September 8, 2014 at 1:07PM

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What is your Sony a7s picture profile?

One of the best but quirkiest things about this camera is the picture profile option. I wanted to start a discussion sharing what picture profile settings you use, and maybe tips for exposing for some of these.

Right now, I typically shoot with PP7 with the default settings, except for Detail set to -7. Working with s-log2 is tricky, but my general strategy has been to expose to the right as much as possible while trying to hold highlights, and aim to keep midtones somewhere around 70% so I can bring shadows and midtones down in post to avoid noise in the shadows.

29 Comments

Thanks for starting this, David. I am hoping for some guidance with the four Cine PPs. I've seen a number of people turn the detail down to -5 or -7. Can you explain why you chose that? I must say, the pictures from my A7s look awesome, but as soon as I start even the slowest pan the "doubling" (it's not really motion blur, some kind of weird double image on edges) kicks in and makes the video unwatchable. Any ideas?

September 11, 2014 at 12:59AM

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I noticed the "doubling" also. is it only in 24p? and it seems worse in the evf.

September 15, 2014 at 10:26AM

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joe boccia
Editor, camera operator
74

Joe, turning down the detail to -7 certainly helps reduce the blur, but not completely... found this interesting article about losing focus on panning, could be related to detail: http://www.xdcam-user.com/2010/12/why-do-my-pictures-go-soft-when-i-pan-...

September 23, 2014 at 9:55PM

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Hey Harry.
Turning detail down is like turning any in-camera sharpening down—generally speaking, it's better to sharpen in post rather than sharpen in-camera. This is a personal preference thing, as it does mean another step while editing, but I like how it looks better.

Can't say I've experienced the second thing you mentioned. I'll have to keep an eye out for that!

September 15, 2014 at 11:52AM

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David S.
2944

I have had some similar issues. some many options. I also shoot in pp7 with slog2, however, I just despised the color of the sky in slog 2 with the color setting s-gamut. I changed the color setting to movie and have been much happier with the results.

September 15, 2014 at 10:24AM

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joe boccia
Editor, camera operator
74

Good tip, I'll have to try this ^

September 15, 2014 at 8:52PM

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Ty
Cinematographer, Editor, Director
539

This is a new thought (to me) on picture profile settings that I gave a try the other day, and I have to say—it's really nice. I don't love the Film Convert settings the video below chose, but the picture profile is great. The "Pro" color mode really does something awesome.

I've only used this outdoors for two shoots (a work event and wedding on Saturday) so I can't say how good or bad it is for indoor work. Looked lovely on both shoots, though.

I followed these settings exactly, but instead chose Cine2 instead of S-Log for gamma.

From https://vimeo.com/102244108

Black Level: 0
Gamma Slog: 2
Black Gamma > Range: Middle , Level: -3
Knee > Mode: Auto , Auto Set > Max Point: 95 , Sensitivity: Mid
Colore Mode: Pro
Saturation: +8
Color Phase -2
Color Depth > R+1, G-1, B+2,, C-2, M-1, Y-3
Detail > Level, -5 Adjust > Mode; Manual, V/H Balance: -2, B/W Balance Type3, Limit: 0, Crispening:0, hi_light Detail: 0
White balance > Manual > Grid setting B 1 (one to the left)

September 15, 2014 at 11:55AM

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David S.
2944

Hello content de vous trouver je viens d acquerir le boitier sony fs7 sII superbe outil er regardé votre profil ci dessous j ai bien envie de le tester pour mes mariages me le conseillez vous moi qui passe de l interieur a l exterieur ?

November 17, 2016 at 11:35AM

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I have been looking for this info lately and it's tough to find. I think people are still experimenting with their cameras so there aren't any standard go-to recipes yet like the Canon DSLRs have.

David, I like your rule of keeping the mids around 70% with s-log. Seems like a good way to minimize noise in the shadows. I suppose it all depends on the scene. I have one question in regards to "maximizing" all your information in a given scene. With Technicolor Cinestyle on the Canons, lots of people don't use it because it forces all the information of the scene across a smaller portion of histogram, which is then stretched back out in post to increase contrast. It essentially means (as I understand it) you are recording less information, and as a result there's more banding and other problems that arise when trying to finesse things in post. Is this also true of s-log? Personally, I have tried to use it only when high DR is required within a scene, or when shooting in low light. I figure that if you are capturing a scene that does not need all that DR, you might as well spread all your information across a grater portion of your histogram and capture more data.

I'm not sure if all this is correct, just observations I have made. If anyone has anything to add on this I would love to know more.

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to change my picture profiles, so people keep referring to using "PP#" and I have to try to remember what they were originally set to, oops!

Also, I don't know why this thread was getting downvoted, pretty useful information if you have the A7s.

September 15, 2014 at 8:51PM

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Ty
Cinematographer, Editor, Director
539

I just shot a large project for work with the a7s, and, in my opinion, s-log was serious overkill for low-contrast scenes. As in, everything kinda fell in the 70-80% range in the zebras.

I shot it, and worked on it in post. And honestly, I could find any benefits. Might as well have used a less flat picture profile, which would have saved me time later and given me an identical end product.

I love the possibilities with s-log 2. But it's too much for a lot of situations. I'm a guy who almost entirely started out in video through color grading, so it hurts me to admit this, but it's overkill for most situations and can lead to a lot of accidental mistakes since it is so tricky to work with, especially without the in-camera ability to load a LUT.

So I'm personally going to largely put it aside except for those high-contrast scenes where it could help. Otherwise, I'd rather know I nail exposure in camera and work from there.

September 16, 2014 at 11:50AM

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David S.
2944

Also, I'm really glad others find it useful. I'm hoping people post what they do, because so many of us are trying to understand all these settings and numbers and such in the Picture Profiles. There is clearly loads of potential with PPs, but it's hard to get the most out of them when I don't know precisely what all of the options do.

What is Crispening? What does "hi_light detail" do? What is V/H balance? I have a lot of questions and hope folks here can share insight into all of this.

September 16, 2014 at 11:53AM

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David S.
2944

Yes, I have questions too about these subcategories in Detail! Alister Chapman has a summary of Sony picture profiles here (http://www.xdcam-user.com/picture-profile-guide/), although they are for xdcam cameras and don't precisely match the A7s. (He does explain Crispening in great detail.)

I'm pretty sure the loss of focus once I begin a pan is due to the Detail circuit, but not sure yet what the other things in there control. I've dialed Detail down to -7 for a start.

September 23, 2014 at 9:45PM

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I don't have an answer yet, but I have great hopes for James Miller's upcoming LUTS (vimeo.com/102504511). I saw these two articles: a workflow posted on newsshooter (goo.gl/nFkmJs); and this technical article on S-Log2, with a suggested workflow (goo.gl/ZKcE4z).

September 16, 2014 at 11:48AM

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Glenn Taylor
for pure fun
317

Some great info here. Thanks for sharing.

September 16, 2014 at 12:37PM

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David S.
2944

I just found this. A whole lot of insight into these settings.

http://www.xdcam-user.com/2012/06/quick-reference-guide-to-picture-profi...

Found through this thread on Creative Cow, which has even more thoughts and links on it: http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/142/878010#878010

September 16, 2014 at 11:56AM, Edited September 16, 11:56AM

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David S.
2944

I am using the S-log2 gamma in combination with the Cinema color mode. Here's how it looks in an attempt to emulate film look with Osiris:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU2tA5i25nc

September 17, 2014 at 2:04AM

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luchian ciobanu
director of photography
84

Any good profile out there for realistic colors with a cine curve to prevent blowing out too quick so I don't need as much grading as with SLOG?
Need to edit fast for an upcoming gig. Heavy grading will take too much time...

December 15, 2014 at 4:07AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9209

Very interesting discussion, thanks all!
I have a last minute question, because I am filming tomorrow for the first time with this camera and did not had enough time to testing.
I'd like to hear from you what is the best picture profile use alongside the pp7 (slog2), because I am not sure to be able to use the pp7 also in daylight tomorrow, because I maybe will not have enough Nds, so I have to find another profile to use at lower iso, and also because I am not sure that pp7 is the right profile if I have to photograph an high key flat daylight exterior scene, with a soft overcast sky.
Thanks for sharing your opinions and experiences!

March 12, 2015 at 3:13PM

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Conrad Hall
Cinematographer
74

I'm filming tomorrow too, likewise first time with this camera.

I will be going with Philip Bloom's advice to use Cine Gamma 4, given in the comments following his A7s review. http://philipbloom.net/2014/07/03/a7s/

Some extracts follow:
Philip Bloom: ...just don't shoot in S-Log Eduardo...I don't Cine Gamma 4 is very flat indeed and you can be at 100 ISO! July 5, 2014 at 8:21pm

Philip Bloom: ...don't use s-log use cine gamma 4. incredibly flat. barely any difference and you can shoot at iso 100 · July 5, 2014 at 12:23pm

March 25, 2015 at 3:52PM

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I have a question but i dont know if this is the right thread..
I shoot with multiple camera.. now i want to know whats the closest setting i should go with the a7S to match my Canon DSLR pic profile before grading.. normally u shoot neutral on Canon DSLR.. i find it very very difficult to match both the cameras in post. any help?

August 7, 2015 at 11:59PM

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Vanan
Director of Videography at Pixel Frames
88

Here's a video of the ones I use: https://youtu.be/ZJdnqdEu790

Here's a list of my favorite picture profile settings of my Sony a7s thus far. I've done a lot of searching forums but I feel most comfortable using these settings.

Let me know which ones you use.

PP1:
black level: 0
Gamma: S-log2
Black gamma: range middle, level -3
Knee: mode auto,
Auto set: max point 95%, sensitivity Mid
Manuel set: point 95%, slope +5
Color Mode: Pro
Saturation: +8
Color Phase: -2
Color Depth: R+1, G-1, B+2, C-2, M-1, Y-3
Detail: -5

PP3:
black level: 0
Gamma: Cine2
Black gamma: range wide, level +7
Knee: mode auto,
Auto set: max point 95%, sensitivity Mid
Manuel set: point 95%, slope +5
Color Mode: Pro
Saturation: +3
Color Phase: -2
Color Depth: R+5, G+2, B0, C+5, M-3, Y+7
Detail: -5

PP5:
black level: -2
Gamma: Cine3
Black gamma: range middle, level 0
Knee: mode auto,
Auto set: max point 100%, sensitivity Mid
Manuel set: point 90%, slope 0
Color Mode: Pro
Saturation: +1
Color Phase: 0
Color Depth: R0, G0, B0, C0, M0, Y0
Detail: -5

PP7:
Picture Profile: off
D-Range Optimizer: lvl4
Creative Style: Autumn Leaves
Contrast: -3
Saturation: 0
Sharpness: -3

October 5, 2015 at 8:30AM

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Jonathan Doornenbal
Videographer
74

Wish we could see the above settings in pictures etc. what might you suggest for indoors?

February 18, 2016 at 10:43PM

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What i have found most interesting to get s log vc cine style in perspective is this recent presentation of alistar chapman fron xdcam user on the theory behind these choises http://youtu.be/U-HrXmRqpME somewhere halfway he will discuss slog, s gamut etc. stefan

December 13, 2015 at 3:22AM, Edited December 13, 3:22AM

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stefan flos
director of videography
74

Hi, I'm new to all this LUT, SLOG3 stuff, but I just got a a7S II and want to get the most out of it. Is there a good resource you all would recommend so I can start learning?

December 30, 2015 at 4:30PM

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Mike
Filmmaker
93

S-log2 is pp7 right? Where and how do we find cine gamma 4? Thanks a lot

January 9, 2016 at 9:05AM

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Hi Demetris, yes that's correct.

For cine gamma 4:
Menu
Camera Settings
Drop Menu 5
Picture Profile (have the picture profile you want to use selected)

Instead of press ENTER, press right on the wheel

That will take you to a submenu where you can select your gamma.

February 15, 2016 at 9:04AM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
647

Cine gamma 1 for any 50 fps work. Find slog2 is too much of a stretch over the lower bit rate per frame (if you are going to an external recorder it's probably fine). I mostly use the A7s as a B-cam shooting with a Red Scarlet MX. To match the two I find shooting Slog2 the easiest to work with in post to shape the contrast how I want it. Mostly match with filmconvert and lumetri in adobe premiere. It's amazing what manipulating the red, green and blue channels independently can do to bring those cameras colors in line. (Just bring the mids of the red up slightly)

February 15, 2016 at 8:58AM, Edited February 15, 9:00AM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
647

You are right: 8 bit for 14 stops is stretching it too much too easily.

February 16, 2016 at 8:53AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9209

Matt Johnson found an interesting picture profile that's a modified PP8. It supposedly has a similar dynamic range to SLog but only needs a minimum ISO of 200. You can find out about it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-APqhJLhPfE

March 14, 2016 at 3:59PM

5
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Bertrand Lee
Student
81

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