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Old December 10th, 2011, 01:03 PM   #1
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Another nice C300 short and Review

Mario Feil and Nino Leitner posted a new short last night on Vimeo, made with the C300. A lot of extreme low light stuff plus a nice narrative. They also published a well written review of the camera, and have said they'll be uploading an ungraded pro-res version for anyone who wants to try grading it.


Canon EOS C300 – Review & short film | Nino Film - Blog - Nino Leitner - DSLR video, filmmaking & more
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Old December 10th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #2
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

Barry, you beat me to it!....Yes, really nice EVENING EXTs.......

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Old December 11th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

To be honest very impressed by the light sensitivity, yet not really by the colors. I see lots of chroma mud, clipping chroma and highlights.. downloading HD file. Hope it's better!
Cheers to the testers, really well done for a test!
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Old December 11th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #4
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

Really nice.
I agree with Oleg, at least as far as log shots shown so far. But no one has had time to test and get the camera "dialed in". Everyone who gets the camera for a test wants to shoot in extreme light. It would take some work to get the male actor's skin tone looking great in those night and tram shots.
I do expect in the next few months some smart person will publish "recommended camera settings and workflow for Canon log". Although I still wonder about the tonality of skin when compressing 12 stops into eight bits.
But it may have nothing to do with Canon log, simply that good light is still good light. We're seeing log shots in more difficult light.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 06:07 PM   #5
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

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Although I still wonder about the tonality of skin when compressing 12 stops into eight bits.
First thought in my mind is that the human eye can only resolve about 7 stops at any one time. Hence, the original 12 stops are going to have to be compressed into something roughly equating to about 8 bits at some stage, or it will just be too contrasty for the eye.

The only advantages to recording 10 (or even 12 bits) is to give more scope for post processing. But at some point, those 12 stops of dynamic range are going to have to be compressed down.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 02:11 AM   #6
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

The dynamic range of the human eye is dependant on ambient light levels as it's tied into the the amount Of Rhodopsin in the eye and the integration period, which according to research can go up to around 15 seconds. Depending on which white paper you read you'll find figures ranging from 6.5 stops to 15 stops, but often these are just the DR of the retina. The important thing to consider is our visual system (eye-brain) operates much more like an HDR camera as the iris constantly twitches and adjusts the exposure, so while the retina may only be 6.5 stops the brain is able to perceive a much greater dynamic range. I know my visual system copes with difficult lighting better than any camera I have ever used.

The problem though is with display technology. Most LCD screens are only 7 stops, OLED screens are capable of much higher dynamic ranges, but we still feed them signals constrained by Rec-709 gamma, which is designed to work with conventional TV's and monitors.

One advantage of shooting log is the extra scope you get in grading, the other often overlooked advantage is the rate at which over exposure occurs. With a limited dynamic range camera, overexposure happens very quickly with sometimes near instant switch from correct exposure to clipping and this is very ugly. A camera with a greater DR will over expose in a gentler manner, more like what we see. Even when you take this excess log range and simply show it on a narrow DR display, this difference in over exposure performance is quite noticeable and generally the camera with the greater DR looks more realistic.

Will 8 bit log work? Yes I think it will, especially if you record to an external recorder. I think 50Mb/s is too low for serious grading work, especially if there is any movement or large amounts of noise in the image 50Mb/s will not be best. I think the Convergent NanoFlash will be an excellent match to the C300. Both use the same media and similar workflows. Recording at 100Mb/s on the Nano would produce an artefact free image that will grade very well even though it's only 8 bit. Obviously this isn't a full on 10 bit S-Log workflow, but I think it can be used for less extreme grading.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 08:06 AM   #7
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

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Really nice.
Everyone who gets the camera for a test wants to shoot in extreme light. It would take some work to get the male actor's skin tone looking great in those night and tram shots.
Available light tends to throw in a real mixture of colour temperatures, so there can be an element of going with the flow if the actors are moving around within a scene.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 09:04 AM   #8
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

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First thought in my mind is that the human eye can only resolve about 7 stops at any one time. Hence, the original 12 stops are going to have to be compressed into something roughly equating to about 8 bits at some stage, or it will just be too contrasty for the eye.

The only advantages to recording 10 (or even 12 bits) is to give more scope for post processing. But at some point, those 12 stops of dynamic range are going to have to be compressed down.
My concern is only with post processing and log. We don't have an example of skin looking great in a processed Canon log file. Hence my comment. We have example of non-log C300 files of skin looking great.

On a related topic, Mario provided us with an interesting comparison with the F3 at the 32 second mark:


The subjects face shot with the F3 is very punchy and sharp, but I expect the Canon image more accurately shows what was in the image circle. The low noise of the F3 apparently allows Sony a lot of enhancement of microcontrast. But I think the future is actually carefully recording what is seen rather than having a sony microprocessor add attractive false detail.
Unless the sony processor can make me look younger and thinner. Then I'm all for it.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #9
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

Мy colleagues from Russia noticed some aliasing signs. They are in places where straight lines are in focus. Compression artifacts? Comments?
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Old December 12th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #10
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

Could be it's going out as 720p, which wouldn't help those stair type artifacts. When the scaling is off on HD it doesn't fill my screen.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 12:22 PM   #11
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

Brian, thanks, makes sense!
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Old December 12th, 2011, 01:04 PM   #12
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

They've made available several mxf files from the short. Upon viewing them it's immediately clear that the noise level is quite a bit finer and more delicate than what we've seen posted on vimeo and even the 1080p file downloads of Mobius, 13:59 and others.

Relative to that bit of aliasing on the vimeo feed, they didn't provide that file as mxf, but it was also slightly visible on the 1080 download. After looking at the quality of the mxf's though I'd guess that it's going to be negligible.

Specifically I was quite surprised how good the nighttime market stuff looked in the MXF (it held a nice grade out --I took some of the warmth out of his face which really pulled the frame together) and was considerably less noisy than the vimeo footage. The tram stuff on the other hand, shot at 850 iso..while certainly not 4k...when viewed at 200% in fcp looked remarkably clean. I now see why it looked so good on the big screen at the canon event. This is truly superior 1080p, artifactless, with a hint of film like grain... and, well...in terms of image quality, there isn't as big of a difference with Red 4k as you might think.

My only points of concern are relative to color, specifically the benefits of C-Log versus a more controlled shooting situation with a pre baked look. While the footage graded fine, certainly better than any flat DSLR profile, I could see it's limits when trying to get a more film like curve. I think, or maybe I just wonder...that when possible, shooting with a carefully made preset could achieve better results in grading than using 8 bit c-log.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #13
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

I downloaded the 1080p version from Vimeo and it was still there...

That said, I'm fairly impressed with what I have seen from the camera so far. Seeing it next to some of the Canon DSLRs is very telling - I've gotten used to their limitations and forget that next to a true HD camera they can actually look pretty bad...
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Old December 12th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #14
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

Interesting to see more work done with the camera and to read the comments here.

Call me a stick-in-the-mud but I'm really tired of sitting through out of focus material, especially in situations that could be avoidable. The day exterior Steadicam sin the plaza looks to have been shot wide open--yes, I get it, the shallow focus helps separate the subject from the background since he is feeling alienated--but none of that means anything when you can't actually hold focus on the subject. It's especially bizarre considering Nino extols the virtues of his focus puller in his blog. Certainly he could have given him a fighting chance with more stop, but in other instances the rack focuses are late (that's both the fault of the AC and the operator, who should have requested another take).

I know this seems off-topic--we are talking about the camera's performance, after all--but as long as people are hung up on delivering short films to demo the capabilities of a camera, they need to follow through on the basics of filmmaking. We can talk all day about debayering and compression and noise but none of those impact an image as much as buzzed focus.

If in doubt, pull some ND and just get the shot.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #15
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Re: Another nice C300 short and Review

Hey Stick,

Remind me not to invite you to the premiere of my new feature "I Pull My Own Focus." :-).

It's hard not to agree with you...I think it would have also been nice to see some lighting in a few shots as well. Using an iphone as a key from 4 or 5 feet at 20,000 iso is a nice bar conversation, but it didn't really make for a good shot. And the mix of sources is really making it difficult to see what the color is like.

In the sequence you mentioned, I felt they should have just eliminated most of that out of focus steadicam shot, as the rest of the takes aren't bad and the sequence goes on a bit long (and doesn't really have a pay off anyway). It seems like the sign of a young editor to me...holding on to a shot you felt you needed even though it doesn't work. (can you tell I've been there before?).

Thanks for keeping our eyes on the prize.

Barry
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