15
Oct
18

Fujifilm X T3 F Log High Contrast ProRes Ninja Flame – RW test

A VERY short Fujifilm XT-3 real-world contrast test.

I shot a few contrast-rich scenes with contrast ratios exceeding 10 stops in some occasions, to test the F-Log and sensor performance.

Very harsh, very bright directional light at 12:00 noon.

Exposed-to-the-right, trying to balance between retaining shadow detail and not blowing out the HLs too much.

Lens: Fuji 50mm F2 + B&W Polarizer filter
Recorded in Prores-HQ 10 bit 4:2:2 on the Ninja V
X-T3 settings used: DCI 4K, HDMI output, Boost mode, Sharpness and Noise Reduction dialed down, No temporal noise reduction, No peripheral light correction, F-log.

Edited and cropped to 2:1 aspect; no scaling. Minor color correction, only blacks, mids and highlights adjusted.

The X-T3 held out great! Watch the fine detail and the shadow detail. It’s phenomenal – our Panasonic GH5-S is no match for this camera; the Fuji it blows it out of the water!

The Ninja-V was NOT behaving as expected; it still needs some special treatment when used with the Fuji X-T3. E.g: if you end a recording via the camera, the Ninja will flash black and the kangaroo icon appears; after that, most of the time, the Ninja will stutter and you will have to remove and plugin the HDMI. Nothing that a firmware update can’t fix i guess.

The X-T3 performed as expected, only…. i have two stuck pixels that are very dim and only visible in the shadows. It is no big deal; these pixels are so small. You have to know where they are, and disappear if you lower the blacks on the F-Log image. This is a €1.450 camera, so no complaints here!

16
Jul
18

GH5s 4K DCI mode resolves far less detail than UHD mode

Ever since day one with my new GH5s i suspected that there was something wrong with my glass (or my reading glasses), but after reading the GH5s EBU – Tech 3335 Assessment i’m starting to understand what’s going on.

The Panasonic DMC-GH5s does resolve less (or just zero) fine detail in 4k DCI (c4k) mode, either because there are not enough pixels, or because there is a lowpass filter installed that removes any detail for resolutions higher than UHD (makes sense…).

The attached test pics are self explanatory… The difference is pretty shocking in my humble opinion.

I’m pretty displeased with this, because i just bought this cam for shooting c4k, and traded my Atomos Ninja for a new Atomos that handles that resolution.

I hope (probably in vain) that Panasonic can solve this e.g. by switching the lowpass filtering along with the resolution (is it a physical filter, or digital? – excuse my ignorance) or at least shine some light on what’s going on.

Get ready, ye pixel peepers!

Download and view 100%.

 

UDH, HLG mode

 

DCI, HLG mode

 

UHD, V-LOG mode

 

DCI, V-LOG mode

 

 

 

14
Sep
15

Hey, that’s a 20,000 dollar piece of junk there!

At work in my office in 1996, doing 3D animation (painstaking!!) on a 19,500 dollar¹ Silicon Graphics Indy workstation.
Software was another 5,000 bucks. Rendering one SD (video-) frame (2 fields) took at least half an hour. A 30 second animation took a fortnight to render. So, you needed computing power, and thus another 2,500 for an extra “math processor board”. That brought render time down to slightly less than a week.

You’ll now find more processingpower in an iPhone 4…

In twenty years we’ll be laughing again, about what we do now and how much money we we’re willing to invest in technology that will be rendered obsolete in a few years from now. It hurts, but alas, that’s the way of progress.

More about this 100mhz, 32MB museum-piece: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SGI_Indy

(¹ price in the Netherlands in 1996, approx. twice the US price plus shipment and taxes)

Martin Beek, Silicon Graphics, 3D, CG, CGI, 1996

09
Sep
15

Internship CG Character Animation opportunity available

We offer an internship at the Dream Quest Images, Eindhoven (Netherlands) studio. (www.dqivfx.com)

Check out the DQi recruitment page here: http://dreamquestimages.com/recruitment/

Dream Quest Images ™ | Marvels Film animated series maya zbrush martin beek vfx animation cgi cartoon

24
Aug
15

Marvels Film’s VFX shop is now Dream Quest Images

As per september 1st, 2015, the Marvels Film’s visual effects and animation operations will continue (and be revived) under the name Dream Quest Images; which is now a registered trademark of Marvels Media.

We are excited to revive our SFX business under this legendary name, although we want to explicitly state that there is no connection or relationship with the previous owner(s) or facilities that operated under the name “Dream Quest Images” during the 90’s.

We respect the legacy of this memorable studio and will dedicate a page on our website to their legendary history, if the original founders and copyright holders allow us to do so.

More news will follow during the course of September. Meanwhile, there’s our Twitter @ twitter.com/dreamquestvfx and our Facebook page facebook.com/dreamquestimages

Dream Quest Images - TM Marvels Media - (C) 2015 All rights reserved

21
Aug
15

We need your feedback!

Hello friends! We need your help!

At Marvels we  are working on a new animated series. It’s about a grumpy pug and a not-too-bright lumberjack-type who live out their days at the kitchen-table reflecting on everyday issues.
Very short 30 – 45 sec. sketches.

Marvels Film animated series maya zbrush martin beek vfx animation cgi cartoon

But we can’t decide on these character’s names!
Here a few suggestions taken from our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/marvelsfilm):

Buck & Pug
Fats & Eddy
Garry & Gunther
Harry & Barry
Jack & Zack

The rhyme is not mandatory 😉   Let us know what you think… Your input is much appreciated!

Leave a comment

21
Aug
15

Littekens (“Scars”) feature film

Meanwhile, our feature film Littekens (“Scars”, Director: Martin Beek) – shot on Red Scarlet & Canon glass – has been doing well in Asia (Hong Kong), Washington and will feature at the West Virginia Filmmakers Festival next month.

Littekens scars nominated selected official selection film festival international thriller martin beek marvels Littekens scars nominated selected official selection film festival international thriller martin beek marvels Littekens scars nominated selected official selection film festival international thriller martin beek marvels

And with that event, the festival season is over for Littekens and we’ll start focusing on further distribution! Keep an eye out for Littekens!

Meanwhile, if you want to see the full movie now, it’s available on Vimeo on Demand here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/littekens (with trailer and English subs).

Movie film feature Littekens scars nominated selected official selection film festival international thriller martin beek marvels

Website: http://littekensfilm.nl (Dutch)
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2748180/
Vimeo page with trailer: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/littekens
Facebook (English) page: https://www.facebook.com/littekens
Facebook (Dutch) page: https://www.facebook.com/littekensfilm.nl

24
Apr
15

Additional notes on my Cine Style Pofile

The Marvels Cine Style Profile for Canon DSLR is free to use (also professionally/commercially) and to share, with the sole exception that you may not charge money for it.

If you like the free Marvels profile, we invite you to make a small donation via PayPal by clicking the link below. This is voluntary and much appreciated 😉

Each year around the 23th of December, i donate at least 50% of my yearly “picture style income” to charity, via eBay GivingWorks and  (previousely) eBay MissionFish. Between 2011 and 2015 i donated 554 dollars to 4 different charity projects, thanks to your generous donations.

Donate HERE by PayPal or Creditcard if you use our Picture Style.

It’ll be well spent!

Martin

22
Apr
15

“Marvels Cinestyle for Canon cameras” page has been updated

I have updated the Cinestyle page with new download links and extra info.

You’ll find it at the top of this blog under “marvels cine for canon dslr“.

Another good read on the subject is “Installing Canon Picture Styles for Dummies” (no offence 😉

Do not forget to read the original article (with the Phil Holland tests) “Finally, the new marvels cine profile 3-x for canon dslr“.

Cheers!
Martin.

17
Apr
15

Blackmagic cameras stuck / dead pixels problem: no solution offered!

Blackmagic Design has launched and promotes it’s 4K “Production Camera” as a professional camera for professional cinema production. That you can’t expect the world from a 3K US$ camera; i totally agree, but selling a camera under that flag, with an inferior image sensor is – at the least –  an insult to professional filmmakers and everyone else who has spent his or her savings on the “BMPC”.

What is the problem here? It’s simple… Every BMPC has clusters of dead or stuck pixels, that show up as specks on the image. Some cameras have a few, but EVERY camera i personally tested had dozens of stuck pixels.The pixels can have any shade of gray or appear colored. The intensity of stuck pixels can be anything from black to full 100% IRE.

All BMPCs i’ve either owned, rented or lent had a few defective pixels with an intensity that made them show up in the picture, even if well exposed – e.g. full daylight and at the standard 400ISO. Stuck pixels like that will be visible in lower-mid ranges of the image. Because those pixels have a fixed position: the larger the screen, the more obvious they become in moving images.

I have recently screened a test DCP at a local cinema, where the stuck pixels showed up as little holes in the projection screen. Around four of the stuck pixels in my BMPC show up in low-mid skintones (approx. 30-50% gray) and are easily recognizable on any monitor or TV set.

Is the BMPC the only camera that has a sensor behaving like this? No! Even the Alexa and the Red Epic Dragon have many stuck or dead pixels. Why don’t we see them? Because these cameras use a technique called Black Shading or Defective Pixel Mapping, where a dark image is analyzed and misbehaving pixels are marked as “don’t show this one, copy it’s values from a neighbor”. Blackmagic Design cameras are lacking this option, or – at least – it’s not working well.

Blackmagic Design is not very supportive, does not recognize the problem and is very secretive about the whole subject.

Claims are denied, questions are not answered. If you inquire about pixel mapping in their cameras, or ask when such pixel mapping will be incorporated in an upcoming firmware release, you’ll get either ignored or receive a standard answer, along the lines of “send us the camera and we will investigate” – conveniently avoiding a decent answer.

People who have sent their cameras in, did either got their camera returned in the exact same condition or received a new camera that had the same problem, only with the same kind of stuck pixels in different places.

Some people report that the stuck pixels get worse or less worse over time, when the sensor heats up during use. That makes things even worse and makes the sensor totally deserves the title “loose canon“.

I was planning to shoot a documentary feature with the BMPC. I bought the camera in november 2014. Since then there was not a single firmware update that addressed the BMPC. So there is no solution offered by Blackmagic Design and i find that extremely disappointing AND has made me decide NOT to use the BMPC. Period.

Black Magic has a whole range of automatic answer emails present if you complain about this issue. One of their standard defenses is claiming that the have told you that the BMPC is not a low-light camera. First of all, nobody told me, (on the contrary: during IBC 2014 the BMPC was hyped to me as a true Scarlet replacement – LOL) but this has nothing to do with it. Defective pixels appear in well lit 400ISO pictures. ALWAYS. Each picture – even with minimal contrast – has gradients from dark to light, right? So does Black Magic Design mean that i should only shoot bright scenes and objects? Don’t be ridiculous!

Dear Black Magic Design, you sold me a “production camera” that is lacking basic pixel mapping in it’s software. Even low budget and outdated cameras such as the Panasonic GH2 have this functionality.
Please, either refund my camera or fix the issue. Stop hiding behind default excuses and requesting investigation, because we all already know what the problem is.

If you Google on the subject, or browse Youtube, Vimeo or their own BM forum, you will find A LOT of unhappy BMPC owners with the same problem or worse (even though Black Magic Design claims the problem doesn’t exist).

DO NOT believe any article that claims to have a method of removing the stuck pixels! Some people claim that rolling back and re-installing firmware versions fix the problem. It’s nonsense and probably has to do with the heating up of the sensor during the “fixing ” process.

Before you all go out buying the new Blackmagic Design Ursa camera (4K sensor), you will encounter the same problem. The 4k version of the camera (the only one you can probably afford) has the same sensor and the same problem. Ursa users are equally flabbergasted that their cameras have stuck pixels and no decent pixel mapping; and that for a camera that sells for double the price of a BMPC!

To conclude… I am a cameraman for around thirty years now and i have never been more disappointed about a camera, and i have owned quite a few! It’s the arrogance and total lack of support from the manufacturer that pisses me off. Calling this device a Production Camera is absolutely bollocks

I hope Blackmagic Design comes up with a solution between now and a month or two max, and restore my faith in their product(s). I was informed about the new upcoming Ursa models long before anyone else, but i still decided to give the BMPC a change last november, because i have a job to do! I was planning on buying an Ursa later this year, but the experience with the BMPC has changed my mind – for now…

Martin.

Tags: #bmpc #bmc4k #blackmagic #ursa @BlackMagic_BMD #pixels

(Ps. this is a general example of the stuck pixels problem in the BMPC. Footage is not my own. I have lost the energy and appetite to do more tests and publish my own findings here for now.)

General example of stuck pixels General example of stuck pixels




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