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


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Old November 18th, 2013, 08:54 AM   #1
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Shooting RAW with the BMPCC

My experience shooting a video with the BMPCC in RAW mode:

taking RAW Video Using the Black Magic Pocket Camera

Many of the reviews I have seen, because of the newness of the RAW capability, are actually not pertinent to RAW shooting. The BMCPCC is really made for RAW.

Last edited by Mark Rosenzweig; November 19th, 2013 at 08:44 AM.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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Re: Shooting RAW with the BMPCC

Interesting read, eventhough this raw camera looks like a "fix it in post" camera but I wonder if it really is, take the whitebalance f.i., as I understand you can only set some presets but since it's raw you can push it easily to any other colour temperature, but how do you know when white is white? when is a shirt grey or a bit grey/blue when you have set the wrong whitebalance and want to fix in post? Since the raw footage is so colourless to start with is setting the right whitebalance during a shot not important?

Also about focus, you write "As a run and gunner I exclusively used AF (with one exception). We will see if subjects are in focus." From what I have read so far it seems to be difficult to judge focus with this camera and out of focus footage is not repairable, not even in the mighty raw. Why would you take the risk of letting the camera handle the focus? Is it in fact so difficult to critically judge focus on this camera?
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Old November 19th, 2013, 08:39 AM   #3
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Re: Shooting RAW with the BMPCC

When I use AF what I mean is I use it and check it - sometimes I have to "push" to get it to focus right (in that sense it is no camcorder), but I think I can tell when it does (the proof being when I see the video). That method is still much faster *and* more sure than my turning the focus ring back and forth to get focus, after enlarging.

The bottom line now that I have seen rough cuts is that it worked fine - nothing I wanted to be in focus was not.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 08:43 AM   #4
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BMPCC Sound Check

This video was taken to assess the sound quality and the synchronization of the BMPCC *in-camera* audio and video after processing the RAW frames. The players were using all percussion, so this is perfect for checking synch:


Color-corrected in Lightroom, merged in Vegas Pro. The opening shot is terribly shaky - the Panasonic 40-140mm OIS lens does not do a good job on this camera fully zoomed.

The sound test passes - perfect synch, and good dynamic range and transients from the BMPCC audio track. Focus is fine too.

More challenging video to come.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 10:37 AM   #5
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Re: Shooting RAW with the BMPCC

Mark, was this Pocket movie using the built in mic or an external mic? if ext, what mic did you use and where was it placed?
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Old November 19th, 2013, 02:21 PM   #6
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Re: Shooting RAW with the BMPCC

The internal mics were used. I am not recommending this for the most serious audio, but for run and gun it seems as good as the Canon EOS M, for example, and much better than the AGC audio of most camcorders and cameras.

It does have both external mic in and headphone out, but no meters!
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Old November 19th, 2013, 02:29 PM   #7
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Re: Shooting RAW with the BMPCC: WB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Interesting read, eventhough this raw camera looks like a "fix it in post" camera but I wonder if it really is, take the whitebalance f.i., as I understand you can only set some presets but since it's raw you can push it easily to any other colour temperature, but how do you know when white is white? when is a shirt grey or a bit grey/blue when you have set the wrong whitebalance and want to fix in post? Since the raw footage is so colourless to start with is setting the right whitebalance during a shot not important?

Also about focus, you write "As a run and gunner I exclusively used AF (with one exception). We will see if subjects are in focus." From what I have read so far it seems to be difficult to judge focus with this camera and out of focus footage is not repairable, not even in the mighty raw. Why would you take the risk of letting the camera handle the focus? Is it in fact so difficult to critically judge focus on this camera?
I also want to answer the question on white balance, since I now have some experience in color correcting. These questions are very relevant.

The trick is to set the wb with a scene that does have a white reference (white shirt, white paper, white tent) and then use that same temperature setting for all of the scenes with the same light (or make a pre-set, just like many consumer cameras have, but customized for your setting).

In shooting, therefore, you may want to make a short clip with some white subject matter in a setting you will be shooting, or use a white card, of course. It becomes second nature to do that. The point is you do not have to individually guess the wb for every clip, and you do not have to have white in every clip.

I would suspect that doing this in post will give a lot more accurate wb than in-camera auto wb. And simply shooting a short scene with white is no different than setting wb by a push method.

Last edited by Mark Rosenzweig; November 19th, 2013 at 04:10 PM.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 02:43 PM   #8
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Re: Shooting RAW with the BMPCC

Mark,

Could you tell me the workflow you use for audio synch with the cinemaDNG raw files in Sony Vegas?

Thanks
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Old November 19th, 2013, 03:51 PM   #9
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Re: Shooting RAW with the BMPCC

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Originally Posted by Frank Grygier View Post
Mark,

Could you tell me the workflow you use for audio synch with the cinemaDNG raw files in Sony Vegas?

Thanks
Sure.

I import each folder with the uncompressed tiffs, converted in Lightroom from the RAWdng's, as a string of photos, which Vegas recognizes as a set of frames for a video clip (because I tell it so - see below). Note: Vegas recognizes tiffs but not dng's, so it is necessary to have converted the individual dng's to something Vegas recognizes.

I also import the associated audio file (.wav) from the sd card.

I put the video clip, consisting of the set of tiffs (frames), on the video timeline. I also put the.wav file on the audio time line, and they jump to align perfectly when I move them together.

I then make the vertically-aligned two tracks (video and audio) for the clip a new Group, by right clicking on the selected two tracks. They then are locked together and move together.

In importing the folder of .tiffs, you have to tell Vegas that each tiff is a frame and what the frame rate is.

It all works well and simply - no need for any listening or going back and forth with a slider.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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Shooting RAW with the BMPCC: The Video

The Raw Video:


The first-generation compressed MP4, 108030p H264, HP 35Mbps video rendered in Vegas Pro from the uncompressed tiffs can be downloaded.

This video consists of many shots I would not take with the EOS M or GH3 (my current video cameras) or any other camera - shots that are strongly backlit or that have both bright sunlight and shade at the same time. It is a test video, for the kind of shooting I like to do.

1. The OIS on the lens (Panasonic 14-140mm) does not do well at the telephoto end. There is more shakiness in this video than I would like, and that I normally experience with Canon IS lenses (on Canon cameras). But it is working.

2. You can get color!

3. The in-camera audio is at least as good as the EOS M or the GH3, which is very good. There is a real sound track that adds ambience and thus realism, and even some music.

4. Auto focus is fine. No problems at all.

5. No moire or aliasing in these shots.

6. More resolution and no visible sharpening artifacts compared with the Canon EOS M or any other camera I have used for video (not better than the TM900 camcorder). I used the default sharpening in Lightroom, which is light.

7. One can shoot run and gun, with in fact little attention to wb and exposure that you normally would have to fuss over in the field, but you need a lot of leisure time and patience later.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 08:23 PM   #11
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Re: Shooting RAW with the BMPCC

Is it just me or does all the footage I see from the BMPC have very deep blacks, or crushed, or even heavily clipped?

Dunno if the camera is like that or it's just the way people like to grade it. (But people seem to all be grading it the same way?)

Does everybody agree that they are truly getting 13 stops of dynamic range? (anybody disagree?)

CT
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Old November 20th, 2013, 02:56 AM   #12
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Re: Shooting RAW with the BMPCC: The Video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rosenzweig View Post
3. The in-camera audio is at least as good as the EOS M or the GH3, which is very good
The onboard audio of my gh3 sounds like crap :) , I can't sepak for the pocketcam as I don't have it but if it sounds the same I wouldn't find it usable in a production. I have to plug in a microphone to get decent sound but if I just record with the camera microphone I get very thin sound, the onboard sound from my pana g6 is much better.
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Old November 20th, 2013, 03:00 AM   #13
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Re: Shooting RAW with the BMPCC

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
Is it just me or does all the footage I see from the BMPC have very deep blacks, or crushed, or even heavily clipped?
Like you said I have seen footage from the pocket cam that looked like something from a cheap 8 bit camera (with blown highlights, weird colour or crushed blacks) but also seen footage that looked like something from a red camera so it has to be either something that goes wrong during shooting or during editing.
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Old November 20th, 2013, 11:01 AM   #14
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Shooting RAW with the BMPCC: It's all in the editing

If one is shooting RAW what you see it is all in the "color correcting" or "grading". You can do just about anything to the flat picture you get from the camera, which is the point of RAW. So what you see is all user choice (or competence) in the edit.

My experience is that most of the BM camera videos I have seen have weird and/or pale colors, sometimes masquerading as art (including those from reviewers like Philip Bloom).

The video I posted was in fact meant to contrast with that stuff, and mimics what you get from a Canon DSLR, but with less moire and more range and more accurate colors, retaining though the contrasty, bright look of real life (enhanced). It is meant to be a video, not a film-look wannabe. But one can do anything with it, and it is ok not to like it. It is also the first time I have ever used the camera (and the shaky lens was a surprise).
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Old November 27th, 2013, 10:58 AM   #15
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BMPCC Low-Light Video: Shopping in Grand Central

Shot using RAWdng, graded and rendered in DaVinci Resolve Lite. 108030p, 180 degree shutter. ISO800.

Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens (non-IS, as is evident in a few shots).

Grand Central Terminal is very dark. Worse, it has many small areas of bright light - sun-lit windows (during the day) and small, bright backlit signs. Almost any view will have bright parts and very dark parts. It is a real challenge for dynamic range. The last scene in the video is the biggest challenge - a dark room with large bright white lit signs in the background.

The Vimeo version, from where you can download the 35Mbps .mov file (h264), with uncompressed audio:


The Youtube version:


I uploaded a 235Mbps video to Youtube (as it has no GB limit), so the original here is of higher quality. Select 1080p.

Last edited by Mark Rosenzweig; November 27th, 2013 at 11:38 AM.
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