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BMPC 4K dynamic range

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Ray Zan
BMPC 4K dynamic range
on May 6, 2013 at 5:29:43 am

I ordered the BMPC 4K and I am waiting for my turn to receive it. I have been hearing that the initial version will only come with Prores 4K (not raw) and that compressed raw will follow as an upgrade.
My question for those who know: Is the 12 stops dynamic range only achieved with raw recording? I know that the BMCC 2.5 K achieves 13 stops of DR with raw and not Prores.
What is the dynamic range of Prores recording for either the BMPC or the BMCC?

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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: BMPC 4K dynamic range
on May 6, 2013 at 7:55:01 pm

Reportedly the new BMPC-4K isn't as far along as the new BMPCC pocket cam (sample video can be downloaded for the BMPCC), so it may be a while yet before we see sample footage and performance evaluations for the 4K cam. BMD announced "July 2013" availability, but given the difficulty they've had keeping up with orders for the original BMCC, I'm hopeful, but not holding my breath!

Sample BMPCC pocket cam footage is here:

Meanwhile, I think a reasonable way to guesstimate the relative DR of BMD's cameras is like this:

BMD says the DR for the original BMCC is "13-stops" when it records uncompressed RAW video. BMCC uncompressed RAW video looks like this (download the 813MB less-compressed version of this video to see it with better quality than Vimeo's copy):

Users have found that BMCC ProRes HQ (and DNxHD) Film/log video has about 1 stop less DR than does RAW. So, about 12-stops of DR for ProRes/DNxHD in Film mode. BMCC ProRes HQ Film looks like this (download the 603MB less-compressed version of this video to see it with better quality than Vimeo's copy):

Note: The less-compressed downloadable version of these videos are still very compressed h.246 files. The camera-original files will obviously look better, but you can get a relative sense of the DR by watching these videos.

IMHO, both BMCC RAW and ProRes/DNxHD Film can look really, really good.

As you say, BMD says the DR for the new BMPC-4K camera will be 12-stops. So, unless BMD is using a different metric, there's a good chance its DR in RAW video mode will be 1-stop less than the current BMCC's RAW video mode.

And, all things being equal (which sometimes they're not), the BMPC-4K ProRes Film DR should be about 1 stop less than its RAW mode, or about 11-stops.

John Brawley has also reported that very preliminary tests indicate the BMPC-4K cam will be less sensitive than the BMCC. Read JB's detailed initial report here:

The BMCC's native ISO is 800, so the BMPC-4K native ISO might be less. However, the BMPC-4K isn't finished yet, so it's too soon to say for sure.

On a related note, however much noise in is BMPC-4K footage, when its 4K footage is scaled-down in a 1080p timeline, the noise should become smaller/tighter and less noticeable. If true, less sensitivity might not be a big deal when shooting 4K for a 1080p finish, which is how i hope to use the BMPC-4K ... whenever my camera is eventually delivered ...


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