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Old June 5th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #1
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Color correction question

A general question, a colleague of mine is in the process of purchasing the HXR-NX5U cam for a documentary, and may be shooting with another shooter that has an pmw-ex1 cam. I don't know what settings they are using to shoot, but wasn't sure how difficult it is to blend the different footage.

It's the first time I may be dealing with editing footage from different sources and don't know if there's one software that does a better job correcting color to match them, or if the difference is so small that it's better to edit the footage as they naturally appear? Is there such thing as a template you can use that calculates the best way to correct color between different Sony HD Cams?

Thanks!

Robert
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Old June 6th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #2
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Re: Color correction question

Welcome to the mystical world of the colorist. All joking aside, a good colorist is half technician and half artist. There aren't really any tools like templates to make this easier but the cinematographer can certainly do their best to make this easier for the colorist by doing as much in-camera as possible. Specifically, white balance and exposure are two things to emphasize. That being said, these are two very different cameras that have distinct looks about them. Clever editing can also be used though to help mask the differences between them. I would make some decisions about which camera works best for each setup and play against the strengths of each. If I were the cinematographer I would do some side-by-side test shoots with various compositions that might be used in the film to see what can be done in-camera to get these as close as possible. From there the colorist can work on the test footage to see what can be done and if any adjustments need to be made to color balances or picture profiles to help even out the differences between the two cameras.

As far as workflow goes, I would edit first and color second and not worry about the raw footage look as much during the editing process.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #3
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Re: Color correction question

Hey Steve:

Thanks, althought things took an interesting turn.... The guy with the EX1 camera is a no show, so my buddy may try to find another shooter with the nx5u, but I there's a good chance they will at least compliement the shoot with Kodak zi8 cameras and a Q3HD.. They may try to edit it in a way so that the difference in picture quality and color makes sense... I'm not sure how it's going to look if they try to ramp up on the color correction...
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Old June 7th, 2011, 10:48 PM   #4
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Re: Color correction question

Given that it's a documentary I'm guessing they'll want to keep any colorist work to getting good color balance, exposure and contrast and not worry so much about having a heavy grade on it. It so they'll probably do ok especially if they do a good job editing. Too bad I'm not closer, I have an EX-1.....
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Old June 8th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #5
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Re: Color correction question

Or if you can recommend a good colorist in Massachusett's that works too.
But right too bad you're not close. The EX1 are really nice. Do you do a lot of doc work?
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Old June 9th, 2011, 12:01 PM   #6
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Re: Color correction question

I haven't done a lot of doc work but I have done run and gun for concerts so I understand the dynamics of that type of work.
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