How to Expose for S-Cinetone on the Sony a7S III

If you haven’t heard yet, the S-Cinetone profile has made its way into a firmware update for the Sony a7S III. Promising a film-like look with improved skin tones compared to Sony’s other profiles. Designed around the s709 profile of the VENICE, this update helps bring the a7S III in line with Sony’s other cinema cameras.

Current logic with log gammas is to expose to the right and pull down in post to reduce noise and maximize data in the shadows. S-Cinetone is a bit different from that. Creator Sean De Wispelaere takes a look at the profile on the a7S III and has some advice on how to get it properly exposed.

S-Cinetone is great because a vast majority of shooters don’t actually need to use log in their day-to-day work. Getting the image out of camera close to what you want it to look like is going to save a lot of time. S-Cinetone also “fixes” many of the issues people have with S-Log2/3 by specifically tweaking things like skin tones and color shifts. It’s a good profile.

You do lose some dynamic range and since the look is more baked in you’ll want to triple check that you have your white balance and exposure dialed in.

Image Credit: Atomos

Tests use an Atomos Ninja V and a single light which can be adjusted to make sure we are hitting a range of exposures without changing the camera settings. Running through exposures using zebras to check exposure on skin tones and on an object you can see how the profile changes across the scene.

For skin tones, Sean felt that 85% zebras were the most appropriate and for objects you can go to 95%. Both of these settings barely need any editing to get a great look out of the picture. It also makes sure you aren’t unnecessarily pushing or pulling the footage or loosing detail.

It’s a nice baseline setting to consider if you are just getting set.

S-Cinetone is definitely going to be my go-to profile in the future, what about you?

[source: Sean De Wispelaere]

Order Links:

  • Sony a7S III Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)
  • Atomos Ninja V 5” 4K HDMI Recorder/Monitor (B&H, Amazon)

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