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Correct exposure setting for X5R

Discussion in 'Zenmuse X5R' started by Quadslo, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Quadslo

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    How can you set the camera to have the correct exposure on the RAW footage? Mine is always too dark if I set the correct exposure via histogram and live view while filming.

    What are your settings for picture profiles for the SD footage? They don't apply for the RAW.

    Here is my footage. Left is from SD, right is RAW.
     

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    #1 Quadslo, Sep 14, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  2. ge0se

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    After plenty of tests here's what I ended up finding as best histogram reference setting:
    First a necessary preamble - Important thing to remember is that I use Cinelike profile exclusively for H264 footage to be encoded through. Currently histogram in DJI GO app shows exposure levels AFTER the Cinelike (or whatever profile you have chosen) so for other profiles my method is not guaranteed to work. Reason for using Cinelike profile for my H264 video is because it protects highlights extremely well while also packing tons of details into shadows and no other profile comes even close to creating such great looking compressed video - it requires little to no color grading depending on situation which is great because the moment you touch the heavily compressed X5R H264 footage the codec "cracks" start to show very quickly.

    With Cinelike profile selected I expose the footage until I see a "bump" in the highlights rather than a smooth "tail". When doing that some elements in the footage will likely be over-exposed but will be fully recoverable in RAW. The reason for "pushing" it rather than just "touching" the high border of the histogram is that the X5R sensor is rather noisy which was an unpleasant surprise when I was testing the camera. Since recovering highlights in RAW is very possible (so long as not pushing to great extremes) its safe to bump it up a bit into the normally H264 unsafe zone. Once I see that I made a "bump" I know footage will look great for sure and even then you can still push a bit further but with discretion - experiment with it a little and you will know when its safe to go further.

    When using this method I found that I was able to reduce significantly or completely eliminate the shadows noise from which this camera suffers.

    Another valuable tip I can give when using this camera - don't use an ISO setting higher than 400, you'll do yourself a BIG favor :). Try to stay at ISO 100 as much as possible and only bump it up when you have no other choice. While with other cameras playing with ISO setting is part of creative options it isn't so with X5R, it will punish you severely with horrid sensor noise when you're past the 400 threshold.
     
    carni026 likes this.
  3. Quadslo

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    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Do you have any suggestions how far can I go with the settings for a night flight over the city? What is the highest ISO that can be denoised in the post? :)
     
  4. ge0se

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    Highest I was able to denoise with NeatVideo (which is best denoiser on the market today) was 400 ISO, once you're past that its pretty much unusable. Verdict is - while other raw cameras are quite capable, X5R is just not a good night camera even being raw and all, I learned I shouldn't expect impressive footage from it.