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Sony F-900/3 Image Sharpening

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Keven Strehle
Sony F-900/3 Image Sharpening
on May 11, 2008 at 7:14:02 pm


I am beginning series work for a new program and I want to change the look of my camera, Sony F-900/3.

I have shot many projects with the 900 so far but the one thing I have noticed with the current set up is "soft" images. Not a focus problem. Now, some of this may be the result of shooting 1080p or is it? But recently I switched formats to what I was shooting, with the 730a for the past seven years, 1080/60i, which Jeff Cree set up and I am still not satisfied with the image my 900 is outputting.

Essentially, I want the sharpest image possible. What I would like to do for this particular series is set the camera up so that I get maximum DETAIL.

Does anyone have settings that they would suggest to increase the detail to sharpen the edges? Effects on other settings? Or any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Keven


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Jesse Rosen
Re: Sony F-900/3 Image Sharpening
on May 13, 2008 at 2:10:50 am

A certain amount of softness can certainly be caused by shooting in Progressive mode - depending on the shutter you'll get more motion blur than shooting in interlaced mode. Make sure the shutter is on and set to 180° (1/48 for 24P, 1/60 for 30P).

Then, make sure that detail is turned on, of course. The primary setting for detail is the master detail setting (DETAIL1, then LEVEL). Raise this setting till you get a look you like. Of course there are other detail settings - but without an engineer present it's probably best to leave them at their defaults.



--
Jesse Rosen
Director of Technical Development
Abel Cine Tech, Inc.
http://www.bustedskull.com


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Graeme Duane
Re: Sony F-900/3 Image Sharpening
on Sep 15, 2008 at 8:38:23 am

I've also had this problem, f900s not giving the detail that we expect from such an expensive camera... We did an interview recently where I had a f900 as the A cam, and used a little Z7 as a tighter, more edgey angle.

The disappointment (horror actually) in post when we saw that the Z1 was MARKEDLY sharper than the f900 caused us to up the detail to -15 from -35.

The reps all tell you to drop to -40 here, and I now see that this is either a remaining figment of the interlacing asthetic, or just a load of rubbish.

We're getting a EX-1 or two soon, and I'm going to bench these cameras to see what the corresponding detail settings are. I'll let you know how it goes. Makes one worry when you're trying to match a f900 with a full range of cheapie cameras...

f900/HVX


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john sharaf
Re: Sony F-900/3 Image Sharpening
on Sep 15, 2008 at 3:06:52 pm

Graeme,

Even -15 on the detail level is a reduction of the nominal detail.

If you're looking for a "sharp" look, you should be running the detail to +15, as I did a week ago Friday night to shoot Katie Couric's live shot from the Kodak Theater in LA. On the last shot, that zoomed out from a closeup, I panned the detail from less to more (ending at +15) to make both the closeup and the wide shot look right.

I wouldn't poo-poo this camera (although the F900R is significantly better), it definitely sounds like your issue is settings. The camera and the menus are very powerful and dense and require a thorough command not only to get the best out of the camera, but to prevent stepping on land mines that can ruin your day.

When you use a camera that is unfamiliar to you (even your own if it's been out with someone else) you must cycle through and audit every menu setting to have confidence in the setup.

JS



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Graeme Duane
Re: Sony F-900/3 Image Sharpening
on Sep 15, 2008 at 4:02:17 pm

Thanks John, was always too afraid to go that high...

You're right, I spend a lot of time shooting with a variety of cameras, so I havn't given the time to get full control of the f900R (yes, all of ours are R's).

I'm not poo-pooing the unit, I was just horrified to see the results of cheaper formats next to f900's (albeit poorly engineered...)

I'll give the higher detail a crack... By the way, do you know of any good tutorials or such that deals with the basics here? We have a lot of guys who use these units that are even more in the dark than myself.

f900/HVX


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Graeme Duane
Re: Sony F-900/3 Image Sharpening
on Sep 15, 2008 at 4:04:31 pm

Thanks John, was always too afraid to go that high...

You're right, I spend a lot of time shooting with a variety of cameras, so I havn't given the time to get full control of the f900R (yes, all of ours are R's).

I'm not poo-pooing the unit, I was just horrified to see the results of cheaper formats next to f900's (albeit poorly engineered...)

I'll give the higher detail a crack... By the way, do you know of any good tutorials or such that deals with the basics here? We have a lot of guys who use these units that are even more in the dark than myself.

f900/HVX


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Graeme Duane
Re: Sony F-900/3 Image Sharpening
on Sep 15, 2008 at 4:06:11 pm

Thanks John, was always too afraid to go that high...

You're right, I spend a lot of time shooting with a variety of cameras, so I havn't given the time to get full control of the f900R (yes, all of ours are R's).

I'm not poo-pooing the unit, I was just horrified to see the results of cheaper formats next to f900's (albeit poorly engineered...)

I'll give the higher detail a crack... By the way, do you know of any good tutorials or such that deals with the basics here? We have a lot of guys who use these units that are even more in the dark than myself.

f900/HVX


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john sharaf
Re: Sony F-900/3 Image Sharpening
on Sep 15, 2008 at 5:33:59 pm

Graeme,

I don't know if they still offer the Sante Fe Workshops, they were intensive training sessions on this camera. The union and sometimes rental houses have workshops on various cameras, etc. by this model is so well established that these tutorials tend to focus on newer models. Another alternative is to hire an experienced DIT or Engineer in your area to have a small group session with the camera guys at your shop. I've done such a thing for several clients. As I said, the F900R has such a rich and deep menu, it's a crime if you own such a camera not to know how to use all it's features.

JS





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