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Remedies for the Sony F3 "film look"?


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#1 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 01:31 PM

 

Grabbed a PMW-F3 at a great price and have seen multiple posts and comments out there on how it has "video-like sharpness" which I suppose doesn't help if you're looking to shoot a short film with it.

Would you tackle this look with in-camera settings, lens diffusers, a combination of the 2, or something completely different?

 

Love to hear your opinions on this, thanks.


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 03:41 PM

Most of the objections to "sharpness" in digital is due to edge enhancement; you turn that off completely (in camera or later in post conversions) and even a 4K camera creates images that are not particularly crisp. 

 

So before dealing with diffusion filters, always start by adjusting the sharpness settings, lowering them down to minimal levels (you can always add sharpening in post but it is harder to take it away.)

 

Contrast and perceived sharpness are also connected; lowering the contrast tends to make the image feel softer.  So make sure you gamma settings are not too high in contrast.

 

So after correcting the sharpness settings and picking a recording gamma that is less harsh, you can look into some light diffusion filters.  Often people pick some type of "mist" diffusion (ProMist, Black ProMist, GlimmerGlass, etc.) - the "noise" from the mist particles seems to give them image a bit of the feeling of grain, or at least it does for some people.


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#3 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 08:52 PM

As above.. I believe the F3 menu items to turn off.. are Detail,Aperture,and Skin detail..   just turn them off completely.. its still sharp enough !


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#4 rob spence

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 06:02 AM

Does anyone know what the best picture profile is for the F3...to mimic a film look?


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#5 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 06:20 AM

Sorry I know the F5/55 does .. but does the F3 have SLOG... then you could shoot LOG and that would give you maximum flexibility in post to get the look you want.. provided you have Resolve or some other dedicated post software.. obviously 24/25p probably a beer choice than interlaced or high prog frame rates.. 

 

There are some Sony forums.. Im sure if you post on the Sony F5/55 forum people who have had or still have F3,s can give you alot of advice 


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#6 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 08:41 AM

As above.. I believe the F3 menu items to turn off.. are Detail,Aperture,and Skin detail..   just turn them off completely.. its still sharp enough !

 

^

This.

 

Turn all those damned things off, and only ever shoot in SLOG. The camera offers super sharp 1080p regardless.


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#7 Freya Black

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 09:12 AM

Sorry I know the F5/55 does .. but does the F3 have SLOG... then you could shoot LOG and that would give you maximum flexibility in post to get the look you want.. provided you have Resolve or some other dedicated post software.. obviously 24/25p probably a beer choice than interlaced or high prog frame rates.. 

 

There are some Sony forums.. Im sure if you post on the Sony F5/55 forum people who have had or still have F3,s can give you alot of advice 

 

 

S-Log was a software upgrade for the F3 but most of the cameras out there tend to have it installed.

 

Freya


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#8 rob spence

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 11:10 AM

Yes mine has the slog 422 free upgrade. I know you can turn off Detail,Aperture,and Skin detail in the picture profiles....can you turn them off in slog too? . I record to a Blade in proresHQ.


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#9 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 12:19 AM

Ok thanks Freya ..  Rob.. does the F3 have Cine EI mode.. if so .. as with the F5/55 all the paint menu options are greyed out anyway..  to sort of idiot proof it.. :)..   although you can burn in a LUT in your recording..

 

If the F3 is only offering Slog as the curve only.. then just switch off all the detail settings ..  never used a blade but in theory I dont think it should make any difference .. except it will be prores HQ and your files will be bigger.. off course shoot a test ..

 

Make sure all your VF display settings are off in SDI out.. or you,ll be recoding them too ! 


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#10 Jimmy Jib

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 10:13 AM

I wonder if RED users are also trying to soften their images when doing short films and features. From what I've heard and seen the RED Epic is significantly sharper than the F3 ( and most other cameras out there )


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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 11:59 AM

Sharpness itself is not necessarily bad nor what makes an image look electronic -- IMAX movies shot on film, after all, are very sharp.  Sharpening is what can make an image look electronic, all those artificial edges around things.  But even film going through a digital intermediate gets some degree of sharpening so it's mainly a matter of degree.

 

The Red cameras can produce very sharp images but if you process the raw files with minimal to no sharpening applied, I think you'd find that the images do not look overly crisp or too edgy.  Sure, if you want to use filters for more softening, or halation effects, go ahead.

 

Red cameras have more resolution than a F3 but more resolution doesn't make things look more video-ish (especially when you consider that the most video-ish images often come out of lower-resolution video cameras, especially standard-def ones -- why? Because they use more sharpening to compensate.)


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#12 rob spence

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:02 PM

David, 'Edgy' is actually a good description.


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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:39 PM

For example, here is a Red Epic frame from dailies on "Big Sur", unfiltered Zeiss Master Prime, converted from raw with standard amount of sharpening. I don't think it is too edgy or video-ish in terms of sharpness:

 

bigsur77.jpg


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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:27 PM

We're all aware that by the time we take into account low-pass filtering, optical aberrations and particularly Bayer colour recovery, the native resolution of the sensor is long gone. The proper response to this is oversampling. I don't know what sensor area that Epic was recording, but very likely more than HD. One of the best things about the availability of modern cameras with high-resolution sensors is that they produce such good-looking HD. Downsampling produces nice-looking sharpness, pictures that are dense with information but without artifice or edginess. As much as can be identified from a web-resolution still, that's what we see above.
 

P


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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:34 PM

Yes, this bears repeating... that increasing resolution doesn't necessarily lead to excessive sharpness -- the ugliest electronically sharpened images were always from low-res SD camcorders. Going to other way, down from 6K or 4K to 2K/HD or smaller allows you to have fine detail without ugly sharpening artifacts.

 

Almost ALL objections to the sharpness of digital is due to edge enhancement, not increased detail.


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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:46 PM

"Big Sur" was shot in 5K on the Mysterium-X sensor -- I took that same TIFF-to-JPEG frame and cropped it from 5K to 900 pixels, rather than reduced it.  Now I'm sure the ColorFront software that converted the R3D files for dailies, besides adding the basic gamma correction for the look we wanted, added some degree of sharpening, but I think it is very mild.

 

bigsur78.jpg


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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:57 PM

Yes, that's quite a lot of information, isn't it!

 

Oversampling is nice. We like oversampling.

 

Edit - I should say, though, with regard to the original enquiry, that there's nothing wrong with the F3 and especially with modern recorders it is a very serviceable device. Much fine work has been done with them. If I owned one, I'm not sure I'd have found a technical reason to replace it yet.

 

P


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