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We who prefer 2K Super 16 over 4K+ Super 35 - The *unofficial* Super 16 RAW thread

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  • We who prefer 2K Super 16 over 4K+ Super 35 - The *unofficial* Super 16 RAW thread

    Is it only me who feels that there is to much attention being made on the URSA here on this (and the Blackmagic) forum? My qualified guess is that there are a lot more of us here that own and shoot with a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (BMCC), a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) or a Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera (BMMCC). So why is it so little said or discussed regarding the BMD Cinema Cameras? Why all of this unequal focusing on 4K (and above) resolution and Super 35, at the expanse of 2.5K (and below) and Super 16?

    In my opinion, it's time to bring back (and reclaim) the topic of Super 16 CinemaDNG RAW shooting on this discussion board; what started it all. I reach out to all of you shooters that haven't given up on the original Blackmagic Design mission of bringing forth and establishing the small form factor format, making CinemaDNG RAW accessible to the masses and guerilla filmmakers through the Super 16 format. The democratisation of filmmaking.

    This is the thread for you who own and still use the BMCC (which I consider to be a oversized Super 16 cinema camera, rather than in between Super 16 and Super 35). For you who still shoot with the dedicated Super 16 BMPCC, as well as the newest addition, the BMMCC. You who seem to lurk, perhaps being daunted by all of this talk about the URSA, which (based on discussions here and elsewhere) seems to be the Emperor's new cloths (read, product in the making).

    Seems to me, reading various forums and threads, that the BMPCC is the most reliable, affordable (as in bang-for-the-buck) BMD camera and also the one most used in the industry. Since 2016 it has reached its full potential and come to its age; it's not the same camera as in 2013. The BMMCC also seems to be equally reliable, drawing on the development of the BMPCC. The URSA, that's an entirely different story. Also, it seems that the classic BMD colour science (that we all have come to love) has deviated since the introduction of the URSA, contrasted to the Blackmagic Cinema Cameras (i.e. BMCC, BMPCC and BMMCC). Would you agree?

    Personally, I would had preferred to see BMD invest in and further develop its classic models, the BMCC and BMPCC (and BMMCC), the Super 16 format and sub 3K standard. And not as now, only focusing on the URSA Mini in the firmware upgrades. That's what BMD have excelled in and deserves most credit (and have gained the best reputatioin) for. I'm shure that there are other BMD owners who would agree with this premise.

    Let us talk about why we prefer to shoot in Super 16 HD / 2.5K and why we ignore the 4K+ hysteria. Let us also talk about why we still prefer to shoot in the Cinema DNG RAW format rather than ProRes or DNxHD/HR. Why we prefer Digital Film over digital video. Let us talk about the pros and cons of Super 16 CinemaDNG RAW filmmaking in general, and BMD Super 16 cinema cameras in particular. However, let us also compare the BMCC, BMPCC and BMMCC with the other two classic CinemaDNG cameras, the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII and Digital Bolex D16 (while feeling a common bond in the brotherhood of Super 16 CinemaDNG filmmaking). What are the strenghts and weeknesses between these cameras and brands?
    Last edited by Tomas Stacewicz; 01-29-2017, 06:16 PM. Reason: Typo correction
    https://guerillafilmsoldier.wordpress.com/

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  • #2
    The URSA Mini is getting so much attention because like the original BMCC before it - it's groundbreaking image quality at the price point.

    I am one who very much agrees with your sentiment Tomas.

    My current preference for low budget drama is the BMCC at 2.5k RAW.
    Sure the UM4.6k gives more detail to work with - but in a lot of circumstances YOU WILL have to "work" it. -Meaning that 4.6k can and will capture a LOT of detail that you will often want to get RID OF for a lot of types of narrative work. This can lead to more post-costs and more inconsistency from scene to scene and shot to shot.

    If you just put good lenses on the BMCC 2.5k and get good exposure, you'll have a PLENTY SHARP image for most styles of narrative production. It also uprezzes to 4k surprisingly well.

    The "Movie Look" is very often quite different from most other desired image styles in the video world. And many of the aspects that create the "movie look" involve lesser contrast, lesser sharpness, diffusion, etc., ...all things that are basically the OPPOSITE of the newest 4k and 6k digital cameras.


    SURE...If you have the budget, the experienced crew, and the TIME...then absolutely shoot 4k and above.

    My point here is that there are some seriously VALID reasons to NOT shoot 4k. Especially in the world of low-budget narrative.
    Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
    Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
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    • #3

      Yes, it seems the latest camera BM has out gets all the attention. I remember when it was all about the BMCC, then then the Pocket camera, followed by the Micros Cinema camera, while,the Micro Studio was all but forgotten. But, the Micro 4K can also produce some wounderful images given the right lighting. All are great cameras, however -- long live Super 16!
      Cheers

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      • #4
        I will also add that, like MANY people who use BMD cameras and shoot RAW, that dynamic range and color are FAR MORE IMPORTANT to me than resolution.

        I HAD a 4k camera that shot H.265 (the Samsung NX-1 running the double-bit-rate hack) and I HATED IT.

        I simply COULD NOT push the image around in post to get the beauty I am accustomed to with BMD RAW from the Pocket and Cinema 2.5k.

        Not interested in any 4k camera except the UM4.6k or a high-end RED or an Alexa.

        If it cannot give me the beauty I ALREADY GET from the smaller BMD cameras - then what good is the extra resolution for anything at all? Nothing.
        Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
        Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
        Lights: Every Chinese clone you can imagine

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        • #5
          It is all about the image you get, and how you get there. Why drag around big bulky gear, when a s,all camera like the BMCC or the smaller BM S16 cameras can and do deliver a great image, with a minimum amount of gear. However that said, you need to pick the "right tools" for the job at hand, which will determine the camera you end up using.
          Cheers
          Last edited by Denny Smith; 01-29-2017, 07:33 PM.

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          • #6
            Even though I own an URSA now, I still cling to my BMPCC And sadly regret when I sold the BMCC 2.5K MFT for the URSA. The BMCC 2.5K, IMO, has the most cinematic color and imagery of the BMD cameras. When budget allows, I will get me another BMCC 2.5K EF. The BMCC + Sigma Art lens is just perfect. But I have to say that the URSA Is an amazing unit and does pretty much what I need from it. This may sound odd but I am doing a short lately using the BMPCC as my A-cam and the URSA As the B-cam.

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            • #7
              As someone who owns both a RED and a Pocket Cinema Camera, I think I can speak on this topic with a somewhat unbiased view. I think many would think that I would always reach for the RED over the BMPCC. The truth is, I reach for whatever I think can get me the images I want. There are times that the BMPCC in its purest form, i.e. no speedboosters is exactly what I'm going for. Sometimes the BMPCC with the BMPCC specific speedbooster allows for the FOV I want while also getting the portability I want. Sometimes, the RED is exactly what I want. Sometimes, I'll try to mix the two together. And sometimes, neither one of these cameras gets me what I want.

              To me, that's the beauty of the time we live in. We have so many options, so many tools to fit so many styles of filmmaking. I understand being passionate about S16. I can even understand why you would want to stick within that specific toolset. Just for me, I need the freedom of choice based on how I feel about a project. So, as much as I have been disappointed about certain aspects of the Ursa Mini 4.6K, I wouldn't rule out using it at some point. It might be a good fit for some project down the line.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tomas Stacewicz View Post
                Why all of this unequal focusing on 4K (and above) resolution and Super 35, at the expanse of 2.5K (and below) and Super 16?
                You can still have 4K on a Super 16 size sensor. S16 has nothing to do with resolution. I would love to see a S16 4K sensor. I like the small M4/3 and S16 sensors because you double the amount of lens you own when you use a speed booster.

                Originally posted by DPStewart View Post
                SURE...If you have the budget, the experienced crew, and the TIME...then absolutely shoot 4k and above.
                I agree if you have the means to shoot quality 4K then shoot with it. And the same was said about RAW before BMD said "BAM here is RAW in a cheap camera and easy to use form factor".
                We will be singing the same old song after BMD releases a even more affordable small S16 4K RAW camera, but it will be that we don't need a 8K camera because the 6K Pocket is more than enough. :P

                Quote is a actual statement by BMD by the way. :P J/K
                Last edited by Timothy Cook; 01-29-2017, 07:59 PM.
                Vimeo.com/dropbars

                https://www.instagram.com/cook_it_off/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tomas Stacewicz View Post
                  Let us talk about why we prefer to shoot in Super 16 HD / 2.5K and why we ignore the 4K+ hysteria. Let us also talk about why we still prefer to shoot in the Cinema DNG RAW format rather than ProRes or DNxHD/HR. Why we prefer Digital Film over digital video.
                  And I don't mean to call you out cause I'm not meaning to, but which do you want larger harder to use files or smaller easy files to work with? Because your statement contradicts itself.

                  You don't want 4K, but you want RAW files, and you want S16 HD but not Prores. People argue Prores vs RAW because they feel RAW is unnecessary and just eats up to much drive space for what it gives you. The same argument people use for 4K, unnecessary and eats up to much space for the resolution bump it gives you. (Which I disagree with
                  Vimeo.com/dropbars

                  https://www.instagram.com/cook_it_off/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EYu View Post
                    But I have to say that the URSA Is an amazing unit and does pretty much what I need from it. This may sound odd but I am doing a short lately using the BMPCC as my A-cam and the URSA As the B-cam.
                    I can imagine that 4K or 4.6K has its place in very wide shots of landscapes or cityscapes, and such b-roll footage, which perhaps may become a little to soft and with lost detail in a BMPCC or BMMCC. But here I would probably rent a camera for these types of shots if needed for a larger project, and stick to my Super 16 format for the narrative.
                    https://guerillafilmsoldier.wordpress.com/

                    Camera
                    Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
                    Zenit Meteor 5-1 f/1.9 17-69mm
                    LOMO 16 OKS 3-10-1 f/2.1 10 mm
                    Krasnogorsk-3 pistol grip with telescopic shoulder stock
                    Fancier FC-270A Tripod with FC-02H Fluid Head

                    Workstation
                    Windows 10 Pro
                    Resolve 12.5.4.019
                    ASUS X99-A
                    Intel Core i7 5820K 3.3 GHz 15MB
                    16GB RAM Corsair DDR4 2133MHz CL13 Vengeance
                    ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 Dual OC 3GB
                    Samsung 750 EVO 500GB SSD
                    Seagate Desktop 2TB HDD

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Timothy Cook View Post
                      You don't want 4K, but you want RAW files, and you want S16 HD but not Prores. People argue Prores vs RAW because they feel RAW is unnecessary and just eats up to much drive space for what it gives you. The same argument people use for 4K, unnecessary and eats up to much space for the resolution bump it gives you. (Which I disagree with
                      Thank's for raising the question. Yes file size. If you shoot Super 16 in 1080p or 2.5K and lossless CinemaDNG, you will have more managable files compared to 4.6K lossless CinemaDNG. You will have to compress the RAW capture "lossy" to get down the size. The logic here is that I rather "sacrifice" resolution over compressed RAW. So there is no actual contradition. What I want is virtually uncompressed RAW.

                      Also, as DPStewart has pointed out. I prefer the somewhat softer or diffused image of faces coming from a 1080p or 2.5K sensor over the hyperdetailed and ungly-making 4.6K sensor. Here I agree with Michael Plescia's and Kurt Lancaster's arguments against higher resolution above 3K (see Cinema RAW). This is the same urge that drives celluloid filmmakers to prefer the Super 16 image over the Super 35 film stock image (which starts to look "digital" in their minds).
                      Last edited by Tomas Stacewicz; 01-30-2017, 04:05 AM. Reason: Typos and clarifications
                      https://guerillafilmsoldier.wordpress.com/

                      Camera
                      Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
                      Zenit Meteor 5-1 f/1.9 17-69mm
                      LOMO 16 OKS 3-10-1 f/2.1 10 mm
                      Krasnogorsk-3 pistol grip with telescopic shoulder stock
                      Fancier FC-270A Tripod with FC-02H Fluid Head

                      Workstation
                      Windows 10 Pro
                      Resolve 12.5.4.019
                      ASUS X99-A
                      Intel Core i7 5820K 3.3 GHz 15MB
                      16GB RAM Corsair DDR4 2133MHz CL13 Vengeance
                      ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 Dual OC 3GB
                      Samsung 750 EVO 500GB SSD
                      Seagate Desktop 2TB HDD

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Very valid and I definitely see your point. I'll check out that link you posted.
                        Vimeo.com/dropbars

                        https://www.instagram.com/cook_it_off/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tomas Stacewicz View Post
                          Thank's for raising the question. Yes file size. If you shoot Super 16 in 1080p or 2.5K and lossless CinemaDNG, you will have more managable files compared to 4.6K lossless CinemaDNG. You will have to compress the RAW capture "lossy" to get down the size. The logic here is that I rather "sacrifice" resolution over compressed RAW. So there is no actual contradition. What I want is virtually uncompressed RAW.

                          Also, as DPStewart has pointed out. I prefer the somewhat softer or diffused image of faces coming from a 1080p or 2.5K sensor over the hyperdetailed and ungly-making 4.6K sensor. Here I agree with Michael Plescia's and Kurt Lancaster's arguments against higher resolution above 3K (see Cinema RAW). This is the same urge that drives celluloid filmmakers to prefer the Super 16 image over the Super 35 film stock image (which starts to look "digital" in their minds).
                          You can compress 4.6K raw down to a size similar to the Pocket and it will look as good when delivered at 1080p. Actually it will look better, cause there will be much less aliasing.
                          Shutter Angle: The science and magic of shooting moving pictures

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cpc View Post
                            You can compress 4.6K raw down to a size similar to the Pocket and it will look as good when delivered at 1080p. Actually it will look better, cause there will be much less aliasing.
                            This is the school that goes contrary to the less (compression) is more philosophy of the Super 16 2K proponents. These will probably never be recociled. As I belong to the latter, allow me to be highly sceptical of your thesis. And we will probably never convince each other until we meet in a 2K theatre, looking at the same scene (or film) shot on a BMPCC (or BMMCC) mounted parallell with a URSA, fed directly from Resolve in RAW (or at least in DCP/JPG2000).
                            https://guerillafilmsoldier.wordpress.com/

                            Camera
                            Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
                            Zenit Meteor 5-1 f/1.9 17-69mm
                            LOMO 16 OKS 3-10-1 f/2.1 10 mm
                            Krasnogorsk-3 pistol grip with telescopic shoulder stock
                            Fancier FC-270A Tripod with FC-02H Fluid Head

                            Workstation
                            Windows 10 Pro
                            Resolve 12.5.4.019
                            ASUS X99-A
                            Intel Core i7 5820K 3.3 GHz 15MB
                            16GB RAM Corsair DDR4 2133MHz CL13 Vengeance
                            ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 Dual OC 3GB
                            Samsung 750 EVO 500GB SSD
                            Seagate Desktop 2TB HDD

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was watching the queen last night (2006)
                              Great example of how the two (film) formats can work together for narrative effect. Sequences were shot in both 35mm and s16mm

                              I'm a big fan of digital s16 sensors and have expressed my interest in keeping th format alive directly with BM on a couple of occasions

                              Currently (due to technology) I would favour 2.5k over 4K simply for the cheaper workflow. The s16 sensor is great for handheld work due to the increased depth of field and cheaper lenses. SLR magic has done a FANTASTIC job of putting cine lenses in the hands of artists for an excellent price. Ive said this before many times, the wrestler and black swan were shot on s16 to great effect and only a couple lenses were used on each movie.

                              But I'm not "against" 4K in any shape or form. I think digital projection in the theatres must move toward 4K projection asap. For a screen that size you need the extra res, and for something I'm shooting myself, if I had a budget, and the type of film called for it (lots of landscape photography for instance) I would absolutely go with a higher resolution camera

                              Based on my amateur internet reasesrch about film scanning and obtainable resolution from film negatives
                              70mm - 11-12k
                              35mm - 6k
                              16mm - 3k

                              That's scanning. Delivery for those formats inbelive would be 8k, 4 and 2

                              I was at a Lawrence of Arabia presentation where the guy who restored it introduced the film,he said the negative was scanned at 11k for a 4K delivery. It was projected in 4K and I was very very pleased with the sharpness

                              I think IMAX would be amazing projected in 8k

                              And finally I think the s16 format is the best way for young people starting out to learn about Narrative filmmaking. That's what's so cool about the bmpcc, the Asa instead of ISO

                              This is a repeat of older posts I've made lol. But have to do my part in case BM is listening

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