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CML- CMIR Camera Evaluation October 2015

These tests were carried out at UWE, The University of the West of England in Bristol on the 10th & 11th October 2015, supervised by Geoff Boyle and Technical Editor Dave Neal.

We had a lot less help than for the January tests, but ProKit and VMI managed to get us equipment that others had promised and then let us down.

Many thanks to our student crew, Sergejs and Jadon also Dr. Sarah Sparke of UWE who coordinated everything as usual and Sebastian of ProKit who assisted in the entire shoot.

Cameras were shot under Daylight, thanks to ProKit for the BBS Area 48 and Pipeline lights.

This is not meant as a "shoot out" or a "camera comparison" it's simply a fact finding mission, we exposed cameras as requested by the manufacturers. Light levels in the daylight setting were adjusted to optimise exposure for 800 ISO.

Scroll down to the stills and right click on each image to get either UHD DPX files or in the case of the Bolex cDNG files, I've graded the Bolex thumbnails in Photoshop because none of the automated processes I use worked well with the cDNG files. Please download the cDNG and have a play in Photoshop, I guarantee that you will be amazed!

Finished in DaVinci ACES in Resolve 12 with a set of plug ins from Nick Shaw the various exposures are corrected back to "normal" mathematically. The D-16 images are manually graded to match as closely as a non-professional colorist can mange in the time available :-) they are also exposed with the camera set to 200 ISO so the plus 2 stops is actually the correct exposure. In the case of the F55 we altered the exposure to allow for its 1250 ISO so the values are as indicated.

I've added a video of the FS7, no stills but it is clear that there is a small colour shift from under to over, nothing hard to fix and the DR is impressive.

Three of the cameras supplied directly from the manufacturers had outdated firmware so I haven't included them.

The IO Flare 4K is missing as well, this camera works well as a specialist small camera but I don't think it's fair to include it with cameras that are meant for more general use. It exhibits similar issues to other cameras based around this sensor, the blacks crush very quickly and the highlights clip harshly. When exposed correctly it produces a very pleasing image but it requires careful use and maybe IO should look at reducing the initial gamma.

I've now added a second version of the Bolex D-16, this time debayered in Lightroom and converted to sRGB TIFF's and then converted to QT. This was to see if there was a significant difference between the way movie and stills software treats cDNG files...
The exposures indicated are for ISO 800 and the D-16 is ISO 200 so the exposures are actually +/- 2 stops around "normal".

 

C300-2

Digital Bolex D-16

 

Sony F55