How Gamma Issues Can Change the Look of Your DSLR Footage in Different Players
Gamma issues are the bane of any filmmaker's existence. It's difficult to keep everything consistent when different editors and even different video players decode gamma and affect the brightness/contrast of the video you're trying to play. We've talked a little bit about these issues before, and Apple has been one the biggest offenders in terms of inconsistent gamma, from Quicktime 7, to Quicktime 10, to Final Cut Pro 7. Tony Reale, over at NextWaveDV, takes a look at these issues within the Windows platform.
Here is the photo Tony used on the site comparing Quicktime, Windows Media Player, and VLC player to the original media on the camera:
As you can see, none of them are perfect. This is the issue that we face not only as filmmakers, but as contractors who are hired by clients. If they see a video in Windows Media player, but you've been working in Final Cut on a Mac, it's possible there might be some discrepancy between what you're seeing and what they're seeing. The only way to avoid this problem is to use a service that should be consistent across platforms, such as YouTube or Vimeo. While the final product on these sites will still be different based on how the host computer has set up their color profile, as you long as you think the result looks right, it shouldn't vary too much when it's seen on a different computer.
Head on over to NextWaveDV to read Tony's thoughts on the matter.
Have any of you had to deal with this with clients? If so, did you explain to them that what they were seeing would be different in the final product, or did you change it to their wishes?