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Old January 13th, 2004, 03:45 PM   #1
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dvx100/dvc80 file setting tutorial

Open Letter to Panasonic:

I love my DVC-80. However, I think I speak for many fellow shooters when I tell you that we are frustrated with the scant info available on scene file setting. I don't think your average videographer who purchases this camera is that up on setting chroma phase and master pedestal. How can we take advantage of one of the best features this camera offers if we don't know how to set it properly? An official Panasonic scene file setting tutorial would be awesome! How about it?

Thank you.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 03:20 PM   #2
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I've had my DVC-80 for about a month, and I'm slowly getting used to it before my wedding season kicks off in March. Here's what little I know about settings on the Scene File menu:

Detail: Controls sharpness. (Setting it to -2 or-3 helps to soften images a bit. Cranking it up past 0 gives the video too much of a synthetic look, in my opinion.)

Chroma Level: Controls color saturation.

Chroma Phase: Negative values make the color palette more green, and positive values make it more red. (Although I think the camera has too much of a red bias on its own. )

Pedestal: This controls how dark your black is. Think of it as a "contrast" control for your camera. Going down a few levels comes in handy if you want your video to look more film-like. Higher values, in my opinion, look bad, as they shadows look too light and colors too flat, in general.

Auto Iris -4/+4: I'm lost here. I don't know what units these values are in. F-stops?

Someone PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong about these. (I probably am.)
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Old January 17th, 2004, 02:42 PM   #3
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PANASONIC (And I know they are listening) needs to put out a detailed manual other than the one that came with the camera. For the price, I can't believe how shoddy the information is.
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Old January 17th, 2004, 02:50 PM   #4
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Incomplete and misleading manuals are unfortunately a worsening trend and Panasonic certainly a sinner. However, I see little chance of it improving as most manuals I see these days suck. For DV cameras, Canon's are not bad, but they're not great either.

Just got a Elan 7e and the manual was not great either.

I guess the hard truth is sales numbers are not tracked to quality of manuals, so companies see little incentive to doing them well.

There are exceptions, of course, but I would actually like to see someone develop a better form of interactive, online help, training and knowledgebase integrated within the software.

Though it's painful to admit, Microsoft and Apple are probably closer along.

Don't see why DV cams could not have embedded OS with online help, tutorials, sample images and the like. There's a nice 3.5 LCD just waiting for something other than simple menus.
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Old January 17th, 2004, 03:01 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tim Birej :

Auto Iris -4/+4: I'm lost here. I don't know what units these values are in. F-stops?

Someone PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong about these. (I probably am.) -->>>

the Auto Iris is a compentsation setting. If you have the camera in AUTO IRIS mode, the -4/+4 will signify how much to underexpose or overexpose. This is handy if you always want to underexpose a stop to ensure no highlights are blown.
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Old January 17th, 2004, 03:30 PM   #6
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If, by chance, you're familiar with other cameras that have "AE" (auto exposure) you can view this "Auto Iris" setting analogously to AE. In essence, as Yang notes, you are telling the camera what to consider as "correct exposure" when running iris in automatic mode.
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Old January 18th, 2004, 07:09 AM   #7
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My DVX100 (PAL) supplier send me a brochure which has detailed examples of all these special settings including pictures, as it is almost a quick reference manual. It's called "The full power of the Panasonic AG-DVX100". If you like I can try to scan some pages of it.

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Old January 18th, 2004, 10:29 PM   #8
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Thanks Peter!

Found the doc you mentioned at http://www.rexelvideo.com.au/Whats%20New/agdvx100powerl.pdf
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Old January 18th, 2004, 11:03 PM   #9
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Nice brochure - let me know if you find a NTSC and/or 100A version. I will add this sticky to the top.
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Old January 18th, 2004, 11:37 PM   #10
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One comment about the pedestal. I have found that if you intend to manipulate the color of your image in post, then lowering the pedastal level is a bad idea. Setting up my cam, connected to a monitor, I was like "ooh yah that looks good", but after a few shoots I realized that I could crush my blacks a little in post if I wanted to and that often times I was loosing information that I wanted back.

It was lost forever. A few shots, that I lit a little darker than I wanted really didn't have the headroom to be brought up in post. As clean as the camera is, the ped can even be boosted a point or two with out adding much noise.
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Old January 18th, 2004, 11:48 PM   #11
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Hi Peter,

Can you send your supplier's contact info to me by email, please? Thanks,
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Old January 23rd, 2004, 08:03 PM   #12
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ok i'm tired of whining about the lack of decent manual/settings info...

can't we make a details thing of our own that goes through the setup screens and the f-scene settings with a brief explanation of the real world meaning?

i have no idea where to start but i'd be willing to spend some time arranging the info.

ultimately it could just be a simple pdf?

matthew
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