ZEBRA LEVELS : what do you set yours at?? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1

Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 17th, 2005, 12:05 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 853
ZEBRA LEVELS : what do you set yours at??

Some people set them to an actual number.
Other set it at 100% and adjest the iris and/or shutter speed to control the light coming in.

What is best?

What's your method and what is yours set at?

- Shannon W. Rawls
Shannon Rawls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 17th, 2005, 12:58 PM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 842
I like mine at 90.

I get nervous if I can't see any zebra, so I don't like 100. I like to be able to see just a little bit and know that I'm still within ok ranges.
Bryan McCullough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 17th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #3
Barry Wan Kenobi
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,830
On the DVX there are two levels, so I keep one at 80% and the other at 105%. That way you can instantly check and see that faces are in proper exposure range (specular highlights on foreheads/cheekbones should just barely be triggering the 80% zebras) and then at 105% you can check and see if anything is "blown out" in your shot.

If you see zebras on the face at 80%, and all zebras disappear at 105%, then you've probably got a reasonably well-exposed frame with no blown-out highlights.
Barry Green is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 17th, 2005, 04:15 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
I'm with Brian. 90 for me on the Z1
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
Douglas Spotted Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 02:25 PM   #5
Inner Circle
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
And I grew up with 100 so I stick to 100. Working with what you know has got to be worth something.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #6
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Northridge Ca
Posts: 734
And back in the days when I was shooting ENG style with Betacams, I used 70% zebras for the same reason Barry mentions. We just disagree on what is a properly exposed face. I feel Barry's suggestion of 80% will yield a picture that is overexposed in the skin tones (and probably elsewhere), but obviously he likes it set there. The original betacams used 70% zebras based on the notion that an ideal caucasion skin tone should fall around 65-67%, and zebras would appear in highlight areas, such as the forehead and bridge of the nose. The zebras could be switched to 100% to avoid clipping in highlights, if that's what you prefer.

But if you set to 100%, as Tom suggests, you run the possibility of underexposing the faces. Tom will counter that if you go with 70%, you may overexpose (clip) other areas of the scene. This is true, but so what? In almost all situations, it is the flesh tones that you are interested in, and with a little practice (learn to squint) you will be able to tell by observation whether you will be in trouble with your contrast range.

A big caveat here is; in my PD150, it makes a difference whether you look for the zebras (at 70%) as you open up from a closed iris setting, or try to adjust them stopping down from a wide open setting. Each method will yield a different iris setting, and from my testing and others, the more accurate method is to start with a closed setting and iris open till you see the zebras in the highlight areas. I don't know if this still holds true with the newer cameras, but it is definitely worth investigating, as it will absolutely affect your results.

In the end, it doesn't matter so much where you set the zebras, as long as you study your results.

Wayne Orr, SOC
Wayne Orr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 22nd, 2005, 07:27 AM   #7
Regular Crew
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: London UK
Posts: 83
Well, personally, I've always found the best setting to be "off "! Better to use your own judgement.
Jonathan Lee is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:01 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network