(The following post is just my experience with the RAW CInema DNG files)
At NAB 2012 Blackmagic Design surprised everyone by releasing the “Blackmagic Cinema Camera” which records RAW 12bit Cinema DNG files, as well as ProRes & DNxHD . People who are involved in broadcasting and post production will be very familiar with Blackmagic Design .
Ever since NAB,people including myself waited eagerly for some samples from this camera . Besides a few videos by John Brawley who has been involved in the development of this camera,there were no official samples out there .
Link to his blog : http://johnbrawley.wordpress.com
Recently John Brawley and Blackmagic Design released “ Afterglow” which was shot on the Blackmagic Design Camera .Not only that but they also provided CInema DNG files of the same for people to play around with and check out the quality first hand . The graded samples seen online are a clear indication of the latitude the RAW files have which is very good to say the least .
Cameras like the Arri Alexa and RED which are known for their RAW workflow are way out of budget for the everyday filmmaker . Thats where Blackmagic Design have done well.The Cinema Camera comes in at roughly Rs. 2,50,000,making RAW workflow accessible to everyone. People intending to buy a DSLR for video should definitely wait and have a look at this camera .
Since this camera is on my list,I thought it would be a great idea to test out the DNG files.After trying out some extreme settings(which it took happily) decided on a minor grade……nothing fancy,just enough to achieve the look that would appeal to me personally. Compressed footage is not exactly fun to work with in Post as they have limitations on how much you can push the footage,especially for a slightly more complex grade.Where as the freedom to play around even in the shadow areas among other things on the DNG’s were great and in the hands of a professional grading artist it would definitely do wonders, I am sure .
DaVinci Resolve which is a colour grading application (comes free with the Cinema Camera) can be used to process the images straight away. But for this particular exercise I used Lightroom for ease of use and availability
Here are the graded samples along with the original,just for comparison .
The images have been saved as jpegs for the purpose of this post . The links for the original DNG’s are provided below. *
The little experience that I had with the DNG files have been positive so far. The main thing will be to see how it performs on a daily basis and on projects .Honestly I would love to test this camera out myself . Till then…..I will have to wait patiently,which after this little experience….I DON’T MIND!!!!
Below are the links to download the DNG shots .
You can also check out a Cinema DNG file uploaded by Sebastian Wiegärtner on his facebook page.He is currently shooting a mini documentary with it .
For more information about this camera and other Blackmagic Design products,check out the link below