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Samuel Berger

Some guy sold his Ursa Mini Pro to buy an FS7

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A perfectly senseless decision. Must've been a victim of insanity. Sony is a child of cybernetics, of globalism, of engineering madness and fooling people. If you want certainty about technical sharpness, stay away from Sony. A serviced Blackmagic camera with exchangeable lenses will deliver what you expect more reliably. You cannot get usable images out of a Sony.

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What guy?

 

If I post his name then that will be a personal attack and I don't do that. Also he's selling off his Ursa Mini accessories extremely cheap on eBay and I'm buying them, so... ;-)

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You cannot get usable images out of a Sony.

This is simply not true. You may dislike Sony as a brand, or prefer the look of other cameras, but to say that it is impossible to get usable images from a Sony camera is a statement that is proved wrong every single day by hundreds of different DPs, who have no problems with its operation, workflow, or imagery.

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This is simply not true. You may dislike Sony as a brand, or prefer the look of other cameras, but to say that it is impossible to get usable images from a Sony camera is a statement that is proved wrong every single day by hundreds of different DPs, who have no problems with its operation, workflow, or imagery.

 

Quite a few of the shows from the UK I've seen using the F55, have a similar style of cinematography as those screenshots your posted from the Sony. I wish you had gone with Ursa Minis. However, when you're "tinting" every single shot with gels and underlighting everything, yea it really doesn't matter at that point. Of course, the IWYM thread is dead now because all the screen grab links fail.

 

One guy said it best:

 

Sony's are insufferable garbage from the limitations they put on what the user can access in what modes, to the amount of work in post production necessary to make a good image out of "less then perfect" lighting situations that you come up with all the time during ENG style shooting. This last F55 show I just wrapped on, I even had a DIT on set to make sure the stuff would look right because on the last two Sony shows, the stuff came out like crap. But alas, this F55 show... it's just insufferable garbage. We had scopes, we had a full DaVinci bay right on set, we checked every single frame of footage as we shot, but in the color grading bay, we can't bring back what we lost on set. The images are noisy, even though we shot at 800 ISO, the highlights were right below clipping on the scopes on set, but no matter what I do, the black level noise is throughout the whole show

 

I pickup a Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6k. I turn on the power switch. I set it to 180 degree shutter, I set the kelvin to 7k (for daylight), I set it to 800 ISO, throw an ND in front of the lens and hit the record button. Everything I get is stellar, absolutely flat out stellar. I wrapped on a little show shot with an antique Red Epic MX few months ago, same deal man. In 10 minutes, I had the camera set for the entire shoot and it came out great. Both the URSA and Red in DaVinci looked amazing. I'd apply a LUT and BAM perfect. In fact, I did no other corrections to either show for the temp color output for my editing system and the clients haven't asked for any further color work, then a base LUT. This is my experience with my pocket cameras and pretty much ANY OTHER camera BUT SONY. Even the Canon C300MKII we shot Cowgirls with, looked fine compared to the Sony's I've shot with and let me tell you something, the whole movie of Cowgirls was shot Rec709. I was the 2nd unit cinematographer as well, I shot the rodeo stuff and even though I hate the ergo's of the C300MKII, I'm always impressed by the beautiful rich colors of the camera.

 

I wanted to shoot on the F55 because frankly, I wanted to end this whole Sony vs the world debate once and for all. What I've learned is that the Sony cameras offer no benefits over the competition. The Sony color pallet is muted. The dynamic range is very limited, the menu's and limited user control in certain modes (SLOG) are mind blowing and should be a deal killer for anyone. The only mid grade digital cinema camera I did not use in 2016 was the Alexa and AJA Cion. I used the Red Dragon, Red Epic MX, Ursa Mini 4.6k, C100, C300MKII, FS7, F5, F55, do I dare mention my pocket cameras that I've shot over a dozen shows with in 2016? Now all of these shows I've edited and graded on my own and I use the same lighting style/techniques on all of them. So don't give me bullshit about something I did wrong. Sorry, I've been doing this for 25 years man, I know how to shoot.

 

If you want muted colors, horrible dynamic range, menu's that don't work and format limitations that make post production a nightmare... buy a Sony. If you want a camera system that flat-out works, buy anything else. I can't see ANY value in anything Sony makes anymore. I'm done with them. I've pissed off enough clients with poor results using Sony cameras, even though what was in the viewfinder and on the external monitors looked fine on set, yet the files didn't reflect the look on ANY of the shows, Rec709 or Slog mode.

 

The URSA Mini Pro will END Sony's ENG reign. Nobody wants iframe MPEG compression. Nobody wants the proprietary RAW recording. Everyone who buys these mid grade cameras is using DaVinci and/or Speed grade today, both are NATIVE with Pro Res, DNX and Cinema DNG. We all use Avid or Premiere to edit, again 100% Pro Res and DNX compatibility with no transcoding, no waiting around for media to be converted, throw the raw in there and just edit. Heck, my bay will edit r3d native!!! That's the hardest codec to work with, yet the stupid MPEG crap that comes out of the Sony doesn't work. Plugin's, updates, special drives, even different computers, the poop doesn't work. Real time playback with one LUT in DaVinci on a $10,000 Mac Pro? 12fps... TWELVE FPS! How the F are you suppose to work with that? Huh? Really?

 

Ok done with my rant... don't even bother responding because my ass is hurting from my boss kicking it for using Sony crap, so I don't have any more patience left for anything Sony.

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I think you are confusing a photographic style with the equipment that is used to create it. With regards to my work, I can get that look out of any camera. It's created with light and shade and color, not by magically using camera A or camera B.

 

It's funny that you should use that quote from Tyler regarding Sony cameras. If you read the whole thread, you'll see that his problems with the camera were entirely of his own making, due to a lack experience with Sony cameras, and an unwillingness to learn. The images that he disparaged as being insufferable garbage were demonstrated to be perfectly fine when the correct LUT was applied.

 

Quoting from that thread is probably the least convincing argument you could offer to support your original statement. Sony cameras are like any other camera. In the right hands they are capable of great looking imagery. If you, or anyone else has trouble achieving results you like with them, perhaps the problem lies with your skillset, not with the camera.

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It's funny that you should use that quote from Tyler regarding Sony cameras. If you read the whole thread, you'll see that his problems with the camera were entirely of his own making, due to a lack experience with Sony cameras, and an unwillingness to learn. The images that he disparaged as being insufferable garbage were demonstrated to be perfectly fine when the correct LUT was applied.

The fact you have to make/buy special LUT's to get the cameras to work, is infuriating. So yes, in the end I did figure out how to make the cameras look better, but they will never work with my style. The cameras themselves (menu's/controls) and workflow are the "unsufferable" parts of the Sony world.

 

For ENG use, nobody makes anything quite like the Sony's. They've got a few little features (high ISO/slow mo/lightweight codecs, etc) that put them a small bit above cameras like the URSA Pro for instance. However, I've disagreed with Sony's concept of low-quality MPEG capture and super sensitive imagers on the vast majority of their cameras. Even the A7SMKIII still records 8 bit 4:2:0 Long GOP MPEG @ a max of 100Mbps... for $3k! I don't think these guys realize it's 2017.

 

The new Sony Venice is light years away from their previous CMOS cameras, but in my eyes it doesn't matter. It's just them tooting their horn, trying to out-feature Arri and Red. Point is... most people shoot with Sony because they can't afford to rent an Alexa or Red. In most cases, Sony's are "the backup plan" to save money, rather then the "go to" camera when it comes to narrative production. Sony wanted to change that and they just might with the Venice, only time will tell. I actually like what they're trying to do with the Venice, it's just too bad it's taken them this much time to realize it's the right direction.

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The fact you have to make/buy special LUT's to get the cameras to work, is infuriating. So yes, in the end I did figure out how to make the cameras look better, but they will never work with my style. The cameras themselves (menu's/controls) and workflow are the "unsufferable" parts of the Sony world.

 

 

I don't want to open up this whole can of worms again, Tyler, but you really don't need special LUTs. I shoot with the LC709A LUT that comes built into the camera, and have no problems whatsoever. As far as workflow is concerned, I don't understand what is so complicated about shooting XAVC-I, transcoding to Pro-Res for editorial, then relinking to camera originals for final color and conform. It's the same workflow that people use when shooting with RED, or any other RAW.

 

Sony cameras do have their quirks, and the menu system and engineering controls leave something to be desired, but that's exactly why you should shoot in CINE EI, where most of those controls are disabled.

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I don't want to open up this whole can of worms again, Tyler, but you really don't need special LUTs. I shoot with the LC709A LUT that comes built into the camera, and have no problems whatsoever. As far as workflow is concerned, I don't understand what is so complicated about shooting XAVC-I, transcoding to Pro-Res for editorial, then relinking to camera originals for final color and conform. It's the same workflow that people use when shooting with RED, or any other RAW.

 

Sony cameras do have their quirks, and the menu system and engineering controls leave something to be desired, but that's exactly why you should shoot in CINE EI, where most of those controls are disabled.

 

Why are people using these instead of film? ._.

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Why would people drive a car instead of riding a horse and buggy?

 

That's a nonsensical comparison.

 

What they are doing shooting with Sony cameras is, they are coming up to your door, and instead of knocking, they're drilling a hole above the threshold, twisting a tap in there for threading, pulling that out, sticking a threaded rod in the hole, attaching a 90 degree angle pipe, then at the bottom of the pipe they put a spring that it attached to a stick with a boxing glove filled with cement. Now they pull the glove backwards and allow the spring mechanism to work, causing the mechanical arm to swing so that the glove full of cement can hit the door, so they don't have to knock it.

 

I don't want to be on the other side of that door if I open it at the wrong moment.

Edited by Samuel Berger
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I don't want to open up this whole can of worms again, Tyler, but you really don't need special LUTs. I shoot with the LC709A LUT that comes built into the camera, and have no problems whatsoever. As far as workflow is concerned, I don't understand what is so complicated about shooting XAVC-I, transcoding to Pro-Res for editorial, then relinking to camera originals for final color and conform. It's the same workflow that people use when shooting with RED, or any other RAW.

 

Sony cameras do have their quirks, and the menu system and engineering controls leave something to be desired, but that's exactly why you should shoot in CINE EI, where most of those controls are disabled.

 

 

Yes totally correct.. in fact Slog3 is on purpose the same as Arri LogC.. which is itself a copy of the old telecine Cineon from Kodak.. you can use any LUT that works with Alexa /Amira on Slog3.. Tyler sorry you still don't seem to have gotten your head around Slog3 if you are still thinking you need "special" Sony LUT,s.. a little research will make your life a lot easier should you be forced to use a Sony cam again..

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But if every time you push the imager it falls apart then it's no fun.

 

Looks like I already took two red arrows to the knee from someone who doesn't know how to read.

 

Sony doesn't have color science. And people who use red arrows instead of words have no literacy and can't be in my fan club.

 

Sony cameras come haunted with racist ghosts.

Edited by Samuel Berger

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Now Sam.. come on . have you actually shot Slog3.. in Cine EI mode and had it graded by an experienced person in a dedicated grading platform.. not an NLE.. if you have exposed it correctly.. (many people don't ).. it will look as good as any other camera..there is no voodoo going on.. its a gamma curve.. and the DP,s and graders skill..

 

Racist ghosts .. thats new one.. :).. enquiring minds want answers ..

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Although I have to admit I have a Sony and do drive a Toyota ..!.. Arri owners no doubt drive Merc,s and Beamers

Edited by Robin R Probyn

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Although I have to admit I have a Sony and do drive a Toyota ..!.. Arri owners no doubt drive Merc,s and Beamers

As an Eclair NPR owner, I must drive my 1968 white Impala station wagon in memory of the great Haskell Wexler. Keep film alive, everybody!

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You know he used to shoot his own films on a prosumer Sony .. in his older age..

Yeah, folks do weird things when they get old and senile...sad.

 

I'd rather remember him like this:

 

post-10433-0-32757700-1510798071_thumb.jpg

Edited by Samuel Berger

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I don't want to open up this whole can of worms again, Tyler, but you really don't need special LUTs. I shoot with the LC709A LUT that comes built into the camera, and have no problems whatsoever.

Do you physically edit and color? If not, how do you know what LUT's the colorist uses?

 

As far as workflow is concerned, I don't understand what is so complicated about shooting XAVC-I, transcoding to Pro-Res for editorial, then relinking to camera originals for final color and conform. It's the same workflow that people use when shooting with RED, or any other RAW.

Let's see... in XAVC iframe 4k mode, they aren't native to ANY editing program. This means, you MUST transcode to edit. This is done either behind the scenes in programs like Premiere and Final Cut X, or upon import with Avid. Again, nobody is thinking about the small crew. Nobody is thinking about the quick turn around. Everyone just "assumes" that every single thing you ever work on has a DIT, has an assitant editor, has the storage space to duplicate your media and a talented colorist to fix all the muckups. That's an unfathomable way to think these days, where every other company is striving to make cameras more "editorial" friendly.

 

Again, I've shot with them all... but the difference is, when I'm done shooting, I get to edit and color my work.

 

When I throw something shot with the Dragon or Alexa into my DaVinci, I apply the base LUT and it's always 100% perfect. Same workflow on 3 Sony shoots using SLog and Cine EL mode, doesn't work. PERIOD. Heck, I do one light prints of stuff I shoot on film all the time and guess what, they're perfect. I do one light telecine's and guess what, they're perfect. Everything is perfect, but Sony in SLog and CineEL. That's just my experience... there is clearly more to it, but it's depressing.

 

Sony cameras do have their quirks, and the menu system and engineering controls leave something to be desired, but that's exactly why you should shoot in CINE EI, where most of those controls are disabled.

Quirks and work-arounds... all because Sony wants you to live in their illogical japanese > english translation land. Give me a break.

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I have been dragged kicking and screaming out of the SI2K camp into the BM URSA 4K ecosystem. That does not however make me an anti-Sony disciple. I still use a Sony EX1 and Z1 for events. - One has to learn to live within the means of any camera system.

A short film was shot here on the Sony FS7 system last year and they graded it up just fine. It looks sweet but best of all, it works dramatically.

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I'm not sure if this is comparing apples and oranges, the Sony FS7 is intended as a documentary camera, while the Usra Mini seems to be covering a "digital film camera" brief.

 

The Sony menus have a logic to them, but you don't want to trying to learn them at the last minute. However, once set,, you normally don't need to look at them again while filming. There are a lot of Sony cameras used on broadcast and other productions, so it's worth finding out more about them.

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