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Old November 27th, 2003, 09:50 AM   #31
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Neumann : OK time for me to chime in.... -->>>

Welcome!

<<<-- First in DV filming we DO NOT USE LIGHT METERS. That is for film. Please get this one straight as when you are on a set you may use the meter to get the right temperatures yet you do not use it for setting the scene. That’s why you use the zebras in the viewfinder. -->>>

Who says you don't use light meters? Things can go much faster and much more controlled if you do. Have a look here on what ASA setting you should use when shooting with a DVX100:

http://www.dvxuser.com/cgi-bin/DVX/YaBB.cgi?board=news;action=display;num=1068605987

Color temperature meters are not that essential in video work, as you can use your white balance control to correct most of your problems. The good thing is that you can handle lamp filters and see what you get on your monitor (if well adjusted) right away.

Zebras are a bit limited in application if you don't have a way to control overbright areas on camera, be it internally or externally.

<<<-- If there is no such thing as pros using manual I hate to burst the biggest bubble of them all. When the embedded reporters who went into Iraq the cameramen used PD150s how you might say a few nope there where 1,000s used, as this was the camera of choice. This camera is a workhorse used in many a shoots as the handling is great and it is lightweight however there is a little trick that the guys use in the field and that is PD150s shot in manual good very good I might add.-->>>

I did not quite understand the text above, but apparently it says that pros had to read the manual and that the PD150 shot in manual got very good results.

If that's so I do agree with you. If you want to know your tool you should at least read the manual. And the PD150 works quite well when used in manual.

<<<--However when your at a remote broadcast for any news station and I do mean any news station they use DVCPRO from Panasonic.-->>>

They probably applied what they learnt there with the DVX100, DVC80 and new DVC30. Sony maybe losing the train with the just released PD170 against the DVC80, not to speak the DVX100A.

<<<--The following DVCPRO cameras have some form of another to shoot on the fly either in presets, auto iris,
AJ-HDC20A, AJ-HDC27A, AJ-SDX900, AJ-SDC915, AJ-D610WBPS1, AJ-D410A-->>>

Having presets is very good. In fact when you set things to manual you pick a preset value and stay with it. The problem is to let "auto" go all around the place. Auto iris can be very good as a starting point, then you set to manual and pick the stop. In certain circumstances, if you are careful not to pick the sky or very light objects, you can let the autoiris make a small adjust. If you control your contrast well, this would be like stopping by hand on the fly.

<<<--So if there is no manual settings and there is no manual iris then why does Panasonic have a “Preset” (PRST) for the AWB for the cameraman, could it be that maybe just maybe there might be a shot they have to get when there is no time to do a White Balance.-->>>

Color correction (WB) is probably the sole thing that, within certain parameters, can be corrected a little during editing. For that you should still use gross WB presets, like sun or interior presets at least. But when in video you have little detail in high areas (for overexposure) or dark areas (for underexposure), most probably you lost them forever. Same thing when the focus is wrong or the shutter at the wrong setting.



Carlos
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Old November 27th, 2003, 11:59 AM   #32
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Lions and tigers and bears Oh my!

Meaning.....

I shot with guy from MTV who foes lighting for the pros, on sets where we are doing indie movies he has yet to use a meter. Film looks great shot looks great "Meter, meter we don't need a stinking meter" (Hey I thought that was pretty cool don't you)

Da embeds used da PD150 as it was good all around camera and here is the punch line they used it sometimes in the auto setting.

So do you agree or not agree that there are cameras with auto setting and presets that the Pros use…and yes I can handle the truth.
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Old November 27th, 2003, 12:22 PM   #33
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Neumann : So do you agree or not agree that there are cameras with auto setting and presets that the Pros use…and yes I can handle the truth. -->>>

Presets are one thing. Auto settings a different one.

Presetting gain, shutter and WB is the usual thing. You set them and forget about them for some time.

Auto settings for iris, focus or audio (AGC) are a different matter. In order to use them you have to know quite well how they work and where they can serve you and be invisible.

Auto iris: frame an scene and let the iris pick a stop. Then you look at it on the viewfinder and/or monitor and see what needs some correction. Then you go to "manual", make the necessary adjustment and leave it there. The iris shouldn't move during your take. In fact you should use the same F stop during all that sequence, if it happens in the same place. Then you will have background continuity.

Auto focus: go to maximum zoom length and select where you want the focus to be in. Press auto-focus. Then pass to manual or lock it. Auto focus should be locked out during each take. After the take is over you can auto-focus for next take and so on.

Audio AGC: this you should never use for quality audio. You may use if you are picking ambience, but in such case it's much better to pick a level manually, with peaks 2/3 towards the right, and do not change it during the whole sequence. If you let AGC free you may have a "pumping" effect when loud noises come and go.

As you see what I advocate is not let any automatic free during your takes. You can still use the camera virtues, not letting them ruin your shot.

Does this combination suit your terms?


Carlos
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Old November 27th, 2003, 12:31 PM   #34
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Neumann :
I shot with guy from MTV who foes lighting for the pros, on sets where we are doing indie movies he has yet to use a meter. Film looks great shot looks great "Meter, meter we don't need a stinking meter" (Hey I thought that was pretty cool don't you
-->>>

Real pros get so used to lighting that only pick ther meter just before rolling. Most gaffers are also so experienced that already tune in to what the cinematographer is looking for that practically put the spot on the right place for the right light amount. In fact some gaffers do the metering themselves for the gross lighting, leaving the final tuning to the DP.

That most video DPs do not use a meter does not mean it's useless, mostly that they never learnt how to use it. If you use a good monitor and waveform to set your stop, a meter may only cut your tuning time.

<<<-- Da embeds used da PD150 as it was good all around camera and here is the punch line they used it sometimes in the auto setting.-->>>

For news gathering you may switch between auto and manual settings, but you should know what you are doing quite well. As a rule following the ideas on my other mail.


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Old November 27th, 2003, 12:40 PM   #35
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Presets are almost the same as auto in that you set the camera up once and then flick from setting to setting as I have on my camera. I am able to set the scene and go back to it without having to recalibrate the whole mess.

What you are failing to miss here is that you are a cameraman you’re in a fire zone or a Hot LZ you don’t have time to AWB or set the ins and outs of a camera. So prior to getting there you set your presets on the way there it’s dark and you have to make a switch yet your camera was not set for this setting let’s just say for the fun of it you want this shot what do you do. Open your iris full throwing the whole thing in full auto mode.

They don’t send cameramen out in a hot LZ with a HD camera or even DVCPRO until it’s calm down so they use PD150 etc as these are throw away cameras. Meaning if it’s your life or the camera what do you do. Also the budgets of field offices are less now so they use the best for less. And yes so we can go enjoy our nice Thanksgiving Tofu Bird, they do use auto sometimes and yes even I will admit, well kinds of admit there was that one time or maybe twice OK so I used it more than once are you happy do you see what you made me do I confess the auto button was there I saw it and well the shoot looked good so I wet for it. I mean wouldn’t you?



Tongue and cheek please…..
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Old November 27th, 2003, 12:57 PM   #36
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The funny thing is the embeds did have to go to combat training camps. It helped save their lives and it showed the ones who could not stand up to the mustard when they started dropping like flies.
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Old November 27th, 2003, 01:02 PM   #37
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Neumann : The funny thing is the embeds did have to go to combat training camps. It helped save their lives and it showed the ones who could not stand up to the mustard when they started dropping like flies. -->>>

What's an embed?

Why did they drop like flies? Scared?

To close the matter, if I were in a combat situation, I would use the camera in the full-automatic position.

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Old November 27th, 2003, 01:38 PM   #38
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Embed was the newsmen with the troops. This also included the cameramen as well. They did use the VidPhone to connect to the world however they still needed a cameraman.

Here is a cool trick try this sometime….

Go full auto then do an AWB on a Grey card or even a Coral or Peach then take some footage and call me in the morning tell me what ya got….
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Old November 27th, 2003, 04:46 PM   #39
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Carlos wrote:
Quote:
Who says you don't use light meters? Things can go much faster and much more controlled if you do. Have a look here on what ASA setting you should use when shooting with a DVX100:...Real pros get so used to lighting that only pick ther meter just before rolling. Most gaffers are also so experienced that already tune in to what the cinematographer is looking for that practically put the spot on the right place for the right light amount. In fact some gaffers do the metering themselves for the gross lighting, leaving the final tuning to the DP.
Light meters are almost never used with shooting DV. My "professional" videographer friends would laugh from here to kingdom come if they heard that one. Trust me. And professionals do use artificial lighting unless there is "enough" light and they are stuck in a position were lighting is impossible to set up. That's why I'd rather have a MX5000 today, than spend a year's salary on something that'll be obsolete tomorrow. See Pokey of Hollywood North star in ad: http://www.dvfreak.com/mx5000ad.jpg
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Old November 27th, 2003, 11:27 PM   #40
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As to light meters I have to bring in a hired gun his name is John Jackman if you know him well you can call him Rev. well on page 21-23 of his book “Lighting of Digital Video & Television” I am quoting from his book now:

“A light meter and the knowledge of how to use it can be quite useful, but a meter is not a necessity for video work because the camera itself is a sophisticated light meter; the video signal is a precise conversion of the level of light”

Now I believe he has a couple of books under his belt well not literally all the same he wrote them and well I have to side with the Rev on this one and Frank does have a point on this one. Seriously I have not used a meter at all with a DVC200 or DSR500 matter of fact when we did have a lighting guy on a shoot he used his meter for all the takes when we went to the NLE we saw it was to hot. The meter did not have it.
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Old November 28th, 2003, 07:03 AM   #41
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Neumann :

“A light meter and the knowledge of how to use it can be quite useful, but a meter is not a necessity for video work because the camera itself is a sophisticated light meter; the video signal is a precise conversion of the level of light”

Now I believe he has a couple of books under his belt well not literally all the same he wrote them and well I have to side with the Rev on this one and Frank does have a point on this one. Seriously I have not used a meter at all with a DVC200 or DSR500 matter of fact when we did have a lighting guy on a shoot he used his meter for all the takes when we went to the NLE we saw it was to hot. The meter did not have it. -->>>

Let's try to make this meter question, which seems being difficult to swallow, a little more clear.

If you follow my mails, you may see that I talked of a combination of meter, monitor, waveform, viewfinder and experience.
Perhaps we could say that besides experience, you should have at least two of the others. If you do not have the experience, you should perhaps rely on three of the others.

What we are talking about here are images that have continuity and results that are reliable. One of the reasons incident light meters are used in film is because you need to have a continuity in image quality (skin tone, background, etc.) from one scene to the other when you edit them.

You can use a reflected light meter to control that too, if you know what you are doing. If you have a waveform monitor or a quality TV monitor you should use them. A monitor is a real must for quality work.

The video signal being "a precise conversion of the level of light" doesn't necessarily mean much if you don't have a continuity. To measure that conversion precisely you need or a meter or a waveform monitor. Besides a precision, well adjusted video monitor to see what you are doing.

Then you have to translate that into practical ways to implement it. You have to build up your lighting, starting perhaps from a base light and then put your key accordingly.

Perhaps the problem you had with that lighting guy and his "hot" images were that he didn't use a monitor as he should. Whatever the other tool you use, a monitor is a must for precision work. A miused tool can't be blamed for a job not well done.

The context I am talking all this about is that to do quality work you should use reliable references. You should know those references and have some control over them.

In any case it is not my intention to curb anyone who is willing to get his video camera and go shoot. By all means go do it. But in order to do things better you should know what you are doing.



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Old November 28th, 2003, 09:32 AM   #42
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Carlos,

Bottom line do you go for the take?

Tom
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Old November 28th, 2003, 09:43 AM   #43
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Neumann : Carlos,

Bottom line do you go for the take? -->>>

When things are right I always do, as long as I double checked as I said. Never missed a take, never wasted any time.



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Old November 28th, 2003, 03:56 PM   #44
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I more or less did the same when my buddy asked me to research the pro's and con's with the GL1 and PD100A years ago. Though I asked more questions and did more reading than giving film lectures. :-)

The bottom line was I had to take the advice with a grain of salt which p*ssed me off somewhat. Some of this grain of salt advice entailed shots like, "Don't you know better?" "Why are you helping this guy?" "Go for the GL1 because it gives you the film look."

So you can see how anyone asking can get frustrated, especially if that someone comes from a film background like Carlos. I believe he's attempting to decide between the cheaper PV-DV953 or GS100 and the DVX100. His goal his to capture NTSC miniDV and have the final edited footage transfered to film, via interlaced NTSC to film method, similar with how the Vancouver lab does it.

Carlos is in PAL land (Brazil), so they use NTSC cams. But the biggest problem for Carlos is that he has no where to turn to see or try these cams, so he's all over the place trying to dig up information, and any way he can. It's his money, afterall, and he doesn't want to end up with a cam that won't cut it. Actually, I did the same thing before going with the MX300/0---because I could go NOWHERE locally to go and have a look at this cam!
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Old November 28th, 2003, 04:44 PM   #45
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Thanks, Frank. In a way you are quite right about the frustration. But let's try to state some records straight because this discussion seemed to go all over the place, including other threads where people asked who I was when my name was mentioned.

A thing what really p*ssed me off is that even if I don't know the particulars of the DV953/GS100 I tried to help other people here to understand things under a more organic point of view.

Instead of asking more questions to see how things could be improved and get better results, things turned into a pointless discussion of what words really meant.

Video is a very limited media, quality speaking. When I started making 1", 3/4" and Betacam video about 18 years ago, coming from film, the limitations were even worst. We tried to work around them, hiding the defects and trying to improve the quality.

Don't think things have improved a long way since then, because they have not. Video is still a very, very limited element.

Particularly in these "very very very limited" units we have to use, like the DV953. The only thing they have in their favor, a very important one, is that more and more people may have access to shooting a movie. What they will do with that is what I was trying to talk about.

Since my 16mm days, through 3/4", Betacam video and now DV I have been trying to devise ways to get better quality in spite of the limitations. And for that you have to follow certain formulas. That I was trying to convey.

It's quite likely that people reading this particular Forum is not interested in such concepts, and prefer to do things their own way.

The hub hub is what this all became when I tried to help when apparently nobody was asking.

So be it.


Carlos
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