Posts Tagged ‘hdslr

14
Nov
11

Scarlet users of the world unite!

www.scarleteer.com community for red scarlet usersYet another Red Camera targeted community site? Yes!
If you use, own, love or envy the Red Scarlet digital cinema camera, and want to share your experiences, footage, looks and/or frustrations; you’ve come to the right place at http://www.scarleteer.com ! Get answers on your questions from other Scarlet users and share your knowledge of digital filmmaking.

We need your help; your input, stories, footage, pictures, experiences, LUTs, looks, adventures and frustrations…
Start posting, start adding content and make this site a success! 

Scarleteer.com is a non-profit, no banners community and is not connected or affiliated in any way with the Red Camera corporation. All opinions, views and discussions ventilated on this site are not necessarily those of the Red Camera Co.

See you at scarleteer.com!

15
Jul
11

GH2 HDMI output recorded with Atomos NINJA

Ninja Graffiti by Martin Beek / http://www.marvelsfilm.com

Recorded at the annual Graffiti event in downtown Eindhoven (The Netherlands) using the Panasonic GH2 and Atomos Ninja digital recorder. The Ninja is a GREAT sub-1000 euro ProRes422(HQ) HDMI recorder from http://www.atomos.com .

I’ve used the GH2′s Smooth picture profile (all settings on -2 except for color saturation at -1) and Voigtlander Nokton 25mm/f0.95 lens with Fader ND filter. Aperture fixed at f2.8. Mixed 160 and 320 ISO.

Quality of the footage is stunning; it’s a pity that i had to convert it to H.264 to upload to YouTube, plus the extra compression crap that is added during YouTube’s conversion.

You can download the original hires/hi-Q input file (H.264, not the FCP ProRes444) from the Vimeo page at : http://vimeo.com/user6312268/gh2cleanhdmininja

Music: “Yeah Yeah” by “Bodyrox featuring Luciana”. Buy the music here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yeah-yeah/id211458233

HDMI Ninja-recorder footage was deinterlaced, decrippled and converted to uncompressed 4:2:2 “fcp-ready” footage by using the free AviSynth and FFMpeg tools as described here: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?237584-HDMI-Capture-Problem-SOLVED-AviSynth-RULES! and here: http://marvelsfilm.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/gh2-hdmi-recording-avisynth-script-update/

Cheers!

19
Apr
11

Panny GH2 + HDMI + Recorder = BINGO!

UPDATE: Jorgen Escher has made a Quickstart ready-to-run archive. If the instructions below are above your station, don’t feel ashamed to jump to this post by Jorgen.  

!! Warning: ADVANCED ABRACADABRA STUFF AHEAD !!

Much debate has been going on on the web about the feasibility (can it be done) and the quality (is it clean?) of recording from the Panasonic GH2 camera’s HDMI output.

With the release of the Atomos Ninja (a sub 1000$ 4:2:2 Prores field recorder), and of course by using PC capturing cards such as the Black Magic cards, the GH2 HDMI signal can be captured without a problem.
But before you’all start whooping and cheering, let me warn you that – in order to get editable footage – there is a special workflow required.

Let us first look at the workflow before, during and after recording – let’s say “on the set”:

  • Make sure the camera is switched off and connect the HDMI cable to both GH2 and recorder, switch on the GH2 and then switch on the recorder.
  • Select the Cinema 24 mode (24H)
  • I advise to use the Nostalgic picture style with all controls dialed down for flattest picture
  • Switch off the Highlight indication (this is outputted through the HDMI while recording!)
  • Make sure to insert a memorycard since we will be recording HDMI and AVCHD (camera) simultaneously
  • Start the GH2 recording FIRST
  • Now start the recorder
  • Stop the recorder first after the shot
  • Now stop the GH2
If you record the GH2′s externally as described above, your footage will be recorded without signal breaks, frame skips and/or other damage.
Because the LCD of the GH2 (and the HDMI output) use a degraded picture in live view mode, pressing record on the GH2 prior to recording from HDMI is an absolutely must.
If you use the Ninja, you’ll end up with a 4:2:2 Prores (HQ) recording, but – bummer – that’s not what actually arrived at the recorder’s input. The HDMI signal from the  has been described by Barry Green as “screwed up 4:2:0″, but other tests by Jorgen Escher shows that it’s really 4:2:2 that has been deliberately crippled by Panasonic to make the camera less interesting for professional vido use. This “cripple” mainly exists of timing disturbances, applied to both the video timing (“field cadence”) as well as the timing of the separate chroma channels.
Despite everything, HDMI recording eclipses the AVCHD recording in many ways, such as:
  • More detail in shadows (less muddy blacks)
  • No compression artifacts
  • Better overall detail
  • Better color rendition
  • Different noise pattern (finer)
  • Less pronounced solarization (a.k.a. color-banding -> yes, this is an 8 bit camera)
Watch out for this drawback: the GH2 does not output sound on it’s HDMI! So you’ll have to use the sound from the AVCHD recording, or feed sound into your recorder.
But, without any special further processing of our footage, the following artifacts will be immediately noticeable:
  • A double or missing frame “hick-up” approximately every second
  • Red shift (red bleed)
  • Gamma shift (washed out) on mac
  • Sound we have a .7 second delay, throwing mouths out of sync

At first glance, the HDMI recorded footage is absolutely useless and it will scare the hell out of you if directly loaded into an editor.

But here my personal heroes “Ralph B”, “PDR” and “GrgurMG” – senior members of the popular  DVXUser site -come to the rescue!
They have developed a marvelous script for a program called “AviSynth” that will process all your GH2 HDMI footage in 100% usable, editable 4:2:2 footage! All problems solved!
This makes the GH2 + Ninja combo a match made in heaven! Considering that we are talking about a sub-2000$ solution!

The pros of the workflow using the AviSynth solution are:

  • Fixes frame and field timing (cadence) inconstancies
  • Fixes color shifts
  • Fixes gamma issues
  • Fixes sound sync issue
  • Will do conversion to other codecs on the fly
  • If you’re using a Ninja, you want to backup or transfer your footage to another system anyway, so running it through AviSynth does not necessarily means an outrageous complication of your workflow.
  • Batch processing
  • A lot of AviSynth help, information, examples and fora to be found on the web

The cons of the AviSynth route are:

  • It’s a Windows based solution, so it should either run on a Windows PC or in a Virtual PC environment on your mac (e.g. VirtualBox = free). We now use a dedicated cheap Windows7 barebones system for the job.
  • You can not write the processed footage back to ProRes, because there is no PC/Windows ProRes codec that will write files – only read. The solution is to use either the build-in huffyuv lossless codec, Cineform (not free), AVCHD or the Avid DNxHD 4:2:2 codec (free). The latter has a MOV wrapper and can be imported directly in your Mac’s NLE.
  • You will have to download and install several programs and execute one or two by hand – if you’re a real PC novice, this will probably blow your brains out – as for the rest: you’re probably safe.

So, where do i get started?! Here: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?237584-HDMI-Capture-Problem-SOLVED-AviSynth-RULES!

Remember the following important facts about AviSynth:

  • AviSynth is a non-visible running-in-the-background kind of tool, you install it and that’s it
  • You use a standard text editor such as Notepad to write or edit the script. You need to rename the file to have the .avs file extension.
  • The program that executes the script is a batch file that calls another program “called FFMpeg” that takes care of the creation of the output file
  • Do not be alarmed by all this, AviSynth, FFMpeg and the other tools are available with one-click installers and need no further attention when installed.
  • You will find a shopping list below with all download locations and installing instructions

As a Mac FCP user, i have altered the original script in the following way: removed the color correction because i don’t want any detail smoothing and added gamma correction. Here is the script we now use with the Ninja recorder footage:

LoadPlugin("C:\Program Files\AviSynth 2.6\plugins\QTSource.dll")  # change paths to your plugins location
LoadPlugin("C:\Program Files\AviSynth 2.6\plugins\TIVTC\TIVTC.dll")
LoadPlugin("C:\Program Files\AviSynth 2.6\plugins\FDecimate\FDecimate.dll")
QTInput("C:\Program Files\AviSynth 2.6\PROCESSING09.mov") # change to your input file location
AssumeTFF()
TFM(mchroma=false, pp=5)
FDecimate(threshold=0.5)
delayaudio(.07)
AssumeFPS(24000,1001)

# Chroma Fix - Optional, but highly recommended
FixBrokenChromaUpsampling()
ConvertToYUY2() 
# Mac users gamma correction
ColorYUV(gamma_y=-34, gamma_u=-34, gamma_v=-34)

# end of AviSynth script.
The batchfile i use for passing the AVS scripts (for each MOV file) to ffmpeg/avisynth looks like this:
for %%a in ("*.avs") do ffmpeg -i %%a -vcodec dnxhd -b 175M -an %%~na.mov
pause

Resulting in 175MBit DNxHD MOV files.

Still with me?

What you need to download and install on your Windows PC:

After installation of all the above, edit the script with Notepad or other text editor in such a way that all paths are pointing to the correct folders. You can also copy the necessary DLL files to one Plugins folder of your choice. File extension should be .avs
Finally, create a batch file (.bat) with Notepad or other text editor containing the batch file code above. File extension should be .bat
Run the .bat file. FFMpeg will start in a console window and reports any errors or progress. The resulting file will be named after the .avs script and will reside in the same folder as the avs script.
Phew…! That was heavy – but very worthwhile!
Many thanks to the magicians at DVXuser! Do not forget to check out the original script for non-mac users
07
Apr
11

Marvels Cine style now has it’s own page

On this blog you’ll find many posts, discussions, questions, examples and articles on the subject of the Marvels Cine Picture Styles for Canon HDSLR cameras. We have decided to dedicate a “sticky” page to our Marvels Cine  style.

At the top of this blog you see a link “marvels cine for canon hdslr“. From that page you can download the latest version, leave comments and add your name and projects to the Hall of Fame!

Cheers!

Matin.

14
Feb
11

Marvels Cine Picture Style 3.4 test movie

UPDATE: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.

Jorgen Escher has published some new information about the Marvels 3.3 and 3.4 picture styles we will be using on an indie feature length production this year. He explains the differences between 3.3 and 3.4 and my (our) motivations to make changes to the default 3.3 style.

Jorg (for short) has also published a short test movie on his blog and on Youtube.

You can find Jorg here:  http://colorbyjorg.wordpress.com.  Jorg is an optical reserach engineer with the Fraunhofer institut, Darmstadt Germany and knows a lot about colorimetrics.

Follow that guy! @colorbyjorg

19
Jan
11

Finally, the new Marvels Cine Picture Style 3.x for Canon DSLR

UPDATE: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.

Stay up to date by “Liking” http://www.facebook.com/marvelsfilm


UpdatePhil Holland has published an article with pictures about his experiments with this new picture style here.

Canon neutral
Marvels Cine 3.3 style
Canon Neutral style, contrast all down                                 Marvels Cine 3.3 style

As i wrote before in an earlier post, i was not particularly satisfied with the version 2.x picture styles i published as alternatives (NOT replacements) to the renowned and widely used Marvels Cine Picture Style for the Canon D and T/Rebel series vDSLR cameras.

With all due respect to Bart Keimen who provided most of the 2.x styles, i was not confident in using them for production work, and i sticked to the good old Marvels Cine style. I was contacted in december 2010 by colorist and formerly Fraunhofer institute scientist Jorgen Escher, who offered to help me with developing and testing a new Marvels Cine picture style successor.

After having shot a lot of footage with many many styles on both commercial and indy production work since 2009, using the 7D and the 5DMKII, and after receiving much feedback and many test reports and -footage from you all, i’ve come to a number of conclusions.

  • the Canon picture style editor sucks
  • picture styles that are too flat (pronounced S-Curves) do result in chromatic anomalies such as “plastic skin”, and gaps/irregularities in the histogram
  • the standard method of flattening (contrast all the way down, color 2 pegs down) is not flat enough
  • the Neutral picture style is colorimetric not ideal, to use as a basis for developing new flat styles
  • the Canon picture style  still sucks
  • the middle part of any S-curve (approx. 40-75% brightness ) should be kept linear to protect skin colours and exposure. The camera already has it’s own s-Curve that changes with the build-in style! Let’s not forget that! We are applying a curve to a curve! Using reference cards and precise measurement reveals this, and enables people like Jorg, who know what they’re doing, to draw a new curve on top.
  • white balancing and exposure is often judged wrongly when using a too flat style, and therefore results in underexposure and more colour problems – specially when using the camera’s LCD and omitting the camera’s Histogram display or when using an external monitor
  • the above can be solved when exposure and white balance is taken after selecting the unchanged Standard or Neutral style and then switch to the flat style for shooting – and i don’t like that!
  • did i already mention that the Canon picture style editor sucks?

Taken all this in account, Jorg has provided me with an all-new Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3.
It’s less flat than “super-flat”, is less flat than the first Marvels Cine, uses 10 curve nodes, does not touches any colour and is based on the Standard style as a base, instead of the Neutral style.
Exposure and white balance – special those of the skin – can be safely set using this new style if you judge these settings by eye.
The new style can made more and less flatter by adjusting the Contrast setting. Even if contrast is set in the middle position (4), it’s still flatter than the usual way of flattening the untouched Neutral style (w. contrast on zero).
The style is slightly more colourful than other flat styles, because it uses the Standard style as a basis.
The Standard style setting is used as a basis for this new style, because the s-curve required this in respect to the skin colours – for colorimetric and exposure reasons.
Jorgen tells me that he has created this style’s S-curve and .pf2 file WITHOUT the Canon Picture Style Editor, but does not want to tell much about this process YET.

And i am happy with it!! I hope you like it too. I invite everyone to try this new style and share with me their findings, comments and links to test footage. I hope to be able to provide you with examples after this weekend too.

I also want to encourage users to experiment with the base style setting of the new style (suggesting switching Standard, Neutral and Faithful).

The new Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3 can be downloaded here
(zip archive – please read the README file before use!).Creative Commons Licentie
The Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3 file by Marvels Film has been licensed following a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported licence. CC BY-NC-ND

Courtesy of Jorgen Escher -> http://colorbyjorg.wordpress.com – @colorbyjorg

Cheers!
Martin

01
Oct
10

Resuming hardware reviews and new 5D & 7D picture profiles coming up

I’ve been caught off balance by the passing away of both my mother and a good friend this spring. I postponed all hardware reviews and major blog articles.
I am planning to resume all activities – and making this blog infromative and attractive again – before the end of this year.

I have planned the following hardware reviews that are all confirmed – hardware either on the way or arrived:

Further, in october, new 5D/7D picture profiles coming up! New and updated Cine profiles, mathematically optimized. Among onthers, a flat profile that is just a tad flatter than the neutral profile with “dial everything down”; just a very slight inverted S curve, but enough to lift the blacks and roll off the high lights in a more pleasant way.

Just keep visiting regularly!

Cheers! – Martin.

27
Sep
10

Genus loupe / viewfinder for DSLR surprisingly good and affordable

martin beek marvels loupe viewfinder genus canon 5d 7d

martin beek marvels loupe viewfinder genus canon 5d 7d

Well, the title says it all..! I ordered the under $200 Genus loupe last week to be used with the Canon 5d to use during a transitional period between “now” and the release of the Cinevate Cyclops viewfinder. My expectations were not very high, since it is one of the cheapest DSLR loupes on the market today.

But i was pleasantly surprised when the loupe showed up in a few days! To cut a long story short:

  • the Genus loupe  can compete with Zacuto, no doubt about it, surely with the Junior, and i don’t see much difference with the standard Zacuto loupe. Less sexy appearance and maybe less solidly built,but also a 150 bucks price difference
  • easy slide on / off
  • comes with free transparent loupe housing for viewing slides, lanyard and extra adhesive pads
  • adjustable diopter for bespectacled users
  • 2.5 x magnification
  • fully covers 7D and 5D LCD
  • under 200 dollars, around 160 euros in Europe
  • available directly and from many dealers worldwide, seldom out of stock

Here is a video impression by Steve Rushworth:  http://vimeo.com/14269420

Well, what can i say?! If you’re on a budget, give the Genus a try!

martin beek marvels loupe viewfinder genus canon 5d 7d

20
Sep
10

HDSLR is dead, long live HDSLR! (Sold my Canon 7D… part II)

You all might come to the conclusion – after reading this post – that i am full of contradictions… ;-) But, hey, that’s life! The filmmaking world is changing more rapidly than i can change my underwear, and technologies AND the mindset of producers and directors seem to be able to make a 360 degree turn overnight.

After posting my previous post “Sold my Canon 7d…”,  i received mail from people wanting to know if i’ve abandoned DSLR filming for good and if i’d also stop publishing picture profiles for the Canon DSLR cameras.  I have also received encouraging mail from one guy you all know, but who has asked not to publish his name or comments, that i should absolutely give HDSLR another chance by using the Canon 5D MKII, different lenses and a better minimal DSLR rig. He also stressed on listening to his advise this time… ;-)

The director of an upcoming documentary production i was asked to do the camerawork for, was alarmed after reading my tweet and article because he “sold” the use of a DSLR camera as a feature of the project; something the producer agreed with and was enthused by. So, after much debate and consideration i have agreed on using a Canon 5D MKII for aforesaid production. I am responsible for part of the budget, so i will be looking into finding a comfy rig, screenloupe, followfocus and choice of lens(es).

Drawing to a conclusion while broadly answering the emails i have received..:

  • The Red Scarlet is in fact also a HDSLR camera, and i am still set on obtaining one as soon as it becomes available. I truly believe that (the specs of) the Scarlet is the future. Alas, for now it still remains a “future product”…;-)
  • I will continue to shoot HDSLR, although with some more consideration and probably B-camera
  • I will (try) not be triggered, inspired or drawn into gadget hypes, such as full production camera rigs with matteboxes , dollies, tracks and the such as a part of HDSLR filming – just a plain simple kit that i can carry in a bag, instead of a wheelbarrow
  • I will – as promised – publish a number of new picture profiles for the Canon vDSLR camera range, together with Bart Keimen who is an ex-colleague and a brilliant colorist, sometime next month, as they are needed for the documentary and other work mentioned. We were planning to do some Kodak, Fuji and other footage stock simulations and also some specific in-camera looks such as “Tony Scott look” – that kind of thing.
  • I will continue to shoot HD+DOF adapter, no worries.
  • I am considering buying Canon 24-70 L series or 24-105 f/4 IS L series lens for the 5D, to be used together with the Zeiss primes i already own. Please respond to this article if you want to share your lens experiences.

I am now off to find a sponsor who can help me out with a DSLR rig with followfocus… Or rob a bank…

Martin




twitter.com/martinbeek

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