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Latitude and Color Comparison of Red Epic, ALEXA, and 35mm.

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  • Latitude and Color Comparison of Red Epic, ALEXA, and 35mm.

    This may have been posted somewhere else in a more elaborate articulation of specs, so I'm sorry for the possible reiteration.

    My question is, what's the difference in the rendered colors from the blackmagic camera sensor compared to either the Epic or Alexa, knowing that these are two completely different cameras. And how does the high dynamic range of 13.5 on the Blackmagic (DR as been quoted) hold up with these colors in comparison?

    Knowing that we always compare our big cameras such as the Alexa to our standard 35mm, (I prefer Kodak Vision 3) why don't we compare this film stock to the blackmagic to see how close these colors can be render out to in addition?

    Also, shall we still shoot a little under exposure to save more highlights? Can there be an altered sweet spot of exposure? I'm thinking that the post in grading will allow a lot of flexibility from what I've seen.

    Please input or/and video, photo comparison invited!


    Thanks,
    Sam-Jacob
    Last edited by SamuelJacobPauling; 01-08-2013, 01:20 PM.
    Best,
    Samuel Jacob

  • #2
    I think the BMC is 13 and Mysterium Mx are 13.5?
    The BMC and Alexa place emphasis on the highlights whereas the REDs are on the shadows is what I've been hearing
    www.lightformfilm.com
    https://vimeo.com/suwanchote

    follow me on instagram @lightformfilm

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    • #3
      Film is not a single entity. Different film has different DR, different colour characteristics and response.

      Film generally has a non-linear response, which leads to deeper shadows and soft rolled off highlights. I'm not entirely sure but you could probably place the DR of high quality film stocks at around 13-15 stops, but with different response properties. Sensors have linear response characteristics, which is why there is a tone curve (similar to film curves) applied to the linear data to give it contrast and saturation.

      Disclaimer: I'm no film guru, nor have I ever shot on film. I'm film-curious enough to have researched about it.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SamuelJacobPauling View Post
        This may have been posted somewhere else in a more elaborate articulation of specs, so I'm sorry for the possible reiteration.

        My question is, what's the difference in the rendered colors from the blackmagic camera sensor compared to either the Epic or Alexa, knowing that these are two completely different cameras. And how does the high dynamic range of 13.5 on the Blackmagic (DR as been quoted) hold up with these colors in comparison?

        Knowing that we always compare our big cameras such as the Alexa to our standard 35mm, (I prefer Kodak Vision 3) why don't we compare this film stock to the blackmagic to see how close these colors can be render out to in addition?
        As someone who has done a few of these kinds of shootouts, I find them to be kind of meaningless....

        http://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/201...inally-online/

        http://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/201...c-range-tests/


        I mean, I learn something from doing them, but I've also learned that there's no ONE camera to rule them all and there's no ONE camera that does every photographic job well. It depends on story. And how you apply what you know. And what I know probably won't apply with the way YOU like to shoot.

        We love to look at spec sheets and numbers but really we should just use and trust our eyes and what happens in the grade. If you think about it, the 5Dmk2 should never had been as successful as it was. And yet people love the way it looked, despite it's technical imaging shortcomings.

        As someone who has shot film and has shot with Alexa and EPIC alongside the BMCC, it can hold hold it's head up high. When shots go to air and people don't even pick the difference in shots then you know you've got a useable camera.

        One thing that I think is a bit under appreciated with this camera, simply because there's no easy *spec* measurement for it that people understand is it's colour gamut. I've not seen it's plot, but I'd go out on a limb and say, it's very very good.

        We all love resolution because we KNOW that 4k is better than 2K. We all love bit depth because we know 12 bit is better than 10 bit.

        It's not so easy to compare colour gamut, and lots of people assume that all sensors / cameras capture the same range of colours. They dont. And it's less to do with bit depth and compression than you think. More to do with sensor gamut. And with a lot of guys (and I do mean men) having a colourblindness deficiency of some kind or other it's understandable some can't even perceive the differences.. At least 7% of the adult male population is technically colourblind and most men struggle to perceive colours across the board as well as women do.

        But once you start really trying to swing the grade around, you WILL see differences because even though you possibly can't perceive the colours, the grading system sure can....or rather will feel the lack of colour definition. Then people again equate that back to RAW and less compression. Which certainly is some of the story...but not all of it...


        Originally posted by SamuelJacobPauling View Post

        Also, shall we still shoot a little under exposure to save more highlights? Can there be an altered sweet spot of exposure? I'm thinking that the post in grading will allow a lot of flexibility from what I've seen.

        Please input or/and video, photo comparison invited!


        Thanks,
        Sam-Jacob
        In my opinion, this camera doesn't benefit in protecting the highlights in the way traditionally people expose, because it has a very linear response right up into clipping. Many cameras like *protected* highlights because any important detail is best graded from the middle of the exposure range. As you move towards clipping, the colours become harder and harder to maintain.

        The BMCC is not like this at all, possibly because it has a more linear response at the top of the curve, and the higher bit depth of 16bit lin/12bit log in combination with no compression means you can expose very close to highlights without risking unrecoverable highlights. It's like you can use more of the expose-able range.

        I would also say I DO protect the highlights but monitoring what is clipping using the zebra. So I do protect the highlights I want to maintain, but perversely, that means I can expose it more to the right or more over than under.

        You probably wanted a more quantitate yes/no response, but it's really not as simple as that at all. And that's what I like about imagemaking.

        jb

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        • #5
          Wow! thanks John, Loved it! Great post!

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          • #6
            Thank you for that answer.

            Haha, yes I heard about some females having more eye sensors to see more colors too.

            Colour gamut. Yes, this is want to talk about most, I'm used to shooting 5D MK2 and 35mm MP film stock, they both act completely different obviously not only to light, but color rendering, though I noticed when opening the highlights, mids, ect, in film is completely different then 5D, as in it holds a steady color. The 5d can somewhat hing off color when pushing or pulling. On the ARRI it holds the colors quite well, somewhat like film, not entirely the same... Guessing my ultimately thought is, how does the gamut of the BMC alter? and does it's smaller sensor have a factor in gamut? I have no idea how sensors work.
            Best,
            Samuel Jacob

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            • #7
              As per the general consensus, the Cinema Camera's image is not unlike the Alexa. John can comment on this, though, since he has shot with both cameras.

              As for highlights, digital sensors experience hard clipping while film tends to slow down in its response to light until it is entirely saturated. This causes the highlights to approach 100% saturation where digital sensors reach 100% and stop hard since they are essentially a bucket that fills up linearly.

              This is why when your highlights aren't clipped (except light sources perhaps), you can push them into a curve not unlike film and get a nice rolloff, as they have been recorded with their proper RGBG levels (Bayer).

              One thing that I have tended to do in my grading experiments is to rolloff the saturation into the highlights so that they become desaturated, and also pushing a little more saturation in the shadows, making them colour burn subtly.

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              • #8
                Here is an example of the difference between whole image saturation boost (top) and a saturation curve (bottom). Increased saturation in the shadows and decreased saturation in the highlights.

                I generally prefer it, however it really is a creative choice.

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                • #9
                  Good response Nick,

                  What I've been doing lately while grading, is lower contrast, and pick at my S curve until it becomes more of a W curve to open up the images entire range.
                  Here's an example with the 5D MK2.




                  BEFORE
                  IMG_4186 before.jpg

                  AFTER
                  Sample Elliot.jpg


                  The black become more muted in the end to a very dark grey, not as flexible as when I shoot 35. Though, something about it I like. What John said, trust your eyes.

                  In the end it's your eye that produces the eye candy.
                  Last edited by SamuelJacobPauling; 01-08-2013, 06:07 PM.
                  Best,
                  Samuel Jacob

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In Lightroom I do a combination of increasing the Contrast slider (not that much, perhaps +25 ish) and using the Vibrance slider to bring back the saturation a little (again, less than -20). It adds contrast and "punch" whilst keeping the colour saturation under control and making skin tones nice.

                    This is one example of that combo (disregarding the rest of the settings used). I also added a little bit of red into the shadows to flush the skin a bit. That is a new experiment I'm trying though. In the past I haven't added any colour toning.

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