Yesterday we had the chance to test the Sony F65 at Camalot (who were very nice and helpful). It was very exciting to see such an enormous camera in the hands of our DP. But even though the whole process is digital all the way, getting hold of the data is not as easy as you might think (see yesterday’s post).
So, after getting the data out of the camera, safely transferring it to the Blender Institute and plugging it into the computer, the question is: Now what? We have been shooting in Sony F65 Raw format (.mxf), which generates enormous files. 10 seconds footage are 2.68GB of raw data, unreadable unless you install the Sony F65 viewer app (of course only possible after the annoying registration of all your data!) (Plus a not very user friendly interface. But hey, you can even write emails with it!).
From this app, for which I wasn’t able to find any documentation, you can export to EXR, DPX and MXF (again, this would not be readable for FOSS). The DPX are also for some reason un-readable, so we go to openEXR, as planned. (Just in case someone is interested in that, here’s a patch for DPX. http://projects.blender.org/tracker/?group_id=9&atid=127&func=detail&aid=27397. Any developer willing to have a look into it?)
But how and what shall we export? S-Log? Linear?
The thing is, in any case there still is quite a bit of noise. Apparently Sony suggests to do some heavy pre-processing
Just as Bayer pattern RAW files need to be de-Bayered to generate viewable RGB images, F65 RAW files need to be developed. While the structure of the F65 RAW file is completely determined, the development process allows for considerable freedom and creativity. Post houses and software vendors are free to pursue everything from quick and simple single-channel interpolation to edge-directed interpolation, constant-hue based interpolation, Laplacian second-order gradient enhancement and even high-frequency reconstruction. This means you can match the de-mosaicking to your budget, your time constraints and your artistic ambitions.
So for anyone who wants to investigate, here’s something for you to play with:
- One DPX file: A007C025_120403.dpx
- 1.3GB clip, an .mxf directly out of the black box from Sony: A007C025_120403.zip
- 2.5GB exr files, generated from the same clip, generated with the following settings: