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P-Log Vs Natural - Noise Comparison

Krusty Geeza

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2018
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Adelaide, South Australia
I had the chance to test out a few things with the Anafi yesterday & thought I would first off investigate the noise levels present when using the Anafi in a low-light condition using the P-Log & Natural format settings as a comparison.

I used a fairly local underpass tunnel as it goes from bright light outside to almost complete darkness in the centre, so it would be easy to see the noise in the shadows. The flights where I compare ungraded to graded footage are the same stock, just that one is edited & the initial example is not. It was pretty windy so the poor little Anafi had to flap her wings pretty hard to get through the tunnel at times! :LOL:

There is indeed a noticeable increase in shadow noise within the shadow regions on the P-Log files, but, I am assured by multiple sources that I trust, including @Kilrah here on this forum that this is the case for all Log format captures & especially on these smaller 1/2.3" sensors, as a Log format video is artificially attempting to give you a slightly boosted & wider dynamic range to be able to work with in your editing process.

This noise is not present on the still frame DNG photograph files, but I now understand that a Log video file is not a video RAW file as I mistakenly thought. Oh, the joys of being a newbie to video! ;)

On the colour graded video sections, I have added no noise reduction, as I don't have that sort of plug-in for FCPX yet, but may investigate it today, as I am going to work in dim light conditions a bit, but on the other hand, I really should just work in Natural format as that presented quite okay for my current tastes, with my not being overly concerned about some complete blocking up of the blacks in places.

My end point take away from this is that if you are going to be shooting where there are a lot of low light scenarios & are editing your footage using colour grading, use the inbuilt Natural format & in full sun or brighter conditions use P-Log format. If you don't colour grade & have a calibrated monitor & uniform daylight working environment, just stick to the Natural format, it's perfectly acceptable straight out of camera!

This was captured using the following settings for all of the footage & the light conditions didn't change:
Cinema Mode 24 fps
ISO 100, 1/50, 0.0 EV, 32 ND

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