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FS7 Colors (was: Budget Camera Skin Tone)


Jan Klier
 

It’s not so much the ability to process RAW, but the card space on set and the transfer times (assuming you use CDNG RAW files).

The FS7 gets heavy use in the corporate editorial and general interview genre. Skin tones matter. Not practical to shoot RAW in those productions.

If you shoot short drama or documentary, it may be different. But again if you have other cameras to pick from at similar budget/features set, why would you burden yourself with that? What does the FS7 offer that these other cameras don’t have? And I’m saying this as a FS7 owner.

Jan Klier
DP NYC

On May 17, 2019, at 11:28 AM, Noel Sterrett <noel@...> wrote:

On 5/17/19 9:37 AM, Jan Klier wrote:
Realistically the Sony cameras wouldn’t be shot in RAW on many projects of significant runtime due to the lack of compression of its raw footage.

That's not unreasonable, and no doubt most would agree.

Now I have a big tower dual Xeon RAID machine which handles RAW nicely in the basement. But I can play Sony RAW faster  (52 vs. 38 fps) on my new Mac Mini with an eGPU and a single SSD (which holds 4 hours) all for under $2k.

So why waist all that time and energy deciding on LUTs, gammas, gamuts, compressions, codecs on set, when you can just shoot RAW, edit RAW, and grade RAW?



Bruce Alan Greene
 

If one is shooting a project that will be color corrected in post, if often doesn’t matter much if one records RAW vs LOG.

When one records RAW, one still needs to de-mosaic the image before actual color correction, usually to a LOG/RGB format.  It doesn’t much make a difference if this is done in camera, or in post production as long as the camera has quality LOG recording such as an Alexa.

And recording RAW on an Alexa does use much more storage space than ProRes 4444, and it adds up on a feature film, especially when one considers that 3 copies, minimum, are required for securely storing the camera original data.

And, usually, it’s not really practical to change the RAW conversion settings during color correction for each shot.  It’s very time consuming.  It’s most likely that the RAW conversion settings would be set to “as shot” for almost all the shots anyways, which is just what the camera does when making the LOG recording.

Bruce Alan Greene
Cinematographer
Colorist
Los Angeles



On May 17, 2019, at 11:28 AM, Noel Sterrett <noel@...> wrote:

On 5/17/19 9:37 AM, Jan Klier wrote:
Realistically the Sony cameras wouldn’t be shot in RAW on many projects of significant runtime due to the lack of compression of its raw footage.

That's not unreasonable, and no doubt most would agree.

Now I have a big tower dual Xeon RAID machine which handles RAW nicely in the basement. But I can play Sony RAW faster  (52 vs. 38 fps) on my new Mac Mini with an eGPU and a single SSD (which holds 4 hours) all for under $2k.

So why waist all that time and energy deciding on LUTs, gammas, gamuts, compressions, codecs on set, when you can just shoot RAW, edit RAW, and grade RAW?


_._,_._,_



Paul Curtis
 

On 17 May 2019, at 17:31, Bruce Alan Greene <bruce@...> wrote:
If one is shooting a project that will be color corrected in post, if often doesn’t matter much if one records RAW vs LOG.
You make the assumption that the cameras internal colour science in moving from native sensor colourspace to a defined log colourspace does the job well. As you know there are many ways to massage a larger gamut into a smaller one and not all are good. Just saying that on these older Sonys i don't think they did such a good job and the evidence was easily seen side by side. Now things move on and change and i'm just talking about FS700/FS7.

Alistair makes a great point about ProRes RAW. I have no experience of that.

Also even though the cDNG from the O7Q were uncompressed versions of compressed Sony RAW they could still be compressed in post by about 40%.

To be honest it's sort of the same data rates as R3D, so not an insane amount these days.

I would imagine then a FS700 with the Atomos recorders would be a great combination

cheers
Paul

Paul Curtis, VFX & Post | Canterbury, UK


Art Adams
 

>>>And recording RAW on an Alexa does use much more storage space than ProRes 4444, and it adds up on a feature film, especially when one considers that 3 copies, minimum, are required for securely storing the camera original data.

 

That’s getting a bit better:

 

https://codex.online/codex-hde

 

ARRIRAW HDE. It won’t save you time in moving the actual data off the recording drive, but when it lands on your own drive it’ll take up 40% less space.

 

 

Art Adams

Cinema Lens Specialist

 

Our Burbank office has moved! You can now find us at 3700 Vanowen Street, Burbank, CA 91505.

 

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Burbank, CA 91505
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Jesse Harris
 

Note that to record RAW the FS7 must be using the $2000 XDCA back - to an external recorder.

Jesse David Harris

Cinematographer | Editor - NYC


On May 17, 2019, at 12:31 PM, Bruce Alan Greene <bruce@...> wrote:

If one is shooting a project that will be color corrected in post, if often doesn’t matter much if one records RAW vs LOG.

When one records RAW, one still needs to de-mosaic the image before actual color correction, usually to a LOG/RGB format.  It doesn’t much make a difference if this is done in camera, or in post production as long as the camera has quality LOG recording such as an Alexa.

And recording RAW on an Alexa does use much more storage space than ProRes 4444, and it adds up on a feature film, especially when one considers that 3 copies, minimum, are required for securely storing the camera original data.

And, usually, it’s not really practical to change the RAW conversion settings during color correction for each shot.  It’s very time consuming.  It’s most likely that the RAW conversion settings would be set to “as shot” for almost all the shots anyways, which is just what the camera does when making the LOG recording.

Bruce Alan Greene
Cinematographer
Colorist
Los Angeles



On May 17, 2019, at 11:28 AM, Noel Sterrett <noel@...> wrote:

On 5/17/19 9:37 AM, Jan Klier wrote:
Realistically the Sony cameras wouldn’t be shot in RAW on many projects of significant runtime due to the lack of compression of its raw footage.

That's not unreasonable, and no doubt most would agree.

Now I have a big tower dual Xeon RAID machine which handles RAW nicely in the basement. But I can play Sony RAW faster  (52 vs. 38 fps) on my new Mac Mini with an eGPU and a single SSD (which holds 4 hours) all for under $2k.

So why waist all that time and energy deciding on LUTs, gammas, gamuts, compressions, codecs on set, when you can just shoot RAW, edit RAW, and grade RAW?



Jessica Gallant
 

This was the main reason why I got the FS5 instead - you can record RAW straight from the
camera to a suitable external recorder without needing this extra piece of Sony gear.

Jessica Gallant
Director of Photography | Los Angeles | CA
http://jessicajgallant.com
http://wb.imdb.com/name/nm0002680/
cell: 818-645-2787
email: jessicajgallant@...
Skype: jessicajgallant


On May 17, 2019, at 12:03 PM, Jesse Harris <jesse@...> wrote:

Note that to record RAW the FS7 must be using the $2000 XDCA back - to an external recorder.


Colin Elves
 

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Colin Elves
 

Sigh… Sorry about the bad headers thing. That’s an annoying interaction between my iphone and my mail server that happens when I reply to long email chains. I’ve yet to find out why it happens or how to stop it - usual buck passing going on between both companies.

Anyway, what I meant to say was….

I have a vague memory of reading an article (I think from Alister Chapman) that indicates the raw processing within the FS7 was superior to the FS5 and produced an output with less noise. 


There is also a fair amount of evidence than the 12 bit linear Raw has less dynamic range and colour depth than the XAVC-I internal recordings of the FS7.

So I don’t think it’s a straight choice of Raw equals better.

Colin Elves
Director of Photography
Berlin

On 18 May 2019, at 06:07, Jessica Gallant <jessicajgallant@...> wrote:

This was the main reason why I got the FS5 instead - you can record RAW straight from the 
camera to a suitable external recorder without needing this extra piece of Sony gear.


Antonio Rossi
 

Colin, thanks for posting the results of this test. It’s always interesting to see side by side camera comparisons, even though it’s impossible to control for all of the variables. I know you didn’t formulate this test with CML in mind, and I really appreciate you sharing it.

I am surprised that no one has pointed out the implicit bias in this test though. I own the Amira, C300Mii, and the FS7, and use them all with about the same frequency, and what I feel about the FS7 is that the more Northern European the subject, the worse the skin tone reproduction. It seems uniquely formulated to emphasis all the compromised capillaries on the face of every Scotch/Irish etc whose has had an occasional pint or two at lunch. But it’s a camera that responds well to melanin. So subject skin tone matters in assessing camera performance, and it would be interesting to see the results of this test with subjects from different parts of the world.

--
Antonio Rossi, DP
New York


Jan Klier
 

That’s an interesting point.

On numerous occasions for color work I’ve referenced this site that catalogs the full range of skin tones for Pantone: https://humanae.tumblr.com/. It details the wide range of skin tones and groups them. Each pictures background color is matched to the cataloged skin tone.

I guess one approach could be to get color chips with some of these Pantone colors and have the various cameras have at it as a more precise comparison.

Jan Klier
DP NYC 

On May 18, 2019, at 10:16 AM, Antonio Rossi's Earthlink <amrossi@...> wrote:

. But it’s a camera that responds well to melanin. So subject skin tone matters in assessing camera performance, and it would be interesting to see the results of this test with subjects from different parts of the world. 


alister@...
 

There’s always the good old DSC labs Cambelles. Quite useful for skin tone comparisons but as it’s a printed chart doesn’t have the textures or contrast, in particular specular highlights, typical of a real subject. http://dsclabs.com/product/cambelles/

Alister Chapman

DoP - Stereographer
UK Mobile +44 7711 152226
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Colin Elves
 

Totally, I would absolutely have loved to have had a darker skin tone option as well. Sadly, as I’m sure Geoff will attest, organising such tests involved a lot of work, time (and often money) and, quite frankly, just really really hard to get right and not make mistakes with - and there was one model I didn’t have to pay! Although the caucasian skin tones on the EVA1 look a little on the pink side to me, they absolutely sing on darker subjects (IMO):


This is straight from the camera, Varicam IDT and that’s it. 

I think the Shirley card Geoff uses is a good compromise - it is completely consistent from test to test. But it is not a human being with actual blood flowing under the skin - and there’s a little something extra going on there with the near IR frequencies that I suspect won’t be captured in printed materials - so it remains a compromise.

Colin Elves
DP, Berlin


On 18 May 2019, at 16:16, Antonio Rossi's Earthlink <amrossi@...> wrote:

I am surprised that no one has pointed out the implicit bias in this test though. I own the Amira, C300Mii, and the FS7, and use them all with about the same frequency, and what I feel about the FS7 is that the more Northern European the subject, the worse the skin tone reproduction. It seems uniquely formulated to emphasis all the compromised capillaries on the face of every Scotch/Irish etc whose has had an occasional pint or two at lunch. But it’s a camera that responds well to melanin. So subject skin tone matters in assessing camera performance, and it would be interesting to see the results of this test with subjects from different parts of the world.

--
Antonio Rossi, DP
New York


Mitch Gross
 

On May 18, 2019, at 3:50 PM, Colin Elves <colin@...> wrote:

But it is not a human being with actual blood flowing under the skin - and there’s a little something extra going on there with the near IR frequencies that I suspect won’t be captured in printed materials

This is something I try to explain to people all the time. There’s a huge difference when it comes to photographing actual human beings. 

Flesh is translucent, just hold your hand in front of a light. As light penetrates and reflects, there is a natural scattering of certain color frequencies. Depending on the coloration of the epidural layer, different color within the rural layers can become more visible. Darker skin tones can absorb a larger portion of certain red frequencies than what the general reflectance readings would indicate, which is why some dark-skinned actors can tend to appear bluer on camera. The absorption and scattering of certain colors can also accentuate green/magenta issues on certain cameras (or cheap LED lighting). This is also why some actors feel the need to cake on foundation. 

The single most important test of a camera’s color response is really how it photographs various shades of real human flesh. We can forgive a lot and even accept a slightly off-color product (don’t tell the sponsors), but as human beings we kinda know what other humans should look like. 


Mitch Gross
Cinema Product Manager 
Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America
New York



Noel Sterrett
 

Tell that to the people who are giving us the wonderful teal facial tones.


Noel Sterrett
Admit One Pictures

On 5/18/19 5:02 PM, Mitch Gross wrote:
The single most important test of a camera’s color response is really how it photographs various shades of real human flesh.


Jonathon Sendall
 

When you talk to VFX 3D artists it's all about getting the skin right when trying to replicate it accurately. There are several layers they have to create including things like sub surface scattering etc. Add on top of that skin elasticity and it gets pretty complex.

Jonathon Sendall
Director/DP
London UK
mob. 07813261793
ShowreelInstagramEventbrite WorkshopJPS Cineworks Forum


 

There’s a presenter in the UK (who is an absolute joy to work with) but she has skin that verges into green sometimes.  We’ve discussed it a lot a
and she’s changed make up several times but it still has a weird tinge.

Michael Sanders: 

London based Cinematographer/Director of Photography.

reel/credits/kit: www.mjsanders.co.uk
direct email: michael@...
m: +44 07976 269818


On 18 May 2019, at 22:02, Mitch Gross <mitchgrosscml@...> wrote:

The single most important test of a camera’s color response is really how it photographs various shades of real human flesh. We can forgive a lot and even accept a slightly off-color product (don’t tell the sponsors), but as human beings we kinda know what other humans should look like


Jan Klier
 

Thanks Mitch. Very good explanation. Alas no short-cuts for the camera test then.

My use for the Pantone collection is actually on the back-end of the process. Just a few weeks ago I was grading a major beauty brand project. Through some prior work on the footage and false references the skin tones had started drifting from what seemed accurate. The material had at least four different ethnicities in it, and skin color was obviously very important to the brand. I ended up using images from the Pantone project as a baseline to calibrate the discussion where the color should land. Once you stare at skin and and beige backgrounds in the suite for days, it’s important to reset your point of baseline. Just like the neutral paint on the wall.

But all this makes me wonder now how Pantone is capturing these images (camera, light, processing, etc.). They look very consistent. And I would assume that people in the color business as they are would think through this challenge carefully. 

Jan Klier
DP NYC

On May 18, 2019, at 5:02 PM, Mitch Gross <mitchgrosscml@...> wrote:

Flesh is translucent, just hold your hand in front of a light. As light penetrates and reflects, there is a natural scattering of certain color frequencies. Depending on the coloration of the epidural layer, different color within the rural layers can become more visible. Darker skin tones can absorb a larger portion of certain red frequencies than what the general reflectance readings would indicate, which is why some dark-skinned actors can tend to appear bluer on camera. The absorption and scattering of certain colors can also accentuate green/magenta issues on certain cameras (or cheap LED lighting). This is also why some actors feel the need to cake on foundation. 



Scott Sinkler
 

Hey Antonio (no more Tony?),

Really good point. 

When I’m correcting the FS7 footage I almost always have to select a red patch, bring down the saturation and push the hue in the yellow/green direction in Premiere’s secondary color. If you don’t they’ll look like they’re wearing lipstick when they're not or are late for a visit to the dermatologist.

Awesome that you own an Amira. When do you choose to use the FS7 over that?

Hope you’re well!

Scott

=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

Scott Sinkler
Public Eye Productions
www.publiceyeproductions.com
scott@...
917 446 8977

On May 18, 2019, at 10:16 AM, Antonio Rossi's Earthlink <amrossi@...> wrote:

Colin, thanks for posting the results of this test. It’s always interesting to see side by side camera comparisons, even though it’s impossible to control for all of the variables. I know you didn’t formulate this test with CML in mind, and I really appreciate you sharing it.

I am surprised that no one has pointed out the implicit bias in this test though. I own the Amira, C300Mii, and the FS7, and use them all with about the same frequency, and what I feel about the FS7 is that the more Northern European the subject, the worse the skin tone reproduction. It seems uniquely formulated to emphasis all the compromised capillaries on the face of every Scotch/Irish etc whose has had an occasional pint or two at lunch. But it’s a camera that responds well to melanin. So subject skin tone matters in assessing camera performance, and it would be interesting to see the results of this test with subjects from different parts of the world.

--
Antonio Rossi, DP
New York


Antonio Rossi
 

Woah, that Pantone link is incredible. I kept thinking I would get to the bottom but it seems that there may be a picture of everyone in the world on that site. 


Antonio Rossi, DP
NYC






I guess one approach could be to get color chips with some of these Pantone colors and have the various cameras have at it as a more precise comparison.

Jan Klier
DP NYC 



Art Adams
 

>Once you stare at skin and and beige backgrounds in the suite for days

 

Skin against any background that’s somewhat close to flesh tone can be a nightmare.

 

Years ago I shot a corporate project where the client wanted to use the brand colors for each of their customers as a backdrop. One of these backgrounds was bright orange. I told them this was a bad idea, but of course I just had to “make it work.” Well, it didn’t work. The person looked awful. The orange background caused the viewer’s eye to compensate by making the person look cool and slightly green.

 

Naturally the client complained that I’d done a horrible job, at which point I rolled up a nearby magazine, held it up against the monitor so it saw only flesh tone, and said, “Her skin looks just fine to me.” It did—if that’s all you looked at.

 

That camera cost us a ton of money in seamless paper because the client tried to judge the brand colors by eye but the camera I was told to use rendered colors creatively, not accurately. In the end, I pulled up the seamless paper company’s website, white balanced on the screen, and used the video image to find a color match to the brand colors. That worked surprisingly well.

 

Art Adams

Cinema Lens Specialist

 

Our Burbank office has moved! You can now find us at 3700 Vanowen Street, Burbank, CA 91505.

 

ARRI Inc.
3700 Vanowen Street
Burbank, CA 91505
Phone:  (818) 841-7070
Fax:     (818) 848-4028

Get all the latest information from www.arri.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

 

 


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