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Sigma fp


Noel Sterrett
 

This tiny full frame 5.9K Bayer sensor L-mount camera shoots 4K Cinema DNG (8 bit internally, 12 bit
with a tiny USB SSD drive attached) and outputs via HDMI to a Blackmagic Video Assist 12G (BRAW) or
Atomos Ninga V (ProRes RAW).

The images I have seen so far are amazing.

Perhaps someone can tell me what's wrong with it?

Happy New Year!


Rakesh Malik
 

There really isn't in my opinion much wrong with the fp, except for being from a company that isn't known for cameras, even though it's been making cameras for a long time. IMO the relatively low acceptance of Sigma's prior cameras has more to do with the unwise choice of a proprietary lens mount than anything else.

The fp has good color rendition, good dynamic range, and good ergonomics. The internal recording options, including when using an external SSD, are limited to HD and UHD, and pulldown frame rates only, but it supports DCI when using an external recorder.

Sigma doesn't have any form of log encoding available for the fp, and I don't know whether or not that will change. Fortunately it has quite a bit more dynamic range than AJA's Cion so it hasn't been much of a problem for me so far. I've used it as a B-cam on a couple of shoots alongside a Red camera with a Helium sensor, and it has been pretty easy to match the footage.

I haven't been using it all that much for video though, because its recording format is uncompressed cDNG, which isn't particularly convenient. When I do use it, I usually just transcode the footage to a more manageable clip based format rather than take the time to copy it. I used it on one shoot as an A camera because the client didn't want me to bring the Red, and it was very convenient to be able to after recording the interview portion, just pop the camera off of the tripod and start shooting stills. It's clean enough even at relatively high ISOs to deal with low light pretty well. I usually limit it to ISO 3200, but I've gone as far as 5000.

-----------------------------


On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 7:44 AM Noel Sterrett <noel@...> wrote:
This tiny full frame 5.9K Bayer sensor L-mount camera shoots 4K Cinema DNG (8 bit internally, 12 bit
with a tiny USB SSD drive attached) and outputs via HDMI to a Blackmagic Video Assist 12G (BRAW) or
Atomos Ninga V (ProRes RAW).

The images I have seen so far are amazing.

Perhaps someone can tell me what's wrong with it?

Happy New Year!


Noel Sterrett
 


On 12/26/20 11:22 AM, Rakesh Malik wrote:
There really isn't in my opinion much wrong with the fp

Thanks. It think it's time to give one a try. With a gimbal stabilizer and small, light camera, one could do a lot for a little.


John Brawley
 

The rolling shutter was fairly slow, about 20ms from my memory. 

For use as a stills camera the AF was fairly poor. And errrr the full time rolling shutter for a stills camera was a bit on the slow side. 

Didn’t have LUTS or a very nice workflow from DNG.  Meant you had to know how to grade ;-)

And 8bit DNG seems a bit strange ?

It had/s great potential though. I was looking at it just as directors viewfinder.  They have some good cine oriented features for that purpose too (frame lines and things)

In the end I personally couldn’t justify it replacing anything I’m currently using. A seperate stills camera and small motion cameras. It couldn’t do either job “better”.  But if you want all in one then it’s a great option. 

JB



-- 


John Brawley ACS
Cinematographer
Los Angeles

On December 26, 2020 at 10:19:27 AM, Noel Sterrett (noel@...) wrote:


On 12/26/20 11:22 AM, Rakesh Malik wrote:
There really isn't in my opinion much wrong with the fp

Thanks. It think it's time to give one a try. With a gimbal stabilizer and small, light camera, one could do a lot for a little.
_._,_._,_


Pawel Achtel ACS
 

Ø  Perhaps someone can tell me what's wrong with it?

 

It doesn’t have genlock or time code inputs. It lacks 24fps and 30 fps, only

29.97, 25fps and 23.98 fps in RAW and doesn’t do high frame rates. It also records 1920x1080 and 3,840×2,160, but no full DCI 2K or 4K.

Also, as mentioned, it has rolling shutter. There is no external power option.

But, other than that, it trumps most other digital cinema cameras.

If the above limitations are workable, I wouldn’t hesitate to use it as an A camera on any production (except Giant Screen).

Menus are easy to navigate and a nice change from many digital cameras. Build quality is superb.

Dynamic range and low light sensitivity are first class.

 

Ø  And 8bit DNG seems a bit strange ?

That’s incorrect. It does support full 12-bit uncompressed Cinema DNG with external SSD recording.

 

Ø  I haven't been using it all that much for video though, because its recording format is uncompressed cDNG, which isn't particularly convenient.

Uncompressed 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW is excellent format to work with. The data rate is up to 370 MB/s and exceeds that of most other digital cinema cameras.

With the lack of compression comes clack of compression artefacts. It’s nice “thick negative”.

 

Ø  Sigma doesn't have any form of log encoding available for the fp

Who needs log when there is uncompressed RAW?

 

Kind Regards,

 

Pawel Achtel ACS B.Eng.(Hons) M.Sc.

“Sharp to the Edge”

 

ACHTEL PTY LIMITED, ABN 52 134 895 417

Website: www.achtel.com

Mobile: 040 747 2747 (overseas: +61 4 0747 2747)

Mail: PO BOX 557, Rockdale, NSW 2216, Australia

Address: RA 913 Coles Bay Rd., Coles Bay, TAS 7215, Australia

Location: S 42° 0'14.40"S, E 148°14'47.13"

Email: Pawel.Achtel@...

Facebook: facebook.com/PawelAchtel

Twitter: twitter.com/PawelAchtel

Skype: Pawel.Achtel

 

From: cml-raw-log-hdr@... [mailto:cml-raw-log-hdr@...] On Behalf Of Noel Sterrett
Sent: Sunday, 27 December 2020 2:44 AM
To: cml-raw-log-hdr@...
Subject: [cml-raw-log-hdr] Sigma fp

 

This tiny full frame 5.9K Bayer sensor L-mount camera shoots 4K Cinema DNG (8 bit internally, 12 bit
with a tiny USB SSD drive attached) and outputs via HDMI to a Blackmagic Video Assist 12G (BRAW) or
Atomos Ninga V (ProRes RAW).

The images I have seen so far are amazing.

Perhaps someone can tell me what's wrong with it?

Happy New Year!


Noel Sterrett
 


On 12/26/20 3:58 PM, Pawel Achtel ACS wrote:
but no full DCI 2K or 4K.
You can get full DCI and 24fps with the BMD Video Assist 12G recording BRAW.


Mitch Gross
 

On Dec 26, 2020, at 4:01 PM, Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

Who needs log when there is uncompressed RAW?
I would expect that Log encoding is more useful to a vast number of CMLers and DPs in general than Uncompressed RAW recording.


Mitch Gross
New York


Noel Sterrett
 

On 12/26/20 5:18 PM, Mitch Gross wrote:
I would expect that Log encoding is more useful to a vast number of CMLers and DPs in general than
Uncompressed RAW recording.
12 bit RAW is not the only option, it's just one of many with bit rates from 410 to 2980. But the
idea that you can record up to 12 bit RAW 4K with only the addition of a tiny, inexpensive SSD is
for me a long awaited delight.


Andrew Hunter
 

Hey Pawel, 

It doesn’t have genlock or time code inputs. 


We jammed it with LTC timecode over the mic input on the last show I used it on. Camera read the timecode and laid it down as timecode metadata in the CinemaDNG files. 

Sincerely,
Andrew Hunter
1st AC 
Toronto, Canada

On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 3:58 PM Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

Ø  Perhaps someone can tell me what's wrong with it?

 

It doesn’t have genlock or time code inputs. It lacks 24fps and 30 fps, only

29.97, 25fps and 23.98 fps in RAW and doesn’t do high frame rates. It also records 1920x1080 and 3,840×2,160, but no full DCI 2K or 4K.

Also, as mentioned, it has rolling shutter. There is no external power option.

But, other than that, it trumps most other digital cinema cameras.

If the above limitations are workable, I wouldn’t hesitate to use it as an A camera on any production (except Giant Screen).

Menus are easy to navigate and a nice change from many digital cameras. Build quality is superb.

Dynamic range and low light sensitivity are first class.

 

Ø  And 8bit DNG seems a bit strange ?

That’s incorrect. It does support full 12-bit uncompressed Cinema DNG with external SSD recording.

 

Ø  I haven't been using it all that much for video though, because its recording format is uncompressed cDNG, which isn't particularly convenient.

Uncompressed 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW is excellent format to work with. The data rate is up to 370 MB/s and exceeds that of most other digital cinema cameras.

With the lack of compression comes clack of compression artefacts. It’s nice “thick negative”.

 

Ø  Sigma doesn't have any form of log encoding available for the fp

Who needs log when there is uncompressed RAW?

 

Kind Regards,

 

Pawel Achtel ACS B.Eng.(Hons) M.Sc.

“Sharp to the Edge”

 

ACHTEL PTY LIMITED, ABN 52 134 895 417

Website: www.achtel.com

Mobile: 040 747 2747 (overseas: +61 4 0747 2747)

Mail: PO BOX 557, Rockdale, NSW 2216, Australia

Address: RA 913 Coles Bay Rd., Coles Bay, TAS 7215, Australia

Location: S 42° 0'14.40"S, E 148°14'47.13"

Email: Pawel.Achtel@...

Facebook: facebook.com/PawelAchtel

Twitter: twitter.com/PawelAchtel

Skype: Pawel.Achtel

 

From: cml-raw-log-hdr@... [mailto:cml-raw-log-hdr@...] On Behalf Of Noel Sterrett
Sent: Sunday, 27 December 2020 2:44 AM
To: cml-raw-log-hdr@...
Subject: [cml-raw-log-hdr] Sigma fp

 

This tiny full frame 5.9K Bayer sensor L-mount camera shoots 4K Cinema DNG (8 bit internally, 12 bit
with a tiny USB SSD drive attached) and outputs via HDMI to a Blackmagic Video Assist 12G (BRAW) or
Atomos Ninga V (ProRes RAW).

The images I have seen so far are amazing.

Perhaps someone can tell me what's wrong with it?

Happy New Year!




Pawel Achtel ACS
 

[Mitch Gross] I would expect that Log encoding is more useful to a vast number of CMLers and DPs in general than Uncompressed RAW recording.

Why?

 

Kind Regards,

 

Pawel Achtel ACS B.Eng.(Hons) M.Sc.

“Sharp to the Edge”

 

ACHTEL PTY LIMITED, ABN 52 134 895 417

Website: www.achtel.com

Mobile: 040 747 2747 (overseas: +61 4 0747 2747)

Mail: PO BOX 557, Rockdale, NSW 2216, Australia

Address: RA 913 Coles Bay Rd., Coles Bay, TAS 7215, Australia

Location: S 42° 0'14.40"S, E 148°14'47.13"

Email: Pawel.Achtel@...

Facebook: facebook.com/PawelAchtel

Twitter: twitter.com/PawelAchtel

Skype: Pawel.Achtel

 


Mitch Gross
 

Because uncompressed RAW means huge files that take up a lot of disk space, take a lot of time to transfer, and require considerable computer power to deal with. But with Log encoding you get the vast majority of flexibility in what the sensor can capture but recorded in a data scale that is reasonable enough to everyone to work with. Clients won’t complain about the data load and the work can happen quickly and effectively. 

Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it. When reasonably compressed Log recording became available to these same devices their popularity skyrocketed. It has happened numerous times. 

DPs who don’t have to care about workflow want uncompressed RAW. DPs shooting for the highest level productions want uncompressed RAW. I understand that. But they comprise an infinitesimal percentage of actual users. Most people want the advantages of capturing all that dynamic range while not having the burden of uncompressed RAW workflow. For a petite and inexpensive camera such as the Sigma FP I would argue that the vast majority of people considering its use, compressed Log video is far more attractive than uncompressed RAW. 

Mitch Gross
New York

On Dec 26, 2020, at 6:46 PM, Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

[Mitch Gross] I would expect that Log encoding is more useful to a vast number of CMLers and DPs in general than Uncompressed RAW recording.

Why?


Rakesh Malik
 

I like having a raw option, but I don't see any point in uncompressed raw. It's a waste of space, even for workflows requiring raw since even a lossless codec can save a lot of space, and a clip based raw codec can be even more efficient, and a lot faster to transfer.

There are also clients who don't want to deal with raw at all who would be much happier with a codec like ProRes with log encoding. Even that is overkill for a lot of clients, though.

-----------------------------


On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 6:26 PM Mitch Gross <mitchgrosscml@...> wrote:
Because uncompressed RAW means huge files that take up a lot of disk space, take a lot of time to transfer, and require considerable computer power to deal with. But with Log encoding you get the vast majority of flexibility in what the sensor can capture but recorded in a data scale that is reasonable enough to everyone to work with. Clients won’t complain about the data load and the work can happen quickly and effectively. 

Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it. When reasonably compressed Log recording became available to these same devices their popularity skyrocketed. It has happened numerous times. 

DPs who don’t have to care about workflow want uncompressed RAW. DPs shooting for the highest level productions want uncompressed RAW. I understand that. But they comprise an infinitesimal percentage of actual users. Most people want the advantages of capturing all that dynamic range while not having the burden of uncompressed RAW workflow. For a petite and inexpensive camera such as the Sigma FP I would argue that the vast majority of people considering its use, compressed Log video is far more attractive than uncompressed RAW. 

Mitch Gross
New York

On Dec 26, 2020, at 6:46 PM, Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

[Mitch Gross] I would expect that Log encoding is more useful to a vast number of CMLers and DPs in general than Uncompressed RAW recording.

Why?


Jeff Kreines
 

I’m surprised that, now that it’s open source, no camera manufacturer has adopted Cineform RAW. Wavelet compression, compact files that work nicely with Resolve (et al) — not to mention freedom from worries that Apple will do something stupid with ProRes.  

I still think that, for Bayer CFA cameras) any format that’s not RAW is silly.  Why de-Bayer, bake in the de-mosiacing, and triple the file size when it reduces flexibility in grading and doesn’t improve image quality!

Most of our scanner users have happily chosen 16-bit Cineform RAW as their capture format.  



Jeff Kreines
Kinetta
jeff@...
kinetta.com

Sent from iPhone. 

On Dec 26, 2020, at 8:35 PM, Rakesh Malik <tamerlin@...> wrote:


I like having a raw option, but I don't see any point in uncompressed raw. It's a waste of space, even for workflows requiring raw since even a lossless codec can save a lot of space, and a clip based raw codec can be even more efficient, and a lot faster to transfer.

There are also clients who don't want to deal with raw at all who would be much happier with a codec like ProRes with log encoding. Even that is overkill for a lot of clients, though.

-----------------------------


On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 6:26 PM Mitch Gross <mitchgrosscml@...> wrote:
Because uncompressed RAW means huge files that take up a lot of disk space, take a lot of time to transfer, and require considerable computer power to deal with. But with Log encoding you get the vast majority of flexibility in what the sensor can capture but recorded in a data scale that is reasonable enough to everyone to work with. Clients won’t complain about the data load and the work can happen quickly and effectively. 

Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it. When reasonably compressed Log recording became available to these same devices their popularity skyrocketed. It has happened numerous times. 

DPs who don’t have to care about workflow want uncompressed RAW. DPs shooting for the highest level productions want uncompressed RAW. I understand that. But they comprise an infinitesimal percentage of actual users. Most people want the advantages of capturing all that dynamic range while not having the burden of uncompressed RAW workflow. For a petite and inexpensive camera such as the Sigma FP I would argue that the vast majority of people considering its use, compressed Log video is far more attractive than uncompressed RAW. 

Mitch Gross
New York

On Dec 26, 2020, at 6:46 PM, Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

[Mitch Gross] I would expect that Log encoding is more useful to a vast number of CMLers and DPs in general than Uncompressed RAW recording.

Why?


Daniel Rozsnyó
 


On 12/27/20 3:26 AM, Mitch Gross wrote:
Because uncompressed RAW means huge files that take up a lot of disk space, take a lot of time to transfer, and require considerable computer power to deal with. But with Log encoding you get the vast majority of flexibility in what the sensor can capture but recorded in a data scale that is reasonable enough to everyone to work with. Clients won’t complain about the data load and the work can happen quickly and effectively.


Sorry, but having LOG does not mean "huge compression" at all. Maybe you mix up things - like you bring in also AVC or HEVC to the process, those ones have such poor bit depth (8 or 10bit), so the only way to feed a wide dynamic range picture to these codecs is to apply a LOG conversion.

For me a LOG format compared to LINEAR is anything with missing codes - basically a LUT to convert from more bits to less bits. Like from 10 to 8 or from 12 to 10, or from 14 to 12. And that saves about 20% of data rate, in "uncompressed" form. Because LOG is not just a mapping scheme, but also a very simple and lossy compression (you are not able to recover the linear original, some posterization will happen).

Most of the BMD cams, which resolve more than 12 bits (eg. by a dual-gain readout) apply such log conversion silently even for the DNGs - (where the feature is called LinearizationTable), but in the rare case of the dual-gain ADC readout, there was never a linear range form, that would contain all the shades - basically the 11+11 bit reading, that covers 14 stops thanks to the 3 stop separation, is loss-lessly storable in a 12 bit form (1 bit to tell whether the shade is within the low or high gain, and the 11 bits of that gain).

So again, please do not mix apples and oranges. LOG is not related to huge compression. H264 and H265 are the ones to blame for the convenience of small files!


You are also wrong on the need of computer power - the uncompressed footage will be ALWAYS easier to process than any of the AVC/HEVC ones (try to render a clip with reversed time..). Drive capacity/speed or network bandwidth sure needs to be adjusted - I see no problem here, we have multi-gigabit SDI for two decades, and you still complain to not have enough power on your pocket calculator. Upgrade your gear, its doable.


The whole issue with uncompressed workflow (or the thing which killed it at classic vendors) was the absurd price of branded media, an even more absurd ratio of performance/price, which then resulted either in inability to keep up with the bitrate, or limited the usability because the low capacity was for silly short takes. Devices which offer recording to any media do a lot better job here.



Ing. Daniel Rozsnyo
camera developer
Prague, CZ


Pawel Achtel ACS
 

Ø  I like having a raw option, but I don't see any point in uncompressed raw. It's a waste of space

 

So, how much do you save with Log? 2 bits (20%)?

Do you prefer compression artefacts, instead? Again, in my experience, images from Sigma fp are actually cleaner and with less artefacts than that of many (most) high-end digital cinema cameras. This camera punches way above its weight and I would not hesitate to use it as A-camera on A-grade movie.

 

Ø  Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it.

 

Mitch, as you said: this was a decade ago. J Storage has increased dramatically in size and speed since then. I think 370MB/s is very reasonable and not that much higher than Log and/or compressed formats. What is, however compelling about uncompressed RAW is that it is less processed, richer and more forgivable format. To me it is an advantage, not drawback. It is upstream from Log or compressed formats. You can always create a Log from it or/and compress it if space is an issue.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Pawel Achtel ACS B.Eng.(Hons) M.Sc.

“Sharp to the Edge”

 

ACHTEL PTY LIMITED, ABN 52 134 895 417

Website: www.achtel.com

Mobile: 040 747 2747 (overseas: +61 4 0747 2747)

Mail: PO BOX 557, Rockdale, NSW 2216, Australia

Address: RA 913 Coles Bay Rd., Coles Bay, TAS 7215, Australia

Location: S 42° 0'14.40"S, E 148°14'47.13"

Email: Pawel.Achtel@...

Facebook: facebook.com/PawelAchtel

Twitter: twitter.com/PawelAchtel

Skype: Pawel.Achtel

 

From: cml-raw-log-hdr@... [mailto:cml-raw-log-hdr@...] On Behalf Of Mitch Gross
Sent: Sunday, 27 December 2020 1:27 PM
To: cml-raw-log-hdr@...
Subject: Re: [cml-raw-log-hdr] Sigma fp

 

Because uncompressed RAW means huge files that take up a lot of disk space, take a lot of time to transfer, and require considerable computer power to deal with. But with Log encoding you get the vast majority of flexibility in what the sensor can capture but recorded in a data scale that is reasonable enough to everyone to work with. Clients won’t complain about the data load and the work can happen quickly and effectively. 

 

Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it. When reasonably compressed Log recording became available to these same devices their popularity skyrocketed. It has happened numerous times. 

 

DPs who don’t have to care about workflow want uncompressed RAW. DPs shooting for the highest level productions want uncompressed RAW. I understand that. But they comprise an infinitesimal percentage of actual users. Most people want the advantages of capturing all that dynamic range while not having the burden of uncompressed RAW workflow. For a petite and inexpensive camera such as the Sigma FP I would argue that the vast majority of people considering its use, compressed Log video is far more attractive than uncompressed RAW. 

Mitch Gross

New York



On Dec 26, 2020, at 6:46 PM, Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

[Mitch Gross] I would expect that Log encoding is more useful to a vast number of CMLers and DPs in general than Uncompressed RAW recording.

Why?


Rakesh Malik
 

12-bit raw footage with linear encoding clips harshly, and loses some highlight forgiveness (witness the AJA Cion). Log encoding enables 12-bit raw to deliver quality comparable to what's possible with 16-bit linear encoding, though there are of course some tradeoffs in highlight detail as a result. That's engineering for you; in the end, math and physics win every time.

More important however is that there are a lot of workflows where ANY flavor of raw is overkill, and for those clients tend to favor codecs like ProRes, and for those log encoding is a big help.

Since there are lossless compression options, IMO uncompressed raw is simply silly. Just imagine the data rates we'd be looking at for 8K 16-bit footage -- never mind 12K, even with the slightly lower 12-bit depth. Uncompressed 8K or 12K would be simply insane.

Black Magic added lossless compressed cDNG to its first Pocket cinema camera, and it made a huge difference in data rates -- but being lossless, it has no effect on the data itself.

Again, there is zero value in uncompressed raw in this day and age.
-----------------------------


On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 7:28 PM Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

Ø  I like having a raw option, but I don't see any point in uncompressed raw. It's a waste of space

 

So, how much do you save with Log? 2 bits (20%)?

Do you prefer compression artefacts, instead? Again, in my experience, images from Sigma fp are actually cleaner and with less artefacts than that of many (most) high-end digital cinema cameras. This camera punches way above its weight and I would not hesitate to use it as A-camera on A-grade movie.

 

Ø  Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it.

 

Mitch, as you said: this was a decade ago. J Storage has increased dramatically in size and speed since then. I think 370MB/s is very reasonable and not that much higher than Log and/or compressed formats. What is, however compelling about uncompressed RAW is that it is less processed, richer and more forgivable format. To me it is an advantage, not drawback. It is upstream from Log or compressed formats. You can always create a Log from it or/and compress it if space is an issue.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Pawel Achtel ACS B.Eng.(Hons) M.Sc.

“Sharp to the Edge”

 

ACHTEL PTY LIMITED, ABN 52 134 895 417

Website: www.achtel.com

Mobile: 040 747 2747 (overseas: +61 4 0747 2747)

Mail: PO BOX 557, Rockdale, NSW 2216, Australia

Address: RA 913 Coles Bay Rd., Coles Bay, TAS 7215, Australia

Location: S 42° 0'14.40"S, E 148°14'47.13"

Email: Pawel.Achtel@...

Facebook: facebook.com/PawelAchtel

Twitter: twitter.com/PawelAchtel

Skype: Pawel.Achtel

 

From: cml-raw-log-hdr@... [mailto:cml-raw-log-hdr@...] On Behalf Of Mitch Gross
Sent: Sunday, 27 December 2020 1:27 PM
To: cml-raw-log-hdr@...
Subject: Re: [cml-raw-log-hdr] Sigma fp

 

Because uncompressed RAW means huge files that take up a lot of disk space, take a lot of time to transfer, and require considerable computer power to deal with. But with Log encoding you get the vast majority of flexibility in what the sensor can capture but recorded in a data scale that is reasonable enough to everyone to work with. Clients won’t complain about the data load and the work can happen quickly and effectively. 

 

Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it. When reasonably compressed Log recording became available to these same devices their popularity skyrocketed. It has happened numerous times. 

 

DPs who don’t have to care about workflow want uncompressed RAW. DPs shooting for the highest level productions want uncompressed RAW. I understand that. But they comprise an infinitesimal percentage of actual users. Most people want the advantages of capturing all that dynamic range while not having the burden of uncompressed RAW workflow. For a petite and inexpensive camera such as the Sigma FP I would argue that the vast majority of people considering its use, compressed Log video is far more attractive than uncompressed RAW. 

Mitch Gross

New York



On Dec 26, 2020, at 6:46 PM, Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

[Mitch Gross] I would expect that Log encoding is more useful to a vast number of CMLers and DPs in general than Uncompressed RAW recording.

Why?


Mitch Gross
 

Time is money. Technology is cheaper & faster than ever before of course, but that also means that it’s cheaper & faster for other formats as well as uncompressed RAW. Clients get used to various advantages quickly, and one cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Uncompressed RAW is not necessary for the vast amount of production. It just isn’t. But a Log encoded codec of decent quality can work great. It means small, cheap storage on set and off, reduced data transfer times (a HUGE deal with uncompressed RAW), and easy one-less-thing-to-think-about post workflow for production.

Deliver quality images in a familiar way that doesn’t slow down the person who signs the checks.


Mitch Gross
New York

On Dec 26, 2020, at 10:44 PM, Rakesh Malik <tamerlin@...> wrote:


12-bit raw footage with linear encoding clips harshly, and loses some highlight forgiveness (witness the AJA Cion). Log encoding enables 12-bit raw to deliver quality comparable to what's possible with 16-bit linear encoding, though there are of course some tradeoffs in highlight detail as a result. That's engineering for you; in the end, math and physics win every time.

More important however is that there are a lot of workflows where ANY flavor of raw is overkill, and for those clients tend to favor codecs like ProRes, and for those log encoding is a big help.

Since there are lossless compression options, IMO uncompressed raw is simply silly. Just imagine the data rates we'd be looking at for 8K 16-bit footage -- never mind 12K, even with the slightly lower 12-bit depth. Uncompressed 8K or 12K would be simply insane.

Black Magic added lossless compressed cDNG to its first Pocket cinema camera, and it made a huge difference in data rates -- but being lossless, it has no effect on the data itself.

Again, there is zero value in uncompressed raw in this day and age.
-----------------------------


On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 7:28 PM Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

Ø  I like having a raw option, but I don't see any point in uncompressed raw. It's a waste of space

 

So, how much do you save with Log? 2 bits (20%)?

Do you prefer compression artefacts, instead? Again, in my experience, images from Sigma fp are actually cleaner and with less artefacts than that of many (most) high-end digital cinema cameras. This camera punches way above its weight and I would not hesitate to use it as A-camera on A-grade movie.

 

Ø  Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it.

 

Mitch, as you said: this was a decade ago. J Storage has increased dramatically in size and speed since then. I think 370MB/s is very reasonable and not that much higher than Log and/or compressed formats. What is, however compelling about uncompressed RAW is that it is less processed, richer and more forgivable format. To me it is an advantage, not drawback. It is upstream from Log or compressed formats. You can always create a Log from it or/and compress it if space is an issue.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Pawel Achtel ACS B.Eng.(Hons) M.Sc.

“Sharp to the Edge”

 

ACHTEL PTY LIMITED, ABN 52 134 895 417

Website: www.achtel.com

Mobile: 040 747 2747 (overseas: +61 4 0747 2747)

Mail: PO BOX 557, Rockdale, NSW 2216, Australia

Address: RA 913 Coles Bay Rd., Coles Bay, TAS 7215, Australia

Location: S 42° 0'14.40"S, E 148°14'47.13"

Email: Pawel.Achtel@...

Facebook: facebook.com/PawelAchtel

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Skype: Pawel.Achtel

 

From: cml-raw-log-hdr@... [mailto:cml-raw-log-hdr@...] On Behalf Of Mitch Gross
Sent: Sunday, 27 December 2020 1:27 PM
To: cml-raw-log-hdr@...
Subject: Re: [cml-raw-log-hdr] Sigma fp

 

Because uncompressed RAW means huge files that take up a lot of disk space, take a lot of time to transfer, and require considerable computer power to deal with. But with Log encoding you get the vast majority of flexibility in what the sensor can capture but recorded in a data scale that is reasonable enough to everyone to work with. Clients won’t complain about the data load and the work can happen quickly and effectively. 

 

Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it. When reasonably compressed Log recording became available to these same devices their popularity skyrocketed. It has happened numerous times. 

 

DPs who don’t have to care about workflow want uncompressed RAW. DPs shooting for the highest level productions want uncompressed RAW. I understand that. But they comprise an infinitesimal percentage of actual users. Most people want the advantages of capturing all that dynamic range while not having the burden of uncompressed RAW workflow. For a petite and inexpensive camera such as the Sigma FP I would argue that the vast majority of people considering its use, compressed Log video is far more attractive than uncompressed RAW. 

Mitch Gross

New York



On Dec 26, 2020, at 6:46 PM, Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

[Mitch Gross] I would expect that Log encoding is more useful to a vast number of CMLers and DPs in general than Uncompressed RAW recording.

Why?


Pawel Achtel ACS
 

Ø  12-bit raw footage with linear encoding clips harshly, and loses some highlight forgiveness (witness the AJA Cion). Log encoding enables 12-bit raw to deliver quality comparable to what's possible with 16-bit linear encoding, though there are of course some tradeoffs in highlight detail as a result. That's engineering for you; in the end, math and physics win every time.

 

This is incorrect. The sensor reads (in vast majority of cases) 12 bits or 10-bits linear. Only then, it can be converted to from linear to log. To say that 12-bit linear clips harshly and log doesn’t is just nonsense because log originates as 12-bit (or 10-bit) linear and cannot “unclip” signal that is already clipped.

 

Ø  Since there are lossless compression options, IMO uncompressed raw is simply silly. Just imagine the data rates we'd be looking at for 8K 16-bit footage -- never mind 12K, even with the slightly lower 12-bit depth. Uncompressed 8K or 12K would be simply insane.

 

There is no 16-bit sensor in existence: not 8K not 6K not 4K, not any K, so I have no idea what you are talking about. There are (very) few 14-bit attempts with (very) questionable benefits. Most high-end sensors perform either 10-bit or 12-bit AD quantization. There is no useful signal below 12-bits in any sensor that I know. It is just noise.  

And, as you referring to a “12K” example, BMD 12K camera compresses the hell out of the footage to the point that it actually doesn’t resolve even 4K detail. This is, what I would call poor use of bandwidth. Whilst I haven’t compared side-by-side Sigma fp 4K against BMD 12K, my bet would be that the former would resolve higher detail and do so with less bandwidth. It would be an interesting test to perform. Any volunteers?  

 

The beauty of uncompressed RAW is in that it doesn’t require much GPU processing in-camera. Real-time compression uses a lot of power, makes camera bigger at absolutely no benefit to the resulting image quality.

 

The reality is that uncompressed and unprocessed RAW can be much better treated in post with much higher degree of control. One of those things is noise reduction. Noise reduction applied at uncompressed RAW produces much better results (in terms of effectiveness as well as preserving detail) than it does after footage has been processed or compressed.

 

Ø  Again, there is zero value in uncompressed raw in this day and age.      

If you do not care about image quality, compression artefacts, dynamic range, noise and sharpness, sure, it may present zero value to you. Sigma fp has compressed recording options too for those that still use floppy discs. J

To me uncompressed RAW offers (by far) the best workflow possible with most options, control and preserving the highest image quality possible.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Pawel Achtel ACS B.Eng.(Hons) M.Sc.

“Sharp to the Edge”

 

ACHTEL PTY LIMITED, ABN 52 134 895 417

Website: www.achtel.com

Mobile: 040 747 2747 (overseas: +61 4 0747 2747)

Mail: PO BOX 557, Rockdale, NSW 2216, Australia

Address: RA 913 Coles Bay Rd., Coles Bay, TAS 7215, Australia

Location: S 42° 0'14.40"S, E 148°14'47.13"

Email: Pawel.Achtel@...

Facebook: facebook.com/PawelAchtel

Twitter: twitter.com/PawelAchtel

Skype: Pawel.Achtel

 

From: cml-raw-log-hdr@... [mailto:cml-raw-log-hdr@...] On Behalf Of Rakesh Malik
Sent: Sunday, 27 December 2020 2:44 PM
To: cml-raw-log-hdr@...
Subject: Re: [cml-raw-log-hdr] Sigma fp

 

12-bit raw footage with linear encoding clips harshly, and loses some highlight forgiveness (witness the AJA Cion). Log encoding enables 12-bit raw to deliver quality comparable to what's possible with 16-bit linear encoding, though there are of course some tradeoffs in highlight detail as a result. That's engineering for you; in the end, math and physics win every time.

 

More important however is that there are a lot of workflows where ANY flavor of raw is overkill, and for those clients tend to favor codecs like ProRes, and for those log encoding is a big help.

 

Since there are lossless compression options, IMO uncompressed raw is simply silly. Just imagine the data rates we'd be looking at for 8K 16-bit footage -- never mind 12K, even with the slightly lower 12-bit depth. Uncompressed 8K or 12K would be simply insane.

 

Black Magic added lossless compressed cDNG to its first Pocket cinema camera, and it made a huge difference in data rates -- but being lossless, it has no effect on the data itself.

 

Again, there is zero value in uncompressed raw in this day and age.

-----------------------------

 

 

Rakesh Malik

about.me/WhiteCranePhoto

Director of Photography, Colorist

 

 

 

 

On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 7:28 PM Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

Ø  I like having a raw option, but I don't see any point in uncompressed raw. It's a waste of space

 

So, how much do you save with Log? 2 bits (20%)?

Do you prefer compression artefacts, instead? Again, in my experience, images from Sigma fp are actually cleaner and with less artefacts than that of many (most) high-end digital cinema cameras. This camera punches way above its weight and I would not hesitate to use it as A-camera on A-grade movie.

 

Ø  Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it.

 

Mitch, as you said: this was a decade ago. J Storage has increased dramatically in size and speed since then. I think 370MB/s is very reasonable and not that much higher than Log and/or compressed formats. What is, however compelling about uncompressed RAW is that it is less processed, richer and more forgivable format. To me it is an advantage, not drawback. It is upstream from Log or compressed formats. You can always create a Log from it or/and compress it if space is an issue.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Pawel Achtel ACS B.Eng.(Hons) M.Sc.

“Sharp to the Edge”

 

ACHTEL PTY LIMITED, ABN 52 134 895 417

Website: www.achtel.com

Mobile: 040 747 2747 (overseas: +61 4 0747 2747)

Mail: PO BOX 557, Rockdale, NSW 2216, Australia

Address: RA 913 Coles Bay Rd., Coles Bay, TAS 7215, Australia

Location: S 42° 0'14.40"S, E 148°14'47.13"

Email: Pawel.Achtel@...

Facebook: facebook.com/PawelAchtel

Twitter: twitter.com/PawelAchtel

Skype: Pawel.Achtel

 

From: cml-raw-log-hdr@... [mailto:cml-raw-log-hdr@...] On Behalf Of Mitch Gross
Sent: Sunday, 27 December 2020 1:27 PM
To: cml-raw-log-hdr@...
Subject: Re: [cml-raw-log-hdr] Sigma fp

 

Because uncompressed RAW means huge files that take up a lot of disk space, take a lot of time to transfer, and require considerable computer power to deal with. But with Log encoding you get the vast majority of flexibility in what the sensor can capture but recorded in a data scale that is reasonable enough to everyone to work with. Clients won’t complain about the data load and the work can happen quickly and effectively. 

 

Uncompressed RAW has been available for well over a decade on major camera systems and devices I’ve been directly involved with. The vast majority of people who owned these or considered owning them hated the workflow and often did workarounds to avoid it. When reasonably compressed Log recording became available to these same devices their popularity skyrocketed. It has happened numerous times. 

 

DPs who don’t have to care about workflow want uncompressed RAW. DPs shooting for the highest level productions want uncompressed RAW. I understand that. But they comprise an infinitesimal percentage of actual users. Most people want the advantages of capturing all that dynamic range while not having the burden of uncompressed RAW workflow. For a petite and inexpensive camera such as the Sigma FP I would argue that the vast majority of people considering its use, compressed Log video is far more attractive than uncompressed RAW. 

Mitch Gross

New York

 

On Dec 26, 2020, at 6:46 PM, Pawel Achtel ACS <pawel.achtel@...> wrote:

[Mitch Gross] I would expect that Log encoding is more useful to a vast number of CMLers and DPs in general than Uncompressed RAW recording.

Why?


Geoff Boyle
 

Volunteers?
Sure, get me a Sigma FP and I'll shoot a comparison.
The thing is, we're back at the my number is bigger than your number game, and it's bullshit.
The only thing that matters is what the image looks like.
I don't know of any cinematographer who has refused to shoot with an Alexa because the Res was too low. It's still the camera that is used as a reference.
Who cares if the BMD 12K isn't the highest resolving camera around? It looks good and that is all that matters to me.
I'll not tell the Kodak/Agfa story again but I still believe in pretty not accurate pictures.

Cheers
Geoff Boyle NSC FBKS
EU based cinematographer


Pekka Riikonen
 

There's been some tests with Sigma fp.  Almost a year ago Evin Grant did the 2020 large format camera shootout (blind) where he put Sigma fp among all the heavy hitters like Alexa LF, Red Monstro and Sony Venice, etc.  It was quite brutal (https://vimeo.com/388857434).  Sigma fp just wasn't ready yet, the firmware had bugs and the color was off.  Those issues were fixed subsequently.  I've noticed that in every big firmware upgrade they've also re-profiled the camera, which is a sign they're still improving it.  Recently I saw this review (in spanish) that also matched it with Alexa: https://youtu.be/aSBgrd-YFV4?t=1222

As far as the dynamic range goes, Sigma claims 12.5 stops and it is around 12 stops.  Sigma says that ISO 800 has about 6 stops above middle grey and about 6.5 stops below.  It's dual ISO and ISO 3200 is cleaner than ISO 1600 as a result.

I'm not going to repeat the issues the camera has but one issue that's good to know if you shoot raw with this camera is that the latest 2.0 firmware has a bug where the color mode OFF setting affects also the cDNG raw files even though the color modes are not supposed to.  I reported this to Sigma but they indicated that this is intentional.  So if you shoot raw set the color mode to any other value except OFF, and if you do set it to OFF, keep it OFF in all shots or you'll have color mismatches shot to shot.

I'll add that Sigma fp is great as a webcam.  It doesn't require any additional hardware or software.  Just plug-in the USB cable and the camera appears as any other webcam and will work out of the box with Zoom for example.

--
Pekka Riikonen
Helsinki, Finland