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Pocket 4K noise - is this normal amount?

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  • Pocket 4K noise - is this normal amount?

    Since I'm seeing a lot of low light footage on youtube and it looks fairly clean, I'm wondering if that amount of noise is normal?
    I've shot this with Pocket 4k at ISO 5000, 25p, 180°shutter, F1.8 (F1,2 after aputure speedbooster) Prores422 4K and it looks a lot of noise to me. All I'm asking is this normal or I have defective unit?

    Also, why can't I do black shading calibration as on UM46 - option is greyed out?

    First one is straight from the camera, second is graded with frank's instatnC LUT and raised exposure a bit. No denoising. Graded in Premiere pro with Lumetri color.
    (full resolution link:
    (full resolution link:
    iso test.00_00_10_03.Still001.jpg

  • #2
    This looks perfectly normal to me.

    We capture light, not darkness. I don't think your original image needs an exposure boost. You don't have any true black values and yet it's an isolated house during night in—what seems to me—more or less total darkness.

    By bringing your blacks down, you'll increase contrast naturally and get rid of some of the noise. Also, when capturing scenes like this with a decent codec like ProRes (or raw), you'll capture the noise too, since it won't be averaged out by smoothing. In raw, the noise would be even more defined.

    When you bring the blacks down, you might find the scene gets too crunchy, but that's only a reflection of what the scene actually was. The little light that spreads from the windows fall off quickly. Same with the lights: they are very bright at their origin, but won't "light up the night" enough to support an overall brighter frame.

    With the current wide framing it would have been cool to shoot it a bit earlier where some of the sky was still "lit" from below the horizon.

    If you have graded the image to your liking and still find the noise excessive, just apply some noise reduction.


    • #3
      This is what I'd expect from ISO 5000 on this camera. It doesn't look terrible to me. I like shooting at 3200 (I like the P4K's grain, too), but anything too far above that gets dicey. Depending on light levels, of course.


      • #4 know you are shooting at ISO 5000? dunno what you were expecting?

        (I remember back in September when shooting at iso1600 was considered kinda extreme on my BMMCC. LOL!)


        • #5
          Looks pretty good to me. You could denoise it, but you better could light your set or just shoot at the native iso's.


          • #6
            The amount of noise (or lack therof) is actually pretty remarkable to me.

            First of all why on earth are you color grading in premier when you get a free studio version of resolve?

            Second you shouldn't be lifting exposure at all. That's the best way to make your image noisy as hell. Try mids and highlights.

            To get rid of the noise in the sky crush it or denoise it. Select the house and only denoise the sky if you're worried about losing detail in your mids.


            • #7
              So, as others have said, this is normal. A couple of points to add...

              1. Uploading to YouTube compresses away a lot of noise. Try it.
              2. You're likely mentally comparing the P4K to cameras that have pre-smooshed (the technical term) the image with internal noise reduction. (Like the Sony's or the GH5S, etc.) To see comparable results with the P4K, you have to do noise reduction in post. What you gain for that hassle is control. You can decide if it needs it at all, if so, how much, and where.
              3. If I was grading this image, I would be creating contrast, not simply raising exposure. Get the darkest darks even darker and then lighten the upper shadows to "pop" the building from sky.
              Pocketluts: Purpose-built LUTs for the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
              Pocketluts Store


              • #8
                Ok, thanks!

                It was kind of a mess during a shoot, since we missed the twilight to get some blues into the sky (there will be fireworks added behind the building).
                Looks like I was looking at some heavily noise reduced footage and comparing the source to it.


                • #9
                  If you'll post a DNG, I'll show you how I would go about "correcting" it for further creative grading.
                  Pocketluts: Purpose-built LUTs for the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
                  Pocketluts Store