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Hi!

First, I know there will be other options out there for cameras, so please only address the issue at hand.

I am considering to invest in a Sony F-3 for future work. While I know there are a lot of options out there already, and getting a different brand of camera, I like the look, and the fact that you can record 444 out of the camera makes it a possible to still use to a point. And it even looks great upscaled (from the test I have done).

However, I know some people will want a 4k pipeline and have the footage like that delivered.

So I was wondering, is there a 1080p to 4k upscaled that can be attached to a camera feeding out SDI?

C

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This would probably do the job:

https://cvp.com/product/blackmagic_bmd-convmsdimux4k

But outside of using it on live multi-cam shows that need a 4K signal what would be the point. Your just increasing the recorded file size significantly for no improvement in the image.

Upscaling, is best left to post production then you can use tools like: https://videoai.topazlabs.com/  to get vastly better results then what you'd get on a real time portable converter.  A 4:4:4 file from an F3 processed through Gigapixel would probably look very close to 4K origination. 

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29 minutes ago, Phil Connolly said:

This would probably do the job:

https://cvp.com/product/blackmagic_bmd-convmsdimux4k

But outside of using it on live multi-cam shows that need a 4K signal what would be the point. Your just increasing the recorded file size significantly for no improvement in the image.

Upscaling, is best left to post production then you can use tools like: https://videoai.topazlabs.com/  to get vastly better results then what you'd get on a real time portable converter.  A 4:4:4 file from an F3 processed through Gigapixel would probably look very close to 4K origination. 

True, but it would still mean I need to deliver a 1080p file to upres.

Also, when I tried using the topaz labs, but it didn't read my ProRes...and only did output compressed formats...

 

C

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31 minutes ago, Carl Nenzen Loven said:

True, but it would still mean I need to deliver a 1080p file to upres.

Also, when I tried using the topaz labs, but it didn't read my ProRes...and only did output compressed formats...

 

C

Isn't it more efficient to deliver a 1080p file from a storage perspective. A 4K file would need potentially 4X the disk space for minimal visual gain.

If I was editing I wouldn't be keen on do a 4k post workflow on upscaled 1080p rushes. It would take up more space, slow down my machine and renders for no reason. Personally as a client I wouldn't want upscaled 1080p rushes for that reason.  From a workflow perspective, its going to be much more efficient to have a 1080p  project with a 4K uprez at the end vs upressing the rushes.  On longer form projects where you may end up with 100's of hours of footage - you want to keep file-sizes manageable. A 4K post workflow is only really worthwhile if you actually getting better images... You could find the nice 4:4:4 1080p images of the F3 are good enough and just stick with that. 4K isn't always needed 

If 4K is really important for your clients - the Black Magic Pocket 4K is probably a better shout. Then you get internal 4K to a good codec for a similar price point. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Phil Connolly said:

Isn't it more efficient to deliver a 1080p file from a storage perspective. A 4K file would need potentially 4X the disk space for minimal visual gain.

If I was editing I wouldn't be keen on do a 4k post workflow on upscaled 1080p rushes. It would take up more space, slow down my machine and renders for no reason. Personally as a client I wouldn't want upscaled 1080p rushes for that reason.  From a workflow perspective, its going to be much more efficient to have a 1080p  project with a 4K uprez at the end vs upressing the rushes.  On longer form projects where you may end up with 100's of hours of footage - you want to keep file-sizes manageable. A 4K post workflow is only really worthwhile if you actually getting better images... You could find the nice 4:4:4 1080p images of the F3 are good enough and just stick with that. 4K isn't always needed 

If 4K is really important for your clients - the Black Magic Pocket 4K is probably a better shout. Then you get internal 4K to a good codec for a similar price point. 

 

Last I checked the ProRes from the F3 does not take up that much space, and if I am not the one doing the edit or anything in post and the client demands 4K, that's where I am thinking of.

I know 4k isn't always needed either.

C

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5 minutes ago, Carl Nenzen Loven said:

Last I checked the ProRes from the F3 does not take up that much space, and if I am not the one doing the edit or anything in post and the client demands 4K, that's where I am thinking of.

I know 4k isn't always needed either.

C

Thats the point 1080p prores doesn't take much space. 4K prores does (4 times as much space). So a job that needs 10Tb of storage now needs 40Tb - thats money wasted 

Also if the client demands 4K you should give them 4K not uprezed 1080p. Sure you might get away with it, but its not very honest. If I as a client was expecting 4K and got uprezed 1080p I would be not happy (even if it looked fine) I'd feel ripped off 

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Just now, Phil Connolly said:

Thats the point 1080p prores doesn't take much space. 4K prores does

Also if the client demands 4K you should give them 4K not uprezed 1080p. Sure you might get away with it, but its not very honest. If I as a client was expecting 4K and got uprezed 1080p I would be not happy (even if it looked fine) I'd feel ripped off 

Right...but if F3 upscaled to 4k in 422 looks better than DSLR 4k in 8-bit...and the client is hiring has no knowledge about this, I wouldn't say it matters?

C

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Just now, Carl Nenzen Loven said:

Right...but if F3 upscaled to 4k in 422 looks better than DSLR 4k in 8-bit...and the client is hiring has no knowledge about this, I wouldn't say it matters?

C

You'd still be lying, just because your clients clueless (many are) thats not really an excuse.  9 times out of 10 you'd possibly get away with it, but if you get found out if could blow up in your face. I've literally been in that situation passing off RED 3K footage as 4K, it was a DOP mistake, but I had to go eat humble pie when the client found out (they had paid extra for 4K). 

So yes you could get away with it. But it would be dishonest

Also your not saving yourself any money.

You'd need an F3 + 4K SDI up-converter + external recorder + extra storage + power etc...

That rig would cost more then a budget 4K all in one camera e.g Ursa Mini, SH1, BM Pocket 4K and result in less good images.  So for the same outlay you can have an actual 4k rig. The black magic pocket 4K shoots nicer images then the F3 and its $1300. 

 

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1 minute ago, Phil Connolly said:

You'd still be lying, just because your clients clueless (many are) thats not really an excuse.  9 times out of 10 you'd possibly get away with it, but if you get found out if could blow up in your face. I've literally been in that situation passing off RED 3K footage as 4K, it was a DOP mistake, but I had to go eat humble pie when the client found out (they had paid extra for 4K). 

So yes you could get away with it. But it would be dishonest

Also your not saving yourself any money.

You'd need an F3 + 4K SDI up-converter + external recorder + extra storage + power etc...

That rig would cost more then a budget 4K all in one camera e.g Ursa Mini, SH1, BM Pocket 4K and result in less good images.  So for the same outlay you can have an actual 4k rig. The black magic pocket 4K shoots nicer images then the F3 and its $1300. 

 

I hear you...but moral isn't really the discussion right here, right now. And as I clearly stated at the top. I know there are other cameras out there that does 4k, and everything that I have mentioned here.

I was curious if there was actual was a way to do it in the pipeline. For example, if it does work I can use the same rig for a F35 as well if that becomes the next step.

I already have the recorder, storage, and a sweet deal for a F3. So for me the biggest investment and hurdle would be to power the converter from P-tap possibly.

C

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1 minute ago, Patrick Baldwin said:

You would have to budget for all the Horlicks you would need in order to sleep at night....

Good point....probably be bankrupt by June...

C

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28 minutes ago, Carl Nenzen Loven said:

I hear you...but moral isn't really the discussion right here, right now. And as I clearly stated at the top. I know there are other cameras out there that does 4k, and everything that I have mentioned here.

I was curious if there was actual was a way to do it in the pipeline. For example, if it does work I can use the same rig for a F35 as well if that becomes the next step.

I already have the recorder, storage, and a sweet deal for a F3. So for me the biggest investment and hurdle would be to power the converter from P-tap possibly.

C

Sure, but there is a moral dimension when your building a rig to fool clients into thinking they are getting 4K rather then just supplying 1080p. 

I get your not asking for input on the moral dimension, just the technical side. But the request has no technical justification, since real time up-converters are less good then doing it in post. So outside of a live video situation your request is strange, hence triggering the moral element. If I was your client and I found out you'd cheated me with fake 4K, that business relationship would be over. Its just not a workable approach to fake. What would you say when your pitch?

Q What camera do you have?

A F3

Q is it 4K?

A yes

Q: well google says it isn't...

<potential job lost>

How would you spin that? Pretend its an FS7

Q: Your FS7 looks a lot like an F3...

etc...

Its going to get messy quickly. 

Also, if you go the F35 route - I'm sure many clients would be happy with the 1080p as it is. That camera has its fans for its nicely oversampled CCD and global shutter - your likely to get many takers just by owning a f35 and the 4k is less of an issue. I shot my last short in 1080p on the Ikonoskop for similar reasons. 

At this point there is a reason why the F3's are very cheap. If you have a recorder - they are probably a very good purchase, for personal projects and clients that want 1080p...but I wouldn't try and pretend they are something its not

 

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7 minutes ago, Phil Connolly said:

Sure, but there is a moral dimension when your building a rig to fool clients into thinking they are getting 4K rather then just supplying 1080p. 

I get your not asking for input on the moral dimension, just the technical side. But the request has no technical justification, since real time up-converters are less good then doing it in post. So outside of a live video situation your request is strange, hence triggering the moral element. If I was your client and I found out you'd cheated me with fake 4K, that business relationship would be over. Its just not a workable approach to fake. What would you say when your pitch?

Q What camera do you have?

A F3

Q is it 4K?

A yes

Q: well google says it isn't...

<potential job lost>

How would you spin that? Pretend its an FS7

Q: Your FS7 looks a lot like an F3...

etc...

Its going to get messy quickly. 

Also, if you go the F35 route - I'm sure many clients would be happy with the 1080p as it is. That camera has its fans for its nicely oversampled CCD and global shutter - your likely to get many takers just by owning a f35 and the 4k is less of an issue. I shot my last short in 1080p on the Ikonoskop for similar reasons. 

At this point there is a reason why the F3's are very cheap. If you have a recorder - they are probably a very good purchase, for personal projects and clients that want 1080p...but I wouldn't try and pretend they are something its not

 

This is turning into a pseudo-discussion...I never brought up the client aspect.

Just curious to know if there is a way to make the F3 footage 4K in the recording process. I probably would never purposely lie to client about this, and honestly that still doesn't matter here for the discussion still.

But thank you for your valuable input, and I will take your moral advise in consideration as well.

C

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20 hours ago, Phil Connolly said:

Sure, but there is a moral dimension when your building a rig to fool clients into thinking they are getting 4K rather then just supplying 1080p. 

I get your not asking for input on the moral dimension, just the technical side. But the request has no technical justification, since real time up-converters are less good then doing it in post. So outside of a live video situation your request is strange, hence triggering the moral element. If I was your client and I found out you'd cheated me with fake 4K, that business relationship would be over. Its just not a workable approach to fake. What would you say when your pitch?

Q What camera do you have?

A F3

Q is it 4K?

A yes

Q: well google says it isn't...

<potential job lost>

How would you spin that? Pretend its an FS7

Q: Your FS7 looks a lot like an F3...

etc...

Its going to get messy quickly. 

Also, if you go the F35 route - I'm sure many clients would be happy with the 1080p as it is. That camera has its fans for its nicely oversampled CCD and global shutter - your likely to get many takers just by owning a f35 and the 4k is less of an issue. I shot my last short in 1080p on the Ikonoskop for similar reasons. 

At this point there is a reason why the F3's are very cheap. If you have a recorder - they are probably a very good purchase, for personal projects and clients that want 1080p...but I wouldn't try and pretend they are something its not

 

While you are 100% right with the morals Phil , many artists have to fake it until they make it. If an artist / bohemian has to cheat a little to a get a gig so they can afford a true 4K, then that is how some of them roll.

They have an old saying...first you get rich...then you get holy. But in most of our cases, we never get rich.

Personally I try to mention when things are upscaled. 

 

 

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Oh - I'm down with a little bit of truth bending and "faking it till you make it".  Nearly every important job opportunity in my early career involved me telling a couple of lies or stretching the truth in an interview. (simple stuff like yes I'd used that software, and then learning it quickly in the gap between the interview and the job). 

In this case faking 4K is actually potentially more difficult/as expensive as just shooting 4K.  Its one thing if you already own the camera and need to fudge things a little. But this is about choosing a camera to buy... 

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Any real client will have a real editor. They'll know right away if it's shot on 1080p or not. I work with 1080p originals AND 4k/6k/8k originals all the time, the difference is night and day. There is NO WAY you can pull the wool over the eyes of a "modern" editor. Who will intern, go directly to the producers, who will go directly to you and say "what the fuck", because that's what I would do. 

Heck, I have directors who refuse to shoot in 4k these days because they want to finish in 4k, so they have to start with a higher resolution, so they can punch in and do corrections in post. The amount of punch-in work I do these days vs only a few years ago, is staggering. It seems everyone is shooting one focal length on some shots and simply using the computer to do zooms and focal length changes. I've even started using the same technique on my own videos, trying to save a lot of time in production where the cost is so high. 

So if you shoot 1080p and try to deliver as 4k, you're going up shits creek without a boat, let alone a paddle. It will only take one producer to be pissed to end that journey. Doesn't matter how much you like the color science of a certain camera, resolution DOES matter in 2020 and the bare minimum is 4k these days. We're doing 16mm scans at 4k for gosh sakes! 

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29 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Any real client will have a real editor. They'll know right away if it's shot on 1080p or not. I work with 1080p originals AND 4k/6k/8k originals all the time, the difference is night and day. There is NO WAY you can pull the wool over the eyes of a "modern" editor. Who will intern, go directly to the producers, who will go directly to you and say "what the **(obscenity removed)**", because that's what I would do. 

Heck, I have directors who refuse to shoot in 4k these days because they want to finish in 4k, so they have to start with a higher resolution, so they can punch in and do corrections in post. The amount of punch-in work I do these days vs only a few years ago, is staggering. It seems everyone is shooting one focal length on some shots and simply using the computer to do zooms and focal length changes. I've even started using the same technique on my own videos, trying to save a lot of time in production where the cost is so high. 

So if you shoot 1080p and try to deliver as 4k, you're going up shits creek without a boat, let alone a paddle. It will only take one producer to be pissed to end that journey. Doesn't matter how much you like the color science of a certain camera, resolution DOES matter in 2020 and the bare minimum is 4k these days. We're doing 16mm scans at 4k for gosh sakes! 

As mentioned before...I appreciate the input but it is a pseudo discussion. You could even debate if you effectively actually get 4k from the S16, or rather a 2.5k upscaled, but that isn't the discussion. 

My goal would probably be to test it on a F35 and F3 just to see what the result is.

If the overall file and result is still sharper and better than a DSLR 4k, I might do it for my own projects still.

C

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12 hours ago, Carl Nenzen Loven said:

As mentioned before...I appreciate the input but it is a pseudo discussion. You could even debate if you effectively actually get 4k from the S16, or rather a 2.5k upscaled, but that isn't the discussion. 

My goal would probably be to test it on a F35 and F3 just to see what the result is.

If the overall file and result is still sharper and better than a DSLR 4k, I might do it for my own projects still.

C

It would totally be a worthwhile test. I make 4K upscales of my 1080p work all the time. It works really well for youtube videos - since they then encode it at a higher bit rate. For streaming 1080p upscaled is vastly better then 1080p native.

Same with makeing 4k DCP's no harm in it and it would potentially look better if the upscaler you use is better then the one in the projector.

The only other point I was making was the portable hardware upscalers are probably less good then doing in software. I used to work in Broadcast/post and we had the high end Snell and Willcox upconverters, for scaling up SD to HD and they cost 10's of thousands. They did a great job - but I could get similar results with after effects and a long render.  

I'm not sure how good the portable Blackmagic type converters are. It would be worth testing them along side post tools. Its possible of course with hardware prices crashing they are as good as software now.... Would certainly be an interesting experiment. 

I'm going to experiment with the Topaz labs stuff soon - because I have a 4K project with  a chunk 1080p stock footage - so if I can make it work better than the upscaler in creative suite it might be worth the fee.

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Posted (edited)

With very sharp cameras, Topaz seems like a miracle to me. Externally recorded C100 or C300 and F35 footage often comes out looking like sharp native 4k. (Then again, those sources are oversampled from 4k or more and recorded essentially uncompressed.) With compressed or soft sources, it often looks like an abstract mess to me. Its handling of compression artifacts and noise can be strange.

Edited by M Joel W

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23 hours ago, Carl Nenzen Loven said:

As mentioned before...I appreciate the input but it is a pseudo discussion. You could even debate if you effectively actually get 4k from the S16, or rather a 2.5k upscaled, but that isn't the discussion. 

My goal would probably be to test it on a F35 and F3 just to see what the result is.

If the overall file and result is still sharper and better than a DSLR 4k, I might do it for my own projects still.

C

Look, you're comparing to a DSLR, which is fair, but also remember that you can get a Pocket 4K for less that shoots RAW--that's better than 4:2:2, that's even better than 4:4:4, it's RAW. AND you can bill clients for True 4K.

There's also more to life than sharpness. You'll likely go through this whole rigamarole to get 4K our of the F3, but you will most certainly find that if you had just gone with an A7III you'd have cleaner images overall. Remember, grain gets upscaled too.

The reason you're getting backlash is just that you're just trying to do a weird, unnecessary thing. If all you want to do is see how it looks, call up a rental house when Corona is over and go spend a day testing everything.

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23 hours ago, Carl Nenzen Loven said:

My goal would probably be to test it on a F35 and F3 just to see what the result is.

I know both cameras and the F35 will blow the doors off the F3. 

23 hours ago, Carl Nenzen Loven said:

As mentioned before...I appreciate the input but it is a pseudo discussion.

That's great and all, but don't expect people in a discussion group to be silent about things like this. MANY of us have done upscaling work on our own projects and we know exactly what the end result looks like. The benefits are really for youtube only, the higher bandwidth file means better playback. On Vimeo, (and professional streaming platforms) this is a non-issue. Again, if your client wants 4k, then you will not pass the test with your 1080p cameras. Upscaling doesn't make anything crisper or clearer when you're dealing with camera original files like Pro Res. 

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1 hour ago, Andy Jarosz said:

The reason you're getting backlash is just that you're just trying to do a weird, unnecessary thing. If all you want to do is see how it looks, call up a rental house when Corona is over and go spend a day testing everything.

Right...but also isn't that what this medium all about as well. Even if it might be better to shoot on cooke anamorphic, and alexa mini, some people still tend to prefer the Kowas on a RED Epic.

There are so many reason why anyone would like to do something regardless of their reasoning behind it. And personally if I like the image straight out the camera a lot more than a 4k pocket, and I have access to an F3 for a better price (even with the mentioned upscaler), would it be wrong for me to try?

But also, I do agree, best to do is testing, hence why I sort of left the thread be, because going to a rental house and see will be the only way for me to figure out if it is worth it or not.

 

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I know both cameras and the F35 will blow the doors off the F3.

I mean that goes without saying. If I get it to work on the F3 and then later apply it to the F35 when I can afford that, that was the thought.

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

That's great and all, but don't expect people in a discussion group to be silent about things like this. MANY of us have done upscaling work on our own projects and we know exactly what the end result looks like. The benefits are really for youtube only, the higher bandwidth file means better playback. On Vimeo, (and professional streaming platforms) this is a non-issue. Again, if your client wants 4k, then you will not pass the test with your 1080p cameras. Upscaling doesn't make anything crisper or clearer when you're dealing with camera original files like Pro Res. 

Yeah, hence why I am wondering if it happens in the acquisition if there is any gain, before the file is actually compressed. I am going to do test myself when the C-19 is over probably, but from what I am understanding here is that no one that has posted has used this hardware before, so frankly does not know, and that I am advised not to do this.

C

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28 minutes ago, Carl Nenzen Loven said:

what I am understanding here is that no one that has posted has used this hardware before, so frankly does not know, and that I am advised not to do this.

My question is, how will you quantify success? You aren't the producer who is paying you to shoot footage, so how do you know the result will be accepted by them? 

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5 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

My question is, how will you quantify success? You aren't the producer who is paying you to shoot footage, so how do you know the result will be accepted by them? 

Agreed. But then again, same as before pseudo discussion.

Arguing why you want film is a decision for producer to pay, arguing why you want anamorphic is for producer to pay...etc etc. I do understand this. But I think I rather just step off here.

You have proven your point, and yet again no one knows the result, so when this is all over I will trek to a rental house to test this out. Maybe I am completely bonkers and have no idea what I am doing, or maybe it will look great. We shall see.

C

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17 hours ago, Carl Nenzen Loven said:

Agreed. But then again, same as before pseudo discussion.

Arguing why you want film is a decision for producer to pay, arguing why you want anamorphic is for producer to pay...etc etc. I do understand this. But I think I rather just step off here.

You have proven your point, and yet again no one knows the result, so when this is all over I will trek to a rental house to test this out. Maybe I am completely bonkers and have no idea what I am doing, or maybe it will look great. We shall see.

C

You're right in that this industry allows a lot of experimentation and that there's often no "right" answer, but that flexibility only bends so far before it breaks. At some point you're just convincing yourself that an image is better because "art" when you're actually hamstringing yourself into a corner with a limited toolset.

The fact you mention you prefer one image "straight out of camera" shows you're not thinking about this systematically, because the reality is unless you're shooting live feeds there is essentially zero reason you should ever have to rely on an image straight out of camera. If you disagree...remember what I said about hamstringing yourself?

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