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Old December 16th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Thomas William Alexander View Post
Back to the subject of light meeters. Is there one made that can bee used under multible light conditiions or are they all made spacificaly for spacific typs of light?

And thanks Michail for your positive input.

Thomas
Light meters don't care about the type of light (as long as we're talking visible light), and many have very similar functions. I'll save you a TON of time and point you in the direction of two that seem to be quite popular in the film/TV industry.

1. Spectra Cine: Spectra Cine, Inc -Spectra Professional IV-A (The Most Accurate Meter Ever Built)

2. Sekonic L-758 Cine: Sekonic L-758Cine DIGITALMASTER

There are certain video-only things that you'll appreciate in these models that make them suitable for what we are doing. I have the Spectra and find it enough for my needs. It's quite a bit cheaper and simpler to use.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 05:11 PM   #17
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Hi all,

Good Charles and Perrone likely forgot more than I ever knew about light, but clipping in video sometimes hard to figure out. What might look exacting (one stop or 1/2 stop) on a forehead might turnout to be different when dialing down the aperture ring.

Which is precisely why light meters are slightly less useful in video than film for 'getting it right'. Perrone's spot on when he mentioned ratios. That's where the meter really shines.

Another advantage, and maybe the biggest, is looking at the whole scene with a spot meter to see if anything is too hot. While one can easily look into a viewfinder, a hand-held spot meter will give some quick ratios to make quick calculations.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 05:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mike Gunter View Post
What might look exacting (one stop or 1/2 stop) on a forehead might turnout to be different when dialing down the aperture ring.
I've found that my new camera (Sony EX1) is VERY very close when it comes to this. In fact, it's close enough for me at actually trust the meter implicitly.

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Originally Posted by Mike Gunter View Post
Which is precisely why light meters are slightly less useful in video than film for 'getting it right'. Perrone's spot on when he mentioned ratios. That's where the meter really shines.
Yes, it's the ratios that we're really interested in. Knowing your camera well enough to know how many stops of latitude you have before you actually lose something is crucial. So I know if my Scene has 7 stops of contrast in it, I am going to be safe. If it has 12, I'm doomed! :)

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Originally Posted by Mike Gunter View Post
Another advantage, and maybe the biggest, is looking at the whole scene with a spot meter to see if anything is too hot. While one can easily look into a viewfinder, a hand-held spot meter will give some quick ratios to make quick calculations.
Well, you can easily iris down to keep anything from blowing out. And in many cameras you can knee the signal so that you keep everything broadcast legal, or at least keep it from clipping. But even when you do that, it's keeping the shadows intact that becomes a bit tricky.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:34 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
EX1? Web? Light meter?

Which of those don't you expect to see in the same sentence?

As far as I am aware, Sony had the forsight to actually include a light meter in the workings of the camera (no doubt chargeing a suitably high premium for the privelage), tho' as every other semi pro camera seems to have been equally blessed, I can't see it gave them much of a marketing advantage.

The fact that without it wouldn't take very good video may have something to do with it, but I digress.

Better video on the Web?

Of a Church service?

Did this fount of knowledge happen to impart just what, exactly, an external light meter would bring to the party that the internal camera meter could/ would not?

Or why, exactly, it would be required in order to fiddle with pre - sets?

I think you are exceedingly clever not to be buying into it, this sounds about as much use as an ashtray on a motorcycle.

An EX1 for the web, whatever next, Ferraris for shopping trolleys?

My, the things you read..............


CS

Wow, Chris maybe you don't have a lot of bandwidth where you live but I find this post totally off base.

I find the internet (computer screens) to be rather demanding output devices, much more than SD televisions.

People are used to see high resolution images on their computer screens, so the idea that poor quality video cameras and production values are all that is needed for internet content is short sided and 1990 imho.

And the use of a light meter and a camera's metering system are two different things.

As stated in this thread, a light meter is used to judge ratios and can be located all around the scene.

An in-camera meter takes an overall reading of a scene to find a general exposure point.

Two different things.

I find my use of a light meter is more in the still world and put more stress on proper calibrated monitoring & zebras to setup video lighting and find exposure.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #20
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Have you turned on your zebra bars? That might help you more than a light meter in your situation.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 05:37 PM   #21
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Have you turned on your zebra bars? That might help you more than a light meter in your situation.
Philip: Yes I have used the zebra bars. I was using them from the verry beginning but when I did and set a good ballanced picture, I would get mones from our media head about how he didnt think the picture was bright enouph. So I britened it up. Then when I got a preset that looked good under incondecent lights with good acurate collors on the subject being videod, I got more grunts becase the bacground looked a little dark. We are working of of one strip of 8 par floods. Thats It! I am trying to achive a really good picture that has some definition and dosnt look all washed out. I supose that I could just shoot with the factory preset at 3200K. But the picture looks to pastell and washed out to me. I know what we need. WE NEED MORE FRICKING LIGHTS! I can only do so much with what little we have to work with. The cammeras eye is not like a human eye. Do I sound to sensitive? Yah, I could go back to the factorys setting and the back ground (which is nothing to look at annyway. Just mic and musick stands) would brighten up. But The picture looks like CRAP! Not to mention that we are shooting in standard def. to maximise the use of our memeory and the picture quality has been dummied down to visible pixalization for our web site. I could go on, and on, and on. Annyway. We have a lot of stuff to iron out. Sometimes I just want to walk away from it. But this is something that Ive always wanted to do. So I stick with it.

Thanks for listennig

Thomas
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Old December 17th, 2008, 06:05 PM   #22
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One trick another cameraman passed onto me is set you zebra's to 70 and expose for the face allowing just a little zebra to shine through on the face. Exposing for the face of your subject is the ultimate goal when he's the main subject. Careful of the background. Color correction from your editor could also be an answer to getting a better look.

More lights is correct, but in your case the light meter could help you guide the pastor as to where his limitations are for good lighting and bad lighting. Don't be afraid to make them aware of where good lighting and bad lighting is. If they avoided the weak spots it could improve your overall production. A lot of times I'll make clients aware of what areas to avoid either for background or lighting. Normally there open and willing to listen to improve the production overall.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 08:49 PM   #23
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Thomas, I feel your pain!

I used to do video at Atlanta North Church of Seventh-day Aventists (in fact I did the website too), now gave up on both of them, but the person who took over the web didn't change a thing, and the video guy pretty much works with my setup, presets, etc.

At the beginning I started with a lot of enthousiasm, just like you. The problem is, everyone likes video, especially if they get to watch at times live from home, but nobody puts his dollars to make it better. As you can see from our video, lighting is a nightmare (see the very beginning), it's uneven, the walls behind the platform are much brighter than the pulpit, and it takes a special crew even to replace a burned out bulb, the ceiling is so high.

First thing I recommended was proper lighting; pastor called out specialist, specialist quoted $50K, end of that story. So I just tried to make the best out of what I had, after all the message is our main focus with church video, right? From what I see, you are trying to do exactly the same thing I tried, to produce crisp, sharp, high contrast pictures. Sony cameras are your best friend for that (we use Z1s), but with time you will realise that a softer picture is better suited for the web... anyway, I won't get into that, invariably all of us go through your learning curve.

I would advise to use your zebras as mentioned above, and turn on the black stretch, I'm pretty sure the EX has that too. Use the scope in post to check your luma, on Caucasian faces it should not go above 75% except a couple of small "hot" spots. Don't be afraid of darker faces!

Oh, and wait until an African (very, very dark skin) speaker thinks that walking in front of the platform is better... I had one a while back. All I got was shadows...
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #24
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Ervin: Thanks for your input. It looks like a switch board was trying to be used on that video. What kind was it and is it a good one? And you are right, some light is needed in your sanctuary. But I dont think you need to spend 50k. Could try to shop around. Par 64,s with some high wattage halogen bulbs could work if your churces power grid can handel it without popping circut breakers. That was my big idea until I was told that our wireing and breaker board wont handel 1000 watt bulbs. So we will have to go with smaller pars with less wattages. I think we might be running about 250 watts right now. That will work fine for us. We just need more of them.

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Old December 18th, 2008, 06:25 AM   #25
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I bought the Datavideo | SE-800AV 4 Input Audio Video Mixer | SE-800AV - NTSC about two years ago and have been very happy with it; a small studio I work with now uses the DV version (same thing outfitted with firewire inputs/outputs) also without any complaints. If I had to buy again, I would probably go for and HD board like the GV Indigo or something similar to accomodate HD inputs as well.
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