EX1 and EX3 Picture Profiles.

These are the picture profiles that I am currently tending to favour for the EX1, EX1R and EX3. Please remember that picture profiles are entirely subjective. These settings work for me, that doesn’t mean they are perfect or for everyone. I like the images the cameras produce when I use these profiles. Please feel free to adapt them or modify them any way you choose. They work on any of the current EX cameras.

Vivid – Designed to help match the EX to a PDW-700. Gives vivid colours with a small shift away from yellow.

Matrix – Cinema, Matrix Level +60

R-G +8,  R-B +10,  G-R 0,  G-B +15,  B-R +5,  B-G +6

Detail Level -10 Frequency +20, Crispening -40 (if using gain use crispening +14)

Gamma Cinegamma 1

Black level -3, Black Gamma -35

Low Key Saturation -10

Natural C4 – Designed to give a neutral, natural looking image.

Matrix – Cinema, Matrix Level +35

Detail level -7, Frequency +30, Crispening -40 (if using gain use crispening +20)

Black Level -3, Low key Saturation -15

300x250_xdcam_150dpi EX1 and EX3 Picture Profiles.

AC Punch – Gives a very high contrast, bold look.

Matric – Cinema, level +40

Gamma Standard 2, Knee level 80, Slope 0

R-G 0,  R-B +1,  G-R +12,  G-B +2,  B-R +11,  B-G 0

Detail Level -10, Frequency +30, Crispening -45

Black Level -4, Black Gamma -20.

AC Good to Grade – a general purpose setup to give good grading possibilities.

Matrix – Cinema, Level +25

Gamma Cinegamma 1 (Do not use -3db gain)

Detail Level -7, Frequency +45, Crispening -45 (use +35 if using gain)

Black Level -3.

AC-SD Camera look. To mimic an older SD camcorder based on a DSR400, good for HD to SD conversion.

Matrix – Cinema, Level +15

Detail Level +20, Detail Frequency -35, White Limit +35, Black limit +45

Knee, Manual, Level 90, Slope 0.

Gamma Standard 2, Gamma Level +5

Black Gamma -10

Black Level -10



Enjoy! Any feedback or suggestions welcome. Let me know of any profiles that you come up with that may be of interest to others.


94 thoughts on “EX1 and EX3 Picture Profiles.”

  1. hi.. im a new in ur blog.. im from indonesia… im very interesting to read all about u n ur tips for the camera n how make a good picture. may i ask u 1 questions..
    im using sony PD 177, its my first video camera could u give me any tips about the camera n picture profile setting…
    i know everyday uve got a lot of email from arround the world… thanx for ur time to read my email..

    1. Hello Akhem and welcome. The PD170 is an older model and it’s been some time since I have used one so I don’t have any specific settings for it any more. Sorry.

  2. Hello Allister,

    In the Vivid scene file, what are the basic setting on the PDW-700 that this makes a close match too?
    I can dial in the colors more closely with my scope, but was wondering about gamma, detail and aperture, etc. settings. I need to match my EX-3 with my 700 tomorrow. Thanks for all your great articles!
    George Griswold
    New Orleans

    1. I need to go back through my PDW-700 notes and take a look at that. I’ll get back to you.

  3. Hi there !!
    I’m new here and read pretty much your recommendations and treid to use it. I have a Sony PMW-ex1r and was wondering if you could help me with the camera settings. I use the camera mostly at weddings and other documentaries videos.
    My probleme is that I do not get the right picture quality, I mean even when I’m recording HD the image/video quelity color is not quite as it should be.
    I use the camera indoor and out door, and have enough light when I recording door in, but I believe there are the camera settings that are probleme here.

    Could you please tell me what do to get better image quality.

    1. Before I can help you, you need to tell me in much more detail what it is about your images that you think are not right. Out of the box the EX1R should produce great images and most people have no problem getting good pictures using the default settings.

  4. Hi!
    What kind of gamma do you recommend for the Natural c4 look?
    I have used your neutural F3 settings for the last month and they are great! Tank you!
    Can I use f3 settings on EX1-3?

    Magnus Iversen

    1. I normally use Cinegamma 1 as this gives good latitude and is probably the best performer when it comes to grading. If I want more contrast in the image prior to the grade then I use CG3.

      The gamma and matrix settings do transfer to the EX1/EX3 and you will get similar results, but there will be some very slight differences. The detail settings required for the EX1/EX3 are quite different from those of the F3.

  5. Hi,

    I just wanted to say what a great resource this is – the knowledge transfer feels direct, detailed and high quality. I’ve never dabbled with the picture profiles before, but now with your explanation vids and some settings to use as starting points, I’m having a dabble and learner a bit. More vids on the science of image please!!

    Many thanks

    1. Thanks for the kind words. Make’s it so much more worthwhile to hear people are benefitting from my work.

      Just let me know what you want to learn about and I’ll see what I can do.

  6. Hi Alister, I have a pp from member wolfgang on DVinfo I was wondering if you would take a look at it and see what you think. He tested it with a vectroscope and such equipment.

    Matrix: FL Light; Level: +13; Phase +4
    R-G -4, R-B -17, G-R +4, G-B +11, B-R +2, B-G -6
    Color correction; Off
    Detail: On, level -22, frequency -72, crispening -75, H/V ratio +25, V DTL creation: NAM, Knee APT level -42
    Knee: On, Point 85, slope +8, Knee Sat Level 10
    Gamma: Level -12, STD2
    Black: -6
    Black gamma: -8
    Low key sat: +4

    I have a pdf with explanations. Please let me know. Thanks!

    1. What is the profile trying to achieve. Just looking at the numbers it appears quite heavily under sharpened and will produce an image softer than one with zero detail correction.

    2. Hi William,

      could you give me a link to the pdf with explanations to the PP from Wolfgang?


  7. According to him it’s supposed to reproduce the most accurate colors on the vectroscope. Compared to some other pp’s I have, it seems to have better reds, blacks, and blues. But I wanted to know what you think and can see with these settings. I have a short narrative film I will be doing in two weeks and wanted optimal settings for it. I will not be able to grade much in post because of time constraints.

    1. Natural C4 works well for exteriors and well lit scenes. For interiors you might want to change the gamma curve used to cinegamma 1.

      Where you have full control over lighting Rec-709 or standard gamma 3 is hard to beat, but the dynamic range is limited so you must be careful with highlights.

      1. Ok great. Thank you! Do you think using Standard Gamma 3 with the PP I showed you would alter it in any way?

        You really are a life saver. I appreciate all your help.

  8. One thing to note about setting up a PP using a vectorscope for 1:1 reproduction is that it will only be accurate at the lighting level used during the setup. Another thing to consider is – do you really want accuracy or a good looking image? Often a 100% accurate image will look uninteresting and flat. Remember we are not trying to create a scientifically accurate reproduction but an artistic interpretation of the world we see.

    1. Do you have a picture profile setting for Chroma Key? I’m working exclusively in a green screen environment and would love if you had a PP setting for this type of work.

      1. Assuming you have control over your lighting then I would use standard gamma 3 with the standard colour matrix. Shoot progressive if possible as this will have better chroma resolution and turn the detail level down to -15 to prevent hair from getting too blocky and crispening to -60 to sharpen up low contrast edges. You may want to try turning detail off all together. Some keyer’s work better with it off, some better with it on.

  9. Hi, Alister,

    Thanks for these very helpful profiles.

    I had a question: On the AC Punch profile, your line reads “Gamma Standard 2, Knee level 80, Slope 0”. I’m assuming you mean that the Gamma Curve should be set to STD2, but in that regard, if Gamma Level is left at zero, do changes in the Gamma curve affect the image?

    Thanks very much.


    1. The slope function just changes the gain of the selected gamma curve. Changing gamma curves will still change the overall image even when slope is set to zero, i.e. zero slope offset.

  10. Thanks Alister,
    We will soon be starting with a shoot for 5-6 days between autumn (Germany) and spring (South Africa). This will use the PDW700 as the number 1 camera supported by the EX3 so it was very interesting to see the “Vivid” profile.
    Do you have any further suggestions for the camera settings given that we have to deliver HD quality pictures. The edit will take place in Germany on either an AVID or a FCP system. We have to make sure no compatibility problems occur between the two camera’s. Thanks for any thoughts and/or advice, Jan

    1. Make sure you choose one system or the other for your edit as transferring between them is a real PITA. Both Avid and FCP (not FCP-X) handle EX and XDCAM HD422 files just fine. Just be sure when you backup your EX3 footage to copy the entire BPAV folder. I’ve done many, many shoots mixing and matching PDW-700’s and EX’s and they normally match very well.

  11. Hello.

    I would like to ask if you have links to any exemples of non graded images from pp “Natural C4″ and AC Good to Grade”.

    I’m looking for a good setting to shot keeping a confortable latitude for grading.

    Thanks for any advise.

    1. I don’t have anything immediately to hand, but I am working on some new picture profile articles and videos that will include samples, so watch this space!

      1. And from your personal experience what would you recommend?
        I shot begining of next week whit the ex3 and I will have no time for proper testing.
        Shooting whitout aditional light int/ext night/day.

  12. I noticed that with your “natural” picture profile, you did not specify a gamma setting. Did you mean that we leave it in Standard 3? or, I’m guessing, you meant to use cinegamma 1? thanks– I’m shooting in Death Valley National Park, and I am loving your “Vivid” PP. Thanks! — Carl Davis, D.P., Portland, Oregon

    1. You can choose which gamma to use based on the lighting conditions. Standard 3 will give you a good image in controlled lighting, while CG3 will give better highlight response at the expense of some contrast in the image.

  13. Will be shooting f3 as main camera & using ex3 as second. Do you have scene files that match with abel’s f3 files?
    Thanks 😉

  14. Sir Pl. give me some idea and manual settings trick for better (professional quality) SONY PD 177 PRO camera
    Now my camera recoding quality not good.

    1. I’m really sorry Asok, but I don’t have a PD170 or 177, so I cannot recommend specific settings for it.

  15. Hi Alister,
    I’m looking for a picture profile on the Ex3 that will help match the picture to a Canon 5D. Can you give me any guidance? Many thanks. Alex

  16. Hello. I’m in Italy and I’m new here. I’m very interested in all your discussions and appreciate so much all the technical suggestions all these friends are givin’ to each other.
    I have a brand new Sony PMW EX3, but I’m coming from 20 years workin’
    with a Sony BVP 7 Betacam and, lately a Sony DSR 450 DvCam.
    I’m looking for any good suggestion about the Picture Profiles I can try with my new EX3. After years and years of television filming I’d like to obtain from my EX3 a good Picture Profile, as close as possible to the Cine picture. Maybe I’ dreaming… Hugs to everyone!!!! Luigi from Milano, Italy

  17. I edit footage from an ex3. The cameraman (a non-camera person) and the ex3 are many states away…. We shoot a weekly scene, that is in full afternoon shade. This tends to be flat with very unsaturated skin tones. (A gamma shift during flv creation adds contrast…)
    I would like more detail, a clean neutral look and more flesh tone.
    Can you throw some ideas or numbers at us? Would very much appreciate your feedback!

    1. If your operator and camera are some way away, I would create the look I want in post. I wouldn’t want to burn in a look that I end up unhappy with.

  18. With these picture profile recipes, if you haven’t specified an adjustment, does that mean that everything not mentioned in the recipe is either set to Off or to a zero level? Thanks.

  19. I find that the Bowens SL-855 fluorescent tubes in my studio create a green sheen in the videos ‘s on the white’s/yellow . Bright colors look fine. This is very hard to adjust in FCP.
    Any hints as how to deal with this problem in the presets?

    1. The FL-Light colour matrix is specifically tailored to help deal with the green spike (or rather all the other holes) in the spectrum from fluorescent tubes.

  20. Hi Alister
    Your postings really help me
    Can you explain why you increase the Crispening to a positive number if you use gain.
    Does it matter how much gain? – I try not to use more than +6, or -3

    1. Using a positive crisping level reduces the amount of detail enhancement applied to very fine details within the image like noise and grain. It will very slightly soften the image but any noise will be slightly less apparent. It’s very subtle but worth doing.

  21. Hello Alister and All
    Many thanks for such a detailed source of info regarding cameras.

    My Camera Experience : Newbie

    I have 2 questions about Sony PMW-EX1R.

    1. I am shooting under Fluorescents colour temp 5200K. Typical green/yellowish cast on all the picture. As you suggested to bas paul (above), use FL matrix to overcome this, I am using it but unsure what other settings to use to eliminate GREEN cast? If there is any full profile with FL settings or if I can simply add FL to one of your recommended profiles, please point me to it. Else I came across this on Ebay but it will cost me 1 F stop. Any good?

    2. I understand that RED is more in video recorded by Sony EX sensors. I am unfortunate to record in a room with Dark maroon walls. So caucasian skins appear really red with very less Blue. An example RGB for skin will be R= 215 G=156 B= 96. This all done under FL Lights.

    Many thanks for your time.


    1. Fluorescent lights are very difficult to deal with as the have many gaps and spikes in the colour spectrum. The problem is that if the colour of light isn’t there in the first place there is nothing you can do to record it. The FL matrix helps and a good correction filter on the camera or a gel over the lights can also help, but the only real cure is to replace the tubes in the lamps with full spectrum ones.

      You can just use the FL matrix on it’s own or add it to another profile.

      The EX cameras do record an extended red range at near infra red, but this doesn’t normally affect skin tones. I would make sure you are white balancing correctly and try to get a better light source.

      1. Thanks for the lead. I went off to get answers for what you said. here they are:

        1. The seller says; “Bulbs are CRI 95 fluorescents. There is no such thing as FULL SPECTRUM except day light and its more like a marketing term”. Not a very convincing thing. Right !!!! I am thinking of buying some bulbs from another retailer and try them to be sure. Each one cost around £24.95.

        2. I have tried FL present on EX1 with standard profile. Results are: Higher Reds and Low green cast. (A little success). Not getting rid of it completely 🙁

        Caution; I am shooting in a room with RED walls, that might be a factor for Higher Reds.

        3. As for my White balance I used a Grey card (white B value 4800K) and also I used White card (5000K). Anything I am missing here, please flag up.

        3. I have ordered a FLD filter (Link I posted in earlier post). I will try it on Tuesday (if it arrives) and publish my findings. Fingers X

        Once again thanks Alister !

        1. TEST RESULTS:

          Just thought to share some results from above discussion I tried in my live shoot. This is all based on EX1R camera. My canon 60D and 600D are darlings and no problems with FL lights.

          1. Fluorescents with low CRI [less than 95] are rubbish and give alot of Green/ yellow shades [specially in shadows]. Solution: Using cheap Fls I kept my histogram towards white {my blacks were light grey|}. Not over exposed and treated in post to regain blacks and mids. Alternatively use expensive Full Spectrum FLs as Alister said. It still cast a shade, but very slight and not that unpleasant.

          2. Used FL preset on EX1R Profiles. As mentioned above, it reduces the green/yellow tinge but not a 100% solution. I guess it might get better when used with FLs of higher CRI [>95].

          3. unsure about my approach. Please comment.

          4. FLD filter was a waste of money. Cost me 2 fstops and results same as using FL preset in EX1R profiles. Out of the window…..

          Comments welcome on above findings.

          Kind Regards

          1. Thanks for posting your results.
            It’s no surprise that the Canon DSLR’s perform differently as they crush the blacks which means that you won’t notice problems in dark areas. It also means that you can’t pull as much out of the shadows in post should you need to. The DSLR colorimetry is also skewed heavily towards red, so again this helps them not see the poor spectral output of the Fluorescent lamps. Sony’s colourimetry is very accurate and true to life, this doesn’t always produce the prettiest images or the ones the most pleasing to look at, but it does give you a great, highly accurate starting point. But this accuracy also means that any deficiency in the light source will be more noticeable.

            I own a few professional Fluorescent video lights. These have good quality, low hours, high CRI tubes, but even so they still have nasty peaks and troughs in the spectrum. Over the last few years I’ve tried a lot of different lamps using both Fluorescent and LED. While they do save power, they just don’t have the quality of light that a tungsten or HMI lamp produces. I’m gradually replacing my Fluorescent and LED lighting with HMI or going back to tungsten.

  22. Hi Alister, firstly a great resource, secondly, having first used a pd150 (9/10 lowlight), nx5 (7/10 lowlight) and a z1 (5/10 low light) for mostly music / nightclub event scenarios, Im about to use the ex3 for the first time in a nightclub. Im not 100% sure how good the lowlight of this camera will be – the pd150 was 1.5ux at f1.6, 1/50 shutter and was superb.
    In my room with one soft light on, I’m nit massively that impressed with the low light, would you have some picture profile suggestions for low light nightclubs with changing flashing lights etc. 1/50, f1.9, 6-12db doesn’t seem that impressive.

    1. The PD150 you are comparing these cameras to was an SD camera with much bigger pixels than most HD cameras and as a result better sensitivity. It is one of the downsides of HD over SD. If you use the search box you will find low light settings for the EX3 both in the blog and in the forum.

  23. Hi Alister

    I am getting noise levels in my EX1R. High Noise in Blacks, shades and Low Noise in the Mids (face and skin Tones). I have tried it with 0db Gain and -3db. All this was done using standard profile, with FL preset in the matrix. 5200k Fluorescent light (loads of them) was used but not a clean look. I am concerned as my Prime Support with sony runs out next month and I would like to get my camera repaired if found faulty with this. Can you suggest a test where I can make sure its the camera and not me? I can provide with some sample footage if that s helpful.

    Many thanks !


  24. Firstly thank you for all your invaluable technical research, particularly with picture profiles – you’ve certainly saved me many hours of experiments.

    I’m looking to match my Ex3 with a PMW350EX. On the 350 I use and love the “Alister Neutral” settings. What would be the best settings to match this on the ex3?

  25. Hi Alister,

    I, and I am sure everybody really appreciates the time and effort you have put into sharing your knowledge and experience! What an amazing resource to have at our fingertips.

    I currently use the Sony ex3 on default settings. I have been playing around with some of your picture settings and although I see the noticeable differences I still do not quite understand the how to it all works, however I shall keep playing and no doubt get there.

    I notice that while watching footage from DSLR cameras such as the Canon 5d the colours look so vibrant and they really pop, how do I mimic these sort of effects on the EX3 without creating issues for the guys in post.

    Thank you for your awesome website – Scott from New Zealand

    1. You can increase the saturation level to boost the colours (don’t go above 150) and increase the contrast by using more negative black gamma which will make the images pop. However if you want to give the post production guys as much as possible to work with you want to shoot with a flat neutral look. I hope you have read through my picture profile guide. https://www.xdcam-user.com/picture-profile-guide/

  26. Hello, thanks for the color profiles. I’m looking to do a shoot on an EX3 and match it up with an F3. Any suggestions?

    1. Sorry I have not done a specific F3 to EX3 match.I would suggest using the same cinegammas on both cameras and the cinema matrix on both.

  27. Hi alister.’m A follower of all advice, tips, videos of everything related to the professional HD camcorders sony, I have operated many of the recent and past models. But acquiring the PMW-EX1R I tried to adjust through forums, profile picture defalut image that brings this camera, which is like a kind coffee mud and muddy-looking. Desperate to this circumstance I beg you to help me fix the problem.

  28. Hi

    I have just found your blog! Looking forward to testing all your PP next week. Quick question i need to film in the snow and am scared of over exposure. Whats a good fail safe setting to make sure nothings over exposed. Shooting on EX3.
    And i often film in hot countries using a screw on polarizer but i still get highlight blocking when filming white people. The darker skinned people are perfectly exposed but the white people are always just over. Thanks for your blog really apprieciate it.

  29. Alister Hello I have a sony ex3 and I have a problem when shooting with shiny surfaces such as cars or chrome, there are oblique lines very annoying, you know how you can get rid of? Sorry for my english but I’m italian

  30. Hi and thanks so much for the awesome picture profiles! I am a videographer for the Air Force and we changes our two EX1’s and our one Ex3 to the Vivid picture profile you provided. They really make our images pop with color, and we don’t have to do any color grading in post. Thanks for helping our images to “rock the blue skies” and more!!!

    We are now looking at Sonys replacement for the Ex1 which is the Sony PMW-200. The picture profile menu in that camera has more options than the 1 and the 3, but when I went to match your Vivid settings in the PMW-200, it just looked horrible. Do you have a picture profile recommendation for the PMW-200 that can get close to the EX1 Vivid picture profile?

    Any help is appreciated-thanks again!


  31. Hi Alister thanks so much for the awesome picture profiles! I am a videographer for the Air Force and we changes our two EX1’s and our one Ex3 to the Vivid picture profile you provided. They really make our images pop with color, and we don’t have to do any color grading in post. Thanks for helping our images to “rock the blue skies” and more!!!

    We are now looking at Sonys replacement for the Ex1 which is the Sony PMW-200. The picture profile menu in that camera has more options than the 1 and the 3, but when I went to match your Vivid settings in the PMW-200, it just looked horrible. Do you have a picture profile recommendation for the PMW-200 that can get close to the EX1 Vivid picture profile?

    Any help is appreciated-thanks again!


  32. hi,
    i have dsrpd177p i want to make a feature film shoot with both this and canon5d mark11,can i get the international distributor for release,the theme is of international appeal

  33. hi

    my ex1r keeps givine me a canot prosed message
    when i try to change gain or whit blance with the preset switches
    it works fine uith the jog dile.
    any ideas of what may be causing this

    1. No, not directly. You can use the same numbers and settings but you can’t directly load the profiles.

  34. Hi Alister,
    Great site with so much valuable information. I use an EX1R and have varied results when it comes to skin tones in interviews. It’s nothing we can’t correct in post, but it would be good to achieve consistantcy. We often find skin tones are too cool and need warming to look more natural and ‘healthy’. Our lighting is small Flolitght LED panels, which are very effective. One solution might be to white balance as a reference then manualy change the balance to add warmth? Alternatively is there a Picture Profile stting you could suggest that might help? Thanks in anticipation.

  35. halo just acquired an ex3 based in Africa. I have had problems with natural colour setting i need your help

  36. Hi Alister,

    I own three ex3 cameras. Two of the match perfectly but the other has a greenish tint/hue that is present in the image. I have tried setting the exact same picture profile for them all. But still cant get the third cam to match. Are you able to suggest any clues on how to help me ? Thank you

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