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Old August 26th, 2015, 11:16 AM   #1
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ISO Talk on C100 MK2

Hi to everyone,
I own a C100 mk2. I mainly shoot documentaries for TV: I was shooting at 16,000 and 20,000 ISO and on the screen it looks very good (relatively). I never used C100 mk1 so i can't compare moreover i wanted to get an advice from experienced C100 mk2 shooters about shooting on high ISO.

I used to own a 5Dmk3 and it could get up to 6400 ISO Max for it to look reasonably good on the screen.

The big question: What is the sweet spot in terms of high ISO on the C100 mk2. ?

Thank you
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Old August 26th, 2015, 01:11 PM   #2
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

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Originally Posted by Arthur Abramov View Post
What is the sweet spot in terms of high ISO on the C100 mk2?
The sweet spot is 850.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 01:20 PM   #3
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

Oh, Gary :-)

So Arthur. I think that this camera functions extremely well up to 5000, and certainly 10,000 looks very decent, especially when the light source is something like daylight.(often not the case). Going beyond this, you're looking at pretty compromised images, but sometimes that's all you got. Everyone will have a different opinion on this.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 01:21 PM   #4
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

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Originally Posted by Barry Goyette View Post
Everyone will have a different opinion on this.
And all the opinions will be correct. You use the ISO that is what's called for in your instance.

I would prefer not to go above 6400, but I've done 20,000. It depends on the circumstance. Add lighting whenever you can.
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Old August 28th, 2015, 09:52 PM   #5
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

What do you guys use to denoise high ISO video? Neat video or something else?
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Old August 28th, 2015, 10:58 PM   #6
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

I use Neat.
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Old August 28th, 2015, 11:55 PM   #7
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

+1 for Neat
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Old August 29th, 2015, 07:21 AM   #8
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

It also greatly depends on which picture profile you're using. I've found that WIDE DR is the worst for high ISO noise, particularly on the MK1.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 09:36 AM   #9
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

I've used the camera above 12,800 ISO(16,00-20,000) just few times when my scenes didn't have any other lights do depend on. it looks pretty good on the screen pre edit.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 01:51 PM   #10
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

Guess I need to lower my grain standards and or buy Neat? I shot a corporate gig last year in a typical hotel ballroom setup with Powerpoints being projected and speakers roaming the room. Terrible, almost non-existent lighting. I was able to crank up the ISO to 3200 and to me, the end result looked acceptable, but pretty crappy looking. I can only imagine what ISO 10k or 20k must look like. I find the sweet spot has been between 850 and 2,000, looks very good anywhere in there to me.

I shot a movie press junket with Michael Douglas earlier this year, black duvetine BG, Douglas and the poster for his movie about ten feet behind him. Client wanted the poster more in focus so I had to stop the lens down to f5.6 to get the DOF needed. I only had smaller lights, just an Arri 300 watt fresnel to light the poster so I was out of lighting horsepower. I ended up cranking the ISO up to 2500 and it looked good, 70 IRE zebras on his face, poster looked good, everyone was happy. To me, coming from the old school era of my Betacam being rated at a native ISO of 320, being able to get relatively clean, nice looking footage at ISO 2500 is astounding. But once I go above 3200, it looks pretty crappy, although I know that often we have to do whatever is necessary to capture an available light image.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 02:06 PM   #11
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
I was able to crank up the ISO to 3200 and to me, the end result looked acceptable, but pretty crappy looking. I can only imagine what ISO 10k or 20k must look like. I find the sweet spot has been between 850 and 2,000, looks very good anywhere in there to me.
Not my experience at all. I would easily go to 6400, and find the noise acceptable at that level. I've shot projects at 12,000 and it looks decent.

Have you black balanced the camera? Are you making sure you're not underexposing?
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Old August 29th, 2015, 02:22 PM   #12
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

Hi Dan,

Here's a piece I shot a few years ago on the C300, shot at ISO's ranging between 5000 and 20,000. All exterior night with no added lighting. Some shots we're illuminated only by a 90% full moon.


there is a downloadable file that bypasses vimeo's noise surpression/compression.

I recently regraded and did a pass with Neat, and I'm pretty astounded at what it looks like.

A couple of things to consider on the noise front -- generally your grain will be finer and more even (less artifacty) if you run out to a recorder versus internally to a card (the piece above, was recorded internally though), and you'll find either shooting in Cinema Locked mode or setting up a custom profile with sharpening turned down all the way, will minimize the effect of noise to a great degree ( if you aren't already doing this).

Also, what's surprising is that noise from these cameras that is plainly visible in your editor or on your computer, because of it's "fineness" it is rarely so apparent down the chain -- either broadcast, blu-ray or YouTube/Vimeo. I certainly agree with your peril in not wanting to see it, but sometimes, as you've detailed, there really isn't any choice. I think some of the new low light footage off the c300 mark ii would imply we're about to see a major step forward in low-light quality (compared to everything else out there in the professional segment). I'm sure that technology will eventually make it southward in Canon's line up.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 02:23 PM   #13
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

Dan, did you shoot on the c100 mk2?
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Old August 30th, 2015, 11:56 AM   #14
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Goyette View Post
...A couple of things to consider on the noise front -- generally your grain will be finer and more even (less artifacty) if you run out to a recorder versus internally to a card (the piece above, was recorded internally though), and you'll find either shooting in Cinema Locked mode or setting up a custom profile with sharpening turned down all the way, will minimize the effect of noise to a great degree ( if you aren't already doing this).

Also, what's surprising is that noise from these cameras that is plainly visible in your editor or on your computer, because of it's "fineness" it is rarely so apparent down the chain -- either broadcast, blu-ray or YouTube/Vimeo...
Barry has a sharp eye for noise! I don't shoot these cams regularly, but here's a little more on what B is talking about:

Pronounced gain noise in video is hard to compress for recording, because every pixel is changing on every frame. If the compressor becomes starved for bitrate, that is, it can't keep up with the noisy incoming picture, pixels get grouped together and treated as one pixel, resulting in a loss of resolution, that we may see as a still more pronounced noise. Recording with less compression can help with this, whether through available camera settings or an external recorder.

(In extreme cases, where pixels get grouped into 16x16px or 32x32px blocks, we call this effect "macroblocking". Not common in-camera, but a common issue in post-compression.)

That "finer grain" noise that Barry is talking about *is* the actual noise off the sensor. The *not-so-finer grain* noise that he refers to is a consequence of (slightly) breaking the codec with too much information.

If you can preserve the "finer grain", the true video noise off the sensor, then you can use a non-realtime process in post, like Neat Video, to reduce that fine grain even further, if needed. Neat will work on the not-so-fine as well, of course, and every result is different per each clip.

Sharpness is a camera setting that is a bit hazardous. It is image processing done to the raw image, good use of in-camera sharpening (and detail, if available) requires testing to know specifically what different settings do to your image. Well, "requires testing", at least from a video engineering perspective. Because, you can't typically see the results of in-camera sharpening and detail in the field.

Sharpening and detail are also processes that can be applied in post, with better monitoring and a finer degree of control.

All of this relates to workflow, because in some workflows you really want an immediately usable image to come straight from camera. In other workflows, grading and sharpening are expected and accommodated in post.

Down the chain of distribution, some tiny amounts of blur are often added in compression processes, further reducing noise. You can do this too. Um, carefully and preferably with a system that allows 2x magnification of your image.
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Old September 1st, 2015, 12:05 AM   #15
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Re: ISO Talk on C100 MK2

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Originally Posted by Gary Huff View Post
Not my experience at all. I would easily go to 6400, and find the noise acceptable at that level. I've shot projects at 12,000 and it looks decent.

Have you black balanced the camera? Are you making sure you're not underexposing?
Hi Gary:

I black balance the camera before every shoot. At ISO 3200 on that shoot, I was getting 70-80 IRE on talent but the room itself behind them was definitely underexposed. It wasn't just the grain either, the lack of color information made it look pretty nasty even when I tried to color correct it. This was all shot to the Blade Prores HQ also.
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