Well I'm expecting some serious backlash from these figures but all cameras
have been treated exactly the same way.
All cameras were set to the manufacturers recommended EI.
Readings were taken with a Minolta 6, a Pentax Digital Spot and a Sekonic
(I don't know the exact model but a very recent one)
Lighting was with Trucolor XH (2 * HS) with 3200 and 5600 panels, backlight
was from matching Matchstix.
The levels for the Dragon Skin Tungsten tests should all be read bearing in
mind a one stop offset, so plus one is really zero and plus four is really
plus three. This was due to a problem getting enough level for 400 EI
Tungsten. The daylight tests are what they say.
CT readings were taken with a Minolta CT3 and a Sekonic, the Minolta gave
3200 and no M/G shift and 5600 again with no M/G shift, the Sekonic agreed
with 3200 but read 5900 for the 5600 light.
The scene brightness range is 7 stops so taking that 7 and adding the plus
and minus values will give us the usable filming range. This is very
different to the values produced by a Xyla chart which as far as Iâm
concerned is only good for manufacturers PR blurbs and has no use in real
White clip levels were easy to find as were the "unity" levels i.e. The
levels where no gain alteration was required, this gives us the "real" EI
of the camera.
Shadows were a different matter, with most it was possible to discern the
small chip within the black on the chart down to levels that gave so much
noise they were unusable.
I therefore established a point that showed clearly using the vector-scope
in magnify mode and when a camera reached that noise point that was the
level I have published. The pictures may well be usable below this point
but there has to be some kind of even playing field. In fact what happens
after this point varies hugely from camera to camera and this is totally
down to personal preference.
The Varicam had serious issues with shadows blocking up and just for the
hell of it I tried using the Sony Slog3 IDT at levels below the point that
the Varicam IDT had failed. This gave very surprising results.
I have listed the cameras in order of cost and this is how the video that
will go online tomorrow will run¦
The Sony F65 is Tungsten only because my DIT managed to destroy the
Daylight rushes, he was distracted playing with the pictures from all the
cameras, maybe this is a clear argument for an unthinking data monkey who
just copies and checks that it has copied¦
+3.5 Red is not clipping at +4 but Blue and Green are.
Unity + 0.5 this would indicate an EI of 500 to 640
-1 noise base
DR is therefore 11.5
+4 although there is no clipping compression does come in from +3
Unity 0 so an EI of 800
-3 noise base
DR is therefore 14
+4 with the same highlight compression as tungsten
Unity 1 so EI of 1600, I have double checked this as I always use 400
which gives best SNR
DR is therefore 15
Varicam PL Tungsten
+3.5 actually a little above this but not +4 say +3.66
-2 Noise base
DR is 12.5
Varicam PL Daylight
+3.5 with the same comment as tungsten
Unity 0.5 so EO of 1000 to 1200
-2 noise base with Varicam IDT
-3.5 noise base with Slog3 IDT
DR is 12.5 with Panasonic IDT or 14 with Sony!!
Dragon LLD Tungsten
+4 noting a curve change above +3
Unity +1 so an EO of 400
0 noise base, very noisy as measured but visually less so
DR measured at 11
Dragon LLD Daylight
Unity +.5 so EI 500 to 640
DR therefore 12.5
Dragon Skin Tungsten.
Unity +1.3 so an EI of 160
DR therefore 10
Dragon Skin Daylight
Unity +.5 so EI of 250 to 320
DR is therefore 12.5
Canon C500 Tungsten
Unity 0 so EI 800
DR is therefore 11
Canon C500 Daylight
Unity â0.5 so EI of 1000 to 1200 this matches my shooting experience of 1200
-3 maybe 3.5 it's very close
DR therefore 12
OK let the flames begin.
© copyright CML, all rights reserved