As a wedding videographer, we were always intimidated to make the switch to Sony’s SLOG3 settings. But once we did, boy did we laugh at how amazing it was and how we shouldn’t have waited so long to make the switch.
You see, for the first two years of our wedding videography business, we understood we should be shooting in a gamma and not straight out of the camera. After some quick youtube searches about LOG gammas and shooting in flat profiles, we found that S-Cinetone was all the rave and very beginner friendly from Youtube. Therefore, we filmed in S-Cinetone for the first couples years of owning and using our Sony a7siii.
You might ask, “Why do you need to film in LOG?” or “How do you go from SUPER FLAT to normal?!” It seemed like everyone was gatekeeping this secret and it caused you to feel intimated at the before and afters.
Well, don’t worry fam, because we got you! Your quality of films will greatly improve by reading this blog post and getting your Sony camera set up with SLOG3 like ours!
What is a Gamma in a camera and how do you use it?
First, what is a gamma?
Gamma characteristics can be the difference between high-quality imagery and an absolute mess of tonal range and noise.
Similarly, photographers have two options in their digital cameras: JPG vs. RAW.
JPG being a compressed version and RAW being a high-res full dynamic range of color and light information. Professional photographers always shoot in RAW because it makes for better and easier editing. They are able to see more detail and manipulate the light and colors in their images better.
Essentially, Gammas or Flat Profiles in the video settings are roughly the same idea, but now we have multiple versions unlike one easy switch like in photography.
We get to choose exactly how flat or how much dynamic range to output our videos.
What are examples of Gammas in a camera?
The most common gammas in digital cameras are Cinetone, LOG, and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). You’ll notice that your camera’s LOG will be denoted by a letter according to your camera system. For example, in Sony’s, it’s nicknamed as SLOG and in Cannon it’s nicknamed as CLOG.
To make things even more complex, there are multiple options for every gamma. You’ll notice in the drop down menu under “Picture Profile” in your Sony cameras that there are multiple versions like Cine1, Cine 2, Cine 3, Cine 4, SLOG2, SLOG3, HLG1, HLG2, etc.
A rule of thumb to know is that the higher the number, the more updated the version is. You might as well just use the latest version. The latest version of that gamma will have the better dynamic range compared to it’s older siblings.
How to set up Sony SLOG3 Settings in your camera
Here is a step by step guide to setting up your Sony SLOG3 Settings in your camera: We used our SONY A7SIII for this example.
Step One: On the Exposure/Color Menu, go down to option 5: Color/Tone
Step Two: Select Picture Profile and choose any of the PP1-10 options (doesn’t matter which one) and change the Gamma option to SLOG3.
Step Three: Next, set up some extra preferences in your picture profile settings. This is optional and different for everyone. We personally do not touch the other settings and leave them at zero or auto, whatever the default is. The only setting we change within SLOG3 settings are Color Mode. We change this to S-Gamut3.Cine
Step Four: We suggest adding the picture profile shortcut to your FN menu or C1, C3 shortcut keys, whatever is your preference. Especially, if you shoot both photo and video and you need to toggle on and off the flat profile during a shoot.
Step Five: On the Setup Menu (it’s the suitcase icon at the bottom for reference), go down to Option 7: Display Option and select “GAMMA DISPLAY ASSIST” and turn that on! This applies a rec709 lut to your viewfinder/screen. This will help you see what the video will turn out as while you’re shooting (It’ll look like this eventually. You still need to apply the rec709 lut in post). This will significantly help you from under or over exposing while filming. Turning on Gamma Display Assist is very important when shooting in SLOG3.
How to film in SLOG3
Sony SLOG3 settings give you an amazing dynamic range and color information. Especially when paired with 4:2:2 10 bit color. To better understand the technicalities of Sony’s SLOG3 Settings, we highly suggest watching this youtube video by Gerald Undone.
When filming in SLOG3, it’s a good rule of thumb to overexpose your image slightly. If you’re in even light, you can use your light meter and keep your exposure between +1.0 and +2.0
When you’re in uneven light, such as, by a window, then we suggest exposing to the person’s skin color rather than relying on your light meter.
During, it’s important that you DO NOT UNDEREXPOSE. Underexposing your image while using SLOG3 settings can introduce more noise and will be very difficult to edit with in post. Therefore, it’s best to invest in good lighting equipment for dark environments like evening wedding receptions.
How to edit Sony SLOG3 Settings in Post Production
We use Final Cut Pro to edit our SLOG3 footage from our Sony a7siii.
Here is our step by step guide.
Step One: First, you need to buy a rec709 LUT. Gamut.io has affordable conversion LUTS for Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Blackmagic and more.
Step Two: In Final Cut, select your clip and drag the “Custom Lut” effect onto it. Then, upload the rec709 lut to your effect settings and watch your clip turn back to normal! Some videographers adjust the amount to .8ish to give themselves more control with their contrast later. Additionally, we do this as well since our brand has more soft film look and we achieve this through less contrast.
Step Three: Add another “Custom LUT” effect and apply your Creative LUT. A Creative LUT is pretty much our way of saying a preset. This is your signature look that best matches your brand colors. There are a lot of great options! Join our Instagram Subscription to see which creative LUTS we use here.
Step Four: grade your clip like normal. Adjust the contrast if you need to. Adjust the warmth, etc. Whatever program you’re in, it will have tools like this in the inspector window. Join our Instagram Subscription to watch us Color Grade different clips in different lighting scenarios with real wedding footage.
Sony SLOG3 Settings are that simple!
Can you believe it?! Sony SLOG3 Settings aren’t as intimidating as we thought. It can be really simplified and just as simple as filming in any other setting in your camera. All it takes is 1-2 extra steps in post which we’ve laid out for you.
What do you think? Are you filming in a different picture profile and ready to make the switch to SLOG3? Or… *gasp*
You haven’t been filming in any picture profile and we were the first to tell you about Gammas in general?!
Let us know and leave a comment!
Or better yet,
Head to our instagram @alesiafilms to join our subscription and watch us color grade wedding films on IG LIVE!
If you’re new here, welcome!
My name is Alesia and I’m a destination luxury wedding filmmaker that specializes in vintage super 8mm film. Our editing aesthetic is “Modern Romance with a Vintage Twist” and we’ve been featured in Vogue Magazine, Wedding Chicks, Rock and Roll Bride and more.
There’s nothing we love more than educating other videographers to create a business that helps others preserve their favorite life memories. If you haven’t found a wedding videographer mentor yet for your business, look no further than Alesia Films!
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