On Set Comparison: 16mm FILM & HD w/35mm Adapter (uncompressed) side by side at DVinfo.net

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Old September 25th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #1
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On Set Comparison: 16mm FILM & HD w/35mm Adapter (uncompressed) side by side

This was a music video shoot. A Bolex 16mm film camera (A Camera) and along side, an HD camera with 35mm adapter and HD-SDI out (B Cam).

The DP/Director was shooting with a 16mm Bolex, and invited me to bring my uncompressed capture rig (camera + computer with HD-SDI capture) - I shoot with a 35mm adapter, so we figured it might intercut well. This isn't one is better than the other, rather, lets see how these two cameras work together.

These are more or less raw stills - they've not been colour timed. (I tried 3x to upload .PNGs.. the dvinfo.net server wouldn't do it - so instead, they're .JPEGs). Looking at stills up close is one thing, full movement on playback and good colour correction would make these two difficult to tell from one another - not bad! Too bad there wasn't a Super35 camera and stock rolling along side these two ;) For the HD, I shot it as flat as possible - zero gain enabled, 24P and I avoided as much in-camera sharpening and contrast as I could. I wish I could tell you what stock the Bolex was using but I can't remember. The set was lit for the 16mm camera, and I was B Cam, so I made do with the lighting.
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On Set Comparison: 16mm FILM & HD w/35mm Adapter (uncompressed) side by side-rko_hd.jpg   On Set Comparison: 16mm FILM & HD w/35mm Adapter (uncompressed) side by side-rko_16mm.jpg  

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Old September 26th, 2008, 05:00 AM   #2
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Proves that both images can look good, but in their own way.
I think the 16mm has a bit too much grain in it, to my liking, but it seems to have more detail then the HD-image.


Which HD cam was used?
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Old September 26th, 2008, 05:15 AM   #3
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The 16mm shot as mentioned, has way more grain that I like.
The HD shot was too soft on the focus, and there looks to be C/A.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #4
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Soft focus due to large-aperture 35mm lens. In the shots above, the HD was shot through a very fast, fully wide open Nikon 50mm F1.4.. the focus was on the microphone (so just in front of the lead singers face.. but far enough away that his eyes aren't in tack-sharp focus) ;) Very shallow DOF. For that shot, I could have stopped down to put more of the background in focus - however, the focus *was* to be on the foreground as I shot many individual close ups of each of the other band members.

We were all surprised at the amount of grain - the director figures it was because the 16mm was 4:3 cropped to 16:9 (so, enlarged in a sense). Regardless, it's grainy - real film grain.

The HD camera, believe it or not, is the Canon HV20 (HDV bypassed of course).

Last edited by Christopher Ruffell; September 26th, 2008 at 02:59 PM.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #5
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I would also guess that it was a high speed stock like 7218. Certainly cropping standard 16mm to 16:9 has something to do with it (quite a bit smaller image than shooting Super 16, already in the correct aspect ratio). At that point you are approaching Super 8 in negative size...!
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Old November 21st, 2008, 10:20 AM   #6
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The lighting was designed for film. How and why would you change the lighting for HD?
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 10:49 AM   #7
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Of course, you can't compare 16mm and raw HD.
But you can add some color grain to the HD footage to make it look more 16mm.
But anyway, these are two different looks and the only person to decide which one is better is the director ))

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The HD camera, believe it or not, is the Canon HV20 (HDV bypassed of course).
What do you mean by "HDV bypassed?". Does HV20 have the uncompressed output?
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 03:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hill View Post
The lighting was designed for film. How and why would you change the lighting for HD?
Looking at the images, the video camera with the 35mm adapter needed a higher lighting level than the 16mm.

Super 16 would make a big difference, and although the high speed stocks are much better these days the slower stocks do make a big difference grain wise.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 10:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andriy Pryymachenko View Post
Of course, you can't compare 16mm and raw HD.
But you can add some color grain to the HD footage to make it look more 16mm.
But anyway, these are two different looks and the only person to decide which one is better is the director ))
We're going to colour grade the two as best as possible to match; the HD will get grain to better match the 16mm, eventually.

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Originally Posted by Andriy Pryymachenko View Post
What do you mean by "HDV bypassed?". Does HV20 have the uncompressed output?
Yes, the HV20 offers 100% uncompressed output, and that's what I captured, raw, real time. Uncompressed 1080P HD is incredibly different than highly-compressed HDV.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 08:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Christopher Ruffell View Post
Yes, the HV20 offers 100% uncompressed output, and that's what I captured, raw, real time. Uncompressed 1080P HD is incredibly different than highly-compressed HDV.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the HV20 has HDMI out and not HD-SDI as mentioned in your first post.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 09:12 AM   #11
 
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hmm..how was the film digitized? What codec?
The DNx175 transfers I've used don't show quite that much grain. I understand some enlargement was used, but.... Resolution should be on the order of 2K with super 16. Not sure it can be matched unless a fair amount of blur is added to the digitized film image.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 10:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the HV20 has HDMI out and not HD-SDI as mentioned in your first post.
Shaun, HV20 has HDMI out, and on set I used a hardware HDMI to HD-SDI: uncompressed 4:2:2 HD 60i is what it is. The computer pulled in the video using the Serial Digital Interface card I own.

Bill, film processing and transfer where performed at Technicolor by professionals. We've already gone over the fact that this is 16, not Super16, so that's probably where the image loss is. The Kodak stocks the director/DP used were 7219, 7218, 7205, 7231.

The negative to DI process went as follows: 16mm > HDCAM Tape > ProRes 422 HQ. Yes, regular HDCAM tape is more conservative than ProRes in terms of colour, bitdepth, etc, but it was a budgetary decision.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 01:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Christopher Ruffell View Post
Shaun, HV20 has HDMI out, and on set I used a hardware HDMI to HD-SDI: uncompressed 4:2:2 HD 60i is what it is. The computer pulled in the video using the Serial Digital Interface card I own.
Thanks for the clarification. And thanks for posting the results, it's a neat comparison ESPECIALLY for someone that's just decided to foot the bill for a 16mm lens adaptor for my High Def camera...
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Old November 27th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #14
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The 16mm frame looks like it was under-exposed and then pushed in telecine. What stock were you using?
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Old November 27th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #15
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Shaun, it was a great experience for me to be on board with - at the core of my camera setup is a what's considered a consumer-level HD camera, but treated carefully and modified in the right ways (uncompressed, 35mm lenses) I got to see it produce an image that is comparable enough to film to have a post made about it on DVinfo.net. Yes, film is better, but bear in mind, the HD image is a from a mere Canon HV20.

Hunter, the film stocks are referred to in the thread more than once, and to give credit where it is due, I wasn't the one shooting with the Bolex, that was the Director/DP, and he was working with the budget for the film stock he had. The Kodak stocks the director/DP used were 7219, 7218, 7205, 7231.
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