Bad saturation and noisy shadows

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Joined: September 1st, 2011, 1:37 am

Bad saturation and noisy shadows

Post by pchfilms » September 1st, 2011, 1:56 am

Hello everyone hoping I can find someone to help me with my little dilemna. I purchased a PDW-700 a little under a year ago and have really enjoyed working with it, but have not been terribly impressed with the images it produces, and mainly images with extreme contrast or lots of shadows. For the past 6 months or so I have scoured the internet looking for advice, explanation of the paint settings, and recommended settings for various aspects of the image, but I still don't think what I am capturing is looking as best as it could. Main trouble is a horrible crushing of saturation in dark areas. For example, brunette hair almost turns deep red, looks extremely saturated to the point where it has no clear definition or contrast, and it gets very noisy. This has turned out to be a fairly common trait for anything low-light or high contrast, which is a shame because I've worked with this same model camera on other shoots before I purchased mine and never ran into these problems, and for the price and everything it is suppose to be able to do, I feel I could probably grab a better image from an EX3, especially in the dark areas.

I have uploaded several examples I have taken from the camera. Everything is raw, un-color corrected.

Thank you in advanced for anyone that can help me out, I truly appreciate it! And if anyone needs it, I am more than happy to reply with all my paint settings (I'm a decent DP, but don't consider myself a pro when it comes to the paint menus or deep technical side of the camera).

- Alex
Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 4.29.40 PM.jpg
Anything remotely dakr just falls of to total black. Heavy noise, not much latitude.
Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 4.29.40 PM.jpg (181.33 KiB) Viewed 4911 times
Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 4.28.03 PM.jpg
Example of brunette hair going almost black. Horrible saturation crush on skin tones, very noisy and altogether not a pleasing pic. Gain was at 0db
Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 4.28.03 PM.jpg (95.56 KiB) Viewed 4911 times
Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 4.23.33 PM.jpg
Background looks good, but skin tone in foerground has bad, crushed saturation, and the falloff for the blacks is extreme.
Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 4.23.33 PM.jpg (190.95 KiB) Viewed 4911 times
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Re: Bad saturation and noisy shadows

Post by alisterchapman » September 5th, 2011, 5:08 pm

The blacks do look extremely crushed and that's not normal for a PDW-700.

I assume you have done the obvious and reset the camera to the factory defaults to eliminate any strange settings.

Does the footage look like this in the viewfinder or on a monitor plugged into the camera? I ask because it does kind of look like a gamma issue and I've seen similar where the edit platform has been messing up the gamma. What do you edit with?
Posts: 2
Joined: September 1st, 2011, 1:37 am

Re: Bad saturation and noisy shadows

Post by pchfilms » October 11th, 2011, 1:49 am


Thanks for getting back to me, sorry I've been MIA for so long. Anyways to get back to you, I just did a reset and then set back up my basic settings and it already looks a lot better, definitely not the horrible shadow saturation crush as before. Although now the shadows aren't extremely deep, but much better than before. There still seems to be a lot of noise (I attached a picture), even at 0db, but maybe thats just because I'm ultimately expecting a cleaner image out of this camera than what it can really produce.

To answer your editing question, I edit on Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 (which I believe is the latest version). Are there gamma issues or settings I should be aware of?

I also wrote down all my operation/paint/maintenance settings in a google docs before I reset it, you can find it here if you have a moment to look over it and have any suggestions or see anything I am doing gravely wrong. Just want to get the best image out of this bad boy :) ... n_US#gid=0

Again thank you so much for your help, I have followed your blog and a lot of your advice, so I appreciate you connecting with your followers and fans.


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