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Old November 9th, 2011, 05:43 PM   #1
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Cinematone in the VG20

With my first experience with the Cinematone in the VG20, I thought what Sony was providing was a flatter, less contrasty image. After having worked with it a couple of days, I am now thinking otherwise. I think what is actually happening is that Sony is adding something akin to the sepia toning we used to do with photo graphs. It give the image a different and flatter look, but it seems to be an additive process, not a subtractive one.

I never had liked the Cinematone that was on board the FX1, but didn't realize that it was probably for that same reason.

Anybody have any thoughts on Cinematone ?
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Old November 9th, 2011, 06:40 PM   #2
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

I've always felt that the "Cinematone" settings were sort of hokey. Kind of a consumer cam artifice.
They may provide a slightly different gamma curve, but my impression, like yours, is that it really just shifts the color tone/ color sat a bit.
This is in contrast to the fabulous gamma/matrix settings in the Sony EX1/EX3, including several "Cine" Gamma settings that allowed you to manipulate all aspects of the exposure curve/ knee/ black level/ color sat/ and etc. This allowed construction of various profiles for a variety of "looks", lighting situations- whatever you might need...
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Old November 9th, 2011, 08:37 PM   #3
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post

I think what is actually happening is that Sony is adding something akin to the sepia toning we used to do with photo graphs. It give the image a different and flatter look, but it seems to be an additive process, not a subtractive one

Anybody have any thoughts on Cinematone ?
I think I said that several days ago. :)
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Old November 9th, 2011, 09:59 PM   #4
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

Judging by your footage, I'd say the cinematone looked inferior to the default setting. Your description of it as an "additive process" seems spot on. Sort of like a bad preset in an editing program.

The default setting seems nice - seems very effective for natural, day light shots. But that's an environment where almost all video cameras do well. It's in every camera's wheelhouse so to speak. There is a reason why Hollywood's in California - all that yummy light.

But if that's it (assuming the cineamatone is largely useless) for ability to alter the image, other than white balancing and exposure (plus a few other minor changes), then there is no other way to describe the camera than as being fundamentally crippled, or shortchanged. And shooting in challenging conditions is what Sony does best right now. It's a very large part of the appeal for all the new E mount cameras. Apparently, Sony really thinks VG20 buys would cut into FS100 sales.

Which is strange. Just as FS100 buyers aren't F3 buyers, VG20 buyers are a separate group. If I buy a camera other than the VG20, it won't be the F3, or AF100 - it will be a either the AF200 or Mark III - cameras not even announced yet.

I don't always agree with Steve's opinions, but it's very hard to argue with his opinions on this cam. Why would anyone buy an $1,600 camera from a company, when they have a very similar product that does more for 3x as less?

It would make some sense to cripple the 5n - it makes no sense to do it to the VG20.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 01:11 AM   #5
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

One of the following possibilities would be ideal:

A) Sony provides consumers with a computer software that allows one to adjust the variables of the Cinematone preset. Yes, users will be limited to one preset, but each user can adjust the gamma curve, knee, etc. to his liking.

or


B) Someone finds a way to hack the firmware to allow for the adjustments mentioned above.

or

C) Sony offers consumers an added service where one can have the gamma curves and Cinematone adjusted to one's liking by an authorized service center.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #6
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

If I'm reading this thread correctly, most of you like to shoot flat and CC in post. Most think the VG20 shoots good video in the default settings. That said, why would the lack of CC in the VG20 firmware be of concern to you?

Considering the price, interchangeability of lenses,tape-less shooting, and small size, do you think you will purchase this camcorder in it's current configuration ?
(Chris excluded)


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Old November 10th, 2011, 10:48 AM   #7
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

Jeff:

With the fact that the adverstisement misrepresented what was aboard, I too have to make a decision whether I will send back or not. While I understand that it was likely an honest mistake, I am pretty sure that Sony will give me the opportunity to return the camera. I have to decide whether I will.

This camera, shot in standard mode, produces some spectacular images. I am pleasantly surprised and I am seriously considering keeping it. That will be part of a new thread coming up.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #8
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

Heck, let's not even talk about CC, what about the ability to reduce sharpening - something nearly every DP recommends?

I actually don't like to shoot flat - but I do want to have some options when it comes to choosing my color pallet. And it looks like - beyond WB - that ability is missing from this camera.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #9
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

Chris & John V.

Chris,
It seems to me you are basically satisfied with the VG20. It makes good video, lenses are interchangeable, and you got it for a little over 2grand. The next step-up would cost 4 to 6 grand. So, without, the presets/effects it looks like you have a great deal.

John V,
Would you not be able to do everything you want with some CC and other video adjustments with your software ? That is, if the video that Chris is showing is good enough for your taste.

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Old November 10th, 2011, 11:18 AM   #10
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

One of the things is that I am sitting here with a T2i and a 5D II. So if I got in one of those tough shooting situations where a flatter image might be wanted, then I am good to go.

On the other side, I could get pretty much the same image capabilities with the 5n, for about $1700.

However, one of my purposes in looking at this camera is to use as a rental camera. The form factor and the ease of use because of the lack of major adjustments may be a plus in the rental area.

A whole lot of things to consider.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:14 PM   #11
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

Robert - I'm still a bit interested in the camera, but w/o those features, it's hard for me to see how it's gonna be better then the T2i (which I already own) or the Mark II (which is one of the VG20 alternatives for me), particularly in low light situations (I primarily make horror films).

Again, I'd want to see a lot more low light situations shot from the VG20. I crave the clean low light ability of the FS100 - but think it's too much for what it does - see this thread for my reasoning:
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-avc...nex-fs100.html

If the VG20 can come close to the FS100 for low light, I'd think about it. If might end up being just fine with no color/sharpening options. But it's hard to believe that's going to be true. I love the Canon's, but can't shoot anything past 800 ISO w/o an unacceptable amount of grain. I figure the Mark II to be maybe a stop better - 1,600 ISO - but even that doesn't touch the FS100.

And Chris (and Steve Mullen) make a great point - why buy the VG20 when I can get more options from the 5n?
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Old November 10th, 2011, 02:30 PM   #12
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

This will give you some idea of how the 5D and VG20 compare. The grabs from Vegas are labeled accordingly:

These from Canon
Attached Thumbnails
Cinematone in the VG20-canon5d-iso-0100.jpg   Cinematone in the VG20-canon5d-iso-0160.jpg  

Cinematone in the VG20-canon5d-iso-0320.jpg   Cinematone in the VG20-canon5d-iso-0640.jpg  

Cinematone in the VG20-canon5d-iso-1250.jpg   Cinematone in the VG20-canon5d-iso-2500.jpg  

Cinematone in the VG20-canon5d-iso-5000.jpg  
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Old November 10th, 2011, 02:32 PM   #13
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

These from VG 20
Attached Thumbnails
Cinematone in the VG20-vg20-0db.jpg   Cinematone in the VG20-vg20-03db.jpg  

Cinematone in the VG20-vg20-06db.jpg   Cinematone in the VG20-vg20-12db.jpg  

Cinematone in the VG20-vg20-18db.jpg   Cinematone in the VG20-vg20-21db.jpg  

Cinematone in the VG20-vg20-27db.jpg   Cinematone in the VG20-vg20-30db.jpg  

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Old November 10th, 2011, 07:43 PM   #14
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

The VG20 grabs are noiser but even in this environment I still see the awful 5D MkII aliasing hiding. I'm with John about one point, the default (non-adjustable) sharpening of the VG20 seems borderline too high, that could be a concern because you can't fix it in post. The T2i I can't comment about, have not seen its images, but the 5D2 I'm very negative about because of its aliasing that has wrecked some videos for me. Based on the above, I'd go with the VG20 in spite of the superior low light of the 5D2, but I'd like to see more from the VG20 to see how the sharpening plays out.

Edit:
On further review, the VG20 sharpening outlines seem less noticeable as you reduce gain. Maybe it's okay...Just my opinion.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 02:22 AM   #15
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Re: Cinematone in the VG20

Generally Sony's default sharpening provides the optimal amount of fine detail. But, there may be be a level of ringing (edge outline) that one does NOT want to see on any big screen.

I don't know of any camera at even a QTR the price where one can't reduce the edge even though it will reduce fine detail.

All these topic are covered in my NEX Family eBook. Maybe it's time to update to the 5n because there are two really big topics we aren't talking about: lenses and editing p60.
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