DoRiDoRe | Real Japanese Drifting Series | Hasselblad H6D-100C
Hey guys, I'm Carmody Matthew - an Aussie that has lived half of his life in Japan.
After many years as an interpreter, I've found a new form of expression in moving images.
I mostly work as a Gimbal and camera operator specializing in fast-paced raw filming/editing/grading.
Feel free to drop me a line if you are ever in my neck of the world.
Contact: IG @matte_production
Here is the rough summary of my thoughts on using the Hasselblad H6D-100C as a 4K raw video shooting camera.
NOTE: I often shoot high paced events, so decided to film a drift tournament as a real-world test of what the camera can do after several days of preliminary testing and preparing a usable rig.
The workflow and technical stuff:
It shoots 24p UHD 4K video to CFAST2.0 cards in a proprietary compressed raw format with a .3FV container.
The 256GB CFAST2.0 cards I used held around 20 minutes worth of data.
BUT it doesn't tell you how much space is left on the card...you have to guess and backup as you go. Probably the biggest problem with this camera for serious work.
The whole width of the sensor is being used, with the tops and bottoms cut off to create 16:9 aspect video. Quite amazing as it converts 12K images in camera to 4K video on the fly. As a result, prepare for...
MASSIVE rolling shutter effect. Akin to a6300 and a6500.
Don't try and shoot handheld with anything over 24mm, especially if you are a heavy coffee drinker like me...
You have to decompress these files into a flavor of Prores or a CDNG sequence using their software Phocus. You can name these sequences, or just output to the same name as the original compressed file.
Phocus is VERY slow to decompress the files. It took close to 20 hours on my reasonable fast PC to decompress 930GB of .3FV files from the main shoot.
The decompressed 16bit CDNG files take approx. 2.5 times the space of the original compressed .3FV files.
Creating proxies is very simple, especially if you use Resolve. I used a software called Slimraw (you have to buy this) to compress the 16bit CDNG files into 12bit CDNG with 3:1 or 4:1 etc compression and edit/grade in Resolve.
You then just re-link the original 16bit CDNG and output.
This is similar to what you have to do with X5R footage from the Inspire 1 or OSMO RAW.
Anyone familiar with Blackmagic or DJI products will feel at home with these files.
There is no built-in mic.
You can attach an external mic via the 3.5mm jack on the side for audio.
I couldn't find anywhere in the menu to alter or monitor audio levels. They appear fixed. I had to scrap all audio from the shoot as it was way too loud and noisy. A shame, as some of the engines sounded amazing...
Audio is recorded along with an mp4 file that is put in the CDNG folder and called "audio.mp4". The mp4 files are 25p, not 24p like the raw files. Audio.mp4 and raw sequences are different lengths and don't match. The audio isn't going to be easy to use even for scratch due to this.
The pre amps are rubbish, and the audio isn't usable. Kind of reminiscent of the BMPCC.. people who have used it will know what I mean.
Filming & Rigging:
The camera body needs to be risen as the lens is lower than the body and will hit the tripod or gimbal plate in some cases. Much like with many mirrorless cameras like the a7 series.
The viewfinder can be removed, so I did to streamline the build. Combined with the very compact 80mm lens, fitting it on a Ronin-M was very straight forward.
The built in screen is useless for anything other than "seeing" you have an image. You absolutely need an external monitor to shoot video on this thing. The built in screen's histogram etc. doesn't work in video mode, so you have no idea of your exposure.
The built in focus peaking will only work if you first go to photo mode and then back to video mode.
It stops working as soon as you press record.
The 1080p feed out from the mini HDMI out seems to have a heavy rec.709 lut applied, making it impossible to judge anything without meters.
I used an IKAN DH5e 5" external monitor with waveform to expose 2-3 stops over, ignoring the misleading blown out look you get on the monitor. The raw files have amazing highlight recovery, more on this later.
The sensor will overheat in continual live view mode after around 30 minutes on a warm day. So I left it off between shots when possible.
I managed to shoot an event for over 8 hours straight with only one overheat
The battery in the hand grip only lasts around 30 mins when using live view and shooting video.
To shoot a full day event I made a 12V D-TAP cable to get external power from the Ronin battery distributor for gimbal work, and a V-mount for tripod shots.
I didn't have to change the hand grip battery once with this setup. NOTE: You have to have the hand grip battery inserted for the system to boot, so the hand grip can't be removed.
No built in ND filters meant back to good old 4"x 5.65" IRND for the 300mm and 24mm, and a 67mm IR cut + Variable ND for the 80mm/2.8 and 100mm/2.2. Not a big deal if, like me, you have filters lying around for other cameras without built in NDs.
There is no way to remote trigger REC with something like a LANC cable. You have to press the TINY rec button on the touchscreen, or press the shutter button on the hand grip.
Needless to say, this makes recording very difficult on a gimbal especially...
The live view screen will stop after ever clip you record, requiring you to restart live view and get everything setup again for every individual cut. Slightly annoying if you want to shoot clips in quick succession.
I found you need to film at ISO64 for best results.
I decided to use ISO64 for every shot in the demo video after testing it for several days in various environments.
It needs light, and lots of it for clean video.
The closets you get to 180 degree shutter is 1/45 or 1/60, no option for 1/48 or even 1/50. A little bizarre as they set it up to only film video at 24p...
NOTE: ALL SHOTS IN THE VIDEO USED ISO64 and 1/60 SHUTTER. I could have chosen 1/45, but drift cars are fast and I wanted to cut stills from the video as well...
The colors are amazing even with a standard rec.709 lut and basic grading applied in Resolve. The grade you see in the video took literally 30 seconds to achieve.
The highlight recovery of the 16bit raw files is quite amazing. You can get back even the most severely overexposed areas to a point where the clipping doesn't bother your eye. Almost Arri like in some cases. Quite amazing and MUCH better than cameras like the Ursa Mini Pro (which I own).
The shadows can have a weird noise pattern. (see wide angle slow push into the yellow car. window. The closest bucket seat is a mess of noise)
It would seem the compressed raw files favor the highlights at the expense of the shadows.
They are generally fine if you understand you need to overexpose in light of the excellent highlight recovery of the 16bit raw files.
The overexposed areas can, however, suffer from purple fringing. I needed to mask and fix a few shots in the video.
Check the wheel rims and other metallic parts in some shots, you can see a bit of this purple in the bright highlights.
LENSES: (This is a bit subjective)
The 24mm has severe distortion in the corners as it is apparently designed for a slightly smaller medium-format sensor. Check the wide shots in the video. I didn't find myself wanting to use it much.
The 80mm is a great all-round lens that is really compact with a bright F2.8 aperture. I used it as the main lens on a Ronin-M with a DJI follow focus system. 80% of the footage is filmed with this lens. I shot the early morning shots at around F2.8-F3.5. Later on I used F5.6 for slightly wider shots like the fake cop car with flashing lights.
The 300m was naturally a tough one to shoot moving objects like drift cars with, but the images are beautiful. Most of the shots in the video with the 300m (underpants man(?) and the blue drift car, guy waving green t-shirt) are shot at F5.6 from memory with 1.2 IRND applied.
All lenses seemed a tad soft and creamy, while at the same time highly resolving wide open, something I actually liked. They really started resolving when slightly stopped down to F4 through F8.
The bokeh/roll off from all the lenses (aside from the 24mm which I used at F8 mostly) is absolutely beautiful. The subject in focus is very 3-dimensional and the backgrounds are soft and creamy to my eye. Watching the video should show this better than anything I write here.
I hope some of this might be useful if you ever get your hands on a Hasselblad for video! This camera is not everyone's cut of tea. However, working around the above restrictions you can get very nice images in the right conditions.