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Old February 15th, 2008, 07:55 AM   #1
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How to control overexposure on GL2?

I have been practicing, practicing, practicing and reading my GL2 manual, but I cant seem to control the overexposure-bleaching of peoples skin under lights. In the still photography world i can see this overexposed, another example would be a white wedding dress..losing detail, i have "blinking highlights" on my still camera so im assuming the zebra stripes are an equivlent on the GL2? Am i correct, if this is the case I cant figure our how to activate them.... I keep reading but am missing something on the menu setup..

So any help u can provide would be appreciated.

Thanks

dave
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Old February 15th, 2008, 09:18 AM   #2
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Zebra pattern

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Originally Posted by David Ruhland View Post
I cant figure our how to activate them.... I keep reading but am missing something on the menu setup..
The info you seek is on page 85 of the GL2 manual.

In the menu, select CAM. SET UP, then ZEBRA LEVEL and set it to ON

I have this assigned to my custom key (see page 58 of the GL2 manual).
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Old February 15th, 2008, 09:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by David Ruhland View Post
I cant seem to control the overexposure-bleaching of peoples skin under lights. In the still photography world i can see this overexposed,
Of course, the zebra pattern is only an indicator. If you are coming from a photography background, you know that exposure is controlled by variables such as shutter speed and f stops. Be sure to read info on the ND filter on page 47. Sadly, the GL2 only has one built in.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #4
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Thanks Mike..

Now I have the zebra stripes... so i know where what i call my "hot spots" are suggestions for controlling them? Get out of auto mode perhaps? Whats a good starting point for filming people on manual mode? like f/4 100? etc..(dont have a clue wehre to start)

Would the gain thinghy help?

thanks again
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ruhland View Post
Thanks Mike..

Now I have the zebra stripes... so i know where what i call my "hot spots" are suggestions for controlling them? Get out of auto mode perhaps? Whats a good starting point for filming people on manual mode? like f/4 100? etc..(dont have a clue wehre to start)

Would the gain thinghy help?

thanks again
it all depends on your lighting and such..if your lights are shining directly in peoples faces its gonna look over-exposed no matter what. Try diffusing your light somehow for starters. Shoot in full manual mode: you'll have total control over your focus, exposure gain, shutter speed and aperture. Frame your subjects and mess with these settings (use exposure wheel to select and adjust??), just get it to a point where it looks good to your eyes (you probably know about composing shots if ur from a photog background), use the zebra stripes to minimize overexposure, direct light will usually show the stripes. remember to manually white balance for all your shots. All this info is in the manual I believe, but you need to experiment to acheive the correct settings for your environment.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #6
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For full control over exposure, do not use auto exposure modes, and especially avoid the Easy Record (aka: Green Box) mode.

If you really need to use an auto mode, you could try setting some Exposure Adjustment (page 78), or perhaps try the Spotlight mode. See what works best for you.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brendan Donohue View Post
it all depends on your lighting and such..if your lights are shining directly in peoples faces its gonna look over-exposed no matter what. Try diffusing your light somehow for starters. Shoot in full manual mode: you'll have total control over your focus, exposure gain, shutter speed and aperture. Frame your subjects and mess with these settings (use exposure wheel to select and adjust??), just get it to a point where it looks good to your eyes (you probably know about composing shots if ur from a photog background), use the zebra stripes to minimize overexposure, direct light will usually show the stripes. remember to manually white balance for all your shots. All this info is in the manual I believe, but you need to experiment to acheive the correct settings for your environment.
Yup..sure dont like those auto modes..any suggestions where to start in the manual mode...say the subject is 5 feet away from camera..3 point lighting (diffused) Im assuming if the shutter speed is to slow it will be blurry?

Custom White Balance that was the first thing i learned to do with the camera.. I sure am liking this film making stuff, BUT now i want to gain control of my exposure...
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Old February 15th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #8
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For normal NTSC video start with a shutter speed of 1/60, go faster only if you need to do so. Going to a slower shutter will cause artifacts in motion.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 07:31 PM   #9
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"a slower shutter speed will cause artifacts in motion"--what ever that means! lol

Hey I had a lightbulb (no pun intended) moment when I was cleaning my camera room today...I have a L358 Sekonic Lightmeter that has something called a Cinemode function...

So do i point the dome at the camera like i would with a still camera?

Wow all this film making learning...its so exciting...Thanks to all of you so far!
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Old February 15th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ruhland View Post
I have a L358 Sekonic Lightmeter that has something called a Cinemode function...

So do i point the dome at the camera like i would with a still camera?
A lightmeter is a lightmeter is a lightmeter... whether a still camera or a video camera, principles of lighting are the same. It's only the medium that is different.

I will second Don's advice. I shoot in 1/60 unless there is a very specific need to go either higher or lower. If higher, I will first try to shoot in 1/120 (notice the math) if I can... but what Don means by "artifacts in motion" is what you were guessing about blurriness. Moevement will start to stutter and blur, like watching people dance in a strobe light. This may be an interesting effect when done intentionally (if used the right way at the right time... it usually looks cheesy and cliché), but usually you want to avoid it.

So here's a good starting point for experimentation. Have your cam in full manual mode, gain at 0, shutter at 1/60 and adjust your iris for exposure. And if you can, run the video out to a TV set to preview the picture on a larger screen. I like to have the Effects set to B&W in order to toggle it on. I never shoot in B&W -- better to de-saturate in post -- but it is great for checking colour contrast.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:54 PM   #11
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Okay...Im getting the hang of the manual exposure. Thanks... Now one final question and i promise not to bug ya great guys and gals till im ready to start doing Green Screen...

When shooting outdoors in snow do i need to make any adjustments for the white snow as Iwould have to with a still camera? (I do know about the custom White Balance) I did a few outdoor scenes and the snow appears a lil gray insted of white.

AND SINCE I LIVE IN WISCONSIN WHERE WE HAVE RECORD BREAKING snow fall id like capture some it.

Thanks again... this community is the best!
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Old February 16th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #12
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Re: snow. Check the "Sand and Snow" entry in the manual.

You may have to make adjustment; e.g., for back lighting. A lot of snow in the scene can fool auto exposure systems, and can also fool the internal metering system. Reflected light metering (which is what is in the camcorder) will tend to recommend an exposure that may turn bright white into gray, similar to what it does with film cameras.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 11:44 AM   #13
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Balancing background/foreground exposure is one of the challenges of location shooting. I'm from MN (howdy neighbor) and have the same issues outdoors.

DV has a limited exposure range. If you can bring everything within that exposure range, you'll have a much easier time setting your exposure. If the subject is much darker than the background, you will need to find a way to either brighten the subject or darken the background.

If I have limited control over the lighting, I'll try to stage my scenes where I can have as much light reflecting on my subject as possible up to and including having someone stand holding a silver bounce card to redirect sunlight to the subject to bring their exposure more in line with the snow/sky. I always use a Polarizer...period. While it has the most effect with the sun at 90 degrees, even pointed directly away from or towards the sun's direction (not directly at the sun though, bad for the camera) it works to eliminate alot of glare that is caused by reflected light...like snow would do.

If you have more control over the lighting (tighter shots, more equipment)...you can put up a black scrim across the background (you'll need to put it back a ways from the subject so you can blur it out using a shallower Depth of Field (Add ND filters to get the iris open farther - polarizer will help with that as well). Throw a white scrim next to your subject to catch the sunlight and diffuse it just before it gets to your subject wrapping them in light (see the BTS of the movie Casanova to see one of the biggest scrims I've ever seen).
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Old February 29th, 2008, 11:02 PM   #14
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Good suggestion abt the polarizer, was shooting a few days ago at sunset & had a bad glare issue.
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