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Old October 19th, 2011, 10:55 PM   #1
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NX5U Picture Profile Settings

I've had many people ask, in multple threads on multiple websites, for the picture profile settings I use in my NX5U. I've been slow to respond but here's the profile setup I use for nearly all shoots that are not cinematic. Enjoy!

PICTURE PROFILE SETTINGS

BLACK LEVEL: master -4, 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 October 20th, 2011, 04:53 AM   #2
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

Thanks Michael - always good to have another view as the combinations are almost infinite, and it's this fact that takes folk back to the default settings with a sigh.

Perhaps you could elaborate on what it was you were after when you came to a full stop on these settings. What was it that dissatisfied you with the default settings? What are you editing on and is it headroom for tweaking in post that you're after rather than getting shoot-and accept footage? And lastly, what was your experimental technique for arriving at such a varied set of readings?

Do you notice a loss of low light sensitivity with these settings? You're going out to web, DVD or BD?

tom.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #3
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

1. The default settings are very flat and not very sharp. You can't fix the sharpness issue in post. It can only be fixed by adjusting the DETAIL and CRISPNESS settings in a picture profile.

2. I wanted an image with higher contrast and deeper saturation to really give vibrant colors.

3. This profile allows for tweaking in post but also provides a very good image that can be used as is. I do a lot of shoot and ship where I do nothing in post and I want to provide my clients with a great image so I know they'll hire me again in the future. My clients LOVE this image profile.

4. You lose about 1/2 f stop due to the higher contrast and deeper blacks. However, I've found that this profile actually reduces noise in the blacks in low light settings that you get with the default settings. There is still some noise in low light but not as much.

5. My footage is output in a wide variety of ways including DVD, Blu-Ray, Web, Mobile Media Devices, HDCAM for Broadcast, Shoot and ship, etc.

6. As for how I came up with this image, its pretty simple. The cameras LCD is excellent and provides an accurate image nearly identical to what the camera is capturing. I did not use any external equipment. I simply set up the camera outside on a cloudy day, low to the ground on a tripod, with the green grass and the bottom half of my wood fence in the image. Critical focus then pull out wide. I then just started playing with the picture profile settings until the wood and the grass looked crisp, rich, and vibrant. ITU790 is the standard for broadcast so I was set on that setting before starting because I do a lot of broadcast work. Its also the best for Blu-Ray/DVD output. I did not adjust the Blue, Red, or Green settings in the profile because my camera looked color balanced when I'd white balance. If your camera has a tint to it when properly white balanced, you may need to tweak these settings. In the end, its an image that looked really good to my eye and what I thought clients would like. Sometimes I think people get a little over technical in trying to analyze cameras and settings and forget that expensive graphs, monitors, and other equipment aren't the ones judging your work, the human eye is. NX5 users are very fortunate that Sony put a very good LCD on this camera. Use it. No need for a really expensive monitor to set your cameras image.

7. Finally, I've read many comments where people talk about shooting default and FIXING it in post. I don't understand this as all. Do they realize how much time their wasting in post doing this? Why not set you camera up to capture the image right in the first place so you only have to make minor adjustments? Time is money and I can't imagine wasting that much time trying to FIX something in post that should be darn near right to begin with. I'm not talking about a feature film, I'm talkind about everyday shoots. In my honest opinion, and I'm sorry if I offend anyone on this board, shooting default and FIXING it in post is what people do when they don't really know how to shoot and use a professional camera in the first place.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 09:36 AM   #4
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

I have profile set to almost the same. Only difference is black level at -3. These settings give a close match to the XR500 that I use a lot of the time as a full wide camera in the theatre. I was a little more calculating for the black level as I shot several clips then looked at them on the scopes in Edius. The little Sony's are set up very well with the black level right on zero but the default NX5U was way up above. Lowering to -3 gets it just touching 0 on the waveform. I have PP1 set to black level -3 as well as PP2 at -1 to give me an option for really low light that I know I will have to play with in post.

Default the NX5U is dull and not as sharp as the consumer Sony cams I shoot with too, so the added colour and sharpening matches well.

Ron Evans
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Old October 20th, 2011, 11:56 AM   #5
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

Hi Ron,

I set PP1 on my NX5E exactly to your settings. A few weeks ago I did a two cam wedding shoot, the other cam being the XR500. Now in editing I find the the two streams of video distinctly different. Compared to the XR500 the NX5 displays a more yellowish tint- or the other way round, I find the XR500 have a more pink tint compared to the NX5. I am spending a lot of time in post trying to level out the visual difference.

This wedding was a pro bono job for friends. I was hoping to "graduate" with this video but sadly there will be more freebies until I am satisfied that I am a competent videographer. It is essential that I find the right settings for the NX5 to match the XR500.

Note, this was not the only problem with this shoot. This wedding was in a game park in the outdoors. It was a sunny but unfortunately very windy day. All the soundtracks ( NX5 with shotgun mic, XR500 with shotgun mic plus dead cat windshield as well as the pastor's hand held cordless mic) caught a lot of wind noise. I really need some advice here how to set up the audio in such conditions.

This shoot had the potential of being truly exceptional. The ceremony took place during the golden hour resulting in some awesome video with blue skies and African sunset as well as the odd giraffe or antelope drinking at the water hole a few hundred meters behind the ceremonial lapa.

Meanwhile, I shall check out Michael Johnston's settings.

Eugene Rohland

Last edited by Eugene Rohland; October 20th, 2011 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old October 20th, 2011, 01:02 PM   #6
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

All my projects are in the theatre and both cameras are set to the Sony preset indoor WB setting. I never run my cameras in AWB as this makes correcting later a real problem. Most of the time I have to do nothing. Occasionally I have to make small correction to bring them into closer colour balance if theatre lights cause them to react differently. Yes the XR500 has a pinkish tint that I have to correct sometimes depending on lights and costumes/sets. Under some conditions NX5U will look more brown but the single chip cameras will look more reddish. Usually a small hue adjustment to the mid levels does the trick. I have not gone to the trouble of setting up with colour charts to adjust the NX5U to match exactly but I am sure this is possible. Settings are close enough for me to do a blanket filter adjustment if needed.

In auto the XR500 will react to the scene setting but the NX5U will not. So lighting and scene conditions will change the way the XR500 responds minute to minute especially if face detection was on and there were recognizable people in the scene. The XR500 under those conditions will set up for skin tones and focus for the people. Under these condition the NX5U and XR500 will be different. You probably needed to do a manual white balance for both cameras and turn auto scene detection to a fixed scene and turn face detection off on the XR500.

Can't help on the wind noise.

Ron Evans
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Old October 26th, 2011, 07:56 AM   #7
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

For outside (daylight) shooting has anyone compared boosting colour via picture profiles vs using a circular polariser on the lens on default settings
both would incur a 1/2 (or more) stop loss .. but both improve colour
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Old October 26th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #8
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

I have a circular polarizer and there's no comparison to using the picture profile settings. The CP helps when shooting default but doesn't look near as good as my profile setup does.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 05:45 AM   #9
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

Thanks for the advice !
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Old October 27th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #10
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

Greetings to all;

Being a 'newbie' I've been 'collecting' Picture Profiles (PP) from anyone willing to share, thanks Mike (and others) for sharing your set-up. I've thought about creating a an EXCELL spread sheet with all of the various permutations I've collected to date, but I haven't gotten that ambitious, yet. Notionally, it appears, with a few exceptions (there's always someone who goes off the reservation), the various PP are very similar. Even PP from different cameras, e.g., I have the PP for Canon XF100/105 and the XF300/305 from the gentleman who did the BBC evaluations (his name escapes me), you can see the same general settings in all of these cameras. Which makes sense, considering the electronic components and sensors, regardless of what the 'marketing gurus' say, are almost identical, the algorithms used are the same or so close I wouldn't want to bet my life on the difference, and they react the same to photons, software commands, and electrical current. It should come as no surprise to anyone the PP for a Canon, JVC, Sony, etc., would be a good starting point for any camera set-up.

Just my $0.02. YMMV.

Be good to yourselves,

J.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 07:57 AM   #11
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Johnston View Post
I've had many people ask, in multple threads on multiple websites, for the picture profile settings I use in my NX5U. I've been slow to respond but here's the profile setup I use for nearly all shoots that are not cinematic. Enjoy!

PICTURE PROFILE SETTINGS

BLACK LEVEL: master -4, 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

With these settings does it affect the white balance calibration? Is the white balance not related to any Picture profile settings?

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Old February 20th, 2012, 11:21 AM   #12
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

No, white balance makes sure that white objects appear white whatever the colour (within reason) of light you're shooting in. PP settings don't affect this. Note that some profile settings soak a fair bit of light. They may give you rich colours and dramatic contrast, but lose you a stop at the same time. Worth bearing in mind.

tom.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 02:58 AM   #13
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

So Tom what is your favorite Profile settings?

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Old February 25th, 2012, 09:18 AM   #14
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

I have a different PP setting on every number Stelios, so that I can go from off to 2, 3, 4, and so on, making the image richer and richer the higher I go.

I followed the advice of others on DVi simply because the PP combinations are endless. I set up my camera on a tripod looking into the sunlit garden, which included everything from pure white (a newspaper sheet) to deep shadows on the hedges. I connected the NX5 to the 1080 TV using an HDMI cable and it's a very simple process (once you've dialled in all the PP settings) to click between them and consider what you're seeing on the TV.

The thing that strikes you is how bland the NX5 is right out of the box, but that blandness means Sony have covered all the bases. In real life I find the pictures look better if there's some crushing of the blacks and some deepening of the hues, and white skins really look better with a move towards the reds.

Search on DVi for picture profiles - there's lots of good advice. Here's one thread I contributed to:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nxc...-profiles.html
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Old February 25th, 2012, 10:37 AM   #15
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Re: NX5U Picture Profile Settings

Stelios, my main use settings are much like yours but I have color level at +2. I end up mixing multicam with XR500, SR11, CX700 and EX3. I have several like Tom too with changes in color level and black level.

I agree with Tom that the default settings of the NX5U make it very bland. Accidentally have macro focus and flicker reduction on will make the image even worse too. They were both on by default on my camera and took me a long time to sort out why the picture was so bad compared to my XR500 !!! When I first checked the black level in particular with waveform monitor in Edius black was way up above 0 compared to the other cameras making the picture washed out. I always ended up correcting every clip a lot to match the other cameras. Even with black level at -4 I still have to correct some shots down a little. At default with flicker and macro ON the NX5U was not as good as any of the single chip Sony's I have and was making me feel I had spent a lot of money for nothing.

Using PP , trying to keep iris open more than F4 and paying a lot of attention to focus the picture is now a closer match to the EX3 and clearly better than the single chip Sony's which still give a very good picture though.

Ron Evans
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