Correct Exposure for Digital Video, ETTR or not ETTR? at

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Old January 22nd, 2012, 07:53 AM   #1
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Correct Exposure for Digital Video, ETTR or not ETTR?

Hi everyone

I'm a bit confused about how to expose correctly for digital video.

I know that for digital still photography, when using a RAW file format at least, many people promote the ETTR (expose to the right) method as being good for getting the maximum spread of tonal values in the shadows and the minimum noise in an image. And I know that this works well as long as you don't clip highlights in any of your colour channels.

But what about compressed formats like h.264 or mpeg-2?

Is it a bad idea to use ETTR exposure for these formats?

With my 550D I've been exposing for video using a grey card and setting the needle meter to 0EV on it when filming people in standard scenes. Does that sound correct?

Should exposure be tackled differently for different digital video formats, bit depths, colour subsampling, compression, data rate? With RED RAW footage for example is it better to use ETTR?

I'm really baffled and want to get this right for my upcoming assessed film project at uni. We'll be able to shoot on RED ONE, RED EPIC, h.264 dSLR and/or MPEG-2 on a Sony F3. I don't want to end up with footage that's lacking in some respect when we come to colour grading so any help would be much appreciated :)


Stuart Graham
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