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Sony A6000 Highlight recovery is fantastic.
  • Hello everyone. I've been using the sony a6000 for awhile and one thing that has stood out to me has been highlight recovery in post. I thought this shot was completely blown until I brought it into speedgrade and pulled down the highlights.

    800 x 677 - 346K
  • 10 Replies sorted by
  • Looks pretty decent ... compared to the original frame it's a vast improvement.

  • I must admit that i'm shocked you were able to recover so much highlight detail. I've seen videos where others have just left the blown highlights and I assumed the files couldn't be saved. You've got to do a bit more of a comprehensive video test when you get a chance. Put it up on Vimeo or Youtube. :)

  • what were your recording settings?

  • Yeez, you're right!

    I just tried it on some old footage (50p, Natural 0,0,0,0 with DRO set to 6)

    Happy days :)

    1920 x 1080 - 966K
    1920 x 1080 - 2M
  • One more:

    1920 x 2160 - 317K
  • On the Sony's I have had the NLE always clips the highlights. From the images above it looks like that's what's going on - just pulling info back into visible range.

  • It's not real highlight recovery, but the old fact that Sony records in a 16-255 color space - instead of Rec709 standard 16-235. Most NLEs don't properly recognize Sony's encoding, but clip 236-255. It's not a virtue of the Sony sensor, but a failure of most NLEs.

  • Thanks for the suggestion Aria, I just might do that :)

    For those who are curious I used Portrait with contrast -3, Sat -1, Detail -2. To grade I used the Arri LUT included in speedgrade and modified the highlights. Might throw the LUT up here for everyone when I can.

  • When I correct for this highlight clipping in post the shot always seems to get too dark. If I use a curves adjustment and bring the high clip point down to 235 (curve still straight), it recovers the highlights but then the image seems too dark. Is it better to qualify the highlights and just reduce the gain only on them to maintain expose in the rest of the clip?

  • My NEX-5n also works this way, it seems all sony cameras can do this.

    the NEX-5n records the image in the 0 to 110 ire range in the waveform, but the computer monitor just shows what is below 100 ire. Everything above 100 ire is pure white, but there is image information there. So you just need to lower the image gain to bring the 110 ire information below the 100 ire value and the highlight recovery is done. Then you can adjust gamma and pedestal up to your taste.