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JVC Everio GZ-HD and GZ-HM Series
JVC's Everio Series 3CCD High Definition MPEG2 camcorders.


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Old January 8th, 2011, 03:35 PM   #16
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White-Balance Setting

Thanks for the extensive write-up about color! I was familiar with the concept of color temperature from my 35mm days but back then we weren't able to "edit" on a computer to correct the balance. I've got a lot of 52mm color correction filters for my Nikon but, unfortunately, they don't fit this camera.

Quote from Waldemar:
The manual white balance setting allows you to record the best color balance for any given shooting situation, and believe me, the need to manual white balance happens often!

Reply: I just did a White-Balance setting for the first time and there was a big change in how it looked. (Page 28 of the HD7 Instructions). Oddly, when I turned the camera off and then back on then set it to Auto, the balance was exactly like that of the BW setting I had got. I'll have to play around with this some more and see what happens with the before and after color balances.

The beauty of electronics now is how easy it is to adjust for color balance. In the "olden days" one would screw on a color correction filter, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. And these screw-on filters were expensive.


Quote from Waldemar:
Getting a camera to record as accurate colors as possible significantly reduces the color correction process while editing, which can be a frustration. So, white balancing is as much a part of camera settings a shutter speeds and f-stops.

Reply: You can't imagine (well, maybe you can) how much time I've spent trying to balance the color during editing. This was a major trial-and-error process and like you said ... very frustrating. Getting the color balance "right" is certainly one things that helps to get a better looking video. Now I need to find a piece of white-faced cardboard to throw into my camera bag.


Quote from Waldemar:
The other color wheel is for reflected light, and comes into play when working with paint pigments and printing photos, magazines, etc. These colors are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK).

Reply: Hmmmm...... sounds a lot like my InkJet printer!

Based on past experience of adjusting color balance during editing and this one-time adjustment on the camera, I'd say this is one setting that should be at least considered every time one shoots.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 05:55 PM   #17
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Blu-ray disks only play on Blu-ray players....

This is a correction and reply to my own post - #10 (in this thread)

Now I'm finding out that one can only make a Blu-ray disk (BD) by using a Blu-ray burner. Previously I had read a post on another web site that said one could make a Blu-ray disk by using a DVD and a program called "Toast", which is what I'm now finding is incorrect.

Apparently one can make a "very good" DVD using Toast, but in the end it is still a DVD in Standard Definition.

There is an excellent list of Q & As (actually FAQs) that Jeremy Hansen posted on the apple.com web site under the Topic: "Making high-definition discs". The list is a good read for anyone dealing with this issue. He also provides some pros and cons for comparison using Final Cut Studio, Adobe Encore, and Toast.

There is a "Plan B", and for clarification, this is what I had mentioned before but I'd like to tweak what I had said. One can make a AVCHD disk about 45 minutes long with HD video on a DVD. If one reads the post I referenced above, he says it is essentially a Blu-ray structure on a DVD-R and would play back on "most" Blu-ray burners. He also mentions a few more details. But basically this looks like a bailing-wire approach to burning a project in High Definition and, frankly, I don't think it's worth the effort.

Since I want High-Definition it appears I'll need a Blu-Ray player/burner and some new software.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 10:48 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=John Nantz;1605677]Thanks for the extensive write-up about color! I was familiar with the concept of color temperature from my 35mm days but back then we weren't able to "edit" on a computer to correct the balance. I've got a lot of 52mm color correction filters for my Nikon but, unfortunately, they don't fit this camera.]
Hang on to those 52 mm filters. You can use them on your HD7 if you use either a 46mm to 52mm step-up ring.


[I just did a White-Balance setting for the first time and there was a big change in how it looked. (Page 28 of the HD7 Instructions). Oddly, when I turned the camera off and then back on then set it to Auto, the balance was exactly like that of the BW setting I had got. I'll have to play around with this some more and see what happens with the before and after color balances]

If I am reading this comment correctly I believe the lighting situation was such that the manual and auto white balances could read an almost identical white balance ... probably not that difficult out doors or an interior lit with the same light source. For me most scenes contain a variety of color temperatures, hence the necessity to manual white balance.

[Quote from Waldemar:
Getting a camera to record as accurate colors as possible significantly reduces the color correction process while editing, which can be a frustration. So, white balancing is as much a part of camera settings a shutter speeds and f-stops.

Reply: You can't imagine (well, maybe you can) how much time I've spent trying to balance the color during editing. This was a major trial-and-error process and like you said ... very frustrating. Getting the color balance "right" is certainly one things that helps to get a better looking video. Now I need to find a piece of white-faced cardboard to throw into my camera bag.]

The only effective way to white balance a complicated (color-wise) scene in post is to utilize a color mixing tool while viewing a wave form monitor, a vector scope, and a histogram. These are all graphic representations of light based upon specific numerical scales. These tools and scopes are a part of the high end video editing applications. iMovie, for example, has a good color correction tool, but only allows the user to visually match shots. It really needs to be done by the numbers.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 11:08 PM   #19
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Waldemar: Thanks for the light-balancing input

Sorry for the long delay but my various issues, especially hard drive on the computer, has really impacted my forward progress. I thought I'd be way ahead on processing my videos by now but things have been really dragging on. My 60 Gig hard drive only has 2 Gig of space left and I've deleted all the programs I felt I could, and all the photos, and all the videos, and still there's no room. I'm trying to find a good hard drive to order and, right now, this is the main thing that's holding me up.

Comment #1
"If I am reading this comment correctly I believe the lighting situation was such that the manual and auto white balances could read an almost identical white balance ..."
ans: What puzzled me was the difference between what the color of the viewing screen looked like initially, and after the white-balance setting, was quite a bit. But later, when I went back to the automatic setting there wasn't any discernable difference that I could see.

What I need to do is to take some time and do this slowly, and while writing down everything I do at each step and what happens, then I'll be able to figure out (I hope) what's going on.

Comment #2
"The only effective way to white balance a complicated (color-wise) scene in post is to utilize a color mixing tool while viewing a wave form monitor, a vector scope, and a histogram. These are all graphic representations of light based upon specific numerical scales. These tools and scopes are a part of the high end video editing applications. iMovie, for example, has a good color correction tool, but only allows the user to visually match shots. It really needs to be done by the numbers."

Ans: Yes, and there's "no numbers"! It's basically by eyeball with trial and error.

The other thing I'm looking at every so often is a used "Mac Pro" but the prices for an older one with some reasonable software is around $1,500 US, which at this point in time, is a little more than I want to spend. My plan is (1) to put a bigger hard drive in my MacBook, (2) try and get things to work with what I have, which is iMovie HD6 and iMovie 9, and then if things work like they should, then I'll go to (3) - getting a new-to-me Mac Pro.


New Toy:
In the mean time - even though I'm pretty much at a stand-still until I get the hard drive, I did add a Glidecam 2000 Pro to my gear collection. I hope this will supplement the tripod and hand-held situations but will require more set-up time. I've got two main mics which include a shotgun and the Rode stereo mic, and due to their two different configurations when mounted with the camera, and therefore two different weights, it will be interesting how I can work the two. I think what's going to happen is I'll just use the Rode mic so I don't have to re-balance everything, but we'll see. In any event, I'll need a short 1.5-foot XLR cable for the shotgun mic because the shortest one I have at the moment is 10 feet long and this will play havoc with the Glidecam.


Future investigation: Blu Ray burner
The other thing I've started investigating is the idea about getting a Blu-Ray burner to put the videos on. I don't know if it's needed because some posts say you can put 25 minutes (or so) of HD video onto a regular DVD but other places they seem to say it's not true HD, or something like that. Nevertheless, the Blu-Ray burners have come down in price enough that it's not worth messing with work-arounds. By the time I'm ready to get one, assuming all the above works out, the price will hopefully have dropped some more.

And then when I've got all my ducks in a row the next wave will, of course, be 3D, and.... all our stuff will be outdated!
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #20
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"I'm trying to find a good hard drive to order and, right now, this is the main thing that's holding me up."

Because you are using a Mac and working with video, my recommendations are as follows:
1. Select a hard drive that allows "firewire", i.e. IEEE 1394 connections. These provide a much more stable data transfer than USB 1 or 2. I have no experience with the newer USB 3 connections.
2. Use this drive to store your video data on. This will keep plenty of free space on your computer's hard drive for processing while you edit.
3. A bigger hard drive for your computer is a very good idea. Definitely do what when you have the opportunity.

Regarding color correction while editing:
An easy work-around for not having the tools to color correct "by the numbers" is to get a color swatch card. Most reputable photo and video dealers carry this card in a variety of sizes for field use. After white balancing your camera by what ever method is appropriate, record a few seconds of this swatch card. All of the recent iMovie apps allow for white point balancing. Simply click on the white square on the card to color correct the scene. Copy and use the "Past Adjustments" command to apply your color correction to other scenes shot under the same lighting conditions.
Another approach is to record a few seconds of the camera's built-in color bars (provided the camera has the feature). White point balance to the white square on the color bars.

Back to your MacBook for a moment. The biggest difference between a MacBook and a MacBook Pro is RAM. MacBook Pro's contain a processing card expressly for processing video. MacBook's use the computer's main RAM for all processing functions. MacBook Pro's are always capable of holding more RAM. In any case, the best way to speed up your machine is fill it to the max with RAM.

Glidecam:

I've never had the opportunity to use one. You will have to share your experiences with it.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 10:18 PM   #21
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A Mountain of really good information!

Firewire: I didn't know about the fact that Firewire had more stable data transfer. That is very important, especially when dealing with MegaBytes of data. I'm still sorting through the technical information on various compatible hard drives and this was one which, unfortunately, I hadn't considered. Good to know!

My computer guru source is currently indisposed for several days dealing with an emergency several states away so I've been on my own here, and the Internet resources seem to have a lot of conflicting opinions with regard to noise and reliability.

LED Lighting and color correction: Came across someone selling some LED panel lights and as part of the research I discovered the color card you're talking about. I didn't know this was a somewhat "standard" thing but that's another good thing to know and I'll have to get one. Apparently some LED lights can require a green correction sheet or gel, such as these I was checking out. It's amazing how sometimes information can come together.

I've been visiting over in another section of the Forum checking out what people have to say about lighting and sent an email to one of the members with a few questions but haven't got a response yet.

I'm not really ready for lighting but this something on my list once I get my act together, and if this whole video thing works out. I want to video one or two people playing a musical instrument (each person has their own, they aren't playing the same instrument!). If this part goes will I'll hopefully be doing more of it, in which case, I think the lights will become handy. However, these things aren't cheap but picking them up used now would save on the budget later.

The iMovie color correction information will be very handy.

Computer: I'm using a first generation White MacBook, 60GB hard drive and only 2GB of memory. The memory is maxed out on this. My wife has the MacBook Pro with more of everything. Have to treat the Admiral or the Captain can become unhappy. I'm on the lookout for a used Mac Pro desktop machine and I've come across one from time to time that has a half-way decent price and software but I'm holding off on this for now. Once I get this hard drive issue resolved - just trying to figure out which one to get - I'll get back into video processing again. Oh yes, and almost forgot, a Blu-Ray burner is next on the critical path.

Thanks very much for all the good info. I'm going to capture it for my video information file.
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