Shooting Red - Exposure

Nick Keller

New member
When shooting on the red which is the best way to determine your exposure in monitor. I've read up on all the tools and have gotten good advice to treat it like a 320ASA film stock. But in terms of the monitor what is giving you a better idea of what your getting the RAW mode or whatever your metadata setting is (REC 709, Redspace, etc.)?

I would assume that the RAW mode should be what you ultimately base your contrast, lat, exposure with since that is what the camera is recording. Unless your just going to be using the QT proxies and not bothering with the RAW image ever. But I'm a bit lost since the RAW image is devoid of color and was wondering if you can still get a good idea of the lat/contrast the image is recording in that mode.
You can always try switching between different view modes.

It all depends on what works for you personally. The problem I have with viewing RAW, or LOG on a LOG camera, is that the image is so low in contrast that I start lighting to make it look normal in contrast. And then when I get into post, I find that I didn't use enough fill light once I make the blacks nice and rich. So I'd rather monitor in a mode that adds some contrast knowing that there is extra information on either end in the RAW files. In other words, I'd rather pretend I had fewer stops of dynamic range to work in, and then have a somewhat wider latitude image in post to color-correct.

But other people can mentally convert a RAW or LOG image on a monitor into something higher in contrast and know that even though there is shadow detail visible, it has to be brighter in value to get a good black in post.

I'd almost prefer a new viewing mode that was high contrast in the shadows but low contrast in the highlights (which is closer to a film look anyway...) Right now, I use Rec 709 mode on the RED ONE, I find that RedSpace is deceptively brighter to the eye, which causes me to underexpose more.

Nick Keller

New member
Thanks. Thats why I asked, someone who had shot with the camera said they found themselves lighting too contrasty and ended up with noisy shadows. On a side note I also notice that the RAW is a bit darker, do you need to adjust/compensate exposure for that? Or is it a bit darker to protect from blowing out highlights? Just dont want to end up with a underexposed raw file.
You make adjustments based on the balance of highlights and shadows. In other words, if you don't have hot highlights that need protecting, you have room with RAW to expose more to reduce noise and increase shadow detail.


New member
I think it's darker for RAW cause according to the manual:
"RAW: monitor path image represents the RAW sensor data, bypassing the color matrix. "

But you can supposedly boost up the exposure for the raw file at least a stop and a half for your darks in post without losing any detail, or adding gain because of the boasted 11 stops of dynamic range...
RAW and LOG tend to put white at a lower IRE level than 100 IRE in order to record extra highlight detail. So if you put white on a chart (Zone 10) and expose so that it hits the top of the scale in RAW view, you are losing some highlight protection, which is why RAW and LOG images tend to look a bit murky. One of the things that monitor conversions to Rec709 or RedSpace do is push up the highlight detail so that white looks correct at 100 IRE more or less... but then you see clipping on the monitor when there is actually more detail if you look in the RAW file.