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Starting to rethink this whole "Poor lowlight Camera" thing. Recent Concert Gig

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  • Starting to rethink this whole "Poor lowlight Camera" thing. Recent Concert Gig

    Like the title says, I think I'm starting to rethink how these cameras can be used in lowlight. Obviously this was a concert and the footage will be used as a video so the wiggle room is huge for errors but upon getting home, I'm really impressed with what both cameras did.

    Shot with a BMCC and a Pocket. 800 ASA ProRes HQ Both have BM Speedboosters on them, Pocket had the 18-35 at f1.6 ish and the BMCC had both the Rok 50mm and 85mm at t2.2ish maybe t2. Of course Hoya IR cuts and surprisingly we shot in Video. They didn't want to mess with color. I'm impressed here as well.

    And of course the images are taking a bit hit when uploaded here. As a note, I saw zero fpn or banding in any of the footage I've looked at, sans the lovely banding that came from all the crappy LEDs they had popping off around the stage.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z0rf2c5g3...VYi8tthia?dl=0

    band2_1.4.1.jpgBand4_1.8.1.jpgBand5_1.1.1.jpgBand6_1.1.2.jpgBand7_1.2.1.jpgBand8_1.1.3.jpgCU_1.6.1.jpg
    Last edited by vicharris; 12-27-2014, 05:09 PM.

  • #2
    Those look fantastic, Vic. Especially that last shot - love that dot of reflection in the subjects left eye coming from the deep shadow. Great cameras that were well used on this shoot.

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    • #3
      Yeah, they are pretty good low light cameras if you have fast glass and with a bit of neat video noise reduction, even ISO 1600 can look good enough for a web upload.
      Vimeo profile
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      • #4
        Nice shots Vic. Speedbooster is what makes this camera work wonders in low light, imo.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dillon View Post
          Nice shots Vic. Speedbooster is what makes this camera work wonders in low light, imo.
          Thanks man. Actually I rarely use the SB for anything other than getting my lens back to it's native FOV and characteristics. I never intended to use them as actually speedboosters on most lenses. There's very few lenses that don't suffer greatly when used wide open on speedboosters. One is the Sigma 18-35 but it can be pushed easily. As for the Roks, I would never use a Rok below t2.2 or so and that's with a Speedbooster. I have them set at t2.8/t4 split, putting me back around t2.2 or so. No way you can use them wide open on Roks unless you want it to look like a Voight f.95 wide open

          I guess it all just depends on the glass though.

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          • #6
            Looks great Vic. Nice to not see the electric "pop" that comes with engs and concert lighting. The light has a clean soft roll off rather than dying into un-liftable black. The cymbal in blue is impressive, actually all of the blue.

            If its not proprietary please dump a few 10 second clips as the lights change. I would like to peep if possible.

            I guess we missed the memo on why the "studio cam".

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            • #7
              Images are great but I see fine bands in two of them. What's that?
              Álex Montoya on IMDB
              https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0600257/

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              • #8
                They look really great Vic.

                The thing is, a stage is also not low light really in my experience......you meter the output under lights and it's actually quite bright.

                But what really makes your pictures sing in this kind of environment is a high dynamic range and high bit depth recording. Because a stage is all about CONTRAST. You have very dark and very bright in the same frame.

                And that is what BMCC and Pocket cameras eat for breakfast...

                JB

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                • #9
                  The BMCs are actually not too shabby, when it comes to lowlight.
                  Here is a test with some lowlight, I shot 2 years ago.
                  I mean, I was able to shoot under moonlight, and no noise reduction at all.

                  Blog: http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fauxto View Post
                    Images are great but I see fine bands in two of them. What's that?
                    Pretty sure it's all the really crappy LED stage lights popping off everywhere. They came from every angle at every intensity. Those new cheap ones are awful. Which 2 are bad? I'll go back in Resovle and see if it's in camera.

                    They look really great Vic.

                    The thing is, a stage is also not low light really in my experience......you meter the output under lights and it's actually quite bright.

                    But what really makes your pictures sing in this kind of environment is a high dynamic range and high bit depth recording. Because a stage is all about CONTRAST. You have very dark and very bright in the same frame.

                    And that is what BMCC and Pocket cameras eat for breakfast...

                    JB
                    Thanks JB, I get what you're saying but in general, I consider this low light. Mostly as many of us I work on controlled sets so I was still pretty impressed with the sharpness retained and small details retained in the shadows. To be honest I've just never pushed the cameras like this. As stated earlier, the rolloff is damn great too but that's really due to all the haze and nasty in the air from all the kids

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                    • #11
                      Ye these look nice Vic. I also agree with you that these cams are def better in lowlight than what people make it out to be...and I'm not taking stage lighting either. What I'm surprised at is you using video and it looking good. Maybe I didn't give video enough ratings.
                      Darren Scott
                      Freelance Director/Director of Photography


                      https://vimeo.com/jambredzvisions/videos

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                      • #12
                        Vic, based on the very first (reddish) shot, looks like you are ready to film Texas Chainsaw IV. Looks intense.
                        Last edited by rick.lang; 12-28-2014, 01:27 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jambredz View Post
                          Ye these look nice Vic. I also agree with you that these cams are def better in lowlight than what people make it out to be...and I'm not taking stage lighting either. What I'm surprised at is you using video and it looking good. Maybe I didn't give video enough ratings.
                          Like I said, the video setting is sort of what amazes me the most here. I advised them not to use video but the people cutting the checks wanted to and the colors are perfect for this project. Pretty much straight to edit and delivery. BM really did a nice job updating the in camera REC709 IMO.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by vicharris View Post

                            Thanks JB, I get what you're saying but in general, I consider this low light. Mostly as many of us I work on controlled sets so I was still pretty impressed with the sharpness retained and small details retained in the shadows. To be honest I've just never pushed the cameras like this. As stated earlier, the rolloff is damn great too but that's really due to all the haze and nasty in the air from all the kids
                            In my experience with the GH-1 @ ISO 1600 it is really on 'smooth' or 'smooth gradient' scene elements that any poor high ISO effects are most obvious. Your concert shots appear to have texture/detail even in the dark areas, and the few low light shots that I have done with the BMPCC, such shots don't show 'any' high ISO artifacts.

                            I must also state since I don't have access to a theatrical screen... I have no idea what my shots would look like presented on such... for my 'distribution' of the Internet... much of the worry about such things is greatly reduced...

                            But I do look at my footage at 100% on occasion just to check on details like noise, and I've not really seen significant problems.

                            I'll also note, that my 'comparison' with Film film would be something like the 1000 ASA Kodak color still film which was grainy as hell, or some 'recording' film that was around in the olden days.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Frank Glencairn View Post
                              The BMCs are actually not too shabby, when it comes to lowlight.
                              Here is a test with some lowlight, I shot 2 years ago.
                              I mean, I was able to shoot under moonlight, and no noise reduction at all.

                              Best day for night ever Frank! Just kidding. Damn man, why haven't I seen this stuff before. Reassuring indeed sir. Were you using Roks there?

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