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DJI Inspire video mode comparison with LUTs

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OK so you may have seen from my other thread I am having issues with noise present in my raw footage. It does not look like an ISO noise, it looks like grain from overly sharp images. So what I decided to do is a comprehensive comparison of a variety of settings so I could see which work best in a given environment. Below is a vimeo video with the results of my flight today. I tested a variety of settings from full-auto, to adjusting everything according the the Neumann Films LUT package for the Inspire. It seems to be a common problem that video is blown out with shutter speeds 1/60 or slower, so I tested that as well. This is a 1080p H.264 mp4 clip. I also encoded a ProRes 422 file that I can make available via dropbox. The grain is difficult to see in the Vimeo player, but when I playback in full-screen the ProRes clip, it's definitely there on the default sharpness tests.

Constants:
Stock ND filter
LOG colour profile
'Clear Skies' LUT used in each clip with no other adjustments



Now I wouldn't classify myself as an experienced videographer by any means, but I do know my way around a camera, and the results were very interesting to me. My theory (and I would welcome yours as well) is that the default DJI sharpness is too high, resulting in noticeable grain that is difficult to remove in post. Also, the DJI -1 sharpness value is too low, meaning images look too soft and appear out of focus, but the noise is now gone. When viewing the comparisons you will see what I mean. Now the good news is, if this indeed is the problem, it could potentially be solved by a camera firmware update. As of this moment however I have to simply choose between the lesser of two evils, a grainy picture that looks sharp, or a soft image that has no grain.

Quick note on the LUTs as well. After purchasing and fooling around with these, I am fairly impressed. In my opinion they are quite aggressive, and you will likely have to go in and adjust saturation, brightness and colour balance further in post, but they do a pretty decent job of bringing the image to life. That said, as you will see the recommended shutter speed of 1/60 is essentially impossible to use unless in low light situations. While it produces the nicest looking image, it is completely blown out in pretty much every daytime setting. This can likely be solved by better ND filters, but for now 1/60 is unusable for me. The LUTs are also pretty much useless in low-light situations including sunsets and shooting at dusk, they darken the image too much and while you can correct this, you are better off grading from scratch.

Anyways I hope this helps some people, I know it helped me with fine tuning the camera settings!
 
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Hi Gruv,

Thanks so much for this test. What program are you using to grade?
Premiere pro CC.

One more thing I've noticed is that setting the style to 'none' gives a sharp image with less grain than custom setting, but then you can't adjust contrast and saturation...
 
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Shooting in log mode with style set to "none" and default sharpness and contrast seems to give me the best file for grading.
 
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OK so you may have seen from my other thread I am having issues with noise present in my raw footage. It does not look like an ISO noise, it looks like grain from overly sharp images. So what I decided to do is a comprehensive comparison of a variety of settings so I could see which work best in a given environment. Below is a vimeo video with the results of my flight today. I tested a variety of settings from full-auto, to adjusting everything according the the Neumann Films LUT package for the Inspire. It seems to be a common problem that video is blown out with shutter speeds 1/60 or slower, so I tested that as well. This is a 1080p H.264 mp4 clip. I also encoded a ProRes 422 file that I can make available via dropbox. The grain is difficult to see in the Vimeo player, but when I playback in full-screen the ProRes clip, it's definitely there on the default sharpness tests.

Constants:
Stock ND filter
LOG colour profile
'Clear Skies' LUT used in each clip with no other adjustments



Now I wouldn't classify myself as an experienced videographer by any means, but I do know my way around a camera, and the results were very interesting to me. My theory (and I would welcome yours as well) is that the default DJI sharpness is too high, resulting in noticeable grain that is difficult to remove in post. Also, the DJI -1 sharpness value is too low, meaning images look too soft and appear out of focus, but the noise is now gone. When viewing the comparisons you will see what I mean. Now the good news is, if this indeed is the problem, it could potentially be solved by a camera firmware update. As of this moment however I have to simply choose between the lesser of two evils, a grainy picture that looks sharp, or a soft image that has no grain.

Quick note on the LUTs as well. After purchasing and fooling around with these, I am fairly impressed. In my opinion they are quite aggressive, and you will likely have to go in and adjust saturation, brightness and colour balance further in post, but they do a pretty decent job of bringing the image to life. That said, as you will see the recommended shutter speed of 1/60 is essentially impossible to use unless in low light situations. While it produces the nicest looking image, it is completely blown out in pretty much every daytime setting. This can likely be solved by better ND filters, but for now 1/60 is unusable for me. The LUTs are also pretty much useless in low-light situations including sunsets and shooting at dusk, they darken the image too much and while you can correct this, you are better off grading from scratch.

Anyways I hope this helps some people, I know it helped me with fine tuning the camera settings!
Hi gruvpix have you tried to' apply a cineon converter (and make adjustment) before to use the LUT ?
 
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If you are using Premiere CC search from the effects " cineon converter" then apply it to your track. Inside the effects change the " type of conversion" choosing linear to log. Now your video should be flat and less saturated.
Apply now your LUT using the inside plugin of CC.
Watch the result and adjust the light/shadow using the parameters inside cineon converter plugin.
 
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If you are using Premiere CC search from the effects " cineon converter" then apply it to your track. Inside the effects change the " type of conversion" choosing linear to log. Now your video should be flat and less saturated.
Apply now your LUT using the inside plugin of CC.
Watch the result and adjust the light/shadow using the parameters inside cineon converter plugin.
Thanks, I'll try this tomorrow
 
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If you are using Premiere CC search from the effects " cineon converter" then apply it to your track. Inside the effects change the " type of conversion" choosing linear to log. Now your video should be flat and less saturated.
Apply now your LUT using the inside plugin of CC.
Watch the result and adjust the light/shadow using the parameters inside cineon converter plugin.
Seems to work pretty well to desaturate the image before applying LUT, thanks for the tip!
Any tips for removing the obnoxious sharpness grain? :p
 
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OK so you may have seen from my other thread I am having issues with noise present in my raw footage. It does not look like an ISO noise, it looks like grain from overly sharp images. So what I decided to do is a comprehensive comparison of a variety of settings so I could see which work best in a given environment. Below is a vimeo video with the results of my flight today. I tested a variety of settings from full-auto, to adjusting everything according the the Neumann Films LUT package for the Inspire. It seems to be a common problem that video is blown out with shutter speeds 1/60 or slower, so I tested that as well. This is a 1080p H.264 mp4 clip. I also encoded a ProRes 422 file that I can make available via dropbox. The grain is difficult to see in the Vimeo player, but when I playback in full-screen the ProRes clip, it's definitely there on the default sharpness tests.

Constants:
Stock ND filter
LOG colour profile
'Clear Skies' LUT used in each clip with no other adjustments



Now I wouldn't classify myself as an experienced videographer by any means, but I do know my way around a camera, and the results were very interesting to me. My theory (and I would welcome yours as well) is that the default DJI sharpness is too high, resulting in noticeable grain that is difficult to remove in post. Also, the DJI -1 sharpness value is too low, meaning images look too soft and appear out of focus, but the noise is now gone. When viewing the comparisons you will see what I mean. Now the good news is, if this indeed is the problem, it could potentially be solved by a camera firmware update. As of this moment however I have to simply choose between the lesser of two evils, a grainy picture that looks sharp, or a soft image that has no grain.

Quick note on the LUTs as well. After purchasing and fooling around with these, I am fairly impressed. In my opinion they are quite aggressive, and you will likely have to go in and adjust saturation, brightness and colour balance further in post, but they do a pretty decent job of bringing the image to life. That said, as you will see the recommended shutter speed of 1/60 is essentially impossible to use unless in low light situations. While it produces the nicest looking image, it is completely blown out in pretty much every daytime setting. This can likely be solved by better ND filters, but for now 1/60 is unusable for me. The LUTs are also pretty much useless in low-light situations including sunsets and shooting at dusk, they darken the image too much and while you can correct this, you are better off grading from scratch.

Anyways I hope this helps some people, I know it helped me with fine tuning the camera settings!
Your experience with the Neumann Films luts, your thoughts on shutter vs ND, and using Premiere CC to bring down the aggressiveness of the luts is EXACTLY like mine. I read your post and I really felt like I wrote it. Hilarious.
 
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If you are using Premiere CC search from the effects " cineon converter" then apply it to your track. Inside the effects change the " type of conversion" choosing linear to log. Now your video should be flat and less saturated.
Apply now your LUT using the inside plugin of CC.
Watch the result and adjust the light/shadow using the parameters inside cineon converter plugin.
Cool workflow. Thank you!
I tried it one one clip side by side with my usual workflow of LUT, then compensating with Premiere three-way CC (less saturation, more mids, etc) and it was really interesting to see. I liked parts of each one better. But one thing is that the Cineon converter is such a heavy effect that my timeline is red and won't play w/o render. The Lumetri is heavy too, but I can still play footage in real time even with the added Premiere color correction.
Again though, thanks for other ways to work.
 
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i don't really understand how one can recommend a shutter speed to use, given that exposure will always be different. this is a fixed aperture camera, so if you have to use 1/60 for shutter speed, that means that the auto ISO must be in play, right? In the case of your 1/60 shutter speed examples, the shots are clearly over exposed, and all sky is blown out. that will always result in a loss of image, however good the LUTs are. Did you see from the histogram whether it was clipping on the right?

what would be more useful, to my mind, would to have some settings where the exposure is 'correct' but the contrast is reduced by a set amount (presumably what LOG mode is for). then you know you're not blowing out the highlights, and the darks are raised. then the LUT has something to work with.

On my screen the one I preferred was the auto setting with contrast and saturation -3, with the LUT applied. Did you happen to shoot in auto/LOG mode by any chance?

Unless I'm missing something, the only reason for Neumann Films to determine a shutter speed to use is so that the auto ISO would be as low as possible, resulting in the least amount of video noise - but it appears the ISO didn't go low enough in your 1/60 examples.
 
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Not sure I understand the original examples above. I shot in brilliant sunshine with snow and ice reflecting everywhere with just the stock ND filter and 1/60 and log, style none and got great footage, no blowouts. I then used the LUTs on and it turned out great.

See my other post in this forum for the results (Cape Cod Icebergs).
 
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i don't really understand how one can recommend a shutter speed to use, given that exposure will always be different. this is a fixed aperture camera, so if you have to use 1/60 for shutter speed, that means that the auto ISO must be in play, right? In the case of your 1/60 shutter speed examples, the shots are clearly over exposed, and all sky is blown out. that will always result in a loss of image, however good the LUTs are. Did you see from the histogram whether it was clipping on the right?

what would be more useful, to my mind, would to have some settings where the exposure is 'correct' but the contrast is reduced by a set amount (presumably what LOG mode is for). then you know you're not blowing out the highlights, and the darks are raised. then the LUT has something to work with.

On my screen the one I preferred was the auto setting with contrast and saturation -3, with the LUT applied. Did you happen to shoot in auto/LOG mode by any chance?

Unless I'm missing something, the only reason for Neumann Films to determine a shutter speed to use is so that the auto ISO would be as low as possible, resulting in the least amount of video noise - but it appears the ISO didn't go low enough in your 1/60 examples.
Did not compare auto colour to LOG, as to me LOG always gives the best results. What I was after was to explain what causes the overly sharp images, as well as how best to deal with shutter speed in bright environments. I agree with you, the second clip looks the best. However, if you blow it up to full screen in 4k, the image is much too soft from the camera, and adding sharpness simply puts back in the grain I am trying to remove. Perhaps I am being too nitpicky on the footage, but ideally there should be a sharpness value between 0 and -1 in my opinion.

I knew 1/60 would blow everything out, just wanted to include it to show what the 'recommended settings' actually look like in a bright environment. ISO is as low as it'll go, 100.
 
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Not sure I understand the original examples above. I shot in brilliant sunshine with snow and ice reflecting everywhere with just the stock ND filter and 1/60 and log, style none and got great footage, no blowouts. I then used the LUTs on and it turned out great.

See my other post in this forum for the results (Cape Cod Icebergs).
Dunno what to say about that. Maybe we have different cam firmware versions? I can't get anything usable at 1/60 during normal daylight hours
 
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Stronger ND's on the way Gruv... In the meantime I've ordered some ND Gel sheets and am cutting my own ND and using that.
 
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