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Why does YouTube make my footage look dark?

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    GH1 Why does YouTube make my footage look dark?

    I'm posting videos on my Youtube channel as MOV files. All footage is shot on a GH1 and looks great (Bright and Sharp) But when I upload them to YouTube, they keep coming out a few shades darker than the original. Also, the clarity is not great either.
    Any suggestions?

    #2
    A common question for many years...compression is always the first factor when considering "clarity", and then it's a combination of export settings, file types and browsers used when playing back the content and seeing any changes.

    Try different export settings and browsers to see if you can pinpoint the issue.

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      #3
      I thought it was usually the other way around? Doesn't quicktime have a known "gamma bug" that displays footage too bright because of incorrect gamma values, or incorrect luminance range?

      See this for instance, first hit by searching quicktime gamma bug: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2099810

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        #4
        That was old, but maybe still applies for some people.

        A difference in browser playback appears to be 99% the issue these days.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Indyreel View Post
          I'm posting videos on my Youtube channel as MOV files. All footage is shot on a GH1 and looks great (Bright and Sharp) But when I upload them to YouTube, they keep coming out a few shades darker than the original. Also, the clarity is not great either.
          Any suggestions?
          YouTube is fine, it must be an upload error. Are you sure your system is configured correctly?

          You can always test it with uploading a SMPTE ARIB chart.

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            #6
            I used handbrake to transcode to a smaller file, but noticed it was darker. So then I started to just upload the mov files, But still notice the same thing.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Indyreel View Post
              I used handbrake to transcode to a smaller file, but noticed it was darker. So then I started to just upload the mov files, But still notice the same thing.
              It's your system set up not YouTube.

              Download your video from YouTube with a YouTube uploader, there won't be any gamma changes.

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                #8
                Upscaling to 4K and sharpening can help with clarity (played back in 4K in Chrome). YouTube serves very low quality on mobile, even over fast WiFi (e.g. iOS and Safari). Quality improves a bit with the YouTube app (no improvement when using the Chrome app).

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Cary Knoop View Post
                  YouTube is fine, it must be an....

                  ^+1

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                    #10
                    Hello. It's my understanding that YouTube is expecting something with a 16-235 color profile, but your computer operates and produces footage in the full 0-255 color space. When you send a 0-255 file to YouTube it ends up looking too contrasty and dark. Since I use Vegas, I render using the "computer to studio RGB" setting in the Levels Fx. The resultant file looks washed out when viewed on the computer but spot-on when posted to YouTube (or Vimeo). I have a client that shows content on both a touch-screen computer, and on YouTube so I deliver two different files, one for the computer, one for YouTube.

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