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


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Old August 31st, 2005, 11:34 AM   #1
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Viewfinder wierdness

I thought that I read about this before, but here goes. I was in Honolulu last week and was shooting at the Punch Bowl. I was in manual mode. It was a weird morning, kinda cloudy, kinda rainy, kinda sunny. Everything looked like it was nicely exposed in the viewfinder. Zebras were on. When I got back to the convention center to check out the footage (on a Sony 1080i multi-format monitor) it was somewhat dark and flat. I had been using a polarizing filter to help the sky's blue. I was able to color correct it using a beta version (HDV) of one of my favorite editing packages.

Anyone have any advice...I was a bit embarrassed by this.
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Old August 31st, 2005, 02:55 PM   #2
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Hi Sean.

I know what kind of weather you are talking about, and it can be tricky to handle white balance for. Especially if a bit dark.

I've learned that I cant depend on automatic white balance, which would have been handy in such a situation. My FX1 will sometimes give me good results with AWB, and sometimes it predicts white really bad. I cant know when and how, to me it seems quite random.

BTW, I would really like to know how the AWB is implemented, to understand it's weaknesses better. I think that in order to use a camera with so many automatic functions (some of them really good ones), one need to know their limitations, and in a predictable way know how they will "respond" to a given scene/situation. Strangely, this is something we consumers have to find out on our own.

In what way did you use the zebra to control exposure? What white balance setting did you use?
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Old August 31st, 2005, 05:15 PM   #3
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White balance was spot on, but the image was under-exposed a stop or so.
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Old August 31st, 2005, 06:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean M Lee
White balance was spot on, but the image was under-exposed a stop or so.
I found that all my experience in learning how to expose correctly using the DVX's LCD went out the window when using the FX1...it's the transflective part of the Sony's LCD that throws me off.

I'd just spend as much time shooting with it outdoors as possible (not on a job), and then immediately checking tape on a monitor indoors. Going back and forth like this repeatedly while in the mode that you're comparing renditions will help tons if you do it enough.

Either that or learn how to go ONLY by zebra...which means you need to learn what levels LOTS of things need to be at for correct exposure, not just skin tones.
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Old August 31st, 2005, 06:22 PM   #5
 
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to marginally add on to what Nate said....I've found the Hoodman for the Z1 to be virtually indispensable outdoors. As long as direct sun isn't hitting it, it's a very, very useful tool for just a few bucks, or you can be cheap like I've been for a few cams and make your own with some velcro and stiffened canvas.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 02:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean M Lee
White balance was spot on, but the image was under-exposed a stop or so.
So why did you need to color correct in post?
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Old September 1st, 2005, 05:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
So why did you need to color correct in post?
Because it was 'dark and flat'?
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Old September 1st, 2005, 07:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mark Grant
Because it was 'dark and flat'?
Mark, please tell me how you use color correction to fix footage that is a bit too dark.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 07:40 AM   #9
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please tell me how you use color correction to fix footage that is a bit too dark.
I go to the luminance controls and push them up, or play with the contrast and brightness controls. Not exactly rocket science.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 08:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mark Grant
I go to the luminance controls and push them up, or play with the contrast and brightness controls. Not exactly rocket science.
Mark, NLE contrast and brightness filters do nothing to chroma information, they only affect intensity. They are not color correction tools.

If someone says they're gonna do color correction in post, they're (usually) not talking about contrast and brightness adjustments, they could for instance refer to color balance or saturation filters.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 09:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bjorn Moren
Mark, NLE contrast and brightness filters do nothing to chroma information, they only affect intensity. They are not color correction tools.

If someone says they're gonna do color correction in post, they're (usually) not talking about contrast and brightness adjustments, they could for instance refer to color balance or saturation filters.
I'd disagree with that. The post production business in my neck of the woods (Los Angeles) would consider fixing exposure in a tape-to-tape situation as "color correction". We all know fixing gamma doesn't effect colors, but since it's all the same tools, it gets called the same. It's a blanket term for a set of tools, whether that's something in your NLE or a DaVinci 2K.

...just sayin'
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Old September 1st, 2005, 10:25 AM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Grant
I go to the luminance controls and push them up, or play with the contrast and brightness controls. Not exactly rocket science.
Mark,
If your NLE has curves, I'd give that a shot next time, you'll likely find less noise than you will get if you push Brightness, and your shift will appear more linear. That said, maybe brightness/contrast worked well for you?
My practice, is to start by making my image greyscale (zero saturation) and then run levels by setting the white point and the black point so my exposure is correct. Then I restore the color. From there I start working with curves or color wheels to repair whatever I need to.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 10:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
I'd disagree with that. The post production business in my neck of the woods (Los Angeles) would consider fixing exposure in a tape-to-tape situation as "color correction". We all know fixing gamma doesn't effect colors, but since it's all the same tools, it gets called the same. It's a blanket term for a set of tools, whether that's something in your NLE or a DaVinci 2K.

...just sayin'
Thanks for the info Nate. I guess terminology can be a bit different for different groups of people. I think I brought the terminology from the stills work I've done in Photoshop prior to moving to video. Among those people I would never refer to the filters/tools as "color correction tools", because it makes no sense for so many of the tools (like "shapen", "blur" and such).
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Old September 1st, 2005, 11:29 AM   #14
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Mark, NLE contrast and brightness filters do nothing to chroma information, they only affect intensity. They are not color correction tools.
Then you should tell Avid to take them out of their 'Color Correction Toolset'. In fact, I think they're in the color correction tools of every semi-pro NLE I've used.

Quote:
If your NLE has curves, I'd give that a shot next time, you'll likely find less noise than you will get if you push Brightness, and your shift will appear more linear.
Yeah, that's what I meant. It was just too early in the morning and couldn't remember what they were called in the manual :).
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Old September 1st, 2005, 12:58 PM   #15
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the toolset I was using was, indeed, ****'s. ; )

edit - oops, not supposed to say that.
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