Written By: Michael Cioni, for Sony Entertainment News
Light Iron is a post production company with an extreme focus on maximizing image fidelity. We rely heavily on technology to increase filmmakers’ creative control over their projects. The newest arrow in our quiver for hitting that target is Sony’s BVM-X300 4K OLED master monitor.
At our Hollywood and New York City facilities, we need monitors with the latest features and best capabilities, which is why we have three of Sony’s X300s. They allow our team to efficiently and effectively color correct and master content, which is the nucleus of our post production services. As far as I’m concerned, this monitor offers the best image I’ve ever seen on a display and sets a new benchmark for professional reference monitors.
As technology rapidly evolves, so does our business. Light Iron’s team has always been focused on filed-based workflows at our core, including 4K end-to-end services, which have continued to attract filmmakers who are interested in cutting-edge image fidelity. After a beginning in features, Light Iron now also works closely with episodic groups, who look to us as a leader in 4K+ and High Dynamic Range (HDR) productions.
With technology that is frequently adapting and trends that come and go, we need products that can meet these ever changing demands. The BVM-X300 handily supports what we at Light Iron call “The Fidelity Tripod.” Some monitors deliver 4K resolution. Some deliver wide color gamut. And some deliver high dynamic range. But the X300 is the first display that delivers all three at the same time at the best in class. Our customers appreciate the results they are getting and consumers are going to enjoy experiencing superior imagery.
4K has been around for many years, as a step up in resolution that offers four times the detail and and clarity of HD, resulting in a more realistic and more textured visual that is becoming standard among our industry peers. In addition to being part of the professional workflow, 4K is experiencing widespread adoption in the consumer environment. Our customers are delivering content in 4K and it is critical to be able to assess and perfect that content using a 4K viewing source, like the X300. As the transition to 4K concludes, it is imperative to employ a 4K monitor as a part of the post-production process, and Sony’s X300 currently stands above the rest.
The X300 uses a unique wide color gamut RGB OLED panel and Sony’s original color management system, so we’ve seen accurate color that is truly bright, has high contrast and EOTF accuracy. This is especially important to the colorists on our team and the DITs we work with.
In addition, High Dynamic Range has been a buzzword in the consumer and professional space and is making strides. HDR displays a much greater aesthetic image when compared to Standard Dynamic Range, so it is a technology that is essential to a colorist who is always looking to achieve the most realistic and beautiful viewing experience – one that rivals human perception itself. Having a monitor like the X300 that works in tandem with the capture of HDR footage has been extremely beneficial and now with the transmission of HDR content on television sets, viewers get a chance to see just how great these images can look.
On the same monitor, our team will view content with different display profiles and will frequently switch between the 2D and 3D color space, in addition to P3 and Rec. 709. With high dynamic range infiltrating all professional and consumer markets, we are beginning to display in BT.2020 color space, among other newer profiles.
Nearly every project in Light Iron’s different facilities now goes through one of our X300s before leaving our buildings. Recent 4K episodic clients such as Amazon, ABC, and Discovery are regularly using our X300s, as well as HD productions with AMC, Paramount, and Lionsgate. In addition, our three X300s are regularly used for primary grading of HDR & UHD masters, as well as broadcast passes of theatrical versions, such as BluRay or HD videotape.
The marked change in quality, details, support and overall capability when compared with our previous monitors is astonishing, in our view. Since installing X300 monitors facility wide, employees in every department request it as part of their workflow and we have no intention of ever switching back.
With broadcast television, OTT networks like Amazon, and movie studios delivering content in 4K and HDR, coupled with HDR televisions hitting the market in droves, the BVM-X300 came into our lives at just the right time.