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Sony A7Siii buyer in need of advice!


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TL;DR:

 

Sony A7Siii with Atomos Ninja V. I want to record externally in Pro Res 422 / LT (not raw) with S-log 3. It seems to me that monitoring & exposure on the Atomos will be incorrect due to the recorder’s inability to interpret the full-range footage coming out of the camera. I’m also worried about the fact that external recorders like the Ninja V or BM Video Assist are un-able to produce the necessary metadata to tell Premiere Pro that the footage is full-range and not legal-range. These are my main issues, and I just want to figure out if / how I can go about recording the way I’m hoping too, without having these issues stop me. 

 

Hello!

 

I’ll try to keep this as concise as possible. I work full-time directing and editing music videos, commercials, and occasional documentary work. Since 2018, I’ve been using a Sony A6300 (shooting in S-Log 2 and editing in Premiere Pro). The time has come for me to upgrade, and I’ve chosen the Sony A7Siii. I have been doing a lot of research and learning to understand the various recoding options. I want to be crystal clear on what my recording + editing workflow is going to be before purchasing. This is where I have run into confusion and uncertainty.

 

Initially, my plan was to purchase an Atomos Ninja V to record externally. My options would be Pro Res Raw, Pro Res (non-raw), or Avid DNxHR. After researching and playing around with some sample footage, I decided that I would Shoot in Pro Res (non-raw) 422 or LT. My reasoning for this is that:

 

  • The file sizes will be more manageable than raw
  • I don’t realistically need raw for my projects
  • Pro Res is buttery smooth in Premiere Pro on my computer (compared to the internal XAVC S/HS or XAVC S-I options which were not editing well in my tests)
  • I can shoot in S-Log 3, which I am confortable working with and grading.

 

However, after doing more research, it seems to me that this workflow might not be possible.

 

The first issue I discovered is the incompatibility of monitoring luts on the full-range S-Log footage. It seems to me that this bug renders the Atomos partially useless for my needs, as I would intend on using LUTS for more accurate monitoring and exposure. I’ve heard people mention using PQ for monitoring… I’m not sure if that would work and if it would fix my problem?

 

Someone suggested the black magic video assist because it can record the full-range Pro Res 422 / LT without these monitoring/exposure issues. It looks good to me, and solves my initial issue. But this is where I discovered another problem.

 

From what I can tell, I’m going to have issues working with my pro res footage in premiere pro due to it being externally recorded full-range. This isn’t an issue with the internally recorded footage, because it has metadata which informs premiere pro that it should be treated like full-range. It appears to me that both monitors aren’t able to correctly write this necessary metadata, leading to the editing software interpreting it as legal-range, throwing off the exposure. I noticed some full to legal luts in premiere pro, would that solve this problem?

 

I know that I could always stick to internal recording to avoid these issues and work with proxies in premiere pro. But the smoothness of editing pro res combined with the cost-effectiveness of recording onto SSD’s leaves me still searching for a solution to these problems.

 

With this being said, I understand that neither S-log or Pro Res were designed with the other in mind. S-log should always be full-range, and Pro Res should always be legal-range… right? Nevertheless, the Atomos SHOULD be able to capture my S-log 2 Pro Res 422 footage without encountering these basic issues.

 

I’m still learning, so please correct me if I’m wrong about anything. And thank you in advance to anyone who has advice, suggestions, or workarounds to share! 

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