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.

Asus PA32UCX: HDR Modes Locked Out

Update 23.01: Daniel now tells me that since getting the UltraStudio 4K Mini, HDR works with the Asus and Resolve Studio. I’m guessing the UltraStudio does not carry HDR metadata with Final Cut Pro. Not expecting to hear back from Asus any time soon. I’ve written Blackmagic, but it seems pretty clear now that if you want to work in HDR PQ with Final Cut, you’ll need an Aja I/O. If I learn differently, I’ll keep you up to date.

Whether working in Final Cut Pro or just playing YouTube videos, HDR PQ reference modes are greyed-out in the OSD of the Asus PA32UCX, the only flavor of HDR available being HLG BT. 2100. As an added bonus, when scrolling through modes, the entire screen blacks out, which is annoying af. The know-nothing after-sales support at Asus is infuriating: I’m still waiting for an answer since emailing them this morning, but I’m not expecting a helpful response. If you ask them where the on/off switch is located, they’ll tell you to take a photograph of the monitor and get back with you in a week. I’m only exaggerating a little. When asked if they could put me directly in touch with a product manager, I was told that was not possible! Blackmagic forum member Daniel Boist was experiencing the same issue. He writes:

Guys, is there a way to force the PA32UCX to go into HDR-mode?
When feeding the display via Displayport or HDMI from the MacPro i can‘t get it into HDR (
all HDR-modes are greyed out in the settings).
tried it from the mac-desktop as well as via DR16.1.2 video-clean-feed and HDR-Meta-Data over HDMI on and off.
Did a factory-reset, re-installed firmware on the display etc. but no luck.

When connecting an AppleTV 4K via HDMI it automaticly switches into HDR (same cables).so
at least this works…

I‘m going to get an Ultrastudio 4K Mini soon…but would like to test around with HDR in the meantime.

Any thoughts?

Asus needs to get their act together and not only write a decent owner’s manual, but also hire qualified individuals and train them properly. As an example of outstanding customer service, my brand new 16″ MacBook Pro wouldn’t shut down. After chatting with an Apple support team member for less than fifteen minutes, we were able to isolate and fix the problem: two apps running in the background that I promptly deleted from Users and Groups.

1. Rec. 2020 PQ project in FCP X.
2. Desktop Video Setup
3. HDR PQ options greyed out in OSD of PA32UCX.