We’ve written extensively about the benefits of shooting RAW but once you’ve picked up your Ninja V, you might still be wondering which color space to use.
For HDR acquisition, we recommend:
- ProRes RAW HQ or ProRes RAW
- 16-bit linear
- S-Gamut3 or S-Gamut3.cine
Dolby writes, “Where content is going to be color graded, it is recommended to use source material that best retains the native color gamut and original dynamic range of the content at the time of its origination in order to create high quality Dolby Vision content”. S-Gamut3 is nearly camera native color space, which meets Dolby’s criteria and it would appear to be ideal for ACES and ITU-R BT.2020. Whether the sensor in the a7s III can even see the full color range that S-Gamut3 is capable of recording is another story altogether. When recording ProRes RAW, the camera is capturing sensor native data and no color space or log curve is applied – only the color space metadata is saved. The color space is applied to the RAW data during the de-Bayer process, so perhaps it’s not a life or death matter which of the two gamuts we choose for recording – but which one is optimal for HDR grading isn’t entirely clear. What do DPs shooting Netflix Originals prefer? The Camera Production Guides that spell out the settings and best-practices for capture with Sony cameras on Netflix 4K Originals from the Venice on down, whether XAVC or RAW, recommend either S-Gamut3/S-Log3 or S-Gamut3.cine/S-Log3, adding that S-Gamut3.cine/S-Log3 is the most common color space used on FX9, F55, FS7, F5 and FX6 productions. We’ve also been informed that key mastering engineers at Sony Pictures in Culver City recommend selecting the S-Gamut3.cine/S-Log 3 settings in Resolve. As for S-Log3, it is recorded as full range and there is no option to select legal range. RAW video is recorded as 16-bit linear which is then compressed and recorded in the Ninja V as 12-bit ProRes RAW.
Lastly, here’s a comparison between S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.cine with color correction.