What is Picture Profile?

What is Picture Profile?
Introduction to Picture Profile
What is Picture Profile? [1]
Gamma and Knee [2]
What is S-Log? [3]
Color Space [4]
Detail [5]
Picture Profile setting parameters
Setting basic contrast/coloring (Gamma/Color Mode) [6]
Adjusting contrast (Black Level/Black Gamma/Knee) [7]
Adjusting coloring (Saturation/Color Phase/Color Depth) [8]
Emphasizing image edges (Detail) [9]
[1] Introduction to Picture Profile
What is Picture Profile?
Picture Profile is a menu for adjusting and changing parameters that determine an image’s
characteristics. There are many parameters that can be adjusted, but they can be grouped
into 4 types — parameters for selecting basic contrast and color tone, parameters for
adjusting gradation (darkness-brightness tone), parameters for adjusting coloring, and
parameters for emphasizing image edges.
Select MENU →
(Camera Settings) → [Picture Profile] → the profile you want to
change, and you can directly enter the Picture Profile setting mode.
Supporting a wide range of adjustable settings, this camera’s Picture Profile menu allows you
to change a variety of settings, such as Gamma Curve, Color and Detail. Up to 7 sets of
setting combinations can be stored in the internal memory as PP1 through PP7.
Available functions may vary depending on your camera.
Using Picture Profile presets
This camera is equipped with several Picture Profile presets as a default setting. By using
these presets, you can match the image texture with other types of cameras equipped with
the [Picture Profile] function, or create an image texture that is similar to that of cinematic
Difference from image processing using nonlinear video
editing software
Picture Profile adjusts colors and the vividness of the image during recording. You can make
similar adjustments by using nonlinear editing software after shooting. But there are the
following differences.
To fit massive amounts of image data in a limited memory capacity, this camera compresses
image data when recording. No matter how advanced a compression format is, any data
compression inevitably deteriorates image quality somewhat. Applying sharpness, gamma
curve correction and other video effects to recorded images by using nonlinear editing
software worsens the image condition further by processing already deteriorated images.
For example, if video compression leaves the image with poor contrast or block noise in
some areas, applying video effects often make the problems more noticeable.
Because Picture Profile processes video signals before compressing, it changes the gamma
curve and corrects colors before image quality is damaged by compression. This makes it
possible to carry out highly precise image adjustments while keeping the quality of the
subject intact. It should also be noted that recording images with proper contrast is crucial. If
image contrast in dark and bright areas is not recorded properly, this will result in
underexposed dark and overexposed white areas with no gradations. This means you
cannot change image contrast properly later on with nonlinear editing software no matter
how hard you try because there will be no gradations to work with.
If you intend to process your video with nonlinear editing software later, it is important that
you record your image in the right way.
Nonlinear editing software is a very powerful tool, but can’t fix everything. If you adjust
various settings to make sure your video is recorded in a way that matches your ideal as
much as possible, you will be able to create a video that will be closer to what you have in
mind with minimal processing via nonlinear editing software. It will also keep rendering time
short and make video editing work more efficient.
What to do with Picture Profile
If you are working on a project with ample time for editing or a short piece, record an image
that is as flat as possible to allow for many different kinds of post-production image
processing and color adjustments.
If you are working on a project with a tight deadline or a long piece, on the other hand, you
can dramatically reduce the amount of post-production image processing and enable highly
efficient production by recording the video as close to the vision of the finished image as
possible. Showing the image being recorded to the director and crew as close to the tone of
the ideal finished image as possible on a display monitor will greatly boost morale on the
scene, which has a major impact on the quality of the finished work. In order to avoid the
problems with nonlinear editing described in the previous section, and also to create pieces
with mobility that make the most of this camera’s unique characteristics, try to fully utilize
Picture Profile while recording images at the proper settings.
[2] Introduction to Picture Profile
Gamma and Knee
Gamma curve, knee point, and knee slope are elements that exert great influence over
image characteristics. By understanding these, you’ll be able to utilize Picture Profile
What is a gamma curve?
Gamma curves show the relationship between the input signal level and the output signal
level. The camera converts the brightness signal from the subject into an electrical signal
and sends the electrical signal to the display monitor, which converts that signal back to a
brightness signal and reproduces the subject as an image. The input signal level is the level
of the brightness signals from the subject and the original image, whereas the output signal
level is the level of the brightness signal output by the camera or display monitor.
In order to faithfully reproduce a subject in video images, the output signal level needs to be
largely proportional to the input signal level, as shown in the straight line below. But the
fluorescent material characteristics of a CRT (cathode-ray tube) cause the output signal level
from CRT monitors to curve as shown below. This represents the gamma curve of CRT
monitors. The camera’s video gamma curve plots the opposite curve. For this reason, the
properties of the camera and CRT monitor can be offset to faithfully reproduce and display
the original subject.
The inherent characteristics of an LCD (liquid crystal display) cause the output signal level
from LCD monitors to be largely proportional to the input signal level. However, because the
camera is designed for CRT monitors, LCD monitors and OLED (organic light-emitting
diode) monitors mimic the CRT’s gamma curve.
How the gamma curve’s shape influences images
Influence on dark areas and contrast
High-end cameras have a function to slightly change the shape of the gamma curve for dark
areas of the image, known as Black Gamma. Changing the gamma curve shape lets you
dramatically alter the atmosphere of the image by strengthening or weakening the shading,
or contrast, of the image.
What is knee correction?
Cameras are, in general, not good at clearly capturing a scene that contains extremely
different luminance levels, such as one object in bright sunlight and another in the shade. If
you set the right exposure for the object in the shade, the object under the sun will be
captured too brightly and appear as a plain white object without texture or gradation. Knee
correction is a function necessary to keep these kinds of images with a large disparity in
luminance levels within the standard range of video signal levels. Just as Black Gamma
influences contrast in dark image areas, knee correction deals with contrast in image areas
with high luminance levels.
CCD and CMOS sensors can handle an extremely bright input signal. To output it as a video
signal, however, we need to keep the signal within the standard range for video. For this
reason, the signal output level is kept lower than the signal input level in high-luminance
areas that generate input signals over a certain level. In the chart below, the line bends like
a knee at a certain point in the high-luminance range. This is called the knee point. The line
extending from the knee point is called the knee slope.
By changing the position of the knee point and the inclination of the knee slope, contrast in
the high-luminance range can be altered. The breadth of input signal levels that a system
can process is called the dynamic range.
Without knee correction
With knee correction
[3] Introduction to Picture Profile
What is S-Log?
The S-Log2 gamma curve is optimized to the dynamic range of the CMOS sensor.
In order to bring out the contrast in highlights as much as possible, the sensor output has
been extended to 1300% of the dynamic range. Although some color grading work is
required, the S-Log2 gamma curve is an effective way to preserve highlight gradations that
would otherwise be lost, thereby providing greater exposure latitude in recording.
Camera settings
ISO 2000 24p 1/48
Grading settings
Shadow: –10%
Mid: +5%
Highlight: –4%
Mid: 165° +1%
Highlight: 352° –1%
Global: +49%
Mid: +66%
Highlight: +84%
Camera settings
ISO 2000 24p 1/48
Grading settings
Shadow: –1%
Mid: –28%
Highlight: –3%
Mid: 180° +1%
Highlight: 228° –2%
Global: +58%
Mid: +33%
Highlight: +47%
[ITU709(800%)] is a gamma curve for easily assessing the level of gradation when
grading an image recorded using [S-Log2] to ITU709.
When you adjust the shooting exposure with [Gamma] set to [S-Log2] and then switch
[Gamma] to [ITU709(800%)], a low-contrast image will be displayed with ITU709 contrast
applied. Although [ITU709(800%)] applies higher contrast as compared with the S-Log
gamma curve, it may be difficult to assess gradations in high-luminance areas. Switch to
[ITU709(800%)] as necessary based on the image you want to assess.
has been designed specifically for 10-bit recording, and therefore may not generate
sufficient gradation in dark image areas in 8-bit AVCHD.
[4] Introduction to Picture Profile
Color Space
This product’s Picture Profile uses the concept of a color space based on three dimensions;
Hue, Saturation and Luminance.
This color space can be represented as a shape that resembles two cones joined at their
bases. When you slice the color space at a certain luminance level, a circular cross section
appears. In this cross section, the angle from the circle’s center line indicates hue, while the
distance from the circle’s center represents saturation.
Because some color-related settings in Picture Profile use this color space concept,
familiarizing yourself with this concept will make it easier for you to understand how those
settings should be used.
[5] Introduction to Picture Profile
The Detail function processes video signals to emphasize image outlines. It can be used to
make the subject stand out clearly and enhance the fineness of the overall image. The
function also influences the image texture, affecting the rendering of coarseness and
translucence, for example. Detail is also a very important image setting function when
shooting people. This function can change the atmosphere of the person depicted by
determining the way face wrinkles and skin tones look. But used inappropriately, the Detail
function may lead to a loss of image texture or highly visible image noise. By understanding
the principles of detail signal processing as shown below, you should be able to use this
function effectively.
Concept of Detail
Detail is a type of signal processing that emphasizes image edges. In the example below,
there is a large luminance variation between the lace pattern and the background. In the
charts below, whose vertical axes represent luminance, (a) shows the change in luminance
levels in the image section inside the red square. The Detail function generates (b) from (a).
(b) serves as the basis of the detail signal and combines with (a). The resulting (c)
represents (a) with the detail signal applied, emphasizing both the white and black edges in
the image.
Because the Detail function emphasizes image outlines and makes the image look sharper,
it is sometimes referred to as the Sharpness function.
[6] Picture Profile setting parameters
Setting basic contrast/coloring (Gamma/Color Mode)
The basic contrast and coloring are defined by the combination of [Gamma] (gamma curve)
and [Color Mode] (color characteristics) settings.
Standard gamma curve for video
Standard gamma curve for still images
Softens the contrast in darker image areas and emphasizes gradation
changes in lighter image areas, producing a subdued tone overall
(equivalent to HG4609G33)
Similar results to [Cine1] but optimized for editing with up to 100% video
signal (equivalent to HG4600G30)
Stronger contrast between dark and light image areas and greater
emphasis on black gradation changes (compared to [Cine1] and [Cine2])
Stronger contrast than [Cine3] in darker image areas; compared to
[Movie], has less contrast in darker image areas and more contrast in
lighter image areas
ITU709 gamma curve (low-light gain of 4.5)
Gamma curve for checking scenes recorded using [S-Log2]
Gamma curve for [S-Log2]. This setting is selected when some grading
work will be performed after recording.
Color Mode
Color tones for [Movie] gamma curve
Color tones for [Still] gamma curve
Color tones for [Cine1] gamma curve
Color tones similar to standard Sony broadcast camera image
quality (used in combination with [ITU709] gamma curve)
ITU709 Matrix
ITU709 color tones (used in combination with [ITU709] gamma
Black & White
Sets the saturation to 0 for recording in black and white
Setting based on the assumption that some grading work will be
performed after recording. Used when [Gamma] is set to [SLog2].
S-Gamut is a color space unique to Sony that provides a
wide color space equivalent to film cameras. However, the SGamut setting on this camera does not support the whole
color space of S-Gamut; it is intended to achieve color
reproduction equivalent to S-Gamut.
[7] Picture Profile setting parameters
Adjusting contrast (Black Level/Black Gamma/Knee)
Black Level
This function adjusts the black level of the image.
Black Level
–15 to +15
As an image effect, you can emphasize the color black to create an image that gives a
powerful impression, or you can weaken black to give the image a soft impression. Shifting
Black Level in the minus direction emphasizes the black color in the image, while changing
the level in the plus direction weakens the black color.
If you want to simulate an old film, or capture winter morning fog, the black level value
should be increased. If you decrease the value, gradations in dark areas will be smoothed
out, making the areas appear in crisp black.
When using multiple fixed cameras to shoot the same subject from different angles, the
balance between subject and background often varies. This balance variation may cause the
black color in the subject to appear different when cameras are switched. However, this is an
optical illusion. If it occurs, you can correct it by adjusting Black Level to make the black color
look the same.
Black Gamma
This function lets you alter the shape of the selected gamma curve and adjust gradations in
dark image areas.
Black Gamma > Range
Wide / Middle / Narrow
Black Gamma > Level
–7 to +7
[Range] controls the luminance range that Black Gamma influences. The [Narrow] setting
keeps the range close to black, while the [Wide] setting extends the range to gray. [Range]
should be set narrower when you want to control the quality of dark areas. If you want to
adjust the overall image tone, [Range] should be set wider. At first, it may be a good idea to
start from the [Narrow] setting.
Increasing the [Level] value brightens the image, whereas decreasing the value makes the
image darker. For example, if you set [Range] to [Narrow] and decrease the [Level] value,
you can create an image with dark areas that are similar to the ones seen in films. Unlike
Black Level, Black Gamma Level adjusts luminance subtly.
Black Gamma (+7)
Black Gamma (0)
Black Gamma (–7)
This function sets the knee point and slope for video signal compression to prevent overexposure by limiting signals in high intensity areas of the subject to the dynamic range of
your camera.
First, select whether to set the knee point and slope automatically or manually in [Mode], and
then adjust each setting.
Knee > Mode
Auto / Manual
Knee > Auto Set > Max Point
90% to 100%
Knee > Auto Set > Sensitivity
High / Mid / Low
Knee > Manual Set > Point
75% to 105%
Knee > Manual Set > Slope
–5 to +5
Automatically adjusts the knee based on what is selected in the following settings (when
[Movie] or [ITU709] is selected in [Gamma]).
[Max Point] determines the maximum knee point level (white level). The knee slope is
automatically adjusted according to the Max Point setting. The standard is to keep it at
100%. A lower setting will turn white grayish, while a higher setting will discard gradations
in high luminance areas.
[Sensitivity] changes the luminance level at which the knee’s automatic adjustment starts.
When set to [Low], the knee’s automatic adjustment starts at lower input signal levels
than normal. When set to [High], the knee’s automatic adjustment starts at higher input
signal levels than normal.
When a parameter other than [Movie] or [ITU709] is selected in [Gamma], the gamma
curve will not exceed the White clip point and over-exposure rarely occurs. When [Mode]
is set to [Auto] with these settings, the Knee function is disabled. If you want to enable the
Knee function, set [Mode] to [Manual].
Sticks to settings based on the following selections.
[Point] sets the position of the knee point output level.
[Slope] determines the inclination of the knee slope.
A negative slope setting results in a gentler knee slope angle. This expands the dynamic
range, but reduces the ability to produce rich gradations. A positive slope setting makes
the knee slope inclination steeper. This shrinks the dynamic range, but bolsters the ability
to express gradations. When [Slope] is set to +5, the Knee function is disabled.
Set [Point] and [Slope] in [Manual Set] in combination. If you select a higher setting for
[Point] and a gentler setting for [Slope], you can obtain video-like sharp highlight effects. If
softer film-like highlight effects are desired, select a lower setting for [Point] and a steeper
setting for [Slope]. In practical terms, move [Point] and [Slope] up and down in opposite
directions while checking the gradations in high luminance areas until you find the ideal
[8] Picture Profile setting parameters
Adjusting coloring (Saturation/Color Phase/Color Depth)
This function adjusts the color saturation.
–32 (fainter in color) to +32 (richer in color)
A positive value results in more vivid colors, while a negative value presents faded colors.
Saturation must be adjusted in tandem with contrast. Bright and vivid settings produce videolike images, while dark and vivid settings result in film-like images. The combination of
bright and light creates pastel tones, whereas dark and light settings create artistic finishes.
Color Phase
This function adjusts the color hue.
Color Phase
–7 (Greenish) to +7 (Reddish)
As you rotate the color wheel to the left (decreasing the set value) or to the right (increasing
the set value), the colors shift along the spectrum from red to yellow, green, cyan, blue,
magenta and red. Because this affects all colors, it is difficult to make specific adjustments
exactly as intended. Use this function when matching coloring closely between different
Color Depth
This function adjusts the luminance for each color phase. The luminance changes more
drastically when the selected color is richer (higher saturation). It does not change much at
all when the color is achromatic.
Color Depth > R
–7 to +7
Color Depth > G
–7 to +7
Color Depth > B
–7 to +7
Color Depth > C
–7 to +7
Color Depth > M
–7 to +7
Color Depth > Y
–7 to +7
A higher set value lowers luminance while deepening the color. A lower set value increases
luminance, making the color look paler.
This setting doesn’t only enhance the apparent vividness of colors, but also can express
deep, dark colors.
Because each of the 6 colors — R (Red), G (Green), B (Blue), C (Cyan), M (Magenta), Y
(Yellow) — can be adjusted individually, you can apply this function to just the colors you
want to emphasize.
[9] Picture Profile setting parameters
Emphasizing image edges (Detail)
This function adjusts how much detail is applied to the subject’s image edges.
Because settings other than [Level] are quite complex, we recommend you start by adjusting
only the [Level] setting first.
Detail > Level
–7 (Weak) to +7 (Strong)
Detail > Adjust >
Auto / Manual
Detail > Adjust > V/H
–2 (Stronger Vertical (V) detail) to +2 (Stronger Horizontal
(H) detail)
Detail > Adjust > B/W
Type1 (Higher proportion of black detail) to Type5 (Higher
proportion of white detail)
Detail > Adjust >
0 (Strongly restricted) to 7 (No restriction)
Detail > Adjust >
0 (No restriction) to 7 (Strongly restricted)
Detail > Adjust > HiLight Detail
0 (Smaller detail amount) to 4 (Larger detail amount)
This function determines the strength of detail image processing to be applied.
If you apply too much detail, the subject’s original atmosphere may be undermined, as its
translucence may be lost or it may be given an unnatural luster. Excessive detail when
shooting shiny leaves, for instance, may result in the leaves looking as if they are made of
plastic. It is also advisable to apply detail only modestly when shooting paintings.
Because Detail makes image edges wider, the original texture of a subject consisting of
very fine lines may be lost if too much detail processing is applied. (Example: thin lace
Also, be aware that Detail may fatten up the edges of noise particles that appear under a
high gain setting, and may make such particles highly noticeable. In such cases, you can
adjust the amount of detail processing on the noise particles by using the [Crispening]
The image edges become more visible when viewed on large screens. It may be
advisable to ease off on Detail if you plan to view the image on large TVs or screens.
Detail: –
Detail: +
If you want to make finer adjustments to detail, set [Mode] in [Adjust] to [Manual] and adjust
the following settings.
V/H Balance
This function regulates the balance between Vertical (V) detail and Horizontal (H) detail.
Vertical (V) detail boosts image edges by expanding them upward and downward. Horizontal
(H) detail emphasizes image outlines by thickening them to the left and right.
The results of detail processing may appear differently depending on the TV, computer
display or other type of display monitor. Adjust [V/H Balance] as needed.
To emphasize the impression of a subject that has many horizontal elements, such as a
human face (with eyes and mouth), you can increase the proportion of Vertical (V) detail
by lowering the setting (selecting a lower set value).
B/W Balance
This function changes the balance between the amount of black detail for low-luminance
areas and the amount of white detail for high-luminance areas.
This function restricts the amount of black detail for low-luminance areas and white detail for
high-luminance areas by setting a maximum value. The maximum value cannot be set
independently for black detail and white detail.
[B/W Balance] and [Limit] adjust the amount of black detail and white detail added to
image edges.
Black detail adds the impressions of “power,” “hardness,” and “presence” to the subject.
But it may bring undesirable effects because it emphasizes wrinkles and pores.
White detail gives the subject a “clean” and “glossy” impression. You can increase the
proportion of white detail and reduce that of black detail when shooting jewelry and glass
objects to heighten their clarity and translucence.
This function reduces detail that accompanies visual noise to prevent noise from being
You can use this function when you want to apply detail processing to the subject while
keeping noise as unnoticeable as possible.
Hi-Light Detail
This function adjusts the detail level for bright subjects.
You can use this to emphasize the edges of a bright subject in front of a high-luminance
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