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Normal vs D-Log

moldorf

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this is kind of an old-dog/new-tricks question, and yes at 72 I'm definitely an old dog

I have a Mavic 3 and a Mini 3 pro. I've been flying for a couple of years, maybe a bit longer. I always record in 4K normal mode. I'll take the raw recording, chop out the unnecessary and redundant sections of the video. Then render a final product. For quite a while I used DaVinci and fought thru the learning curve to arrive at a fairly remedial level; enough to produce what I wanted. However, one of the components I wanted was a sped-up video. Shooting from 300 feet above the landscape and traveling at normal speed made for a really slow (boring) change in perspective. So I would speed up the video by a factor of 2 or 3 or even 4 sometimes. Meaning that a 20 minute raw video direct from the SD card ended up a 3-5 minute final product

the problem was that using the speed function in Resolve introduced some distracting artifacts in some of the video, especially traveling over landscapes with fairly uniform features and colors like trees or sagebrush. So I experimented with various apps and found that VSDC editor did the best job of eliminating artifacts in sped up video. And it has enough contrast/color/saturation adjustments to satisfy my remedial requirements. Which essentially is just to be able to view the flight videos on my TV (4K) and occasionally on my computer

but I keep seeing people discuss how much better video is when recorded in D-Log (M?) and then color-grading, adjusting, and editing in post process. My question is would I really see enough difference on my TV screen to justify going thru what looks to be a fairly steep leaning curve for this old dog?
 
this is kind of an old-dog/new-tricks question, and yes at 72 I'm definitely an old dog

I have a Mavic 3 and a Mini 3 pro. I've been flying for a couple of years, maybe a bit longer. I always record in 4K normal mode. I'll take the raw recording, chop out the unnecessary and redundant sections of the video. Then render a final product. For quite a while I used DaVinci and fought thru the learning curve to arrive at a fairly remedial level; enough to produce what I wanted. However, one of the components I wanted was a sped-up video. Shooting from 300 feet above the landscape and traveling at normal speed made for a really slow (boring) change in perspective. So I would speed up the video by a factor of 2 or 3 or even 4 sometimes. Meaning that a 20 minute raw video direct from the SD card ended up a 3-5 minute final product

the problem was that using the speed function in Resolve introduced some distracting artifacts in some of the video, especially traveling over landscapes with fairly uniform features and colors like trees or sagebrush. So I experimented with various apps and found that VSDC editor did the best job of eliminating artifacts in sped up video. And it has enough contrast/color/saturation adjustments to satisfy my remedial requirements. Which essentially is just to be able to view the flight videos on my TV (4K) and occasionally on my computer

but I keep seeing people discuss how much better video is when recorded in D-Log (M?) and then color-grading, adjusting, and editing in post process. My question is would I really see enough difference on my TV screen to justify going thru what looks to be a fairly steep leaning curve for this old dog?
It largely depends upon your capabilities in post.
 
It largely depends upon your capabilities in post.
I guess that was a main part of my question. I have never recorded in D-Log and am only remedially familiar with Resolve

I guess I'm asking if I only became marginally competent at working with D-Log would I really notice a significant difference between normal 4K captured by the drone and D-Log video after editing? Would there be a noticeable difference in colors and clarity?
 
My understanding as a younger man of 71 is that, if you are filming in unusual conditions such as.
  • high contrast light and dark
  • just in lowlight
  • other different lighting conditions
Then to get the best results and maximum adjustment post process it is better to shoot the original footage in RAW.
Under usual/normal lighting conditions there is not so much to be gained.

Watch this link
 
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this is kind of an old-dog/new-tricks question, and yes at 72 I'm definitely an old dog

I have a Mavic 3 and a Mini 3 pro. I've been flying for a couple of years, maybe a bit longer. I always record in 4K normal mode. I'll take the raw recording, chop out the unnecessary and redundant sections of the video. Then render a final product. For quite a while I used DaVinci and fought thru the learning curve to arrive at a fairly remedial level; enough to produce what I wanted. However, one of the components I wanted was a sped-up video. Shooting from 300 feet above the landscape and traveling at normal speed made for a really slow (boring) change in perspective. So I would speed up the video by a factor of 2 or 3 or even 4 sometimes. Meaning that a 20 minute raw video direct from the SD card ended up a 3-5 minute final product

the problem was that using the speed function in Resolve introduced some distracting artifacts in some of the video, especially traveling over landscapes with fairly uniform features and colors like trees or sagebrush. So I experimented with various apps and found that VSDC editor did the best job of eliminating artifacts in sped up video. And it has enough contrast/color/saturation adjustments to satisfy my remedial requirements. Which essentially is just to be able to view the flight videos on my TV (4K) and occasionally on my computer

but I keep seeing people discuss how much better video is when recorded in D-Log (M?) and then color-grading, adjusting, and editing in post process. My question is would I really see enough difference on my TV screen to justify going thru what looks to be a fairly steep leaning curve for this old dog?
You can download the free LUT for M3 from DJI which works with D Log H
 
to add to fizzbang's comments, if you have a nice scene with no super white areas (clouds...snow...white roofs) or dark shadows then shooting 'normal' will be just fine for most people if little is needed in terms of color balance or post processing. Shooting DLog is the video equivalent of camera Raw for stills. It records in 10 bit with highlights and shadows compressed in such a way that you have a much better chance of recovering bright or dark area that would be blown out or fully black if shot in normal mode. DLog is 10 bit; a 10-bit image can display up to 1.07 billion colors, while an 8-bit photo can only display 16.7 million so if you have to brighten, color correct or otherwise manipulate a clip doing so to a "normal" clip may result in banding or other artifacts because there simply not enough colors to manipulate. DLog is easy to work with once you have grasped the use of LUTs, which ain't rocket science. Some DJI drones support DLog M which is a baby brother of DLog and does not require a LUT but also does not flatten the clip as much so you can't recover as much dynamic range. DLog best for post, then Dlog M, then Normal. Whether it's worth it or necessary depends on the subject you are shooting and how much time you want to spend in post. If my drone supports Dlog I shoot it. If only Dlog M then I go for that. I have the time needed to play in post and want the best image I can get but I do mostly landcape kinds of footage with clouds being common and they will almost invariably blow out into white blobs if you don't shoot some form of DLog.
 
to add to fizzbang's comments, if you have a nice scene with no super white areas (clouds...snow...white roofs) or dark shadows then shooting 'normal' will be just fine for most people if little is needed in terms of color balance or post processing. Shooting DLog is the video equivalent of camera Raw for stills. It records in 10 bit with highlights and shadows compressed in such a way that you have a much better chance of recovering bright or dark area that would be blown out or fully black if shot in normal mode. DLog is 10 bit; a 10-bit image can display up to 1.07 billion colors, while an 8-bit photo can only display 16.7 million so if you have to brighten, color correct or otherwise manipulate a clip doing so to a "normal" clip may result in banding or other artifacts because there simply not enough colors to manipulate. DLog is easy to work with once you have grasped the use of LUTs, which ain't rocket science. Some DJI drones support DLog M which is a baby brother of DLog and does not require a LUT but also does not flatten the clip as much so you can't recover as much dynamic range. DLog best for post, then Dlog M, then Normal. Whether it's worth it or necessary depends on the subject you are shooting and how much time you want to spend in post. If my drone supports Dlog I shoot it. If only Dlog M then I go for that. I have the time needed to play in post and want the best image I can get but I do mostly landcape kinds of footage with clouds being common and they will almost invariably blow out into white blobs if you don't shoot some form of DLog.
So AKDrone...let me ask you a question.

I know your stuff. It is 99% or more landscapes, right? You have a lot of high dynmic range images (bright sky, plus dark foregrounds).

So I am about to embark on a 3 week photography workshop featuring landscape drone photography but also still images to the country of Kyrgystan. The trip will be with a famous photographer (Justine Black)and 4 other photographers. I will be traveling with my trusty Mavic 3 and and backup Mini 2. The Mavic 3 gives me the choices of Auto, D Log, D log M, and HLG . I plan to shoot either AUTO/H,264 or D Log+H265.

Of course all of the stills will be RAW.

I have the DJI free LUT, as well as Film Poets LUTS. I have been testing all of the Film Poet LUTS and find them difficult to work with with terrible colors. I know absolutely nothing about color grading with those crazy circles, and I edit with Premier Pro which I very comfortable with. I find good results mostly with the free DJI M3 LUT.

I am probably going to start off using the Auto, H.264 which gives me great colors with minimal editing in Premiere.

Whay do you recommend? Others on the forum are more than welcome to join in.

Dale
Miami
 
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Of course I recommend shooting DLog. No question about that. I have used the Dobo Mavic 3 LUT with success. Which LUT is best can sometimes vary based on the brightness of the scene, the colors involved etc. so I'd suggest looking around for various LUT's and downloading a few free ones and see if your footage works best with this one or that. I don't know Premiere but in Final Cut you can vary the amount that the LUT affects the image and often the LUT is the first step before final tweaking with other color grading. I also find that the sky is often over saturated for my liking regardless of what LUT and color grading I do so in the end I often select the blue sky and de-saturate it a bit. Shooting Auto is handy but I try to remember to shoot Pro most of the time because I often the white balance changes make color grading really, really difficult. In some instances when you are going in and out of shadows and you really need the changes to exposure Auto is helpful but if you are shooting DLog and the exposure is "good" it can handle a fair bit of exposure variation so locking in your White Balance can be really quite important. I'd play around with that a bit before the trip if you're not used to shooting in the Pro mode. I'm sure this is going to be a heck of a great trip. I look forward to seeing the footage.
 
Of course I recommend shooting DLog. No question about that. I have used the Dobo Mavic 3 LUT with success. Which LUT is best can sometimes vary based on the brightness of the scene, the colors involved etc. so I'd suggest looking around for various LUT's and downloading a few free ones and see if your footage works best with this one or that. I don't know Premiere but in Final Cut you can vary the amount that the LUT affects the image and often the LUT is the first step before final tweaking with other color grading. I also find that the sky is often over saturated for my liking regardless of what LUT and color grading I do so in the end I often select the blue sky and de-saturate it a bit. Shooting Auto is handy but I try to remember to shoot Pro most of the time because I often the white balance changes make color grading really, really difficult. In some instances when you are going in and out of shadows and you really need the changes to exposure Auto is helpful but if you are shooting DLog and the exposure is "good" it can handle a fair bit of exposure variation so locking in your White Balance can be really quite important. I'd play around with that a bit before the trip if you're not used to shooting in the Pro mode. I'm sure this is going to be a heck of a great trip. I look forward to seeing the footage.
Thanks a lot
You can view the 6 min video promo of the trip on Visionarywild.com
Go to Kyrgyzstan and find the video
It’s mostly drone footage!
Dale
 
Wow gents! This post and responses just shows what a novice I am across the board. I am happy though and really enjoy my flying plus any pics/vids I manage to capture. Goos luck with everything and especially to Dale on your exciting trip to Kyrgystan. Can’t wait to see your work on safe return.
 
Wow gents! This post and responses just shows what a novice I am across the board. I am happy though and really enjoy my flying plus any pics/vids I manage to capture. Goos luck with everything and especially to Dale on your exciting trip to Kyrgystan. Can’t wait to see your work on safe return.
Thanks Twickers - but we do not leave until June 29. Just getting all of my ducks in a row now. Portable charger for car outlet, quick dry towels for camp, extra memory cards, power banks, etc. I am making Amazon really happy.

Dale
 
Thanks a lot
You can view the 6 min video promo of the trip on Visionarywild.com
Go to Kyrgyzstan and find the video
It’s mostly drone footage!
Dale
Yes AK Drone- all of my LUTs are a starting point and subject to further editing with all of the usual sliders. But that starting pint is usually pretty straight on.

Dale
 
I know it's a lot to ask but I'd really like to see one the the people well practiced at using D-Log to shoot a 1-2 minute landscape video in normal mode and then shoot the same scene immediately after (or before) in D-Log and then render to a final product. Having the same landscape and lighting in normal mode and converted-from-D-Log mode would be really helpful for people like me in deciding whether or not to tackle the learning curve on D-Log
 
I know it's a lot to ask but I'd really like to see one the the people well practiced at using D-Log to shoot a 1-2 minute landscape video in normal mode and then shoot the same scene immediately after (or before) in D-Log and then render to a final product. Having the same landscape and lighting in normal mode and converted-from-D-Log mode would be really helpful for people like me in deciding whether or not to tackle the learning curve on D-Log
I acutally just did that! I shot 30 sec video with M3 on D log and without it, using auto. The image with auto was very good. The image wihgout correction on D log was the usual flat, greyish image with drab colors and sky. The moment I applied the free DJI LUT for M3 it was perfect.

Dale
Miami
Screenshot 2024-05-06 at 7.33.14 AM.pngScreenshot 2024-05-06 at 7.33.14 AM.png
 
There are a lot of terms being discussed in this thread. I'm not sure there may not be some confusion involved.

First off, I can't answer your question. It depends on your tolerance and interest in learning.

Raw; No consumer DJI drones produce raw video footage. Raw is not a video file. It is sensor information recorded directly. That raw data is then turned into a video file in the NLE.

Standard; This is where definitions kinda fall apart. Like a regular coffee, depends on where you buy it. This is a video file that is entirely produced within the camera. Often there will be a number of profiles offered, such as flat, vivid, etc. These are designed to produce small file sizes and a finished look out of camera. Little can be done in post to change the look of these files. Only very minor changes can be made.

Log; A method of providing a greater dynamic range (brightness not color) by using an algorithm to compress the brightness range in the file. This form of recording may also produce flatter files with more information available compared to standard for working with contrast and color in post.

Lut; Look up table. An algorithm to change brightness, color and contrast in an image. These can much like picture profiles providing a pre determined look or an algorithm that will reverse the algorithm used to encode log and everything in-between.

Specific to d-log, Davinci Resolve does provide a lut in the form of a color input space that will do a pretty good job of decoding the file. It will provide a decent expanded dynamic range but is a little heavy on contrast and saturation. I find it necessary to adjust contrast, saturation, and sharpness after utilizing the lut.

D-log M; I haven't found a lut that will help with this file format. It does provide more adjustment latitude in post than a standard profile but is a manual process for me including expanding the dynamic range by adjusting Lift, gama, gain, and offset. D-Log M is not a true log file. It is a step between standard and D-log that provides a little more latitude in post than standard.

Both D-log and D-log M offer 10 bit color depth. While an 8 bit image provides 256 color graduations, 10 bit offers over a billion. Obviously the more subtle graduations offered by 10 bit offer the possibility for a better finished product. Both flavors of log are 4:2:0 which relates to how a color is derived. At the moment the standard for production companies is 4:2:2 which produces better color renditions. The Mavic cine will produce a 4:2:2 10 bit Prores file that hits the benchmark for production companies.

Having written all that and barely scratched the surface of the issue there is always color science to consider. Every camera manufacturer utilizes a different color science. Some are obviously better than others and some are a matter of taste. In regard to DJI, I am a fan of D-log.

There's a lot to be considered. Probably the most important is distribution. For YouTube pretty much anything goes. If you want to get involved with a distribution company such as FilmHub everything changes, a lot.
 
There are a lot of terms being discussed in this thread. I'm not sure there may not be some confusion involved.

First off, I can't answer your question. It depends on your tolerance and interest in learning.

Raw; No consumer DJI drones produce raw video footage. Raw is not a video file. It is sensor information recorded directly. That raw data is then turned into a video file in the NLE.

Standard; This is where definitions kinda fall apart. Like a regular coffee, depends on where you buy it. This is a video file that is entirely produced within the camera. Often there will be a number of profiles offered, such as flat, vivid, etc. These are designed to produce small file sizes and a finished look out of camera. Little can be done in post to change the look of these files. Only very minor changes can be made.

Log; A method of providing a greater dynamic range (brightness not color) by using an algorithm to compress the brightness range in the file. This form of recording may also produce flatter files with more information available compared to standard for working with contrast and color in post.

Lut; Look up table. An algorithm to change brightness, color and contrast in an image. These can much like picture profiles providing a pre determined look or an algorithm that will reverse the algorithm used to encode log and everything in-between.

Specific to d-log, Davinci Resolve does provide a lut in the form of a color input space that will do a pretty good job of decoding the file. It will provide a decent expanded dynamic range but is a little heavy on contrast and saturation. I find it necessary to adjust contrast, saturation, and sharpness after utilizing the lut.

D-log M; I haven't found a lut that will help with this file format. It does provide more adjustment latitude in post than a standard profile but is a manual process for me including expanding the dynamic range by adjusting Lift, gama, gain, and offset. D-Log M is not a true log file. It is a step between standard and D-log that provides a little more latitude in post than standard.

Both D-log and D-log M offer 10 bit color depth. While an 8 bit image provides 256 color graduations, 10 bit offers over a billion. Obviously the more subtle graduations offered by 10 bit offer the possibility for a better finished product. Both flavors of log are 4:2:0 which relates to how a color is derived. At the moment the standard for production companies is 4:2:2 which produces better color renditions. The Mavic cine will produce a 4:2:2 10 bit Prores file that hits the benchmark for production companies.

Having written all that and barely scratched the surface of the issue there is always color science to consider. Every camera manufacturer utilizes a different color science. Some are obviously better than others and some are a matter of taste. In regard to DJI, I am a fan of D-log.

There's a lot to be considered. Probably the most important is distribution. For YouTube pretty much anything goes. If you want to get involved with a distribution company such as FilmHub everything changes, a lot.
First of all...welcome back Ogre! Haven't seen any posts from you lately but maybe I missed them.

Thank you so much for this excellent summarization. I learned a lot. I have been flying a drone and working with editing and video since 2015. Most of my videos submitted to this forum (African Safari, Canadian Rockies, Miami City views, etc.) have been shot in either auto or D-Log and edited with either commercial LUTs such as Film Poets, or the free DJI to Rec 709 LUT, from their download center. I get satisfactory colors with the DJI LUT and my results with Film Poets are sometimes good, but unpredictable. I have tried to learn the color wheels of color grading in my Adobe Premiere Pro but I just cannot.

I generated this thread because I wanted advise on the most fool proof way to shoot nice video on my upcoming 3 weeks in Kyrgystan, where the scenery is spectacular. I will really not be able to do much editing there due to many days off the grid with only a generator for 5 photographaphers at the end of each shooting day of the trip. I intend to shoot mostly auto on good weather days but have been practicing here at home in Miami with the lowest level of D-Log on my RC Pro . I go out on my driveway and shoot about 30-60 seconds of each choice, e.g.: Auto, D-Log , D-Log M, and HGL+.265. (continuous bit rate). I get the best results with D-Log/H.265 and DJI to Rec 709 LUT.

I am planning to film mostly this way (e.g.: D-Log, H.265, and edit with DJI to Rec 709 LUT.

Would really appreciate your guidance.

Dale
Miami
 
First of all...welcome back Ogre! Haven't seen any posts from you lately but maybe I missed them.

Thank you so much for this excellent summarization. I learned a lot. I have been flying a drone and working with editing and video since 2015. Most of my videos submitted to this forum (African Safari, Canadian Rockies, Miami City views, etc.) have been shot in either auto or D-Log and edited with either commercial LUTs such as Film Poets, or the free DJI to Rec 709 LUT, from their download center. I get satisfactory colors with the DJI LUT and my results with Film Poets are sometimes good, but unpredictable. I have tried to learn the color wheels of color grading in my Adobe Premiere Pro but I just cannot.

I generated this thread because I wanted advise on the most fool proof way to shoot nice video on my upcoming 3 weeks in Kyrgystan, where the scenery is spectacular. I will really not be able to do much editing there due to many days off the grid with only a generator for 5 photographaphers at the end of each shooting day of the trip. I intend to shoot mostly auto on good weather days but have been practicing here at home in Miami with the lowest level of D-Log on my RC Pro . I go out on my driveway and shoot about 30-60 seconds of each choice, e.g.: Auto, D-Log , D-Log M, and HGL+.265. (continuous bit rate). I get the best results with D-Log/H.265 and DJI to Rec 709 LUT.

I am planning to film mostly this way (e.g.: D-Log, H.265, and edit with DJI to Rec 709 LUT.

Would really appreciate your guidance.

Dale
Miami
Good to read your post as well. The color wheels in PP are difficult and are primarily for changing hues in color. Something that would be considered a secondary grade to create a "look". A general hue of Teal has been in the vogue for awhile now with some film makers. I would stick to primary adjustments and maybe look at curves which give you more fine adjustment for contrast. Use RGB Curves and click on the white circle to make adjustments. You can pick where in the color/lumen spectrum you want to make things darker and lighter rather than just increasing or decreasing a general contrast. You are very close to the input color space lut I mentioned with your DJI to Rec 709 conversion lut. That is more of a technical correction lut than an artistic lut. Much better for producing a true representation of the footage taken. The biggest problem with log is expanding to dynamic range back to original or what would be considered linear. There is no telling how and where the algorithm makes it adjustments while encoding. That is where a conversion lut excels working with the algorithm in mind.

You can also bring up lumenetry scopes while color grading which can help. Get your black point 3 or 4 points above zero and your highlight point somewhere between 80 and 90%.
 
Good to read your post as well. The color wheels in PP are difficult and are primarily for changing hues in color. Something that would be considered a secondary grade to create a "look". A general hue of Teal has been in the vogue for awhile now with some film makers. I would stick to primary adjustments and maybe look at curves which give you more fine adjustment for contrast. Use RGB Curves and click on the white circle to make adjustments. You can pick where in the color/lumen spectrum you want to make things darker and lighter rather than just increasing or decreasing a general contrast. You are very close to the input color space lut I mentioned with your DJI to Rec 709 conversion lut. That is more of a technical correction lut than an artistic lut. Much better for producing a true representation of the footage taken. The biggest problem with log is expanding to dynamic range back to original or what would be considered linear. There is no telling how and where the algorithm makes it adjustments while encoding. That is where a conversion lut excels working with the algorithm in mind.

You can also bring up lumenetry scopes while color grading which can help. Get your black point 3 or 4 points above zero and your highlight point somewhere between 80 and 90%.
Ogre:
Sorry to say, despite being a physician and an ophthalmologist, spending a lifetime treating eye diseases, the science of color is an entire subspecialty all to its own. All of your probably great suggestions about lumenitry scopes, black points, etc. have gone completely over my head!

Here is my main problem! My trip to Kyrgystan will be 90% landscapes in high mountain country. Thus, most every single video will be associated with high dynamic range, with bright, snowy mountains, overpowering the sensor and under exposing the foregrounds. In Photoshop and Lightroom, working on a RAW file with the MASKING tool and the linear gradient tool, I can compensate for the high dynamic range of bright skies and dark foregrounds. No such tool is available for local (non global) editing in Premiere for video, like it is available in Photoshop/Lightroom for RAW files.

So I am trying to figure out how to shoot videos of mountains glaciers, rivers, etc. Should I go with Auto? Can I get any local (sky or foreground) compensation using D-Log and DJI- LUT? Here is a typical image from the trip brochure. I did a screen grab but cut off some sky by mistake but uyou get the idea.
DaleScreenshot 2024-05-07 at 11.30.08 AM.png
 
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Ogre:
Sorry to say, despite being a physician and an ophthalmologist, spending a lifetime treating eye diseases, the science of color is an entire subspecialty all to its own. All of your probably great suggestions about lumenitry scopes, black points, etc. have gone completely over my head!

Here is my main problem! My trip to Kyrgystan will be 90% landscapes in high mountain country. Thus, most every single video will be associated with high dynamic range, with bright, snowy mountains, overpowering the sensor and under exposing the foregrounds. In Photoshop and Lightroom, working on a RAW file with the MASKING tool and the linear gradient tool, I can compensate for the high dynamic range of bright skies and dark foregrounds. No such tool is available for local (non global) editing in Premiere for video, like it is available in Photoshop/Lightroom for RAW files.

So I am trying to figure out how to shoot videos of mountains glaciers, rivers, etc. Should I go with Auto? Can I get any local (sky or foreground) compensation using D-Log and DJI- LUT? Here is a typical image from the trip brochure. I did a screen grab but cut off some sky by mistake but uyou get the idea.
DaleView attachment 174877
Wow Dale, most of those are creative decisions. Do some testing at home first. Try auto in a high contrast scene. Note how the exposure changes as you move away from sky to ground. See if that is acceptable to you. Also turn on your zebras and see what auto decides to do. What part of the scene does it favor? Does it let the sky go to white or darken the ground. One method to get the most dynamic range is to use manual, turn on zebras and adjust your exposure until the zebras are no longer there. This guarantees at least some information in the sky. Take at least an ND32 to give your self a little wiggle room. Definitely use Dlog for the additional stops of DR. I will pick a path I want to video and trial it once. Then I will set the exposure to manual and go for the best settings I can get. I will make cuts between flying away from the sun and into the sun. Plan cuts between clips with a horizon and no horizon, etc videoing all of the different clips with different exposures. I judge the scene by what strikes me in the scene. If it's a brilliant blue sky, I will expose for that most often exposing to the left. If it's ground detail I'll often expose to the right and sacrifice the sky color. If motion is not involved go for a still and bracket the exposure. I get the difficulty. D-log produces around 12 stops of usable DR. I have an Ursa Mini Pro that produces 15 and the difference is huge.

Enjoy Kyrgyzstan! I've been just north of there in Kazakhstan and unfortunately that is just a baren waste land ravaged by the USSR.



You are right about Premiere Pro. You have to get into After Effects to do masking and compositing and that is a huge bag of worms. That is another reason I prefer Davinci Resolve. Masking is much easier in DR allowing you to make more targeted adjustments as long as there is information to do so i.e. not clipped in either black or white.
 
Shooting DLog is the video equivalent of camera Raw for stills. It records in 10 bit with highlights and shadows compressed in such a way that you have a much better chance of recovering bright or dark area that would be blown out or fully black if shot in normal mode.
I get what you're saying, but raw video is the equivalent of raw stills and D-Log (or just LOG footage in general) is basically just a flat color profile (and not necessarily 10-bit, although newer DJI cameras pretty much all do LOG as 10-bit only). I don't say this to be pedantic. For video, it's really important to understand the distinction.

The best example to illustrate the difference is white balance. Raw photo and video don't have baked in white balance because of where WB is applied in the processing pipeline (raw is basically just data straight from the sensor with no processing), so adjusting WB in post has no effect on the image/video. But DLOG video *does* have WB balance baked in, so making big changes to it in post can degrade your image quality. So even if you shoot LOG, it's REEEEALLLY important to set your WB correctly before you record (although even with raw you should try and set it correctly from the start).
 
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