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REDcolor or RAW to expose RED MX


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#1 Neel Potgieter

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:30 PM

Hi folks,

I am sorry if this has already been covered, but I've gone through the posts and cant seem to find an answer.
So my question:
Which is better to expose for: The REDcolor space (rated between 500 - 800) (which to me seemed like I would underexpose the RAW with a stop or two) or expose to the RAW and except that I will be overexposing the REDcolor...??? Does it depend on what they are going to do with it in the post?

Many thanks,
Neel
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#2 Neel Potgieter

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 01:24 PM

What seem to have "worked" in my testing is to rate the REDcolor at around 400-500, and then expose to the right of that. It seemed like it doesnt underexpose the RAW too much then. Is that a feasible way to work, or would I run into trouble?

Any advice welcome!
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#3 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 02:20 PM

What seem to have "worked" in my testing is to rate the REDcolor at around 400-500, and then expose to the right of that. It seemed like it doesnt underexpose the RAW too much then. Is that a feasible way to work, or would I run into trouble?

Any advice welcome!


For a tv show I did fairly extensive tests on the MX for finishing at 1080p and viewing on both a pro CRT and a less calibrated plasma, I used redcolor to set the iso for the tests.

I would say the image gets very slightly cleaner at 320 and below, but the difference is negligible and not worth sacrificing head room for me.

Between 400 and 1250 I couldn't identify any noticeable change in shadow noise at 1080p. I would say that is the optimal exposure range for the camera.

Above that I did notice some grain at 1600 and 2000 but it felt organic and I would be willing to go that deep if I needed to.

I didn't shoot tests for higher iso's because I really didn't expect it to hold up to 2000 as well as it did.

Based on the tests on the MX sensor I usually try to shoot 640 in redcolor. I would happily go to 1250 if I wanted, and do 2000 if I had to.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 02:48 PM

I would use RedColor and 800 ASA, though 500 or 640 ASA is safer if you really want a clean signal, but honestly, 800 ASA is great.

The sensor itself is more like 400 ASA so in RAWVIEW, 800 ASA looks underexposed but that doesn't really matter, what matters is the noise level, which is fine at 800 ASA and you have the added advantage of giving yourself more information in the highlights.

I would, however, perhaps crush the blacks a bit on the set monitor to force you to use a bit more fill because that's always a problem on sets, the wimpy blacks of LCD's make you think you have a lot of shadow detail, but once you go into a D.I. session and aim for blacks at 0 IRE, you find yourself wishing you had used a bit more fill in some shots.
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#5 Neel Potgieter

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 03:47 PM

Many thanks guys, a part of me was worried about having too much of a discrepancy between the RAW and the metadata files. But all makes sense.
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#6 Neel Potgieter

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 03:58 PM

David, just to be sure, are you saying that shoot in REDspace between 500 - 800 depending, and then accept that the RAW file will be underexposed?
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