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Sony HVR-HD1000
Sony's single-CMOS shoulder mount HDV camcorder.


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Old April 12th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #1
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Whites too bright outside

I just did my first wedding video last week. Upon playback on my Plasma TV directly from the HDMI port off the HD1000 - I noticed that the bride's dress was completely washed out.
It looks like she is wearing a big white sheet!
There is no definition on her dress.

I feel as if I have ruined her video. I hope that in post I can change that look by playing with the contrast of the video but I'm also afraid that I will darken the rest of the video too much.

Everything else in the video is stunning and gorgeous with crisp vibrant colors. The only issue is the white dress on the bride looks like a white tent.

Any suggestions on what I did wrong and what I can do to prevent this from happening again with outdoor sunny weddings?

By the way, the view finder was very hard to look at in the sun and the eye piece never gave me an indication of the dress being too washed out or bright.

(sent via Apple iPhone)
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Old April 12th, 2008, 07:18 PM   #2
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1) Turn on the zebra stripes in the viewfinder!

2) Be aware that whites are always a problem with video cameras especially single chip. The rule is to underexpose at least half a stop and correct the exposure in edit. It's easier to fix slightly underexposed footage than overexposed footage.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 08:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
1) Turn on the zebra stripes in the viewfinder!

2) Be aware that whites are always a problem with video cameras especially single chip. The rule is to underexpose at least half a stop and correct the exposure in edit. It's easier to fix slightly underexposed footage than overexposed footage.
Thank you. I will look into using the Zebra.
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Old April 14th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #4
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Does your camera has a nd filter? Switching that on might help as well, even if the camera does not indicate to do so.
The problem with overexposed images is that you hardly can correct it as the detail is washed out as well.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 05:35 PM   #5
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Does your camera has a nd filter? Switching that on might help as well, even if the camera does not indicate to do so.
The problem with overexposed images is that you hardly can correct it as the detail is washed out as well.

What's an "ND FILTER"? I don't see that setting on my camera.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 05:43 PM   #6
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Johnnie,

This is a function of sensor size. Smaller sensors simply can't handle as much contrast as larger sensors due to the physics of pixel size.

In very general terms, your camera is not necessarily capable of handling the large range of contrast in that scenario. As you found out, once you thought everything else looked right, the dress was overexposed. Using zebras, if you have them, will show you what parts of the image are overexposed, but don't be surprised if the rest of your image becomes too dark once you get the white dress below limits.

ND is a neutral density filter... essentially it is like sunglasses for your camera. It attenuates the light coming into the lens or sensor to maintain exposure.

You really can't recover blown highlights in post. Once they're gone, they're gone. Hence the good advice to underexpose a bit. You'll have much better luck recovering shadows in post if they're too dark, even if a bit noisy as you try to bring them up.

Until you can step up to a larger camera, you'll have to be very careful about managing your contrast in a scene.

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Old April 20th, 2008, 05:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
1) Turn on the zebra stripes in the viewfinder!

2) Be aware that whites are always a problem with video cameras especially single chip. The rule is to underexpose at least half a stop and correct the exposure in edit. It's easier to fix slightly underexposed footage than overexposed footage.
William I guess I just don't understand the concept behind using "Zebra" or for that matter any type of graph or guide that shows up on my LCD/Eye piece (ex. Histogram).

The reason why I say that is because it just confuses me. It tells me I have a problem but doesnt give me a solution. I noticed that Zebra has two options (70 & 100)

One setting shows allot more stripes than the other. Are all those stripes supposed to tell me where its too dark or where I have too much light?

Having said that,is the goal to have NO stripes?

As you move the camera around so do all the stripes! It almost would seem impossible to film a wedding and have to constantly adjust manually to get rid if stripes?

It was so combersome and confusing that I just shut it off.

My first wedding I kept the ring on "exposure" and used the LCD to adjust exposure while filming outside on a bright sunny day. This caused all the whites in the bride's dress to look like a big white sheet with no details.

Yesterday I had another wedding. This time I adjusted the LCD to closet match the Eye piece by turning on the LCD's backlight feature. I was then able to see when I didnt have the proper detail in white clothes.

Honestly, I found that the Auto Exposer and the "outdoor white balance" setting to give me a jaw dropping crystal clear perfect image. HDMI out to a TV this morning made me think I was looking at a LIVE movie.

I guess the camera is smarter than me because I did nothing but screw myself trying to do things manually.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 06:13 PM   #8
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Johnnie,

This is a function of sensor size. Smaller sensors simply can't handle as much contrast as larger sensors due to the physics of pixel size.
ND is a neutral density filter... essentially it is like sunglasses.....

Hence the good advice to underexpose a bit. You'll have much better luck recovering shadows in post if they're too dark, even if a bit noisy as you try to bring them up.
-gb-
Greg,
Thank you for that explanation. It really helped me out allot. A slight under exposure is the way to go.

My wedding yesterday which happened to also be all outside on a bright sunny day came out gorgeous using the cameras built-in features/settings.

I may just stick with that to be safe until I get more experience under my belt.

Oh and by the way, I also used a UV filter on my lens that was also suggested in this forum. I'm not sure if that also helped out my over exposed issue outside or not.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #9
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I always have my zebra settings at 100, if they appear means that part is overexposed. For me it is one of the most important tools to determine when I need to adjust. You never get rid of them completely, there always will be a part in your image that is overexposed, like a window in the background. The trick is to watch closely at the parts you know that have to be exposed right. Like the dress of a bride, there you need to adjust outside f.i. if the zebra stripes are all over it.
Watch out with the automatic feature, will work most of the time but it will guess completely wrong if it gets a strong backlight, if you then have to compensate with your camera it will take precious seconds before you are able to.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 11:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Johnnie Caraballo View Post
William I guess I just don't understand the concept behind using "Zebra" or for that matter any type of graph or guide that shows up on my LCD/Eye piece (ex. Histogram).

The reason why I say that is because it just confuses me. It tells me I have a problem but doesnt give me a solution. I noticed that Zebra has two options (70 & 100)

One setting shows allot more stripes than the other. Are all those stripes supposed to tell me where its too dark or where I have too much light?

Having said that,is the goal to have NO stripes?
The zebra stripes can be very confusing, especially in a complex scenes where the images almost hurts to look at in the viewfinder. Here's how to use them:

The number 70 and 100 refer to video level in percentages with 100 being pure video white although some cameras can do 110 as pure white. 70 approximates the level of light toned skin. Above 70 most light toned skin starts to look washed out. With these parameters you can set exposure manually with a decent expectation that the image will record decently. If you start getting zebra stripe patterns you can be assured that those portions of the image have equaled or exceeded the level the zebra stripes are set.

Now you shouldn't expect to never have zebra stripes. Sometimes a little overexposed highlight on peoples' faces looks good. And there will always be portions of you image that will set off the zebra pattern, lamps, sky, white clothing, jewelery.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 09:34 AM   #11
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Thanks for the info Johnnie, I'm doing a wedding next month and I will prepare myself for this. As mentioned before the ND filter is built in in some cameras like the Canon XL2 an others, it warns you to set it when the sutther speed is in the maximun, lest say 1/20000 and the f stop is closed to the max lets say f/32 and still the scene light is too bright. On cameras that don't have a ND filter you can adquire a 37mm 4x ND filter (in the case of the HD1000) which will allow the f stop to open up and/or the shutter speed to decrease therefore giving you more latitude for the extra bright scene and at the same time the light meter will be fully functional when the scene is not so bright. I will obtain this filter ASAP so I will be prepared.
Thanks
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 09:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximilian Pinedo View Post
Thanks for the info Johnnie, I'm doing a wedding next month and I will prepare myself for this. As mentioned before the ND filter is built in in some cameras like the Canon XL2 an others, it warns you to set it when the sutther speed is in the maximun, lest say 1/20000 and the f stop is closed to the max lets say f/32 and still the scene light is too bright. On cameras that don't have a ND filter you can adquire a 37mm 4x ND filter (in the case of the HD1000) which will allow the f stop to open up and/or the shutter speed to decrease therefore giving you more latitude for the extra bright scene and at the same time the light meter will be fully functional when the scene is not so bright. I will obtain this filter ASAP so I will be prepared.
Thanks
I noticed that you're in Coral Springs too. How long have you been in business? Do you do your own editing?
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Last edited by Johnnie Caraballo; April 23rd, 2008 at 01:07 PM.
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