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Old October 19th, 2011, 12:23 PM   #16
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

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I don't understand what all this talk is about highlight handling problems with the F3. What problems? I don't have any problems with handling hightligts. Do you have any examples of what you are referring to?
If you shoot with preset white balance, anything over 100 or 109 (depending on CG), goes yellow. Midtones go green. Chroma isn't rolled off as it goes into clip, which cameras like the Alexa, Canons, and Red do.

If you don't have anything that's saturated and about to clip, then you're fine. I don't see a single frame in your video where you're clipping, although all the whites are going yellow (which looks nice in your case), but I personally am not into that on every job I do.

These are traits I've seen in the entire XDCAM line starting with the PDW-F350 I had years ago.

I pulled this still from a video Douglas Villaba posted on Vimeo, hope he doesn't mind! I should mention that the below is about the worst I've ever seen what I'm talking about. Most of the time it's more subtle, both the chroma clipping and the color casts.
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Last edited by Nate Weaver; October 19th, 2011 at 01:41 PM.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 04:20 PM   #17
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

Quote: "I don't see a single frame in your video where you're clipping, although all the whites are going yellow (which looks nice in your case), but I personally am not into that on every job I do."


Yes, I take care to expose properly -- thus no clipping. Problem solved.

So, "alll the whites are going yellow"? Really? You better take another look. Yes, SOME of the whites are going yellow -- that is the whole point of shooting at certain times of day. What am I supposed to do, white balance at sunset/sunrise and remove the natural tones that exist in real life? If you want pure white clouds, have a late breakfast and shoot at noon. If you look at any scenes shot around mid-day, (such as 2:24 and 3:04) those whites are not "going yellow".

Any whites that ARE going yellow, were captured that way correctly by the camera. If someone is having trouble with clipped highlights shifting colors, then the solution is simple -- expose properly. Problem solved.

I don't see what we are supposed to learn from the freeze you posted from Douglas Villaba's. If you want to see badly shot video, I can point out many examples. How about if I post a still that is out of focus and then use that to prove my point that the camera has a focus problem? The so-called color problems with highlights from the F3 are attributable to operator error. Build a good PP, expose properly, and all is well.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #18
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

For a great example of poor highlight handling, look at the Zacuto SCCE test and the 1st video with overexposed background. It is clear as day there. And it wasn't some schmuck operating the F3. It was being recorded to a Codex or SR recorder and was set up to its best ability.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 05:38 PM   #19
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

Doug, if you don't agree, then can we agree to disagree? My observation is about the camera, not your shooting.

I myself, kept the opinion to myself until I found other shooters who, unsolicited, expressed the same opinion. Then I knew what my eyes were telling me wasn't completely off base. In addition, it's not practical at all times to expose so nothing in the frame is clipping. Often, I WANT some aspect of the picture to go white. But I want it a graceful, neutral white, and while the F3 stock will do it sometimes, other times it goes ugly for me.

By the way, below are some RGB values. What I see there is the same thing that the parade scope in Davinci tells me. Another thing, somebody has mentioned to me the problem is mitigated when doing a manual white balance.

My aim is not to argue about it...if you don't agree, then that's ok with me. You seem to make great pictures no matter what the case is.
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New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"-screen-shot-2011-10-19-3.29.53-pm.png   New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"-screen-shot-2011-10-19-3.28.37-pm.png  

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Old October 19th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #20
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

Like a GOP Debate Nevada Style.
Doug, yes you captured yellow as it was , yellow. Nate, yes there is an issue with clipping whites when over exposing, but not in Doug's correctly exposed examples. So lets move on to what Alister has pointed out. 709 limitations when over exposing.
I too have moments when overexposing is a must due to the nature of my work. I do not have the liberty of fixing it on the spot. News Doc work is WYSIWYG. You have to let it go to get the subject exposed enough for the audience to experience what you are experiencing. Given time I'll quick grab a different Cine setting or Hyper Gamma to raise the mid/low tones, but it usually sacrifices the best bite. So I often let it ride.
But when I have the time(>3 sec) I'Il try to set exposure and gamma for the situation at hand.

Last edited by Dennis Dillon; October 19th, 2011 at 07:40 PM. Reason: more thoughts
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Old October 19th, 2011, 07:41 PM   #21
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

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Like a GOP Debate Nevada Style. Doug, yes you captured yellow as it was , yellow. Nate, yes there is an issue with clipping whites when over exposing, but not in Doug's correctly exposed examples. So lets move on to what Alister has pointed out. 709 limitations when over exposing.
No. :)

I greatly value Nate's views because he comes from a colorist background and is doing exactly what I am trying to do - be a DP and Colorist (once Resolve is released on Windows in a few months) in addition to my love for VFX.

I also value Doug's views, but he is shooting for stock footage and almost zero post processing. If anyone has purchased his DVDs, then they will know how much knowledge he has to give. I love the post production part of my job where I can be 'artsy' and manipulate images with many tools - AE, Nuke, Resolve, C4D. So, I tend to shoot for manipulation in post. For example, I shot at 56k at night so I could get orange lights to go with the orange leaves (using SLog to a PIX240).

Like I said before, the 1st video in the Zacuto SCCE test shows the F3's highlight handling of an overexposed white background. I will be conducting some tests next month when the Gemini is released and the new firmware with EI S-Log in addition to the PIX240 and Cinedeck Extreme. From past use, I still think the Cinedeck is THE recorder to use with the F3 and SLog. It gives you several Codecs (PR, DNxHD, Cineform 422/444 & uncompressed).
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Old October 19th, 2011, 07:54 PM   #22
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

Steve,
I also value Nate's and Doug's contributions to the craft. And yes Doug has demonstrated how incredible the F3 can be without post grading, and Nate is all over the capabilities of what the F3 can be with post processing.
That is the beauty of the F3. Enjoy it with or with out grading. It fits a lot of markets.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:10 PM   #23
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

Nate, no problem. I enjoy the debate and being forced to justify my own opinion and hear other people do the same. I'll bet we both nudged a little bit towards the other's point of view. Actually, learning Resolve has been on my back burner for several weeks. I'm hoping to have a break over the holidays (after I also get my new Sony OLED monitor) and start to get my feet wet -- but I know it will be a long time before I will be proficient.

I'm also hoping to have the time to do some serious testing of S-LOG in the near future and really find out for myself one way or the other if it is worth the extra workflow hassles. So far, I have not seen that proof anywhere -- not even from Sony. I've got S-LOG enabled on my camera, but my initial dabbling with it is inconclusive. I want to set up a test where I shoot a couple of difficult scenes perfectly exposed with my best PP setting using a Cinegammas. Then stop, step back, and setup the camera for the best S-LOG exposure at 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 on the same scenes. Then send that raw S-LOG material to an experienced colorist (I am not qualified for this step) and really find out which is better . . . and to what degree. The key with my testing is that the S-LOG clips and the Cinegamma clips will be recorded at separate times because it is impossible to record a PP and S-LOG at the same time. That is the main reason why I don't give a hoot about the "world's first S-LOG footage" that was shot in Vegas during NAB. You can't come to any conclusions when both methods are recorded simultaneously, thus a side-by-side test like that is meaningless.

Is S-LOG better? I'm sure it probably is, but by how much? What if it is only a 5% improvement but the workflow hassles slow me down 50% and I lose out on all the great workflow advantages I love about XDCAM -- then it won't be worth it to me to use S-LOG except for for special situations. I don't have the answers, I'm just thinking out loud.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #24
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

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Steve,
I also value Nate's and Doug's contributions to the craft. And yes Doug has demonstrated how incredible the F3 can be without post grading, and Nate is all over the capabilities of what the F3 can be with post processing.
That is the beauty of the F3. Enjoy it with or with out grading. It fits a lot of markets.
Hi Dennis,

I hope that I didn't come across the wrong way. I was just saying no to ending the debate and moving on. I then was trying to be 'diplomatic' with Nate and Doug.

My first shoot with the F3 a few weeks ago is where I personally experienced the yellow highlights. I used the F3 for interviews as part of a large parade with EX3/1/1r being used to record the parade. Because this was for broadcast and needed a quick turnaround, I shot everything with Rec 709 thus clipping everything at IRE100. The EX3/1/1r didn't have the yellow tint but the F3 did.

On a side note, I have a question for Nate and others: how do you usually bring video recorded with 109 IRE down to 100 for broadcast? In Premiere Pro, I have used the Broadcast Effect, Curves and any RGB effect which bring the levels to 16-235 without affecting the image like the Broadcast effect.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:29 PM   #25
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

Steve,
You did not. I understood.

What if it is only a 5% improvement but the workflow hassles slow me down 50% and I lose out on all the great workflow advantages I love about XDCAM......... DJ

Doug,
Spot on for many markets. People who have not worked with F35, RED or Alexa et al., and their workflow demands, and view the F3 in 709 are blown away, but not $$$$ ready for S Log grading beyond basic WB correction. It has been a tough sell for my market. I have met with the tech side of both CBS and NBC on this. All they want to know is how much extra it is going to cost them.
When I demonstrate the savings of having 24+ international crews shooting S Log and having the CC punch up the "Look" of the show their eyes start to spin. I need more demo time, which is coming.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:35 PM   #26
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

Dennis, maybe I need to make a trip to Florida and see what we can do with some testing. Very tempting.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:36 PM   #27
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

Hi Doug,

Your view on SLog is definitely spot on when you debate whether its beneficial to YOU and YOUR workflow. Too many people think that just because Camera A produces a better image than Camera B, they should only use Camera A. 'B' might provide a better workflow which helps them produce a better video in the end.

Its funny because someone just asked me today whether he should buy the SLog upgrade or a Gemini. I explained how I view the order of quality: 1st is SLog to Gemini 444; 2nd is SLog to PIX and 3rd is cinegamma to PIX with internal 35Mb 420 last.

I have access to my friend's F3 with SLog and a PIX240 but the extra hassle of recording out to SLog is not needed for all projects. However, from my shots so far, I will use SLog as much as I can. My friend laughed at me when I said that I will record SLog to the PIX for a simple political commercial. The extra Dynamic Range and higher quality of 10bit Pro Res is worth the very small effort of using the PIX. A simple Curves adjustment brings the SLog image back to normal, and I must say that it looks stunning. I am a DR fanatic; so, the 13-13.5 stops of SLog versus 11 of cinegammas is worth it by itself.

For your landscape footage, wouldn't the extra 2+ stops of DR greatly help?
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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:39 PM   #28
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

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Dennis, maybe I need to make a trip to Florida and see what we can do with some testing. Very tempting.
Door is always open. Stone crabs are chilled in the same chest as the Stella.

Bring your Xenars and I'll have Dan send us a Gemini. The SR-R1 should be here soon.

I think Steve is right about the extra stops of DR.

On a third thought; Since we do not sell camera support stuff, and our opinions are free and clear, I'll have Alister, Nate, Steve, and yourself flown down here for extensive testing and have Sony, Peter C, pick up the tab. Peter?????
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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:56 PM   #29
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

I just saw Dan last night and the Gemini is getting close, but still not quite ready. I could bring a Cinedeck Extreme.

Count me in on the big get together. In addtiton to the Xenars, you've got to try my RED 300mm T2.9. That is my new favorite lens.

Oh! We also need to wrangle one of the new SCL-Z8x140 lenses and see if it is any good.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 12:30 AM   #30
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Re: New Firmware Updates and New "EI S-Log"

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Door is always open. Stone crabs are chilled in the same chest as the Stella.

Bring your Xenars and I'll have Dan send us a Gemini. The SR-R1 should be here soon.

I think Steve is right about the extra stops of DR.

On a third thought; Since we do not sell camera support stuff, and our opinions are free and clear, I'll have Alister, Nate, Steve, and yourself flown down here for extensive testing and have Sony, Peter C, pick up the tab. Peter?????
Don't tempt me because I might not leave ;) My only change would be the Stella because it gives me headaches even though its my favorite.

For several years, I lived in St Pete and then Bradenton. I absolutely love Florida, especially the warm and dry winters. If I still had certain family members down there, I would be a FL resident.
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