Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Over the last 6 months I have read various posts about people having “lighter” footage after using Apple’s Compressor. This happened to a friend of mine recently…he was sending a self contained HD file out of Compressor and hey presto it was a lot lighter than it should be.

Strange…everything he was doing was the same but for one important difference…HD footage. He had only ever compressed SD DV footage up until this week.

Knowing the type of man he is Norrie set out to discover why this was…the solution !

If you are using FCP with HD footage and you come across the same problem “lighter” footage you must do the following…

Send your footage from FCP as a reference file NOT as a self contained file, it seems that compressor gets upset with certain self contained HD footage which lifts the Gamma causing the footage to look lighter than it should.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

3 thoughts on “Your HD footage looks lighter than it should ?

  1. The old apple gamma bug , was this with version 7? . Is there no gamma correction setting buried in the export settings dialogue in FCP? I am sure you remember the nasty work arounds we had to endure pre SL. The best part of the SL was gamma 1.8 not 2.2 bringing apple in line with the remainder of the known universe.thanks for the heads up 🙂

  2. As yet I am not sure if it’s a FCP V7 bug but I have someone on the case. Remember not all of us are suffering this problem, there are other factors… not all makes use the same colour space.

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