I’ve been getting a ton of emails regarding the recent video you see above from readers wanting to know the workflow steps I used for getting a cinematic look with the Sony NEX-5N. While I’ve been more than happy to respond to each, and every email, I thought it would be a better idea to just answer all of the frequently asked questions in one post, overviewing the basic workflow used for Autumn – Getting Cinematic with the Sony NEX-5N
Please Note: These are just the basic workflow techniques I practiced for this particular short video. It is by no means “the best” nor “the only” ways of handling Sony NEX-5N footage. These are the absolute basics and is intended be a bit simplistic for NEX-5N newcomers.
1. Camera Settings:
- Picture Profile
- White Balance
- Capture settings
Picture Profile – Due to the fact that I knew a cinematic tone was the goal, a fair amount of color correcting was ultimately going to be needed to transform the look of the images into a darker, film look. Although I always use flattest picture profile available on all cameras, the Sony NEX-5N “portrait profile” does a superb job of creating a flat image when tuned to the right settings:
Menu – Brightness and Color – Creative Style – Portrait (set to these values)
- Contrast -3
- Color +0
- Sharpness -3
The values give the images the greatest amount of latitude when color correcting, an example of which is the before and after example here: (Before and After)
White Balance – In terms of white balance, it would have been nearly impossible for me to choose anything other than auto for the 4 hour window I had to shoot and in all intents and purposes, worked out fine.
Capture Settings – Really basic stuff here but I still have been getting a few questions pertaining to this very topic. All non-slow motion clips were captured in 1080/24p and slow motion clips were captured in 1080/60p and conformed to 24fps using Cinema Tools. You can choose these capture settings in:
Menu – Image Size – Movie – File Format (AVCHD 60i/60p)
Menu – Image Size – Movie – Record Setting (24P 24M (FX) Maximum Quality) or (60P 28M (PS) Maximum Quality)
These were the basic settings set before I started shooting.
2. Handling the footage:
- Color Correcting
Color Correcting – I choose to color correct all my footage first, so that means importing the files to Adobe After Effects CS5. AE can handle the AVCHD files natively so there was no need for me to convert .MOV at this point. I wanted to keep the images on the darker-side, giving the mid-tones a hint of sepia and this color style is present throughout all the clips.
Once the color correction was finished for each clip, I exported the files using Apple Pro-Res 422 (HQ) and conformed any of the clips that were meant to be slowed down. Now on to:
Editing – Nothing fancy, just a quick edit in Final Cut Pro X matching the clips to the dramatic aspects of the song used: Ryan Stewart’s “Autumn.” With the intent of uploading to Vimeo, the final edit was exported to the web-friendly H.246 codec from FCPX.
Again, this is just the particular workflow I used for this video. If you are a Sony NEX-5N user, share your own workflow tips with our readers in the comments section below!
If you any specific questions, send me a message via the contact page.