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clips end up darker in Editor than in cam

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Kevin Raichl
clips end up darker in Editor than in cam
on Jul 27, 2018 at 6:33:09 pm

I have a Sony FS7- I'm noticing that when I shoot, and this is true in different setups, but mostly when I shoot in a Hypergamma 8 set up, the exposure looks good in the camera, but it is consistently darker when I import into FCP 7. I've taken steps to ensure the VF is set up correctly, and there are no LUTs applied.

I sometimes use the native files, but more often than not, I use Catalyst browse to convert 4K to ProRes 1080. Any advice?

Kevin


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Blaise Douros
Re: clips end up darker in Editor than in cam
on Jul 30, 2018 at 9:19:43 pm

Are you using the Waveform feature on both your camera and in your NLE? How do the waveforms compare? Is your monitor calibrated?

Any significant difference between the converted and native files?

Also, FCP7? Wow. Does that handle MXF?

My instinct is that there's something happening on the capture side. I'm assuming you're using a waveform to help expose, but if you're not, wide-dynamic-range color spaces like Hypergammas and Slog can cause you to unintentionally underexpose, because we are trained to want contrast in the shadows. If you're exposing by eye and not using a waveform, I would suspect that you're overcorrecting dark for the dynamic range effects of a wide-dynamic-range. I used to do that when I shot Slog2 and Slog3, until I learned how properly to gauge exposure with them.


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Kevin Raichl
Re: clips end up darker in Editor than in cam
on Aug 1, 2018 at 12:56:22 am

Yes, I use the waveform regularly, but have to admit not always. I use a scope on the NLE to correct and verify levels. I see the video in the VF, and it is around 80% white, but when it gets to the editor it's more like 65 or 70.

Yes, FCP 7 handles the Sony mxf files, but only a few at a time. What I usually do is use Catalyst Browse to convert to ProRez 1080p, and edit that way. I will drop in the 4K mxf files here and there to be able to blow up and/or crop the frame to get a better look. FCP handles that just fine.

Do you think Catalyst Browse might be doing something? When I use it, I use the Rec 709 color space.

Kevin


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Blaise Douros
Re: clips end up darker in Editor than in cam
on Aug 1, 2018 at 3:55:16 pm

I mean, the only way to know if Catalyst Browse is doing it is to run a clip through and check both the MXF and ProRes output.

What you need to do is shoot a test clip. Ideally with a color chip, but if not, find a scene that is a known quantity. Make note of the waveform--take a photo of the screen if you have to.

Now compare that waveform to:

1. The MXF clip brought straight into FCP
2. The ProRes export from Catalyst Browse in FCP
3. Both clips in another NLE--Da Vinci Resolve would be the obvious choice, since it's free.

Each of these steps can help you eliminate a failure point. If the clips are consistent in every NLE, then you know that you need to adjust your exposure in-camera.

How sure are you that you're not accidentally using an MLUT? This sounds like EXACTLY what would happen if you were using an MLUT to shoot, and actually recording in another color space. Or if you were shooting in CineEI mode with a - 1-stop LUT.


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Kevin Raichl
Re: clips end up darker in Editor than in cam
on Aug 2, 2018 at 9:07:07 pm

I had a chance to do the test using a color chart and surprise! They all matched perfectly. No change between the scope in the camera or in the editor. No change between the raw mxf files and pro rez. It is obviously me being sloppy. I will pay more attention to levels, and make sure the viewfinder is balanced correctly. thanks for the help.

Kevin


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leslie wand
Re: clips end up darker in Editor than in cam
on Jul 31, 2018 at 6:11:26 am

are any of the monitors you viewing on calibrated (incl. camera)?

sort of guessing game otherwise.


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leslie wand
Re: clips end up darker in Editor than in cam
on Jul 31, 2018 at 6:12:54 am

oops. should have added that shooting a chip chart might help sort out what's going on.


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