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Old February 5th, 2011, 05:04 AM   #1
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5DtoRGB - what gamma setting

I don't know if anyone else but myself has played with 5DtoRGB, a free (so far) program used to convert video clips from DSLRs to various codecs for editing, but if you have, I'd like to know what gamma setting you select when using the program.

I believe quicktime or something slightly crushes the gamma/blacks on those video clips, so they come out a little darker than shot.

In 5DtoRGB, you when converting to, for instance, prores 422 HQ, you can select either 1.8 (flatter) for your gamma, or 2.2 (more contrast).

1.8 yields a very noticeable difference, lightening the image quite a bit. Does this help if you're planning to grade later?

In my opinion 2.2 resembles what I recall shooting, and is still brighter than no conversion/the raw h264 clips (you can A/B a clip straight from cam with a converted clip on an FCP timeline to see the difference.)

Anyway, working on something right now that I do plan on grading/color correcting later, so should I use 1.8 for that? Or is 2.2 fine?
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Old March 7th, 2011, 07:32 PM   #2
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Re: 5DtoRGB - what gamma setting

What did you find out?
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Old March 7th, 2011, 08:38 PM   #3
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Re: 5DtoRGB - what gamma setting

I'm going with 2.2 (more contrast) unless something seems wrong. 1.8 is too many steps back. . .you'd have to add back in saturation/contrast just to get back where you started.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 08:44 PM   #4
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Re: 5DtoRGB - what gamma setting

It's because of the dynamic range that you want your footage flat. It's not really back steps unless you mean that the original footage was shot with a highly contrasty profile.

Why don't you use MPEG streamclip? What's the advantage of 5DtoRGB?
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Old March 7th, 2011, 09:42 PM   #5
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Re: 5DtoRGB - what gamma setting

Our "look" is pretty contrasty to start with, and I'd like to keep it that way if not take it further.


I read about 5DtoRGB and thought I'd try it. It's easy and seems to do a good job. Have not messed with MPEG Streamclip.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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Re: 5DtoRGB - what gamma setting

So here is the deal-- reading through several articles on the subject, the idea is that 5DtoRGB bypasses QT entirely in its conversion process, which avoids certain gamma/color shift issues inherent in MPEG Streamclip. Some articles also mention a general quality advantage with 5DtoRGB in the converted clips. This comes at the expense of time (5DtoRGB is extremely slow) and efficiency (5DtoRGB doesn't do batch processing, so you must convert one file at a time).

Is it for everyone? Probably not. But I'm currently working on a no budget short film with no real deadlines, so if this works for us and provides us higher quality files at the end of the day, then I say it's right for us.

Google "5DtoRGB vs MPEG Streamclip" to find many links on the subject.
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