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Old January 5th, 2004, 11:31 PM   #1
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thoughts on in camera softening?

Ok, if I soften my image in camera (because I don't want to do it in post), how does that softness translate once you're looking at your video projected digitally, on say, an average size screen (20'x20'?) used for digital projection? Can you even tell at that point? Video, to me, starts to look soft once it's blown up that large anyway, and I'm wondering if it wouldn't look just blurry or something. This is in addition to shooting in Frame mode (possibly).
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Old January 5th, 2004, 11:37 PM   #2
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If you have an NTSC monitor you will be better able to see the trueness of your capture. Also prior to viewing the footage put the "bars" up and make sure the monitor is true and this will give you a better view of your end product.
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Old January 6th, 2004, 06:57 PM   #3
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Yes, but what I'm trying to find out is how it will look on a much larger screen than my monitor--I have no easy or even available way of testing that.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 10:21 AM   #4
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Renting an LCD or DLP projector might give you a way to view it
on a larger screen. It will be more noticable on that. Usually when
I'm shooting in frame mode I don't want any more softening. Or
are you shooting in interlaced?
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Old January 7th, 2004, 02:37 PM   #5
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More than likely frame. I guess sometimes I just see the edge definition as too "video-y," and want a little less.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 12:21 AM   #6
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Could you get a cheap NTSC monitor like a Sony PVM-1390 as they arte all right on those sites that you just aren't too sure about. I have had some great success with the Sony, as I also like to do soft shoots.

As for the larger monitors I have a couple of ideas there’s Best Buy or Sears bring along a DVD and check it out. Who knows you might end up with on of the new sets. I am being serious on this one as I have a friend and she shot footage all summer long with this DP using a XL1 and when he posted it to her on a MiniDV she played it on a big screen TV and she was so hurt by what she saw. There was so much white out and no really good white balance that brought it all together. Her summer was lost.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 02:21 AM   #7
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Josh:

We regularly project onto a screen about that size for Instant Films, using a decent DLP projector (around $50K, I believe). The picture is pretty good, not much of an issue with softness. I always shoot with the XL1s in Frame mode, and while the image is not as crisp as a DVX100, it's also--well--not as crisp as a DVX100. In other words, "softness" is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on personal taste.

I have also seen the image from the same camera projected with a state-of-the-art projection system with every kind of enhancement technology you can imagine, and boy did it look good.

So, a lot of it depends on the projector. I find a bigger issue is contrast--a cheaper projector can leave you with muddy blacks, which creates an impression of a softer image. Likewise, it can tend to blow out the highlights more than what is represented on the tape.

I find the rule of thumb is that if it looks good on a 14" broadcast monitor, it will look good projected, within reason. If you have to pump the gain for an underexposed shot, making the compression artifacts stand out, it will likely be noticeably nasty when projected. Same for out of focus shots.

One thing that is harder to judge on a monitor vs how it will project is movement--handheld shots will often become more pronounced in terms of jitter. Extreme closeups become quite a bit more intense. A valuable lesson that was taught to me many years ago when I was learning Steadicam and is just as relevant today is that when framing to a small monitor (like a flip-out LCD), think of that 2.5" as actually being 20 feet across.

Sharon, not quite sure I follow your post entirely but it's certainly a shame about your friend's shoot. Hopefully that DP has learned from his mistakes.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 02:32 AM   #8
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I was saying how I love to see what I am filming there and now so I like to have a full size monitor on site as this way we will not find out how bad it is in post.

I like the sound of your setup though.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 09:09 AM   #9
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Charles,

I think Josh is softening it even futher (!) when shooting in
frame mode, ie decreasing sharpness from the default setting.

Which setting are you using mostly for sharpness when shooting
in frame mode, Charles? I've always left it in the middle for now.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 05:19 PM   #10
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Well, thanks for the advice. I did some tests the other day, and I swear, on my NTSC monitor, I can't tell the difference that much with the in camera softening. Whatever it does do, it doesn't get rid of the harsh edges, so I guess I'll leave it alone.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 07:25 PM   #11
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Did you set the "Bars" on the monitor from the camera and then made sure the colors were safe?
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