Thread: Blackmagic Pocket 4K, best Iso's for Dynamic Range and Noise

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  1. #1 Blackmagic Pocket 4K, best Iso's for Dynamic Range and Noise 
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    Hey Everyone.

    I know this has been discussed a lot, though now that the camera has been out for a while, what are people's thoughts on the different Iso's of the camera?
    Especially after real world testing.

    What in people's opinion is the best Iso to maximise the dynamic range?

    What is the best higher Iso for Noise level vs light sensitivity?

    Thanks

    Chris
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  2. #2  
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    The two base/native ISOs, one for low and one for high. See BM product details for,the actual ISO.
    There are several,options running around her and in BM official site about what that actual value is.
    That said, it is the two values that give you what you are looking for in an image, and this can vary, depending on shooting situation, lighting and your expectations.
    Cheers
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  3. #3  
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    Are you asking about ProRes or RAW? The former bakes in the ISO choice, the latter really only has low and high.

    For ProRes I like 400, 800, 1250, 3200. (In a pinch, I''ll go down to 200 or up to 6400.) 1600 does some wonky things for some reason, and is really the only one to be avoided.
    - 400 and 3200 have the most dynamic range.
    - 100 and 1250 have the least noise.

    For RAW, the choice is more about being able to see what you're doing while shooting.
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  4. #4  
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    Awesome, thank you! That is very clear, it's really helpful to know what the best ISO's are for noise and DR. Also to know what the real world usage has revealed. Only thing left now is for me to go out and have a play.
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  5. #5  
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    Yea your going to have to get your hands on one, because that question is very specific to how you like to shoot, what lighting is available, and your tolerance for noise. Personally I shoot at 1000 ISO for day exterior and clean the color noise in post if there is any. I know people like 400, but 4 stops is not enough DR in the highlights for day. I'll take the 5.3 instead.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by rze View Post
    Yea your going to have to get your hands on one, because that question is very specific to how you like to shoot, what lighting is available, and your tolerance for noise. Personally I shoot at 1000 ISO for day exterior and clean the color noise in post if there is any. I know people like 400, but 4 stops is not enough DR in the highlights for day. I'll take the 5.3 instead.
    What changes at 1000 versus 400 is the position of middle-grey, with more stops above middle-grey at 1000. But you don't gain any actual DR in the highlights by shooting 1000. For day exteriors, you're needlessly adding noise, by shooting at 1000 rather than 400.
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrd View Post
    What changes at 1000 versus 400 is the position of middle-grey, with more stops above middle-grey at 1000. But you don't gain any actual DR in the highlights by shooting 1000. For day exteriors, you're needlessly adding noise, by shooting at 1000 rather than 400.
    So your saying, I'm getting more stops above middle grey at 1000, but I don't gain any actual DR in the highlights(i.e. stops above middle grey) by shooting 1000? Doesn't make sense to me. The noise is not pointless, its an expense for better highlight roll off. For day exterior, I don't mind that expense since I expose for shadow and not direct sun, so my darkest dark is always above the noise floor.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by rze View Post
    So your saying, I'm getting more stops above middle grey at 1000, but I don't gain any actual DR in the highlights(i.e. stops above middle grey) by shooting 1000? Doesn't make sense to me. The noise is not pointless, its an expense for better highlight roll off. For day exterior, I don't mind that expense since I expose for shadow and not direct sun, so my darkest dark is always above the noise floor.
    That chart shows the allocation of stops above and below middle-grey. But +1 in the highlights, versus a lower ISO setting, doesn't mean a gain of a stop of light you can actually capture, versus the lower iso setting. The iso settings are just shifting how the values are distributed, with relation to where middle-grey is positioned.

    Note here that you clip at exactly the same f-stop from 100 to 1000, so it's hard to see how the roll-off will be smoother at 1000 than it is at 400. Did you actually test it?

    Of course, this is for Prores only. In raw, ISO is just metadata.
    Last edited by jrd; 12-03-2018 at 09:52 AM.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrd View Post
    That chart shows the allocation of stops above and below middle-grey. But +1 in the highlights, versus a lower ISO setting, doesn't mean a gain of a stop of light you can actually capture, versus the lower iso setting. The iso settings are just shifting how the values are distributed, with relation to where middle-grey is positioned.

    Note here that you clip at exactly the same f-stop from 100 to 1000, so it's hard to see how the roll-off will be smoother at 1000 than it is at 400. Did you actually test it?

    Of course, this is for Prores only. In raw, ISO is just metadata.
    At the point you're baking the available DR into ProRes, the ISO choice does indeed impact how you balance the image, and thus how many stops you have to play with in either direction. You're correct, there is no more or less DR, but it does matter where you put them much more than RAW.

    That said, I don't know why you'd add to the struggle of not over-exposing in daylight by using a higher ISO. (You'd almost have to use strong ND.) The lower ISO is not only going to better protect the highlights, it will have less noise.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe12south View Post
    At the point you're baking the available DR into ProRes, the ISO choice does indeed impact how you balance the image, and thus how many stops you have to play with in either direction.
    In practice or in theory? The difference in "play" is so minimal, that the added noise and/or color shifts, the farther you get from native ISO, may not be worth it
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