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Author Topic: Nikon Z7 NLog sample frame  (Read 896 times)

MichaelEzra

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Nikon Z7 NLog sample frame
« on: January 18, 2020, 12:31:06 pm »

Here is a sample 4K frame from Z7. Captured in 4K 24p (1/50 sec shutter with OS ON) Prores 422 (10 bit 4:2:2) N-Log on Ninja V then edited in Davinci Resolve with Pana V-log to V709 LUT (Pana LUT is more neutral; Nikon's N-Log LUT is also usable, but in some cases ads a magenta color cast), tone/color corrected, sharpened, saved as JPG quality 10.

Z7 N-Log output is quite usable, good dynamic range and rich tonality.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 12:59:52 pm by MichaelEzra »
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smthopr

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Re: Nikon Z7 NLog sample frame
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2020, 12:38:36 pm »

Here is a sample 4K frame from Z7. Captured in Prores 422 (10 bit 4:2:2) N-Log on Ninja V then edited in Davinci Resolve with Pana V-log to V709 LUT (Pana LUT is more neutral; Nikon's N-Log LUT is also usable, but in some cases ads a magenta color cast), tone/color corrected, sharpened, saved as JPG quality 10.

Z7 N-Log output is quite usable, good dynamic range and rich tonality.

Looks quite good Ezra.

I see you've asked no questions, but do you have any further comments about working with this camera/recorder combination?
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Nikon Z7 NLog sample frame
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2020, 12:47:03 pm »

My main comment is that I am pissed at Nikon that they don't allow high bitrate internal recording. I had to spend $1000 extra to make this happen.
Z6/7 came out with XQD card requirement and record video at abysmal 18MB/s. Now they support CFexpress card and still record 18 MB/s video - who runs this company...

Using Atomos recorder breaks weather sealing setup and usability, otherwise quality is good. When using Prores 422 recording one can still provoke posterisation in the blue skies, but it can be avoided with more limited grading. I like Z7' ability to switch between FX and DX in 4K recording, thus expanding the effective focal distance of the attached lens.

Nikon's marketing is just pitiful. There is no single Prores Raw video from Nikon (or any other third party) that would compel one to even try it. On Z7, considering imposed camera limitations in Prores Raw, I don't think I would be upgrading. 12 bit is attractive, but 10 bit log seems fine. I am not using Mac and with current support of Prores Raw I think its a great miss on Nikon's part. Braw would be a more sensible option.

Nikon's Image stabilization is more tuned for photo usage - when camera in still hand-held position, Z7 creates a very stable video, removing all micro jitters, however, when moving camera slowly by hand from a steady position, it appears as if sensor was "glued" in static position and then with a jerk follows the camera movement. On the other hand, when using Z7 on gymbal mounted on two-hand spring-loaded stabilizer  (for vertical shake stabilization) I was able to record an incredibly smoooooth, like butter, footage, with the same OS (camera & 24-70 F4 S lens) turned on.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 06:28:20 pm by MichaelEzra »
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Nikon Z7 NLog sample frame
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2020, 06:20:52 pm »

In the edited version above I applied some midtone sharpening (carefully avoiding artifacts) in Resolve and on 79" 4K TV it looks incredible, it has liveliness and sense of presence.

I was closely watching sharper frames from Prime and Netflix streaming and see that such sharpening/sharpness is not as evident.
I am curious, if this is to make minor focusing errors less evident / to allow 24p motion blur look more organic / to reduce streaming bandwidth or just is a preferred moving image aesthetic, or any other reason?
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smthopr

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Re: Nikon Z7 NLog sample frame
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 06:27:46 pm »

In the edited version above I applied some midtone sharpening (carefully avoiding artifacts) in Resolve and on 79" 4K TV it looks incredible, it has liveliness and sense of presence.

I was closely watching sharper frames from Prime and Netflix streaming and see that such sharpening/sharpness is not as evident.
I am curious, if this is to make minor focusing errors less evident / to allow 24p motion blur look more organic / to reduce streaming bandwidth or just is a preferred moving image aesthetic, or any other reason?

I don't think detail enhancement is very common in motion picture color correction in general, but highly compressed streaming video, might not be a good way to judge either :)  For what it's worth, I do like to add very very slight "sharpening" to my movies though.  I just don't tell anyone I've done it!

One question though:  What is "mid tone" sharpening in Resolve?  I don't recall such a control in the software.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Nikon Z7 NLog sample frame
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2020, 06:41:37 pm »

I agree, Michael.  Nikon needs to up their video bandwidth game if they're going to get my money.  Other manufacturers can record raw internally, and to SD cards no less.  That's why I'm waiting for Nikon's (hopefully) next effort. The Z6 is close, but my wallet's closed for now.

I sold my Sony RX 10 for the same IS reasons you mention. The IS is fine for stills, unusable for video. You can't operate.  Also, manual focus is impossible, autofocus problematic.

Lovely processing on the horse.  Very instructive.  Thanks!
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Nikon Z7 NLog sample frame
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2020, 06:46:47 pm »

One question though:  What is "mid tone" sharpening in Resolve?  I don't recall such a control in the software.

I am using two nodes in succession, both with a luminance Qualifier targeting midtones. This minimizes bright halos.
The sharpening settings for both nodes are slightly different. The 1-st one is smaller scaling and 2nd is larger. So first boosting finer detail and then boosting larger detail. This sequence also minimizes artifacts.

These nodes can be combined into a compound node and further Key/Key Output/ Gain can be adjusted to control the overall opacity of the sharpening effect.
This compound node can live on Timeline instead of on the Clip, to apply effect globally. This makes it easy to enable/disable sharpening applied to all clips at once.

I found this technique to work well and it does not slow the render process (as opposed to Resolve's Sharpen effect which brings computer to a crawl).
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smthopr

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Re: Nikon Z7 NLog sample frame
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2020, 01:09:32 pm »

I am using two nodes in succession, both with a luminance Qualifier targeting midtones. This minimizes bright halos.
The sharpening settings for both nodes are slightly different. The 1-st one is smaller scaling and 2nd is larger. So first boosting finer detail and then boosting larger detail. This sequence also minimizes artifacts.

These nodes can be combined into a compound node and further Key/Key Output/ Gain can be adjusted to control the overall opacity of the sharpening effect.
This compound node can live on Timeline instead of on the Clip, to apply effect globally. This makes it easy to enable/disable sharpening applied to all clips at once.

I found this technique to work well and it does not slow the render process (as opposed to Resolve's Sharpen effect which brings computer to a crawl).

Sounds like a good approach and makes sense now. Thanks Michael!
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