Black Gamma

workshops-275 Black Gamma

One of the adjustments that you can make to the Gamma curves is the Black Gamma. Adjusting the Black Gamma stretches or compresses the bottom part of the gamma curve, this makes the darker parts of the picture darker (negative setting) or brighter (positive setting). When setting the Black Gamma you will find 4 different ranges to choose from. Low, Low-Mid, Hi-Mid and High. These settings determine the range over which the black gamma works. Low only effects the darkest 10% of the image, L-Mid the bottom 20%(approx), H-Mid the lowest 30%(approx) and Hi the lower 35% (approx). So if you just want to make your deep shadows and blacks darker you would use Low. If you want to make the overall image more contrasty you would use H-Mid or Hi. I like to give my images a bit more impact so I often use H-Mid at -30. If the pictures are to be graded I would not use any negative black gamma.

8 thoughts on “Black Gamma”

    1. There are always compromises when it come to how you shoot. If you have no idea of the look that you want, then you should shoot flat and leave it to post. In which case I would not make any black gamma changes but I would set the black level to -3 to eliminate the unnecessary pedestal level. Otherwise I would tweak the image to get close to the desired final look and then just tweak and fine tune in post. This is particularly important if your only using an 8 bit codec.

  1. Hi Alister.
    I just bought 2 Sony FS7s, but I have a number of clients that just love the look of a 5Dmark3 on it’s regular colour profile. So I’d like to make a scene file that makes the FS7 look as much like the 5D as possible, so I can take advantages of all the features of the Fs7 on those shoots.
    Any suggestions on how to match the blacks properly? I have next to no experience in this.

      1. You should try using the Hypergamma 3 with the FL Light matrix. It’s not quite the same but warmer than the stock Sony look.

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