Mixed Skills

Blog

Becoming a Film Colorist
Becoming a Film Colorist
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
BECOMING A FILM COLORIST

Anyone who has ever tried to capture a sunset or the perfect ocean wave knows that getting the colors right in a photo or painting can be challenging. The same is true for film!

Achieving the perfect color balance is essential for creating an immersive and believable world on screen. That’s where film colorists come in. Film colorists are responsible for ensuring that the colors in a movie are consistent and complementary.

They work closely with the director and cinematographer to create a color palette that will enhance the mood and themes of the film. In addition to their creative skills, film colorists must also have a strong understanding of the technical aspects of filmmaking, such as lighting and camera angles.

If you’re interested in combining your artistic talent with your technical know-how, a career as a film colorist may be the perfect fit for you!

film colorist

Table of Contents

  • What Does a Film Colorist Do?
  • The Duties Of a Film Colorist
    • #1: Color Grading
    • #2: Color Correction
  • What Is A Film Colorist Timeline?
  • What Is The Workplace Of a Film Colorist Like?
  • Education & Training
  • Career Paths For a Film Colorist
  • Film Colorist Salary
  • How to Find a Film Colorist Jobs
    • Work in a post-production studio
    • Make a demo reel
    • Networking, networking, networking!

What Does a Film Colorist Do?

Colorists influence a film’s emotional and aesthetic tone by defining its colors. They work with the director and cinematographer to choose the palette, whether restrained or hyper-colorful, and whether it employs milky hues of primary colors. Colourists may impact these appearances by lowering or increasing the luminance (brightness) and chroma (color).

Digital cameras capture video and film in a raw format, meaning the color information is recorded but cannot be seen until color processing. The rushes are taken to the laboratory, where they are processed and scanned into a digital workflow if you’re filming on film. The colorist’s goal is to get the color into the picture in the best way.

Colourists modify the color in line with the director and cinematographer’s vision once they have received the editing materials. They match separate video cuts by balancing color intensity and luminance so that no one shot stands out in the sequence. They can also provide inventive methods for dealing with picture issues. For example, they may know what to do with under or over-exposed videos or perhaps offer a day-for-night correction.

Colorists are also in charge of ensuring that the film follows relevant legislation regarding brightness levels and chroma.

The Duties Of a Film Colorist

what does a colorist do

The responsibilities of a film colorist are often divided into two categories:

#1: Color Grading

Color grading is the technical process of adjusting video footage for technical or artistic reasons. For example, a film colorist might improve the appearance of color, contrast, black levels, white balance, luminance, or saturation by color grading. Similarly, color grading might be done for various aesthetic reasons, such as changing the colors to create a particular mood or showcase a certain style.

Every film colorist has their personal approach to color grading, and the procedure may vary depending on the job. As a result of their expertise, many editors use manual color grading on every project to ensure uniformity throughout the production. However, some may utilize a LUT to grade more quickly and conveniently if it is created.

#2: Color Correction

Color correction is a form of color grading. It’s a procedure for correcting technical flaws to ensure that the video appears natural and realistic. Before color grading, many film colorists do color correction since it provides a more consistent foundation for the rest of the colors.

Color correction is most often concerned with lighting changes, and it’s a critical operation because cameras record light. Because cameras capture light differently than the human eye, the result must be aesthetically pleasing.

Color correction may match footage from different lighting conditions, lighting sources, cameras, and viewpoints. It may also be used to optimize video before incorporating visual or special effects, and it aids the appearance of the effects.

What Is A Film Colorist Timeline?

video colorist

The colorist doesn’t arrive until after the film has already been edited and the film has been “locked,” which means there won’t be any additional changes to the footage. Color correcting is a time-consuming process, and most movies can’t afford to color-correct every scene.

Second, most editing is usually done “offline” or with a lower-quality video. This is done primarily to save time and data storage. A colorist will need the highest-quality video possible to import it into color grading software and perform their job.

They’ll have a “spotting session” with the director, cinematographer, and editor to discuss what colors should be used in each scene. Before this can happen, the end-cut video has to be brought online (or transformed into a high-quality video file). This means that the colorist is one of the last individuals to touch the film before it debuts.

What Is The Workplace Of a Film Colorist Like?

colorist in film

Most colorists work in post-production houses, where they grade film and video footage using specialized software. The most common software used by colorists is DaVinci Resolve, produced by Blackmagic Design.

Colorists typically work regular office hours, although they may be required to work overtime to meet deadlines. They often work on multiple projects simultaneously, so they need good time management skills to juggle different tasks and deadlines. The biggest challenges colorists face are dealing with difficult clients and managing data-heavy projects.

However, the job rewards can be significant, both in terms of satisfaction and remuneration. For those with a passion for color and creativity, a career as a colorist can be immensely rewarding.

Education & Training

how to be a colorist

If you’re considering becoming a colorist, it’s probably because you enjoy movies and entertainment in general, which is another incentive for film school to be a great choice.

A degree in film or video production, editing, or cinematography will give you a good foundation of knowledge to build upon.

You’ll need to be proficient in using color grading software, such as DaVinci Resolve, and have a strong understanding of color theory.

Many online courses and tutorials can teach you the basics of color grading. FMC Network Training has some of the best minds in the business at your doorstep through their Colorist Masterclasses. This blog post describes the best online courses to learn video editing, including color grading. These courses will give you a strong foundation to build your skills and knowledge.

Career Paths For a Film Colorist

how to become a colorist for film

If you’re interested in a career in film coloration, you can take a few different paths.

  • One option is to become a film lab technician. In this role, you would be responsible for operating the equipment that develops and processes film. You would also need to have a good understanding of color theory to produce high-quality results.
  • Another option is to become a film restorationist. In this role, you would work to restore old films that have been damaged over time. This can be a challenging and rewarding job, as you would be working to preserve history.
  • Finally, you could also become a freelance film colorist. You would work with clients per-project, coloring films according to their specifications in this role. This can be a great option if you have a strong portfolio and are comfortable working independently.

Whichever path you choose, a career in film coloration can be very rewarding.

Film Colorist Salary

colorist film

What’s a colorist’s salary? The typical colorist’s yearly income is around $42,000, according to Glassdoor. The path of a colorist is not straightforward. You may be a freelance colorist earning on a project-to-project basis or a post-production firm. Salary can vary.

Different colorists may specialize in different areas. For example, a Hollywood colorist’s income may differ greatly depending on whether they work in the studio or commercial sector. A colorist’s income might be anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000.

How to Find a Film Colorist Jobs

colorist film jobs

There are a few ways to find colorist jobs. We suggest the following:

Work in a post-production studio

A lot of work goes into finishing a film prior to publication. The post-production studio handles all post-production tasks such as color correction, color grading, audio mixing, and finishing.  Getting a job in an entry-level position at a posthouse may benefit you as it will you further insight into a post-production professional career.

You’ll be able to learn about the fundamentals of color grading from more experienced colorists who use expensive, specialized color grading hardware. Working your way up to or beginning as a colorist assistant will improve your chances of obtaining a colorist position at a post facility.

Make a demo reel

Employers will want to see samples of your work, just as they would for any other creative position. Create a reel that you can show them. Working on smaller projects will help you build your reel, allowing you to demonstrate your abilities.

Networking, networking, networking!

Make connections with anyone you collaborate with. Continue to network online by looking for jobs or peers to collaborate with on LinkedIn and other social media groups. Networking is required to increase the chances of landing that perfect gig.

Classes For Film Colorists

If you’re looking for an innovative, fast-paced, and creative environment to launch your career, then look beyond our FMC training network! We have been helping individuals achieve their goals in this industry for a long time, so we know what it takes:

  1. Passion from expert instructors who will show students how they can make great films with strong visual effects; and
  2. Studio time on state-of-the-art equipment allows artists hands-on experience working together under one roof – all without leaving homeowners’ homes!

DaVinci Resolve Software Courses

film colorist job description

 

DaVinci Resolve is a great video editing software that provides users with a wide range of tools and features, including the ability to edit and composite videos, add special effects, and create custom graphics.

DaVinci Resolve is best known for its powerful color grading that can be used to create beautiful and creative looks for your videos. In addition, the software comes with a wide range of templates and presets that make it easy to get started with your video editing projects. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, DaVinci Resolve is excellent for your video editing needs. 

In Conclusion

When you’re ready to take the plunge into becoming a colorist, remember that it’s crucial to have a passion for the job, be skilled in using industry-standard software, and work well under pressure. You can turn your passion into a successful career with hard work and dedication.

Read More
Nvidia RTX 5000 Series
Nvidia RTX 5000 Series
release date speculation
Nvidia RTX 5000 series

All the latest news on the potential Nvidia GeForce RTX 5000 series graphics card release date, rumored GPU specs, benchmarks, and price details.

Nvidia RTX 5000: A GeForce graphics card against a two-tone green background

The Nvidia RTX 5000 series isn’t officially confirmed yet, but details, speculation, and rumors surrounding these GeForce GPUs are already doing the rounds. To help navigate these murky waters, here’s everything we know so far about team green’s future generation of graphics cards.

The Nvidia 5000 series could pack the best graphics card models when it eventually releases, but it remains to be seen how much of an improvement it’ll be versus current generation RTX 4000 GPUs. That’s not forgetting competition from the likes of AMD RDNA 4 and Intel Battlemage as well, which could just as easily snatch the performance crown if team green grows complacent.

Given how far we are from the launch of the RTX 5000 series, everything from the release date and price of the GPUs to their specs and benchmark results is all very much subject to change. So, keep that salt shaker handy.

A digital person (left) stands in awe of gigantic graphics cards in front of them

When is the Nvidia RTX 5000 series release date?

The Nvidia RTX 5000 series release date seems likely to fall in 2025, but there’s no word on an official launch window yet. An Nvidia GeForce RTX 5000 leak says it’s not coming till 2025, but Nvidia hasn’t actually confirmed that.

Naturally, we’ll see even more RTX 4000 graphics cards enter the fold before RTX 5000, as the Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti 8GB just arrived on the scene.

The Nvidia RTX 5000 series price will likely go up to $1,600, but we won’t know the official costs until we get much closer to release. That said, we can make some educated guesses based on current trends and previous releases.

Currently, the Nvidia RTX 4090 is team green’s top-of-the-range graphics card, and it carries a weighty MSRP of $1,599 USD. This makes it the most expensive pixel pusher ever made by team green, but Nvidia RTX 5000 GPU price could be even higher, thanks to TSMC.

Nvidia RTX 5000 series specs rumors

Rumors suggest the Nvidia RTX 5000 series specs could be very different from previous generations. Regardless, the GPUs will undoubtedly be more powerful than current generation offerings, thanks to more advanced manufacturing processes and architectural improvements.

Details on potential Nvidia RTX 5000 specs are thin on the ground, but we do know that team green plans to build its GeForce GPUs on TSMC’s latest 3nm process (via WCCFTech).

Meanwhile, the latest rumors from RedGamingTech suggest that Nvidia plans to take a leaf out of the AMD playbook and use chiplet dies for its high-end SKUs.

This is in addition to a new SM (streaming multiprocessor) structure, and a new denoising accelerator as part of the RTX 5000 ray tracing pipeline, for better ray tracing and path tracing performance.
 

Nvidia RTX 5000 benchmark speculation

There are no Nvidia RTX 5000 benchmarks that have seen the light of day yet, and we don’t expect to see any for quite some time. It’s safe to say, though, that we should expect a performance uplift in both rasterization and ray tracing versus current-generation GPUs.

That said, according to sources close to RedGamingTech, these next-generation GeForce graphics cards should offer “the biggest performance leap in Nvidia history.” How this translates into actual fps, Nvidia DLSS enabled or not, remains to be seen, as we’ve seen the same claims made prior to just about every GPU launch.

If you can’t wait for the Nvidia RTX 5000 series, we’d recommend splashing the cash and grabbing an RTX 4090. If that’s understandably out of your price range, check out our best graphics card list for recommendations on what GPU to buy today.

Source: pcgamesn.com

Read More
Intel 14th-gen Meteor Lake
Intel 14th-gen Meteor Lake
Everything you need to know
Intel 14th-gen Meteor Lake:

Intel meteor lake

Image: Intel
 
Intel is still the big name when it comes to CPUs, but it’s no means the only option these days.

Source: techadvisor.com

 

Read More
Sony a6700 Review
Sony a6700 Review
Next generation creativity on the go
Sony a6700

Product photos by Richard Butler

The Sony a6700 is the latest enthusiast-level APS-C mirrorless camera from Sony. It uses a 26MP BSI CMOS sensor with image stabilization, with a comprehensive set of stills and video features.

Key specifications

  • 26MP BSI CMOS APS-C sensor
  • Bionz XR processor and dedicated ‘AI Processing Engine’
  • AF tracking with subject recognition, 759 AF points with 93% coverage
  • 11 fps shooting with mech or electronic shutter
  • Lossless Raw compression option
  • HEIF and HLG Still Image modes
  • 4K up to 60p from 6K capture
  • 4K/120 from 1.58x crop
  • 10-bit video with 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 color
  • S-Cinetone, S-Log3 and HLG profiles
  • Uploadable LUTs
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) output
  • 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi
  • UVC/UAC streaming up to 4K/30

The Sony a6700 will be available from the end of July 2023 with a list price of $1399, body only, $1499 with the 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS power zoom or $1799 with the 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS.

What’s new

Front dial

For all the technological updates in the camera, perhaps the most significant change in the a6700 is the adoption of a second command dial on the front of the camera. This makes it Sony’s first a6x00 series camera to allow control with forefinger and thumb, rather than having only thumb-controlled dials. This brings the camera into line with the Sony a7 series and, for that matter, most other cameras costing more than about $1000.

26MP BSI CMOS sensor

The a6700 uses a BSI CMOS APS-C sensor, which we have to assume is the same one used in Sony’s FX30 cinema camera. What will be interesting to see is how the performance of this chip compares with that of the 26MP BSI sensors used in Fujifilm’s X-T4 and X-S20, and Ricoh’s Pentax K-3 III.

The sensor has AF points scattered across most of its area, giving an AF system that covers 93% of the image area, up from 84% on the previous generation of Sony APS-C cameras.

The new sensor shoots at the same 11fps as the previous generation of cameras, but now has the option to shoot at 11fps with electronic shutter, if you want 1/8000 sec shutter speeds, for instance. We found the rolling shutter to be fairly significant if you shoot Raw (around 64ms / 1/16 sec), but significantly faster in JPEG-only mode at around 25ms (1/40 sec), which is likely to mean a drop to 12-bit readout.

Updated processor

The other most significant hardware change is the use of the latest (‘Bionz XR’) processor along with a dedicated processor for handling the complex ‘AI’ algorithms created by machine learning. This processor combination is one we saw in the company’s ZV-E1 full-frame vlogging camera, and it represents a big step forward for the APS-C series.

As well as bringing the power to deliver the camera’s subject recognition AF modes, it also allows the a6700 to offer the ZV-E1’s vlogging functions that can recognize a subject, crop in on it and interpolate the video back up to your chosen output resolution, in real time.

But beyond the performance improvement that comes with greater processing power, the move to a newer generation of processor brings all the other features and advances Sony has made since the a6600. This means a significantly revised and improved menu system, the option to record losslessly compressed Raw files and the ability to capture 10-bit video, which delivers much more flexible Log footage and full HLG HDR video.

As well as HLG HDR video, the a6700 can shoot 10-bit HLG stills in the HEIF format. It can also shoot non-HDR HEIFs in your choice of profile (including HLG, oddly). You’ll need to shoot HEIF only (no Raw) and select the HLG Still option if you want your images to be recognized as being HDR, though.

Video

The a6700 becomes the first in the series to utilize a full-articulated rear LCD panel, supporting its enhanced video capabilities.

The a6700 is built around what’s almost certainly the same 26MP BSI CMOS sensor as the FX30 from the company’s Cinema line. And, correspondingly, the a6700’s video capabilities are pretty impressive.

The a6700 will shoot up to 4K/60p from its full sensor width or up to 120p from a 1.58x cropped region. Notably, it’ll do this while capturing 10-bit precision and up to 4:2:2 color.

As with recent Sony models, you get the choice of XAVC HS (H.265), XAVC-I (All-I H.264) or basic XAVC-S (Long GOP H.264), depending on your needs. The All-I options creep up to 600Mbps (75MB/s), which demand the use of an SD card with the fastest V90 rating, but most modes will happily save to slower cards.

From the recent ZV-E1, the a6700 gets the vlog-friendly modes, with a series of large on-screen buttons, and the ‘Auto Framing’ modes that punch-in on recognized subject types and follow them around. This is designed for use with a wide-angle composition and the camera mounted on a tripod. The a6700 doesn’t have the ‘Dynamic Active Steady Shot’ mode that can keep you framed in the same composition, using cropped-in image stabilization.

LUTs

The a6700 lets you upload Look Up Tables (LUTs) that map log capture values back to output-ready color and lightness values. These can be used in two ways: they can be directly applied to the footage (essentially making them an uploaded color mode), or used just used to preview the impact they would have if applied, so that the on-screen preview is comprehensible. If used for previewing, the LUTs can be embedded alongside the video file, so that they’re available for post-production.


How it compares

The a6700 arrives into an enthusiast-level APS-C market that’s going through something of a revival, taking its place alongside recent launches such as Canon’s EOS R7 and Fujifilm’s X-T5. We haven’t included any Micro Four Thirds models here, not because we see them to be a distinct class but because the OM System OM-5 is significantly less expensive (and less capable in video terms), and the faster shooting OM-1 is appreciably more expensive.

 Sony a6700Canon EOS R7Fujifilm X-S20Sony a6600
MSRP at launch:$1399$1499$1299$1399
Pixel count26MP33MP26MP24MP
Sensor size / typeAPS-C BSI CMOSAPS-C FSI dual pixel CMOSAPS-C BSI CMOSAPS-C FSI CMOS
Maximum burst rate

11fps mech
11fps elec

15fps mech
30fps elec
8fps mech
20fps elec
11fps mech
Image stabilization rating5.0EVUp to 7.0EVUp to 7.0EV5.0EV
Viewfinder resolution
mag (equiv)
2.36M dots
0.70x
2.36M dots
0.72x
2.36M dots
0.62x
2.36M dots
0.70x
Rear screen3.0″ 1.04M dots fully articulated3.0″ 1.62M dots fully articulated3.0″ 1.84M dots fully articulated0.92M dot tilting
Video4K/60 (o/s)
4K/120 (crop)
4K/30 (o/s)
4K/60 sub-sampled or 1.81x crop

6.2K/30 (3:2)
4K/60 (1.18x crop)

4K/24 (o/s)
4K/30 (o/s 1.23x crop)
4K/24 rolling shutter
(highest quality)
15.4ms (o/s)15ms
30ms (o/s)
20ms (10-bit)∼40ms (o/s)
10-bit video optionsS-Log3
HLG
C-Log 3
HDR PQ
F-Log
F-Log2
HLG
Card slots1x UHS-II SD2x UHS-II SD1x UHS-II SD1x UHS-I SD
Battery life rating (LCD/EVF)570 / 550660 / 380750 / –820 / 710
Weight493g (17.4 oz)612g (21.6oz)419g (14.8oz)503g (17.7oz)
Dimensions122 x 69 x 64mm132 x 90 x 92 mm128 x 85 x 65 mm120 x 67 x 69mm

The Sony sits in the middle of this class but looks competitive. The less expensive Fujifilm has a smaller viewfinder, but both it and the Canon promise significantly more effective stabilization. However, it’s worth noting that the a6700 is not only alone in offering 4K/120 capabilities (albeit with a significant crop). The Sony also offers 60p footage from 6K capture, which neither rival can match (the Canon sub-samples and the Fujifilm has to crop). Even in the less challenging 24p mode, the Canon’s rolling shutter rate is much worse, while the Fujifilm still has to crop in its 10-bit mode.


Body and controls

The a6700 looks a lot like previous a6x00 series cameras, but a little larger. Closer inspection reveals a series of changes, though. There’s that front command dial, at last, and a dedicated dial for switching between Stills, Video and Slow & Quick video modes, set just below the exposure mode dial.

In the redesign, the switch that used to change the function of the back-plate button has gone, and the button is now marked as AF-On, and the C3 button at the top left of the control cluster has also been deleted, meaning there’s one button and one switch fewer than on the a6600.

The [Rec] and C1 buttons have also been swapped, meaning it’s no longer nearly impossible to activate video recording and, somewhat paradoxically, possible to activate it inadvertently.

The body itself is constructed from magnesium alloy, with the usual claims of environmental sealing at all the joins. It has both mic and headphone ports, a micro HDMI socket and a USB Type C port. This port is compatible both with the USB power delivery and USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) data transfer standards.

The move to USB-C means the a6700 isn’t compatible with any remote controls that used the USB Micro-B/Multi port on previous Sony cameras, and the lack of IR receiver on the hand grip excludes those. Instead Sony’s Imaging Edge smartphone app can act as a remote.

The camera is built around a single UHS-II SD card slot. Unlike several other recent Sony cameras, there’s no CFexpress Type A socket set inside it. The fastest, V90 UHS-II SD cards are rapid enough to cope with the 600Mbps of the camera’s highest data rate video, though.

Viewfinder

The a6700 has a 2.36M dot (1024 x 768px) OLED viewfinder that can run at up to 120fps. There’s no apparent change in preview resolution if you use this mode, but battery life will be reduced. The viewfinder optics deliver 1.07x magnification, equivalent to 0.71x in full-frame terms.

The camera also has a fully articulating rear touchscreen. It’s a 1.04M dot (720 x 480px) panel. This can be used to set the AF point or specify a subject to track, with the option to use it as a swipeable touchpad when you’ve got your eye up to the viewfinder. There’s then the option to limit the touchpad to certain regions of the screen, to prevent nose-activated-focus if you tend to put your left eye to the finder.

Battery

The a6700 has the same NP-FZ100 battery as the a6600, giving the camera some of the best battery life in its class. The camera is rated as delivering 570 shots per charge if you use the rear LCD or 550 if you use the EVF.

As always, these numbers, based on standard testing defined by CIPA, tend to assume a very battery-intensive way of shooting, so it’s not at all uncommon to get nearer twice these numbers if you’re less profligate. A rating of over 500 shots per charge means rarely having to worry about the battery: you should get multiple days of fairly extensive shooting out of it. As you’d expect, you can also power or charge the camera over USB, too.


Handling

The addition of the front command dial does wonders for the a6700’s usability. For the first time in over a decade, we have an enthusiast-focused APS-C model from Sony that has the level of direct control we’ve come to expect

The menus are also vastly improved, both in terms of which functions are grouped together and in the greater visual indications about where settings can be found, before you’ve dug all the way down to find them. As before, with a little setup and customization, you’ll rarely need to delve into the menus at all, but with the bonus that they’re much less confused and opaque than before, when you do.

It’s definitely worth reconfiguring the camera when you get it, though. We’ve long complained that Sony cameras come set to AF-A mode, locking you out of the tracking AF modes that have generally been one of their main selling points. The a6700 addresses this by setting ‘AF Tracking + AF On’ to its large AF-On button. Which at least means you have immediate access, but also means that there are three different AF modes accessible, by default (the central button of the four-way controlled initiates a single AF acquisition in the center of the frame).

Equally worth modifying, in my opinion, is the decision to make the camera’s main two command dials operate aperture and shutter speed, but not have anything to set exposure comp or ISO. My first action will always be to set one dial to exposure comp and then have the other control Shutter Speed or Aperture value, depending on my shooting mode.

Overall, the a6700 can be set up to be the most likeable camera in its series

Between the two command dials and the AF-On button, I have enough well-positioned controls for most of the shooting I ever do. And, while I find the C1, C2, C3 and [Rec] buttons a little difficult to reach from the shooting position, they give me plenty of options for settings I change semi-frequently. A few tweaks to the Fn menu and I have semi-fast access to almost everything I need to change (though I’d need access to three settings: ‘File Format,’ ‘JPEG/HEIF Switch’ and ‘HLG Still’ if I wanted to be able to jump between shooting Raw + JPEG and capturing HDR HLGs, so I can’t imagine ever doing that).

Overall, though, the a6700 can be set up to be the most likeable camera in its series, having gained a lot of the ergonomic improvements made iteratively across the wider a7 series. Even with the camera’s very good AF tracking, which makes selecting an AF target and then recomposing very reliable, I still find myself cursing the lack of AF joystick, occasionally.


Autofocus

Vehicle detection mode seemed to recognize this tram in New Orleans
Sony E 16-55mm F2.8 G | ISO 100 | 1/400 | F5.6
Photo: Richard Butler

The a6700’s autofocus system is a continuation of the one used in Sony’s cameras for many years: you can choose from seven sizes of AF area, from ‘Wide,’ which covers almost the whole frame, down to single AF spots. In AF-C mode you gain access to ‘tracking’ variants of each of these AF areas, letting you decide how you want specify a subject to track.

On top of this are the camera’s subject recognition options, with the options being: Human, Animal/Bird, Animal, Bird, Insect, Car/Train, Airplane. These don’t completely override the AF area you select though: the camera will try to focus on the subject closest to your chosen AF point, if there’s more than one subject, and will ignore a recognized subject if it’s too far away from your chosen point. This means you don’t constantly have to turn subject detection off if you want to focus on something other than a recognized subject in the scene (though you will have to if you want to focus on something close to a recognized subject).

We’ve not had time to fully test the a6700’s AF system, yet, but have had very positive experiences so far with both the human and animal detection modes. The camera is very persistent at following the intended subject and not getting distracted by other potential subjects nearby.

However, we noticed that in some circumstances the camera can take something like half a second to identify what it should track if you select a target that the camera hasn’t been trained to recognize. We’ll continue to test the AF system in a range of situations in the coming weeks.

Video

The oversampling means the a6700 is able to offer details levels comparable to the ‘HQ’ modes of the Fujifilm X-T5 or Canon EOS R7. This puts it ahead of either the X-T5 or EOS R7 in their subsampled modes. Switch to 60p and the Sony is capturing more detail than the Fujifilm, and resolving far more than Canon’s comparable mode. The 120p mode is less detailed, but very few cameras even offer this option.

The a6700’s rolling shutter figures are a big step forward compared with its predecessors. The full-width 4K footage reads out at a rate of 15.4ms, which is nearly twice as fast as the a6600 could manage. The rate is the same for 24, 30 and 60p capture. We generally consider anything below 20ms to be pretty good and anything below 10ms to be excellent, so 15.4ms is a very good result for oversampled footage. The 4K/120p, with its rather extreme 1.58x crop, measures as 7.7ms.

The a6700 includes an ‘Active’ stabilization mode that includes digital stabilization. This applies a 1.13x crop to the footage and allows the camera to move the crop around, within the standard video regions, to correct for more dramatic motion than the sensor shift alone can provide. All the camera’s gyro data captured during recording is saved into the video file, so that you can apply more powerful digital correction (or less correction, with less crop, in some circumstances), in Sony’s ‘Catalyst’ post-production software.

4K/120p appears to be taken from a roughly 3.9K region of the sensor, so there’s no leeway to crop in any further to give digital stabilization, even if the processor proved able to keep up.

 
 

Initial impressions

By Richard Butler

Sony E 16-55mm F2.8 G | ISO 800 | 1/3200sec | F2.8
Processed with Adobe Camera Raw, Camera Std color mode, exposure and shadows reduced.
Photo: Richard Butler

The a6700 retains the look familiar from the existing a6x00 series cameras, high-end and otherwise, while incrementally improving on the previous generation camera in almost every respect. The sensor is newer, the pixel count higher, the video capture is faster, both in terms of frame rate and readout rate and the autofocus is improved.

However, it’s the collective value of tweaks to the user experience that end up being the things that struck me most: the addition of a front command dial finally brings the series into line with its enthusiast camera peers, meaning you have more exposure control at your fingertips (rather than just your thumb). The revised menus are also a vast improvement over the previous camera, making it a much easier camera to learn your way around.

The technology improvements are significant: when the a6300 was launched in 2016 its combination of 4K and Log capability were fairly cutting-edge, but its significant rolling shutter, need to crop in to deliver 4K/30 and its 8-bit output (all maintained across subsequent models), look pretty off-the-pace today. Our early impressions of the video AF are that it’s probably the most reliable of any of its peers, meaning the up-to-date video capabilities are backed up by usability.

Eye detection makes it easy to select your subject and be confident that the camera will stay locked-on, so that you can concentrate on your composition.
Sony E 16-55mm F2.8 G | ISO 100 | 1/80sec | F7.1
Photo: Richard Butler

There are still moments of awkwardness to the a6700: engaging and disengaging HLG Stills capture is a multi-step process that you’ll probably need to assign to one of the three memory recall positions on the mode dial if you want quick access. Likewise, the lack of AF joystick slows the camera down, compared with the likes of Fujifilm’s X-T5 or Canon EOS R7.

Overall, though, the a6700 looks like an major step forward for Sony’s APS-C lineup. We’re still testing the autofocus and getting a feel for the video performance, so we want to get more of a grip on those before we complete our review. We’ll continue to put it through its paces and look to wrap things up in the coming weeks.

Source: dpreview.com


Read More
This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Cookie Policy

Content is protected.