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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old March 9th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #76
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Thanks Alister I will be interested in seeing your dialed in settings.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 11:37 AM   #77
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New Dialled in settings and Aperture Correction Notes.

After completing the multi camera shootout at Visual Impact, one thing was bothering me about the pictures from the PMW-350 and that was the way the specular highlights in the tin foil were artificially enhanced. During the test the camera was set to factory defaults, which IMHO are too sharp, but the foil in particular looked nasty. Since then I have been further refining my paint settings for the 350 and looking at detail and aperture. Today I was replicating the tin foil test and looking at the aperture settings (not the knee aperture) and I noticed that turning aperture on and off had a very pronounced effect on highlights but a much smaller effect elsewhere in the image. Normally I would expect the aperture setting to act as a high frequency boost making subtle textures more or less enhanced, which it does, but the amount of enhancement appears to vary with the brightness of the image with specular highlights getting a really big hit of correction. With Aperture at +99 there are big ugly black lines around the highlights and textures are enhanced. To some degree this is the expected behaviour although I am surprised by how thick the edges around the highlights are, this looks more like detail correction (it could be "ringing"). With Aperture at -99 textures appear very slightly softer than OFF, which is not unexpected while specular highlights are still sharper than OFF and this is not expected. I don't like this behaviour I'm afraid to say as a typical way to get a filmic look from a video camera is to turn the detail correction off to give a natural picture and then use Aperture correction to boost high frequencies to retain detailed textures. On the PMW-350 you can't do this as this as a high Aperture setting will give you nasty edges on highlights. So what can you do? Well the 350's native, un-enhanced resolution is very high anyway so it doesn't need a lot of correction or boosting. The default Detail and Aperture settings will give some really nasty highlight edges so you need to back things off. If your going for a filmic look I would turn OFF aperture correction altogether, for video work with pictures that have some subtle enhancement I would use Aperture at around -20, certainly never higher than -15 unless you like black lines around specular highlights.

My current prefered detail, aimed at giving a very slight, not obvious enhancement are are as follows:

Detail Level -12, H-V Ratio +15, Crispening 0, Frequency +30, White Limit +30, Black Limit +40 (all other detail settings at default)

Aperture OFF for filmic look, Aperture -20 for video look.

I have also made some changes to the Matrix settings. I have been finding the pictures from Sony cameras to be a little on the Green/Yellow side so I have tweaked things a little to remove the yellow cast and put in a bit of red, this is a subtle change but really helps with skin tones, stopping on screen talent from looking ill! These settings work in the PMW-350, EX1/3 and PDW-700.

On an EX1/EX3 this works best with the Standard Matrix, On a PMW-350 or PDW-700 you can use it on it's own or mix it with one of the preset matrices as a modifier. User Matrix On, R-G 0, R-B +5, G-R -6, G-B +8, B-R -15, B-G -9

There are pictures of the Aperture behavior on my blog at xdcam-user.com.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 04:17 AM   #78
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I re-ran the MTF-50 curves with Imatest for the PMW350. I ran them many times over, each time making adjustments to the detail settings in order to grasp the nature of each control, and to achieve the best balance per Imatest.

The posted curves are neither the best, nor the worst, but are representative. The lessons learned are summarized below:

1.) Most of the settings have very little (if any) influence on the vertical resolution. The settings predominately affect the horizontal resolution.
2.) The settings with the largest influence on resolution are not even in the detail settings, but the lens itself, zoom level and iris opening.
3.) Resolution (and contrast) increases as you go wider. At the lens center, the highest measured resolution is with an aperture opening between f/3.4 and f/4.0.
4.) In relation to a standard 2-pixel sharpening radius, the vertical is virtually always undersharpened, and the horizontal oversharpened, almost no matter what you do with the settings. Ideally, the best balance should be when the horizontal is oversharpened by the same amount the vertical is undersharpened.
5.) When creating a detail setting, due consideration should be given to each end of the zoom, in other words it should look as undersharpened at the long end of the zoom as it looks oversharpened at the wide end.
6.) In viewing the MTF50 curves, of primary importance is the smoothness to the curve, free of peaks and valleys.
7.) After experimenting with many settings, ironically the best curves were produced by the settings that visually had the best appeal, so if you like your settings, they probably exhibit good transfer characteristics. I really was surprised when the settings I already had produced the best curves, though not necessarily putting up the highest numbers, they were nonetheless very good.
8.) The PMW350 with the kit lens easily meets the resolution specification stated by Sony, and moreover reaches the nyquist limit.
9.) There are other factors that define image quality, contrast, flare resistance, pincushion/barrel distortions (spherical aberrations) and digital processing.

MTF Curves below, Horizontal and Vertical
Attached Thumbnails
PMW-350 Developing Scene Files (Picture Profiles)-imatest_horz.png   PMW-350 Developing Scene Files (Picture Profiles)-imatest_vert.png  

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Old March 12th, 2010, 07:09 AM   #79
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Interesting Tom I wonder how this test would change with more expensive lens? It might show the Kit lens is great or is limited.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #80
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I'm not surprised that your Imatest results didn't show much change with different detail settings, as detail and aperture only really change perceived image detail levels as opposed to actual camera resolution. The results obtained with the lens are pretty typical of most zoom lenses with the wider end producing more contrast than the tele end and f4 is about where you would expect a well designed lens to perform at it's best. Below F8 you will be in to diffraction limiting anyway.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #81
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Here are the AbelCineTech PMW350 looks I've made.

http://blog.abelcine.com/wp-content/...10/03/SONY.zip

Just unzip and copy onto an SxS card. Enjoy.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Interesting Tom I wonder how this test would change with more expensive lens? It might show the Kit lens is great or is limited.
It would not show anything about the kit lens, although you could compare/contrast the result of the better lens to it. Since the kit lens achieve nyquist at the center, I would expect the expensive lens could be better at the corners, could be better zoomed, could have better bokeh, less flare, better build etc.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #83
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I've been using settings based on Alister's HG4 settings but have found the blacks a little washy so now use:

Black Gamma at -30
H Mid

I understand the idea of preserving info for the grade but I was always crushing them so may as well do it in camera prior to compression.

Alistair, I found those matrix settings a little too washed out. May just be personal taste.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 02:07 PM   #84
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if you use the multi-matrix to combine my less yellow matrix with one of the presets you can boost the saturation or raise all of the matrix settings by the same amount you will have higher saturation.

I did suggest suggest using black gamma to give the Hypergamma images more punch at the expense of gradability earlier in the thread. These are my current scene file settings:

Alister-Natural (If you do NOT intend to grade include: Black Gamma On, Level -30, Range High)

Master Black -3, Gamma On, Gamma select 4 4609, Gamma Category HG, Detail On, Level -12, H/V Ratio +15, Crispening 0, Frequency +30, White Limit +30, Black Limit +40, Aperture On, Level -20. Matrix On, Preset Matrix On, Preset select 2, User Matrix On, R-G 0, R-B +5, G-R -6, G-B +8, B-R -15, B-G -9

Alister-Filmic, designed to be graded. (as above but Aperture OFF, Detail Level -16, Preset Matrix OFF)

Master Black -3, Gamma On, Gamma select 4 4609, Gamma Category HG, Detail On, Level -16, H/V Ratio +15, Crispening 0, Frequency +30, White Limit +30, Black Limit +40, Aperture OFF. Matrix On, Preset Matrix OFF, User Matrix On, R-G 0, R-B +5, G-R -6, G-B +8, B-R -15, B-G -9

Alister-Canon-Look (Deep filmic look with semi crushed blacks)

Master Black -4, Gamma On, Gamma select 4 4609, Gamma Category HG, Black Gamma ON, level -40, Range High. Detail On, Level -10, H/V Ratio +15, Crispening 0, Frequency +30, White Limit +30, Black Limit +40, Aperture OFF. Matrix On, Preset Matrix On, Preset select 2, User Matrix On, R-G 0, R-B +7, G-R -6, G-B +9, B-R -17, B-G -10
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Old March 12th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #85
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Alister you posted the screen grabs at twilight in the other thread with the 350 and the 700. Were they also shot with the above or similar settings, in particular HG4? They are very nice.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #86
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Gentlemen,

First of all, thank you all for being so selfless and posting your camera settings findings. It takes a lot of precious time to setup so many camera settings.

Yes, I know what is suitable for one may not be for another, however the settings can be a very helpful starting point, even if they are NOT the settings for you!.

I know that Paul uses a ZA lens, but what are you other posters using please?

Thanks very much
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Old March 12th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #87
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Yes, they were done with HG4.

I'm using the kit lens on my 350.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #88
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I am happy to post my favorite setting but I am not there yet. When I am I will post it. Appreciate Alister, Tom, and Andy posting. I have looked at Alister and Tom's and changed both to my liking but also have been working on others but nothing is close yet. Andy I will check your settings out.

We did another round of test today still not sun so all cloudy sky test.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 11:33 AM   #89
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Having established that aperture is the cause of the halo's around highlights, I went back and took a fresh look at the detail settings. When I was doing a test shooting a grey scale on a PC screen I noticed a lot of "noise" in some parts of the picture. This noise turned out to be excessive detail correction on the pixels of the computer display. Investigating this I found that the detail "Limit" setting could be used to control the detail correction over-shoots. Playing with this some more I have found that I can use Limit to control the appearance of the detail correction, allowing me to use more detail without the pictures becoming too electronic.
So I am now looking at the following detail settings, which allow me to use less aperture correction, all default unless noted:
Detail: ON, level +5, Limit +60, Frequency +20 (be careful with frequency, as any higher than +30 leads to aliasing)
Aperture: ON, level -50
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Old March 14th, 2010, 12:12 PM   #90
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That's interesting. I had thought Limit was a top level control for Black Limit and White Limit at once.

I'll step outside and give this a checkout.
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