I’m starting to dabble quite a bit now using The Blackmagic Cinema Camera (mft) in 2.5K Raw as well as Magic Lantern Raw on the Canon 5D MkII. While this format takes up loads of space, having to learn new workflows and extra processing time, the image quality is incredible. 2.5k, 12 bit colour and 13 stops of dynamic range (on the bmcc) really gives sharper images and so much control over grading the image.
And so last weekend, here in Scotland we were blessed with a rare good forecast and i thought a wee trip to Glencoe would be just the ticket to show some landscapes in raw on the bmcc. My old Alfa V6 was feeling neglected and needed a wee run anyway! The bmcc was setup with the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 and Metabones Speed Booster giving me an effective range of 13-25 f/1.2 (effective 30mm-58mm on full frame). I also had a Nikkor 105mm F/2.5 with me for some telephoto shots (great little lens this, nice and stubby and very resistant to vibration on a non stabilised camera). Travel tripod and minimal rig setup with Hawkwoods battery pack mounted round the front (When you go Glencoe you are in and out of the car a lot and there ain’t much room in the Alfa!).
I wanted to get this turned around quickly so i simplified the RAW workflow by importing the DNGs into Resolve, BMD film setting, Basic recovery of lows / highlights, rendering out 2.5K ProRes HQ files. This allowed me to do my edit and final grade in Final Cut Pro X. I used the LUT utility plugin with Visioncolor’s Osiris KDX LUT (vision-color.com/osiris/) before using FCPX’s Colour Board for any tweaks.
When I have more free time ill have a go at round-tripping from FCPX and doing a final grade and export from the DNG files to see the difference, but even this simplified workflow is a step up from shooting standard ProRes and a country mile from shooting .H264 on a DSLR. In fact the Resolve workflow is no more of a hassle than just simply loading the DNG files in and rendering out at 2.5K, the computer does most of the work, pretty quickly too.
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