Author Topic: [600D RAW] Has lowlight performance been improved?  (Read 4351 times)

vickersdc

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[600D RAW] Has lowlight performance been improved?
« on: December 16, 2013, 01:32:40 PM »
A while ago I ran some tests comparing raw recording against the standard H.264 recording in the Canon 600D. I rather liked the ability to use raw, even with the additional work that's required, but I completely changed my view when I saw how it reacted to lowlight situations, as even the slightest grade seemed to make it fall apart completely.

Coming back to it 6 months later, and with a new build of Tragic Lantern, and now using Davinci Resolve 10 Lite for grading, I decided to try lowlight  (ISO 1600) again. The results couldn't be more different, and I now wouldn't hesitate to use raw for lowlight recording.

How have others found raw lowlight capabilities with the 600D?

(None of the footage in this short sequence has had any noise reduction applied).

Canon 600D, Tragic Lantern [NewMem], ISO1600.
Lens was an old M42 mount Prinzflex 70-162mm f3.5-f22 macro (set at f5.6 or f8) for this test.
Graded in Resolve 10 Lite.

Farnham360: my personal video project for 2014... http://www.farnham360.co.uk
Learn the basics of Davinci Resolve 10 Lite by following the tutorials at http://www.davidvickers.co.uk
Twitter: @DVMediaPro

a1ex

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Re: [600D RAW] Has lowlight performance been improved?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 02:55:16 PM »
I'd rather say this time you exposed properly, and last time you underexposed. I found out that just 2 stops of underexposure makes a huge difference in noise (you can take a look at these samples (not video, but the noise behavior is the same).

If you want to record with less noise, use ETTR.

vickersdc

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Re: [600D RAW] Has lowlight performance been improved?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 04:58:18 PM »
Hi A1ex: I think you maybe right... I've noticed that I have a tendency to underexpose shots, and started using the waveform display. But that got me into the habit of ensuring the majority of the exposure was around the mid-level. I've now gone over to zebras instead and I'm finding that much easier and quicker, not least because I can see very quickly if it's just a specular highlight that is blowing out, or something that I really do want to retain.

Either way, I'm so glad I came back to raw recording with ML/TL and did these quick tests. I'm spending quite a bit of time just running various real-world tests with the camera and different lenses, then running the results through Resolve. I'm liking what I'm finding - ML/TL is just awesome and I'm looking forward to using it for my Farnham360 project where I'm likely to be interviewing and shooting people and places in relatively dimly lit conditions.

Just need to get rid of the green dots now, so that's my next search on the forum...
Farnham360: my personal video project for 2014... http://www.farnham360.co.uk
Learn the basics of Davinci Resolve 10 Lite by following the tutorials at http://www.davidvickers.co.uk
Twitter: @DVMediaPro

a1ex

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Re: [600D RAW] Has lowlight performance been improved?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 05:09:17 PM »
The waveform display is based on YUV data, so it may trick you into underexposing. When shooting raw, you get much less noise if you expose to the right (maybe even clip some unimportant highlights) and darken in post.

Tip: use a negative digital ISO for previewing.

Here's a comparison:
(it's buried in the 60D thread somewhere)

vickersdc

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Re: [600D RAW] Has lowlight performance been improved?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 06:08:44 PM »
Thank you for the information A1ex.

All the best,
David.
Farnham360: my personal video project for 2014... http://www.farnham360.co.uk
Learn the basics of Davinci Resolve 10 Lite by following the tutorials at http://www.davidvickers.co.uk
Twitter: @DVMediaPro

vickersdc

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600D RAW @ ISO3200
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 01:18:09 AM »
I'd always been really put off shooting the 600D at anything over about ISO400. But I think I was wrong - wrong to judge it so quickly, especially as it seems the mistake I made was to underexpose the footage too much, resulting in lots of noise. Having recently tried a test using raw recording and an ISO1600 setting - video above - I thought I should see just how noisy ISO3200 was.

I popped down to the town (Farnham, Surrey (UK)), and took a few handheld shots of the christmas lights, using just ISO3200 and the standard kit lens set at 18mm (between f5.6 and f8).

Converted in RAWMagic, edited and graded in Davinci Resolve 10 Lite, music / titles added in FCP X.

Farnham360: my personal video project for 2014... http://www.farnham360.co.uk
Learn the basics of Davinci Resolve 10 Lite by following the tutorials at http://www.davidvickers.co.uk
Twitter: @DVMediaPro

a1ex

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Re: [600D RAW] Has lowlight performance been improved?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 06:04:51 AM »