The AF100 Platypus Gamma Test

Since my initial tests found the AF100 to be much less tolerant of bright highlights than the 5D Mark II, I decided to try all the different gamma presets that the camera offers to see which provided the most detail.

After shooting a spotlight on a gray background, and a group of differently-textured toys (including a stuffed platypus), I determined that “Cine-Like D” was the closest thing to a “flat” setting that offered maximum dynamic range. The difference between most of the other settings was subtle, to say the least. (It’s easier to see it in the video than in these freeze frames.)

I also noticed that the banding in my spotlight shots was awful. Not surprising, given that this has always been a problem for electronic imaging, but rarely have I had reason to see it this up close and personal. (This is a PNG file exported directly from the raw footage, by the way, so you’re not seeing JPG compression).

My next step was to shoot the same setup with the 5D Mark II, and then compare the two clips. I was pleased to see that – apples to apples – the AF100 looks pretty darn good.

I then used Colorista II to color-grade the AF100 footage to match the 5D Mark II clip. Basically, I lowered the blacks, highlights & saturation, and raised & warmed the midtones (the AF100 footage seems to have a greener hue, even though both cameras were set to a 3200K white balance).

Just based on that simple test (keep in mind that I didn’t grade or transcode the 5D footage), I am confident that footage from these two cameras can be cut together virtually seamlessly.

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