Black Magic, field testing in progress... - LB Love Cinematography
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Black Magic, field testing in progress…


This week on “Mother’s Cure”, we shot with the Black Magic Cinema Camera, this time pairing the rig with the same set of Zeiss compact primes that I have shot many of my Red Epic projects this year.

There was an immediate gain in sharpness.  The Zeiss compact primes were a huge leap forward in quality, over the Tokina and Canon zooms that came with this particular package.

Building on what I learned from “The V’s” (with the Black Magic), I adhered fairly strictly to the longer-than-35mm-goes-on-the-tripod rule.  We wanted hand held motion for intensity in many places, but for extreme closeups I just had to be vigilant about the tripod.  There is a difference between hand held “shake” and “dslr jitter”, the first one can be good but the latter is ALWAYS bad.

I also tried to keep the ISO lower, going to 400 and occasionally 200 for some scenes.  We were shooting near a window for half the day, which helped both exposure, and … color saturation?  I’m seeing what appears to be an exaggerated correlation between exposure and color saturation with this camera, that I’ll be looking into more in the coming weeks.


Anyone else experiencing this?

My theory, with admittedly very little research done to support it, is that the “Pro Res” feature is actually shit.  Raw 2.5k is the only way you can get anything remarkable from this camera, and to “unlock” the goodness in any logistically reasonable time frame you probably HAVE to use DaVinci Resolve, because, in the end, that’s what the company is really selling.  Brand.  

But this is just a theory as of yet.

I can tell you that the LUT that quicktime uses to read the Black Magic Pro Res files is mad crazy higher contrast than what is actually being recorded and viewed on the monitor in “Rec 709” video monitoring mode.  Like, MAD crazy high contrast, specifically in the toe.  I’m guess the last two – three stops of the dynamic range.  now…  the three shots where I specifically noticed this also happened to coincide with times when I had to use the “recommended” ISO of 800.  But, still, the color detail and luminance information is in there… it’s a meta data issue.