This is a short test I tried with my Blackmagic Cinema Camera. I wanted to compare raw (.dng) vs. DNxHD files and DNxHD Film vs. Video gamma in terms of resolution and color. Nothing too fancy here, just my own shots. The test helps me to better understand the functioning of the camera and its performance under controlled conditions. In this case, it also helps me learn the workflow.

Lighting: Tungsten
Lens: Zeiss Planar 50mm 1.4 ZE

The zoomed shots are at 300%.

I was curious if "developing" raw files in Resolve would result in a better image than in-camera compression in terms of resolution and moire. The raw clip was "developed" in Resolve 9.1. I adjusted the exposure and applied the Rec, 709 gamma. For the "Raw + Chroma Blur" shots, I applied blur (blur=70) to the chroma side of a layer node (chroma in one layer and luma in the other, composite=add) in Resolve after masking out the color chart. This effectively applied a chroma blur to the resolution chart only. My intent here was to see how aggressive I needed to be and how effective I could be in removing the apparent moire. I masked out the color chart because this amount of blur visibly affected the edges of the color chips. Thus, I would only use this amount of chroma blur in a power window to defeat localized rainbow moire. The raw clip was shot at f=3.2. The raw clip was rendered from Resolve to a DNxHD file for use in the NLE. No further adjustments were made to the raw clips once they left Resolve (other than cropping and scaling - note that scaling was done to the rendered 1080p files).

The DNxHD clips actually come from the Hyperdeck Shuttle, connected via SDI. These appeared to be frame-by-frame identical (to my eyes, at least) to the internally recorded DNxHD clips that I experimented with at the same time. The DNxHD clips that are compared to the raw clips were shot at the same f=3.2 as the raw files.

The DNxHD clips were color corrected in Magic Bullet Looks 2 from within Vegas Pro 12. This is how I expect to use DNxHD most of the time, though I might round-trip with Resolve, especially if raw clips are in the edit.

The DNxHD Film vs. Video gamma comparisons were shot at f=5.6. The reason for the comparison of Video vs. Film is that some people are reporting what they imply to be a rather serious shift of red to orange that is not easily fixed. I tried matching the DNxHD clips (to each other and to the raw) using only exposure, contrast, saturation, and 3-way color adjustments in MBL. And yes, I probably need more practice (hence, these tests). Given what some people are saying, I thought the color shift would be less subtle than it is.

If interested, compare how the Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 600D, and Sony PMW-EX1 look on this same chart: (hint: not as good as the BMCC!)

Comments welcome.

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