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Paint Function on Sony F900


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#1 Jonathon Narducci

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 07:48 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm currently in pre-production test with the Sony F900. This is my first time using this camera, and I'm having a difficult time finding the best settings for the PAINT function in camera's settings.

Can anyone give me a suggestion on which parts of the PAINT menu that I should take advantage of, and the settings that pertain to the them. Most of our shots will be exterior day, with one night scene. I need a good base to work from. Because most of the information I have found, doesn't seem to give me a desireable image.

Also, I can't get my scene files to save to the memory sticks that I have, any thoughts?...

And finally, does anyone suggest using the DCC mode?

Thanks a lot, all your experiances, ideas, and knowledge will benefit me greatly!
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#2 Mike Brennan

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 01:21 PM

Get someone who knows the menues to help you out.
At least one day maybe two.

I suggest that you use the "user menue" page to store a few pages that you think you'll need at your finger tips whilst you shoot.

Format the card on a PC.
Use a new card with nothing else on it.


cheers



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#3 oarad

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 01:48 PM

If you don't know exatly what things do inside the paint menu my best advice it to not do enything with it!!! it's like putting a guy inside the cockpit of a 747 and tell him this thing can cross oceans, and then send him flying!
I don't know if this is an option, but the best thing for you to do is hire a DIT to take care of camera setting throughout the shoot.

Never-the-less... here are a couple of tips:
- First thing to do is goto paint menu page 13 and recall "standard". this will load the rental house settings for the paint menu - generaly the best place to start.
- Don't change video levels, this is really just messing with the white balance. better-of correcting infront of the lens and leave the camera on preset.
- Dont bring master black below -5, any more will result in lost data.
- choose a gamma table that looks best to you and leave it. dont mess with gamma values.
- is it a /3 camera? the knee page is the key for expanding the camera's dynamic range. caution!! know what you're doing!!
- don't touch matrix settings unless you have the scopes and the knowlage.
- scene file groups exists only on the MS card, not in the camera. (common misconception).
- DCC is dangerous because it changes the camera's dynamic range on shot.

Again, best thing is to recall "standard" and go to work like it's film.

good luck.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 05:25 PM

You don't have to do anything particular with the camera to get a good picture -- you can turn Detail off, the Color Matrix off, set the Master Black at "0", Gamma at "0", Black Gamma off, etc.

I use DCC but you have to keep an eye on it.

If you don't understand the camera's features, turn most of them off and just plan on color-correction to finish the look in post rather than mess with the gamma, matrix, video levels, etc.

Lighting & exposure are more important than camera settings, which can do as much harm as good.
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#5 Jonathon Narducci

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 10:00 PM

Thanks for the tip's everyone! I have loved a lot of what I've seen, except for the Mid-day exteriors. The Blacks tend to look muddy, not black. Is this a good thing?

I just want to make sure I get as much latitude as possible in the hard light. Is anytype of Gamma change, or other change in the PAINT menu like the Knee helpful, and what settings would be good for this?

Also, if the Matrix is off, then I don't have to worry about what color standard I'm working in, like ITU-709. Right?

Once again thank you all very much!
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#6 Bob Hayes

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 08:16 PM

Can anyone post some of their settings they shoot at Cinealta at? It would be great if it was in a down loadable format. I rarely get a chance to screw with the settings and it helps to have a guide. Somewhere I saw one that showed how to set the 900 for different film looks like 5218 etc.
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#7 Bob Hayes

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 05:48 PM

I've down loaded an F 900 setting from into a memory stick but when I go to open it my computer can't tell what program it is written in. When I open it it is just gibberish and boxes.

How can I look at it?
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#8 Dylan Munro

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 01:54 AM

I've down loaded an F 900 setting from into a memory stick but when I go to open it my computer can't tell what program it is written in.  When I open it it is just gibberish and boxes.

How can I look at it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


If you go to the www.cinealta.com site and go to "Workshops" and get yourself a login. You can then go into the Gamma Download Service section and there are some downloadable gamma settings along with a detailed description of it's application and some JPEG samples.
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#9 oarad

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 01:30 PM

One can't use a cinealta file on a PC. If you are reffering to a camera file (Operator, Reference, Scenes etc) that the camera uses, these files are stored as binary data and you need a specific program to understand them. The camera has such a program in it. I'm not aware of a PC program which understands cinealta file. Just put the files in the camera (assuming they're in a properly formatted memory stick).

On a general note, tranferring files between cameras will NOT result in matched up cameras. the values stored in those files are reletive to individual cameras on which they were saved.
for example: if setting the master black level on camera A to -4 result in 0% video level on the chart, this doesn't mean the video level will be the same on camera B. this is true to all menu items on all cameras.
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#10 Bob Hayes

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 05:12 PM

On a general note, transferring files between cameras will NOT result in matched up cameras. the values stored in those files are relative to individual cameras on which they were saved.


I hear this but when I check out well teched cameras 90% of the numbers match up exactly and the rest seem to be a mater of taste. Only a selected few like Flare seem to be tied to specific lenses. Am I missing something?
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#11 Tim J Durham

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 06:34 PM

One can't use a cinealta file on a PC. If you are reffering to a camera file (Operator, Reference, Scenes etc) that the camera uses, these files are stored as binary data and you need a specific program to understand them. The camera has such a program in it. I'm not aware of a PC program which understands cinealta file. Just put the files in the camera (assuming they're in a properly formatted memory stick).

On a general note, tranferring files between cameras will NOT result in matched up cameras. the values stored in those files are reletive to individual cameras on which they were saved.
for example: if setting the master black level on camera A to -4 result in 0% video level on the chart, this doesn't mean the video level will be the same on camera B. this is true to all menu items on all cameras.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If you start all cameras at the factory pre-sets, then load the same pre-sets from memory stick, they should all match. You will still have to re-set the flares for each camera (as the stored flare values are lost when you load your files) ideally from the same spot in a controlled setting, each done the same way. Having unmatched flare settings can make the cameras look very different.

For the blacks, I prefer to set the them a little higher (stretch as opposed to press) to retain maximum shadow detail. Then you can bring the blacks down to where you want them in post. If you crush the blacks while shooting, that detail is lost for good. I'm not sure what you mean by "muddy" when referring to black levels. Do you mean "milky"? "Muddy" is a term I use usually when talking about a face up against a too-bright background, so at the highlight end.

Anyway, milky blacks are preferrable to crushed blacks in most cases, particularly when headed for a film-out (or so I've read) because there is more shadow detail.
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#12 Tim J Durham

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 06:41 PM

If you start all cameras at the factory pre-sets, then load the same pre-sets from memory stick, they should all match. You will still have to re-set the flares for each camera (as the stored flare values are lost when you load your files) ideally from the same spot in a controlled setting, each done the same way. Having unmatched flare settings can make the cameras look very different.

For the blacks, I prefer to set the them a little higher (stretch as opposed to press) to retain maximum shadow detail. Then you can bring the blacks down to where you want them in post. If you crush the blacks while shooting, that detail is lost for good. I'm not sure what you mean by "muddy" when referring to black levels. Do you mean "milky"? "Muddy" is a term I use usually when talking about a face up against a too-bright background, so at the highlight end.

Anyway, milky blacks are preferrable to crushed blacks in most cases, particularly when headed for a film-out (or so I've read) because there is more shadow detail.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Whoops,
For some reason I thought you were talking about a digi-beta cam. Although the CineAlta is a Sony, the menus don't necessarily work the same way so.... never mind. Although I suppose I could still be correct since they ARE both Sony cams. If I were correct, however, it would just be coincidence.
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#13 Nick Hiltgen

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 05:22 PM

If you start all cameras at the factory pre-sets, then load the same pre-sets from memory stick, they should all match. You will still have to re-set the flares for each camera (as the stored flare values are lost when you load your files) ideally from the same spot in a controlled setting, each done the same way. Having unmatched flare settings can make the cameras look very different.

For the blacks, I prefer to set the them a little higher (stretch as opposed to press) to retain maximum shadow detail. Then you can bring the blacks down to where you want them in post. If you crush the blacks while shooting, that detail is lost for good. I'm not sure what you mean by "muddy" when referring to black levels. Do you mean "milky"? "Muddy" is a term I use usually when talking about a face up against a too-bright background, so at the highlight end.

Anyway, milky blacks are preferrable to crushed blacks in most cases, particularly when headed for a film-out (or so I've read) because there is more shadow detail.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Tim, this hasn't been my experience with camera's and a scope. Usually some amount of compensation is required, you can go in to the maintenance menu and get two camera's to be the same through optical head block shading, and white and black shading, but often most camera's I get are not matched (even if they're from the same rental house)

Also a fun trick (that I've seen in action but never used) is dialing down your blacks, or leave them at factory settings and then make everything but true black "milky" in information in the y-gamma setting. But test out I guess and see if that works for you.
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#14 Tim J Durham

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 08:50 PM

Tim, this hasn't been my experience with camera's and a scope.  Usually some amount of compensation is required, you can go in to the maintenance menu and get two camera's to be the same through optical head block shading, and white and black shading, but often most camera's I get are not matched (even if they're from the same rental house)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi Nick,
I don't want to wander out of my depth here, but I've had pretty good success (luck, maybe?) with matching them from the same settings on memory stick/ SD card and setting the flares. I've never had CCU's to help in the field, only monitor and scope. So it was not an exact science situation and I'm no DIT, although I've made a reasonable facsimile of one in the past. Thankfully, I work with one camera at a time now, mostly. As for rental houses, I no longer bother asking them to set up cameras for me, it's a waste of breath.
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#15 Nick Hiltgen

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 12:37 PM

Hi Nick,
I don't want to wander out of my depth here, but I've had pretty good success (luck, maybe?) with matching them from the same settings on memory stick/ SD card and setting the flares. I've never had CCU's to help in the field, only monitor and scope. So it was not an exact science situation and I'm no DIT, although I've made a reasonable facsimile of one in the past. Thankfully, I work with one camera at a time now, mostly. As for rental houses, I no longer bother asking them to set up cameras for me, it's a waste of breath.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Tim you've got a couple of good points. 1) asking the rental house to set up your camera's is usually a waste of breath, and 2) we may have different definitions of what "matched" is. For example I worked with one company where the editors were so happy to have the two camera's white balanced the same that any other matching was just icing on the cake. On the other hand, there are times when even the most accurate spot on matching isn't "matched" because the camera's are at two different angles and people complain. I'm sure others can address this issue better then me.

For the most part you could probably get camera's reasonably close by matching the scene and reference files, but if you rely on that you're going to inevitably end up with two camera's that are shaded at the base level so differently that no matter how many times you clear reference you're going to end up with different images. IMHO.
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#16 Carroll Raver

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 10:17 PM

Get someone who knows the menues to help you out.
At least one day maybe two.

I suggest that you use the "user menue" page to store a few pages that you think you'll need at your finger tips whilst you shoot.

Format the card on a PC.
Use a new card with nothing else on it.
cheers
Mike Brennan


Dear Mike Brennan,

I'm shooting a feature with the F900 - can you tell me where I might view the settings result?
How do you downloda the settings? From what site address? How do I load a memory stick?

Can we format the memory stick on a PC?

Thanks ever so much,

Carroll Raver
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#17 Carroll Raver

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 05:34 PM

Whoops,
For some reason I thought you were talking about a digi-beta cam. Although the CineAlta is a Sony, the menus don't necessarily work the same way so.... never mind. Although I suppose I could still be correct since they ARE both Sony cams. If I were correct, however, it would just be coincidence.



TIM,

Since you're a Maryland guy (I'm from Emory Road, Reisterstown,) can you help me with the location
of settings for shooting DAY FOR NIGHT ???

I saw a test made by a Japanese shooter in which the saturation was way down, the contrast flat; it
did give an approximation of say "moonlight". I'm shooting a feature in Thailand and need some
suggestions on how to setup for Day for Night shooting.

Thanks, Carroll Raver
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#18 Carroll Raver

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 02:10 AM

Gentlemen, Director of Photography in HD,


I'm shooting a feature in Thailand with lots of NIGHT shooting in the jungle. I'd
like to hear suggestions for a setting on the SONY F900 that would create a sort
of moonlight look shooting DAY FOR NIGHT - if you have a suggestion for settings
that would knock down the highlights and open up the blacks leaving just the
flat greys, sort of a calm, cool gunmetal moonlook - it could be a stylized look
that would work for this HORROR film.

Thanks, Mates.

Carroll Raver
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#19 Tim J Durham

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 12:00 AM

TIM,

Since you're a Maryland guy (I'm from Emory Road, Reisterstown,) can you help me with the location
of settings for shooting DAY FOR NIGHT ???

I saw a test made by a Japanese shooter in which the saturation was way down, the contrast flat; it
did give an approximation of say "moonlight". I'm shooting a feature in Thailand and need some
suggestions on how to setup for Day for Night shooting.

Thanks, Carroll Raver

Hi Carol,
I've never tried to do it but if I WERE to try, I would shoot with a very narrow dynamic range and do the color effects in post. That would involve keeping the highlights below 90 IRE (experiment with knee pt. knee slope and white clip OR just set your zebras at 90 and don't blow out) and bringing the black level way up, maybe as high as 40 IRE. Just using "black stretch" will not go that high so you'll have to use the pedastal, too. Then desaturate the image in post and bring the blacks back down and the highlights along with it. Then add some blue across the spectrum. So you'd end up with the blacks at 0 (7.5) and the highlights 50 IRE with full detail all the way down which you could crush to your liking.

So that's the first thing I'd TRY. Don't know what it would look like but it sounds like it might work..
But test first! This is not my bailiwick.

If you try it, post some stills. I'd be interested to see how it turns out.
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#20 Mike Brennan

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Posted 31 October 2005 - 08:23 AM

I hear this but when I check out well teched cameras 90% of the numbers match up exactly and the rest seem to be a mater of taste. Only a selected few like Flare seem to be tied to specific lenses. Am I missing something?


Bob you are right, cameras should be near enough match at factory presets.
So return to factory presets.
Then dial in choice of matrix, detail, gamma curves to both cameras.
Pictures should be in the ball park.

If they are not then use an engineer to adjust OHB file to match cameras, (not multimatrix or anything else)
OHB matrix is designed so that the other matrixes can be laid on top.

Mike Brennan
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