Each pair of comparison shots had exact same camera settings, and aside from highlight recovery and playing a bit with the curves, I did not do much to grade the footage in Adobe Camera Raw. However, I will say that I enjoy using ACR far more than any tool I've previously used to tweak H264 footage (Speedgrade, Colorista II, etc.). No post-sharpness of any kind was applied to either recording method and I left the Cinestyle H264 untouched because frankly, it's no longer fun to correct H264 compressed footage.
Notable shots where the dynamic range of Raw is so readily apparent. 1.) Opening shot with the parrots. Look at the details in the highlights in branches, and of the leaves in the foreground. In H264, those highlights were lost and never to be found. In Raw, it was easy to bring them back and in fact level them off a bit using the curves tab so that the leaves in the foreground were less distracting. Click back and forth between the frames to see better for yourself. 2.) The next shot of the lonely parrot where the skylights of the conservatory were in the background. In H264, all the detail was lost. In Raw, all of that was recovered, including several leaves that were previously unaccounted for. Wonderful! 3.) Shot of the clock. Look at the sharpness of the clockface and the many details of the reflections and the highlights. So easy to forget I had lost all that detail in the H264 until a direct comparison with the graded Raw. We so often take Mark III video for granted until we know what it's supposed to look like. Now we know.... and it's hard to go back.
This hack is turning the Mark III into a serious cinema camera.
All footage taken in and around the Bloedel Conservatory in QE Park, Vancouver.
5D Mark III + 24-105. Magic Lantern May 22nd Build.
Previous test clip:
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