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Old June 7th, 2013, 09:06 PM   #16
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Could happen I suppose, even if it doesn't seem very likely. Again... it's just never happened to me before. That's not to say it has never happened to anyone else before.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 12:36 PM   #17
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

RAW is an amazing tool, but definitely has its limitations. We considered it for a greenscreen project, but we want to capture improvisation by leaving the camera rolling. RAW is too data hungry for that.

One place to consider it is for establishing shots. Say your doing a romantic piece. Shoot the sunrise over the garden in RAW, if not RAW timelapse. Make this introduction perfectly beautiful to draw the audience in. Maybe stick with RAW as the character walks down the street and into the house. Now go to h.264 for the interior dialog shots where you need multiple takes to capture the nuance of the performance. At this point, you need to rely on the story and acting to keep the audience interested, not just pretty pictures. Go back to RAW when the couple walks arm in arm into the sunset.

As always, it's not about what's "best". It's about what's best for the job at hand.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 02:19 PM   #18
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Nice example Jon... that makes a lot more sense than shooting everything that way. Play to it's strenghts!
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:35 AM   #19
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

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Originally Posted by John Carroll View Post
The ability to shoot with less discipline or knowledge with the intent of "fixing in post" seems like a slippery slope to me.
Sure, but if you don't have the discipline or knowledge you're probably not going to get it right in camera either. If you know what you're doing the post work you do with your footage isn't a 'fix' but rather a key part of the entire imaging workflow - and having the greater range of data available for that step allows it to be more effective. For instance - not having to ND a window on location, or set up more lights inside to compensate, because you know you have enough dynamic range to capture both interior and exterior at once and can adjust them to suit in post, isn't a 'fix' for an error - it's using the entire range of tools available at your disposal to work most efficiently. And that doesn't mean you'll never ND a window again - it just means you've got a wider set of options to choose from based on each particular project's needs. You're right that raw isn't a holy grail that makes everything better, but it's one more tool in the toolbox (and a powerful one, at that) which can help you get the best possible results.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 09:04 AM   #20
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Good point... RAW is an outstanding way to go if you are shooting in an uncontrolled light situation. That has been my position all along.
Does every shot need to be recorded RAW? Probably not. Depends on your delivery. If your ultimate delivery is for web, you are really wasting your time shooting RAW in a controlled light situation. (Web-based work is 95% of what I do, so it doesn't make sense for me, there are some exceptions of course, but not many) If you are shooting a feature film or broadcast project, probably a different story.

But again, if you simply want to shoot everything RAW, knock yourselves out and have a great time. If nothing else it will be a great way to fine-tune your workflow for when you do really need it, and have a better understanding of what it will and won't help you with.

There won't be any regrets for shooting RAW when it comes to the image quality, but I would imagine you would grow tired of the additional work if you can achieve the same results with an easier path... especially for web clients. Everybody has a different situation, so try not to feel insulted if I don't agree. Give it time... either you'll look back on this little thread and think this guy was a dumb a**, or maybe he knew what he was talking about after all.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 10:45 AM   #21
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

John Carroll:

"If your ultimate delivery is for web, you are really wasting your time shooting RAW in a controlled light situation. (Web-based work is 95% of what I do, so it doesn't make sense for me, there are some exceptions of course, but not many) If you are shooting a feature film or broadcast project, probably a different story."

If you can tell the difference of a web posted film shot with raw (and you can) then this doesn't make sense either. There is no doubt in my observation that raw gives a sharper image and better resolving image. It also provides an easier to manage color correction process, even in controlled light setting.

I think your point is that you don't need the benefits of raw for your business model and work flow process, and the extra work is not worth it. That is cool, and acceptable. If its not broken, why fix it.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 12:48 PM   #22
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

We are still talking about 1920x1080 right? Lots of movies will most likely have been shot at 4K and at that point you aren't really comparing apples to apples.
But you're right... very big difference in the two images.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #23
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Of course, it can depend on what type of web video you're producing. If it's "three guys in an office", h.264 is probably just fine. If it's "The Chameleon fights Flame Boy on Planet Purple", definitely shoot RAW - even if your initial lighting is highly controlled.

BTW, anybody notice how over-processed the Hollywood style is these days? I recently saw Star Trek Into Darkness and The Great Gatsby and was amazed at how cartoon-like the looks were for both films. The faces are so extremely noise reduced that they look like plastic 3D renderings. Of course, that helps during the scenes when the characters *are* 3D renderings as there is less of a jolt between live action and CGI.

Anyway, for that modern, over-processed Hollywood look, RAW would be the only way to go.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:03 PM   #24
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Now you're just being silly... everyone knows that Flame Boy hasn't been anywhere near Planet Purple in ages!!
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Old June 11th, 2013, 04:56 PM   #25
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Ahh. That's just what The Chameleon wants you to believe!

Regarding the modern Hollywood look, I think 300 mist be the first popular film to push the live cartoon thing. The green of The Matrix and the sepia of Oh Brother Where Art Though were strongly graded, but it was really color only. Now, it seems that the trend for post processing is extremely heavy handed. People who dislike the orange/teal look must be driven nuts by the plastic man thing.

But if you want to follow the trend, you want to shoot RAW.

What I'd really like to see is a super-saturated HDR look on a new comic hero film. Gotta sell the 5D and rent an EPIC for that!
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Old June 11th, 2013, 05:58 PM   #26
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

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Originally Posted by John Carroll View Post
We are still talking about 1920x1080 right? Lots of movies will most likely have been shot at 4K and at that point you aren't really comparing apples to apples.
But you're right... very big difference in the two images.
In my case, shooting with the 5D2, we are talking about somewhat less than 1920 x 1080 and in my case with my Black Magic Cinema Camera we are talking 2400 x 1350. But there is more to it than pixel count. It is a matter of what information the sensor provides that is preserved. By compressing to the small avchd file size, necessarily, I imagine some information is discard and other information is truncated. These avchd cameras do a fantastic job getting to that point, but a lot of what is preserved in raw, is gone.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 06:08 PM   #27
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

The over-processed skin thing really bugs me - I just had to do some heavy noise reduction on high-ISO 5DmkII footage and ended up adding (better looking) noise back in afterwards to minimize the plastic face look. I do feel that's one of the advantages of raw though - noise comes out a lot cleaner and still looks good so there's less need to over-process it in post, whereas it tends to get blocky and smear-y once it goes through h.264 and gives it more of a 'video' look.

But really with the cameras we've got now and in the near future raw isn't the only choice. We shot a ton of stuff this past weekend on a C100 with a ninja2 straight to prores and the quality is amazing, even with only 8-bit output. With something like the BM cameras where you can do 10-bit prores internally I think there's probably far fewer situations where you really would need to choose full raw. Unfortunately for the 5D series we're not likely to ever see onboard prores through a hack so the choice is only raw or heavily compressed.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 06:41 PM   #28
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Great point about low compression and 10-bit as an alternative to RAW. While 10-bit 4:2:2 might not be as good in the extremes as RAW, it potentially uses a lot fewer bits. That means you can shoot longer and pay less for storage and backups.

Specifically, for an improv, greenscreen project we're putting together, we'd like a nice, small-to-medium sensor, 4:2:2, 10-bit, moderate compression solution. The only reason we won't go RAW is that we want to let the camera roll for improv. That said, the original BMC still looks like a contender as it has more pixels in width than a 1080p Bayer cam. 3-chip 4:2:2 cams start to blow the budget.

BTW, I don't mean to hijack the RAW discussion. The greenscreen camera thread is here:
Best inexpensive green screen camera

Still, RAW looks like a fantastic way to get beautiful, alias-free, long focal length shots out of the 5D2. Buying a fast card is on my to do list as I want to check it out...
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Old June 14th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #29
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

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Still, RAW looks like a fantastic way to get beautiful, alias-free, long focal length shots out of the 5D2
Are you sure about the 'alias-free' part? Several of the mkII tests I've seen look much worse due to the increased detail, whereas the mkIII is very clean.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 09:49 PM   #30
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

I haven't shot RAW yet with my 5D2, but I believe that the 1:1 crop is alias-free; hence, my "long focal length" statement. The full frame stuff will still alias. But I have access to a Mosaic AA filter. :)
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