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Sony RX100: Getting the best video out of it...


Bruno
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I'm very satisfied with image quality for the camera it is. Make no mistakes though, this is not a 7D, this is a fragile little camera, if the lens decides to get stuck there's probably not much I'll be able to do about it on the spot, It'd be risky to use it even on a small production if have a team depending on it. The built in lens is great, especially at 28mm since it goes to 1.8, but more limited in longer focal lengths.

 

The dealing with menus also feels more fiddly than dealing with Canon menus, there are more confirmation screens, consumer level alerts, it's not as "mechanical" and direct as with a Canon, and the buttons are tiny, and pressing a button will most likely cause the camera to move...

 

Also, I never felt the sturdiness of a Canon 7D. I had no problem shooting under rain or snow with the 7D, I wouldn't even risk it with the RX100. There's also something about the Canon image quality that you just don't get, even if you get slightly more resolution with the RX100. 

 

But then again, these are all points that seemed obvious to me when I first got it, so no disappointment at all, it's an amazing pocket camera, and I'm thinking about shooting a small short with it, even considering all the risks.

 

Just the kind of feedback i was looking for - it is always great to hear real life experiences from someone who have used it mainly as a filmmaking tool. It does sound like a great little camera, despite its shortcomings. One can always hope for a faster lens at longer focal lenghts in the next version, but that update is proberly not just around the corner.   

 

Thx

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Another addition:

 

As far as I can see, DRO only affects shadows, not highlights. Try blowing out a shot then upping the DRO. You'll notice the highlights stay the same, but the shadows come up with each setting.

 

What I've seen with my eyes here is also borne out by DP-Review's test:

 

http://***URL removed***/reviews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx100/11

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As far as I can see, DRO only affects shadows, not highlights. Try blowing out a shot then upping the DRO. You'll notice the highlights stay the same, but the shadows come up with each setting.

 

I actually noticed that, but their (vague) documentation seemed to say that it worked at both ends, thanks for clarifying!

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I still want to test a few more things, like color space for instance, most people seem to agree that adobeRGB will store more colors than sRGB, especially in compressed formats, it usually also works better for skin tones, but I still haven't gotten round to test that yet.

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Yeah I had read that, but I think he's talking mostly about ready to print images, and looking for the opposite of what we are looking for.

 

For instance:

 

"sRGB is the world standard for digital images, printing and the Internet. So long as you haven't screwed with anything, you and the world are shooting in sRGB."

 

We're not looking at getting vibrant realistic colors, we're looking for a flat image that will give us more to work with in post, or at least I am! :)

 

"Adobe RGB squeezes colors into a smaller range (makes them duller) before recording them to your file."

 

This is a disadvantage for him, but an advantage to us, as it will give us a flatter image using and probably cram more information into the compressed codec.

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Ah I see what you're saying.

 

I figured it doesn't affect video though, just stills. Colour spaces in compressed video are usually Rec709 or Rec601.

 

So in Canon EOS original you have Rec601. oddly enough.

 

Since Sony RX100 video reads in Media Info as BluRay BD Video, I'm assuming the colour space is Rec709 Y,Cb,Cr, and unaffected by this sRGB/AdobeRGB 1998 setting.

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@ Bruno.

 

This is what Shane Hulbut said in relation to setting up a 5Dmk2 for video (not the same camera, but still informative): 

"Now we go down to Color Space.  You have two color spaces.  You have sRGB or you have Adobe RGB.  I’ve found that Adobe RGB gives you the best skin tones out of this camera."

 

Thought it was interesting that he recommended using Adobe RGB & not sRGB.

 

The whole set up is explained here:

http://www.hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/2012/07/hdslr-educational-series-for-cinema-episode-1-know-your-camera/

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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.

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I really like the way this conversation is going.  nice deep boundary pushing of the use of what are considered by a lot of people as simply 'point and shoots'.  

 

vimeo.com/46037571

 

this is interesting.  putting the nex5n (which has the same list of options as the rx100 in terms of profile tweeking) against the 550d, gh2 and d800

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It happened to be on my desk at the moment, so I've done a quick test. Stills from 1080/60p videos. I think they're as near as identical! Or if there is a difference I'm struggling to see it. Perhaps the reds seem a tiny bit darker/saturated in the Adobe ones, but I am looking for a difference, which can skew judgement. What do you think?

 

sRGB

SRGB_zpsb8890cab.png

 

Adobe 1998

ADOBE_zpsd9a164c0.png

 

EDIT:

 

Tried it with my hand for more complex tones. Pretty much the same again! (It's a slightly different angle hence the darker index finger, the greatest of all picture profiles: LIGHTING! ;) )

 

in sRGB:

2sRGBHAND_zps70b5fef9.png

 

in Adobe 1998:

2ADOBEHAND_zpsf772315a.png

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It happened to be on my desk at the moment, so I've done a quick test. Stills from 1080/60p videos. I think they're as near as identical! Or if there is a difference I'm struggling to see it. Perhaps the reds seem a tiny bit darker/saturated in the Adobe ones, but I am looking for a difference, which can skew judgement. What do you think?

 

sRGB

SRGB_zpsb8890cab.png

 

Adobe 1998

ADOBE_zpsd9a164c0.png

 

EDIT:

 

Tried it with my hand for more complex tones. Pretty much the same again! (It's a slightly different angle hence the darker index finger, the greatest of all picture profiles: LIGHTING! ;) )

 

in sRGB:

2sRGBHAND_zps70b5fef9.png

 

in Adobe 1998:

2ADOBEHAND_zpsf772315a.png

adobeRGB looks less saturated/flatter from here.  

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Yeah adobeRGB does seem to be slightly different (less saturated & flatter).

 

Looking at the reflection in the mug & looking through the bottle, it also seems to give the impression of producing slightly more detail.

 

But with the skin tones it appears to smooth out the blemishes, thus making it more uniform - but whether the detail comes back when you cc in post...?  

 

I could be wrong, but could using adobeRGB produce better detail in the shadows & less in the highlights?

 

gotta try this....

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I suppose the test will be the classic "can you make one look like the other". It looks like a contrast shift to me more than a hugely different look. Now these differences have been mentioned I can see a subtle difference. The sRGB looks marginally flatter...

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If someone has a chart and an RX100 they could do a scientific test, I tend to do ones that look like the kind of thing I'll shoot! From that evidence here I think I'll stick with sRGB as the reds seems more squashed in Adobe. Looking at them as full 1080p (Photobucket downscaled them) there's even less difference. I'm thinking most of the change may have come from the Photobucket re-encoding.

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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.

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