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post #1 of 42 Old 09-07-2019, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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BMD Pocket Cinema 6K

The Panasonic S1H could be the new low light champ but the P4K/6K has impressed me more for its dynamic range in low light. Check out the dual gain iso video link, about 1/4 down the page, "Four Hours After Sunset." The way the highlights pop, the way it holds onto color and facial skin tones without going murky, illuminated only by the moon.

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/pro...etcinemacamera

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post #2 of 42 Old 09-07-2019, 07:30 PM
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One thing I never understand about these people who sell techie cinema cameras is why they just don't leave the color balance neutral, "as is" straight from the cameras or lenses they are advertising to sell. So instead of imposing certain grading looks on the demo reels wouldn't it be more informative or helpful for the prospective buyers of their gear to see the things they'd rather have to see before plunging down the money? These advertisements are for showing off the gear and not for viewers to absorb the content which the post editors may want to lend their version of "cinematic feel" to. In this case they may argue the camera can shoot RAW so WB or grading doesn't matter. You go adjust them to taste. But there are definitely people who buy this sort of cameras and shoot 10 bit 4:2:2 or any other compressed format and want or need to see how the cameras render colors if white balanced properly.

And by the way, this particular video sample shows the pitfalls of using lesser lenses, such as most photographic lenses and even the most expensive ones such as the Zeiss Otuses, on good cinema cameras. Chromatic aberrations around high contrast edges, greenish bokeh fringing in the blurred background (highlight blur) and, though not in this video, magenta fringing in the blurred foreground etc.
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post #3 of 42 Old 09-08-2019, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
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One thing I never understand about these people who sell techie cinema cameras is why they just don't leave the color balance neutral, "as is" straight from the cameras or lenses they are advertising to sell.
And by the way, this particular video sample shows the pitfalls of using lesser lenses, such as most photographic lenses and even the most expensive ones such as the Zeiss Otuses, on good cinema cameras. Chromatic aberrations around high contrast edges, greenish bokeh fringing in the blurred background (highlight blur) and, though not in this video, magenta fringing in the blurred foreground etc.
It's hard to say what they did but having shot a fair amount under the full moon with a variety of cameras, I've gotten some clean footage but the color retention here is impressive. If I tried to grade in this kind of color I could get lots of chroma noise. But the mural on the side of the railcars, the twinkling red lights in the distance, the girl's blue eyes and the blue starlit sky, I'm not sure any of that has been faked. But of all the aspects, the one that sets it apart is dynamic range of that globe on the track, you can see global features on it, and then when she holds it over her head did you see how it lit up her hair; bursting with color. It's really the best demonstration of dynamic range. It's not just highlight roll off, it's the way the detail is maintained on the globe yet detail is preserved deeply in the dark shadows as well as color.

Cinema5d did a latitude test where they underexposed a properly lit image by 5 stops; it's practically black, then push it in post 5 stops to bring it back. The P4k shifted to pink but the P6k just came back with accurate color, noisy to be sure, but not color biased to any degree. That's really what happens when you shoot in the dark, you underexpose, your lens aperture is wide open because it's so dark, and push it in post to brighten it.

Yes the Canon DSLR lenses are for photography but I've got a collection of them that have fallen into disuse because I don't have an appropriate video body for them. The EF mount on P6k is thus for me, a desirable feature.
https://www.cinema5d.com/blackmagic-...-shutter-more/

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INTO THE CAVE OF WONDERS
Directed by MANUEL BENITO DE VALLE Produced by PEDRO PABLO FIGUEROA
Cast MANUEL ANGEL REINA, CLAUDIA GARROTE
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post #4 of 42 Old 09-08-2019, 12:19 PM
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Rolling shutter on this camera is a joke, almost double that of the BMPCC 4K version (and the Z Cam E2). And dynamic range is no better than the 4K mft version. All you get is less DOF by some metric (cinematic!). And it's big (but smaller than a Canon CX00), but ugly and non friendly as a form factor for handheld use (fixed slanted lcd), worse than the 4K version marginally because of the bigger snout. IQ is nicer than GH cameras though.

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post #5 of 42 Old 09-08-2019, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Rolling shutter on this camera is a joke, almost double that of the BMPCC 4K version (and the Z Cam E2). And dynamic range is no better than the 4K mft version. All you get is less DOF by some metric (cinematic!). And it's big (but smaller than a Canon CX00), but ugly and non friendly as a form factor for handheld use (fixed slanted lcd), worse than the 4K version marginally because of the bigger snout. IQ is nicer than GH cameras though.
Fact checking begins at 9:20:


HDR Colorist and Conversions
INTO THE CAVE OF WONDERS
Directed by MANUEL BENITO DE VALLE Produced by PEDRO PABLO FIGUEROA
Cast MANUEL ANGEL REINA, CLAUDIA GARROTE
LOVETHEFRAME STORIES, SOUNDTRACKS AND FILMS

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For whole-frame readout the BMD 4K has rolling shutter period of about 16ms, the BMD 6K about 20ms, putting the latter in the 'mid-to-poor' range currently.

Interestingly, Z CAM have just reduced the price of the new 6K E2 S6 by $1000 to $2995 - just $500 more than the BMD 6K.
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post #7 of 42 Old 09-09-2019, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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For whole-frame readout the BMD 4K has rolling shutter period of about 16ms, the BMD 6K about 20ms, putting the latter in the 'mid-to-poor' range currently.

Interestingly, Z CAM have just reduced the price of the new 6K E2 S6 by $1000 to $2995 - just $500 more than the BMD 6K.
Right, but P6K is scanning 2-1/2x as many photosites. Choose a cropped 4K frame rate then compare.

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INTO THE CAVE OF WONDERS
Directed by MANUEL BENITO DE VALLE Produced by PEDRO PABLO FIGUEROA
Cast MANUEL ANGEL REINA, CLAUDIA GARROTE
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Right, but P6K is scanning 2-1/2x as many photosites. Choose a cropped 4K frame rate then compare.
Why? The whole point of this camera is to use the big frame. And if you do, forget shooting close ups or action. What's the point of defending this camera? It has benefits, it has flaws. We need to counter the hype, not contribute to it.

The camera produces lovely images in a bizarre form factor and with terrible rolling shutter. And no AF, btw.
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post #9 of 42 Old 09-09-2019, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Why? The whole point of this camera is to use the big frame.
I don't see that as the whole point. The frame size, aspect ratio, frame rate, codec, compression are creative choices, not rules.

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Right, but P6K is scanning 2-1/2x as many photosites. Choose a cropped 4K frame rate then compare.
I imagine it is quicker at 4K, assuming a simple sensor crop.

It's worth mentioning that the Z CAM E2 S6 can do 75p at 4K with a choice of cropping or SUPERSAMPLING, suggesting a pretty quick rolling shutter.
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post #11 of 42 Old 09-09-2019, 03:07 PM
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For whole-frame readout the BMD 4K has rolling shutter period of about 16ms, the BMD 6K about 20ms, putting the latter in the 'mid-to-poor' range currently.

Interestingly, Z CAM have just reduced the price of the new 6K E2 S6 by $1000 to $2995 - just $500 more than the BMD 6K.
It shoots 6K at 60 fps, so rolling shutter cannot be worse than 16.7 ms. That is the worst it can be at that frame rate. If it is worse, then the camera can't shoot at 60 fps.
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post #12 of 42 Old 09-09-2019, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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That’s the rub, it doesn’t actually do full frame 6K full sensor readout in 16x9 at 60fps, just 50fps, so that would make it 20 ms.

It can do full width 60 fps at a couple of different crops.

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post #13 of 42 Old 09-09-2019, 07:16 PM
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Certain limitations aside what IMO is great about Blackmagic cameras is you as the shooter has zero wasted time differentiating stills and video functionality on camera. All the buttons, menu and control features are exclusively for video (or audio) and for occasional users that makes a real difference in the field when they don't have all the time in the world to set up the shots.

Downsides apart from noticeable rolling shutter in some modes is the thing can barely autofocus. Yes, you can touch the screen to activate the AF to focus on what you touch but that's it. Under most circumstances that are not set-up scenes or scenes that are repeatable, you better learn fast how to follow focus effectively manually and this mostly requires proper manual focus or cinema lenses that can be coupled with a follow focus aid mechanism, therefore increasing the bulk and weight of the whole camera setup. Those newer AF-by-wire lenses with indefinite and variable speed focus turn with no hard stops are pretty useless unless you CAN re-shoot the scenes, of course.
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Nice low light example:


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INTO THE CAVE OF WONDERS
Directed by MANUEL BENITO DE VALLE Produced by PEDRO PABLO FIGUEROA
Cast MANUEL ANGEL REINA, CLAUDIA GARROTE
LOVETHEFRAME STORIES, SOUNDTRACKS AND FILMS
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My biggest question mark with this camera is why they went with the legacy Canon EF mount? Why not a short backfocus interchangeable mount that has been adopted by several independent cinema camera makers so the buyers can use Nikon F-mount lenses as well as Canon A-mount, Pentax K-mount and the standard PL mount too?

Or at least they could have had a native Canon RF mount and made it adaptable from there to the legacy EF and other widely used mounts? Canon EF lenses are not well known for being good lenses for cinematic video. The AF is noisy unless the lenses are STM designation. The in-lens IS is mostly noisy. Manual focusing is only acceptable and certainly not on the same level of classic Nikon manual F-mount or Canon's own A-mount in terms of feel or precision. There are quite a number of optical deficiencies as well that though may not count much for stills use but do in video. The new RF mount lenses are invariably superior in this regard though they are also not designed mainly for video use. The mega-expensive and mega-sized RF 28-70 f2.0 for example has a lot of breathing while focusing through the range and the AF noise is not totally silent as are the much cheaper STM lenses.
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My biggest question mark with this camera is why they went with the legacy Canon EF mount? Why not a short backfocus interchangeable mount that has been adopted by several independent cinema camera makers so the buyers can use Nikon F-mount lenses as well as Canon A-mount, Pentax K-mount and the standard PL mount too?

Or at least they could have had a native Canon RF mount and made it adaptable from there to the legacy EF and other widely used mounts? Canon EF lenses are not well known for being good lenses for cinematic video. The AF is noisy unless the lenses are STM designation. The in-lens IS is mostly noisy. Manual focusing is only acceptable and certainly not on the same level of classic Nikon manual F-mount or Canon's own A-mount in terms of feel or precision. There are quite a number of optical deficiencies as well that though may not count much for stills use but do in video. The new RF mount lenses are invariably superior in this regard though they are also not designed mainly for video use. The mega-expensive and mega-sized RF 28-70 f2.0 for example has a lot of breathing while focusing through the range and the AF noise is not totally silent as are the much cheaper STM lenses.
They can use the EF mount because it is old and the patents protecting it have expired. In order to use the RF mount they would require a license from Canon, and there is zero chance BM would get that. Canon would prefer you to buy Canon cameras, not a competitors camera.
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post #17 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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My P6K arrived yesterday, mini-review:

Packaged nicely, double boxed from retailer. Inside it had the updated foam sleeve around the camera body. There were no scratches or scuffs, no fingerprints anywhere, sensor pristine, LCD screen had protective sleeve. This was completely satisfactory. There is a rubber pad covering the battery door that bubbled up slightly at the corner.

I charged the battery inside the camera. The battery life exceeded my expectations which were not high in this regard. I plugged in a 1TB Samsung T5 SSD into the USB-C port. With this I could shoot the full sensor BRAW 6K at 50 fps at 5:1 compression without dropping frames for the duration of the capacity which was 118 minutes. I put in a SDXC class II V90 128GB card into the slot. This permitted BRAW full sensor 6K operation at constant quality Q5 for up to 29.97 fps. Resolve 15.3 would not recognize the BRAW files until I updated to version 16.0. The camera came with a 2 spot license for DaVinci Resolve Studio.

The operating system is very simple but the killer feature is that you can seemingly change any and all the settings while you are shooting. You can punch in 2:1 for focus, aperture, ISO all while camera footage is rolling. Nice!

The auto focus works. It's like a DSLR so no tracking or continuous operation but it hits the target and in pretty low light as well. Ergonomics are large but pretty good. It's lacking the waveform monitor which is unfortunate, it does include a histogram and auto exposure. Manual WB to a 90% white card or table cloth etc. Touch screen is sensitive and responsive, menu simple but well organized and fast.

The BRAW footage looks super good in Resolve. I don't notice much 6K downsampled resolution difference against quality 4K native footage from other cameras, but punching in is a feature. The overhead from shooting BRAW was not taxing my workstation to any particular degree and the BRAW project settings worked just as they do for Sony Raw (16 bit). This was all very intuitive and I was grading BRAW in no time.

I'm really excited to have the P6K breathe new life into my dormant EF lens collection. They look better than ever, having full frame Canon-L glass covering an S35 sensor makes moot any vignetting or corner softness. Shallow DOF with the Canon 85mm F1.2L II or Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM is more than enough. These are sharp lenses. I have Canon 70-200 F4.0L IS and Canon 17-40mm F4.0L to go on as well. These were great still photography lenses that I am so glad to be using again. BMD has been questioned about the wisdom of going with EF mount versus newer designs but you cannot dispute the logic, there are literally millions of EF lenses in circulation, and this choice was a key factor in my decision versus the Panasonic S1H which is a beautiful camera but a far more costly playground.

My producer is a strong BMD proponent, was pleased with this decision and together we will be shooting TEDx again in Boulder Oct. 19th in 6K Prores (for punched in flexibility), which has already amassed more than 10 million views.

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INTO THE CAVE OF WONDERS
Directed by MANUEL BENITO DE VALLE Produced by PEDRO PABLO FIGUEROA
Cast MANUEL ANGEL REINA, CLAUDIA GARROTE
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post #18 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
My P6K arrived yesterday, mini-review:

Packaged nicely, double boxed from retailer. Inside it had the updated foam sleeve around the camera body. There were no scratches or scuffs, no fingerprints anywhere, sensor pristine, LCD screen had protective sleeve. This was completely satisfactory. There is a rubber pad covering the battery door that bubbled up slightly at the corner.

I charged the battery inside the camera. The battery life exceeded my expectations which were not high in this regard. I plugged in a 1TB Samsung T5 SSD into the USB-C port. With this I could shoot the full sensor BRAW 6K at 50 fps at 5:1 compression without dropping frames for the duration of the capacity which was 118 minutes. I put in a SDXC class II V90 128GB card into the slot. This permitted BRAW full sensor 6K operation at constant quality Q5 for up to 29.97 fps. Resolve 15.3 would not recognize the BRAW files until I updated to version 16.0. The camera came with a 2 spot license for DaVinci Resolve Studio.

The operating system is very simple but the killer feature is that you can seemingly change any and all the settings while you are shooting. You can punch in 2:1 for focus, aperture, ISO all while camera footage is rolling. Nice!

The auto focus works. It's like a DSLR so no tracking or continuous operation but it hits the target and in pretty low light as well. Ergonomics are large but pretty good. It's lacking the waveform monitor which is unfortunate, it does include a histogram and auto exposure. Manual WB to a 90% white card or table cloth etc. Touch screen is sensitive and responsive, menu simple but well organized and fast.

The BRAW footage looks super good in Resolve. I don't notice much 6K downsampled resolution difference against quality 4K native footage from other cameras, but punching in is a feature. The overhead from shooting BRAW was not taxing my workstation to any particular degree and the BRAW project settings worked just as they do for Sony Raw (16 bit). This was all very intuitive and I was grading BRAW in no time.

I'm really excited to have the P6K breathe new life into my dormant EF lens collection. They look better than ever, having full frame Canon-L glass covering an S35 sensor makes moot any vignetting or corner softness. Shallow DOF with the Canon 85mm F1.2L II or Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM is more than enough. These are sharp lenses. I have Canon 70-200 F4.0L IS and Canon 17-40mm F4.0L to go on as well. These were great still photography lenses that I am so glad to be using again. BMD has been questioned about the wisdom of going with EF mount versus newer designs but you cannot dispute the logic, there are literally millions of EF lenses in circulation, and this choice was a key factor in my decision versus the Panasonic S1H which is a beautiful camera but a far more costly playground.

My producer is a strong BMD proponent, was pleased with this decision and together we will be shooting TEDx again in Boulder Oct. 19th in 6K Prores (for punched in flexibility), which has already amassed more than 10 million views.
Buyers delight! And 10 million views I am sure is because of the video quality, right?

Now, let's get to the issues. As I understand it (and please correct if wrong):

You cannot shoot 6K using ProRes with this camera, at best 4KDCI for ProRes. I am getting this from https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ema.html/specs

You must use BRAW to shoot 6K. BRAW is only supported by Resolve, right? (I like Resolve).

The only 16:9 6K has no 60P, only 50(!)P. If you want 60P you must letterbox. Again, BRAW is the only "codec" option for 6K. (And be aware that BRAW is not fully RAW, it is partially deBayered as I understand it).

Rolling shutter is half the speed of good 4K cameras. I.e., it is among the worst ever measured.

There is no HEVC option. So all file sizes are gigantic if you want the best quality, whether BRAW or ProRes.

There are no HFR options for 4K.

I looked carefully at the BM cameras. I could have chosen this camera, but I am not happy with the limitations (above) so I did not. And others should be aware of what they are not getting and what they are. I tried to like it.

Moreover, the thing is big and ugly and really difficult to use handheld. If you use a tripod, always, then this aspect of the camera is not important, of course. And ProRes is easy to edit if you can manage the files sizes. The IQ, DR are good and a step up from all those mirrorless options from the usual suspects. But not better than the Z Cam offerings. Basically, I chose 4K 60P and 120P 10bit as options (with much better RS) over 6K BRAW at good old 30P. And all in a smaller-size camera.

In my opinion, no one can really see the difference on 4K screens between 6K or 8K video (I cannot tell the difference on an 8K 70" TV (Samsung) either, and I really care about resolution). Resolution advances above 4K are trivial in terms of video quality. Heck, good FullHD is not much worse than 4K.

But you can sure tell the difference between 30P and 60P and 120P, slowed down. So you get additional, creative options with HFR.

Yes, you can shoot 6K and punch in to 4K to give you framing flexibility, and that is a creative option too. Great for videos shot from one stationary place for subjects that do not move very fast, like TEDx speakers.
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post #19 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 10:58 AM
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And here I thought this was Mark’s next camera!

Good insight into the cam’s limitation, Mark. I absolutely agree about resolutions in excess of 4K. Many can’t see the difference between quality HD and 4K at typical seating distances. So aside from the punch-in ability, I find these higher resolutions a bit of a yawn.

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post #20 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 11:01 AM
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And here I thought this was Mark’s next camera!

Good insight into the cam’s limitation, Mark.
Just add a real viewfinder to a Z Cam and you might be interested! Though I grant you camcorder ergonomics cannot be beat!
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post #21 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 11:11 AM
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I hear ya, but I’m really enjoying my rediscovery if the camcorder. The PQ is truly excellent. But even with an external VF I much prefer an EVF. Gotta love reading glasses.
I meant built-in EVF! Not just because it is easier to view but also because external LCD's are ergonomically awkward.
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Just add a real viewfinder to a Z Cam and you might be interested! Though I grant you camcorder ergonomics cannot be beat!
I hear ya, but I’m really enjoying my rediscovery of the camcorder. The PQ is truly excellent. But even with an external VF I much prefer an EVF. Gotta love reading glasses.
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post #23 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post
I meant built-in EVF! Not just because it is easier to view but also because external LCD's are ergonomically awkward.
I’m happy with the AX700, but how do you add a ‘built-in EVF’ to a cam that doesn’t have one? The next iteration of the Z-cam?
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post #24 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
I’m happy with the AX700, but how do you add a ‘built-in EVF’ to a cam that doesn’t have one? The next iteration of the Z-cam?
Yes, I am talking about a cam that does not yet exist. It does not seem to be what the "enthusiasts," "influencers," vloggers, and cinema pretenders are calling for, though.
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post #25 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
And here I thought this was Mark’s next camera!

Good insight into the cam’s limitation, Mark. I absolutely agree about resolutions in excess of 4K. Many can’t see the difference between quality HD and 4K at typical seating distances. So aside from the punch-in ability, I find these higher resolutions a bit of a yawn.
Ken HD that is recorded in 4K from source and rendered in HD can be difficult to notice the downgrade but HD recorded footage is easily less sharp to me.
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post #26 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post
Buyers delight! And 10 million views I am sure is because of the video quality, right?

Now, let's get to the issues. As I understand it (and please correct if wrong):

You cannot shoot 6K using ProRes with this camera, at best 4KDCI for ProRes. I am getting this from https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ema.html/specs

You must use BRAW to shoot 6K. BRAW is only supported by Resolve, right? (I like Resolve).

The only 16:9 6K has no 60P, only 50(!)P. If you want 60P you must letterbox. Again, BRAW is the only "codec" option for 6K. (And be aware that BRAW is not fully RAW, it is partially deBayered as I understand it).

Rolling shutter is half the speed of good 4K cameras. I.e., it is among the worst ever measured.

There is no HEVC option. So all file sizes are gigantic if you want the best quality, whether BRAW or ProRes.

There are no HFR options for 4K.

I looked carefully at the BM cameras. I could have chosen this camera, but I am not happy with the limitations (above) so I did not. And others should be aware of what they are not getting and what they are. I tried to like it.

Moreover, the thing is big and ugly and really difficult to use handheld. If you use a tripod, always, then this aspect of the camera is not important, of course. And ProRes is easy to edit if you can manage the files sizes. The IQ, DR are good and a step up from all those mirrorless options from the usual suspects. But not better than the Z Cam offerings. Basically, I chose 4K 60P and 120P 10bit as options (with much better RS) over 6K BRAW at good old 30P. And all in a smaller-size camera.

In my opinion, no one can really see the difference on 4K screens between 6K or 8K video (I cannot tell the difference on an 8K 70" TV (Samsung) either, and I really care about resolution). Resolution advances above 4K are trivial in terms of video quality. Heck, good FullHD is not much worse than 4K.

But you can sure tell the difference between 30P and 60P and 120P, slowed down. So you get additional, creative options with HFR.

Yes, you can shoot 6K and punch in to 4K to give you framing flexibility, and that is a creative option too. Great for videos shot from one stationary place for subjects that do not move very fast, like TEDx speakers.
What is your point?

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post #27 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 12:38 PM
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What is your point?
Seriously? To provide balanced information on the camera you bought, given your unbalanced but informative post (some facts, some subjective comments like in yours). A complement to what you wrote. No dispute. Seems self-evident.
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post #28 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by flintyplus View Post
Ken HD that is recorded in 4K from source and rendered in HD can be difficult to notice the downgrade but HD recorded footage is easily less sharp to me.
I agree, but Sony cameras (even the little RX100's) already down- or over-sample from 5.7K to produce 4K video. And you have to really squint to see the difference between non-oversampled 4K and 6K or oversampled 4K. Diminishing returns on resolution. Increased frame rate capability is a more interesting frontier I think, not more resolution improvements
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post #29 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post
Yes, I am talking about a cam that does not yet exist. It does not seem to be what the "enthusiasts," "influencers," vloggers, and cinema pretenders are calling for, though.
And what a shame that is.
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post #30 of 42 Old 09-11-2019, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by flintyplus View Post
Ken HD that is recorded in 4K from source and rendered in HD can be difficult to notice the downgrade but HD recorded footage is easily less sharp to me.
Chris, agreed, HD rendered from a 4K source generally looks better than an originally recorded HD source.
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