Thread: Dynamic Range from 5D Mark III

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  1. #1 Dynamic Range from 5D Mark III 
    Senior Member nickjbedford's Avatar
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    Since I don't have a BMCC anymore, I've been doing some testing with the 5D to obtain the most flat but ultimately most useful image from the 5D Mark III.

    While it's crippled video resolution has nothing on the detail present in BMCC files (everything to do with Canon's video process softening the image, not the sensor or OLPF), you can still wrangle some more dynamic range out of the footage.

    I tested the D+ highlights recovery option on the camera in video mode. Basically it shoots at a minimum of ISO 200 and tails off the highlights from the raw data, quite noticeably I might add. Here's two frames showing just how visible the difference is, without affecting much in the shadows (as indicated by the overlaid histogram).

    The profile I'm using is Standard on 1 Sharpness, -4 Contrast, -4 Saturation.

    First, the frames. You can clearly see it has thankfully saved the blown details in the clouds and on the house.

    D+ OFF - ISO 200 - F/6.3



    D+ ON - ISO 200 - F/6.3



    Histogram. Notice the amount of highlight retention without affecting much of the detail under 75%.

    Shadows are cool. Blown highlights suck. This has the impact pulling highlights under clipping which is fantastic.

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  2. #2  
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    Hey Nick,

    You should do a test of the Magic Lantern raw too if you are looking for more DR. I am using it on the MK II and the images are just so much better than the crappy H264.
    One thing that the BMCC definitely doesn't have is the FF, nothing beats shooting at F2 on the 5d. I'm thinking of getting a MKIII for the better raw and 50/60p. Another thing that is really awesome is all the different aspects you can shoot in 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 2:1, 2:35 etc!
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Wuudi's Avatar
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    Hey Nick, definately try magic lantern raw, it's muuuuuuch better.
    And why don't you have a BMCC anymore?
    EF-BMCC 1300x00 - the lucky one
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    Nick there are a couple existing profiles similar to what you are doing. Cinestyle and Marvel. Just google cinestyle and you will find both for download. The science is there for your review. If recording in camera set your recording mode to "ALL I" for a much higher bitrate. Ideally hdmi out to a flavor of recorder. This has been hashed out here in bmcuser and elsewhere. Give it a look. You will always be shooting in 8 bit. Drop it into Cineform 10bit and you will find it much better and easier to grade.

    Magic Lantern has cool tools. Since you have a 5D3 get it and shoot raw.

    Myself, I prefer the BMCC over 5D ML raw.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member nickjbedford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marckusw View Post
    Nick there are a couple existing profiles similar to what you are doing. Cinestyle and Marvel. Just google cinestyle and you will find both for download. The science is there for your review. If recording in camera set your recording mode to "ALL I" for a much higher bitrate. Ideally hdmi out to a flavor of recorder. This has been hashed out here in bmcuser and elsewhere. Give it a look. You will always be shooting in 8 bit. Drop it into Cineform 10bit and you will find it much better and easier to grade.

    Magic Lantern has cool tools. Since you have a 5D3 get it and shoot raw.

    Myself, I prefer the BMCC over 5D ML raw.
    I found CineStyle to not only use less than the 8 bits of the H.264 color space, but also found it ending up with muddy images. Compressed H.264 is not the best format to try and record a super flat ungraded image. And I've also seen real results that suggest the uncompressed HDMI out is actually worse than the internal recording (which is typical Canon not wanting to affect their top lines).

    I can't test ML raw too because it's not compatible with the new 5DIII firmware, plus I don't plan on spending hundreds on 1000x CF cards.

    Just wanted to post my findings with the D+ highlight recovery option as it makes a noticeable difference, for those interested.

    I owned a BMCC so I too preferred using that. Even ProRes was a leap ahead of the 5D's lacklustre H.264.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickjbedford View Post

    Shadows are cool. Blown highlights suck. This has the impact pulling highlights under clipping which is fantastic.
    From memory though it can bite you in the arse...with regards to also showing up fixed pattern noise in near blacks. Which is also why it's really important to test on MOTION rather than just stills. It allows better evaluation of noise as well.

    Try shooting something with a flatter field in near black and panning the camera to see if you can "see" FPN.

    jb
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    Senior Member nickjbedford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Brawley View Post
    From memory though it can bite you in the arse...with regards to also showing up fixed pattern noise in near blacks. Which is also why it's really important to test on MOTION rather than just stills. It allows better evaluation of noise as well.

    Try shooting something with a flatter field in near black and panning the camera to see if you can "see" FPN.

    jb
    Yeah I think I've heard about that.

    I wound back to 1.1.3 firmware so I could put Magic Lantern on. So much better with the 2.35:1 bars, focus peaking and zebras.

    Also, I'm using VisionColor's Picture Style. Seems to be pretty nice so far.
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    RAW!!! RAW!!!! Just joking, but give it a try you will find it hard to look at H264 again!
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member nickjbedford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatsuo View Post
    RAW!!! RAW!!!! Just joking, but give it a try you will find it hard to look at H264 again!
    Haha, I tried it at 1280x720 on my 45mb/s SD card for kicks. Definitely needs a lot more resolution to get benefits of it, since the H264 output scales the entire sensor (albeit with lower resolution than 1080p).

    The raw files spat out even at 1920x817 didn't have the detail of even the BMCC ProRes. I suspect 2.5K ish to be the minimum needed for subtle supersampling like the BMCC. Curiously enough, I found the raw files I did manage to record (1920) to not have quite the latitude that I was expecting from normal CR2 raw files.

    I haven't dismissed it or anything though, since I can't test it properly with my SD cards.
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