Mytherapy’s LAB is the place where our research and development and testing happens on everything from digital cinematography to colour grading. Straight from our Chief Therapist comes LAB REPORT, a regular column which we describe in detail our discoveries from inside the LAB.
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Earlier this month we started planning a 4K test shoot with the RED EPIC and F65. Coincidentally, a day or so before the shoot was scheduled, we were invited to try one of the first Black Magic Cinema 2K Cameras, before the camera hit the market. With our test shoot environment all set and ready to go, we thought why not bring in the 2K camera too.
Our chosen subject for the test shoot was a high-end fashion shoot. Earlier in the year we had been approached by a new designer of high-end womenswear made from organic silk fabrics, and we envisioned these beautiful flowing fabrics to be an ideal subject for the shoot.
As well as testing the cameras, we also wanted to showcase our new on-set data lab, OUTPOST, a new service which we have just launched. We created OUTPOST as a means to satisfy our clients in a way they never thought possible; to deliver the same studio-quality live colour grade and finish from an entirely moveable, pop-up facility, or ‘datalab’ as we like to call it. We’ve recently upgraded our offer to include Davinci panel dry hire too.
And the eagerly anticipated results from the test shoot…
Before I go on, I feel it important to explain that our test shoot was never intended to be a technical camera test; we completely put to the side any notice of technical specs of the camera including pixel counts, sensor size, file size, compression and so on.
Our test shoot was purely about images, and how to achieve the best looking image possible. We do not care about the name, brand, badge or camera price. Just image, that is all.
If we were to look at each camera image separately on its own, we can see that each camera produces great looking images. It is only after we have put them side by side that we were able to identify subtle differences or ‘characteristics’ such as its ‘feel’ or ‘texture’.
These image characteristics, however, have very subliminal effect of the viewer. It is hard to pinpoint why exactly, but we found ourselves being attracted to one image or another for purely aesthetic reason, rather than the technical aspect of it.
In the same way that we choose different film stock in order to create a particular ‘look’ or image style, digital cameras work in much the same way. Assuming you’re working with a technically sound, reasonable quality digital camera, the process of selecting images from one camera type over another mostly comes down to personal choice.
The conclusion is that it simply isn’t possible nor relevant to state that one camera is better quality than the other. But, a camera type may be best suited to a particular job, pending on the look you’re trying to create. We now feel we have a much better appreciation of the specs and features of each camera, and we were really impressed with the performance of each camera that we tested. We hope this will help you in deciding the most suitable camera for your next project.
Ruby & Eve is a recently launched womenswear collection, featuring beautifully designed garments, all hand made from organic fair trade silks. From the moment we saw the clothes, we had a vision for the soft-flowing fabrics, and once we heard a little more about the Ruby & Eve characters, we were pretty much sold on the concept.
Ruby is the Darling. Appropriately named after the pinky-red coloured gemstone, Ruby is all about soft beauty, pretty pinks, happiness and content.
We chose the RED camera to portray Ruby’s character. Just like Ruby, the RED is our darling.
RED produces warm and soft textured images with ease. For RED we used 16-bit linear ACES colour workflow with special filtering applied to address the issues of noise and colour fringing.
Like the deviantly behaved wife of Adam in the Garden of Eden, Eve is Trouble. She has attitude and a wild feistiness in her character. She is restless and endlessly seeks both pleasure and pain from her environment. However there is much deeper side to her, but you have to be prepared to stay on for the ride.
Eve is our F65. Challenging, and seemingly hard work to begin with, but if you invest the time and effort, you will be rewarded.
Inspired by the 1920’s style lounge wear, we choose a black and white grade. As Dave Hussey, one of the world’s most talented colourists, once said: black and white is the new colour. One of the common issues we face with digital cameras is how to get a great black & white image from camera built to deliver great colour. However F65 gave us all the sharpness and contrast we need to create amazing looking black & white imagery. The only issue; we had to develop custom matrix and LUT’s for transfer as SLOG2 proved ineffective for this purpose.
Every good piece needs a remix and there is a new kid on the block. It’s got no background in film. It’s dad is an engineer and mum a teacher but its so talented and passionate about filmmaking that its talent is just irresistible.
Just like BMCC. This camera reminds me of time when I was 14 and got first bike that was only 49cc and was able to run not more than 30 mph. After reading a few manuals, asking a few questions and a few days in my garage I managed to make my bike run 60 mph.
BMCC is awakening that spirit in me. I can’t wait to see what great images will be coming out of the uncompressed RAW file of that camera.