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Old August 6th, 2011, 12:10 PM   #1
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Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

Like other users that I have researched, my Sony HXR-NX5U video cam has a very flat picture, even when recorded at FX 1080/60i: low contrast, low saturation and low sharpness. Based on some of the research that I have done on DVINFO and other sites, I have been stumbling around in the various "Picture Profiles" but I am convinced that there must be a more scientific way to go about this rather than arbitrarily trying out different parameters (eg, Gamma, Knee, Color Level, Color Depth, etc.). I'm curious as to what other HXR-NX5U owners have that found works in terms of parameters. I have Canon a 5D MKII, Panasonic HDC-TM300 and even a Canon PowerShot SX20IS, all of which yield video that is richer, more saturated with greater contrast, and sharpness than my HXR-NX5U and I am convinced that it's simply a matter of finding the right combination of parameters in "Picture Profile" to address the problem. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 02:24 PM   #2
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

Here are my picture profile settings I use for nearly all shoots. Gives me a great look and still gives me plenty of room to work with in post.

BLACK LEVEL: master -3, r 0, g 0, b 0
GAMMA: ITU709
BLACK GAMMA: range middle, level 0
KNEE: auto 95% middle
COLOR MODE: ITU709 MATRIX, level 8
COLOR LEVEL: +3
COLOR PHASE: 0
COLOR DEPTH: all 0's
DETAIL: level +7, manual - v/h balance 0, b/w balance type 4, black limit 3, white limit 7, crispening 7, hi light detail +2
SKIN TONE DETAIL: Off
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Old August 6th, 2011, 03:06 PM   #3
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

Thanks, I'll try these.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 07:12 AM   #4
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

Nice setting Michael. Thanks for posting them. Colors really popped!
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Old August 11th, 2011, 09:34 AM   #5
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

Here's a quick one to try. Point your static NX5 out into the daylight, hopefully a garden with all colours, everything from black to white.

In PP1 leave everything as default (Black level zero etc) but simply choose the Cimematone2 setting under 'gamma'.

Colour range type - standard, level 8.
WB shift filter type LB-CC

I'm impressed, colours are velvety smooth after the cold & clinical look of the open box NX5.

tom.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 09:04 PM   #6
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Johnston View Post
Here are my picture profile settings I use for nearly all shoots. Gives me a great look and still gives me plenty of room to work with in post.

BLACK LEVEL: master -3, r 0, g 0, b 0
GAMMA: ITU709
BLACK GAMMA: range middle, level 0
KNEE: auto 95% middle
COLOR MODE: ITU709 MATRIX, level 8
COLOR LEVEL: +3
COLOR PHASE: 0
COLOR DEPTH: all 0's
DETAIL: level +7, manual - v/h balance 0, b/w balance type 4, black limit 3, white limit 7, crispening 7, hi light detail +2
SKIN TONE DETAIL: Off

Going to give this a try, Michael, thanks for posting these settings.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 03:09 PM   #7
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

Image looks really good with Tom's settings. Nice natural color.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 02:39 AM   #8
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

The only downside Glen is that the Cinematone2 setting robs you of between a third and a half stop of light. Fine in the great outdoors, but if your back's against the wall in a low light situation best to switch off PP1 and up the saturation in post.
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Old August 29th, 2011, 08:50 PM   #9
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

I have been shooting with Michael's recommended settings and so far I have been really happy with the look right out of the camera. Easy to adjust, but if I need to post raw, I can and be happy with the output.

Thanks again Michael, for posting these settings.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 08:41 AM   #10
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

I'm also very pleased with the look of this profile. I did change my gamma to x.v. as I've always shot with that gamma. I can't really see a difference on my monitor, but since most of my output is RGP (0 - 255) I'm hoping the ITU709 MATRIX color mode doesn't cut off my range. Anyone know the about this?
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Old October 18th, 2011, 06:05 PM   #11
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

I used Michaels settings and tweaked them a little. Ended up being happy with almost the same thing:

MASTER BLACK: -2
GAMMA: ITU709
BLACK GAMA: MIDDLE
KNEE: AUTO
COLOR MODE: ITU709 LEVEL 8
COLOR LEVEL: +2
DETAIL LEVEL: +2
- V/H BALANCE: 0
- B/W BALANCE: TYPE 4
- BLACK LIMIT: 3
WHITE LIMIT: 7
CRISPENING: 2
HI-LIGHT DETAIL: +1

I saved Michaels as Profile 3, Toms as Profile 2, and am using 6 for mine. Anyone else find something they'd like to share?

I'll put together a comparison video for these as well.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #12
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

Various footage shot handheld at 1080p30 - 0 GAIN - Shutter 30 - Image Stabilizer OFF using the above settings. Noon sun clear sky.

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Old October 19th, 2011, 10:02 AM   #13
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

Any reason why you'd have the OIS off and 1/30th selected Glen?
Good colours - really rich skin tones.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 10:19 AM   #14
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

No reason Tom. I turned off the IOS after doing some earlier panning shots on a tripod and didn't bother to turn it back on.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 07:52 AM   #15
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Re: Color Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness w/NXCAM

I also tweaked Michael's setting a little. I found some colors to be over-saturated, especially caucasian skin tones in a simple tungsten lit interview shot. The face I tested actually looked sunburned. I dialed down the color level to 1 or 0 and found the results to be much better.

Glen's demo looks nice though there too I find some of the colors to be a little over-saturated, particularly the "Fat Cats" sign at 24 seconds and the last scene where the guy is moving the table. The grass, the bearded guy with the red striped shirt, and the small green bag at the far left of the scene, for example, all look a little over-saturated to my eye, though it certainly doesn't look bad. Also, it could have something to do with your exporting tool and its settings.

I know this partly boils down to taste. And scenes like the last one are pretty common these days with so many consumer cameras giving us vivid color settings as the default (I'm glad the NX5U doesn't). And I'm certainly no expert. Just my impressions. With the color lever turned down I like the look I'm getting with Michael's settings.
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