D-Log vs HLG vs Normal on the DJI Air 2S – Which Profile to Use

The DJI Air 2S is a shockingly good drone for the price, especially since it picked up the sweet 1” sensor from the Mavic 2 Pro. Now it is all about learning how to make the most of it and there are plenty of options to choose from. One aspect in particular is the picture profile and selecting between D-Log, HLG, or the default.

Each profile has its own look and its own workflow with advantages and disadvantages. If you are looking to get going with your own Air 2S and need to understand the differences between the profiles then this video from Keith Knittel will help out.

Before we begin, Keith gets into some of the more basic file settings: compression. You can choose between MP4 and MOV, which shouldn’t matter all that much, but you can also pick between H.264 and H.265, which does matter a lot. For best quality, you will want to choose H.265 since it can handle 10-bit color. The only concern is that it is a lot more difficult on your computer.

For your most basic recording, the easiest thing to do is record H.264 in a normal profile. Consider this for fast turnaround or just sharing on social. If you want to get a bit more out of your image, you will want to upgrade to H.265 since the extra color information can come in handy as you start tweaking it. If you don’t need to do all that much in post you can get away with the normal profile.

Image Credit: DJI

If you are planning on pushing your footage or applying a proper color grade you will want to choose D-Log. It maximizes dynamic range and color information. It also requires H.265, so make sure your computer is able to handle it. It is super flat out of camera, so there is a requirement for post work, but it is the best for a more professional workflow.

Finally, HLG is the most interesting of the profiles. While normal makes sense for basic workflows and D-Log is designed for professional post-production, HLG tries to split the difference. It is an “Instant HDR” profile, meaning it actually records in a saturated and contrasty look that has the metadata for HDR.

Image Credit: DJI

If you have a device capable of playing back HLG you will get an HDR image. It’s a great option if you want more than the normal profile and yet still would like to make some adjustments in post if you choose than HLG is the way to go.

It’s actually fairly easy to choose depending on your situation. Generally, stick to normal if you aren’t doing much color grading and go with D-Log if you commit to post and need the best quality. HLG is a fun option that gives more than normal and yet still isn’t as difficult to use as log.

Which option would you use?

[source: Keith Knittel]

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