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S-Cinetone - Codec/Framerate/Drive Space Sweetspot?


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I'm on a Sony A7RV. I've read recently that if one is not using log then there may not be a lot of gain to shoot in 10bit or 4:2:2 and one can save drive space. Others say shoot as high quality as you can.

I'm a bit new to this and am looking to shoot with the best quality drive space sweet spot.

I would like to shoot in S-Cinetone and there are several variables.

- Should I shoot in XAVC-S or XAVC-HS?

I read that XAVC-HS would save me some space, but might be harder to edit on some systems. I'm on a mac mini M2 Pro, macbook pro M1, or Macbook Air M2.

- If shooting XAVC-HS at 24p, I have the option of 100M 4:2:0 & 100M 4:2:2

- If shooting XAVC-S at 24p, I have the option of 100M 4:2:0 8bit  & 100M 4:2:2 10bit

- If shooting XAVC-S at 30p, I have the option of 140M 4:2:2 10 bit & 100M 4:2:0 8bit

I have a lot of older DV footage shot at 29.97 that I'll have to mix with in editing, so not sure if to shoot new material in 24 or 30, but want to take the above considerations and pick the best option going forward.

I don't know if it matters but most of my SD cards are only v30 so don't know if that matters. I still would like to have the best ability to grade later, but if it won't make much of a difference, then I'd like to save on drive space.

What are the pros and cons of shooting 100M vs 140M or 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2 or 30p vs 24p?

Thanks for the advice!


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What are you planning to do with the footage?

Is it a high end commercial or is it personal?

If it's personal you can stick with 8bit, you might find it tricky or a little bit noisy if Shot in Log profiles but most of the times it's plenty good for grading and for personal purposes and saves you a lot of space.

The Mac Mini M2,macbook pro M1, or Macbook Air M2 should be great with the h.265 codec, but also depends on the Editing software that you are working with.

My work mates work on the Apple M1 Max studio which should really kick butts, and it does in final cut, but premiere keeps freezing, lagging, and it's very slow with h.265, which is very much annoying.

So it matters what software you use for editing. Try making a quick test where you record a couple random videos in h2.65 vs h.264, and see how it performs on your computer.

Would love to hear to hear your results.



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Hi there, thanks for this info. I'm doing a personal documentary and hope to show it in various venues so I want it to look as good as possible. I think i've settled on 10bit and many have advised to shoot in S-Log3... though you and many others say HLG3. Now I'm pretty confused, but I'll check out your vid! Any new advice based on this?



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4 hours ago, rda said:

many have advised to shoot in S-Log3... though you and many others say HLG3

It's always nice to have the best image quality and no limitations if possible.

S-Log3 will give you the best the camera can offer. Try watching a couple tutorials on grading S-Log3 and if you feel like it's easy, go for S-log3.

If you have no experience color grading and find it rather difficult, then HLG is the way to go.

I recommend testing both of them out, take a couple portrait shots with both profiles and various situations ( outdoor, indoor, difficult yucky lighting) try to emulate the location where you will be filming the documentary to see the conditions you will be facing, and try to grade them individually to see how it goes.

Decide which one fits best your workflow and which one looks better.

Shooting a documentary is not an easy thing, so taking your own security measures & tests before hand is crucial, especially if this is your first time with this type of workflow.

Also, shoot 10 bit


Edited by Veres Deni Alex
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