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Old November 19th, 2010, 10:23 PM   #1
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7D settings for Cineform post


Looking for some advice. I have the biggest project I've ever done coming up december 11th and 12th. We are shooting on a 7D-PL from Hot Rod Cameras with some classic Canon cinema lenses. Some call them the K35's I think. Its a set that's 18, 25, 35, 50, & 85 @ T 1.5, 1.5, 1.3, 1.3, & 1.3 (respectively).

I'm wanting to do my post in the Cineform intermediate and grade with firstlight. What camera settings would you recommend? What should my picture profile be? Should I do that WB Shift recommended by Shane Hurlbut? Should I stick with only Native ISO's or is that rubbish? You know, how flat should I actually shoot if I'm working in Cineform. I feel like cineform already gains back latitude compared to ProRes.

Any comments are much much much appreciated!!!

Thank you!!
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Old November 20th, 2010, 09:18 AM   #2
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I have not gotten too aggressive with flattening the image, just using the ProLost recommendations ProLost - Blog - Flatten Your5D I do stick with the native ISOs, not rubbish (160, 320, 640, ....) I haven't done the WB Shift, need to look into that, after all Shane Hurlbut uses CineForm in his post, and apparently hates the look of ProRes (I never meet the guy to confirm that story.)
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Old November 20th, 2010, 12:49 PM   #3
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A lot of this depends on the look that you are going for. If you want your footage to look similar to the way Shane's does, then use his settings. One trend in cinematography, as cameras become more capable, is to shoot as flat as possible, so that you can change the look later in post. With an 8bit recording format, the Canon DSLRs don't give you the level of freedom to do that that most people expect at this point.

Stu's settings on ProLost give you the flattest image, giving you the most options in post, but this comes at the expense of image quality. With only 8bits of color depth, if you make the image too flat, then you will have banding when you push the image in post.

Shane on the other hand knows exactly the look he wants when he shoots. He is not recommending manually lowering the contrast and saturation because it gives you more flexibility in post, but because he likes the way that looks. We pre-screened the feature he shot in a theater last week with zero corrrection applied to the 5D footage, and it looks beautiful as shot.

Regardless of the actual exact settings you choose, I would recommend that you dial in your cameras to give you a look as close as possible to the final result you are looking for, NOT to a setting that will give you the most flexibility in post. With the recording limitations (8bit H264) you need every bit to count, so don't try to capture tons of extra shadows and highlights if you plan to crush them out in post anyway.

That should answer your questions about picture profile, profile setings, and WB shift. The ISO thing is a scientific fact, that I have personally confirmed by experimentation, so I can assure you that using ISOs that are multiples of 160 will result in lower noise in the final image. So if you want less video noise, that is the way to go. And yes, I can confirm that Shane now prefers Cineform over ProRes, it only took me two years to convince him the value of the obvious benefits of the format, but he has finally seen the light.
For more information on these topics, check out my tech website at www.hd4pc.com
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