This video auditions 5 different capture scenarios of a 4096x2160 frame.
All profiles were captured at ISO 400. I know there is debate about which ISOs are noisier than others. But please keep in mind, this was not a noise test. This was a look at difference in dynamic range, tonality, and reports of cyan/magenta artifacts in 8 bit captures.
All profiles were set to -5 NR and -5 Sharpness to removes those from the equation as best as possible. Further, Cinelike D and Natural were set to 0 Contrast, -3 Saturation. In my experience, dropping Contrast to -5 degrades tonality, even in 10 bit.
1. V-Log L + V709 + 8 bit + Internal Capture
2. V-Log L + V709 + 8 bit + External Capture
3. V-Log L + V709 + 10 bit + External Capture
4. Cinelike D Profile + 10 bit + External Capture
5. Natural Profile + 10 bit + External Capture
You can download the 4K file for yourself to get a closer inspection, but my takeaways from this test are:
1. with regard to V-Log L, the increased dynamic range over other profiles is clear. but so is the hit you take in tonality. it's most apparent when gradients in the image are compared directly to the Natural & Cinelike D profiles. 10 bit V-Log holds up the strongest, of course.
2. Natural Profile has the best tonality, which makes sense to me as it always seems to produce the most (ahem) "natural" skintones. Cinelike is a close second but in use has resulted in a bit of splotchiness and unevenness in skin that I don't care for.
3. in V-Log, 8 bit (both internal and external capture) suffers from Cyan/Magenta macroblocking evident when the V709 LUT is applied. 10 bit does too, but to an almost imperceptible extent. You probably will have to download the 4K file to see it.
4. all samples were captured at the same ISO. V-Log L appears noisier but I have a feeling that if these samples were graded to match, the difference would be minimal. My guess is the higher contrast in Cinelike D and Natural works to suppress the appearance of noise.
5. scaling to 2K improves many of these deficiencies.
6. so now it comes down to this: do I continue to shoot in the Natural profile for better tonality? or V-Log L for better dynamic range? That's a tough call. I don't know yet...
If you need the Avid codecs to view the downloaded file, here they are...