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Horrific noise from FS700 both in 4K & 1080 Slowmo


Lewis Hart
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Hi guys,

Recent convert from a 7S2 to a FS700, but Im having some regrets...

As far as Ive understood the FS700 claims to have good low light capability, from what I can see (maybe I'm doing something wrong) but its just horrific when its under low light, there is noise all over the blacks, fine in daylight. 

Im shooting in SLOG2 as most would, setup on my shogun flame to record 3GSDI Signal in 4K, and also Ive done shots in 1080 @60fps & 120fps, of course I know the higher the frame rate = doubling shutter, so thats a given, but even in 4K 24fps / 48 on the shutter the noise is just horrific, even when graded lightly to push more black in you can still see the noise. I tried 2000ISO also and its just a little too dark for somewhere 'with low light', but even so it shouldn't produce noise at 4000.

Ive attached a little clip of what I mean of a shot from last night, one clip is graded slightly, then the other ungraded and you can see as there is light on his body, its no noise, the moment the light goes away it ripples with noise all over? Any reason why? Was shot at 4000ISO I believe, and at somewhere around 2.8-5.6 stop 

Outdoors and with lots of light, no noise and its fine, but the moment you go under a dark setting its just un-usable.

Anything you can point me towards that may help - I'm at a loss....

Anyone can run me through some setup steps with the fS700 & shogun flame one or the other to help me decipher this issue, not sure if I'm missing something obvious.

thx
 


 

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4 hours ago, Lewis Hart said:

Ive attached a little clip of what I mean of a shot from last night, one clip is graded slightly, then the other ungraded and you can see as there is light on his body, its no noise, the moment the light goes away it ripples with noise all over? Any reason why?

You're seeing exactly what you should be seeing.  It's just that with ungraded log material it will be more obvious.  Parts of the image with plenty of light will not suffer from noise.  Other parts of the image that are low light will show noise unless noise reduction is applied in camera.  This is just the physics of the situation.

To see less noise without using noise reduction, you have to increase exposure (more photons hitting the sensor).

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42 minutes ago, AKH said:

You're seeing exactly what you should be seeing.  It's just that with ungraded log material it will be more obvious.  Parts of the image with plenty of light will not suffer from noise.  Other parts of the image that are low light will show noise unless noise reduction is applied in camera.  This is just the physics of the situation.

To see less noise without using noise reduction, you have to increase exposure (more photons hitting the sensor).


Thanks for your reply - was thinking down the same road, but the only issue is that there is only so far you can push the exposure up, the DOF just gets too shallow and its difficult to keep subjects in focus, keeping to have racking focus and tweak it constantly.

This camera is gorgeous outside, absolutely great with the build in ND theres never a issue but its no A7S indoors sadly. 

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5 hours ago, Lewis Hart said:

Hi guys,

Recent convert from a 7S2 to a FS700, but Im having some regrets...

As far as Ive understood the FS700 claims to have good low light capability, from what I can see (maybe I'm doing something wrong) but its just horrific when its under low light, there is noise all over the blacks, fine in daylight. 

Im shooting in SLOG2 as most would, setup on my shogun flame to record 3GSDI Signal in 4K, and also Ive done shots in 1080 @60fps & 120fps, of course I know the higher the frame rate = doubling shutter, so thats a given, but even in 4K 24fps / 48 on the shutter the noise is just horrific, even when graded lightly to push more black in you can still see the noise. I tried 2000ISO also and its just a little too dark for somewhere 'with low light', but even so it shouldn't produce noise at 4000.

Ive attached a little clip of what I mean of a shot from last night, one clip is graded slightly, then the other ungraded and you can see as there is light on his body, its no noise, the moment the light goes away it ripples with noise all over? Any reason why? Was shot at 4000ISO I believe, and at somewhere around 2.8-5.6 stop 

Outdoors and with lots of light, no noise and its fine, but the moment you go under a dark setting its just un-usable.

Anything you can point me towards that may help - I'm at a loss....

Anyone can run me through some setup steps with the fS700 & shogun flame one or the other to help me decipher this issue, not sure if I'm missing something obvious.

thx

In short, you're way under exposed when it goes dark. If the scene can handle it, you could over expose the lit portions, that way when the light dims, you'll still be feeding light to the sensor. Anything under 20 IRE on the wave form will have noise, especially when you raise the ISO up to 4000. That camera has a really noisy sensor.

On the 7Q recorder, I always used a LUT that darks the image by 2 stops, effectively forcing you to over expose. I would almost always ETTR and not clip, just to push more light to the shadow areas. 

Are you using the speed booster? I would definitely be shooting at F2 at ISO 2000 if I were you. Shooting at 5.6 in a club at night with slow motion won't provide the cleanest looking images.

One thing about those files vs your 7S2, is the Pro Res files can handle the noise reduction a lot better. If you can build the time into your workflow, Neat Video could help you out a lot with noise.

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Just now, BenEricson said:

On the 7Q recorder, I always used a LUT that darks the image by 2 stops, effectively forcing you to over expose. I would almost always ETTR and not clip, just to push more light to the shadow areas. 

Are you using the speed booster? I would definitely be shooting at F2 at ISO 2000 if I were you. Shooting at 5.6 in a club at night with slow motion won't provide the cleanest looking images.

One thing about those files vs your 7S2, is the Pro Res files can handle the noise reduction a lot better. If you can build the time into your workflow, Neat Video could help you out a lot with noise.

Im actually going to grab neat video, when i was on my 7S2 i never really needed it but ill defiantly put it into my workflow.

Yeah to be honest I was actually shooting at 1.8/2.2 for most of it I just remembered. 

As i said above, theres only so high you can go and reduce your dof, was difficult keeping subjects in focus to be honest. 

One thing that is a little disappointing (coming from a 7s2 background) is that 4000 ISO is seemingly too high and will push noise, I was shooting in clubs before at 15K with none :( haha oh can never be perfect lets be honest. 

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5 minutes ago, BenEricson said:

On the 7Q recorder, I always used a LUT that darks the image by 2 stops, effectively forcing you to over expose. I would almost always ETTR and not clip, just to push more light to the shadow areas. 

Are you using the speed booster? I would definitely be shooting at F2 at ISO 2000 if I were you. Shooting at 5.6 in a club at night with slow motion won't provide the cleanest looking images.

One thing about those files vs your 7S2, is the Pro Res files can handle the noise reduction a lot better. If you can build the time into your workflow, Neat Video could help you out a lot with noise.

Would you say ETTR and even though my zebra's say its over to shoot it like that then bring the highlights down in resolve? Rather than pushing the the blacks up, saying this to be honest makes more sense as you can always take away light but never make light. 

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30 minutes ago, pablogrollan said:

Have you considered not using Slog2? Slog3 and 2 are not recommended in low light, and even less in slow motion. Try using a different profile and you'll probably get a much cleaner image that you can still grade (not so much in terms of contrast).

i second that. slog is a nono for super lowlight! better shoot a cine profile. your posted footage is super low light, if you consider you had to go iso4000 AND f1.8 for that small

illumination you were able to capture. iso 4000 with moderate lowlight is no problem. i imagine if you shoot 15k iso with your a7s and slog in that little light you´ve shot this,

you will see h264 artefacts on a big screen.

6 hours ago, Lewis Hart said:

Hi guys,

Recent convert from a 7S2 to a FS700, but Im having some regrets...

 

hey lewis, how much did you pay? wanna sell it to me for a price adequate to your disappointment?:)

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17 minutes ago, PannySVHS said:

i second that. slog is a nono for super lowlight! better shoot a cine profile. your posted footage is super low light, if you consider you had to go iso4000 AND f1.8 for that small

illumination you were able to capture. iso 4000 with moderate lowlight is no problem. i imagine if you shoot 15k iso with your a7s and slog in that little light you´ve shot this,

you will see h264 artefacts on a big screen.

 

hey lewis, how much did you pay? wanna sell it to me for a price adequate to your disappointment?:)

Haha! I actually found someone who wanted to swap his FS700R for my A7S2 so I didn't pay a penny, was just a straight swap.

 

What profile should I shoot in for low light? Cine 4? 

And for slow motion you recommend not shooting slog profiles? Any reason why? Just interested in the tech reason behind it if you know. Thanks for the help all. 

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Found his. 

""""Indoors / low light 

Gamma: Cine1
Black level: 0
Black Gamma: Middle, 0
Knee: 90, Slope: +2
Color Mode: Pro, Level: 8
Color Level: 0 to -2. I might switch it back to 0 as it's pretty desaturated already.
Detail: -4
The rest is default

Outdoors / high contrast

Gamma: Cine 4
Black Level: +4
Black Gamma: Middle, +4
Knee: 90, Slope: +2
Color Mode: Pro, Level 8
Color Level: -2
Detail: -4
The rest is default.

At first I, loved how Cinegamma 1 sees into the shadows and was my favorite PP as it has this old school look. I didn't like the default values for Cinegamma 4 because it was more contrasty and over-saturated. With my tweaks above, the shadow detail seems a bit better and it looks kind of like Cinegamma 1, but with better highlights. 

After a tons of pixel peeping tests though, Cinegamma 1 is much better than Cinegamma 4 in low light because there is way less blocking in the shadows. 

I really wanted to like Cinegamma 3 after reading Art Adams article on Dynamic Range because Cine 3 has 12 useable stops (the most in the FS700). Cine 3 seems like it's somewhere between Cine 1 (great shadow details) and Cine 4 (great highlights), but I could not get it to where I liked the look. The blacks never felt right, but on paper Cinegamma 3 has the most DR.

http://provideocoalition.com/aadams/story/cameras_sony_fs700_dynamic_range_presentation/

Anyways, what Profiles do you guys like?"""""

 

This was a post on another forum from a chap, any views on the profiles above? Thx guys 

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8 minutes ago, ntblowz said:

I have FS5 which said to be better performance than FS700 but lowlight still outgunned by much cheaper A6300, FS700 can only be worse, I guess their good low light is for year 2012 and not year 2017

I think i know the reason why to be honest, the FS7, F5, 700 etc are all cinema start line units, they need not be great in low light as they are meant to be used effectively with adequate lighting on a set (this is my view)

The DSLR's always are going to be better or designed for low light capability better as they are single units designed to be taken around and used in multiple scenarios.
Even a old 5D MK2 is way better in low light than the fs700. 

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My other question would be that I thought it was only possible to shoot RAW with the FS700 if your in SLOG? 

What would happen if you shoot in another picture profile that isn't a log profile? Daft question possibly but I'm a bit non clued up. 

Thanks for the advice. 

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We had an FS700: +1 on ETTR and while I would not use Slog(x) for internal recording, it's fine if recording RAW to ProRes (10-bit). If after grading and compressing for final delivery (e.g. online streaming means at least 1 H.264 pass) the noise is too much, Neat Video is your best option (only after done with everything else- it slows down the workflow; no point even messing with it (other than a quick test to make sure the clips are usable after NR)). One of the secrets of the A7S I/II is the in-camera NR (probably more than the hardware).

The FS700 is decent in lowlight, however slomo and super slomo needs a lot of light, else it's noisy, e.g. 240fps = 1/240 - 1/480 shutter.

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7 minutes ago, jcs said:

We had an FS700: +1 on ETTR and while I would not use Slog(x) for internal recording, it's fine if recording RAW to ProRes (10-bit). If after grading and compressing for final delivery (e.g. online streaming means at least 1 H.264 pass) the noise is too much, Neat Video is your best option (only after done with everything else- it slows down the workflow; no point even messing with it (other than a quick test to make sure the clips are usable after NR)). One of the secrets of the A7S I/II is the in-camera NR (probably more than the hardware).

The FS700 is decent in lowlight, however slomo and super slomo needs a lot of light, else it's noisy, e.g. 240fps = 1/240 - 1/480 shutter.

Thanks for your reply - any clues on what PP to use?

I just tried this and the noise looks about the same as slog2 

Gamma: Cine1
Black level: 0
Black Gamma: Middle, 0
Knee: 90, Slope: +2
Color Mode: Pro, Level: 8
Color Level: 0 to -2. I might switch it back to 0 as it's pretty desaturated already.
Detail: -4
The rest is default

At a bit of a loss on what to do 

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2 hours ago, Lewis Hart said:

FS7, F5, 700 etc are all cinema start line units, they need not be great in low light as they are meant to be used effectively with adequate lighting on a set (this is my 

Not the case with the F5. That camera kills the FS700 in lowlight, my F3 has really low noise at high ISOs as well.

 

3 hours ago, pablogrollan said:

Have you considered not using Slog2? Slog3 and 2 are not recommended in low light, and even less in slow motion. Try using a different profile and you'll probably get a much cleaner image that you can still grade (not so much in terms of contrast).

Can you shoot to an external recorder with anything but S-LOG2? I was under the impression that the SDI out was locked at 4k to SLOG 2.

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1 hour ago, BenEricson said:

 

Not the case with the F5. That camera kills the FS700 in lowlight, my F3 has really low noise at high ISOs as well.

 

Can you shoot to an external recorder with anything but S-LOG2? I was under the impression that the SDI out was locked at 4k to SLOG 2.

As far as I was aware, in order to shoot RAW from the fs700 to a ex rec like a shogun flame that I have you have to have Slog2 selected. 

However I've just done a test shot in PP2 that i set to CINE1 and it records? Still says SDI RAW PRORES HQ on the screen and this is 4096x2160 so I presume its recording fine? 

 

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2 hours ago, Lewis Hart said:

Thanks for your reply - any clues on what PP to use?

I just tried this and the noise looks about the same as slog2 

Gamma: Cine1
Black level: 0
Black Gamma: Middle, 0
Knee: 90, Slope: +2
Color Mode: Pro, Level: 8
Color Level: 0 to -2. I might switch it back to 0 as it's pretty desaturated already.
Detail: -4
The rest is default

At a bit of a loss on what to do 

The profiles really won't have much effect on noise, they just increase the visibility or not (e.g. bringing up the blacks); this is from using the FS700 with internal recording. As @BenEricson noted, I'd be surprised if the picture profiles affect RAW out. In any case, I'd stick with a log format since you're using RAW out to ProRes (10-bits or more). Once you apply a LUT from log to 709, the blacks will be much darker and the noise less apparent. if still too much, Neat Video works very well (even though it's time consuming). If you can't add light when filming, perhaps consider getting a used A7S II (does really nice 120p). For some shots optical motion interpolators can work very well going from 120 to 240fps (or higher). This of course takes time in post, so you see the pattern :).

Again, look carefully at the final delivery target for noise quality. If on YouTube/Vimeo (online streaming), you'll be surprised how much "free" NR you'll get (whether you want it or not, e.g when trying to get film grain to show up).

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3 minutes ago, jcs said:

The profiles really won't have much effect on noise, they just increase the visibility or not (e.g. bringing up the blacks); this is from using the FS700 with internal recording. As @BenEricson noted, I'd be surprised if the picture profiles affect RAW out. In any case, I'd stick with a log format since you're using RAW out to ProRes (10-bits or more). Once you apply a LUT from log to 709, the blacks will be much darker and the noise less apparent. if still too much, Neat Video works very well (even though it's time consuming). If you can't add light when filming, perhaps consider getting a used A7S II (does really nice 120p). For some shots optical motion interpolators can work very well going from 120 to 240fps (or higher). This of course takes time in post, so you see the pattern :).

Again, look carefully at the final delivery target for noise quality. If on YouTube/Vimeo (online streaming), you'll be surprised how much "free" NR you'll get (whether you want it or not, e.g when trying to get film grain to show up).

I just swapped my A7S2 for a FS700R actually so I'm stuck with this for a little while. Ill probably get a regular A7Si as I have a external recorder now so can use 4K if i wanted to. Not sure if the 1st model has slog3 or not which would be nice.

Ill defiantly go down the neat video route, would the workflow be better to apply LUT prior to neat video or before?

If I shot for example in CINE1 and used my shogun, it seems to be recording fine? But am i loosing out on something and not getting 10 bit or higher? Im a tad lost on the matter. 
 

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On 12.5.2017 at 2:41 AM, Lewis Hart said:

 

If I shot for example in CINE1 and used my shogun, it seems to be recording fine? But am i loosing out on something and not getting 10 bit or higher? Im a tad lost on the matter. 
 

 

Hey, Do you have the paid Sony software update? Otherwise the FS700 is outputting 8bit only instead of possible 10 and12bit.

 

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