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Old 01-30-2017, 08:09 PM   #1
sammy81z
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Can a maximum ISO 800 camera make a good feature film?

The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K and Ursa Mini 4K both have a maximum ISO of 800. Can either of these cameras make a good feature film? When I say 'good' I am not referring to the story of the film etc. but I am referring to the images.

It is a pity that 800 is the maximum ISO on these two cameras. Therefore I am asking if, despite this low maximum ISO of 800, can these cameras still produce great cinematic images for a feature film?

What can one do to work around the low maximum ISO?
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:37 PM   #2
AcousticAl
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Of course they can. What would higher ISO (1600, 3200, higher?) have to do with better quality images? The higher the ISO, the more noise. Generally speaking, the lower the ISO, the cleaner the image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy81z View Post
What can one do to work around the low maximum ISO?
Lights. Same way the professional productions do it.
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:03 PM   #3
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy81z View Post
can these cameras still produce great cinematic images for a feature film?
You're going to hate my answer...

But I'm going to give it anyway.

These cameras cannot produce great cinematic images without a skilled person
doing the work. Take that camera out of the box, set it up, start recording and
the image will not be a great cinematic image. However, with excellent, creative
lighting, an understanding of cinematography and talent and skill a person can
produce great cinematic images with almost any camera. Including those cameras.

So the more accurate question is; are YOU good enough to produce great cinematic
images with either of those cameras?
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:48 PM   #4
sammy81z
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticAl View Post
Of course they can. What would higher ISO (1600, 3200, higher?) have to do with better quality images? The higher the ISO, the more noise. Generally speaking, the lower the ISO, the cleaner the image.



Lights. Same way the professional productions do it.
We live and we learn. Thanks for these insights. They indeed shed some light (no pun intended) into my understanding (limited) of ISO.
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:50 PM   #5
sammy81z
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
You're going to hate my answer...

But I'm going to give it anyway.

These cameras cannot produce great cinematic images without a skilled person
doing the work. Take that camera out of the box, set it up, start recording and
the image will not be a great cinematic image. However, with excellent, creative
lighting, an understanding of cinematography and talent and skill a person can
produce great cinematic images with almost any camera. Including those cameras.

So the more accurate question is; are YOU good enough to produce great cinematic
images with either of those cameras?
Thank you. I actually like your answer. Indeed, good cinematography from a learned person and the right techniques are so important to get great images with almost any camera.
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Old 01-30-2017, 11:38 PM   #6
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Rik is right on. My short answer really addressed the technology under the hood, but it's up to the cinematographer to know how to work it. ANY camera can look good if you know how to light for it.

The thing with ISO... with actual film, ISO/ASA has to do with the physical film emulsion. The lower the ISO, the more light is needed (slower film). The higher the ISO, the less light is needed (faster film). The sacrifice made with faster film emulsions is grain, because the photoreactive particles are larger in order to gather more light in a shorter amount of time. That means they start to show through after being developed.

In the digital world, ISO is a carryover term. Each sensor has its own "native" ISO, or the baseline sensitivity with which it operates. Any higher ISO means digitally amplifying the signal from the sensor (in the world of video cameras, this is boosting gain). The more amplification needed, because there's less light and thus less data to start, the more noise is added to the image.
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Old 01-31-2017, 05:16 AM   #7
WalterB
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Rik is right.

ISO 800 is no limitation when you know how to light it and you actually can do that.
Shooting at night with practicals only will be tough, shooting exterior in daylight will be no problem (you need NDs to prevent over exposing).
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