[Richard Dee]"I believe FCP (still on 6) default brightness can lead to having highlights above 100 IRE without realizing."
There is no "default" brightness in FCP. The levels are what they are from your original media, there's nothing FCP does to brighten or darken the original footage. All of this is in your control with color grading.
[Richard Dee]"I have also noticed on some stiils with motion, that the rendered paused clip shows highlights below 100, but when running I see information well above 100."
The scopes are only fully accurate when you're paused.
[Richard Dee]"I am starting to get wary of FCP internal scopes, and thinking that BM Ultrascope is maybe now a necessity if finishing in FCP alone and not running through Color."
Our company is 8 years old and we only use the FCP internal and Color scopes. Well over 300 now and counting, SD and HD Masters delivered to network clients with no rejections due to technical issues.
External scopes are really nice, but we don't find them necessary in our work.
Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author. HD Post and Production Biscardi Creative Media
I was referring to the "display brightness" slider of the scopes that seems like it allows you to see more information. I slide it up to about 75% - default is 50%.
Also how often do you use the broadcast safe filter? I find it works on luma, not chroma. I have been having some success with FCP secondaries in taking red construction vests (which are always quite saturated) and pulling those down. It doesn't always work to get a good HSL key - of course Color is much better at that, but I don't always have the luxury of Color.
What we are all seeing, is that two of the most important video companies of our time - both AJA and Blackmagic - are releasing a complete line of products to replace all the expensive and outdated crap that we have historically had from manufacturers like Sony, Tektronix, and all the others.
The Blackmagic Ultrascope is an amazing innovative product, as is the AJA Ki Pro, and the assorted routers and converters that are made by both of these companies. How Tek/Harris (Leitch)/Miranda/Evertz/Utah, etc, etc, will continue to financially abuse the industry when leaders like AJA and Blackmagic continue to innovate and change our industry, is beyond me. Oh, I know - some people just LIKE to spend more money.