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05-09-2019, 01:44 AM   #1
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Video profile question

Hi there,

Please excuse my ignorance, I am not a video shooter but there is something keeps bugging me and I don't understand.
I always see footage shot with 'flat' profile or how should I call it, the footage is so plain, low contrast dull color boring unattractive, I saw this even on commercials I don't understand why. The 'graded' version of the footage does not enhance the image only brings back the original detail so I wonder why we shoot 'flat' ?

05-09-2019, 11:08 AM   #2
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Shooting flat profiles in video is like shooting RAW in photography. You retain as much shadow and highlight detail as possible to increase the possibilities in post processing and color grading. Of course if you’re happy with the default profile of your camera there’s no need to shoot flat but when you’re after a certain look that can only be achieved in post processing then it’s best to go for a flat profile.

Here’s a short explanation on YouTube by Peter McKinnon:

05-09-2019, 05:26 PM   #3
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I can understand the reason for shoot flat, but this 'technique' seems to have 'abused', or some people don't understand the reason behind that. We spent thousands dollars invest on the best gears of the 21st century, but what we came up with was the footage of the 60s. Sometimes we want a vintage look in the footage so intentionally to shoot flat, this is not the only picture styles but has become the de facto standard or a norm in shooting video, we seems to have forgot the flat raw footage is not the final product.
05-20-2019, 02:29 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lotech Quote
We spent thousands dollars invest on the best gears of the 21st century, but what we came up with was the footage of the 60s.
funny obervation, compare it to adding film grain to a digital image..

Must say, i also have my periodic habits. Sometimes i want everything desaturated and sometimes it is the otherway around..

05-29-2019, 09:06 AM   #5
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When you are capturing a wide dynamic range, it has to be stored in a log profile or you lose data. The Rec.709 color space is a compressed format. This isn't new, film was scanned into Cineon Log since the 1990s.

You are right about it being abused. The ignorant believe that because something is "log" means it looks "expensive" or "cinematic" and it has become something of a trend lately, unfortunately. This is because they see un-colored footage from Arri or other cinema cameras and compare their camera's footage to that.
05-29-2019, 07:58 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Turbotak Quote
When you are capturing a wide dynamic range, it has to be stored in a log profile or you lose data. The Rec.709 color space is a compressed format. This isn't new, film was scanned into Cineon Log since the 1990s.

You are right about it being abused. The ignorant believe that because something is "log" means it looks "expensive" or "cinematic" and it has become something of a trend lately, unfortunately. This is because they see un-colored footage from Arri or other cinema cameras and compare their camera's footage to that.
I am glad that I am not alone and not very wrong about how videography work thesedays, beside the flat profile many people looking for ways to create that "light streak" and lens flare often seen on footage shoot with traditional motion picture camera, as far as I know those effect are caused by imperfection of the lens and the shutter design of the camera which is not an intention and can reproduce with software.

Shooting motion is very different than shooting stills, we can not casually change the shutter speed and aperture so ND filter always needed, but we used ND a lot thesedays on stills where sometime seems unnecessary, I use ND only in two occasion, shooting the Sun and blur the running water. For what I see over the years, we photographer are splitting into two group, the Nitpicker/Pixel peeker which is the majority, try to train themselves to become a measuring instrument, technology is what they after, and two the Traditionalist usually older people, try to reproduce the image in the original puriest form without going too deep into the technical, there is nothing too wrong with both.

I remember my father said who was also an enthusiast of photography, some lenses are produced slightly uncorrected with intention, so to produce the kind of smoothness suitable for portrait, I believe he was right. Photography is a mix of technology and art in my mind, we want to have certain kind of image to satisfy our "emotional needs" in a particular moment, just like listen to music, and there are many kinds of music.
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