Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Canon 5D Mk-II support with Neo Scene 1.1.2

Another Canon 5D Mk-II post, you would think I owned one, I don't -- Canon can you help me solve that? It is the camera's behavior that has caught my interest, plus the large video post market it is generated.

In the previous two posts I determined that the Canon 5D is using the full YUV range all 0 to 255 values. This can cause headaches throughout post as cameras typically use a luma range of 16 to 235, so it requires the operator know there is image data in the blacks and clipped highlights, and that the NLE can handle that information to restore it (many can't.) However, using the the full range offers the best tonal range for a limited 8-bit compression, and we don't want to lose that by crushing the range into the regular 16-235 as the CoreAVC decoder does with a user option (see the resulting spikey histogram.)

Neo Scene has a 10-bit solution. Reducing the 8-bit data from 255 levels to only 220 levels (with 16-219) something will always be lost, so we bump the data to 10-bit first, a 0 to 1023 range, then reduce that data to the 10-bit YUV standard range of 64-940, which has the precision to maintain all the source levels without introducing image banding. It is this 10-bit range-corrected data that we compress to CineForm from the Canon 5D Mk-II. By normalizing the Canon 5D data, the full dynamic range is now preserved in all editing and viewing environments.

We will be adding this feature to all our products over the next few weeks.