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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old July 18th, 2008, 08:06 PM   #1
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Shooting in a gray day

I'm going to be shooting outside tomorrow in weather that will be overcast with intermittent rain and that sky has a tendency make everything look rather flat. Is there a preset and/or filter combination that will increase the contrast and kick up the color a bit? Don't want to go too crazy on the color as the cars are festooned with cartoony pigments that will make a vectorscope scream in pain if one bends the colors too hard.

All thoughts will be appreciated. Please keep it simple as I won't have time for experimentation. I have to push forth from here at 6AM to get to the track when the pit lane opens. If I'm lucky I'll get a few words from Kevin Harvick, who's running up here on the off NASCAR weekend.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 08:21 PM   #2
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Had the same problem last weekend, Shooting at 1/60th and using a custom RGB bump preset, I was able to get some color out of car and girl, but I still had to bump the saturation in post. To make it more challenging, the sun came out half way through the shoot.

I'm a total novice, though and this seemed to work. i'm sure the true pros here might have some input.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #3
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Craig... Good suggestion and it's an option, but I learned long ago it's easier and often better to get it right on the tape.

I keep rubber bands in my camera bag so I can shoot anyone who says, "we'll fix it in post". (Paying clients excepted.)
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 02:47 PM   #4
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Although too late, I have had many situations where grey sky (hello Seattle) was an issue. I found that by avoiding getting the sky in the shot I could shoot with a mild preset like Panalook 2, I had more options to CC in post (ahh, no rubber bands please). Not to say that the results were jumping off the screen with vivid color, but I could avoid the blown out grey sky. Here in Seattle we have a lot of days where the sky is very overcast, but it is still quite bright out to the point where you want sunglasses. I don't know if you are in a similar situation or a dark cloudy day with very little light. I would avoid vividRGB for shooting such an event with bright colored cars (kudos on the vector scope joke), as I would worry that the colors would be too saturated and almost make a cloud of blown out color around the object. I try to shoot conservatively and monkey with colors and saturation in post, since you can't take blown out footage and make it much better after the fact.

Hope this can be of some value.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 07:25 PM   #5
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Matt... I'll play with the Panalook presets this weekend since it's probably going to be cloudy again.

It's interesting that in shooting all the racing this weekend in everything from light drizzle to bright sunshine the look of the cars and the track were surprisingly consistent. It's only when a light fog blew into Victory Circle did the interview with Kevin Harvick, shot from atop the sky boxes look a little fuzzy.

I guess I should be content with the flexibility of the A1, but I'm a perfectionist and always looking for more.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 07:53 PM   #6
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Here's another vote for Panalook2 (not Panalook) guys. It seems to be consistent to me, works well outdoors on dull overcast and sunny days. Credit goes to Steven Dempsey for designing it.

Cheers.
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