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Old March 30th, 2018, 05:09 PM   #1
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Z90 - Shooting B&W?

Question regarding the B/W Color Mode in the profile paint menu. Never used it before on this or any other camera:

I'm starting a project that I have been absolutely, positively guaranteed will be delivered in black and white. I want as much latitude as I can in post to tweak the luminance of different color channels to get the right look. I've played around a little with B/W color mode in the profile paint menu. It seems different from cranking the saturation all the way down (NOT what I want), but I'm not sure exactly what it is doing and whether or not it will be better for grading. I really can't see any benefit for B&W color mode if I want to grade later. Guidance appreciated.
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Old March 31st, 2018, 08:48 AM   #2
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Re: Z90 - Shooting B&W?

You might want to play around with the COLOR DEPTH settings...there is a chance that they may still be able to work as grey shade adjustments in B&W. Color depth affects luminance...when you adjust these values on the waveform monitor, you will see the channel rise and fall as the value is increased or decreased. As the color will be converted in the camera matrix to B&W, this luminance shift may end up being visible as a different shade of grey. This can help you get more punchy or contrasty images...in old B&W movies, they would actually dress the actors and scene in various weird colors, just because those weird colors resulted in the shade of grey they were looking for in the final print. :)

This link in Videomaker touches slightly on the color depth in black and white video.

https://www.videomaker.com/article/c...lack-and-white

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Old March 31st, 2018, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Z90 - Shooting B&W?

Years ago I created a custom B&W profile my my F3 that looked pretty good. But that was before I discovered the power of Resolve. For a B&W look on the Z90 in 2018, I would experiment with S-LOG3 as the gamma but shoot with full color and grade in Resolve Studio -- not the free version because you're gonna need to apply some serious noise reduction to make S-LOG look acceptable on the Z90. The reason I'd do the conversion to B&W in Resolve is because you have more control over the RGB channels. Good B&W isn't just the absence of color, it is also about how you reduce or exaggerate the three colors channels (particularly red). Kinda like when shooting B&W film we used to use red and yellow filters to change skies, foliage, and skintones. Photoshop actually has some interesting B&W filters if you want to get a general sense of how the look of a B&W photo can be manipulated. A lot of that can also be done to moving images in Resolve now.

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Old March 31st, 2018, 10:05 PM   #4
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Re: Z90 - Shooting B&W?

Does the Z90 have a B&W EVF/LCD option?

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Old April 1st, 2018, 08:24 AM   #5
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Re: Z90 - Shooting B&W?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post
Does the Z90 have a B&W EVF/LCD option?

Paul
I don't see a setting anywhere for that like you might see in other Sonys for the focus magnifier. Maybe it's hidden deep down, but I couldn't find it.
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Old April 1st, 2018, 05:15 PM   #6
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Re: Z90 - Shooting B&W?

I don't recall seeing that setting, either. There's really no reason for it so it simplifies the camera to eliminate it.
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Old April 2nd, 2018, 01:24 PM   #7
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Re: Z90 - Shooting B&W?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ackerman View Post
I'm starting a project that I have been absolutely, positively guaranteed will be delivered in black and white. I want as much latitude as I can in post to tweak the luminance of different color channels to get the right look. I've played around a little with B/W color mode in the profile paint menu. It seems different from cranking the saturation all the way down (NOT what I want), but I'm not sure exactly what it is doing and whether or not it will be better for grading. I really can't see any benefit for B&W color mode if I want to grade later. Guidance appreciated.
You seem to have a handle on it. B&W is sensitive to dynamic range because all you have to communicate with is levels (hue and saturation being undefined in B&W), so if you want a broad range of tones you'll need sufficient stops to spread it over.

Also, B&W is *not* simply desaturated color. The spectral response of must color systems is fairly linear. The spectral response of most B&W systems (Kodak B&W films in particular) are not linear -- they tend to be more responsive to blues and greens than reds. Some have a bump in greens, some try to boost reds, but none of them that I've found are just desaturated color. Desaturated color is just blah, which Kodak figured out a century ago.

How you get the look you want is clearly going to be up to your vision and ingenuity. Experiment, play, screw around, try things. You'll find it eventually. But all that shoving tones around will put a premium on your original capture. The more bits you have available in the original capture, the smoother your tones in your B&W finish will be (banding tends to be *really* visible in B&W). I'd want at least 4:2:2 10 bit, and 12 bits if I could get it.
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Old April 2nd, 2018, 03:08 PM   #8
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Re: Z90 - Shooting B&W?

This is an interesting topic that I honestly never once thought about like this. In fact, I don't remember ever delivering a B&W project before. (Aside from a goofy "flash-back" scene in a color project)

Would there be any benefit to shooting in color and then working with each de-saturated RGB channel independently in post?...and then blending them together? I mean, technically, each red, blue and green channels will have it's own distinct "B&W" performance characteristic for highlight, mids and shadow.

I dunno.....the a desaturated blue B&W channel could have more shadow noise but handle highlights better? Something like that? Hmmm,....just trying to think this one through in my head.

Also, I cant expect there to be ANY advantage to shooting B&W in camera using a profile over shooting in color and working the look in post. I mean,...anything you do in camera will "flatten" the RGB channels and that is a true "destructive" process that can't be undone in post.

Hmm,...I tend to think that it's best to capture RGB and flatten them in post separately? Hmmm...

SLog-2 will give you 100% of what that sensor has from 0-109. The output values are mapped differently than SLog-3 but the DR is the same but with less noise at the bottom. Especially on this small sensor. (Actually, it's "small" compared to Micro 4/3rds, Super35 and Full Frame....but "large" compared to 2/3 inch and 1/2inch ENG cameras)

Interesting topic!

CT
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Old April 2nd, 2018, 03:30 PM   #9
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Re: Z90 - Shooting B&W?

For photography, I always shoot in color (and RAW). That gives you the most freedom when doing the black & white conversion. Plus, applications such as Photoshop know the underlying color of each pixel so you can do some very cool adjustments based on color ranges. And many applications also go beyond just binning colors into R, G and B. e.g. in Photoshop, you can independently increase yellow and orange which will soften skin pretty well.

I imaging the same techniques would apply to video.

As to if there's any advantages of shooting directly in B&W... only thing I can think of is if you have to turn around footage immediately.
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Old April 2nd, 2018, 05:12 PM   #10
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Re: Z90 - Shooting B&W?

Thank you all for turning what might be considered a dumb question into something a lot more interesting. I've been playing around with this all day and have definitely come to the conclusion that the B&W Color Mode paint setting isn't some kind of special mode that reads data off the sensor in a way to give a higher quality image for B&W capture. If anyone has discovered differently, I'd love to know.

I've pulled some Z90 test shots (Doug's Profile #2) into After Effects, which has a simple effect just like the Photoshop Black and White Adjustment. Played around with the sliders to get something close to what might work for this production. Still lots of testing to do.

I'm loving this rathole. It strikes me that people who didn't grow up during an era of black and white films and TV may have missed something very special.


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Old April 2nd, 2018, 10:53 PM   #11
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Re: Z90 - Shooting B&W?

While this tutorial is FCPX specific, given the color tools involved, you an carry over the concepts to Resolve.

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