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Old March 11th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #1
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CINE gammas?

There has been a lot of discussions about the use of STD gamma versus CINE gamma. But has a consensus been reached in regards to the different uses for them? I will shoot a project with the Sony F900 and have been testing the camera. It has the Hypergamma setting which is exactly the same as the CINE gammas in the EX1. I also have an EX1 but I have just got it and haven't had the time to truly test it. It would be interesting to hear solid finds about the CINE versus STD gamma topic and also about the different settings (1,2,3,4) applications among them. I know there was a lot of discussion before but what I'm looking for are more solid finds rather than just discussions. I guess now that some time have passed EX1 experts like Bill Ravens, Phil Bloom and others may have more solid findings to share. My tests with the F900 showed up quite noisy when using Cine4 for a low light scene for example. So I would be interested in hearing what gammas you guys are using for what applications and lighting conditions. Anybody please feel welcome to comment. But please let's try to avoid turning this thread in another debate as to which is better and present results and reasons instead. Turning it into another debate or discussion thread will just make it hard to extract any real solid info from it.
Thanks in advance.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 08:47 AM   #2
 
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Without getting into an esoteric discussion of which is better, since they all have an appropriate application, I keep my Profile settings set for one each, STD1, Cine1, Cine3, Cine4. When I set up, I cycle thru each profile, observing zebra and histogram readouts. It becomes quite clear which one to use. I avoid clipping the tail of the histogram. Even getting the tail close to the edge of the display is over/under exposing. The amount of zebra I'm willing to tolerate is very, very small with Zebra2 set to 95% for sunlight and 60% for skin tones.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 09:03 AM   #3
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Thanks Bill. I don't think there's a better or worse gamma. Like you said I think each is useful for a certain situation and that's why I started this thread.
What situations to you find yourself using the gammas you pointed with? Like Cine1 for high contrast, Cine3 for lowlight etc.
The project I will be shooting has many scenes where the only light source in the room is a desk lamp and all the rest should be moonlight for example. So that means a lot of shadows and my test came up pretty noisy.
And do you still think slightly over exposing is better than under exposing?
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Old March 11th, 2008, 09:06 AM   #4
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I had originally set up PP's with STD 1 and each of the Cines. As I always am shooting outdoors, I soon found that without heavy knee and floor adjustments, STD 1 was just to broad. Focusing then on the Cines, I would cylcle through 1, 3 and 4 when setting up the shot. 4 also exceeded the the histogram in all but the most overcast conditions. I would look at 3, think "perfect" but then realize it was usually too close for comfort.

I now have 4 versions of Cine 1 and 2 versions of Cine 3. Works well, but if I were shooting indoors...
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Old March 11th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #5
 
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Underexposing, even by a little bit, results in horrendous noise in the shadows. I would NOT recommend under-exposing unless you're prepared to do some noise reduction in post. If you're shooting with only a desklamp, you'll have a problem in the shadows anyway.

I will also clarify that I believe one should "expose to the right". This doesn't mean overexposing, but, rather keeping your aperture at the very first hint of zebra. Any blown hi-lites are not recoverable in post. Set your zebra to 60-65% and use skin to look for zebra. That works well in a theatrical situation.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 09:19 AM   #6
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Hi Bill. I didn't mean the only light source was the desk lamp but rather that this is the lighting motivation. We off course had a spot to fake the desk lamp. But the overall mood should feel like that lamp was the only light source in the room. We then had HMI through the windows to simulate moonlight and bring the overall brightness of the room up and give that fake darkness fell Hollywood has thought us to recognize. But there was a lot of noise in the shadows, even shooting with gain at -3db.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 09:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Strome View Post
I now have 4 versions of Cine 1 and 2 versions of Cine 3. Works well, but if I were shooting indoors...
Yes? Please continue :)
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Old March 11th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #8
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The consensus of using CINEs 1,3 and 4 is good, but don't forget the matrix and black gamma. Most use HiStat for matrix but to get a film look in the harsh Californian desert where I shoot I find cine matrix best and for my bright light I stay with CINE 1 gamma. Dull or indoor or evening shots like CINE 4 and then you may use the HiStat. I have a couple of sub options with a little black compression.

The cycling trough options as Bill says is a good theory but for me with poorish eyes and harsh light I often can't see a difference until I have downloaded onto the laptop (WUXGA 1920 screen), so in the early days I suggest you download often so you can see what you have on a full def screen. Use the "external monitor" switch in Vegas to go to full screen mode with preview settings set to full best.

Randy can't continue because I think his "indoors........" means he does not shoot there. Regarding your noise in the shadows you can reduce shadow noise by playing with the black gammas albeit at the expenses of shadow color and detail.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 01:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael H. Stevens View Post
Randy can't continue because I think his "indoors........" means he does not shoot there.
I should have been more clear. I do not shoot indoors at all, so I would be guessing. I can tell you that when I do turn the camera on inside that my setting group looks quite flat and only fills a small portion of the histogram.

Your group will likely start where mine ends. Cine 4 and up into the STD's.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 06:47 PM   #10
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I used Cine4 for my tests and it still came out noisy. I didn't want to have to crush blacks in order to avoid noise. Is that the only way?
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Old March 11th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #11
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Cine2 has lower noise than Cine4.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #12
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Really? I was already wondering about Cine2 since nobody ever mentions it. Just Cine1, 3 and 4.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 08:10 PM   #13
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But it has less noise because it has less dynamic range. You don't want that except for broadcast. I suspect you were underexposing to get that noise.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 10:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Maier View Post
Really? I was already wondering about Cine2 since nobody ever mentions it. Just Cine1, 3 and 4.
If I understand it correctly, Cine 2 is just a reworking of Cine 1 with hard limits for broadcast. Unlike Cine 1, It is impossible (OK, very hard) to correct accidental overexposure (at least the superwhites) in Cine 2, where you can rescue Cine 1 and still bring it back into Broadcast standards in post. I would think of 2 as mostly for live shooting.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 11:14 PM   #15
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Randy: Somehwre here you gave some black gamma numbers, -2 and -4 etc for the four CINE1 settings you have. I have searched and can no longer find. Please tell us again.
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