The profound influence of warm cards? at DVinfo.net

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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 March 10th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #1
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The profound influence of warm cards?

I got my A1 two weeks ago. I'd read a bit about these things (warm cards) and put a post on this site to see if they were worth the money. A couple of people posted to say they loved them so i asked the guys who were putting me together a package to throw a pack in.
I'm staggered at the results.
the back of the warm cards is plain white, so i make use of both sides of the card for both the A and B settings in the cameras white balance. Every person who i ask for an opinion on the relative merits of the two images goes for the warm card look without hesitation. I myself am stuck at how blue the standard white balance looks in comparison. True, there are occasions when the warmed up look is inappropriate, but on the whole these things are a revelation and i'd highly recommend anyone contemplating buying some to do so immediately.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #2
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Do you really need warm cards with the a1? I mean, I just dial my white balance in until I like what I see, which is really cool.

I used warm cards back in the day when you had to trick the camera, but with manual white balance, it kind of seems futile.

Am I wrong about this?
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Old March 10th, 2007, 02:33 PM   #3
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I agree with Jonathan... the 100K steps of the WB knob is pretty quick to dial in the level of warm/cool you want.

A piece of white index card taped near the LCD could be used as a reference for non-critical WB needs. Match the white card on-screen, then warm or cool it to taste w/ the knob.

You could also make a warm preset to offset the WB presets and offset it the same amount as the warm card gives you. That'd be one less thing to carry around.

Brian

Last edited by Brian Brown; March 10th, 2007 at 02:34 PM. Reason: word change
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Old March 10th, 2007, 02:35 PM   #4
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You can do that?
Looks at manual page 58 and discovers shutterspeed doubles as Kelvin controller.
LOL!!!
Yes Jonathon. You're albsolutley right. Even so i do think these things are an interesting idea. I think my clients might like them too. It gives you something to talk about while they're waiting to be interviewed, and allows you to give them the option of the cosy warm look or the cold electronic one. As far as carrying them around there are a mini set i can put round my neck and the bigger ones come in a case with a pen and notebook inside. All in all its a handy little pack that slides into the side of my camera bag.
thanks for pointing that out though.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #5
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I personally like the Warm Cards. In my experience, every shoot has differant lighting quirks. Why take the time to dial in every time when you can just push the button on the warm cards. As for carrying them around, they fit nicely in my case and I can attatch them to my belt loop if needed. No biggie. I love them!

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Old March 10th, 2007, 02:57 PM   #6
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On the subject of warming.Could anyone guess at a starting point for the values of the colour gain/colour matrix that would approximate the colour shift of an 81B warming filter?
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Old May 29th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #7
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Hey Dom,

Since finding out that you can manually dial in your white balance, do you still find yourself using the WarmCards? Or have you tossed them aside and just do it using the camera like the others have mentioned.

I myself prefer that warmer look, but figured I would see which method (DIY or WarmCards) you have preferred since your last post. Thanks!
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Old May 30th, 2007, 02:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Deke Ryland View Post
do you still find yourself using the WarmCards? Or have you tossed them aside and just do it using the camera like the others have mentioned.
I find there's a subtle but really strong difference in using a manual white balance over using the built-in stepped-kelvin White Balance settings.

It's the difference between instant and ground coffee, if you will. People who don't like coffee will say 'so what?' meanwhile the officianadoes will be jumping up and down pointing to the little kick in red detail and the lack of an unpleasant green cast if there's some fluorescents in the mix.

I did a camera training course a while back, and we did a test with a white wall, some sheets of white paper, and the white card from a Warm Whites pack. YOU CAN SEE A DIFFERENCE. A manual white balance will give you a more pleasing image and more to work with in post.

Manually racking the Kelvin setting is great for run and gun (and I do use it a lot), but if you can do a manual white set, you should off a good white card reference IMHO.

PS: I use the Level 1 warm white when shooting in the shade or on overcast days outdoors, have never used the Level 2, but am always using the standard white card for indoor shooting. I've had directors laugh at it until they get to post (same with my figrig). Then they book me again.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 11:23 PM   #9
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(same with my figrig). Then they book me again.
How does the figrig work with the XH-A1.

I don't have either at the moment. However, I am doing a documentary in Eastern Europe for two weeks and the XH-A1 (or the V1U, maybe, though leaning toward the Canon) seems to be the best camera for what I need.

I also need to do a lot of handheld stuff, and the figrig seemed it would be the easiest to deal with and would fit nicely in the suitcase. The camera would come on and off it it quickly, and there would be no balancing problems as with other "steady" type gadgets.

What would you say about the figrig in this scenario... following people in halls, some pov footage of a dancer in a studio, basic b-roll shots of backstage, dressing rooms, etc., short walking shots outside, etc. etc. and all with little or no time to setup (once the camera is set and ready)...
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