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Video looks flat after upload

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Elliott Powell
Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 9, 2012 at 12:25:41 am

I posted about this last month but then I tore my ACL and forgot about it and the post died.

I use a Sony A77 with the 18-250mm lens, and on my camera LCD my video look wonderful. However when I upload the footage (AVCHD 1080/60p, a .mts file) to Premiere it looks very soft and flat. It doesn't happen with photos or at least not as bad, I'm going to test that to make sure.

I thought it could be monitor, but when I compare my videos on youtube to other videos shot with the A77 (with the same picture style and no color correction), the other videos look noticeably better.

I use a 2009 iMac and an iomega external hard drive if that matters. Thanks for any help!


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Steve Crow
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 9, 2012 at 3:48:33 am

The first thing I would check is to see if Premiere is transcoding the video into a different format upon import

Also are you playing the videos from your desktop folder in their native format? That could be the cause of the differences you are seeing

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Elliott Powell
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 9, 2012 at 5:50:04 am

Because the files are 1080/60p I can't play them in my desktop, I can only watch them in Premiere since that is the only application that supports that format. But yes it does play natively in premiere.


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John Frey
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 9, 2012 at 5:05:59 pm

I have the Sony A65 which is almost the same as the A77. It produces a very crisp, very nice 1080p for me and I have no problem playing it back in either Adobe Premiere CS 5.5 or 6.0 or in Sony Vegas 11. Check your settings for your LCD screen - auto? brightness level? Have you tried using the OLED EVF, which is great for seeing what is really there. Have you tried pressing the Preview button on the camera which can be set to see what you will actually be recording?

Nero Quick Media player is the media player that comes with Nero from Ahead. I have compared it to multiple free players and, for me, does the best job at playing 1080p AVCHD. Good Luck!

John D. Frey
25 Year owner/operator of two California-based production studios.

Digital West Video Productions of San Luis Obispo and Inland Images of Lake Elsinore


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Elliott Powell
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 9, 2012 at 5:24:14 pm

The LCD screen and EVF brightness is on auto, and in the EVF everything looks just as good (although the colors are slightly different). The preview button doesn't change anything since its on video mode.

I tried to download the Nero media player but it didn't work, I think because its only for windows.


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Elliott Powell
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 9, 2012 at 9:35:22 pm

I think it has something to do with how I upload it, because if in Premiere I compare the footage I uploaded to the computer and put in a folder and the same footage straight from my camera (connected via USB), the one footage straight from the camera looks sharper, especially if looking at it with a 100% crop.

This is an example of what I'm talking about, the entire thing was shot with the standard picture/creative style, 0,0,0


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Elliott Powell
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 9, 2012 at 10:00:47 pm

I tested to see if there was any difference in the photos and while when I when comparing the images I uploaded and images straight from the camera connected with a USB on the computer I didn't see much of a difference, but compared to the camera LCD screen the images on the computer looked softer and much flatter.

For both photos and video the colors are a different on the computer compared to LCD or EVF (especially photos), which I realize is normal at least to a certain degree, but the problem is that they look very flat, which compared to other people's videos shouldn't be happening.


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John Frey
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 9, 2012 at 10:06:36 pm

Do you color grade in post. If so, what did you do. A bit of unsharp mask added to the overall color grade might be a place to start. Try test shooting something new - use your current camera settings and then shoot the exact same thing under the exact same conditions, etc. What lens are you using? Try stopping down a little, maybe around 5.6 or more while adding a little iso if needed and try using manual setting with focus peaking turned on. The Sony focus peaking on the A65/A77 is an excellent tool.

John D. Frey
25 Year owner/operator of two California-based production studios.

Digital West Video Productions of San Luis Obispo and Inland Images of Lake Elsinore


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Elliott Powell
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 9, 2012 at 11:54:23 pm

The documentary had no color grading or correcting at all, but lately I've been trying to grade my videos. When I do color correct I usually use the fast color corrector to add contrast and saturation.
I've been messing around with the creative styles (mostly neutral) trying to make the footage on the camera look more like how I see it, but I've pretty much given up that because of this problem. Right now I'm trying out shooting flat with the sharpness all the way up and grading. I tried a test like that (again) today (on neutral with sharpness all the way up) and found that shooting with -3 contrast the sharpness isn't as much of a problem, but at 0 I think I actually get more dynamic range (I'm going to test that again)
My lens is the 18-250mm, and when I did that test the aperture was at 6.3 and I was using focus peaking.

Any tips on using the unsharp mask? I started to mess with it yesterday with mixed results. Thanks for the help by the way!


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Chris Wright
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 10, 2012 at 9:17:25 am

try 2 and 3 strip approaches to color grading. Most lower end camcorders need perfect lighting to pick up vivid color. Overall global tinting often reduces color ranges and separation of actors to background.

ae cs3 aep
http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?5vkfg7ash7tgvj7


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Elliott Powell
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 10, 2012 at 8:47:14 pm

What do you mean 2 and 3 strip approaches to color grading? And while it definitely does look better when there is a lot of light (or at least certain kinds of light), its not exactly a low end camcorder. And I'm not sure I understand what the point is of what your saying about global tinting, can you explain that? Thanks!


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Chris Wright
Re: Video looks flat after upload
on Sep 11, 2012 at 10:10:08 am

if you simply apply an overall tint, you're affecting all the colors equally and they start merging into the same color. The background and foreground become hard to distinguish from each other and read as flat almost like b/w.

Now if you create mattes, you can tint highlights separately or reds, or saturate opposing color. I just gave a few templates so you could see other options available. I hope you have fun grading. It's the candy part of the project.


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