Shot in low light 1600 ISO. Any advice?

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James McDonagh

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Shot in low light 1600 ISO. Any advice?

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 3:00 pm

Hey guys,

I'll cut to the chase--

Second day out with the URSA Mini Pro and I get an invitation to shoot a social get together at a hotel for Pro Bono and make a video. Room was dim and I shot in 1600 ISO unaware of the intense FPN and noise that it would add to the footage. I now have to deliver the footage where it will be seen by potentially 7000 people and could be a massive boost to my fledgling freelance career.

My request of all the wise cinematographers and colorists out there: please share with me each and every way that you go about reducing noise/grain and FPN in your footage. I own Premier Pro and the Studio version of DaVinci.

A BIG MUCHOS GRACIAS IN ADVANCE!!!

PS: does my choice of grading impact the visibility of FPN and/or grain? Do certain things reduce the appearance of grain and others reduce FPN? Or are there color grading choices which reduce both?
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James McDonagh

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Re: Shot in low light 1600 ISO. Any advice?

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 4:24 pm

Update: I'm having good success so far with DaVinci Studio's noise reduction by putting spatial and temporal values to 100. Render time is massive but worth it.

I graded the footage according to my artistic preferences. Still wondering if there are any color grading principles which make noisy low light footage less noisy...
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Jack Fairley

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Re: Shot in low light 1600 ISO. Any advice?

PostWed Mar 07, 2018 12:26 am

James McDonagh wrote:My request of all the wise cinematographers and colorists out there: please share with me each and every way that you go about reducing noise/grain and FPN in your footage.

No substitute for more light and/or faster glass - what you get on the recording is what was recorded. Depending on how bad it is, adding NR will help. Just don't overdo it, it makes things look weird.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Shot in low light 1600 ISO. Any advice?

PostWed Mar 07, 2018 10:48 am

James McDonagh wrote:My request of all the wise cinematographers and colorists out there: please share with me each and every way that you go about reducing noise/grain and FPN in your footage. I own Premier Pro and the Studio version of DaVinci.

Use more light! :idea:

Whenever I encounter really dark, underexposed material, I often shake my head and say out loud, "this would've looked really great if they just could have LIT it." (I try to avoid saying this with the client actually in the room.)

You can try to use 3rd-party tools like Neat Video NR, but be aware there's always a price to pay for heavy noise reduction. You could also try a relatively-high setting of luma-only NR for TNR, and chroma-only for SNR, and see what that does within Resolve.
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood
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JayEgger

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Re: Shot in low light 1600 ISO. Any advice?

PostThu Mar 08, 2018 12:27 am

Another thing that's useful is to make sure that you're shooting a flat image so that you'll less issues in post. I always hear advice like "use more light," but when you're shooting at a venue that isn't yours, you don't exactly have control. Shoot in RAW!

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