Blackmagic Cinema Camera RAW Workflow [TEST]

Posted by: | January 23, 2014
Tags: No Tags | Categories: Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Shooting with a RAW capable camera is addicting, especially if you are coming from a DSLR background and are used to playing with the highly compressed 8-bit files DSLR’s produce. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera (BMCC) has been called a “Baby ALEXA” by many filmmakers/DPs, due in part to the fact one can shoot 12-bit 2.5K RAW files with over 13-stops of dynamic range. Simply put, the resulting CinemaDNG files afford MUCH latitude in post, but the files are huge and you definitely need a computer with some processing power (CPU and GPU) to handle them effectively.

This is a very un-scientific test comparing the highlight recovery abilities of processing the RAW files in Adobe Camera RAW/After Effects Vs. Resolve. The white post in the foreground was overexposed on purpose for this test. While Resolve handles, and renders, the CinemaDNG files quickest, I found that the Adobe Camera RAW to After Effects workflow provided the best highlight recovery and overall most desirable image. The option to de-noise the footage, and sharpen if needed, all in one step is nice. On my system (Qosmio x875 Laptop- i7 @ 2.40, 12GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M) After Effects took approx 28.2 seconds to render 1 second of RAW footage. Resolve, on the other hand, rendered the files between 6-22 fps.

You can download uncompressed TIFF screen grabs here:

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