Shooting Modes on the Sony PXW-FS7
Today were going to talk about one of sony’s more popular picture profiles (slog-3) but before we get into picture profiles we need to understand the shooting modes that the FS7 has to offer. The Sony FS7 has two very distinct shooting modes, One being Cine EI and the other is Custom Mode. When shooting in custom mode the camera behaves much like any other traditional video camera where what you see is what you get. In custom mode you can change many of the cameras settings such as sharpness, gamma, matrix, etc. to create the look you are after right in-camera. In some cases being able to get the look of your image in camera is great for content that will go direct to air or for fast turnaround productions such as corporate video work. But a baked-in look or Pre-graded look in camera can be difficult to work with in post-production.
The other mode, Cine-EI, is designed to allow you to record as much information about the scene as possible. The footage from the camera then becomes a digital negative that can then be developed in post-production and the final, highly polished look of the film or video created in post. In addition the Cine-EI mode mimics the way an actual film camera works by giving the cinematographer the ability set the camera at different ISO’s. This can be used to alter the relative noise levels in the footage or to help deal with difficult lighting situations.
What is S-Log?
S-Log is a gamma curve that is under the assumption that grading will be performed in the post-production process. When using S-Log to shoot, performing grading in the post-production process will allow you to create image effects matching each scene with a great degree of flexibility. To make such effects possible, images must be shot with a wide dynamic range and wide color reproduction range. The S-Log gamma curve is used for shooting such images. This profile can also be used on multiple Sony camera platforms not just the Sony FS7.
Color Grading and Exposing Slog 3 footage
The S-Log profile loves light. Because log curves pull up the shadows, digital noise can often become significantly more noticeable. This can make for some headaches in post, but there’s a somewhat simple fix to this by Exposing to the Right. Essentially, by exposing a stop or two brighter (of course making sure your highlights aren’t completely blown out), then pulling down the exposure in post, you can ensure that your image will have much cleaner shadows. You can then open the footage in Premiere Pro or any other color grading software. If not properly exposed the image will appear very grainy.
Take a look at the test footage below shot in lovely downtown Winter Garden, FL with the Sony FS7