Color...is it me? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > BlackMagic Cinema Camera

BlackMagic Cinema Camera
EF & MFT lens mount / 2.5K CinemaDNG RAW


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:36 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Posts: 1,189
Color...is it me?

I'm just getting started with this camera, but so far I'm really having a hard time with the color. After watching Philip Booms review, I felt all of his footage looked a little instagrammy and baked. He defended his grading as " how he liked it" but frankly it seems like a "natural rendition" using the film gamma and proRes is almost out of the question. At least compared to c-log on my c300, the bmpcc color seems to be extremely difficult to just get a nice neutral, natural colorful grade. The video gamma delivers better color, but crushes the blacks pretty hard in the process.

Add to that the limited white balance presets, and lack of any method to set or dial in a custom white balance, and I'm in a quandary as to how this camera fits into any professional workflow. Perhaps this scheme works decently in a raw workflow, but that doesn't really help when raw hasn't been delivered yet..and who knows when or if it actually will be.
Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2013, 02:27 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Color...is it me?

I've looked at a few user videos from the pocket cam as they start to appear and often the color is very flat and lacks that "punch" I saw in a few black magic cinema camera footage Andrew Julian posted on Vimeo. I"ve seen Blooms video as well and I have seen him mentioning in other posts that color correcting is not his strongest point but his videos always look fine to me, except the pocket cam video which like you said has a "odd" color.

The pocket cam seems no different then it's bigger brother when it comes to achieving the right color but since there are users that are able to get it right they maybe can share their work-process?.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2013, 03:16 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Posts: 541
Images: 2
Re: Color...is it me?

Yes, I have had problems, and continue to have problems, with white balance. Problem is Iím learning a new camera as I also learn new software Ė DaVinci Resolve. My first attempts were less than satisfactory but Iím now getting there. Let me hasten to add I would not call my approach professional or that my fooling around would fit into a professional workflow; it wouldnít. But then comparing the BMPCC with the c300 as tools for professional work is perhaps not appropriate as the BMPCC has too many constraints, the lack of custom white balance setting being just one.

But the price is right!

One thing that I do know is that the ProRes files off the BMPCC are quite wonderful to work with compared to AVCHD and Mpeg-2 files I have worked with in the past. Just for fun I set up my EX1 alongside the BMPCC (settings as similar as possible) and I like the BMPCC files more every time. I have been able to produce what I would call neutral colorful looking files, more and more as I learn, but itís still a bit of a hit and miss thing, for now. For some footage Iím using good old Vegas Pro 12 and that works, now and again, too.

The ProRes files off the camera are indeed very flat and how far one boots the contrast towards that Ďpunchí look is clearly personal preference coupled with a tendency perhaps to under-do it in order to preserve the wide dynamic range the camera delivers. I find myself wanting to preserve detail in the shadows, because I now can, and thatís coloring my thinking. I really have to grit my teeth and boot those blacks down to jet black to get punch back into things. But again, Iím just playing around, and learning.

I venture to say we will see all kinds of non-neutral footage being delivered by folks shooting with the BMPCC simply because at the price point it can now easily be done. I also believe a competent colorist (which I am certainly nowhere near being) would be able to produce neutral footage with ease. I too look forward to hearing about workflows from others that are more competent than me.

But right now, for a professional shoot with an anxious paying client looking over my shoulder...I would pick up the EX1 and leave the BMPCC for weekend fun, and making movies.
John McCully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 4th, 2013, 09:55 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,777
Re: Color...is it me?

The Blackmagic cameras are all "colorist" cameras. One thing one can not judge at all from any footage online is the color. That's skill and personal preference.

I took a long hard look at a lot of cameras relative to cost and ROI (Return on Investment) and despite some awkward elements, it wins because of codec and color flexibility. I'm truly a novice when it comes to grading experience but I do have a good grasp on the theory and techniques.

When in a hurry there certainly are and will be lots of plugins specific to the Blackmagic cameras. Perhaps we need a topic just about that.

Also the low cost of the camera means, for some of us, more money for lenses.... which can have a much longer life than the cameras (as look at my nearly 40 year old Nikkon lenses I've collected).

Keep in mind the lens and the NDs play a role in the color.

While it would be nice to have a white balance button I think the settings are really meant to just be ballparks and the real balance happens in post if you know how to use RGB parade and, in lieu of white, balancing on skin tones.
Craig Seeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2013, 06:22 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Manchester England
Posts: 40
Re: Color...is it me?

A quick shot of grey card or a color-checker at the start would make it much easier to get the balance later and standard practice on film-style shoots. Even when shooting ENG style camcorders I always do a "custom white balance" it takes only seconds however busy the shoot. I have done a lot of shooting with wide ranging skin tones in some of my work, often under wildly mixed lighting and got paranoid about somebody getting green skin - never happened but maybe that's why. Obviously personal judgement plays a part, but it's helpful to have something you can measure to back it up.

There are small credit card sized greycards that can easily be whipped out of the pocket and held in front up of one of these little cameras, or the "white lens cap" type of thing which could be left on and ready.

Its always best to have some sort of reference even it its a napkin.

I will be taking a close look at the BMPCC at BVE North in a few weeks along with the usual suspects from the DSLR crowd. It's on my xmas list.
Les Howarth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2013, 02:11 PM   #6
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Naples Italy
Posts: 22
Re: Color...is it me?

I've spent some time watching BlackMagic Cinema Camera videos on Vimeo and I've noticed they all have that summerish warm color (orange/brownish with light mids and shadows)
Is it the camera or is it a trend?
What if I wanted to shoot some cold, gloomy, dark locations on this camera?
Giacomo Fabbrocino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2013, 07:24 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,777
Re: Color...is it me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giacomo Fabbrocino View Post
I've spent some time watching BlackMagic Cinema Camera videos on Vimeo and I've noticed they all have that summerish warm color (orange/brownish with light mids and shadows)
Is it the camera or is it a trend?
What if I wanted to shoot some cold, gloomy, dark locations on this camera?
Given these cameras normally shoot in "Film" (log) mode the look is pretty much up to the person grading.
Craig Seeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2013, 10:47 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Incline Village, Nevada
Posts: 604
Re: Color...is it me?

Bingo Craig!

Shooting the BMCC is raw, you can push any kind of look all over the place. Amazing. A little time learning Resolve or the many other raw grading tools and you can take the exposure, hue, saturation, secondary color(s), contrast ... you can take them anywhere your (or someone else's) vision of the story takes you. But it is important to use that extra step of grading to bring this camera to its full potential. And it is a blast.

Once you've played with this combo, you will see it is a little strange to comment on someone's chosen look.

About the only issue is the need to watch out for use of heavy ND filtration without IRND usage which muddies up the blacks and can be tough to fix at times.
John Richard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2013, 10:59 AM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Posts: 1,189
Re: Color...is it me?

Giacomo, Craig -

In my experience the warmth seems to be intrinsic to the camera. When white balanced properly (well that's a misnomer, because this camera has no white balance feature, only presets), everthing has a bit of a red tinge to it. If one adjusts the white balance to correct out the red, there seems to be no color in the image.

Not sure Craig if you own or have used this camera, but I'd say, with it's current color science, crippled white balance, and lack of "RAW" it is anything but a colorist's camera. Still trying to decide if I will keep it.

(on the positive side, the image is remarkably sharp and delicate and exhibits none of the aliasing that mars most cameras in this price range. Rolling shutter seems to be worse than my 5dmark11 though.)

Barry
Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2013, 11:08 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Posts: 1,189
Re: Color...is it me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Richard View Post
Bingo Craig!

Shooting the BMCC is raw, you can push any kind of look all over the place. Amazing. A little time learning Resolve or the many other raw grading tools and you can take the exposure, hue, saturation, secondary color(s), contrast ... you can take them anywhere your (or someone else's) vision of the story takes you. But it is important to use that extra step of grading to bring this camera to its full potential. And it is a blast.

Once you've played with this combo, you will see it is a little strange to comment on someone's chosen look.

About the only issue is the need to watch out for use of heavy ND filtration without IRND usage which muddies up the blacks and can be tough to fix at times.
Hi John,

The subject is the BMPCC. It (currently) has no raw. In my opinion you can't push it around like a drunken sailer or all over the place, as you put it. And there was nothing strange (or little) about Giacomo's comment. His perceptions seem very accurate given the footage I've seen online, and my personal experience with the camera.

Barry
Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2013, 02:20 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Posts: 541
Images: 2
Re: Color...is it me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Goyette View Post
In my opinion you can't push it around like a drunken sailer or all over the place, as you put it. And there was nothing strange (or little) about Giacomo's comment. His perceptions seem very accurate given the footage I've seen online, and my personal experience with the camera.

Barry
Speaking of personal experience, after many GB of files generated and many hours of playing around in post I would say, and this is of course not only my opinion but my actual experience, yours may differ of course as it seems it does, that you can 'push it around like a drunken sailor or all over the place'. And I also find Giacomo's comment a tad strange. His perceptions are not at all reflective of my perceptions, that’s all.

In fact I find the truly remarkable feature this camera brings to the table, not to belittle the features you commented on as being positive as I agree with you in that regard, is the malleability and resilience and the complete lack of baked in color cast.

I have yet to see rolling shutter issues but that is a user induced event, as I understand it.

I do find it interesting that your experience is so totally different from mine. I have no doubt as a willing seller you will quickly find a willing, if not very enthusiastic, buyer:-)
John McCully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2013, 02:56 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Incline Village, Nevada
Posts: 604
Re: Color...is it me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Goyette View Post
Hi John,

The subject is the BMPCC. It (currently) has no raw. In my opinion you can't push it around like a drunken sailer or all over the place, as you put it. And there was nothing strange (or little) about Giacomo's comment. His perceptions seem very accurate given the footage I've seen online, and my personal experience with the camera.

Barry
Sorry Barry - did not know you were speaking of the BMPCC (Do not see anywhere in your post noting that was the camera you were speaking of).

Yes, I was speaking of the BMCC which we own and Phillip Bloom has also reviewed. As we don't own a Pocket Cam version (yet) I have no business commenting on it. When it shoots raw, we will take a real hard look at it.
John Richard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2013, 07:31 PM   #13
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Naples Italy
Posts: 22
Re: Color...is it me?

Have a look at this BMCM user group on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/groups/blackmagic/...ge:1/sort:date

I see LOTSA brigh midlevels, low contrast images, lightleaks, and browish/reddish/orangish even in blues or in nightly shots...
Giacomo Fabbrocino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2013, 11:48 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Color...is it me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCully View Post
Speaking of personal experience, after many GB of files generated and many hours of playing around in post I would say, and this is of course not only my opinion but my actual experience, yours may differ of course as it seems it does, that you can 'push it around like a drunken sailor or all over the place'.
Do you have some videos you can show done with the pocket cam? I"m still interested in getting one but when I see the result many users get it looks to be difficult getting good color, I also have been looking at some users that used it during a wedding on vimeo and almost all have dull and lifeless looking color with weird skintones, I just wonder if it is really that hard to get good results.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 12th, 2013, 12:43 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Posts: 541
Images: 2
Re: Color...is it me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Do you have some videos you can show done with the pocket cam?
I do indeed, Noa. Today I filled a 64 GB card hanging around the Picton foreshore shooting whatever took my fancy or walked in front of the lens. Problem is my Internet connection here is lousy, to say the least, and uploading is well nigh impossible. What I can do is put together a few clips and on Monday pop into the Picton Public Library and from there upload to my Vimeo site.

The thing about the Blackmagic cameras is that the files must be seriously graded and that involves another skill altogether. With my EX1, and my NEX 5n, Sony have done all the grading (more or less) in the camera and itís somewhat difficult to completely bugger it up whereas with the BMPCC it is all too easy. The other thing is, I believe, that the enthusiast/indie filmmaker types who are going for these Blackmagic cameras are only too ready to take the grade in all kinds of weird and wonderful directions not only because they can but also because it allows them to put their individual stamp on the footage versus being locked into the Sony rendition, or the Panny or the Canon look. So while the beauty of the Blackmagic cameras is the doors that are opened the downside is the sometimes garish hell that confronts us when we enter.

Letís call it creativity heaven, artistic/stylistic choice. Iím all for it even as it is not everybodyís cup of tea.

I understand your main thing is wedding work. I really canít comment on how the BMPCC would fit in a professional workflow such as you obviously deploy. I remain a tad skeptical (ignorant really) about that but I have also viewed more than once your excellent ĎFruits De Merí and my guess is certainly for that kind of work you would find the BMPCC extremely interesting, to say the least.

OK, enough talk; Monday all going according to plan I shall pop some footage up that hopefully you might find helpful.

Cheers...
John McCully is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > BlackMagic Cinema Camera

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:03 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network