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Terrible impossible grain problem

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Charlie Hughes
Terrible impossible grain problem
on Mar 17, 2015 at 12:11:24 am

EF Black Magic Cinema Camera
Tokima 11-16 F2.8
Available bedroom lighting.


Hi there,

I have no business with this camera so I'm hoping the problem is in my lack of skill here, I never shoot RAW because of how fickle is seems - however, not that i'm playing around I'm pretty sure I've been ripped off - that the camera I purchased is just wrong - because getting rid if brutal grain is completely impossible in lower light situations.

Here is a sample of the problem, and the only way to cut back on it is to shoot at 200 ISO and bring it back up from super dark in post, yet it's still ugly.

Please tell me there is something fundamentally wrong with my process and not the camera itself. The viewfinder reflects what my prores shots turn out to look like, but RAW is a complete gamble.

http://i.imgur.com/DE6wfYS.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/bRMBZHv.jpg


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erik cantu
Re: Terrible impossible grain problem
on Mar 17, 2015 at 12:34:23 am

I think your key problem is what you are shooting in, ""Available bedroom lighting." None of the Blackmagic cameras are known for their low light ability. They look fantastic with better light, try shooting outside in the day. If you are coming over from DSLR shooting, you are going to have to think about light more than you are used to, especailly since the monitor on the camera isn't so great to show you what you are getting.
I do find that RAW is more forgiving in low light, try a test with that too.

Erik Cantu
Video Producer
RadioU TV & Animal Basement
14 years experience as a fulltime broadcast shooter, editor & broadcast designer.


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Charlie Hughes
Re: Terrible impossible grain problem
on Mar 17, 2015 at 12:37:03 am

Hey there, thanks very much for the reply, i'm happy to hear it might be a lighting problem.

However when I googled there were images of night shots, literally a candle burning, etc.

And it looked great. So I'm totally lost as to how that is even remotely possible.


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erik cantu
Re: Terrible impossible grain problem
on Mar 17, 2015 at 12:55:12 am

Try shooting higher than 200 ISO too. The camera's native ISO is 800 and that's all I've ever shot with it at when shooting ProRes. I shoot ProRes mostly myself, from corporate stuff on green screen to outdoor interviews - all at 800ISO (using IRND's outside.)

Keep experimenting, the camera is fantastic, but it's far from a point-and-shoot. I love the quality and challenge of shooting with it.

Erik Cantu
Video Producer
RadioU TV & Animal Basement
14 years experience as a fulltime broadcast shooter, editor & broadcast designer.


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Charlie Hughes
Re: Terrible impossible grain problem
on Mar 17, 2015 at 12:57:24 am

Yes everything looks amazing in prores.

Shooting RAW however, I've exhausted the ISO and even shutter angle settings trying to reduce grain.

It's impossible. I'm pretty shocked there's literally nothing I can do with low light RAW.


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erik cantu
Re: Terrible impossible grain problem
on Mar 17, 2015 at 9:27:44 am

ISO doesn't matter in RAW mode. Setting ISO is RAW mode just affects the picture on the camera's monitor. ISO and color temperature are the two items that aren't "baked" into the footage, like shooting ProRes or DNxHD. Once in Resolve, you select the exposure and color temp of the footage.
Your RAW footage may be fine, and you just need a bit more help with your Resolve workflow.
Could you post a .dng still of some footage you are having problems with?

Erik Cantu
Video Producer
RadioU TV & Animal Basement
14 years experience as a fulltime broadcast shooter, editor & broadcast designer.


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Gary Huff
Re: Terrible impossible grain problem
on May 23, 2015 at 2:13:35 am

[Charlie Hughes] "Shooting RAW however, I've exhausted the ISO and even shutter angle settings trying to reduce grain."

Camera noise has more to do with underexposure than anything. You can set your ISO to 100 and if you still underexpose your image, you will get noise. I'd much rather raise my ISO higher than risk underexposure.

Expose properly for the native ISO of your camera (800 in this case). Raw or ProRes will make little difference. If you don't have enough lighting to properly expose an image in the conditions within which you have placed your camera, you will need to add lighting. If adding light is rarely an option for you, you might want to consider a different camera system.


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Tom Sefton
Re: Terrible impossible grain problem
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:15:43 pm

BMCC has never been a good camera for low light, even with lenses that go as fast as 1.4 and ISO up to 800. Use more light. You can always reduce this down in post.

Even Red needs lots of light - the best cameras for extreme low light are 5DMkIII or the C100/300/500

The shots you googled probably had some clever soft lighting and reflectors.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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