PDW-F350 ASA Equivalency at DVinfo.net

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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old October 25th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #1
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PDW-F350 ASA Equivalency

Not sure how many of you have tested this personally but here are my results:

-3 db, 24 fps, no shutter= 320 ASA
-3 db, 24 fps, 1/48th shutter= 160 ASA
0 db, 24 fps, no shutter= 480 ASA
0 db, 24 fps, 1/48th shutter= 240 ASA
...etc...etc...

Kodak Gray Card, Digital Spot Meter, 2 different lenses


Anyone else have similar or different results?
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Old October 25th, 2007, 10:17 PM   #2
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That's what I've always agreed with standard gamma. I always tell my gaffer that he needs to be prepared for 250 ASA.

Cinegamma 2 and 3 (I think), depress the mids though, and it gets worse from there. BUT, when using CG2, you would still want to expose the same, so by the grey card it gets worse than 240, but not in practice.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 10:25 PM   #3
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My results were shot at Cine 4. Now I want to do the test in the other Cine Settings. Thanks for the incentive. I'll post the results.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #4
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BTW Nate, I do see your point about "the gray card" vs "in practice" and look forward to putting that to the test as well. I have a shoot coming up next week that will be perfect for this.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 11:00 PM   #5
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I believe Cine 4 depresses the mids the least, by eye, so I imagine your numbers are very close to STD gamma.

I love my camera, but since I do everything in 24p/48th, I've learned night exteriors are not my friend.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #6
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Yeah I shoot everything at 24p/ 1/48th as well (whenever possible) but find myself compromising a lot when I can't control the lighting. Just shot a great concert (no rehearsal for prep) and had to decide between Cine settings on the fly (to control the hot spots) as well as losing the 1/48th shutter (to get a stop back and still had to pop the gain ocassionally. Still love the cam but wish it was sensitive at 24p/ 1/48th (and -3db). Can't have everything I guess.

PS- Still got great looking shots and a great live on disc show at 24p, no shutter, 0 Gain... so, all's well that end well.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 07:09 AM   #7
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No change of exposure with any of the Cine Settings. Changes the look but that's it.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 09:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver View Post
I believe Cine 4 depresses the mids the least, by eye, so I imagine your numbers are very close to STD gamma.
That's true Nate. The Cine 4 really holds on tight to the mid tones and then does some highlight compression. I feel it's a great compromise between standard gamma and Cine 2 with its max latitude curve.

-gb-

p.s. Hope you're 'breathing well' out there. Be safe.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 10:36 AM   #9
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I have felt that the Cine4 looks quite similar to the standard setting, but because of the hurried nature of ENG shooting I haven't wanted to risk using it until I had a good monitor to test with. Would it be appropriate for basic news shooting, and if so what would the advantages be?
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Old October 26th, 2007, 04:08 PM   #10
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I've also found that Cine 4 & STD look very similar but I use Cine 4 as a default because it does have a slight advantage with hot spots. I use Cine 2 when I'm shooting under stage lighting (theatrical plays and concerts) but even that doesn't handle the harsh spots like I want it to. I need to start messing with the knee next. Anyone have any good starting point with knee correction using Cine 2 under harsh stage lighting?
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Old October 27th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #11
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Anyone have any good starting point with knee correction using Cine 2 under harsh stage lighting?
I'd be very careful about doing that because the tonal range is already highly compressed with cine 2. Also with Cine 2 I would be more careful at what ire point you expose skin tones. The best setting may be much lower than you are used to with STD gammas. Perhaps as low as 60.

Cine 2 is really designed for film out. What you really need is to use STD gamma and to modify the black gamma, knee point, and knee slope.

Remember black gamma does not affect your absolute black level. It is in effect a knee control for the shadow regions. A raised black gamma can allow you to back off on the exposure more allowing more highlight info.

Adjusting knee point only gets you so far. A good start is 85%, but make sure your exposure for skin tones take this into account or you could end up compressing them.

Knee slope is where the real business is done as far as controlling highlight compression.

But at the end of the day you need to remember that the camera will only be capable of so much range.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 06:53 PM   #12
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Thanks Simon. We shoot a lot of stage plays and music concerts were the biggest objection I have is the blown out highlights regardless of what cine setting I use. I'll mess with the knee slope and standard or cine 4 to see if it gets me anywhere.

Anyone else shoot in these environments and had good luck with other procedures? I've shot 35mm film most of my career so I have a hard time getting those latitudes out of my head when working with HD.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #13
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I shoot tons of concerts, Dan.

With the 350, I use Cine 3, NOT Cine 2. Cine 2, while making attractive midtones, also makes the transitions to blown highlights more crispy because that range is stretched in cine 2. I feel Cine 2 is reserved for when you have absolute control with your lighting, and can decide for yourself where and how your highlights are gonna go over.

Even more important I feel is a big stretch in the blacks. I'll go even as far as +50 in the black gamma. This allows me to expose down, holding more highlights before losing detail in the blacks. This also increases noise in the blacks, so pay attention and do NOT use if too much of your frame is "negative space"

Here's a concert I directed and DP'd as my first experience with the 350:

http://www.nateweaver.net/Nate/Makedamnsure.html

You can see the highlights blew out really gracefully here.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 01:44 AM   #14
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Nate's concert

That looks great, Nate. How many cameras did you have and were they all 350s set to cine 3?
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Old October 30th, 2007, 12:54 PM   #15
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Looks great Nate. What gain setting did you use? What was your exposure settings?

I'm looking forward to trying this on our next concert.
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