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Old December 21st, 2012, 12:25 PM   #1
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How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

Hi all. Like more than a couple of you I imagine, I'm on the fence about sticking with my 5d Mk III or moving over to a Black Magic Cinema Camera. I've been wondering what real quality gain we'll be able to see with the April firmware. Ultimately this will allow us to capture in RAW but we're still capturing the same sensor and it's not as if detail or exposure latitude will suddenly get better (though I suppose Canon might also be able to improve things like their anti-moire algorithm in the update).

I guess my question is, are we just going to be capturing the same relatively limited image to much larger files? Or are we going to see a tangible jump in image quality? How much of what we get now is the result of degradation by compression artifacts? Will the ability to color correct RAW imagery be a game-changer in terms of the image quality we can pull out in post?

I love my full-frame, and I love the low light performance, but at the end of the day I'm looking for world-class cinematic image quality on an indie budget that holds up on the big screen. Any thoughts welcome!

Last edited by Steven Schuldt; December 21st, 2012 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old December 21st, 2012, 12:54 PM   #2
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

I think it depends on your genre.

If you want a more "romantic" look, the 5D3 will deliver. You can control DOF. It's not super sharp, but classic cinema isn't typically super sharp either. Uber sharpness is more of a video look. To really exploit this, add some fog, backlight, and use a diffusion filter like Glimmerglass. Classic cinema also tends not to have extreme grading. Control your highlights (use CineStyle as needed), and the only remaining artifact is the codec. Oh yeah, next year Canon will update the firmware to allow a clean HDMI output. I almost forgot rolling shutter, but if the film has a "romantic" feel, you'll use good camera control and won't be slamming things around anyway.

On the other hand, if you were shooting a gritty, hot, orange desert prison film, the BMC would be the right camera. That look has deep focus and is brightly lit. The RAW data range will allow you to grade for hot yellows and oranges without falling apart. I'm not sure about rolling shutter and the BMC. It might have an advantage for action scenes.

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Old December 31st, 2012, 10:26 AM   #3
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

I've done several tests on HDMI outputs on video cameras (incl Canon XF) and Nikon D800 recording at 4:2:2 and compared then to to internally recorded footage. I never found anything that remotely lived up to the hype of HDMI 4:2:2 being the holy grail. While it made tiny differences for green screen it really made very little (read NONE) difference to the final colour graded material.

The only thing it bought me was ready ProRes encoded files.

I doubt the 5D3 will be any different, but I would suggest waiting to see real world tests.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:53 AM   #4
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

Just a thought but if the HDMI output is true 4:2:2 it might offer a little more detail in the recorded image. Since this is a weak point with the 5DMKIII, it might be a usefull addition. When 4:2:2 is talked about, color is the main focus but more information yields more definition as well.

It seems noise reduction has taken a very prominent role in sensor development and bypassing the processing might show a difference...along with more noise as well. If you look at the photo examples of the MKIII and compare jpeg to RAW, the jpegs appear to show a way more light sensitive camera but it is mainly due to processing. It will be interesting to see. One nice thing about recording over the HDMI is the addition of more high quality audio options.

I would also say to factor in intageables in the comparisons. I believe as you move up the image quality food chain the differences become more what you feel or like about the image rather than 'this chart is better than that chart'... Sounds ethereal, but more recorded information is more recorded information.

Anyway, i am happier with the 5DMKIII as a video tool than I expected. I purchased it as a stills upgrade that would be my SDOF video camera as well. The clean output will be better for monitoring as well as give a recording option. I am looking forward to the addition.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 01:03 PM   #5
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Schuldt View Post
but at the end of the day I'm looking for world-class cinematic image quality on an indie budget that holds up on the big screen. Any thoughts welcome!
That is a pretty tall order! World class for $3,000. What would a $45,000 camera be? Universal class? I am kidding as we all want great images, but a realistic approach is always best.

Also, you are using the term RAW in a association with the 5DIII and is not the correct term. 4:2:2 uncompressed is the proper definition. RAW is only with the BM, RED etc... where you can actually alter the sensor values after the fact via software. They are different.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 04:50 PM   #6
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Schuldt View Post
...at the end of the day I'm looking for world-class cinematic image quality on an indie budget that holds up on the big screen. Any thoughts welcome!
Aren't we all. Aren't we all!

But.... what you'll get, IMHO, in 4:2:2 over 4:2:0, is somewhat better tonality. This will be mostly evident in doing color correction and then color grading -- you'll have more overhead to allow you to push the image around, resulting in fewer artifacts. You'll end up with smoother tonal gradients, for example, smoother / richer skin tones in other than flat light.

You'll see it once you know what to look for. But will it smack you upside the head right out of the camera? Almost certainly not.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 02:17 AM   #7
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

Even if there is no practical improvement in image quality the removal of the recording time limit with an external recorder will be a nice bonus as will the ability to record direct to ProRes. The file sizes needn't be too enormous either as ProRes LT is about 80Mbps versus the 30Mbps of the 5D3 & SSDs are much cheaper per GB than Compact Flash cards (as little as one quarter of the cost per GB).
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 01:15 PM   #8
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

Is the April HDMI upgrade a Canon announcement or a rumor? I am seriously considering buying a 5d MkIII and i want to be sure that the HDMI upgrade is definately on Canon's agenda.

What does the HDMI output look like now? Is it lower resolution?

Does (or will) the HDMI ouput contain the audio from the camera also?

Last edited by Jim Snow; January 2nd, 2013 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Added a question
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 02:31 PM   #9
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

I'm curious: Once this miracle takes place, what device do others plan to use to record the data? One that records ProRes sounds good to me.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 02:39 PM   #10
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

I am considering the Atmos Ninja 2. It's price and features look very attractive.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 03:32 PM   #11
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

Nanoflash.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 03:57 PM   #12
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

The Black Magic HyperDeck Shuttle 2 has en even more attractive price.

The firmware update is not a rumour Canon U.S.A. : About Canon : Newsroom
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 04:16 PM   #13
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

Thanks for the Canon link. Is the current HDMI revision decent quality 4:2:0 video or is it flawed in some way?
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:25 AM   #14
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Snow View Post
Thanks for the Canon link. Is the current HDMI revision decent quality 4:2:0 video or is it flawed in some way?
The basic flaw is that it mirrors the LCD & you cannot remove the overlays.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:31 AM   #15
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Re: How Much More Image Quality Will 4:2:2 Uncompressed 5d Mk III Really Provide?

Ouch! That's a deal killer. I hope Canon meets the April timeframe for the upgrade and they don't renegue like they did on autofocus when shooting video.
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