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2K BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, active m43, $995
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  • Here is my entry for the Vitaly Personal View NEST Video Contest. I had no time to do the grading so I posted there a quick grading version, 720p only. So here are the final version, graded, 1080p. Filmed with BMPCC raw+14-140(old ) with Polaroid ND fader for exterior+Oly 17mm F1.8+Oly 45mm F1.8 for interior. I think oly dos not perform quite well with BMPCC. Maybe a IRcut filter is a must have... DNG were conformed with davinci in BM film,(cloudy or tungsten WB), edit in PPro, graded in davinci. PS Vitaly, can I put this final version on the contest page?

  • I'm working on a documentary project with the bmpcc. A lot of stuff is shot indoors with the tungsten/compact fluorescent lamp lights available. In some conditions, often with compact fluorescent lamp I got really problems with the colors I'm getting out of the camera. The red channel is getting weird and I find it really hard to separate the colors and to get a natural look in post. I attached some pictures. It was shot with the sigma 18-35 fully opened and the metabones bmpcc to Nikon G adapter. The white balance was set to 3200k. The shot was a bit overexposed (a bit of ettr). Does anyone else have the same issue and maybe any workflow suggestions? The attached pictures shows the flat profile and scopes, also picture and scopes after I applied Hooks lut and at last with hooks lut and the exposure turned down a bit. I didn't include any images after I tried to grade it properly since I just want to illustrate the problem.

    I tried to grade the files with a lot of different tools, not just the lut. But it's really hard with any tool.

    These are jut quick examples. But you see the red/brown colors all over the image.

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  • @Alfaerik, try messing with the gamma of the Red channel only. This will take out the cast without affecting the distribution. Try before applying any other correction (it works fine on your 1st flat image, not so well on the second).

  • Quick attempt: (in Photoshop, Levels -> Red gamma = 0.93, + curves & sat to grade)

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  • @Alfaerik

    Haven't tried the jpeg, but could you somehow provide a prores frame or a .tif (or dng if RAW)?

  • Those images are definitely pretty messed up. I had a go at fixing it (some compression macro blocking in there but hey) using my latest "Simple" LUT and some WB/Tint and curves adjustments.

    But honestly this seems like the color temp of the lights you're using plus probably IR issues. Needs to be fixed in front of camera IMHO.

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  • @_gl Thank you for your advice. I will look at that. But I think its hard to get the skin-tones good if I try to neutralize the whole image, I think I need to mask out the skin.

    @jrd Here are two tiffs, one flat and one with hooks lut. The prores files are too big to upload.

    Link to flat tiff

    Link to TIFF with Hooks lut

    I also wonder if other people with the bmpcc often encounters the problem or if it might be some problem with my pocket. In daylight the camera is great and in quite cold, strong fluorescent light. But with tungsten and warmer CFLs I get this kind of problems.

  • My attempt applied to the tiff upload. The compression on the thumbnails here is pretty brutal!

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  • Listen to Hook. You are mixing crappy lights. It has nothing to do with the camera. I'm guessing you're not using a quality or any IR cut in front of the glass either, right?

  • @CaptainHook Great! That image is looking way better than what I achieved. I just bought an Hoya 72mm UV and IR Cut, but I still get the same problem sometimes indoors. Love your luts and get great results with them when the files are ok. Do you have your latest Luts as .mga for use with LUT-buddy? I totally agree that this should have been fixed in front of the camera, but I'm working on this project by myself and often have to use whatever lights available. With the GH2 I know that I would have been able to get good results in these conditions, but it seems like the bmpcc sensor can't handle this kind of light. There is no problem with the amount of light since this is recorded overexposed at 800 ASA.

  • @CaptainHook That last one looks great (compared to the starting point). I'll import your tiff and look at the scopes and try to reproduce it. Thanks a lot!

    @vicharris I know the lighting conditions wasn't good, but there is no mixing of light sources. It was maybe 5 spotlights from the ceiling. The pocket cameras white balance-settings and sensor doesn't seem to cope with this situation. Or I'm doing something wrong which I can't figure out. With the GH2 I know I would have been able to set it up for quite neutral colors in the same place

  • Because of the defects in the original, try using the BMD, rather than the hook, LUT. It will give a more neutral image to work with, with less of a red cast. When the cast is neutralized as best you can, you can put a window on the face to bring up her skin tones.

    But as noted, there's no way you're going to make this shot beautiful, there's just too much off to begin with.

  • Most sensors can't handle ordinary household fluorescent lights, even analog film had difficulties. They only look similar to white (or warm) light to our eyes, but they have terrible CRI. For heavens sake, don't skimp on lights, even cheap Tungsten beams from construction hardware stores are better then these.

    You'll need to try a compensation not only on the blue-orange axis, but on the green-magenta too.

  • Sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant using all the house lights, most times actually ends up "mixing" light sources. Most places will not have the same bulb in every fixture simply due to maintenance workers replacing them at different times. So now you have multiple, crappy florescent s, hammering down from above, creating all kinds of spikes and color irregularities. Then we're guessing there's no IR cut filter on there. Perfect recipe for a destroyed image. I've never seen an image out this camera that bad (minus the Tiffen 2.1 IRND) and if your daylight shots are fine, there's not many things left.

    Actually, come to think of it, that's exactly what it looks like with the Tiffen 2.1 IRND which confuses the sensor into pumping up the red channel to compensate.

  • @vicharris I got loads of more footage that bad or worse. You're right there's no IR-cut on at the time, I bought my Hoya Ir-cut after, but I still get almost the same problems when using the camera indoors with certain kind of lights (even if they´re not mixed, all the same kind of bulb). I know some indoor lights are horrible etc, but with the GH2 I would still be able to get some decent (not great, but ok) footage under those conditions. With bmpcc I, obviously, can't. Right now I'm working on this thing by myself were I'm in different locations and I need to grab people and ask a couple of questions with no time to set up lights etc. I might use a led on my rig or something like that, but then I will definitely have problems with mixed lights. I might have to surrender and use my GH2 for this kind of indoor work instead.

    I made an quick attempt to grade it, but I don't have a properly calibrated monitor at the place right now. I think it looks a bit better anyway.

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  • I did some quick tests before shooting and discovered that using normal tungsten balanced bulbs was A LOT worse than daylight balanced CFLs. It was night and day with the skin tones. Lit and balanced with CFLs, the skin had depth and character, a lot more detail, and lots of subtle nuances that looked great. BUT lit and balanced for tungsten bulbs, the skin looked basically like it would on a DSLR, pretty flat, still pretty yellow and orange.

    I would shoot everything with daylight bulbs if possible, but if you don't have any control then... you don't have any control.

  • @grierdill I totally agree. Tungsten balanced bulbs is horrible. Before I started this project I thought this camera would be great for this work (except for heavy files and all the battery changes) because of the prores files which would give me better chances of correcting situations with bad light in post. But because of the cameras inability to handle warm indoor lights it has become a real headache (even after I bought the IR-cut filter). I think a lot of dslrs could give a better image out of the camera in these conditions. I shot stuff outdoors and in locations with daylight balanced light which I'm really satisfied with though and I'm happy it's prores when I try to fix the issues.

  • @grierdill

    What lights are you comparing? By "normal" tungsten do you mean standard household bulbs? Are the CFLs 5000k household bulbs?

  • @jrd - I was just using normal house hold tungsten and CFL bulbs for the test. The CFLs were rated at 5000k I think. Generally I'm fine with this as brighter, daylight balanced CFLs are becoming more readily available, but it will take a bit more work to get that nice, blue edge light, or night time mood lighting if you're already using daylight bulbs as your key.

  • @grierdill

    Have you tried the same comparison shooting RAW, so there's no baked-in color temperature? There can be big surprises if (for example) you perform a custom balance with another camera, even when the only lighting sources are tungstens, i.e., 3200K is not the actual color of the light or it's far more mixed than the eye would suggest.

  • I think I've identified the problem: The sensor is struggling to figure out if the subject is a man or a woman.

  • Everything points to the bulbs being used. Myself, like many others that have shot a lot on this camera have never come across this. The camera shoots great footage with tungsten bulbs.

    That's messed up man! :)

  • Hey Guys, let me know if any of you are getting a gamma shift/washed out with my video.

    Looks great on the Iphone and Tablet, but I notice on my desktop it's a bit desaturated with greyed blacks. Anyways, shot this puppy with the BMPCC and the GH2 (Moon T7); I'd say a 60/40 split with the Gh2/BMPCC Lenses used: Voigtlander 17.5mm, Canon FD 50mm, switar 10mm. I'm in no way a colorist, and the original intention was just a BTS video for a photographer's shoot (had a lot of 3-shots with the models and photog), but last minute they wanted me to turn it into a music video - Oy! So I scrounged to find a story. I know, some shots are blown out. I'll take the slacking for it.

  • @vicharris Could it be something wrong with my camera since I encounter it a lot? It turns out like this with Ir-cut filter and white balance at 3200 for warm indoor light.

    @lunalobo75 Looks great!