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Optimal Settings for Cinematic Footage on P3P Meant for Post Grading & Sharpening

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Andrew Allsbury, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Andrew Allsbury

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    After extensive testing I have come to the following conclusions for camera settings.

    Use manual settings with high quality NDs to keep circa 180 degree shutter.

    Format: MP4 - 3840x2160 / 24p (highest bitrate per frame)

    Lowest ISO Possible

    Log Mode (This is a MUST)

    Custom Style
    Sharpening: -1
    Contrast: -3
    Saturation: -3

    *Note on sharpening, if shooting extremely high detail scenes or scenes with challenging dynamic range, change this to -2 or -3, otherwise the subpar bitrate will struggle and your high detail shadows will flicker and crawl. There is no way to fix this compression issue in post, so lower the sharpening to alleviate this issue. However, you will lose a certain amount of sharpness that you will not be able to recover in post even with advanced sharpening techniques.

    *Note on white balance, GET THIS RIGHT. 90% of the shitty P3P/Inspire footage I see out there is because somebody botched their WB and tried to correct in post, do not use the presets, dial a perfect kelvin.

    *Note on exposure, do not trust the EV meter. Now that we have zebras utilize these. Go about 1/2 stop under highlights clipping. You do not want to clip anything on this shitty codec, but these little sensors crave light, give it to them, especially in the shadows where you can.

    Now make some pretty pictures!
     
    STAF likes this.
  2. Oso

    Oso

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    Question. So how do you set the WB temp to a "perfect" kelvin? For example, if shooting video wouldn't "perfect" change constantly? Also, while in the air how do you change/set your WB? On the ground I can imagine with perhaps a gray card, but in the air not so much. What do you do, since I'm guessing you don't use auto.
     
  3. Andrew Allsbury

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    On an evenly lit Sunny day you can generally eyeball the temp somewhere between 5300k-5800k, inside a building or in nasty weather you will likely have to utilize a large white card and dial until you see good white tones. Personally I would not utilize gray cards to warm the image, the footage seems to respond much better to post warming than to cooling, so I would shoot very neutral to the cooler side and warm SLIGHTLY in post if necessary.
     
  4. WetDog

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    Pretty standard thoughts - if YOU want to post process, don't let the camera do it. In particular, don't let the camera do things you can do better - figure out contrast (depends on your artistic goal and the scene, may change drastically in a few moments), saturation (which is something the 'camera' does to make things 'look better' - or at least what the engineers thought would look better, YMMV). Sharpening depends on the scene AND THE FINAL OUTPUT so having the camera decide early on in the editing sequence can be problemmatic.

    Sharpening especially is a one way street - you can't 'unsharpen' well.

    The '180 Shutter' thing is to make the movie look like it is a typical film based movie, standard cinematography if you will. You may or may not want that. Look it up and decide for yourself. If you do want the 'shutter speed at twice the frame rate' you typically have to use a neutral density filter unless you want to have the camera push the ISO which makes more noise. The P3P camera is certainly not a high ISO demon. At 320 it noticeably degrades. 200 is 'OK' but it does like to be at base ISO, like most cameras.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of capturing in .MP4 - I take the .MOV file and move it into an Apple Pro Res intermediate. But that requires fairly beefy hardware for 4K video and is probably noticeable only by staring closely at pixels for a distressingly long period of time.