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Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100

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Old May 19th, 2018, 07:30 PM   #1936
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Like Ron Says the camera is basically telling you you have a nd filter applied but there is need to do that, just like the camera will also tell you when to use a nd filter.
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Old May 20th, 2018, 06:20 PM   #1937
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Iím recording a dance recital and the stage lights are LED. Iím watching two cameras, one fixed on the tripod wide and the other does pan and zoom on the kids faces. The pan and zoom is in motion almost the whole time and I look over at the wide shot and adjust in and out. Consequently both cameras are on auto. When I tested out the AX100 the other day the ND filter on 2 seemed to tame the harsh nature of the LED lamps. Even if the scene was moderately lit the occasional spangles on the costumes and white sections of the costumes burned out without the ND filter. My deep skill set is as a sound guy and dance music editor. I just got the AX100 and aside from turning steadyshot on and off and selecting the recording mode I havenít spent quality time with it yet. I havenít noticed where Iím told that I need the ND when itís off.
The ND makes a major, positive, difference in the image. If the camera is telling me itís not necessary by blinking, what does it really want? Iím not looking for an in depth videography course but if there is a ďlook here for that, and adjust accordinglyĒ kind of answer that would be great!

I really appreciate the help!!!!!!!!
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Old May 20th, 2018, 06:51 PM   #1938
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Try the following. ND OFF, Set shutter to 1/60, Set WB to indoor, set AE shift to the dial and set to about -0.5, use manual focus and use the touch focus to set focus once you have set the zoom range you want . That way it will not try and refocus every time the lights go up and down and will maintain the brightness you have set with the AE shift. I find -0.5 to -0.7 is about right for theatre show. If it is on a tripod turn steady shot off. ON the AX100 steadyshot will give you a little more zoom range though but has issues with after movement on pans.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 02:30 AM   #1939
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

When you let the camera handle exposure it will always try to keep the f-stop at it's optimal value which should be around f4, if the camera needs to close the iris further down towards f11 to compensate for strong incoming light it will start to suggest a ND so it can open the iris up again, in this way it will try to prevent to diffraction which can result in a softer image if the iris is almost completely closed.

Indoors you normally don't need to use a ND because those lights don't have the same intensity as the sun but incase you have to shoot with very strong stagelights then just watch your f-stop, if you see it goes to f9 or f11 then it's time to use a ND but I never had the need to use a ND indoors.

About whitebalance, like Ron said a indoor preset usually works best for stageperformances but don't expect that to be true for every performance, todays use of LED lights can give you very weird colorshifts where I have found situations that a outdoor preset gave better results, in any case ALWAYS go to the rehearsals and try different whitebalance presets and see what works best, forget about taking a whitebalance on stage because you most likely will get a error as the camera won't be able to take a reading.

About the AE shift Ron is suggesting, Sony camera handicams usually overexpose a bit when using autoexposure, with AE shift set to -0,5 or -1 you are forcing the camera to constantly underexpose what it thinks the best exposure should be. By assigning it to the front wheel you can controll the camera's auto exposure behaviour.
This is not the same as manually exposing though but it is a good way to controll 2 camera's simultaniously by yourself, the camera will always be quicker to respond to drastically changing lightconditions and with the ev assigned to the front wheel you can correct the camera's judgment if needed.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 07:36 AM   #1940
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Wow... Those were fast and detailed responses! One thing I noticed is that the autofocus ďhuntingĒ is much more pronounced than my HC-9. Significantly so. When I used the ND on 2 it seemed to be the best image when I was experimenting. I will experiment with the AE shift and other techniques youíve mentioned. When I set the ND at 3 the focus went berserk and almost never settled, just hunting and hunting. That was OK since 3 was too dark so wouldnít have used it anyway. Iím about to ďdumpĒ a bunch of video into FCPX - is there metadata in the AX100 files that let me compare the image Iím seeing with the settings?
Thanks!
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Old May 21st, 2018, 07:52 AM   #1941
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Of course the AF is going to hunt if you have too much ND applied. The camera has to actually be able to see an image to focus on it. And the focus is based on contrast detection, so a really underexposed image isn't going to have enough contrast for the AF system to work properly -- thus the hunting. If you ask me, it seems like a total waste of time not to work on getting a correct exposure first with the camera -- and then moving onto other features of the camera, such as AF, white balance, paint menus, etc.

[QUOTE=Peter Durso;1944196]When I used the ND on 2 it seemed to be the best image when I was experimenting. /QUOTE]

BTW, the best ND filter to use at a given time (if any at all) is totally dependent on how much light there is. Each one of the ND filter positions will produce the "best image" under different circumstances. Once you learn how to expose correctly it will be obvious which ND filter is the best one at any given time, and then you won't have to rely on the camera nagging you to change the setting.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 08:00 AM   #1942
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Never use a ND3 for indoor stageperformance, in fact, set it to off when you shoot indoors, if your camera, Ron and I say to set the ND to OFF there is a reason for that :)

If you want to know what your camera was doing at a particular moment just play the file in camera and watch the lcd screen, you get all the info like whitebalance, f-stop, shutter and gain, if you have been using nd3 there is a high chance the gain was close to 30db all the time which results in a lot of noise.

Also using a ND does not improve autofocus, unless it is used to keep the f-stop around f4, if you play the file incamera where it went berserk, can you tell us what cameradata you see on screen at that moment? Or maybe take a picture of that screen with a smartphone and post it here, it will help to determine what is going on.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 10:27 AM   #1943
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Yeah, I get that the ND and other settings would vary based on the individual conditions. Cool.
I will check out the info in the viewfinder when I get back to the studio later.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 01:52 PM   #1944
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

The other thing I forgot to mention is I set the gain limit to at most 18db. If I know the show I may even set it to 15db. That way you are giving the camera a limited range to operate. When the lights go to black the camera will not try and see in the dark with 30db + of gain and then have to close way down quickly when the lights go up again which will result in it overshooting a lot before it finally decides on exposure.

The other thing is I never use auto focus for a show. Especially for the camera being unattended. I assume you are using it as a full stage camera. Just set up and use spot focus at some point on the stage and then leave it there. I have peaking on so I can see what is in focus. At wide angle all of the stage should be in focus all the time.
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