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Old May 2nd, 2008, 09:55 AM   #1
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HF10 Low light tests using monochrome digital effect

Tests of using the HF10 Monochrome digital effect in low light conditions in combination with the main exposure modes.

Three examples starting with normal color, then enabling the monochrome effect:

1) Night mode setting and auto-exposure

2) Night mode, but after locking exposure and reducing to -5

3) Cinemode using auto-exposure.

http://www.vimeo.com/965664

another test, just night mode with monochrome effect:

http://www.vimeo.com/966580

Could be a handy trick for certain circumstances, I'll have to compare this to just converting to monochrome in post.

Last edited by Michael Eskin; May 2nd, 2008 at 10:57 AM.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 03:56 PM   #2
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I don't understand, what do you gain with monochrome effect ?
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 05:57 PM   #3
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Well, here's my thinking based on the experiments I've tried with the HF10 in the short time I've had it.

The auto-gain up in night mode under very low light conditions results in a lot of chroma noise that is quite objectionable (but seems not as bad as my HV20). Switching to monochrome turns that chroma noise into a less objectionable (at least to me) white noise in the picture, and then reducing the gain a a bit down from the auto-exposure level further reduces the overall noise and provides a lighting impression closer to the actual scene. I don't believe the HV20 is able to combine some of the modes with the digital effects this way, so just trying some new scenarios. Basically, I'm trying to salvage a useable image in very bad lighting conditions, so I've giving up color (and accepting a lot of motion blur) in favor of less objectionable monochrome noise.

I'm not sure that there is any real benefit doing this in-camera vs. during editing, but its just another tool in the toolbox. Anyone have an argument either way?

Unfortunately, the h.264 encoding I did in the examples I posted on Vimeo tend to hide the value of this technique as the objectionable chroma noise tends to get filtered out by the compression preprocessing. Still, I found it to be a useful trick, particularly if the final video is at standard definition resolution, you can get some very sharp and quite clean looking (albeit poor motion rendering, but sometimes that's OK) low light video this way. I can see cutting in some monochrome low-light footage like this for certain styles of video.
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