C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon Cinema EOS Camera Systems

Canon Cinema EOS Camera Systems
For all Canon Cinema EOS models: C700 / C300 Mk. II / C200 / C100 Mk II and EF / PL lenses.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 11th, 2012, 07:44 AM   #16
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

This is a very interesting Vimeo clip that I found when researching 5DMkIII versus C300 recently. It was shot in obviously dark/challenging low light conditions with both cams (plus there's Red footage in there too) so you can get a reasonable idea of how each one performs. Make sure you watch all of it as the shots are labelled when the sequence is repeated (second half of film).


Also, here's the bumpf from the Vimeo page:

"A three camera comparison in a real world situation to see how they cut together. Not intended to be a particularly scientific test, the lighting situations were such that the Canon cameras floated as high as 6400iso. The Scarlet was either 800 or 1000iso. There were a number of situations where the Scarlet simply could not see what the Canons did. Only usable Scarlet footage was included in this, as again, this was to assess if general audiences would notice major major differences."
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #17
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

I am sure that the high ISO image can be improved by fiddling with NR but I am just a little surprised at how easy it was for me to shoot video with a lot of noise. There have been plenty of low light tests of the C300 published on the Interweb including some linked to in this thread & I have never seen any mention of bad noise at high ISOs or of needing a custom preset for low light situations.
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2012, 11:22 AM   #18
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Posts: 1,189
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

Well....I think that most of the discussion surrounding the C300 post launch, pre-delivery focused not on the lack of noise, but on it's "quality". DSLR footage up to that time had shown a lot of chunky patterned noise starting around 2500 ISO and the C300 is simply superior not because of a lack of noise, but that the noise looks organic, is finer and is largely reminiscent of film grain most of the time. Additionally, most of the early shooters were specifically shooting in C-log "locked" mode, which has no sharpening. In this preset mode the camera will exhibit the finest, least present noise, but frankly you're really looking at 1-2 stops loss of speed when shooting in this mode due to its log type gamma and highlight protection. Canon Log -- in all light levels -- compared to the other presets gives a much silkier noise free image largely due to the lack of sharpening. (this camera is so detailed that I'm not sure why any of the presets include higher sharpening levels, but they do).

My vimeo postings from several months ago, regarding shooting by "moonlight" show that this camera is capable of impressive results under the lowest of light levels. I made a simple preset based on one of the normal settings with sharpening turned off and a small level of noise reduction (you should try it...takes about 3 minutes to learn how to set one up and then selecting it is as easy as selecting one of the factory presets.) Below I've attached three stills from a section shot at 6400 to 12,800. These have no additional noise reduction, but have been heavily graded (which should have increased the noise somewhat). I'm having a hard time finding anything objectionable about the noise in these, and certainly the detail we see in the hair and skin is something you'll never see even in good light from the 5dmarkIII.
Attached Thumbnails
C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected-picture-698.jpg   C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected-picture-697.jpg  

C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected-picture-696.jpg  
Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2012, 12:26 PM   #19
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
The 5D3 clips look remarkably noise free. It appears that the camera applies some pretty heavy duty noise reduction at high ISOs as the image is definitely much softer.
Comparing a camera with noise reduction to one without is apples and oranges. If the 5D3 is using in-camera noise reduction the picture may look "less noisy" - that is not to say it has better low light performance. My immediate question is whether you can turn the noise reduction of the 5D3 off? If not, it's a point against it IMO - if noise reduction is done in camera it severely limits what can be done afterwards. It's always possible to noise reduce in post - but the more processing done in camera, the more limited the options are.

In the case you are talking about your 5D3 may look "remarkably noise free"compared to the C300, if it's achieved through high levels of noise reduction processing, I highly doubt that is the same as "better".
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2012, 02:19 PM   #20
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

I regret now having brought up the 5D3's performance as it really is a red herring. The basic issue is that when I filmed the first dance at ISO6400 & F/8 the bride's dress instead of being white is a swirl of multicoloured dots as is the groom's white shirt. It's a bit underexposed but not wildly so. I am just looking at the raw clips off the camera. There has been no pushing of an underexposed image in post. If I had known that it was going to be this noisy at ISO6400 I would have dropped down to ISO1600 & opened up the aperture. Going on all the evidence that I had previously seen including Barry's 'moonlight' I was not expecting so much noise.
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2012, 03:20 PM   #21
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Posts: 1,189
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

Nigel.

If you can...post a frame grab from the offending footage. So we can see what you're seeing.

And FWIW...I did some testing of the various factory presets last week (as I've almost always used Locked mode for everything). I thought that all of the normal settings were largely over sharpened, and that the most pleasing (out of the box) rendering came from the Cine 2 preset, although I I'd really still recommend taking the sharpening to zero for this setting as well. Cine 2 gives you the lift of the normal settings with a nice amount of highlight protection, and looks like a typical neutral grade off the C-log gamma.

Again, (broken record time)... I'll tell you that sharpening is the problem. If you turn it off, your problem will go away.
Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2012, 04:37 PM   #22
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Foster City, California
Posts: 192
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

We took delivery of a C300 PL a couple of weeks ago and my take on the noise is that I wouldn't use ISO above 3200 due to the chroma noise exhibited. I see it with detail at -10 or 0, Noise Reduction at off or 12.
The latter just makes the image soft.

It's a fine grain noise pattern, but when I see chroma noise, I don't think "filmic". I'm very happy to have a camera with great resolution that is very clean at base ISO 850 that I can push further when needed--to a point. I'm happy enough with highlight handling, although this is no Alexa, obviously.

I'm actually more concerned about red/blue moire on fine detail and green fringing on overexposed edges than the noise from ISO 6400 to 20000. Our clients don't shoot in the dark that much.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
Jeff Regan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2012, 06:19 PM   #23
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
If I had known that it was going to be this noisy at ISO6400 I would have dropped down to ISO1600 & opened up the aperture. Going on all the evidence that I had previously seen including Barry's 'moonlight' I was not expecting so much noise.
I think this needs to be put in perspective. The camera is reckoned to have a base ISO rating of about 800 - and that with pretty low noise. That is high by most video camera standards. Compared to that, ISO 6400 is 3 stops different, and that corresponds to 18dB above base in video terminology.

With prosumer cameras, you'd be lucky to get away with even 6dB in many cases. With many 2/3" professional cameras, even 12dB may be considered too much - I'd certainly be expecting to see noticeable noise. And remember you're starting with a base ISO already maybe a half stop better with the C300, so ISO6400 may be more like a 21dB gain increase compared to many cameras. It doesn't surprise me at all that noise is starting to be evident at such gain settings, with a lot of cameras the picture would be effectively unusable, other than for breaking news.

But everything is relative, and I'd agree that it would be useful to see a frame grab, to see exactly how bad the issue is you're concerned about. I'd also echo the comments that camera settings will influence noise levels.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14th, 2012, 11:14 AM   #24
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan View Post
We took delivery of a C300 PL a couple of weeks ago and my take on the noise is that I wouldn't use ISO above 3200 due to the chroma noise exhibited. I see it with detail at -10 or 0, Noise Reduction at off or 12. The latter just makes the image soft.
Thank you for that confirmation as I was starting to think that I was the only person to see this.

Here is a frame grab that shows what I am talking about. The noise on the bride's dress, back & shoulders, the groom's shirt & in fact any light areas in the image make this clip unusable as is. I haven't yet tried de-noising but don't hold out much hope of a good result.
Attached Thumbnails
C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected-c300-chroma.jpg  
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2012, 04:07 AM   #25
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 240
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

I'm wading into off topic waters here. Ones that don't help at all with the issue at hand. But I'm curious about the process of the pro wedding videographer.

I haven't seen it in motion, obviously. High standards are also great and completely understandable. People also want to understand the limitations of their equipment. But 'unusable' seems like a strong statement for that shot.
Is it this particular job or would you never use a shot like that? If it's a 1080 finish to be projected to 3m or so it makes sense. Otherwise would the clients really be that worried if a shot like that got in there, particularly if it depicts some part of the night they want to see?
Just wondering.
Murray Christian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2012, 06:30 AM   #26
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Christian View Post
I'm wading into off topic waters here. Ones that don't help at all with the issue at hand. But I'm curious about the process of the pro wedding videographer.

I haven't seen it in motion, obviously. High standards are also great and completely understandable. People also want to understand the limitations of their equipment. But 'unusable' seems like a strong statement for that shot.
Is it this particular job or would you never use a shot like that? If it's a 1080 finish to be projected to 3m or so it makes sense. Otherwise would the clients really be that worried if a shot like that got in there, particularly if it depicts some part of the night they want to see?
Just wondering.
We are delivering on Blu-ray which is going to be viewed on a 40-50" HDTV close up (we generally have small living rooms here in the UK) so the fact that the bride's beautiful white dress is transformed into a shimmering mass of colour for us rules out using that clip as is. Our usual trick when we have managed to screw up something (generally exposure) is to render it in monochrome but I have just run a portion of the clip through the latest version of NeatVideo & I am officially impressed. It has not only completely removed all the chroma noise but hardly softened the image at all. It's some time since I used NeatVideo & this version is now much faster as it is can be configured to use all 8 CPUs in my Mac Pro plus CUDA acceleration with the the GTX285 graphics card.

Here is a screen grab of almost the same frame after the clip had been processed by NeatVideo in FCP7.
Attached Thumbnails
C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected-c300-chroma-neatvideo.jpg  
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2012, 09:21 AM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 240
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

Yeah, that's fair enough. I guess I'd have to see it in motion for the full effect. Cheers
Murray Christian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2012, 10:50 AM   #28
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Posts: 1,189
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
Thank you for that confirmation as I was starting to think that I was the only person to see this.

Here is a frame grab that shows what I am talking about. The noise on the bride's dress, back & shoulders, the groom's shirt & in fact any light areas in the image make this clip unusable as is. I haven't yet tried de-noising but don't hold out much hope of a good result.
Hi Nigel.

wow...that's looks pretty bad. not at all what I'm seeing from my camera here. This is on par with the noise I see from the camera at ISO 20,000, not 6400. (and just so we're clear, this image hasn't been adjusted, correct...just straight out of the camere?)

I think though, that my suspicions were correct, in that the sharpening, and perhaps mid-tone lifting of the preset you are using are the primary cause of all this noise.

Glad to see that the neat image denoiser works for you. From my little tests, i'm amazed at how much detail is hiding behind the noise in some of the high iso stuff I've shot, but I'd recommend building a preset as your best option for getting the most out of this camera.

Barry
Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2012, 01:02 PM   #29
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: C300 low light performance not quite as super as expected

Barry, this was shot with the default settings i.e. with no custom profile. The settings are whatever the C300 has out of the box & with no image adjustment that was just straight out of the camera.

You are correct that it is possible to get decent high ISO images by adjusting a custom profile. I have now done some more high ISO tests & it looks like the most important change is to use Cine 2 as that gives a big reduction in Chroma noise & along with some other tweaking of sharpness & NR I am now getting acceptable images at ISO12800 & even ISO20000.
Nigel Barker 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 > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon Cinema EOS Camera Systems

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:13 PM.


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