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Old February 26th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #1
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HM700 Picture Files

Iím the promo shooter for the NBC Affiliate in Kansas City. All the photographers in the building use JVC HD250s. We are now upgrading to the HM700. Iíve had my HM700 for about two weeks and have had the opportunity to shoot some tests using a DSC color chart and a Vectorscope/Waveform Monitor. I calibrated my camera so that all the colors hit their targets on the waveform, and Iíve come to this conclusion:

Just because your camera is calibrated to a properly lit DSC color chart doesnít mean it accurately represents the real world, or looks any good at all. It was a good experiment, but I consider it only a starting point for calibrating my camera for what looks good to me. And, or course, Iím creating settings for different shooting scenarios.
Iím attaching a still image (at the bottom of the page) that shows how oversaturated reds are with my ďDSC ChartĒ setting. Sorry for the poor composition of the shot, but it was a perfect frame grab to show just how saturated and bizarre reds look with this setting.

Hereís a link to some video I shot in the snow last week. I need to re-encode it, though because it doesnít look nearly as good as the original footage. I shot 1920x1080 35mb/sec.:

Yesterday, 2 reps from JVC visited the TV station I work at to teach us about the new HM700. I had to take some of what they said with a grain of salt, as it seems engineers see things much differently than actual users of the camera, BUTÖI did learn some useful things. One thing I learned is that JVCís default color matrix is actually not too bad in representing the real world when shooting. Itís mainly just a matter of increasing the Color Gain a few notches to boost saturation.

To start a little gossip: the JVC reps were very critical of a certain concept known as TrueColor. After looking it over, they determined that TrueColor settings were awful for JVC cameras: in particular, they felt that the Master Black settings were WAY too low, crushing shadows too much, and that setting Detail to ďMinĒ effectively turns Detail off and makes the image hopelessly soft.

The JVC reps recommended setting the Detail at least to Normal, and maybe even to +2 or so, especially if the footage was to be downconverted to SD. I donít know if I agree with this or not, and every shooter has different tastes. I donít think they take into account those of us trying to get a more cinematic look vs. simply a high-resolution video look. But I think theyíre right that setting Detail to ďMinĒ is a bad idea.

Anyway, after re-calibrating my camera, Iíve come up with two Picture Files that Iíll share with you. One is for Outside on sunny, contrasty days. And the other is for shooting in low light situations, to get the brightest image possible without adding gain.

Keep in mind that my HM700 has a Fujinon 18x4.2 lens, so some of my color settings may not be right if you have another lens. One thing Iíll point out about my settings is the Green Gamma adjustment. The HM700s have Gamma control for R,G, and B. In my opinion, dialing down the Green Gamma to -3 warms the image up in a pleasing way and makes skin tones look more film-like. Again, if you have a Canon lens, this may be different. Iím not sure if these settings translate to the HM100. More gossip: the JVC reps think the new Canon lens for the HM700 is not good.

I set the Color Matrix to Standard instead of Cinema because Cinema Subdued is too desaturated, and Cinema Vivid is oversaturated and pushes violets too far into the blue. Purple on Standard looks purple. Enough said.

Here are the settings:


Detail: Normal
Master Black: -2
Black Toe: Normal (or Stretch 3)
Knee: 75%
White Clip: 108%
Gamma: Cinema
Master Level: Min
R Level: Normal
G Level: -3
B Level: Normal
Color Matrix: Standard
Matrix Adjust: All on Normal (JVC Default)
Color Gain: 4


Detail: Normal
Master Black: Normal
Black Toe: Stretch
Stretch Level: 3
Point Level: 10%
Knee: 75%
White Clip: 108%
Gamma: Standard
Master Level: Max
R Level: Normal
G Level: -3
B Level: Normal
Color Matrix: Standard
Matrix Adjust: All on Normal (JVC Default)
Color Gain: 4

Keep in mind that, as I continue using the camera, Iíll probably tweak these more. But maybe these will provide a starting point for some HM700 users out there.
Attached Thumbnails
HM700 Picture Files-dsc-setting.jpg  
Todd Norris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2010, 10:57 PM   #2
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
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When you calibrated to the DSC chart did you set your vectorscope gain to 2X ? The charts are now all calibrated to 2X gain. They used to be set for 1.875X but all current models (since 2008 I think) are 2X.

If you didn't do this then your saturation will be double what it should be because you are taking color swatches that should be only be 50% saturated and you're bringing the saturation up to the level of SMPTE color bars. This is an important factor I believe was overlooked when the original "TrueColor" setting was created and the probable reason it is so oversaturated as well. Blame me for suggesting the name "truecolor." I didn't learn until I started working with DSC myself that the results may have been flawed. However, the truecolor settings seem to be popular with the wedding video guys because they make the bouquets "pop" and they don't have to deal with broadcast standards.

I've attached a frame grab from my DSC CDM28 calibration using Scopebox 2. They added 1.875X and 2X vectorscope gain specifically for DSC CDM charts. You'll see it isn't perfect but it is as close as I could get it.

I've also attached my DSC calibrated setting for the Fujinon 17x5 lens as a CMP file that can be dropped into the PICTURE folder on a SDHC card and loaded by the camera.

As for the comments on detail... If you are shooting for direct broadcast without any chance to grade or adjust edge enhancement then by all means shoot with detail on NORMAL. If you are shooting for a cinematic look, possibly for the big screen, then shoot with detail set to MIN and add the appropriate amount of edge enhancement in post. Different masters (DCP, HD, SD) will require different amounts.
Attached Thumbnails
HM700 Picture Files-fujinon-17x5-30mm-aligned-2x-cdm.png  
Attached Images
Attached Files
File Type: zip (1,001 Bytes, 291 views)
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Old February 28th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #3
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very nice! Yeah, when the 250's came out I went to a seminar in SF where JVC had some engineers and reps and I think the president of JVC (Japan main office). Custom settings came up in the discussion about 3 hours into the seminar. The engineers where suprised so many people went off standard (Master Black -1 and -2) and Black Stretch ( +1 and +2) and Detail -6 to Min. They highly recomended sticking with Normal on most or all settings (as well as no master black change or black stretch except in rare occasions) and even talked about bumping up the detail as well.

I myself after several years with my HD110 have gravitated back to Standard color and gama and been happier. I still am happier with detail -5 as being a good middle ground. I don't have a HM700 yet, but planning on one in the near future, so since they are more or less saying the same thing, I'll probably start off closer to factory zero when I make the jump. I will say though that running my HD110 near factory Normal settings I do underexpose about 1/3 of a stop even on auto to help tame the highlights. For me it's working better, and easier to adjust in post for me anyway.

Have you found the HM700 to be very different from the 200 series or just minor adjusting to personal taste?
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Old March 1st, 2010, 10:15 AM   #4
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I calibrated my HD250 so long ago that I donít remember how the vectorscope was set. As for the recent HM700 test I did with the DSC chart, the vectorscope was at 2x. I only trust charts so far, though, and let my experiences with the camera in the field determine my ultimate settings. Thanks for supplying the info.
Regarding detail, Iím glad you clarify the ďMinĒ setting is more for a film out or where you have the ability to add edge-correction in post. Iíve never done that or had the need, given my workflow.

Just to be clear, I donít think the JVC criticism of Truecolor was directed at YOUR settings. I think it was somebody elseís Truecolor. Isnít there someone else with settings of the same name? Did your original Truecolor have Master Black way down at like -5 or -6? Again, hearing this through the grapevine, Iím probably getting things wrong and mixed up and I probably shouldnít have mentioned it in the first place.


The HM700 is similar enough to the HD100 and 250 that it will feel very familiar if you make the switch. But the HM700 is just a better camera all around. The menus are easier to navigate, thereís more control of the image within the menu. Plus the images are just cleaner and better. Add variable frame rates, the XDCAM codec, the high res viewfinder and LCD, whatís not to like?

Also, regarding my gossip in the first post, I should clarify that the JVC rep was comparing the Canon lens to the highest-end Fujinon, so itís reasonable that it may not perform as well. The brevity of my above post might make it seem like the rep was slamming the Canon lens, but I donít think that was the case. Itís apples and oranges. Iíve heard great things about the new stock Canon lens for the HM700. Iíve always been a fan of Canon glass, and if I had the choice I would go that route.

Anyway, good times. So far Iím very happy with the HM700.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 07:13 AM   #5
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Todd - did you notice the oversaturated reds in other shots? I only ask because a backlit tailight is a particularly tough test for a CCD based camera. I'd be interested to know if you noticed the same over saturation on a bright daylight balance.

As far as the Canon lens go it certainly streets ahead of the original JVC Fuji stock lens (16x5.5) that came with the 100 and 200 series. But it is not as good as my 13x Fuji and apparently the 18x is a cut above that again (and given the price you'd expect that).

Re the detail - for news shooting I'd agree. You don't have time to sharpen in post, but I hate it for chroma key. The artificially enhanced edge is most obvious on high contrast areas like black letterin on a yellow sign etc.

On final note - the original 100 series cameras IMO were cleaner than either the 200 or 700 cameras.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 10:01 AM   #6
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Have you ever written a lengthy detailed reply on DVinfo, only to lose everything when you hit "Submit" because it logged you out? I hate that. So, my second reply will be brief.

There were other things that looked insanely red...a dog collar, painted letters on a white truck. So I've set my color matrix back to JVC default and I'm satisfied. I'm using Cinema Gamma but with a Standard Color Matrix with saturation boosted up to 2. That seems to look good. I've also dialed down the green gamma a bit.

Regarding Detail and greenscreen, that seems to be one of the most valid reasons for setting detail to Min. Thanks for the tip. When I shoot Greenscreen, I will do that.

Just to be clear, I don't shoot news. I'm in Promotions. :-) The distinction is thin, I know, but my fragile ego is founded upon the idea that my job at a news station is cool because I get to use lighting, dollies, tracks, steadicams, etc. rather than shooting fires, crime scenes and traffic accidents. Ha ha.
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