Blackmagic Cinema Camera Dynamic Range Stress Test

I shot some DR tests today. Nothing fancy or artsy, emphasis was on contrast handling 
(not on smooth camera moves – had that lightweight travel tripod with the crappy head again – but walking several miles with a 40lbs Vinten?)

So I went out to the Park at mean noon sun.
That, combined with a lot of trees is usual a receipt for DR disaster.
Deep shadows with puddles of super bright sunlight.

Point is, the material It looks not really spectacular, but just natural – more what your eyes see (not exactly but you get the idea).

So yeah, mission accomplished BMC – on all other cameras under 18000 bucks most of the lights would be completely blown out and the shadows just dark blotches. This is RED HDR and Alexa territory IMHO.  Quite impressive for a camera at that price point.

For the record: Color spaces start driving me mad.
The only time it looks good is when I grade on my Dreamcolor monitor set to 709 and burn it on Bluray.
But with H264, it looks different all the time, from each compression program, on each monitor, with each player on each computer and on Youtube and Vimeo too.
I hope we can get this crap unified some day.

13 thoughts on “Blackmagic Cinema Camera Dynamic Range Stress Test

  1. A vintage Vivitar Series 1 zoom – from the first batch, that was still mad by Kino Precision.
    All files where raw.

  2. Hi there, thanks so much for posting the video. Great to see how it handles the DR. How did you get the letterbox did you shoot with a cine lens or did you do something in post? If the later how? Thanks again!

  3. amazing test. I have one Vivitar series 1 also… that i actually bought because i see you using them and loving them so much. Thanks for everything, not just this great test.

  4. Pingback: We Got Your Dynamic Range Right Here: Blackmagic Cinema Camera Put to the Test - NoFilmSchool

  5. Hi Frank, great test. Can you make the .dng files of the opening scene available for download? Thanks in advance.

  6. Great work as always, Frank… amazing latitude, richness, and film-like. I would love to see some closeups of skin tones with this camera in normal light. My biggest regret with the FS100 is the dead looking skin tones. Thanks again.

  7. Thank you for this Frank. I’m in need of a camera with the ability to shoot RAW (for VFX). I’ve been thinking about taking the BMC plunge and this definitely helps make the decision easier. Looking forward to seeing more tests.

    By the way there’s a podcast on fxguide, I think you might find interesting. It’s all about compression; you might want to take a look (if you have’t already).


  8. Very good note about simptom of all softwares, editor and players, conversors and incredible problem on monitors and TVs. The internal filters change the original video during play because the presets of bright, color, sharpness and others. So i ever turn off all filter how to deblocker, mpg filter, noise filter, dynamic contrast, dynamic color and others if exist.
    I invite you and visitors to Cameras and Medias Tests on Vimeo

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