Revised Opinion of Sony’s Fake 8-Bit HLG

Since shooting HLG 3 and properly exposing, I’ve had to re-evaluate my attitude towards Sony’s implementation of HLG, also known as instant HDR. HLG requires no color correction, though it can still hold up to a very tiny bit of manipulation in post. The LCD on Sony’s a7 III is too dark even in the shade to really judge exposure, but as long as important highlight detail doesn’t exceed 70%, the footage should be correctly exposed. This goes for HLG 1 and HLG 2 as well. For those shooting ETTR with zebras at 95% for delivery in rec. 709 using Leeming LUT Pro, this does unfortunately mean the footage will no longer be ideal for HDR delivery. Furthermore, while HLG 3 is known to be noisier than HLG 1, when shooting bright exteriors, the deepest shadows are crushed, leaving virtually noise-free images. The clips in the video were imported into Final Cut, where I pulled down cyan a touch, then sent to Compressor to convert the footage to HEVC 10-bit before uploading to YouTube.

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