Sony Color-Grading Advice?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
PhotoKBKLYN New Member • Posts: 15
Sony Color-Grading Advice?

Hi All,

After a year, I love (almost) everything about my Sony a6600. I switched from Canon and currently "dating" a Fuji. After my experience, I can't help but feel color grading Sony images and footage is a bit challenging. (I do my best to get white balance, exposure right in-camera, too.)

So, I suppose what I'm asking is ... is it just me? And any tips/tricks/advice?

Other than this issue, the a6600 is my ideal camera between weight, feel, functionality, lenses ... It's simply getting the "look" that I want to achieve that I find more complicated compared to what I've experienced editing Canon and Fuji video/photos.

It's become my dedicated vlogging camera, but I wish I could rely on it for photos as well. (I default to my Canon and Fuji for photography) But again, the out-of-camera photo quality seems a bit "off" and difficult to correct compared to the other cameras.

ETA: The Fuji X-t4 is tempting me to trade all of my Sony gear in since it seems like it ticks all my boxes ... but I'd really like to make it work with Sony.

Thanks in advance

David Daly Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: Sony Color-Grading Advice?

HI , I posted a little while ago about a workflow that gets me a reasonable result automatically in Lightroom which I can then adjust further if needed:

Since then I have also downloaded and installed the a camera profile from which I do think can give a more accurate starting point - however these are paid for and I see they don't have one for the A6600.

For video, I am still learning. So far I have had the most success with S-log with S-Gamut3.Cine, overexposed by 2 stops and manually grading in FCPX. Or Cine4 with these settings:

Cine 4 needs a lot less work to grade it, but gives less flexibility.

For casual footage though, I would try without any picture profile and choose a creative style that you like.

I recently tried out the X-T4 and the A7iii (which were both the same price in the UK at the time). In the end I preferred the A7iii and so far I'm happy with that choice - so you might want to consider the A7iii as well.

Bender79ita Contributing Member • Posts: 529
Re: Sony Color-Grading Advice?

I use the white picker for a starting point (in LR and I believe there's one in Premiere too) so I never noticed any particular difference between camera brands in colors. Very rarely shoot jpeg, as I very rarely like the results from my a6400.

 Bender79ita's gear list:Bender79ita's gear list
Sony RX100 III Nikon D810 Nikon D5600 Sony a6400 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD +8 more
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 33,776
Re: Sony Color-Grading Advice?

It's a tough question to answer, because color output, contrast, and photo appearance is subjective. Going back to film days, that's always been a thing - different brands of film had different output, different lab processing produced different output, and so on. Some people like natural, some like vivid, some like dull, some low key, some high key, etc.

The good thing is modern cameras have so many adjustments that can be fine-tuned into the camera - it affects the JPG output, and can also influence the RAW processor starting or default points too. If you're looking for JPG output, then you can play with all the settings to fine tune the output to just the way you like it. If you're looking for RAW processing, then which RAW tool you use can make big differences too.

For in-camera adjustments, you have the creative style section which have several pre-programmed models already set up (standard, vivid, neutral, clear, landscape, etc), and within each of those you can fine tune the contrast, sharpness, and saturation to further edit any of those presets.

Aside from setting manual white balance or choosing a default, you can also program the camera to adjust the white balance default or starting point in any white balance profile, including the main default - just right click the 4-way pad to bring up the color square, and move the cursor dot as needed for warmer/cooler or a specific color cast.

You can choose between the standard and Adobe color space.

In the Picture Profile section, you can adjust the specific color, gamma, black level, black gamma, and more.

You may look into comments about RAW converters to see which are considered the best for Sony RAW - many use CaptureOne as it's offered in a simplified free version or more advanced one, and then you have the standards like Lightroom.  You should be able to set up some defaults in whichever RAW converter you prefer so the starting point of your photos is more to your liking, then can be tweaked a bit if needed.

Personally, I am extremely happy with the stills output of Sony cameras, and the A6600 - but I always spend the first hour or so with any new camera setting up the JPG output to deliver just what I like - I prefer to shoot JPG, and prefer to do minimal or no post-processing, so I work hard to set up all the camera's output settings to look exactly how I want it to look...then can control the output with the exposure and white balance choices I make in the field.

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 zackiedawg's gear list:zackiedawg's gear list
Sony a6600 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +21 more
OP PhotoKBKLYN New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Sony Color-Grading Advice?

Ooh! Thank you for this. Lots of great info.

OP PhotoKBKLYN New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Sony Color-Grading Advice?

Ah, thanks for the RAW converter suggestion. Definitely looking into that - I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to the final look of an image. lol

You're so right, though. Color is very subjective!

Thanks again!

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