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Old October 13th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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New HMC40's

I picked a couple up and and trying to get up to speed. I come from using a DVX100B (poorly) and I want to make sure I do a great job with these.

On the DVX, I didn't do my homework to learn the camera and always had lighting issues. I bounced back and forth from auto WB to manual, using posterboard to set it. At times, it looked great and other times, I got yellowish, redish video.

Now, with the 40's I am reading on correct shooting practices. I will be shooting at a church who currently does video so the lighting should be great. I am writing to get help understanding how to set the 40 for shooting. I see ans have played with the Zebra patterns. My understanding is that if I see stripes, then I need to adjust the Iris, manually, until they go away and that will be where I shoot from. Is this correct?

I also see the marker function but with the manual, I can't figure out how to make use of it. Can someone share a tip or two?



Bottom line - Is this correct:
Set white balance
Use Zebra or marker
Shoot

Thanks in advance for any insight.
Rob
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Old October 13th, 2009, 11:47 PM   #2
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I would say concentrate on getting the best skin tones you can. The stripes are just a tool to help you determine exposure.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for the tip.

Any other suggestions?
Thank you.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #4
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The Zebras, Marker and the Waveform all provide information to help you get the best exposure possible.

I normally set my Zebras 100% (the HMC40 allows you to set 50% to 105% in 5% increments). I try to not have any areas overexposed, but sometimes that may result in the rest of the image being to underexposed - so its just a tool. Some people set their zebra to 70% and use that to set the exposure of Caucasian people. The marker provided an IRE readout from 0% to 100+% in the center of the screen - you can use that to get IRE readings of your scene by moving the center around. And best of all is the waveform - it shows a spatial histogram of IRE values across the entire field of view - you can really tell what is going on with exposure using it.

Don't forget that by setting different gammas, knee, master pedestal, DRS, etc you can also influence the exposure and final result.

My best recommendation it to experiment. Shoot some video and have some fun!
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Old October 20th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Ryan View Post
The Zebras, Marker and the Waveform all provide information to help you get the best exposure possible.

I normally set my Zebras 100% (the HMC40 allows you to set 50% to 105% in 5% increments). I try to not have any areas overexposed, but sometimes that may result in the rest of the image being to underexposed - so its just a tool. Some people set their zebra to 70% and use that to set the exposure of Caucasian people. The marker provided an IRE readout from 0% to 100+% in the center of the screen - you can use that to get IRE readings of your scene by moving the center around. And best of all is the waveform - it shows a spatial histogram of IRE values across the entire field of view - you can really tell what is going on with exposure using it.

Don't forget that by setting different gammas, knee, master pedestal, DRS, etc you can also influence the exposure and final result.

My best recommendation it to experiment. Shoot some video and have some fun!
Can you explain what these mean and how to set them specifically to know where my exposure is? I'm used to histograms on my D300 DSLR, but these video cameras aren't as clear to me. I have no idea what you're saying above with the Zebras, Marker and Waveform...If you wouldn't mind I'd greatly appreciate it.

Chris
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 02:32 PM   #6
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I just talked with my vendor about the Zebras on the 40. He mentioned using them, as is, to make sure there are not over exposed areas on my subject and shooting from there.

I am an audio dude transitioning to incorporate video. I wish I knew where to turn for some tutorials or on line training.
Rob
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 02:33 PM   #7
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Hey Rob,

I'm using them, and I'm told to set it at 100%, not the default of 80%, but I have no clue why or the difference myself. :)

Chris
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 02:33 PM   #8
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Hey thanks. Any idea why?

My first shoot with these is Nov 6-7.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 04:45 PM   #9
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Zebras tell you what areas of your image have exceeded a certain threshold of brightness. If you set your zebras to 80%, then anything on the image that's 80% or brighter (on a scale of 0 to 109%) will show up with zebras.

So if you set your zebras to 100%, you shouldn't see zebras on anything, at any time, unless it's dangerously close to overexposing (since only items at 100% to 109% will show up with zebras).
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 08:18 PM   #10
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Thanks Barry, that really helps. What are the markers then?

Chris
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 08:00 AM   #11
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So if you set your zebras to 100%, you shouldn't see zebras on anything, at any time, unless it's dangerously close to overexposing (since only items at 100% to 109% will show up with zebras).
You can choose to sacrifice the detail on a white wall to get good exposure on the rest of the scene though. Just don't show zebras on skin/face etc.

Ron Evans
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 12:09 PM   #12
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Great info guys...I really appreciate it.

Chris
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 12:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Chris Rademacher View Post
Thanks Barry, that really helps. What are the markers then?

Chris
The marker is a spotmeter. It tells you the brightness (on a 0-99 scale) of whatever's in the box.

The choice thing though is the waveform monitor. It tells you exactly what your video signal is doing, it shows the brightness all across the screen, it's like having a million zebra settings and a marker for every pixel.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 12:37 PM   #14
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It's nice that the HMC40 allows you to select the point where the Zebras appear. It does beg the question, what's the best point to use? ...

100 seems to be a logical point, because one can see exactly when the highlights are blowing out. My understanding is that there is a just a tiny bit more room for adjustment in post to correct for this, because the digital number recorded can go just a bit higher.

95 also seems like a good choice, you can see the highlights that are about to go, but there's still room for correction if required. The only problem is, that you can't be sure if they are still under 100 or have gone over 100. Thankfully there's the waveform monitor to tell you.

One could make a case for 105, because this is almost as high as the light can go before you can't fix it in post.

One could even make a case for numbers lower than 95, because you could see when the mid-tones are getting too high. However, the lower you go, the more messy the screen looks with all the Zebras.


I don't have the camera yet, because I have to wait until I'm in a position I can spend the money.


Bob Diaz
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 04:16 PM   #15
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Guys,
thank you for your kind help. I just set my zebras at 95%.

I so appreciate finding this forum.
Rob
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