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Old October 4th, 2014, 01:58 AM   #1
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PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

After a few nights of shooting in the field, it became obvious my new X70 suffers the exact same picture (color) defects as my X900, including yellow skin tone, and blue flashing lights that look green. So I spent a little time putting the X70 on the scope to try and massage it a little. I was able to correct the levels on the waveform, and rotate the entire vector image, but only from a hinge point on green. I am not good on the terminology here, but there are no rotation controls, only a phase control, and that is all I could adjust for. The vector colors still cannot be pointed at the correct locations, unless I am missing a menu setting. See below for some comparisons, and the ITU709 setting adjustments to achieve these 3200k preset correction. Top are stock PP4 REC709, bottom are the adjustments. Shot of CX900 is stock left, adjusted right. DSC chart lit with 55watt Lowel IDLight 3200k indoor preset.

ADJUSTED SETTINGS
Black level +10
Color phase -2
W/B shift
Filter R-B
LB +1
R gain +1
B gain -1
Attached Thumbnails
PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-screen-shot-2014-10-03-11.45.01-pm.png   PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-screen-shot-2014-10-03-11.46.18-pm.png  

PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-screen-shot-2014-10-03-11.47.30-pm.png   PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-screen-shot-2014-10-03-11.47.57-pm.png  

PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-screen-shot-2014-10-03-11.48.29-pm.png   PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-screen-shot-2014-10-03-11.50.43-pm.png  

PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-screen-shot-2014-10-03-11.39.37-pm.png  
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Old October 4th, 2014, 08:35 AM   #2
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

Paul, thanks for the detailed testing!

So far, are you finding the image quality of the X70 to match that of the CX900 as should be expected?
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Old October 4th, 2014, 02:14 PM   #3
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

This was just my "first round" of playing with the settings. I used PixelConduit (free) which is a program that gives you a full set of scopes using the BlackMagic Mini-Recorder as the video input. I will put the little guy on a real scope later this week. I am having a lot of trouble with white balance calibration. Unlike the CX900 and AX100, this camera cannot push to white properly once you calibrate the deep settings. There are independent phase and such setting revisions for each push to white memory, which you must separately calibrate on a scope. A significant problem to aligning these cameras is that they seem to think 3200k lighting is anywhere from 3600-3800k. The indoor preset is a solid 3200k, but as stated, the camera sees 3200k as several hundred kelvin higher.

I should also mention that for alignment purposes, for levels, I put the knee on manual at 95%, to get everything on the correct IRE lines. Someone mentioned on an online X70 review that the knee didn't change anything for them. On the scope, the knee will move your highlights something like a full 40IRE up and down! So my hope on this camera is to calibrate everything to the 3200k "indoor" setting, then include appropriate WB revision values which allow accurate push to white balancing for A and B. The outdoor preset will need to be checked for adjustments that allow 5600k to be spot on. Manual kelvin adjustments will also be verified.

Paul
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Old October 4th, 2014, 08:06 PM   #4
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

More testing, this time with those white balance settings. They turned out to not be white balance settings, but are in fact two sets of phase controls. This presents a problem, because this means you can only account for changes on two vectors......the wheel has more, and as you will see in the future, when you have to choose to fix the worst offenders, you run out of correction allowances to adjust the remainders. Anyway, ITU709 is useless on this camera, and I found I had to change to STILL color mode to get the vectors in a more realistic pattern. So here are the new settings I have come up with so far, with a picture comparison of stock and then these new settings on the scope, so you can see where the color alignments are going. Abandoned the indoor preset, and simply pushed to white which got me 3300k. Since the push to whites on this camera do not automatically adjust deeper color and phase settings, manual kelvin, push to white, they all just do numbers, no deeper meaning.

Black level +10 (this brings the DSC blacks up to proper 10IRE level when the whites were set to 100IRE)
Gamma ITU709
Black gamma middle and 0, no adjustments
Knee set to 95% for scoping, but found that auto knee at 100% really works well
Color mode STILL, this was the only setting which looked correct on the vectorscope
Saturation 0, but you might want to put a little pop in your picture
Color phase +1, needed to rotate the whole wheel a notch so things lined up better
Color depth no adjustments, these don't show up on the scope
Color correction type FIRMWARE PROBLEM?

I was making good progress with the color correction memories, but after fiddling with it for a few minutes, the changes do not apply any more. I couldn't figure this out, so I copied another PP that was working, and began making adjustments again, and it too stopped "taking". This appears to be an issue with the firmware in the camera, as you can be in the middle of going up or down, and the vector picture snaps back to normal and the adjustments simply stop working. Sending off a help request to Sony on this.

For those interested, the Sony manual for the X70 lists phase values that do not match what the cameras push to select color selector reads off the DSC chart. See below for the DSC chart phase values for making adjustments manually.

Blue = 31
Cyan = 25
Green = 19
Yellow = 15
Red = 10
Magenta = 5
Attached Thumbnails
PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-screen-shot-2014-10-04-5.35.51-pm.png   PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-screen-shot-2014-10-04-5.36.04-pm.png  

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Old October 5th, 2014, 01:58 AM   #5
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

Given a choice will you still buy this cam?
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Old October 5th, 2014, 03:07 AM   #6
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

Absolutely. It is everything my CX900 was, but added a whole slew of features I found I really was wanting on this platform. In my work as a TV news shooter, I actually use this little camera daily for live shots. Although not perfect, the manipulatable systems in the camera do provide for a markedly improved picture.

Paul
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Old October 5th, 2014, 04:23 AM   #7
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

Went to try out the cam yesterday and was impress with it. With the xlr handle attached the cam becomes front heavy though. Since they're 2 xlr port will the cam record 2 internal channels concurrently with the handle attached?
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Last edited by John Woo; October 5th, 2014 at 07:21 AM.
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Old October 5th, 2014, 04:37 PM   #8
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

In the menu, you can select which mic or mic jacks you want active, the XLR's, the internal "mesh" mic, or the 3.5mm plug in power side jack. There is also an "AUTO" setting which switches between the built in and XLR whenever you mount or remove the handle.

Yes, the handle makes it front heavy, but I typically use this camera with a 16x9 Inc EXII wide angle, which is about 2 lbs itself. A bit of a strain, but nothing more than most of your 3 chip HM650 types.

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Old October 6th, 2014, 11:03 PM   #9
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

This stuff about vector scope adjustment to correct a colour issue is a bit out of my league - but it's made me anxious. Flashing lights and yellow faces! I'm in the game to buy this camera and I thought it was broadcast quality. In practical terms what does all this mean? I shoot mini-documentary stuff that generally ends up streaming on the internet BTW. But I do want good quality footage.
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Old October 6th, 2014, 11:17 PM   #10
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

Same here Terence.

Paul, everything I shoot is either not super color-critical, or I have time to manually white balance. And, I always have time to leisurely tweak color correction, whites, shadows, gamma, etc. in post.

Are these color issues you're finding real faults of the camera that white balance and post cannot correct, or are they due to your news reporting deadlines requiring color and exposure to be dialed in as perfectly as possible in-camera?
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Old October 6th, 2014, 11:42 PM   #11
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

yeah, i gotta say that sounds like some total nonsense if thats whats necessary to get a nice image out of the cam. thats what the guy at the rental house does with an f900 (way back in the day that is), not what you should have to do with a much simpler camcorder. EX1 for instance, just turn the thing on, turn picture profile OFF, white balance and you'll likely have very nice images.
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Old October 7th, 2014, 12:02 AM   #12
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

Well, for those not familiar with the vectorscope, when you see a color tip on either side of the "box", that color will be tinted in the shade of the other box it is pulling towards. The DSC instructions stated to dial in red and yellow first, then the other colors, as red and yellow are important to getting correct skin tones. I redialed in the camera on a real $5000 vectorscope, and got the reds and yellows a lot closer than previously. This isn't really a white balance issue, as you can get white perfectly centered, but if you your red vector is halfway to yellow, you end up getting neon red/orange reds. One cool menu function I will make note of is the PP white balance off-sets, which you can toggle between a R-B or magenta green alteration, and store those values separately. This is an extremely useful toggle in the world of LED lights, trust me, you will love it.

I want to try me new adjusted settings in the field and learn more about how the adjustments effect all the different white balance settings before posting a finalized set of suggested adjustments. It is always best to have the best colors you can start with before post, that simply means less work. As the camera comes stock, Sony may have tried their best to get certain colors more accurate than others. This idea doesn't do much for me, because I find the stock colors (same as my CX900) to be awful. My big concerns in night time news, is yellow faces, too dark blacks, and blue police uniforms that appear purple. My specific use of this camera highlights these to me, as they are 90% of what I shoot. I can live with blue police lights being greenish (cyan).....that's just slightly irritating.

I highly recommend simply setting color mode to STILL and black level to +10, even if you do no other adjustments. STILL provides a much more correct vector pattern, and will be easier to correct in post. +10 black level really makes a big difference as well, it's not black stretch, but the stock settings bury the blacks so deep it's not even funny.

Paul
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Old October 7th, 2014, 12:08 AM   #13
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

If anyone out there is sufficiently experienced with correcting color in FCP X, please drop me a private message. There is only so much that can be done with the in camera settings, but having the DSC chart means you can actually create a color correction preset that you can apply to EVERYTHING you shoot prior to grading. I would love some help manipulating the final vector that is always tilted. :-)

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Old October 7th, 2014, 12:12 AM   #14
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

So to sum up, would you say that simply white balancing as normal does not produce "accurate to the eye" colors across the board on this cam?

Again, I'll reference the EX1 and say for the most part (can't really think of an exception but just to protect myself), if you have one of the typical colors of lighting (3200, 5600, something like that) and white balance to it, your colors will generally look accurate to real life. . .i.e. you look at a guy's shirt in real life, look through the viewfinder, looks the same, ditto skin tones, etc. And of course that translates to stuff looking right on a better monitor as well.

That's not the case with the X70? I was hoping this cam might be my savior but this is all sounding like too much trouble to me. ..
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Old October 7th, 2014, 03:43 AM   #15
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Re: PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope

Well, here is the thing, the color corrections setting affect both the preset, manual, and push to white functions. The problem is, it affects them differently. I mainly use a LED with this camera, so I have tuned a separate Picture profile on the scope for LED. PP1 is my 3200k settings, and PP2 is my LED.

If you do the color correction settings while in preset, or in manual white balance, it will not white properly (colors will be off) with push to white. If you color correct after pushing to white, the presets and manual settings will be off. Auto W/B voids all adjustments. There is no way I have found, other than separate picture profiles with custom color correction settings, to dual use this camera switching between incandescent and LED. The closest you can get, and this may be a workaround, would be to switch between video and cinema W/B off-set settings. One of those adjusts red-blue, good for 3200k massaging, the cinema one adjusts magenta-green, perfect for LED. The thing is to toggle that, you need to enter PP custom settings screen. It's much simpler and easier to make a separate PP for each.

Here are a couple of still frames I shot tonight....having white balance issues so I shot these in AWB. These all use the +10 black level. My LED calibrated settings made everything further than 5 feet yellow and green......switching to my incandescent to see how it handles LED, will post more pics of how those new settings work. These cameras stock always produce VERY yellow skin tones, and blacks have a yellow tint when under high gain, with blue speckles.
Attached Thumbnails
PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-94-pedestrian-hit-1.jpeg   PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-94-pedestrian-hit-2.jpeg  

PXW-X70 + DSC Chart + Vectorscope-94-pedestrian-hit-3.jpeg  
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