Scene File Recipes and HD100 Contrast Ratio at

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Old February 18th, 2006, 10:32 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
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Scene File Recipes and HD100 Contrast Ratio

So Tim Dashwood and some of you guys have come up with wide latitude settings for the HD100. Has anybody thought about what contrast ratio this achieves?

So if some writers estimate negative film stocks at 250:1 or 8-9 stops latitude we know that video cameras have less latitude.

John Jackman in his lighting book estimates pro TV cameras like the Sony DSR500 at 128:1 or 7 stops. He estimates the Canon XL1 or Sony VX2000/PD150 at 64:1 or 6 stops.

So with the best recipe for contrast latitude from the minds of DVinfo Labs, where does the HD100 fall? With all the testing of HDV cameras has any one thought about contrast ratio for any of these cameras?

I compare controlling contrast to the drawing and painting tricks I learned as a kid. If you do a drawing or painting you use tricks like perspective lines, railroad tracks or walls that get smaller as they recede into the distance. In video & film you use planes of light, the depth of the screen or wide lenses to make objects and the screen look like 3d. Or you use shallow depth of field to control the viewer's attention in the frame.

Plus we use 3 point lighting to make "fake" shadows that make faces and products look 3d. It's all artificial, artistic technique, just like adding music to heighten drama or drawing shadows to make a portrait look 3D.

Controlling the contrast with filters and lighting is another artificial technique that makes wild reality fit inside the technical limits of our limited film or video contrast ratios. Like last years shoots for On Our Way Up where the entire cast was African-American, I'd tell every one "NO WHITE SHIRTS" and sure enough some one would wear a white Tee, which we would have to swap out for another color to protect the contrast ratio. A dark face over a white shirt exceeds the video cameras range and you either lose detail in the face shadows or lose the shirt detail highlights. So you have to expose for the face and let the white shirt wash out: ugly video. I'm gonna end up shooting a comedy narrative with the HD100 and a mostly black cast, so I'm thinking about these issues.

So what f-stop range do we get with the HD100?
Ed Hill
HighlyDef Productions, Atlanta, GA Video and Online Advertising
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