Difference between Setup Level and Master Pedistal at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 30th, 2005, 09:27 AM   #1
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Difference between Setup Level and Master Pedistal

Hey folks,

After reading every thread I could find on the subject and shooting a tapes worth of tests with the presets, I still have a hard time seeing a great difference between Setup Level and Master Pedistal. They both seem to do about the same thing. I know this is not correct, on my part, and is due to my ingnorance of the subject.

However, is it wrong to think of these in terms of brightness and contrast settings? In other words, Setup Level seems to control the overall brightness of the image, while Master Pedistal seems to have much more control over the contrast of the image. Is this correct?

Thanks for any insight you can give me on this.

Kevin
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Old December 30th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #2
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I don't think you should be too hard on yourself as this is clearly confusing. Tradtionally setup and pedestal mean the same thing: the video level out of a camera corresponding to picture black. In the XL2 setup appears to have this meaning. Master pedestal, OTOH, seems to have something to do with gain. In broadcasting setup was adjusted to put the minimum video level at +7.5 IRE and gain was adjusted to put the whitest white at 100 IRE. If you reduced gain you got a less contrasty picture but could change its overall brigtness by adjusting setup. In this modern digital camera there is more flexibilty and I certainly can't figure our exactly what Canon has done from what's in the manual. Because of this I advocate (fully cognizant that others have differing views) leaving everything in its default mode and then using the 3 way color corrector in FCP to set pedestal and gain as I see fit. Almost all images, IMO, can be improved by some tweaking of this kind and as I feel it needs to be done as a matter of course I don't try to do it in the camera.

If you prefer to persue the in-camera approach I suggest looking at the histogram and waveform monitor displays your test tapes produce and noting the effects of master pedestal and setup adjustments on them.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 09:51 AM   #3
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also... (aside from demotapes)

you can grab the demo of DV Rack and use their vectorscope and Monitor on your laptop while you are out in the field. (or on your desktop in your house/office)

A.J. - well spoken, accurate and good point of view - Though IMHO there is something to be said for setting the camera right to begin with.
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