Thread: When shooting RAW, is it better to overexpose or underexpose?

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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Tomas Stacewicz's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your valuable contributions. I have learned a lot from your answers. Appreciate you patience with this newbie question.
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  2. #12  
    Logarithmic encoding and raw codecs are not the same thing and cannot be used interchangeably. Log Encoding is when a sensor's readout is mapped to a non-linear data set to try to squeeze the most information possible into your recordings during quantization, whereas Raw Codecs record unprocessed information straight off the sensor without rasterizing it.

    Honestly, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to exposing cameras. Every camera reacts differently to light, and every scene can present new challenges when you're trying to get the cleanest images. Test your camera. Only you can decide what works and what doesn't.
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  3. #13  
    Senior Member Tomas Stacewicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.Mitchell View Post
    Logarithmic encoding and raw codecs are not the same thing and cannot be used interchangeably. Log Encoding is when a sensor's readout is mapped to a non-linear data set to try to squeeze the most information possible into your recordings during quantization, whereas Raw Codecs record unprocessed information straight off the sensor without rasterizing it.
    Yes, but doesn't RAW produce a curve which is similar to Log encoding, i.e. following the same progression as f-stops? If not, how does a RAW curve look like?
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  4. #14  
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    Nah, raw is just the data encoding scheme. The data can be debayered a variety of different ways, among them log is typically preferred but not the only option. The rabbit hole goes deep. I wouldn't worry about it too much though. If your footage is good it's good. Let the colorists worry about Aces workflow, IDT transforms, matrices, and other shim sham and hee haw. Give any one of those dudes an inch and they'll let you know that the only reason you have usable footage at all is because of their carefully constructed mathematical matrix that has losslessly transformed your primitive footage into a glowing bastion of perfection worthy of the 7 oclock news. No, seriously, that shit is cool but right now if you don't know the difference between raw and log don't worry about it, concentrate on lighting.

    Good Luck
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  5. #15  
    Senior Member Tomas Stacewicz's Avatar
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    O.k. Done some research on the Web. It seems that RAW represents a perfect straight diagonal tonal "curve" (actually line or "linear curve"). A line that you can bend in any way you want in post, it seems.

    Camera RAW curve.jpg
    Last edited by Tomas Stacewicz; 12-20-2016 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Adding a image of the Adobe RAW curve
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  6. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomas Stacewicz View Post
    O.k. Done some research on the Web. It seems that RAW represents a perfect straight diagonal tonal "curve" (actually line or "linear curve"). A line that you can bend in any way you want in post, it seems.
    Yes, and Santa Claus is also coming to town. There are some advantages to raw under some circumstances, as well as downsides, in other circumstances -- the way raw allocates bits isn't necessarily the most effective or efficient for every scene. And in low-light situations, you may even be better off shooting in rec. 709 video mode than either Prores film or raw.

    There are no miracle formats.
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  7. #17  
    Senior Member Tomas Stacewicz's Avatar
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    I happen to belive in magic ;-) And you might be correct concerning Rec. 709 (although I doubt it's as easy as you described) but I don't care about Rec. 709 as that is Digital Video. I'm more interested in RAW and the Log codex of ProRes as that more resembles the film negative which I'm after. Rec. 709 might behave in darkness better than film for that matter, but I still prefer film over severe video compression.
    Last edited by Tomas Stacewicz; 12-20-2016 at 10:31 AM.
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  8. #18  
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    Rec799 recorded ProRes HQ, is not any more compressed than Film!og recorded to ProRs HQ. I treat FilLog like a negative and Rec709 like transparency stock, one has a little more latitude than the other, while Rec709 has richer transparency like colors. So,the one you choose, depends on the "look" you are after, and subject/lighting you are shooting.
    Cheers
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  9. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denny Smith View Post
    Rec799 recorded ProRes HQ, is not any more compressed than Film!og recorded to ProRs HQ. I treat FilLog like a negative and Rec709 like transparency stock, one has a little more latitude than the other, while Rec709 has richer transparency like colors. So,the one you choose, depends on the "look" you are after, and subject/lighting you are shooting.
    My bad. I wasn't paying attention and for a while reinterpreted Rec. 709 into H.264. All these numbers and abbreviations can be a bit confusion for a newbie as myself. Rec. 709 is of course a manipulated colour space curve and not a codec. I take back what I said regarding it above, re filmlike image.

    That said, my breif encounter in DaVinci Resolve with Rec.709 is that it created a way darker and contrasty image, as well as blown out highlights. And way to saturated colours. It's not an ideal for me, but I use it as a reference to get a sense of direction. Rec.709 is a broadcast television standard and not for cinema, as I have understood it.
    Last edited by Tomas Stacewicz; 12-20-2016 at 03:10 PM.
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  10. #20  
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    Yes Tomas, yes it was/is, but it is also used in Cinema production in some situations. You can control the contrast and highlights with lighting, as is done in a TV Studio and all Cinema sets, and then control saturation with exposure, just like you would with a transparency.

    Yes, H.264 and Rec709 got associated in the consumer video cameras, which shoot highly compressed connection like H.264, which is what the majority of DSLRs record video at.
    Cheers
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