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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 September 11th, 2008, 12:48 AM   #1
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How to set Zebras

On the XhA1, anyone know how to access Zebra settings to perhaps set a cap on the values?
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Old September 11th, 2008, 06:57 AM   #2
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You might want to start at page 64 in your manual.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #3
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And then - whatever value you choose to work with, set that value and learn what it is it's telling you. If you flit between 85%, 100% and 70% you'll never know where you are.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 08:17 AM   #4
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So how best do you learn what each zebra pattern means? And if, say, I have my zebras set on 85... is a little bit of zebra acceptable or should I try for no zebra? Still learning here... :-)
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Old September 11th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #5
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OK - how to learn zebras and get them on your side. Switch zebras on. Choose a setting. Put the camera in full auto. Go take lots of different shots in all sorts of different conditions, and speak to the mics.

Describe what you're seeing in the v'finder. 'Zebras all over white shirt, chrome on car, sky behind house', that sort of thing. Come indoors and connect your cam to a well set up TV, and watch and listen.

Is what you see acceptable picture-wise? If you'd filmed someone against a window, many more zebras would have been acceptable, yes? If you'd filmed a white girl getting out of a white Rolls Royce in a white dress ditto, yes? And so on.

tom.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 10:36 AM   #6
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Turns out on the Canon, you can only go down to 70 IRE. I'm going to try the 75 setting and play with that a bit.

Much of my filming is girls in bikinis outdoor for a web program I do.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 11:50 AM   #7
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Turns out on the Canon, you can only go down to 70 IRE. I'm going to try the 75 setting and play with that a bit.

Much of my filming is girls in bikinis outdoor for a web program I do.
Tell me how to get that job. lol
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Old September 11th, 2008, 05:29 PM   #8
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There'll be a queue Shaun. With respect to all the good advice with which I agree.

Years ago I worked with a high profile pro who mumbled "shine the camera on white clouds at 100% back them off to about half and you'll always get your whites". Seems to work.

Cheers.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 05:43 PM   #9
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Tell me how to get that job. lol
You work for peanuts. The show, Bikini Driving School, forced me to learn editing on the fly. I still suck at it, but I'm slowly improving. I've got two guys working for me about as cheaply as you could imagine and they're both very good and very accommodating.

Thanks to advice and guidance here, I'm ramping up the learning curve.
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Old September 12th, 2008, 11:38 AM   #10
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There'll be a queue Shaun. With respect to all the good advice with which I agree.

Years ago I worked with a high profile pro who mumbled "shine the camera on white clouds at 100% back them off to about half and you'll always get your whites". Seems to work.

Cheers.
Allan,
I want to get this right. When you say "back them off to about half", what do you mean? I'm imagining clouds that only have half the surface area still in zebras. Is that right?
TIA
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Old September 12th, 2008, 04:07 PM   #11
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Ernest; yes a quick way of doing it.

Cheers.
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Old September 12th, 2008, 04:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
There'll be a queue Shaun. With respect to all the good advice with which I agree.

Years ago I worked with a high profile pro who mumbled "shine the camera on white clouds at 100% back them off to about half and you'll always get your whites". Seems to work.

Cheers.
Alan,
Back the Zebra setting down to half, or the exposure...?
Must be the Zebra. I hope I have some white clouds at the time.
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Old September 12th, 2008, 05:40 PM   #13
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Exposure, that will control the zebra.

Cheers.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #14
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Don't forget that most cameras have a hysteresis loop to the arrival and departure of the zebras. This means if you have them set at 75% (say) and you start opening the iris from f/11, then f/8 and so on, the zebras will appear at f/4 and be gone again at f.2.

And if you close your iris blades from f/2 to f/4 the zebras might appear at f/5.6. So it's worth remembering which 'way' you approach the zebras, and remember too that they may not be on screen simply because you've passed through them.

Experiment and take careful note. It's an incredibly useful tool, but you do need to know how to use it.

tom.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #15
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Don't forget that most cameras have a hysteresis loop to the arrival and departure of the zebras. This means if you have them set at 75% (say) and you start opening the iris from f/11, then f/8 and so on, the zebras will appear at f/4 and be gone again at f.2.

And if you close your iris blades from f/2 to f/4 the zebras might appear at f/5.6. So it's worth remembering which 'way' you approach the zebras, and remember too that they may not be on screen simply because you've passed through them.

Experiment and take careful note. It's an incredibly useful tool, but you do need to know how to use it.

tom.
Hi Tom!

I've never heard about this - i use zebras all the time to judge exposure and never really have a problem. Could you point me to a link where i can read more about this?

Cheers! Jo
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