No One Cares about Camera Settings (But Here are Mine)

Video Feb 26, 2020

When I first got my Sony A7III I had no idea what a picture profile is. A buddy of mine with the same camera sent me a YouTube video of a film maker walking through his preferred settings. I took the guy by his word and went out shooting. After getting to know my camera more I began making tweaks to custom buttons and other settings. I started to watch more of these 'Best Settings' videos and realized there is no consensus on what is best - especially when it comes to picture profiles. It was overwhelming.

Through my research I was able to narrow the contest for best picture profile to two: HLG3 and CINE4. There's a lot of advocating for S-LOG, since it has the most dynamic range - but because the A7III is only 8-bit this high dynamic range can cause banding. I noticed this myself when filming a high contrast music video. HLG3 Vs. CINE4 have less dynamic range and perform better within the 8-bit limitations. I eventually chose HLG3 because of its slightly better dynamic range.

I burnt out a bit watching way too many 'Best Settings' videos. It's insane how many YouTube cinematographers are chiming in - I guess because there are a lot of nerds like me caring too much about fine details that average viewers would never notice. Anyway, here are my full settings:

Important Settings
Focus Mode: Continuous AF
Focus Area: Wide
File Format: XAVC S HD
Record Setting: 120p 100M - I shoot 120p default in case I want to do slowmo. Otherwise 24p 50M
AF Drive Speed: Fast
AF Track Sens: Responsive
Audio Rec Level: 17
FINDER/MONITOR: Monitor(Manual) - This one is important. Otherwise your screen will go black randomly.
Gamma Disp. Assist: Auto
Touch Operation: Off

Custom Keys (Set them for Photo mode then 'Follow Custom' for Video)
Control Wheel: ISO
Custom Button 1: White Balance
Custom Button 2: Finder/ Monitor Sel. (Zebra Display Select in Video)
Custom Button 3: APS-C 35/ Full Frm Sel.
Custom Button 4: Prioritze Rec. Media
Multi-Slc Center Btn: Picture Profile
Center Button: Focus Magnifier
Left Button: Drive Mode
Right Button: ISO
Down Button: Finder/ Monitor Sel.
AEL Button: AEL hold
AF-ON button: AF/MF Ctrl Toggle
Focus Hold Button: Focus Hold

Picture Profile
Gamma: HLG3
Color Mode: BT.2020
Everything else default.

Harry Herskowitz

Harry is a web developer and videographer with a focus on using technology to empower local artists and communities

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