Forum member techjedi over at DPReview, after reading my post about the garbage YouTube videos shot by a7 III users, was generous enough to write:

With respect, there is plenty of footage. I think you may have just been using the wrong search keywords or were expecting vloggers studio videos to be a representation of production output.

In the case that you aren’t aware, real filmmaking, at all price points, requires using a color profile that looks terrible out of camera and must be post processed according to the aesthetic desire of the filmmaker. Some vloggers go to this effort, but others just take a standard profile with little processing.

Here are some examples that are attempting to show the camera’s filmmaking capability and not demonstrate mediocre minimal settings for vlogs.

Note that all of these examples are from the very first page of results when searching “sony a7 iii filmmaking examples”

I went ahead and reluctantly watched the first of many of the videos he linked to, a YouTuber who goes by the name of Henbu who’s got over 100,000 subscribers. And to my astonishment, it’s the most hideous looking image quality I’ve seen yet. The worst of the examples I posted earlier don’t even begin to approach the level of ineptitude seen here. In fact, it is probably the single best illustration of what I’ve been talking about: the complete absence of texture and detail; flat tonality; no color saturation and horrendous lighting – the very antithesis of what is generally considered ‘cinematic’ imagery. The resolution probably maxes out at somewhere around 540p, and all in all looks like it was shot with a potato or something Henbu found in a box of Cracker Jacks. But like Mr. Reid, I’m sure he does a lucrative business selling picture profile settings and LUTs to beginners mistakenly believing they will magically impart a filmic look to their dreadful footage.

4 thoughts on “Sony a7 III YouTubers: cont’d.

  1. Hey Jon,

    I ran into some of your Leeming Lut GH5 videos on YouTube. Totally blown away by what you are getting out of your camera.

    I also ran into many of the videos you are referring to on the A7iii by ‘revered’ Youtubers. Really strange, almost like people are seeing these videos with different eyes. Boring is putting it nicely. I like to try and have an open mind but I simply can’t find any redeeming qualities in these videos, and they almost all look the same.

    I’m curios about your workflow with your GH5 and the Leeming lut. Obviously you are following all the suggested settings but what is your workflow on the computer? Do you use Davinci Resolve? Are you typically in 4:2:2 100mbit .MOV?

    Thanks!

    Jon

    1. Thanks, Jon. I was shooting 400mbps, transcoding to ProRes HQ and editing in FCP X. If you poke around a bit, I’ve made several blog posts about my workflow with the Leeming LUT. I believe this was the latest one: https://jonpais.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/workflow-for-leeming-lut-one-panasonic-hlg-v501-16-235-beta-in-fcp-x-10-4/. HLG is really what sets the GH5 apart from other Lumix cameras but I prefer the results I was getting with Paul Leeming’s earlier v502 to the more recent ones, even if they are supposed to be more accurate. Filippo Chiesa’s ‘Paganini Rockstar’ on Vimeo, which if I’m not mistaken, was shot with V-Log on the GH5s, had the most amazing skin tones I’d ever seen from a Lumix camera – but unfortunately the video is no longer available. It still puzzles me why so many Sony YouTubers’ videos are so soft and lacking in subtle hues, since the a7 III is certainly a capable camera.

      1. Hey Jon,

        Awesome. Thanks for the workflow link. Did you find that you were getting better results with HLG over V-Log? I read through the EOSHD GH5 thread but i didn’t see much talk of HLG.

        I also read in that thread that you may not be long for the MFT world. I have to be honest it kind of concerned me! Just bought a GH5, thought really hard about the A7iii, but I consistently liked GH5 footage over the A7iii. Maybe just bad YouTubers? I’ve only bought one lens, hedging a little bit, but I really haven’t seen any other cameras in the price range that I consistently like the footage from. Yours looks great so far though.

        Thanks again for all the info on your site and on EOSHD. Beacon of light!

        Jon

      2. I only shot V-Log once but after shooting HLG I never looked back. Maybe just choose one photo style and stick with it till you get the results you’re after. The GH5 10-bit files hold up to manipulation in post better than Sony’s 8-bit; on the other hand, my storage requirements have dropped dramatically since going over to the dark side. 😝 The flippy screen and Panasonic image app make the GH5 easier to vlog with and the IBIS is far better than Sony’s. Ergonomics and touch screen implementation are leagues ahead of Sony as well. Full HDMI out, the ability to store all camera settings to an SD card, the focus transition feature, anamorphic de-squeeze and countless other goodies really make the Lumix a camera you can grow with. If you haven’t already done so, the very first gadget I’d recommend picking up before anything else is the i1 Display Pro https://www.xrite.com/categories/calibration-profiling/i1display-pro or similar monitor calibration device. And thank you for the kind words!

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