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Sony 4K Ultra HD Handhelds
Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old April 5th, 2016, 01:25 AM   #1
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Question for Chris Young

Chris, some time ago you posted settings for the X0, images of boats in a harbour in high contrast light. I live in Thailand, similar conditions. But I lost your settings and can't find them, would you be good enough to post them again if it's not to much trouble
Many thanks
Mike
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Old April 5th, 2016, 07:10 AM   #2
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Re: Question for Chris Young

Hi Mike.

Yes that was way back in 2014 not long after the X70s came out. I guess that is what you are referring to the x70.

A lot of people have contacted me and said that they were now using those settings as their default in the x70 but as I originally pointed out at the time this modified PP was what suited me for high contrast outdoor strong sunlight and deep shadow type situations where I wanted a PP that was ready rolled ready to edit straight out of the camera with minimal grading. Not saying it suits everyone.

The results below came from some extensive testing on the Chroma Du Monde charts, WFM / Vector and real world shoots. The dynamic range on this PP is the max I have been able to extract from the X70

PP4 CYV modified settings

Black level +4
Gamma ITU709
Black Gamma / Range / High / +7
Knee / Mode / Manual / Manual Set / Point = 87.5 / Slope = -2
Color Mode / ITU709 Matrix
Saturation + 2
Color Phase -3

EVERYTHING else was left at default.

The clip you referenced, boats in a harbor, is still online and can be downloaded should anyone be interested to see what we are talking about.

www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/t9yiwl

Another clip to demonstrate this PPs dynamic range was footage from an interlace clip from some press conference overlay shots. See outside vs inside range handling. This was shot by the journo in full auto setting with "AE Shift" assigned to a button and that was set to -0.7 which I find handles most highlights fairly well if you are running in full auto iris mode.

www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/7m4ikj

When indoors under normal interview type lighting conditions where the contrast range isn't so dramatic I bring the Black Level back to '0' in most cases.

I'm finding the main thing with a number of these Sony cameras, the x70, FS700, FS5 and FS7 is you must protect the highlights. Do not let them go over 95 IRE on the peaks as that is peak white for the sensor. As the x70 doesn't have a waveform monitor I find a trick you can use on it to protect the highlights is if you use the Histogram only let the peaks just come up to the little "Mic" icon bottom right of screen.

Hope that helps

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old April 5th, 2016, 09:18 AM   #3
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Re: Question for Chris Young

Chris,
Thank you just what I was looking for. It's 40 oC here and the sun is very bright. I have just been videoing a spectacular 'Poi Sang Long' festival where the kids are dressed in garish colours.
Hope all is well in the land of Oz ( my daughter lives in Perth and I have cousins in Melbourne)
Thanks again
Mike
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Old April 6th, 2016, 08:14 PM   #4
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Re: Question for Chris Young

No problems squire, happy to help.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old April 11th, 2016, 06:51 AM   #5
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Re: Question for Chris Young

I cannot understand why this camera has a fixed and unalterable 108% white clip level, when all highlights are gone at 95IRE. At least give us a 100% white clip menu option.........is it a good thing the camera clips below what my ATSC transmitter will clip at? :)

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Old April 13th, 2016, 12:10 AM   #6
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Re: Question for Chris Young

Hi Paul I am baffled as to why you are still struggling with this. Try this and tell me your results. This is to prove you can set your clip level in the x70 from anywhere from about 80-22 IRE and upward, in 50Hz at any rate and I would guess not much difference in 60Hz.

Grab a waveform monitor, set it up. Now point your camera at a softlight. Fill the screen until nothing but the softlight is filling the picture. Go 100% manual open the iris fully and set gain to 0. Make sure the light source is of sufficient brightness to allow total over exposure.

I'm using PP4. Go to the Knee set it to Manual. Set the knee to 75 now set Slope to -5. Now look at a waveform monitor and you will see the camera clipping at just above 80 IRE. You cannot get it to go any higher. This example is to show you how you can control the clip point with these two adjustments. Obviously this is a totally useless setting. The advantage of these adjustment is so that you can set your desired max clip with a combination of knee and slope and then WITHIN that combination get the maximum dynamic range that can be achieved under your desired clip point.

Now let's do the opposite. Leave all camera settings the same. Wind your Knee to 105 and your slope to +5. BTW this Slope setting effectively negates the knee anyhow. Now what do you see on the scope. Your clip level is now way over 100 IRE... correct?

The whole aim of adjusting these settings is to get the result you want. Down here in Oz broadcast will accept 104 levels even though the spec is 100 IRE. Basically the the video legalizers at the network will clip everything over 100 IRE on transmission.

The settings I came up with for the x70s are those that offered the optimum dynamic range off that 1" sensor with a peak level of about 104-5. They were Knee at 87.5 and slope of -2. This produced the most natural looking highlight roll off with a reasonable range of dynamic handling. These two settings combined with the other settings like the Black Gamma High +7 and the Black Level +4 in high contrast settings gave the camera a pretty good rolled in the camera ready to use look that required minimal grading. Indoors and for most other situations we run the Black Level at '0'. If you download that clip:

www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/t9yiwl

and put it on your timeline and check the clip levels you will see virtually none. At about 20 seconds you will see levels of around 104 but no clipping. The reason for that is because that is what the settings listed at the beginning of the clip will deliver on an x70.

The reason this camera and most other cameras don't handle much above 95 IRE is because a piece of white card in a direct light source does not reflect any more than about 95% of the light that lands on it. The rest gets absorbed. Therefore any white object in a scene, white car, building, shirt or whatever should never be exposed above 95 IRE if you want to maintain detail in those whites. In 99% of cases anything that is above 95 is a direct source such as a point of light, a reflection off water or glass or an extreme reflection such as off chrome strips on vehicles. You cannot expose for those because the dynamic range in the x70 is built around the 6 stop Rec 709 standard therefore anything over 95 goes to the great land of CLIPPING. Now if you have set your Knee / Slope combo to reflect a clip of 100 that's where it will clip. Not way above 100 IRE. Bear in mind that it's a combo of these two in their push / pull relationship with one another that will give you the max dynamic handling of your highlights.

With night time news what with rescue lights etc you are going to have many direct sources of light that are way in excess of 100 IRE. Don't worry about those if you Knee / Slope settings are going to nail those at around 100 IRE. The object to get the max out of any camera is to make sure that your 'reflected' white highlights, or brightest parts, are not exposed much over 95 IRE. Do that and in 99% of cases the rest will look after itself. Keep your reflected highlights to 95 IRE and you then you get the max out of the camera's dynamics.

Unfortunately the x70 does not have a WFM so a tip I give to shooters when using the x70 is run the Histogram but do not let the important highlights OF YOUR SUBJECT go any further to the right than that little microphone symbol on the bottom right of the screen. This is about 95 IRE when checked on the WFM.

Hope that helps in understanding the x70 clipping syndrome. I'm applying these basics to the RX-100, the FS5, FS7, FS700 and the A7S's 1 & 2 when running Rec 709 and getting good results with no issues out off all of them and no complaints from broadcasters.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old April 13th, 2016, 04:02 AM   #7
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Re: Question for Chris Young

Chris, a few months ago I posted a knee setting per my waveform monitor, that rolled highlights along but not above 100IRE. I ditched it because with the mixed lighting I deal with, and the way that colors shift horribly when compressed on this camera, it just looked really bad. Black stretch of HIGH +7 with highlight protection allows you to bring down or maintain your highlights, and brings up the darker stuff to match. Works better in high contrast situations than it does in dark conditions. In dark conditions, HIGH +7 looks pretty muddy and ugly. Unfortunately, with live streaming on, I can't toggle that depending on scenery.

On my A7sII and even the crappy JVC cameras at my station, they record usable detail up to 108IRE, which you can then bring down to 100IRE, sort of like "NLE knee". :-)

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Old April 14th, 2016, 05:16 PM   #8
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Re: Question for Chris Young

Chris, here is a clip I shot last night using your 87.5 -2 knee, +4 black level, and HIGH +2 black gamma, no color correction or grading done in post, only a stabilizer filter. Wanted to see how those settings handle high contrast night scenes such as a dark parking lot and a brightly lit store interior. The blacks look high on the scopes, but how do you think they look?

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Old April 15th, 2016, 04:29 AM   #9
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Re: Question for Chris Young

Here is another good example of using Chris's 87.5 -2 knee, and +4 black level. In this clip, I was running black gamma HIGH +2, and you are seeing it straight out of the camera, I didn't alter it a bit. I really like this knee and how you can see his face highlighting, but it doesn't compress badly and make him look weird. :-)

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Old April 15th, 2016, 11:38 AM   #10
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Re: Question for Chris Young

Yes Paul I would be pretty happy to use results like these two clips shot under those conditions. I don't see anything too objectionable in any of the highlights. The High + 2 Black Gamma seems to be working ok for you on these shots. I think High '0' might work ok as well. You could even drop your Black levels back down to 0 in these conditions and find that works fine. As I've said before for a lot of scenes like this the dynamic range is well below that of full sunlight with harsh shadows so all these settings are open to experimentation. The ones I won't change for myself though are the knee 87.5 and slope -2 settings because for me these settings get the best natural roll off into the highlights which in clip #1 are the interior lights in the store. Don't let the peaks go past 95IRE and generally the images come out reasonably exposed without too much blowout in the highlights.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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