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Bruno

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  1. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Andrew Reid in Christopher Doyle calls out The Academy over Oscar for Cinematography   
    You show a huge lack of understanding regarding the VFX studios' situation for someone who won't stop speaking about it.
     
    The main VFX facilities only have 5 clients (Warner, Fox, Sony, Paramount, Disney), they don't need marketing people telling their own 5 clients they exist. The fact there's only 5 serious clients in the industry is also one of their problems, since they obviously don't want to upset any of them by denying to work with them or asking for extra money to pay for the extra work they hadn't bid on.
     
    If you only had 5 possible clients and they all worked with you regularly, would you create a "sales and marketing" department to tell your 5 clients about the work you do for them? Don't be ridiculous.
  2. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from reboot81 in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    I just bought a Sony DSC-RX100. After a couple years shooting my personal projects on a Canon 7D, I needed something more compact that I could carry with me at all times, and the Sony DSC-RX100 looked like it could be the one. The great reviews, the ability to shoot 1080p at 50fps with a fast Zeiss IS lens, full manual control in video mode, focus peaking and a 16mm sized sensor convinced me to go for it!
     
    My footage shot on the 7D improved quite a lot during the time I've been using it, knowing a camera's strong points and especially its limitations is very important to getting good images out of it, so the first thing I did with the Sony DSC-RX100 was to shoot some tests to help me decide which settings I'll be using when shooting video with it.
     
    Like most people around here I learn so much from online reviews and discussion forums, and those have been a great help deciding my gear purchases, so I'm sharing what I learned from my tests as a way to return the favor and give something back to the community. There's been some good reviews of the Sony DSC-RX100 online, and some useful info spread around the internet, but I think this post will cover a lot of useful information for whoever's interested in this camera for video, and much of this info will also apply for any other similar camera.
     
    I started by turning off all the automatic picture improvement options, as they usually degrade the quality of the image and make it less gradable, then I set the codec to AVCHD at 28mbits and 50p (PS).
     
    SHOOTING MODE
    For video shooting I'd recommend setting the top wheel to video mode and then selecting video-M for manual video shooting
    The RX100 does have a dedicated Movie Recording button, and can shoot video on any Stills mode, but you might get aspect ratio and exposure changes once you hit the Record button in these modes. In video-M mode you'll get what you see on screen.
     
    RECORD SETTINGS
     
    The Sony RX100 can shoot movies in two different formats, MP4 and AVCHD. All MP4 options are below 1080p resolution though, so I won't get into those. In AVCHD mode however, we get 3 different 1080 options:
     
    50i 24M (FX) (50i @ 24Mbps, Blu-Ray AVCHD disc compliant)
    50i 17M (FH) (50i @ 17Mbps, DVD AVCHD disc compliant)
    50p 28M (PS) (50p @ 28Mbps, Progressive Scan)
     
    So it seems like we get 50i at 17Mbps and 24Mbps, and we get 50p at 28Mbps, but not really…
    The 50i mode is actually capturing 25p images out of the sensor and encoding them as 50i footage, this means that we do end up with interlaced footage, but since it was captured progressively, de-interlacing it will produce a clean 25p image!
     
    So if we're looking for the best possible video out of the RX100, we should use 50i 24M for 25fps video and 50p 28M for 50fps video.
    In theory, shooting 50i 24M gives us the best bitrate per frame in this camera, almost twice as much as shooting 50p 28M.
    Shooting 50fps however would have neighboring frames changing less than when shooting 25fps, helping the encoder do a better job, but still the per frame bitrate is lower, and here's a comparison that shows is. If you look at the darker areas in the back where the window is, you'll see that the 50i version is slightly cleaner.
     

     
    Here's an example of something in motion shot at 50i and 50p, the 50i frame was de-interlaced and as you can see there's no interlacing artifacts at all.
     

     
    Considering all of the above, I think it's safe to say that the 50i 24M mode, which is in fact 25p @ 24Mbps, will give you best video quality out of this camera.
      CREATIVE STYLES
    Creative Styles is the RX100's designation for Color Profiles.
    My first test was to choose the flattest Creative Style the camera had to offer, so I shot some footage of all the different styles.
     

     
    After looking at all these different images, I decided to go with the Portrait Creative Style, as it seems to be the flattest of them all.
     
    EXPLORING THE PORTRAIT CREATIVE STYLE
    Each Creative Style has settings for Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness that can be set from -3 to 3, so I shot some more footage using the Portrait Creative Style in a number of different settings.
     

     
    Using the Portrait Creative Style at the minimum settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3) definitely (and obviously) seems to be the flattest style in this camera, but I had to check how well it graded and how it compares to using the default values (Contrast: 0, Saturation: 0, Sharpness: 0).
     

     
    On the top left you have a frame shot using the Portrait Creative Style, with all the settings set to 0, on top right you have a frame shot using the Portrait Creative Style in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3).
    On the bottom right frame I added some sharpness to the flat image, which responded quite well, and on the bottom left frame I added not only sharpness but also increased the Saturation and Contrast in order to match the top left frame (Contrast: 0, Saturation: 0, Sharpness: 0).
    The result is an image that matches in color saturation and contrast, but with a much nicer detail and less compression artifacts. It looks sharper and cleaner overall, which made me decide to use this Creative Style and these settings from now on.
     
    SHOOTING BLACK & WHITE
    The following test is something I've been wanting to do for a while, regardless of the camera. The thinking behind this test was:
     
    "If the camera is compressing B&W footage instead of color footage, maybe it can do a much better job at it since it doesn't have all the color information to process, so even using the same bit rate could give us better results."
     
    Of course I don't know the details on the cameras' inner workings, but assuming the B&W Creative Style is applied BEFORE the footage is compressed to AVCHD, then this should work. Maybe.
     

     
    So I shot some footage using the B&W Creative Style in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3), which you can see on top left, and then some more footage using my new favorite Portrait Creative Style, also in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3).
     
    On the middle left frame, I increased the sharpness and the contrast on the image to make it less flat, and on the middle right frame I did the same, and also desaturated it. As you can see both images are different, since the B&W Creative Style's color conversion is not merely desaturating the image to create a B&W version, it's using a more clever process that also looks better, but anyway, the point here is to test the image compression and figure out which one gives cleaner results, so on the last test frames I increased the exposure by 2 stops to find out how well the images handled it.
    On the bottom left frame you can see how much cleaner the image shot with the B&W Creative Style is, compared with the one shot using the Portrait Creative Style, it's actually beautifully clean and overexposing it by 2 stops didn't show any ugly artifacts at all.
     
    So my conclusion on this one is, if you're shooting for black and white, and you're sure that's the look you'll want (since it's kind of hard to color B&W footage if you change your mind afterwards), then using the B&W Creative Style will give you far superior results!
     
    DYNAMIC RANGE OPTIMIZER
    The Dynamic Range Optimizer works when writing to compressed formats, such as JPG, MP4 or AVCHD. It has no effect when shooting RAW.
    Its purpose is to capture more detail in the areas that are more prone to get lost when using compressed formats, such as dark shadows. It works in the darker areas of the image, making them brighter and producing a flatter image, which makes it easier on the image compression to achieve better results.
    Here's a test scene shot using all the DRO levels available. There's also an Auto Mode, but I suspect it wouldn't give predictable results when shooting manual video.
     

     
    The result is quite clear on every mode. Personally I think 5 is too much and might be actually degrading the image more than it helps, but lower settings definitely look not just useable but very useful in achieving a flat and clean image. I'd say using the DRO in its modes 2 and 3 would definitely help achieving a better flat image. I'll probably leave it at 2 all the time and increase it to 3 in situations with more contrast.
     
    5DtoRGB
    I've used 5DtoRGB on Canon footage since the early beta versions, and I honestly don't understand how come it's not used by everyone. 5DtoRGB features one of the best YCbCr to RGB compression out there, and it's free!!!
    (the Pro version with batch capabilities costs $50 though)
     
    5DtoRGB does a great job improving aliasing and compression artifacts and transcoding to 10-bit Prores (can also transcode do DPX image sequences and DNxHD files), or at least it did with Canon DSLR footage, so I thought I'd try it with the RX100.
     

     
    The top frame is from the original AVCHD file and the bottom frame is from the Prores transcoded file out of 5DtoRGB.
    5DtoRGB automatically changed the Decoding Matrix setting to ITU-R BT.709, so I assume that's the one to use with the RX100 (Canon DSLRs like the 550D, 60D or 7D used the ITU-R BT.601 Decoding Matrix, the 5Dmk3 however used the ITU-R BT.709).
    Looking at it like this there's not much of a difference, so I went looking in the channels.
     

     
    The Red and Green channels looked quite clean in both versions, but looking closely at the Blue channel you can see how 5DtoRGB makes a pretty good job at smoothing out some of the compression blockiness, but mainly smoothing out the aliased lines you get on sharper edges.
    Using 5DtoRGB won't do any miracles, but when shooting to 8 bit compressed codecs, every little bit helps, and using it along with a flat Creative Style will definitely help you getting cleaner and better images.
     
    SHUTTER ANGLE / SHUTTER SPEED
    The Sony DSC-RX100 has the annoying feature of only shooting 50fps (or 60fps on NTSC markets).
    On one hand it's great to be able to shoot 50fps at 1080p, but on the other hand, shooting 25fps at the same bit rate would probably produce better results with less compression.
    One of the advantages of this could be that you'd always have the extra frames in case you needed the slow motion effect, but unfortunately that's not quite the case, since the ideal shutter speed for 25fps real time playback is different than the ideal shutter speed for 25fps slow motion playback.
    If you're planning on shooting for 25fps real time playback, then you should set your shutter to 1/50, but if you intend to shoot for slow motion playback at 25fps, then you should set your shutter speed to 1/100.
     

     
    Using a shutter speed of 1/100 for real time 25fps playback will not give you enough motion blur, and the motion playback will not be as smooth as it should. Also, playing back footage shot at 1/50 shutter speed at 25fps slow motion will have too much motion blur, making its motion look rather fuzzy.
     
     
    Here's a sample file you can download yourself.
    This was shot at AVCHD, 1080 50fps with a shutter speed of 1/50, meant to be used on a 25fps timeline, playing at real time:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8569573/rx100review/RX100videoSample1.mov
     
     
    That's it for now, I really hope it helps some people out. I have some videos I can share later on if you're interested, and I also might update this review with tests of the different Steady Shot modes once I get to them.
    Keep in kind that these are only my findings and personal opinions, it would be great to hear from people with different opinions, or about settings you think would give better results.
     
    Enjoy!
  3. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from jgharding in Christopher Doyle calls out The Academy over Oscar for Cinematography   
    Even though western civilization marketing campaigns consist entirely of Hollywood blockbusters, there's still way more independent and art house films than there are blockbusters, by a huge margin, so there's no need to worry really. :)
     
    I'd be happy with one of these every year, but it might be asking for too much!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ngxn9NzLzs
  4. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from jgharding in C300 Blue Sky Banding   
    There's something I learned from back when I used to work in print. Most gradients would have some sort of banding when printed, even perfect computer generated ones, and the solution to that problem was to add a bit of noise to the images.
     
    You could try adding film grain, you can find authentic 35mm film scans free on the internet, that you can overlay on top of your footage, and it will probably help disguising the banding issues.
  5. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Francisco Rios in Christopher Doyle calls out The Academy over Oscar for Cinematography   
    I don't think he's skeptic about digital, it might not be his personal preference, but he sides with Anthony Dod Mantle in that article, who has been shooting on digital since the Dogma movement's first days. He's die hard about having artistic control and no studio interference, which is different, and he's awesome!
     
    I recommend the documentary/TV documentary "In the mood for Doyle" if you guys haven't seen it.
  6. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Leang in Christopher Doyle calls out The Academy over Oscar for Cinematography   
    Come on guys, does it really need to get this low?

    That's why I avoid talking about my personal work here, even if that makes many in here think I never did anything and all I do is speak out of my ass.

    This is mostly a camera and technical forum, and still things heat up enough when talking about $1000 dollar cameras, so let's not expand the discussions to our own personal work, since that tends to get more personal and emotional, unless it's constructive criticism (which is often already quite hard to digest).
  7. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Sean Cunningham in Christopher Doyle calls out The Academy over Oscar for Cinematography   
    Saying that VFX companies do the post work these days is very inaccurate. They're involved since day one, bidding based on the screenplay (and possibly affecting it) and doing previs and designing VFX and action sequences before they're even shot. I know this because like Sean I've also worked on VFX. I've been involved in projects where we started designing sequences even before there was a cast or even a DP attached. There's a huge lack of understanding regarding VFX from everyone else in and out of the film industry, and that's why the VFX artists had enough and are now trying to gain momentum in order to impove things.
  8. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from andy lee in Christopher Doyle calls out The Academy over Oscar for Cinematography   
    I find it funny when people defend Claudio Miranda saying that it's hard to light a green screen evenly :D
     
    I haven't seen any DP lighting a green screen actually, it's usually set up by the technicians who put it up or lighting assistants, maybe 2nd or 3rd unit DPs in some cases. And I also have seen very few evenly lit green screens, if lighting a green screen deserves an oscar then maybe they should add an oscar category for roto artists too, who get all the crappy work because they couldn't be bothered to light the green screens properly.
     
    And yes, most DPs are barely involved during post, maybe they're called at the end for the DI process, but that's it. Most of the shot composition, lighting and look of full CG shots/sequences has no involvement from the DP whatsoever.
     
    I don't blame Claudio Miranda though, it wasn't his decision after all, if they had given it to me I probably would have taken it too! :)
  9. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Sean Cunningham in Christopher Doyle calls out The Academy over Oscar for Cinematography   
    I find it funny when people defend Claudio Miranda saying that it's hard to light a green screen evenly :D
     
    I haven't seen any DP lighting a green screen actually, it's usually set up by the technicians who put it up or lighting assistants, maybe 2nd or 3rd unit DPs in some cases. And I also have seen very few evenly lit green screens, if lighting a green screen deserves an oscar then maybe they should add an oscar category for roto artists too, who get all the crappy work because they couldn't be bothered to light the green screens properly.
     
    And yes, most DPs are barely involved during post, maybe they're called at the end for the DI process, but that's it. Most of the shot composition, lighting and look of full CG shots/sequences has no involvement from the DP whatsoever.
     
    I don't blame Claudio Miranda though, it wasn't his decision after all, if they had given it to me I probably would have taken it too! :)
  10. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from tomekk in Nikon V1 - shooting 4K 60fps raw for $200   
    Don't want to piss on anyone's parade here, but shooting a burst of raw images is hardly the same as shooting video for even just a few minutes.
    The fact that the sensor can do that for 1 second does not mean it can do it for longer periods of time without heating up or even dying forever. And assuming it did last for hours working at that speed, image quality could degrade over time, and everything in the camera would need to be updated to keep up with the data and heat.
     
    I don't think the same camera could shoot that kind of quality video for the same price or even 3x more if Nikon had wanted to, it's very different things, and a lot would need to change with the camera.
     
    No doubt camera companies are not giving us as much as they could/should, but this feels like a bit of a stretch in optimism.
     
    The BMCC sensor can do 60fps and global shutter, and still they didn't go with it, probably due to image quality issues and heating problems in those modes. Personally I'd love it if they gave the users the option to choose the shooting mode (global vs rolling shutter), regardless of image quality, but they didn't give the users much choice at all with this camera. They didn't have to, I guess that was one of the perks of being the only $3k cinema camera in the market.
     
    The 7D shoots up to 20fps 10fps raw images per second with the fastest cards and it has a mechanical shutter, imagine what it could do with an electronic one, if Canon wanted to...
  11. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from ScreensPro in Nikon V1 - shooting 4K 60fps raw for $200   
    Don't want to piss on anyone's parade here, but shooting a burst of raw images is hardly the same as shooting video for even just a few minutes.
    The fact that the sensor can do that for 1 second does not mean it can do it for longer periods of time without heating up or even dying forever. And assuming it did last for hours working at that speed, image quality could degrade over time, and everything in the camera would need to be updated to keep up with the data and heat.
     
    I don't think the same camera could shoot that kind of quality video for the same price or even 3x more if Nikon had wanted to, it's very different things, and a lot would need to change with the camera.
     
    No doubt camera companies are not giving us as much as they could/should, but this feels like a bit of a stretch in optimism.
     
    The BMCC sensor can do 60fps and global shutter, and still they didn't go with it, probably due to image quality issues and heating problems in those modes. Personally I'd love it if they gave the users the option to choose the shooting mode (global vs rolling shutter), regardless of image quality, but they didn't give the users much choice at all with this camera. They didn't have to, I guess that was one of the perks of being the only $3k cinema camera in the market.
     
    The 7D shoots up to 20fps 10fps raw images per second with the fastest cards and it has a mechanical shutter, imagine what it could do with an electronic one, if Canon wanted to...
  12. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Zach in GoPro 3 exposure lock petition   
    If everyone's patient and quiet, how will they be aware of the issues?
     
    It's a petition, if you don't find it important then don't sign it, ignore it, move on.
     
    If enough people do sign it though, it might shift their priorities, most companies do care about keeping their customers happy, and we're talking about a simple software upgrade, not a cumbersome hardware change that would affect manufacturing.
     
    If they don't want to do it then they won't, but the least one can do is try to open up a dialogue, nobody's saying it's a bug that needs to be fixed, nobody's demanding them to do anything, he's just asking nicely, why all the hate?
  13. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Pixelheist in Digital Bolex image quality - Exclusive look at sensor samples and footage   
    The cameras could turn out to be pretty bad, or not work at all, and they could decide to can the entire project, then no one would get a camera. It's a possibility on any project of this nature, backers should be ready for it.
     
    However, if they do finish the camera and deliver the 100 or so kickstarter pre orders, then I don't see why they wouldn't keep going.
    They're probably not making any profit with the first cameras, but once all the R&D is complete, making more of them is much easier and quicker, and that's what would start creating some profits for them.
     
    I agree 260k is not much for a project and team of this size, but you're assuming that's all they've got. They've said before they have a silent partner/investor, it's not just the two of them running the company. Also, they're working with another company for all the electronics, etc. and it's possible that they're working at a cost or even at a loss in trade for a share of the profits in future sales. These are all common practices in startups such as this one.
     
    Then again, this is all speculation, I have no insider information, and as far as I'm concerned it could turn out to be a success or a failure, no way to tell, but none of it strikes me as grim as many seem to make it.
  14. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from andy lee in Great films but the Oscars are bullshit   
    I recommend you read up on what's really going on and what the VFX issues are.
     
    VFX companies are not blaming directors, even though it wouldn't hurt for VFX films' directors to actually know a thing or two about VFX.
     
    The problem is the business model, how studios take the work to tax havens and force every company and workers to move with it, how they force VFX facilities to underbid and work at a loss, how they don't credit the artists who worked on the films, and no it's not caused by bad management, it's the nature of the industry and the overall disrespect it gets from the studios.
     
    http://www.facebook.com/VfxSolidarityIntl
     
     
     
     
    You'd be surprised at how much of the shot composition and editing in VFX sequences is actually done by the VFX companies, and many times after the DP is done with shooting the film and already off shooting another project.
     
    And let's get this straight:
    YOU DON'T GET A CINEMATOGRAPHY OSCAR FOR LIGHTING A FLAT GREENSCREEN!
     
    Tell me of a single DP that actually light his film's greenscreens... that's technical work, not artistic.
     
     
    Both Ang Lee and Claudio Miranda were quite ungrateful during their speeches. They both tried to make up for it backstage, but backstage is just not the same thing, is it? Especially in a moment where the VFX industry really needs serious changes and all the attention it can get.
  15. Like
    Bruno reacted to Andrew Reid in DJANGO UNCHAINED - Anamorphic is Tarantino's preference - how DP Robert Richardson shot masterpiece 'spaghetti southern'   
    Man... this guy.
     
    That 'fancy pants writing' won an Oscar.
     
    So what if most of the white people in the film are racist. That's the story. It's his creative license to do it this way.
     
    Regardless, the issue of slavery is impossible to deal with without showing the brutality white people carried out in the name of business. You'd be ignoring a whole chunk of history if you DIDN'T show it.
     
    What you're forgetting is that Samuel L Jackson's character in this is a black guy, who happens to be one of the worst racists in it!!
     
    The biggest supporting role in the film, if not the lead role, is Dr Schultz - a white guy - and his character is an icon of fairness and principals.
     
    The wrongdoing of the racist characters in this film ACTUALLY HAPPENED in history. It isn't painting 'the entire white race' as ignorant and evil at all, because the 'entire white race' didn't run the slave trade. A very small sub-section of it did. Seems you don't understand that!? Read a history text book and you'll read far more extreme race wars than Tarantino depicts here.
     
    It is a massive and powerful statement this film makes against racism.
     
    And don't forget that slavery isn't just about race - it's a class war waged by the rich on the poor and it still happens today.
  16. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Taxrummawoodo in New BMCC issues?   
    http://vimeo.com/59438541
     
    From Dan Chung:

    "There is growing evidence that several owners’ production models of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera are experiencing serious issues with infinity focus on certain lenses. Initially, users identified the popular EOS fitTokina 11-16mm f2.8 as a problem lens, with an inability to focus anywhere near infinity when used with the BMCC. Now other users are reporting that other lenses are affected too."
     
    http://www.dslrnewsshooter.com/2013/02/13/the-blackmagic-cinema-camera-saga-continues-this-time-its-infinity-focus-issues/
     
    (Edited the post - topics not allowed to consist of one URL and nothing else, and Dan was the original source for this info.)
  17. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from BydrodoFieddy in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    Did you find a way to turn peaking on and off with a button, while keeping it in manual focus mode? That would be handy!
  18. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from jgharding in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    Judging from these images I'd say the Color Space has no effect on the video mode :)
    I put both images one on top of the other and I don't think there's any difference. There's a slight angle change which can make a big difference on reflective surfaces such as the mug, but overall I don't see any change in color at all, not the kind of difference you'd see between sRGB and AdobeRGB at least.
    Might be worth shooting some stills too to see if the difference is more apparent, and then compare it to video footage of the same thing to find out which color space the camera is using on video mode.
  19. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from earnesync in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    I just bought a Sony DSC-RX100. After a couple years shooting my personal projects on a Canon 7D, I needed something more compact that I could carry with me at all times, and the Sony DSC-RX100 looked like it could be the one. The great reviews, the ability to shoot 1080p at 50fps with a fast Zeiss IS lens, full manual control in video mode, focus peaking and a 16mm sized sensor convinced me to go for it!
     
    My footage shot on the 7D improved quite a lot during the time I've been using it, knowing a camera's strong points and especially its limitations is very important to getting good images out of it, so the first thing I did with the Sony DSC-RX100 was to shoot some tests to help me decide which settings I'll be using when shooting video with it.
     
    Like most people around here I learn so much from online reviews and discussion forums, and those have been a great help deciding my gear purchases, so I'm sharing what I learned from my tests as a way to return the favor and give something back to the community. There's been some good reviews of the Sony DSC-RX100 online, and some useful info spread around the internet, but I think this post will cover a lot of useful information for whoever's interested in this camera for video, and much of this info will also apply for any other similar camera.
     
    I started by turning off all the automatic picture improvement options, as they usually degrade the quality of the image and make it less gradable, then I set the codec to AVCHD at 28mbits and 50p (PS).
     
    SHOOTING MODE
    For video shooting I'd recommend setting the top wheel to video mode and then selecting video-M for manual video shooting
    The RX100 does have a dedicated Movie Recording button, and can shoot video on any Stills mode, but you might get aspect ratio and exposure changes once you hit the Record button in these modes. In video-M mode you'll get what you see on screen.
     
    RECORD SETTINGS
     
    The Sony RX100 can shoot movies in two different formats, MP4 and AVCHD. All MP4 options are below 1080p resolution though, so I won't get into those. In AVCHD mode however, we get 3 different 1080 options:
     
    50i 24M (FX) (50i @ 24Mbps, Blu-Ray AVCHD disc compliant)
    50i 17M (FH) (50i @ 17Mbps, DVD AVCHD disc compliant)
    50p 28M (PS) (50p @ 28Mbps, Progressive Scan)
     
    So it seems like we get 50i at 17Mbps and 24Mbps, and we get 50p at 28Mbps, but not really…
    The 50i mode is actually capturing 25p images out of the sensor and encoding them as 50i footage, this means that we do end up with interlaced footage, but since it was captured progressively, de-interlacing it will produce a clean 25p image!
     
    So if we're looking for the best possible video out of the RX100, we should use 50i 24M for 25fps video and 50p 28M for 50fps video.
    In theory, shooting 50i 24M gives us the best bitrate per frame in this camera, almost twice as much as shooting 50p 28M.
    Shooting 50fps however would have neighboring frames changing less than when shooting 25fps, helping the encoder do a better job, but still the per frame bitrate is lower, and here's a comparison that shows is. If you look at the darker areas in the back where the window is, you'll see that the 50i version is slightly cleaner.
     

     
    Here's an example of something in motion shot at 50i and 50p, the 50i frame was de-interlaced and as you can see there's no interlacing artifacts at all.
     

     
    Considering all of the above, I think it's safe to say that the 50i 24M mode, which is in fact 25p @ 24Mbps, will give you best video quality out of this camera.
      CREATIVE STYLES
    Creative Styles is the RX100's designation for Color Profiles.
    My first test was to choose the flattest Creative Style the camera had to offer, so I shot some footage of all the different styles.
     

     
    After looking at all these different images, I decided to go with the Portrait Creative Style, as it seems to be the flattest of them all.
     
    EXPLORING THE PORTRAIT CREATIVE STYLE
    Each Creative Style has settings for Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness that can be set from -3 to 3, so I shot some more footage using the Portrait Creative Style in a number of different settings.
     

     
    Using the Portrait Creative Style at the minimum settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3) definitely (and obviously) seems to be the flattest style in this camera, but I had to check how well it graded and how it compares to using the default values (Contrast: 0, Saturation: 0, Sharpness: 0).
     

     
    On the top left you have a frame shot using the Portrait Creative Style, with all the settings set to 0, on top right you have a frame shot using the Portrait Creative Style in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3).
    On the bottom right frame I added some sharpness to the flat image, which responded quite well, and on the bottom left frame I added not only sharpness but also increased the Saturation and Contrast in order to match the top left frame (Contrast: 0, Saturation: 0, Sharpness: 0).
    The result is an image that matches in color saturation and contrast, but with a much nicer detail and less compression artifacts. It looks sharper and cleaner overall, which made me decide to use this Creative Style and these settings from now on.
     
    SHOOTING BLACK & WHITE
    The following test is something I've been wanting to do for a while, regardless of the camera. The thinking behind this test was:
     
    "If the camera is compressing B&W footage instead of color footage, maybe it can do a much better job at it since it doesn't have all the color information to process, so even using the same bit rate could give us better results."
     
    Of course I don't know the details on the cameras' inner workings, but assuming the B&W Creative Style is applied BEFORE the footage is compressed to AVCHD, then this should work. Maybe.
     

     
    So I shot some footage using the B&W Creative Style in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3), which you can see on top left, and then some more footage using my new favorite Portrait Creative Style, also in its flattest settings (Contrast: -3, Saturation: -3, Sharpness: -3).
     
    On the middle left frame, I increased the sharpness and the contrast on the image to make it less flat, and on the middle right frame I did the same, and also desaturated it. As you can see both images are different, since the B&W Creative Style's color conversion is not merely desaturating the image to create a B&W version, it's using a more clever process that also looks better, but anyway, the point here is to test the image compression and figure out which one gives cleaner results, so on the last test frames I increased the exposure by 2 stops to find out how well the images handled it.
    On the bottom left frame you can see how much cleaner the image shot with the B&W Creative Style is, compared with the one shot using the Portrait Creative Style, it's actually beautifully clean and overexposing it by 2 stops didn't show any ugly artifacts at all.
     
    So my conclusion on this one is, if you're shooting for black and white, and you're sure that's the look you'll want (since it's kind of hard to color B&W footage if you change your mind afterwards), then using the B&W Creative Style will give you far superior results!
     
    DYNAMIC RANGE OPTIMIZER
    The Dynamic Range Optimizer works when writing to compressed formats, such as JPG, MP4 or AVCHD. It has no effect when shooting RAW.
    Its purpose is to capture more detail in the areas that are more prone to get lost when using compressed formats, such as dark shadows. It works in the darker areas of the image, making them brighter and producing a flatter image, which makes it easier on the image compression to achieve better results.
    Here's a test scene shot using all the DRO levels available. There's also an Auto Mode, but I suspect it wouldn't give predictable results when shooting manual video.
     

     
    The result is quite clear on every mode. Personally I think 5 is too much and might be actually degrading the image more than it helps, but lower settings definitely look not just useable but very useful in achieving a flat and clean image. I'd say using the DRO in its modes 2 and 3 would definitely help achieving a better flat image. I'll probably leave it at 2 all the time and increase it to 3 in situations with more contrast.
     
    5DtoRGB
    I've used 5DtoRGB on Canon footage since the early beta versions, and I honestly don't understand how come it's not used by everyone. 5DtoRGB features one of the best YCbCr to RGB compression out there, and it's free!!!
    (the Pro version with batch capabilities costs $50 though)
     
    5DtoRGB does a great job improving aliasing and compression artifacts and transcoding to 10-bit Prores (can also transcode do DPX image sequences and DNxHD files), or at least it did with Canon DSLR footage, so I thought I'd try it with the RX100.
     

     
    The top frame is from the original AVCHD file and the bottom frame is from the Prores transcoded file out of 5DtoRGB.
    5DtoRGB automatically changed the Decoding Matrix setting to ITU-R BT.709, so I assume that's the one to use with the RX100 (Canon DSLRs like the 550D, 60D or 7D used the ITU-R BT.601 Decoding Matrix, the 5Dmk3 however used the ITU-R BT.709).
    Looking at it like this there's not much of a difference, so I went looking in the channels.
     

     
    The Red and Green channels looked quite clean in both versions, but looking closely at the Blue channel you can see how 5DtoRGB makes a pretty good job at smoothing out some of the compression blockiness, but mainly smoothing out the aliased lines you get on sharper edges.
    Using 5DtoRGB won't do any miracles, but when shooting to 8 bit compressed codecs, every little bit helps, and using it along with a flat Creative Style will definitely help you getting cleaner and better images.
     
    SHUTTER ANGLE / SHUTTER SPEED
    The Sony DSC-RX100 has the annoying feature of only shooting 50fps (or 60fps on NTSC markets).
    On one hand it's great to be able to shoot 50fps at 1080p, but on the other hand, shooting 25fps at the same bit rate would probably produce better results with less compression.
    One of the advantages of this could be that you'd always have the extra frames in case you needed the slow motion effect, but unfortunately that's not quite the case, since the ideal shutter speed for 25fps real time playback is different than the ideal shutter speed for 25fps slow motion playback.
    If you're planning on shooting for 25fps real time playback, then you should set your shutter to 1/50, but if you intend to shoot for slow motion playback at 25fps, then you should set your shutter speed to 1/100.
     

     
    Using a shutter speed of 1/100 for real time 25fps playback will not give you enough motion blur, and the motion playback will not be as smooth as it should. Also, playing back footage shot at 1/50 shutter speed at 25fps slow motion will have too much motion blur, making its motion look rather fuzzy.
     
     
    Here's a sample file you can download yourself.
    This was shot at AVCHD, 1080 50fps with a shutter speed of 1/50, meant to be used on a 25fps timeline, playing at real time:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8569573/rx100review/RX100videoSample1.mov
     
     
    That's it for now, I really hope it helps some people out. I have some videos I can share later on if you're interested, and I also might update this review with tests of the different Steady Shot modes once I get to them.
    Keep in kind that these are only my findings and personal opinions, it would be great to hear from people with different opinions, or about settings you think would give better results.
     
    Enjoy!
  20. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from jgharding in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    I'm not sure about the RX100 as I haven't tested this yet, but on the Canons the color space does make a difference in video.
    Oddly enough you can't change the color space in video mode though, you have to do it in stills mode, but it will change the video's color space too!
     
    I had seen that Hurlbut post, no idea if AdobeRGB has the same effect on the RX100, but most people do say it gives you a flatter image and crams more color information into the same space.
     
    Regarding Color clipping I think it's REC709 yes.
  21. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from jgharding in Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...   
    I actually noticed that, but their (vague) documentation seemed to say that it worked at both ends, thanks for clarifying!
  22. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from pask74 in Digital Bolex D16 cinema camera gets huge upgrade   
    http://www.digitalbolex.com/d16s-final-body/
  23. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from Leang in 8 bit, mbp/s, etc.   
    Something else important about bitrate is the codec used, and the settings the codec is using.
    Some codecs can be more efficient at 30Mbps than similar ones at 70Mbps. Actually, even the same codec could be more efficient at 30Mbps than at twice the rate, depending on which settings it's using.
    According to the Magic Lantern guys, Canon's H264 compression on DSLRs is not very efficient at all, and that might be the reason why Sony FS100's compression is so much cleaner at half the bit rate!
  24. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from jgharding in 8 bit, mbp/s, etc.   
    Something else important about bitrate is the codec used, and the settings the codec is using.
    Some codecs can be more efficient at 30Mbps than similar ones at 70Mbps. Actually, even the same codec could be more efficient at 30Mbps than at twice the rate, depending on which settings it's using.
    According to the Magic Lantern guys, Canon's H264 compression on DSLRs is not very efficient at all, and that might be the reason why Sony FS100's compression is so much cleaner at half the bit rate!
  25. Like
    Bruno got a reaction from jgharding in Digital Bolex D16 cinema camera gets huge upgrade   
    It's the same sensor as the ikonoscop it I remember correctly.

    Audio wise, of course I'm all in favour of having the best possible quality, which means getting additional qualified people and equipment, but that's not always possible. Amazing works like Undercity or Hell and Back Again would simply not have been possible with a crew bigger than one single person, and I'm all in favour of making it easy on such artists so they keep coming up with more and better work.
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