What is the Difference Between S-Log2 and S-Log3?

Which one should I use?

S-Log2 and S-Log3 are logarithmic gamma curves developed by Sony for their digital cinema and mirrorless cameras. They are designed to maximize the dynamic range captured by the sensor, providing more flexibility and information for color grading in post-production.

Although both S-Log2 and S-Log3 serve a similar purpose, there are some key differences between them that are important to know!

What’s the Difference Between Sony S-Log2 vs. S-Log3?

The Differences Between S-Log2 and S-Log3

  • Dynamic Range

    S-Log3 provides a slightly higher dynamic range compared to S-Log2. S-Log3 can capture up to 14+ stops of dynamic range, whereas S-Log2 is limited to approximately 13 stops. The higher dynamic range of S-Log3 allows for better retention of details in the shadows and highlights.

  • Noise

    S-Log2 is generally considered to be less noisy in the shadows compared to S-Log3, especially when shooting at lower ISOs. This can be advantageous in certain situations where maintaining a cleaner image is more important than maximizing dynamic range.

  • Color Grading

    S-Log3 is designed to closely match the Cineon logarithmic film curve, making it easier to grade and match with footage from other cameras that use similar curves. S-Log2, on the other hand, has its own unique curve, which may require additional adjustments during color grading.

  • Middle Grey Point

    The middle gray point, or the exposure level where 18% gray is rendered, is different for both profiles. In S-Log2, middle gray is set at 32% IRE, while in S-Log3, it is set at 41% IRE. This difference can impact how you expose your scene when using either profile.

Ultimately, the choice between S-Log2 and S-Log3 depends on your specific needs and preferences. S-Log3 might be a better choice if you need to maximize dynamic range and plan to do extensive color grading in post-production, while S-Log2 could be more suitable for situations where a cleaner image with less noise is desired.

In short, here is our recommendations:

Use S-Log3 if:

  • You need to Maximize Dynamic Range
  • You plan to do more strategic color grading

Use 2-Log2 if:

  • You want to have less noise

Convert S-Log2 and S-Log3 to Rec. 709

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