RX10IV: Cinestyle 2: The return of Cinestyle
For video, the RX10Iv has a whole range of picture profiles, from your basic REC709 (TV colourspace) to Cinegamma and one of my favourite: Cine2 or Picture Profile 6 (PP6). It also does the more difficult S-Log 2 and S-log 3, both have a special viewfinder option to show the super flat log image in a way you can see what you are doing. But exposure is more difficult and my first experiment has been a disaster. Because S-log 3 requires a minimum ISO of 800 I needed a vari-ND to shoot in the lovely sun we had today. But by using Vari-ND I was also able to open up the aperture as much as possible which seems to show all the things that are wrong with the lens at 600mm. But this is a subject for another day and needs to be tested!
PP6: Cine 2
After discovering the poor performance in S-log 3 I went back and shot the sunset in Cine 2. This gives you an image that is slightly flat but with FilmConvert, using the RX100V Cine2 camera profile with the FJ 8543 VD film setting I got a nice pleasing image. It also got rid of the video look as much as is possible with a one-inch camera and I think overall the video looks very similar to some scenes I have shot with the FS5 or A6500 in Cine 2 (also PP6 on those cameras).
No ND: Exposure settings
The Cine 2 shots are shot without ND! Cine 2 allows a base ISO of 100, so all shot are manually exposed with a shutter speed of 1/50th because I shoot 4K in 25P. With an aperture range between F11 and F16; F16 being the smallest aperture for this lens. Only when shooting directly into the suns reflection was this a problem, but I decided to leave my Vari-ND in the bag. I think you should slightly underexpose this camera in Cine 2, really expose for the highlights, zebra was turned on and set at 100% but I think it looks better when it’s slightly underexposed with -0.3 or -0.5 stop. This is how it looked to me in the viewfinder and seems to be correct when looking at my screen at home. This also means the EVF is a pretty decent reference!
It was still a bit windy so this time I did bring a tiny Gitzo travel tripod with a little Benro friction fluid head. Not bad if you lock down a shot, but pretty terrible for 600mm tracking/panning shots, because several ‘moments’ happened when I was walking a few shots are still shot handheld. As long as the action moves fast enough you don’t notice it too much. It is also a bit too short for me, and the extended centre column isn’t exactly helping with keeping things vibration free. Next time I’ll bring my real tripod! The other weird issue: the bottom screw on the RX10IV is at the back of the camera underneath the LCD, probably because the massive lens needs all the space the camera has when turned off. So to balance things a little bit you need a pretty long tripod plate and a bigger tripod with decent counterbalance: at full zoom, the weight does shift to the front.
In this video, most shots are either locked down or moving enough not to see too much of the jitter, the image stabilizer does a good job keeping things smoother than they really are. I also think the camera does pretty well with it comes to jello in the fast doggy pan shots. In sunlight the LCD is useless and the EVF needs a bigger eyepiece, with the low hanging sun reflecting off the water I had to manoeuvre my cap to keep the light out of my eye. I’m also getting used to the viewfinder lag, making it easier to track fast-moving objects. You basically had to go with the motion without trying to track too perfectly because what you are looking at is not what is happening exactly at that moment.
I like the image I get from the camera with these settings, it’s nice and friendly and a bit cinematic. Will be interesting to see how well this matches with the likes of the FS5, A6500 and A7RII. It does have it’s focusing quirks: whenever I’m not looking at the EVF the LCD turns on which seems to activate the touch focus function, so when I push my eye against the EVF often my nose activates a focus spot, sometimes it keeps working, but most of the time it is useless. So all shots are done with autofocus, leaving it completely up to the camera to pick the subjects. In the beginning, you see two tracking shots of cyclists that worked really well considering they were coming fast and straight at the camera. It also keeps track of the subject when other people walk in front of them and so far seems to be very usable.
Still, quite a few things to try and discover: high frame rates and one of the most important things for video: proper sound! But this needs a subject willing to talk on camera!