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Tim Akin June 14th, 2015 01:53 PM

Problem with X70 handling skin tones
2 Attachment(s)
Last couple of weddings I have noticed the X70 not handling skin tones very well. Some skin will look blotchy red and sometimes bluish purple. I have attached a screenshot showing the problem.

Can this be corrected with picture profiles?

I was using about 9db of gain with WB at 3200K

You can see on the grooms cheek and ear and also around the pastors mouth the purple tint.
Just for comparison I attached the XA20 shot.

Here's the profile I'm using.

Black Level - +15
Gamma - ITU709
Black Gamma - Range High - Level 7
Knee - manual - 82.5% - Slope +1
Color mode - ITU709 Matrix
Saturation - -1
Color Phase - -1
Color Depth - All 0
Color Correction - Revision - Memoty 1&2
Memory 1 Color - Phase 10 - Range 4
Memory 1 Revision - Phase +8
Memory 2 Phase 19 - Range 7
Memory 2 Revision Phase -14
Detail - -2
Manual Set - On
Limit - 7
Crispening - 3

Noa Put June 14th, 2015 02:08 PM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
Does the camera have a standard profile that doesn't change anything? I never was a big fan of making adjustments in profiles as they often introduce more problems then they fix if you don't exactly know what each setting does.

I would test to see if a "no profile" has the problem as well or not, if that is not the case then a wrong setting in the profiles is the cause but don't ask me what that would be.

David Dixon June 14th, 2015 03:31 PM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
A couple of thoughts

On this particular camera, Paul Anderegg has proven that accurate color is impossible unless you adjust those Color Correction settings. And, I personally do not like any of the factory PP settings and never use them.

I get excellent color out of similar settings, but I also always do a custom white balance.

And, to my taste, these settings are not meant for a finished look in-camera. When using these type of settings I adjust saturation, color (if needed), exposure (of lows and mids especially), sharpness, etc. in post. So assuming this is not the final look, I'd be more curious to see what things look like after "grading."

If this *is* your goal as a finished look with no grading, then I would not use settings this flat.

I can't help mentioning that if you keep in mind that the Sony is ungraded and the Canon is a final look, I much prefer the Sony image and detail. That's especially impressive given that with -2 Detail and +3 Crispening you're really dialing back the sharpness on the Sony.

Paul Anderegg June 14th, 2015 09:42 PM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
The PP color correction settings I posted in the old post were specifically meant to address the two most offending colors. You can only select two colors on the vector wheel to adjust, and I chose to first align RED, and then GREEN. Red effects your SKIN TONES, so that is the first priority. Green is on the scope the furthest off, extending almost over to where yellow resides.

The best we can hope for with color correction settings is to reduce the variances of two primary colors at once. This makes further correction in POST easier, because you have the camera as accurate for as many colors as you can get it when recording to file.

QUESTION........were you on a preset or manual kelvin, or did you PUSH TO WHITE on A or B? I ask because the X70 has a tendency to move the color wheel all over the scope when you push to white. If you white of anything slightly lit with an LED or florescent, then the entire color spectrum will SHIFT towards MAGENTA to counteract the slight green in those push to white sources. Redish skin tone would be indicative of a magenta shift.

And another tip. please consider the PHASE adjustment something you can feel free to mess with DURING A SHOOT. If you see reds especially that look a bit off, just tweak that PHASE adjustment left and right until you are happy with the results. I shoot a lot of fire trucks, and it is almost impossible to get them to not be ORANGE or PINK, even with my color corrections. Simply messing with the PHASE can make them happy "fire engine red", but you don't want to live with that specific phase fix all the time.


Christopher Young June 15th, 2015 12:34 AM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1889402)
I never was a big fan of making adjustments in profiles as they often introduce more problems then they fix if you don't exactly know what each setting does.

I would 100% endorse this quote of Noah's. The minute you start playing with the color correction in the x70 it can cause problems if you change lighting, white balances, locations etc. If you are working under a controlled fixed lighting setup in one location then I find the CC adjustments great to fine tune one or two particular colors in the scene. The minute you change any of the lighting parameters / temperatures these settings go west. The x70 manual is quite specific in warning users about this on page #58. Paying particular attention to the third bullet point. See attached page grab.

I can only attest to my experience with the x70 but in all the cases where I have used this camera with the settings I favor I do a manual white balance. if that is slightly off when I come to post color correction at least it stays consistent and is easy to fix. Trying to CC an auto track white balance in varying conditions is enough to send me to the funny farm very quickly.

I've attached a compile pic showing skin tones. Each one of the grabs represented are straight off the camera files without any correction applied. Each setup was with a manual white balance at the time of the shoot and using my own PP4 settings. I'm not saying my setup will appeal to anyone but what I am trying to point out is that in a multitude of very mixed lighting scenarios I have not seen any really offensive off color issues with regards to skin tones when NOT using the color correction settings.

When using modified CC settings I have found I HAVE TO re-adjust those CC settings if I do a white balance otherwise the adjusted colors can influence any tones in the picture that have any component percentage of the adjusted colors in them. Adjusting the CC settings and running auto white for me is walking on the wild side. Quite unpredictable in what the resulting images will look like. My two cents.

Chris Young
CYV Productions

Paul Anderegg June 15th, 2015 12:42 AM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
Roger that Chris. My PP color corrections were done with Lowel Omni lighting at 3200k, which is why I insist they are best used with MANUAL KELVIN matching your lighting. I would rather move the FCPX global hockey puck up or down a bit to correct for LED type lighting than let the X70 push to white move that variable in any direction it deems workable! Easier to correct for a lighting variable that to correct for a push to white all over the scope.

I am sooooooo much happier with the multi matrix controls on my X180, it is a dream to calibrate, unlike the X70.


Noa Put June 15th, 2015 01:17 AM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones

Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg (Post 1889436)
And another tip. please consider the PHASE adjustment something you can feel free to mess with DURING A SHOOT.

The problem I see here is that Tim shoots weddings and that environment doesn't allow for much error during a shoot, especially if setup time is limited, even making a custom whitebalance is often not possible meaning you have to rely on either a whitebalance preset or just leave it in auto if you are not sure, that little flipout screen is way too small to visually judge your color anyway. I have had my share of preset experiments in the past (on my canon xh-a1 and sony nex-ea50) and often found that for run and gun where I had to match up with other camera's using a standard camerapreset with no adjustments at all was still the best option, there was so many contradictory information on the internet and after trying yet another persons preferred preset and coming home from a shoot with funky colors I finally gave up.

light at a wedding can be really challenging and it starts already in a church where you can have a mixture of color temperatures that to even make it worse can change between the altar and where the guests are sitting, add a occasional sun beam true the purple stained church glass that appears and disappears because it's cloudy and that just has made your day, and then I"m not even talking about venue lights...

Tim Akin June 15th, 2015 06:19 AM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
Thanks for the input.

Noa - I think I might go back to the stadard profile, I didn't see this problem on the first few weddings I shot with the 70.

Paul - I was on the 3200 preset. I tried push to white first which gave me 3000k but I liked 3200 better.

Chris - All the skin tones look very good in your screen crabs, I would be very pleased with that.

Most of the time skin looks good, it's when the skin has two shades to it, that's when the x70 seems to magnify the red in the skin. The brides face with all the makup on is nice and even so no problems.

Last weeks wedding the back of the brides arm would always look sunburned red, they might have put makeup on the front, don't know. And you can't see this on the cameras flip out screen. I even went back and looked at that shot I attached and it looks fine on the cameras screen.

David Dixon June 15th, 2015 08:12 AM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
OK, I seem to be outvoted here. I thought I had this sorted.

I always do a manual white balance. Despite what the manual (and you guys) say, I truly found that I got more accurate colors overall using Paul's settings for ITU709 Color Correction than I did before I started using them. But, maybe I should verify that again...

I shoot often in a venue that is a mix of daylight and fluorescent overheads, but also sometimes in daylight outside. I rarely shoot in a situation where I don't have a chance to do a new manual white balance when I feel it's needed.

So, what is recommended when working from a manual white balance - turning off all Color Corrections?

Paul Anderegg June 15th, 2015 05:31 PM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
Due to the EASE at which the PP settings can be accessed, you can go into the Color Correction portion, and toggle that specific setting ON/OFF at any time, and choose which you PREFER. I actually have a secondary PP that has all the gamma and black stretch, detail etc settings, but with the Color Correction and WB settings shut OFF. This way, I can press the PP button and go up and down between my PP's and see the change in colors live. I actually find the WB MG/GN/R/B adjustments to be more of an issue than the CC settings.

Also a good idea to get a feel for how your LCD and EVF display color accuracy. I find my X70 LCD to be a bit green/yellow in tint, so I don't get to terribly afraid if it looks a tad yellow. I have a Spyder calibrated MacBook monitor, so that helps a bit.


Ricky Sharp June 16th, 2015 05:38 AM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones

Originally Posted by Christopher Young (Post 1889441)
I can only attest to my experience with the x70 but in all the cases where I have used this camera with the settings I favor I do a manual white balance.

I'm finding that I also prefer manual WB. I often do the same with my DSLR.

Along with manual WB, what PP do you tend to use most Chris? For now, I'm just using unmodified (i.e. factory settings) PPs. Still not set on which one I like best, but have been experimenting mostly with 3 and 4, but a couple times with 5.


Tim Akin June 16th, 2015 12:18 PM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
Yes Chris, I would be interested in your custom PP4 setting also.

David Dixon June 16th, 2015 09:49 PM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
Until Chris chimes in, his video from late last fall gave these settings to tame contrast in bright sunlight shooting:

Default PP4 except for:

Black Level +4 (to de-crush the blacks a bit)
Gamma ITU709
Black Gamma/Range High +7 (further de-crushing)
Knee/Mode/Manual/Manual set Point 87.5, Slope -2 (to pull down highlights a little)
Color Mode ITU709
Saturation +2
Color Phase -3

I think he's also posted that in darker/lower contrast scenarios he lowers the Blacks more than this.
I don't know if he's done other adjustments to these since then.

Christopher Young June 17th, 2015 07:01 AM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
Correct David. I'm still using those modified PP4 settings and have found I can't really improve much on them for strong sun / shadow situations. If shooting lower contrast outdoor settings or properly lit indoor setups, stage shows, interviews etc I will bring the Black Level back down to anywhere between +4 and 0 and more often than not 0 and leave the other settings as you outlined. Setting black back to '0' also helps if gain is being used as it does tend to quieten the lower level blacks somewhat, especially at higher gain levels.

The only additional changes I have made since then are to the 'Color Depth' settings where both RED and BLUE have gone to +4. I found in real world situations both strong primary reds and blues were often a little bit strident and over the top and needed adjusting down in post. It's counter intuitive to think that + adjustments would decrease values but in the case of the Color Depth settings + figures actually decrease the luminance of the any color that is adjusted. So subsequently to me the reds and blues now appear to be somewhat more realistic. These color depth settings are more of a subjective taste thing and have no adverse effect on the signal.

Bear in mind that with this camera I wanted footage we could just cut and deliver straight out of the camera with minimal grading. Just like we have been doing for ages with our disc based PDW XDCams. If on a job a producer calls for something his editors can grade and play around with then I will shoot S-LOG but then that will be on the FS700.

Chris Young
CYV Productions

Tim Akin June 17th, 2015 07:47 AM

Re: Problem with X70 handling skin tones
Thanks Chris and David, I will be testing these settings out before our next wedding. I wish I would have looked into to it a few weeks ago. We had an outside wedding in the shade of the trees except for the brides face, yep, one spot in the trees was letting the sun through right on the brides face.....I had a time with that.

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