good with compressed formats that require sensor processing.

People, including me, were upset that the BMCC offers only uncompressed RAW, while cameras such as the RED offer RAW with variable compressed ratios. While this could be simply a way to avoid the expense of compression it also could be a way to keep the signal as clean as possible. Again, what does this say for motion display within compressed formats on the BMCC?

It is possible that the film like BMCC image is due to a less aliased image but will this hold up in compressed formats? Most assurances that ProRes and DNxHD will be very close to RAW are based on close equivalence in chroma information, this form of shutter aliasing is luma based and so "could" be affected by the codec circuitry.

roxics
05-22-2012, 10:43 AM
Yeah we already talked about this a little bit not that long ago. Here:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?243575-Motion-of-film-what-s-missing/page3&highlight=

I can see the difference in the motion myself and was very pleased to see the BMCC rendered the motion properly from the footage I have seen.

laco
05-23-2012, 03:57 AM
I saw this (http://www.tessive.com/) device recently and everything made more sense why film and video still look so different. A lot of steps have been made to make video look like film (24p, flat gamma curves, dynamic range, etc), but I feel the shutter is one of the most important differences. Maybe the BMC's shutter is turning on and off gradually and creating a nice film like shutter curve like the Tessive filter does instead of the jagged digital curve that plages most video cameras.

this is amazing...thanks for the link.
Too bad it costs $7900. Otherwise I would buy one:)