Ryan E. Walters, Cinematographer

Cinematic Excellence at 24 Frames a Second

Some Like It RAW. Part 01: IR Testing

I recently spent a day testing and comparing the Arri Alexa, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and the Red Epic. My goal for these tests was to explore how each of these cameras handles real world shooting environments. It was not to determine winners and losers. If you are of the opinion that there is only one great camera out there, then this series of tests is not for you. If, on the other hand, you are openminded enough to get past the camera hype, and you want to know how these cameras respond, then I invite you to keep on reading. (I have also made the RAW files available for download).
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IR ND Filtration + EPIC


As cameras get more and more sensitive to light, infrared (IR) pollution becomes a bigger issue as stronger neutral density filters are used to maintain exposure. IR pollution ends up changing the color rendition of the entire image and can result in some VERY funky color shifts. (I have seen dark green leaves change to magenta for example.)  These color shifts can be next to impossible to get rid of once they are recorded into the digital image. There are creative ways to get rid of this in post, but many of these solutions - like rotoscoping and painting out the problem - are cost prohibitive. Besides, a "problem" like this should have been corrected in the camera at the time of filming, not left to post. Always remember this mantra, and practices it daily: "Fix it in camera, NOT in post."

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