When looking at cameras, it's easy to get caught up in the numbers game -- is the footage 4:4:4; how many stops of latitude does it have; will it output raw? These features and numbers are important, but it's easy to forget what they mean, and how they actually impact your footage. It doesn't help that it can be hard to get your hands on original files with full shooting details, instead of compressed internet versions that may have been corrected three ways till Sunday. With this in mind, Gaal Laszlo has put up an informative and interesting guide to the Canon C300 that aims to show just how the numbers play out in actual footage -- he has included original files for download and comparison, along with a great and detailed explanation:
For example, Laszlo goes into a discussion of 4:4:4 sampling vs 4:2:2, explaining that the impact might not be visible until you try pulling a clean key of the skin tones for color correction:
Is the difference between the above images worth the price difference between getting a camera that outputs 4:2:2 vs 4:4:4? It all depends on your needs, as Laszlo points out:
"if you don’t have endless sources of money, time, and manpower, and you want to choose the best camera for your jobs/projects, then you won’t choose the mathematically best camera. If you’re looking at the whole picture – not just the camera itself, but the prices of the accessories, media, lenses, and also check the prices of storing, processing the recorded footage – , you will choose the camera that fits in your workflow perfectly, and gets the job done as good as you can."
Well put. For the full write up go here, and for the downloadable footage go here. Are you deciding between cameras? Would the difference in keying shown above make or break your project? Which numbers mean the most to you?