Author Topic: Sony A77 - tips and tricks  (Read 55697 times)

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Offline shamb

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Re: Sony A77 - tips and tricks
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2014, 12:31:47 AM »
Using Dynamic Range Optimization in Video

The A77 (and probably other video enabled models) allow you to use DRO in video (Fn > DRO/Auto HDR > Set to Lv1-5 or AUTO). Setting DRO to on gives you brighter shadows, and this prevents the one bad thing with the AVCHD codec (it reduces information in shadows, causing 'macro blocking' if you try to expose the footage up in post).

Don't use DRO in video if you are at a high ISO though: the brightening causes noise in the uplifted shadows, casuing them to appear to 'shimmer' with respect to the mid and high tones. I turn it off above ISO400.

Note that using DRO will increase video quality even though DRO of itself does not increase shadow detail: the hack is that the AVCHD encoder is fooled into thinking the shadows are actually closer to mid-tones (and therefore the encoding keeps more information in the shadows, and this allows you to post process the footage more without it macro blocking in the low tones).

Offline shamb

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Re: Sony A77 - tips and tricks
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2014, 12:39:15 AM »
Using apertures wider than f3.5 in video

The Sony Alpha limits you to F3.5 when you select autofocus in video. Get around this by autofocusing first, then switching into manual (AF/MF button). You can now use a wide aperture.

This works well in practice because if you are shooting below f3.5, the subject will not be moving much (or shouldn't be, given that your DOF is now very thin!). Allows me to get beautiful DOF video footage with the Minolta f1.4 and the Sony APS-C 50/f1.8!

One thing to avoid: don't look at some of the other advice out there that tells you to jam the aperture lever (bottom of lens) to wide open... given the hack above, you just don't have to risk doing this!
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 01:04:51 AM by shamb »

Offline shamb

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Re: Sony A77 - tips and tricks
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2014, 12:55:43 AM »
@Peppy

You have to conform the 60p/60i to 25p/25i when you ingest the footage into your application and/or you have to put the footage on a timeline configured to play at 25fps.

If you do this, your footage will play at 25fps rather than 60fps (i.e. about half speed with no loss of smoothness). Google 'conform footage <your editing application>' to see how to do this if you are unsure.

If you later want to advance to ultra slow footage (e.g. x10 slower), you have to use a plugin that creates in-between frames from your existing frames ('synthetic-tweening'). I use twixtor for this, and to use it successfully with the A765/77, shoot at 50p/60p with as high a shutter as possible (over 1/1000s, so you need very good light). Again, Google is your friend.

Video can be very tricky when you first come to it from stills, because frame rate is often an alien concept (with all sorts of little nuances that are easy to miss!). Anyway, hope that helps.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 01:02:10 AM by shamb »