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Old May 23rd, 2004, 07:10 PM   #1
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PD 953 Picture problems

When filming, some clips come out somewhat dark or shaded with visibly less color than others. Everything is set on auto, I film outdoors in relatively good lighting, and it will do it in the same position as a good picture (i.e. camera stays put, and all background is the same, but two shots will have totally different color). It even does it in the same shot sometimes. If anyone has an idea of what this could be I'd be grateful. I can post a video link to further describe it if need be. Thanks.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 07:32 PM   #2
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The auto could be confused with bright background with a dimmer foreground.

Also possible is the dark and light area shifting, which confuses the camera more. The camera take AVERAGE metering over the eintire frame, so if in one frame, the bright background is 80% with 20% dim foreground and in the next frame, the background is only 60% and the foreground is 40%, the metering will start to change.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 08:41 PM   #3
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I've noticed that the white balance shifts around in auto, especially if the lighting changes...say a cloud moves over the sun or you move from bright sunlight to partial shade. To keep this from happening, put the camera in manual.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 10:05 PM   #4
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You can get good footage using auto if you:[list=1][*]let the cam "read" before you press the start button[*]shoot short segments[*]repeat #1 for each segment[*]take care with positioning you cam such as avoiding pointing into light sources[*]avoid panning, tilting, zooming and moving the cam in these segments because the auto sensors will come into play and perhaps get confused[/list=1]
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 11:48 PM   #5
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I will post a link within the next day or two to 3 clips, one good, one bad, and one that went from good to bad in a couple seconds. If I switch over to manual mode does it still stay pretty simple once I focus, etc.? Frank, sometimes I dont give it much time at all, but other times I do and it can still happen.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 12:22 AM   #6
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If you are shooting movement, especially in lower light, or when there is a lot of contrast, meaning if the subject moves and becomes over or under exposed, the sensors will be trying to compensate. In the process, the sensors might read and adjust to something which you didn't want the cam to do.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 03:06 AM   #7
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I've noticed that the white-balance on my MX500 changes sometimes when left in auto and there are significant changes to light levels.

For this reason, I always carry a sheet of paper and force a white balance manually before any important scene is shot.

Without doing this it can be very easy to end up producing several different scenes with markedly different color-casts and only notice it when you get to the edit desk.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 03:11 AM   #8
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Whenever the light source physically moves or changes intensity, your auto sensors will do their little dance affecting your video. However, if you are shooting under lots of light, this will be barely noticeable or not at all. On the other hand, if you have your white balance locked, and the light source physically moves or changes intensity, your footage will be affected and your auto sensors won't fix it. The good news is that it's not just a characteristic of your Panasonic.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 09:55 PM   #9
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just shoot in manual. don't worry about setting the white balance manually but use the two presets. one for indoors and one for outdoors. the setting for sun should work fine when you are outdoors.

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Old May 25th, 2004, 11:49 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the suggestions...here's the link to an example. The first clip is "good" color, the second is what I'm referring to as "dark" and the third does a little bit of a transition from one to the other. Might be panning into different lighting though. But, the 1st and 2nd ones were shot within minutes of each other in the same exact location. Any additional thoughts?

www.desertrides.com/~cory/Test.mpg
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Old May 27th, 2004, 05:40 AM   #11
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The first two scenes compared is a problem with the auto white balance. Switch to manual and you'll be fine.

This problem will be there when clouds change, when the sun moved from noontime to evening, etc.

The yellow car scene is exactly what I described as average metering. As the bright sky gets more of the frame, the camera recompensate by dimming the whole frame. Again manual exposure will settle the issue.

This problem is most obvious when you are shooting a relatively dim location on auto, and suddenly on guy with a white shirt walks pass the camera. The scene will dim down adn brighten up again.

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