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Old July 26th, 2008, 01:49 AM   #1
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Sony SR11/12 Twilight Mode

We use SR11s as unmanned cameras on wedding ceremonies. I've been using twilght mode to restict gain to 9db but have found that the white balance is far too warm indoors, and you can't use manual white balance in twilight mode. We're gonna try exposure shift as a way of reducing gain instead.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #2
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We use SR11s as unmanned cameras on wedding ceremonies. I've been using twilght mode to restict gain to 9db but have found that the white balance is far too warm indoors, and you can't use manual white balance in twilight mode. We're gonna try exposure shift as a way of reducing gain instead.
You've found the problem with almost every consumer camcorder: too warm indoors and too cool outside. That's why I added a whole chapter on Color Correction to my 'Sony SR/CX Handbook.' You would be shocked how measurably wrong INDOOR is.

To get beyond "consumer" video -- you'll have to color correct.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 01:07 AM   #3
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You've found the problem with almost every consumer camcorder: too warm indoors and too cool outside.
But it's only too warm indoors when using twilight mode. I color correct using Vegas but the footage is so warm it's diffcult to correct it fully.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 06:39 PM   #4
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But it's only too warm indoors when using twilight mode. I color correct using Vegas but the footage is so warm it's diffcult to correct it fully.
You may like the warmth consumer camcorders add. But, if you look on a vectorscope -- you'll quickly see how wrong the indoor setting is.

By the way, to color correct your CC MUST have both a Color Balance control (to get white correct by removing red push) and a Color Phase control (to get skin "tone" correct). And, you need to use a vectorscope to make the correction. Plus, you may need to alter saturation.

I used FCP to write may book's chapter on CC and I could push skin right onto the "flesh tone line." You do know vectorscopes have a "line" that indicates exactly the correct color phase for flesh.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 08:12 PM   #5
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Steve Do you have a chapter in you SR11 handbook that deals about CC in Vegas 8 or or Adobe Premier CS3?
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Old August 13th, 2008, 05:29 AM   #6
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But it's only too warm indoors when using twilight mode. I color correct using Vegas but the footage is so warm it's diffcult to correct it fully.
That's because as soon as you enble Twilight mode -- the camera switches to AWB which is not accurate. Which is why I claim AWB is useable only if you are willing to CC.

PS: Vegas has the same TYPE of CC as does FCP -- which is what I document in my book.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #7
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Using AWB in the twilight mode and AWB in normal daylight as well as many other lighting conditions are two different things. Typically there is no need for CC using AWB with the SR11/12. For difficult situations one can always use MWB. The overwhelming majority of my footage (and I'm sure most other users) looks extremely natural without any need for CC. I have an excellent eye for color and if the vast majority of my footage required CC, I'd know I bought the wrong camera. Applying CC to odd or dim lighting situations is another matter altogether.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #8
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Measurements of AWB and INDOOR in bright -- not dim -- light. Note, all show a lack of perfect WB -- easily seen by the experienced eye.

The final pix shows how skin looks after CC of MWB. Note the skin lines-up on the "flesh" vector. Now one is getting the best from the Sony. Something one wants before burning a $25 Blu-ray disc.
Attached Thumbnails
Sony SR11/12 Twilight Mode-picture-1.jpg   Sony SR11/12 Twilight Mode-picture-2.jpg  

Sony SR11/12 Twilight Mode-picture-6.jpg   Sony SR11/12 Twilight Mode-picture-9.jpg  

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Old August 14th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
Measurements of AWB and INDOOR in bright -- not dim -- light. Note, all show a lack of perfect WB -- easily seen by the experienced eye.

The final pix shows how skin looks after CC of MWB. Note the skin lines-up on the "flesh" vector. Now one is getting the best from the Sony. Something one wants before burning a $25 Blu-ray disc.
Steve, the point I'm trying to make is that even to the 'experienced eye', color looks extremely accurate the vast majority of times. Of course much of my 'fun' shooting is done outdoors in good lighting and therefore the AWB is much more accurate. As you move indoors and the lighting gets dimmer, the accuracy suffers as it does with almost all videocameras. The difference between accurate color and 'perfect' color will always be there. But as far I'm concerned a camera used in this manner, for non-broadcast situations, and shooting fun events, there is absolutely no need to CC. When I'm standing and watching the actual scene I just shot and am watching it concurrently on a calibrated plasma, and the two look about as perfect as the technology (both display and consumer camcorder) will allow, there's no need for a vectroscope to tell you what's right and wrong.

I stand by what I've always said, if the color doesn't call attention to itself, then you are in good shape. Further, even with CC, no consumer cam will give you 'perfect' color...it's just not possible. Another issue to remember is that when you CC, you may bring one color closer to perfect, but in the process move another color further away from 'perfect'. This is a situation that is also faced when doing ISF calibrations of display devices. Keep in mind the user also has MWB at his/her disposal.

Further, and just as important as I've stated before, the human memory is such that you will never ever pick up slight inaccuracies of color for things you shot the day before or some other time in the past. There's no way any human can remember 'precisely' what a given color looked like when it was shot days before. So there's a good chance the 'inaccuracy' will simply be undetectable. When the colors are significantly wrong, most people will pick it up regardless of when the footage was shot. That was my problem with the HF10, it was simply 'wrong'.

The bigger joke is that most people who buy these cameras (yes, even prosumers) will display their footage on displays that have not been ISF'd. Some may only use LCDs to watch their footage which generally won't give you accurate colors even if you stand on your head and spit nickels. So what does 'accuracy' mean at that point? :)

But there is no need to CC footage shot outdoors in the vast majority of situations. By the way, shooting indoors in office type lighting (flourescent), generally yields more accurate colors than incandescent, especially when using the MWB. The bottom line with poor lighting with any camera, is to use auxilliary lighting if you really want more accurate and better looking footage. Of that there's no denying. Yes, in some situations you simply can't do that, but when there's a choice and you really want your footage at its best, use lighting.

For me, with a trained and 'experienced' eye, colors on my 60" calibrated Pioneer Kuro look extremely accurate the vast majority of times.

P.S. No need to burn a $25 BR disc when you can burn AVCHD files just as effectively to a 20 cent DVD-R. Also, if I were you I'd stop shopping at whatever place is charging you $25 for a BR disc!!! ;)

Last edited by Ken Ross; August 14th, 2008 at 10:52 AM.
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