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Old June 15th, 2005, 01:22 PM   #1
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GS400 and footage too dark

Another stupid question. I was wondering if anyone could give me any insight to this. I've noticed that when I zoom in with my GS400, the image itself becomes darker. Is this supposed to happen? I'm still fairly new to this and the manual's not giving me much help.

I've noticed this especially when I have either a ND filter or a circular polarizer on. The darkening footage is incredibly noticeable then. I usually have to increase the dB if I zoom in, which can result in grainier footage (especially around the 12dB and 15dB range).

The LCD doesn't seem to give me an accurate picture of what I'm shooting -- in terms of lighting level. All my downloaded footage (in DV format in Vegas Video) always appears darker than the image as I see it on the LCD. Is this also normal? For a well-lit room with daylight streaming in, I usually still keep it at around 60 shutter speed with a minimum of 3dB. Does this sound right?
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Old June 15th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #2
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Robert,

Its perfectly normal and related to F-Stops and the GS400 has F1.6 at wide and F2.8 at telephoto.

This link might be of some help.

Click here
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Old June 15th, 2005, 03:10 PM   #3
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Robert, press the Power LCD button on the back of the LCD to turn off the power. Usually with the power off, the LCD better reflects reality.

Also, if you have to go into the gain stage, take the ND filter off. Do you need to polarizer for any particular reason? Are you specifically trying to eliminate some reflection or glare from a glass object? If not, take that off when you are indoors. With the GS400, you'll want to take off all ND and polarizers indoors, and even then may have to use a little gain.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #4
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there's one thing that is a less realistic representation of how your video looks than the camera's lcd- looking at the footage on your computer monitor. computer monitors (lcd and crt) are totally different than tv's-which of course is where video is supposed to be seen. computer monitors use a totally different color space, they're progressive displays as opposed to interlaced, which is what your video is. you should always connect your camera to an ntsc monitor when editing. even just a cheapo tv. otherwise you have no idea what your footage looks like.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 05:20 AM   #5
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Also, you should calibrate your monitor to the correct display gamma. Google "monitor calibration" or "display gamma" and you should get a bunch of links to sites that will help you do this.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:06 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the information. This forum is the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Haupfear
This link might be of some help.
Thanks for the link. That's an awesome site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Provost
Robert, press the Power LCD button on the back of the LCD to turn off the power.
D'oh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Provost
Are you specifically trying to eliminate some reflection or glare from a glass object?
Yeah, we have large windows at the location, and I'm trying to get the cityscape in the background of the shots. I'm starting to like the glare though -- it's giving it an artsy feel. I use the mid-level ND primarily outdoors, but find things way darker whenever I zoom in. Didn't understand why until now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Ford
you should always connect your camera to an ntsc monitor when editing. even just a cheapo tv.
I've got an incredibly cheap TV hooked up, that I use preview with Vegas Video. I think there's something wrong with the tv, because it's brighten/color/saturation/contrast settings are wonky. Anytime I shift it, it goes into weird color spectrums. So I basically just use it for eyeballing the footage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Bruner
Also, you should calibrate your monitor to the correct display gamma.
I have, although there's no way to change it beyond brighten/color/saturation/contrast. The tv can't even shift fully into black and white when I turn the settings way down. So the footage on it is way different from the DVD-burned footage played on my living room tv. I think I need to find a new but cheap production tv. (I wish I could afford a good professional monitor.)

My main concern was just trying to get a good footage to begin with. I was getting frustrated that my wide shots looked good, but that my zooms were much darker. Upping the gain (by manipulating the color curves in post) for dark footage looked awful. I was getting bad footage to work with, and was too trusting of the picture on the lcd.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 11:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Provost
Robert, press the Power LCD button on the back of the LCD to turn off the power. Usually with the power off, the LCD better reflects reality.
Does anyone have an idea how this might affect the battery life?
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Old June 17th, 2005, 11:29 PM   #8
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John,

It'll definitely make the battery last longer.

Josh
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