The Importance of Running Your Own Tests

On social media and in the forums, camera owners often ask what the best settings and picture profiles are, but there is no substitute for doing your own tests. That’s just one of the responsibilities of being a camera operator – one that should never be left to the discretion of others, however well meaning their intentions are. Many tests on video sharing platforms like YouTube omit crucial information like shutter speed, aperture, white balance and so on, which in turn diminishes the value of their findings. And in less time than it takes to sit through a typical video, you could be performing your own, much more useful tests. A documentary filmmaker recently asked which of the following GH5 photo styles was best: Cinelike D, Cinelike V, Natural or Like 709. He said he’d shot them all and imported them into his NLE himself and couldn’t tell them apart. That is pretty remarkable in itself, since the four styles are as different from each other as night and day. So I took it upon myself to do the test, which took all of one minute, plus a couple more to upload the clip to YouTube. The thing is, given the choice, I’d never shoot any of these myself, as HLG is much more pleasing to me.

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