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Samuel Berger

Some guy sold his Ursa Mini Pro to buy an FS7

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Last time I had to deal with Sony Menues it was an hour and a half, if not more, in an area with no wifi or cellular access trying to get the damned thing INTO Cine.EI mode; but, as Brian mentions, after that, which was well before we actually shot anything, i never had to look at the menus again, outside of formatting a card.

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I always have the camera manual available as a check list for the menus, Unfortunately, the EBU (formerly BBC) settings for various cameras by Alan Roberts seem not to have been updated since 2016.

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Compared to Arri I would agree the Japanese camera,s do have large and sometimes illogical setups.. as they go for the Swiss Army knife approach .. which has its good side and bad..

 

But really once you set up the User menu .. its very easy.. from V8 ..the f5/55 ..has a menu that comes up on the LCD exactly like the Arri ,which has pretty much all you will ever have to change.. you don't never really need to go into the menu at all now..

 

You have to be careful to not burn in the LUT in Cine EI..although burning in the a LUT can also be a good thing..when you want to ! nothing is really hidden .. . but yes not a camera to try to set up in a hurry.. but which is. .. things can go pear shaped for any camera in that situation ..

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I always have the camera manual available as a check list for the menus, Unfortunately, the EBU (formerly BBC) settings for various cameras by Alan Roberts seem not to have been updated since 2016.

sharegrid--- didn't have one.

and man; it was set up in the strangest way/painted the strangest colors i've ever seen out of the box.

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sharegrid--- didn't have one.

and man; it was set up in the strangest way/painted the strangest colors i've ever seen out of the box.

 

 

You probablyly know the camera by now.. but if in that situation again.. if your in Custom.. and its been set up really weirdly .. go to system menu right at the end .. and re set .. puts everything back to default.. or Cine EI mode..Slog3.cine.. all those paint /matrix menus are greyed out.. forget them.. its the easiest way to shoot.. all you have are pre set WB to change.. burn in a LUT if you want ..

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You probablyly know the camera by now.. but if in that situation again.. if your in Custom.. and its been set up really weirdly .. go to system menu right at the end .. and re set .. puts everything back to default.. or Cine EI mode..Slog3.cine.. all those paint /matrix menus are greyed out.. forget them.. its the easiest way to shoot.. all you have are pre set WB to change.. burn in a LUT if you want ..

After a beer or two in the hotel room; that's exactly what I did ;)

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Page iiiixiiviixx:

"to properly toggle MLUT, first, place whiskey in glass and bring to lips, rotate, place down, then toggle to menu #177411/a, from there, tilt camera 90 degrees to initialize GPS system, place in well ventilated area for 25 minutes to reach non-optimal operating temperature, while consuming 1.75 stouts, reboot camera. To change to Cine EI repeat steps 7 through 115"

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

 

 

 

I don't physically edit or color my work, but I see the dailies that are created with LC709A LUT, and they are exactly as I want them. Generally, when we color-time, the colorists prefer not to use LUTs, and to work from scratch. This has been my experience regardless of the camera system used. However, If we are pushed for time, I will ask them to just use the LC709A LUT in Resolve, and to do their corrections on a node below it.

 

 

 

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. That's an unfathomable way to think these days, where every other company is striving to make cameras more "editorial" friendly.

You have to transcode for all RAW cameras, too. A lot of editors don't want to deal with 4k material, either, so they want HD transcodes to work with. This is standard practice on any production I've worked on. 6 or 8k camera original files are hardly 'editorial friendly'.

 

 

 

a talented colorist to fix all the muckups

 

What muckups? If you are sloppy about your work, thinking you can fix it in post, then you only have yourself to blame when it comes back to bite you.

 

 

 

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.

I think Mark Kenfield and Adrian Sierkowski demonstrated quite clearly that when the LUT was correctly applied to your material it looked absolutely fine.

 

 

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

All cameras have their quirks, not just Sony. Cine EI is not a work-around, it is a mode that removes all the complicated engineering menus for people who don't need or want them.

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Compared to Arri I would agree the Japanese camera,s do have large and sometimes illogical setups.. as they go for the Swiss Army knife approach .. which has its good side and bad..

Arri, Red, Blackmagic, umm I mean those guys figured out the menu system. What I don't understand is Sony's reluctance to follow suit and continue to bury "system" and "frequency" settings deep in the menu instead of them being the first thing on the list. I also hate the use of those words, it's again a Japanese to english translation issue they've never fixed.

 

I think RED's menu's as of the Dragon, are probably the best. Being able to tap the display and slide things left to right in order to alter the setting and see the results as you're scrolling through, it's pretty awesome.

 

Again, for me it's being able to pick a very particular color balance on the fly. I'm always changing my color balance doing industrial/doc work, where you have a limited crew and you don't have the time to re-balance all the lights in the room to what the camera wants. With the Dragon, I tap the display, swing it to an area that has the look I'm going for and I'm done, no real "menu" at all.

 

But really once you set up the User menu .. its very easy.. from V8 ..the f5/55 ..has a menu that comes up on the LCD exactly like the Arri ,which has pretty much all you will ever have to change.. you don't never really need to go into the menu at all now..

It's true, the F5/F55 have that nice display on the side, which does work nicely. It's still a bit slower to work with then a touch screen though, mainly because when you're tired, the black and white letters are harder to descern and you aren't looking at the video output/results of changes when you do it. So when you make a change, you've gotta take your eyes away from the display, look at a monitor, go back to the display make another change and repeat the action. After an 18 hour day, you just wanna go home and when cameras are difficult to use because they throw curve balls like this, it leads to mistakes.

 

Again, when you have a full crew, people sitting on the sidelines and a 3 camera assistants, one of them can figure it out. When you're alone or have one person by your side, it gets annoying fast. Camera manufacturers spend so much time focused on working with a crew, they forget many people don't have that luxury.

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I've never had a problem getting a Sony camera to give me a white balance that works. One of the CTB/CTO range over the lens usually gets you there, using a piece of white paper (if not using a white balance card), assuming you don't want to set a white balance setting directly through the menu.

 

Just taking the white balance from the general scene does work on the occasions I've tested out of curiosity (but no red feature walls), although I don't do it in practice..

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I want what's in camera to require little to no correction in post. So I generally "tint" the image in camera to get a specific look I'm going for. This would be done with filtration and color/white balance. In the past I've done this with lighting mostly, but now that we have such killer digital technology that's so easy to adjust... why not do it in camera?

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Tyler, XAVC edits natively in Premiere, FCPX and Davinci (at least). I've just finished supervising post on a feature shot in 4k XAVC, and the whole thing was edited and finished from the 4k XAVC masters.

No transcoding required whatsoever.

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Arri, Red, Blackmagic, umm I mean those guys figured out the menu system. What I don't understand is Sony's reluctance to follow suit and continue to bury "system" and "frequency" settings deep in the menu instead of them being the first thing on the list. I also hate the use of those words, it's again a Japanese to english translation issue they've never fixed.

 

I think RED's menu's as of the Dragon, are probably the best. Being able to tap the display and slide things left to right in order to alter the setting and see the results as you're scrolling through, it's pretty awesome.

 

Again, for me it's being able to pick a very particular color balance on the fly. I'm always changing my color balance doing industrial/doc work, where you have a limited crew and you don't have the time to re-balance all the lights in the room to what the camera wants. With the Dragon, I tap the display, swing it to an area that has the look I'm going for and I'm done, no real "menu" at all.

 

 

It's true, the F5/F55 have that nice display on the side, which does work nicely. It's still a bit slower to work with then a touch screen though, mainly because when you're tired, the black and white letters are harder to descern and you aren't looking at the video output/results of changes when you do it. So when you make a change, you've gotta take your eyes away from the display, look at a monitor, go back to the display make another change and repeat the action. After an 18 hour day, you just wanna go home and when cameras are difficult to use because they throw curve balls like this, it leads to mistakes.

 

Again, when you have a full crew, people sitting on the sidelines and a 3 camera assistants, one of them can figure it out. When you're alone or have one person by your side, it gets annoying fast. Camera manufacturers spend so much time focused on working with a crew, they forget many people don't have that luxury.

 

 

The Venice menu is a lot simpler and "logical" so maybe yes they are listening.. or having a look at Arri menus ..:)

 

I would urge you to set up the user menu.. you have literally any menu or even each sub menu item .. where you like it.. and edit it at anytime.. it takes no time to set up.. you can have system be the first thing in the whole menu if you want..but usually you are only changing that stuff at the beginning of a shoot.. the f5/55 LCD quick menu from V8.. can be shown by pressing the option button.. this is black letters /numbers against Yellow back ground.. as do the hot buttons..I found that pretty easy to read or at least no different from Arri etc..

 

Im often working without an assistant.. a lot of F5/55 are used on docs without big crews.. if you don't like Sony its your choice of course .. but really it seems just down to not being familiar with them.. fair enough.. I wouldn't shoot with a RED for the same reasons.. but actually the Sony's are not that difficult to operate .. I would thing a lot of Fs7,s are operated one man band even..

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I want what's in camera to require little to no correction in post.

 

There's a variety of different ways to use the Sonys. You can take one out of the box, switch it on, and start shooting if you want. It won't necessarily look that great, but there'll be nothing technically wrong with it. If you want better results, you'll dig into the different settings, like the Hypergammas and figure out a look you like. If you're feeling brave, you can go deeper into the engineering menus, and really start to tweak the image. This is what we all used to do back in the days of DigiBeta and HDCam. The BBC actually had lists of recommended settings in all the menus, not just for Sony cameras, but for anything widely used. I still have a couple of memory sticks with my preferred settings for Sony cameras. Lastly, you can push all those image tweaks into metadata and post by shooting Cine EI. Ultimately, it's what suits you and your project best. Sony cameras do have a very complex level of control offered in the menus; it's a legacy of their broadcast roots, but no-one is making you use it.

 

If you want footage that requires little or no work in post, then use the cameras in normal mode, Rec709 with one of the Hypergammas. You'll have control over WB and everything else and you can just leave the engineering menus alone.

 

If you want a little more flexibility in post, shoot Cine EI in SLog3 with LC709A as your LUT. It's a standard LUT across all Sony cameras, and it comes ready installed in Resolve. Yes, you'll only have three white balances, but that's still one more than you have with film...

 

These cameras are not that difficult to learn. No more than learning the tricks of a Panaflex, when you've only worked with Arri.

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Tyler, XAVC edits natively in Premiere, FCPX and Davinci (at least). I've just finished supervising post on a feature shot in 4k XAVC, and the whole thing was edited and finished from the 4k XAVC masters

Umm... Ya can't playback 4k XAVC material in real time with multi-layers (which is how actual editors work), it doesn't work. One track? Yep no problem. Multiple tracks? Nope. Anything outside of a very basic grade? Nope. By contrast, I can playback 6k Red Code in real time (23.98) on DaVinci with power windows and up to 3 layers. 4k XAVC on the same system? Nope, not gonna work.

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These cameras are not that difficult to learn. No more than learning the tricks of a Panaflex, when you've only worked with Arri.

Ehh, I mean reading and remembering things based on language/terminology that doesn't make sense in your mind, is a very different world then repetition with your hands, like loading a film camera. The problem is; Sony's (and panasonic for that matter) menu system, just doesn't make logical sense. Forget the F5/F55, lets talk about A7S, lets talk about FS5 and FS7, lets talk about the cameras without direct access controls on the side.

 

As discussed above, there are programmable buttons on the side of the camera, that take you instantly to anything you want. That's super cool, but it shouldn't be necessary. I just can't get over those sort of "issues", then you add the hyper sensitivity of the imager, then you add the post issues, then you add the cost... I mean, none of it makes any sense. But.. it's kind of an untapped market. The Canon C series cameras are bogus due to their physical form. The Blackmagic cameras aren't quite ready for primetime. The Alexa's are WAY too expensive and the Panasonic is too. So Sony has this little niche and they're going to town with it.

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Tyler, the menu system on my camera is much simpler. Sony should follow their example. Look at all my menu options laid out for me.

 

410b.jpg

poop, that's complex bro! My XTR is far simpler :D

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I want what's in camera to require little to no correction in post. So I generally "tint" the image in camera to get a specific look I'm going for. This would be done with filtration and color/white balance. In the past I've done this with lighting mostly, but now that we have such killer digital technology that's so easy to adjust... why not do it in camera?

 

You can do lots of looks in the Sony Menus, once you spend the time in advance of the shoot either learning or setting them up, rather than on the set.

 

DITs used to do this all the time on Sony cameras and store the settings on memory sticks. It's probably not done so much these days because it's now commonly done in post, rather than the camera. Experienced DITs could also do it on the set if something new was required for a scene. They were rather more than data wranglers and many were experienced DPs.

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I get asked this question - about FS7 vs Ursa Mini - fairly often. My feeling is that FS7 does somewhat more picture-wise, but the Blackmagic is more heavily built. Principal points of differentiation include the fact that the FS7 has a more compatible lens mount but needs expensive upgrades to shoot ProRes, whereas the Blackmagic really isn't that usable without the viewfinder and shoulder kit, so both are really more expensive than the headline price would suggest. Raw on the FS7 is really expensive and available as default on the Blackmagic, although I don't think that this sort of camera is likely to be used on the sort of production that genuinely needs raw very often.

 

Both are fine enough, I have shot more on the Blackmagic and like it.

 

P

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