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Old August 1st, 2010, 02:12 PM   #1
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Videography Book

Hi,

I am about to purchase a Sony EX1R for my wife, who is a video artist who wants to make the step up from DV to full HD. She is quite competent in the use of the basic features of prosumer cameras such as the PD150 and XH A1.

However moving up to the EX1R with is many additional controls over the image and the process means that I would like to find some books covering the technical aspects of the use of an HD video camera and videography in general.

When I search for books on this subject, they are either too lightweight or are specific to uses such as wedding photography or shooting corporate videos, and have little technical information. As yet I have not found a single book that covers such things as; zebra, back-focus or knee.

I would like to understand the technical side of the controls available on this camera so that I can help my wife with the details.

I am also having a great deal of difficulty in finding publications which will give me the technical background to understand what file format to use and when, and what all of the parameters in file formats and containers actually mean. This causes a lot of problems in FCP maintaining picture quality from camera to projected end result.

Any suggestions for good quality (hopefully up to date) technical publications would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old August 1st, 2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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I would highly recommend Doug's DVD. VOEX1DVD
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Old August 1st, 2010, 08:01 PM   #3
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Chris, a lot of folk find the cam manual together with the forums and the search features here greatly assist with the intro to new cameras.

And especially when you get into your specific editing rig.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 12:40 PM   #4
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Thanks Eugene & Allan,

From the point of view of getting going, the DVD looks good and I will get hold of it.
But on a more general theme, I would really like to understand the technicalities of videography. I am an electronics engineer turned to software, and I am sure I can handle the detail.

There just seems to be a whole language that is new to me which I cannot find described in reference books. Why is it so difficult to find books on this subject?

I take your point about bringing questions to this forum, but I would be happier with a fundamental understanding first, so that my questions were not too basic, and I didn't waste anyone's time... otherwise I would start with a whole set of terms that I see in these forums, but do not understand, such as Knee, Zebra, Gamma, Black Gamma, Gamma Curve, Back Focus, Fringing, ColourBars, pedestal, etc. I can (and have) googled all of these, but this gives poor quality answers, as often they are not explained in the right context - this is where a videography reference book would be perfect.

Also a more thorough understanding of the art will enable me to know what the camera is NOT doing for me, and what could be better.

Thanks
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 10:43 PM   #5
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As someone who is in the process of learning (I've been a film student for a couple of years now), I can tell you there are many great ways to start off.

For starters, I'm not sure this is exactly what you are looking for, but it's the best book I know about film and video (and I have a pretty large collection of books on the subject), especially for technical aspects:
The Filmmaker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age
http://www.amazon.com/Filmmakers-Handbook-Comprehensive-Guide-Digital/dp/0452286786/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280805666&sr=8-1
Honestly, though I am going to school to learn about this, there is only so much they can teach you, and I've found that most of my knowledge on the technical side comes from books such as the one I refferenced above. Nothing beats practice, however, which is what I get mostly from school.

As has been mentioned, a great way to learn is to just look it up on forums such as these. Hearing from different people about real life experiences in the field can be quite refreshing and helpful in comparison to articles and books which can be (and usually are) biased in some way or other.

Another useful way to learn (though maybe not for technical terms) is to go on Youtube. That site has TONS of tutorials about everything you can think of. I find it especially helpful when trying to learn how to use an editing program to it's fullest extent.

Try to find some great websites for information (such as this one), and bookmark them so that next time you need to look something up you won't have to sift through a bunch of junk on google.

I'm trying to think of every other method I've used to learn, but honestly, most of the stuff I know was introduced to me in that book. It's about 800 pages long, and covers pretty much EVERYTHING you could think of on the technical side of things. Because there's so much content in the book, it doesn't go into major details with some things, but it gives you a basic understanding which is enough to set you on the right path. Using what you learn you'll know exactly what to search for and will find it much easier to learn things online. It's the kind of book you can read all the way through if you're like me, or you can easily use it as a reference for just about anything. I still go and look stuff up in that book whenever I have it handy.

Hope this helps. :)
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 03:03 AM   #6
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David,

Absolutely marvellous, exactly what I was looking for. I will be popping down to my local Waterstones to pick it up this afternoon.

Thanks to all of you for your help. This book, and the Video should be a great start. I expect I shall be back to the forum soon with more (educated) questions!

Thanks All
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 06:47 AM   #7
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Here are a few more web sites that might be of some help. Enjoy...

Sony : Shooting Tips for XDCAM EX Concept : United Kingdom

Sony Business Solutions & Systems - Featured

XDCAM-USER.com How to Videos

XDCAM-USER.com

YouTube - XDCAM EX Color Matrix Setup and How To instructional video

YouTube - XDCAM EX Gamma Curves and Knee, what they do and which ones to use.
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