Struggling With Blue LED Lighting? Try Turning On The adaptive Matrix.

It’s a common problem. You are shooting a performance or event where LED lighting has been used to create dramatic coloured lighting effects. The intense blue from many types of LED stage lights can easily overload the sensor and instead of looking like a nice lighting effect the blue light becomes an ugly splodge of intense blue that spoils the footage.

Well there is a tool hidden away in the paint settings of many recent Sony cameras that can help. It’s called “adaptive matrix”.

When adaptive matrix is enabled, when the camera sees intense blue light such as the light from a blue LED light, the matrix adapts to this and reduces the saturation of the blue colour channel in the problem areas of the image. This can greatly improve the way such lights and lighting look. But be aware that if trying to shoot objects with very bright blue colours, perhaps even a bright blue sky, if you have the adaptive matrix turned on it may desaturate them. Because of this the adaptive matrix is normally turned off by default.

If you want to turn it on, it’s normally found in the cameras paint and matrix settings and it’s simply a case of setting adaptive matrix to on. I recommend that when you don’t actually need it you turn it back off again.

Most of Sony’s broadcast quality cameras produced in the last 5 years have the adaptive matrix function, that includes the FS7, FX9, Z280, Z450, Z750 and many others.

14 thoughts on “Struggling With Blue LED Lighting? Try Turning On The adaptive Matrix.”

  1. Fantastic – thanks for this Alister. Never knew this existed. I’ll be shooting stuff with RGB LED lights next month with the FX9 so I’ll be ready for this.

      1. It does annoy me how there are SO many things in the manual which it explains how to turn them on/off, but it doesn’t explain what they actually do!

  2. I make a lot of multi-cam registration in theaters and encounter a lot of blu-led terror. I normally seitch my Matrix off and choose for hypergamma 1 to make the blue-led more spread over the more steps it records.

    1. All that turning the matrix to off does is disable any matrix modifications, the matrix still operates, it has to otherwise you wouldn’t have a color image. You should try the adaptive matrix function it’s very effective at dealing with blue LED lighting.

        1. Yes, the PMW-300 is an old camera. This feature is only in more recently designed cameras as the problem is a relatively recent one.

  3. This could not have come at a better time, as I’m filming a Panto tonight, presumably if I use this little trick I can bring back the saturation in Widow Twankeys colourful outfit in post? haha

  4. “Most of Sony’s broadcast quality cameras produced in the last 5 years have the adaptive matrix function, that includes the FS7, FX9, Z280, Z450, Z750, F5/F55 and many others.”

    The F5 doesn’t have adaptive matrix…. does it?!

  5. First: Thank you for the huge information you share with us!
    As I understand there the function “adaptive Matrix” should be available in the PXW-FS5 ii. I could not find the function in the menu. Thank you for you help!

    1. Sorry but the FS5 is one of the few cameras that doesn’t have it as the FS5’s processing is based on the Alpha cameras rather than Sony broadcast cameras.

  6. I’ve been having more issues with very saturated red light more than blue during event filming on the FX9 with very sharp yet strange edges to the beems. Is that something that adaptive matrix will resolve, or do I have to do something manually with user or multi matrix? Or do I just need to get the lighting provided for me to be less saturated or so close to those primary colors?

    This was while shooting in S-Log3. What matrix settings would match well with this lighting situation?

    1. Adaptive matrix doesn’t work in log. Not much you can do about LED lights that overload just a single colour channel.

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