Updated: Aug 9, 2018
A quick tutorial on LOG and RAW settings by Nick Ridley
To each and everyone of us the thrill of the hunt and filming that epic shot (in my case retrieve!) has become a passion and we all now have been given the opportunity to show case our skills through “The Huntsman”. This project is not only a exceptional idea but it also presents unique challenges in terms of editing and post production and there is one simple way we can all help to make this process more streamlined and efficient. As a cast we are all using different camera systems, ranging from DSLR’s, camcorders and action cams and inevitably they all produce different looking footage, this is particularly noticeable when you are using more than one camera to record your hunt. As a cast we are supplying footage from over fifteen different cameras and therefore although we need to show individuality we also need to show some consistency…so how do we do this?
Depending on the make of your camera you may or may not have the option to shoot in LOG / CLOG / PROTUNE and I am sure that there may be other manufacturers options, but in essence what we are looking to produce is what is known as a “flat-profile”, shooting in a “flat-profile” has many advantages especially in our field of interest. Quite often we are filming in woodland or areas of high contrast where there are a lot of shadows and highlights (bright areas) and it is best if we can try and keep as much detail in both of these areas as possible, shadows can “block out” and become solid areas of black and highlights can “blow out” with no detail recorded. For many of us the default setting on our cameras is the mp.4 format which is basically a compressed file and it is more challenging in post-production to try and pull back lost detail in the shadow and highlight areas. This is further complicated in that each camera model will compress the file in a different way and as you can start to see when footage is being supplied from numerous cameras it is nigh on impossible to get any consistency.
"A LOG file holds all the Dynamic Range"
If we choose to shoot in one of the “flat-profiles” such as LOG / CLOG or PROTUNE (Go Pro…select the flat profile option) we produce footage which initially looks very muddy and can look a bit dark and to be honest it just doesn’t look very nice but the over-riding advantage is that it captures and holds far more detail, especially in the shadows and highlights. The simplest way to explain this is that in a mp.4 file the details are squashed, hence the files are smaller in size than the equivalent LOG file. A LOG file holds the all of the dynamic range (the difference between shadow and highlight) as individual elements and therefore in post-production these can be edited far more efficiently….this is obviously a very simplified explanation!
Not all cameras will have the ability to shoot in LOG / CLOG or the equivalent of PROTUNE but nearly all will have the option to change the “profile or scene” if you are not sure check your camera manual and see if you can film in either a flat or neutral profile and this will go some way in helping to get that all important consistency across all of your footage.