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Old February 25th, 2014, 03:35 AM   #1
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Best way to match multiple cameras

Hi all,

I'm shooting a large event in a few weeks. We have a 6 camera crew, but budget is restricted so everyone is using their own cameras (rather than hiring 6 of the same camera).

We have a Sony NEX-EA50, JVC HM600, Canon XA10, Canon XF100, Sony NX30 and a Canon 550D.

My question is, what's the best way to set these cameras up to give the editor the easiest possible job of matching the look of each cameras in post?

Any advice is much appreciated :)
Cheers
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Old February 25th, 2014, 04:30 AM   #2
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Re: Best way to match multiple cameras

That is a tough one. At least white balance all the cameras at the same time on the same white source. That should get you pretty close on the 'video' cameras but not so sure about the DSLRs. Ignore any differing white balance readings between the cameras. As long as the cameras think the target is white and they balance for that you will at least have a rough starting point. Bare in mind this won't take into account chroma levels, black levels, gamma levels etc.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old February 25th, 2014, 05:01 AM   #3
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Re: Best way to match multiple cameras

Thanks for the tips, Christopher.

Unfortunately it won't be possible to white balance from the same source. It's an event spanning a distance of over 60 miles, so each camera op will be in a different location at any given time.

So it's not like a live performance or something where we'd have to match the cameras perfectly... we just need to get them reasonably close so the editor doesn't kill us :)
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Old February 25th, 2014, 09:00 AM   #4
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Re: Best way to match multiple cameras

The editor will have to do most of the work if the cameras are not going to be in the same location to be compared. Probably a good ides to see if you can have the same gamma and pedestal settings somehow. Also decide if detail settings can be similar. Sometimes going by the book and just leaving things at the factory settings might be the way to go.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 11:37 AM   #5
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Re: Best way to match multiple cameras

The only thing I can think of in your situation would be to have every camera shoot factory default settings, then shoot the same color chart on location. Make your own color charts by getting red, blue, green, yellow, magenta, cyan, and several shades of white, black, and gray paper. Cut each color into 6 blocks, (make sure you use only 1 sheet per color, and cut them into 6 pieces) then paste them onto 6 boards, creating 6 identical charts. Have each camera operator shoot a full frame of the chart for 1 minute after white balancing at their location.

In post, the colors will not line up exactly in the vectorscope boxes, but the editor will at least be able to see where the differences occur between cameras and make adjustments.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 09:27 PM   #6
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Re: Best way to match multiple cameras

Thanks for those tips, much appreciated :)
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Old February 25th, 2014, 09:36 PM   #7
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Re: Best way to match multiple cameras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
Make your own color charts by getting red, blue, green, yellow, magenta, cyan, and several shades of white, black, and gray paper. Cut each color into 6 blocks, (make sure you use only 1 sheet per color, and cut them into 6 pieces) then paste them onto 6 boards, creating 6 identical charts.
Far from perfect but an interesting solution. Never thought of doing that before.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 10:12 AM   #8
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Re: Best way to match multiple cameras

Head to your local hardware store and choose paint swatch cards. It is not MacBeth but it can serve the same purpose.
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