4K 3D where tyo from here?

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ned c
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4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by ned c » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:36 pm

I recently attended a seminar on current production methods and came away with these thoughts:

3D TV is dead; it may go through some death pains but no-one wants it other than a few marketing people. 3D movies may linger a bit longer and James Cameron will scream and shout but the combination of dim images; headaches; high seat charges and a lot of very bad 3D conversions will eventually do for it.

4K is the next acquisition format. It brings real advantages; very high quality originals (remember how good the VHS copies from film were compared with the junk we got from lo res originals?). A 4k image can be re-framed down to HD quality. Yes; the computer demands will be heavy but we know that computers will catch up with the needs.

4K domestic TVs are a pure marketing scam. There are currently no 4K transmissions and when/if they come the band-width demands will be tremendous even with a new more compressed CoDec. Most people cannot tell the difference between HD and 4K at the normal viewing distance. However the marketing people are desperate as 3D fails and flat screen sales are slowing; be prepared for some marketing hype and a sudden shortage of facts. Many TV stations here in the USA have only recently changed to HD and the cost of another change to 4K will be met with much hostility.

48 fps is terrible, it makes everything look like video (even film).

The future of film is for archiving as we go through so many digital formats that no-one will be able to play 5 years from now.

Many cameras now have an uncompressed output via SDI or HDMI and external 4K recorders are available. We saw samples shot with a Canon c100 and external AJA 4K recorder; stunning!

At NAB there was a demonstration of 8K; please; no more!!

ned c

tom hardwick
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by tom hardwick » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:37 pm

4k is indeed real close and all the latest editing software will handle it. The Excell video show had 4k screens everywhere being fed by 4k cameras no less, and the JVC one only cost £2k.

The cynical reason for 4k's galloping pace is that 3D has had its day. The public weren't particularly interested and the BBC said Wimbledon would probably be its last 3D transmission. There was always passive and active 3D to confuse the punters as well, and that had killed off their appetite for anything sharper than DVD.

I agree with Ned in that shooting 4k and editing it out as 2k (HD) is the way ahead. I doubt there'll be another disc format so what do we show if 4k becomes the norm? What will be transmitted and when?

tom.

col lamb
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by col lamb » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:15 pm

Someone I know has a 4k JVC and was having problems editing it with Edius 6, he sent me some files and I tried to get them to work on my Edius 6 system, I failed. Grass Valley did not admit a problem but their software has now moved on to Edius 7 so they may have solved the problem by now

However Premiere 5.5 handled them pretty well, the system became very sluggish with anything other than straight cuts and no overlays.

4k Go Pro camcorders are available for a little over £330 so they are sort of cheaply available but there again some on the Premiere forum have been having problems with editing the footage

So whilst 4k may be the future I would not rush out and buy a 4k camcorder quite yet, I'd get the PC upgraded to the top of the range everything first

As for a new disc format, seen on the BBC website yesterday

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23492609
Col Lamb
Preston, Lancashire.
FCPX, Edius6.02, and Premiere CS 5.5 user.
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Michael Slowe
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by Michael Slowe » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:02 am

We should not get confused between the needs of television broadcasting and the cinema. Current HD standards are probably going to subsist for many years yet for broadcasting, the public are hardly likely to be prepared to upgrade yet again, they certainly refused with regard to 3D (thank goodness, goodbye to that). I suppose productions shot in 4K will look even better when transmitted but the difference probably won't be appreciated by your average punter. I sometimes feel like crying when I see productions of mine which look great on well adjusted screens, viewed by people who have never bothered to check theirs.

I saw in a John Lewis store, an 84" Samsung Ultra HD screen showing the most fabulous pictures. At a cost £17,000 it is hardly likely to walk out of the store but it does show what the distant future might look like. But for the next decade or so HD will be the standard.

Cinema is where there is a current demand for the new codecs. Many features are now being shot digitally and nearly all London cinemas project digital files. The new Sony F65 shoots 4 and I think 6K with an upgrade planned for next year for 8K! I saw a demo at Pinewood and the film they had made was stunning. It had been shot 'raw' and the colourist had really handled the material brilliantly. My daughter is currently producing a film and I watched one day of shooting and they were using the Red camera, also shooting raw. Arri with their Alexa, Sony with their F55 & 65 and Red, seem to be the cameras that will be used for the very best available visuals. Goodbye film (sadly) but it will still be used for archiving the most expensive finished productions, people are still not prepared to stake all on the digital preservation of files!

We, I would have thought, will be able to produce our films to a perfectly acceptable visual standard, without having to use anything other than the current HD. If there is a need for higher bit rates recording off camera is always an option if you have an HDSDI or an HDMI direct feed to a recorder. However, marketing people the world over will try and convince us that we need 4K, easily resistible as far as I'm concerned, unless I was lucky enough to be shooting for cinema exhibition.

john ingham
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by john ingham » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:53 am

Keep trying, for one day you will get it right

Michael Slowe
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by Michael Slowe » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:14 pm

Thanks for the link. It seems to be an amazing piece of kit, especially for the price but where's the snag, can some one please tell? Having to fit different lenses could be a no no for the documentary maker, unless they can use a lens with a really decent range. How is the audio handled, I don't see mention of XLR inputs, and how many tracks? Is there the option for auto focus, sometimes even experienced cameramen need it in emergency. Presumably there is the option for setting individual picture profiles and different Kelvin colour numbers? Anyone out there used this camera, it would be nice to hear of 'in the field' experience. Technically, all the picture quality requirements are present but how practical is the handling?

ned c
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by ned c » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:16 pm

The BMCC body costs $2000 and delivers excellent results but this expense just purchases the camera body so add: the camera records to swappable SSDs and recording raw eats up storage (it also records ProRes 422) so two 480 gb SSDs cost $750; the internal battery delivers a relatively short run so an external battery pack and charger costs $325. The MFT version makes more sense than the EF version (unless you have a stack of EF lenses) as the crop factor is lower. Lenses cover a range of prices from Zeiss primes starting at $4000 each or a zoom at $13000, there are Voightlander; Panasonic, Olympus and Korean lenses covering a wide range of focal lengths and speeds priced from $250 to $4000. The tests suggest that it is not an easy camera to hold or even mount on a tripod so a "cage" is desirable; there is a specific version at $1500. So; to make the $2000 camera useable you will probably have to spend $7000 with relatively inexpensive lenses. The audio inputs are odd; 1/4 inch! Most of the controls are touch screen.Even so this is a small price for a large sensor "cinema" camera. http://philipbloom.net/2013/03/29/bmdmft/ here is a review

I decided to test the waters of large sensor cameras using a Sony VG20; APSC sensor AVCHD 24 mbps, which takes E mount lenses and is easily adaptable to take the Sony Alpha lenses and because of the flange design can be adapted to take almost any lens on the market. When I started shooting some years back I used a Bolex with a 3 lens turret and I had a misplaced romantic view of the wonders of prime lenses. I have four prime lenses for the VG20; f3.5 8 mm semi fisheye, 24 mm; 35 mm and 85 mm all f1.4. Although relatively inexpensive (labelled Rokinon Korea) surprisingly good quality. However; having spent the last several years using cameras with zoom lenses I had forgotten the inconvenience of framing with primes; move the camera or change the lens!

So in my opinion the traditional camcorder with built in zoom and reasonable sized sensors is alive and well. These large sensor cameras are called "cinema" cameras for a reason; using them requires a more controlled environment. Shooting raw demands a high level of post production skills and although Da Vinci Lite is included with the BMCC the learning curve looks to be very steep.

Like Michael I wonder "anyone here using one" comments; experience; views most welcome.

ned c

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TimStannard
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by TimStannard » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:19 pm

Michael,

I think this is the whole point. There is an increasing divergence between the "run & gun" type documentary maker/news gatherer and the "cinematic film maker". Actually I don't necessarly believe theres any divergence between the people, but there's a divergence in the equipment and the marketing departments are trying to tell us film makers that we must fall into one camp or the other.

This has been the case since DSLRs started filming video.

On a budget, you can shoot for stunning looks which you will spend a lot of time both setting up (capturing audio separately, fiddling with lenses etc etc etc) and processing in post or you can have something that you can grab out of your bag and be shooting good quality (but very much "video") images together with sound in a very short space of time.

Of course we all want both, and I'm sure that will be available, but at a cost. Your EX3, despite being "dated" by now, produces excellent quality footage and I'm sure you can get it up and running within seconds. But, of course, it cost a lot more than the BMDC (although probably less by the time one has added all the bits and pieces one needs to make full use of teh BMDCC).


EDIT: Cross posted with ned, who explains it all better.

It's a case of horses for courses. Just look at the work of Bob Lorrimer for an exponent of large sensor cameras.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

john ingham
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by john ingham » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:19 pm

Keep trying, for one day you will get it right

ned c
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by ned c » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:11 am

Thanks John; Sony sure know how to cover all their bases (US baseball ref). In a recent report I read that a large UK production facility had just become full HD; I can imagine the head banging as 4K races over the horizon pushed by the equipment suppliers. In the same post I received a sale notification for a hardly used SONY DSR500w 3 x 2/3rds chips; their flagship DVCAM camera with a full complement of a top Fuji lens; Anton Bauer batteries; etc; yours for $1,500!! The future increasingly lies with smart phones for the nc film maker.

ned c

Geoff Addis
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by Geoff Addis » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:36 pm

Considering the resolving power of the human eye, it is very unlikely that the viewer will experience any improvement in resolution compered to HD unless the image is seen on a large screen, say 80 inches or greater, at normal viewing distances, say 12 feet, than that which would be perceived on a typical 40 inch display at the same distance.

However, to my mind, the main advantage of using a 4K camera is that it will be the possibile to reframe and stabilise images without loss of resolution when down sampling to HD. Also, just as when converting HD to SD, there is likely to be a small, but noticable improvement in picture quality; this can be especially obvious in the reduction of noise. This brings me on to the fact that Sony describe these two cameras as having a sensitivity of 3 Lux, but they don't say under what conditions: gain, aperture, shutter etc. This is not a particularly good figure! The other questionable aspect is that although they are using a 1/2.3 inch sensor, they state that only 8m of the sensor's 16m pixels are used - knowing the equivalent 35mm full frame focal lengths for the lens we can calculate that the effective sensor size is closer to that of a 1/3 inch device and therefore the optical system is subject to all the lens difraction and noise shortcomings associated with that size imager.

The fact that in the case of the PWZ X100, recording is in either 50p or 60p, 4:2:2, Intra-frame, 10-bit MXF file format bodes well for quality, but it will impose great demands on computing power - proxies will rule the day for some time!

Never-the-less, I look forward to trying one of these cameras ...

Geoff

tom hardwick
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by tom hardwick » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:33 pm

You're right Geoff - much is made in Sony's press release of the 'big chip' when they spec it as a 1/2.3'' device, but the G lens is straight from the NX5 /Z5, whose image circle is designed to cover the 1/3'' chip(s) fitted to those cameras.

Michael Slowe
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by Michael Slowe » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:54 am

Yes, 4K will certainly help improve subsequent downscaled images, much as HD has helped produce better SD finished productions. Incidentally, my edit system, Media 100, does support 4K but, as has been said, you need a powerful computer, which I have in the MacPro. But again as has been said, you have to be careful bandying round terms since camera specs may not always be quite what they sound like. To shoot proper 4K you really need expensive cameras, like the Red or Alexa or, heaven forbid, the Sony F65. Which is why we (and most professional production companies) should be quite happy with good HD for quite a while yet.

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Dave Watterson
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by Dave Watterson » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:57 pm

Are we seeing a wider photographic trend here?

These days with enormous megapixel chips on still cameras and even on smart phones, we hardly bother to frame a still picture when taking it. There is quality to spare, so we can crop it in Photoshop or similar tools. A couple of posts here suggest a similar approach to filming !

Geoff Addis
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Re: 4K 3D where tyo from here?

Post by Geoff Addis » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:22 pm

You may well be right, Dave.

As far as still photography is concerned, I always advise to shoot wider than the expected final image as this gives both a safety margin for correcting such shortcomings as an off-horizontal horizon to better compose the picture in post, a technique used since the birth of photography.

As far as video is concerned I would never expect to compose my scene without all necessary care, but particularly in the case of documentary productions things are often not quite as one would like. The ability to create subtle creep zooms or slow pans without loss of HD quality is quite a powerfull asset to the editor.

From my basic knowledge about the new Sony cameras my main concern is not so much the size of the sensor which is possibly less of an issue with documentary style filming than drama, but the noise performance. We will no doubt know more in a few weeks' time.

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