Turning Off Auto-Iris at DVinfo.net

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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 November 14th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #1
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Turning Off Auto-Iris

All,

I did my first shoot with the FX1 this last weekend... I loved it, but we couldn't find a way to turn off the auto-iris. We had a setting showing, as if we controlled it (and it seemed we did) - but whenever someone walked by the camera (blocking the light for a bit) you could see the flair of it readjusting... very frustrating, and we didn't have the manual.

Is there a way to turn this off? How?

(we didn't have the manual around)

Thanks in advance.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 08:49 PM   #2
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Probably you did have the iris on manual, but forgot to put the gain and shutter on manual as well. Push the iris button until you see the F-stop reading in the LCD. Then you are in manual mode.

Do the same for the shutter and gain buttons. If you don't see all three readings on screen, one or more is on automatic and will 'pump' as lighting changes (as you noticed).
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Old November 15th, 2006, 12:13 AM   #3
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Barry,

Vito is exactly right. I was making the same mistake you were doing. Being a former VX2100 owner, I would simply just hit the "Exposure" button and that was it - after that I would just roll the dial up or down. It took me a while before it clicked "duh!" in my brain that all three settings (iris, gain, shutter) must be in manual to tweak the image the way I want it.

Having to do that, makes me, I believe, a better videographer. I still fairly new to this, and being forced to shoot manual makes me understand video more. I would hesitate at the thought of shooting fully manual, but now... I would never go back to auto again!
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Old November 15th, 2006, 12:24 AM   #4
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Great info guys, thanks. Yeah, I was directing and now operating, and have probably still never touched the cameras, but I knew there must be a way to stop that. I'll look at it with my camera op next time we are together.

Thanks again.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 12:42 AM   #5
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I just figured this one out the other day myself.

What is interesting, in manual gain, you only have 3 preset levels to choose from by setting it up in the P-menu. Doesn't seem to be any other way to adjust, than by switching the three levels. And if you want to shoot zero gain, one of the settings has to be set at zero.

Has any one figured out another way ? Don't see it in instruction manual.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 01:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
Has any one figured out another way ? Don't see it in instruction manual.
No, you've got it right, Chris. There's no other way to adjust it except as you describe. I'd love to be proved wrong, though, cause it's a bit of a pain...
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Old November 16th, 2006, 02:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo
No, you've got it right, Chris. There's no other way to adjust it except as you describe. I'd love to be proved wrong, though, cause it's a bit of a pain...

I saw someone complaining on the A-1 site that they only have 3 positions for Gain, and wanting five, so I guess its one of those things that is becoming or has been industry wide....
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Old November 16th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
I saw someone complaining on the A-1 site that they only have 3 positions for Gain, and wanting five, so I guess its one of those things that is becoming or has been industry wide....
I'm not sure why some cams are like this. The Z1 could be viewed as the successor to the PD150/170, and the gain on the PD150 is handled much better. No presets, just push the gain button and spin the dial. I got spoiled by that, let me tell you. However, the PD150 can't handle anywhere near the level of gain that the Z1 can, so I'll live with it, hehehe...
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Old November 16th, 2006, 08:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo
I'm not sure why some cams are like this. The Z1 could be viewed as the successor to the PD150/170, and the gain on the PD150 is handled much better. No presets, just push the gain button and spin the dial. I got spoiled by that, let me tell you. However, the PD150 can't handle anywhere near the level of gain that the Z1 can, so I'll live with it, hehehe...
On the VX2000, gain is on the "exposure" dial, and doesn't get added in until you are wide open on the lens.

I do see that having it seperate does allow you to go to gain if you want to have it with a particular Fstop needed for other purposes.... like deeper depth of field... so you would just like to see more selection than the three. But we can live with it...
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Old November 17th, 2006, 08:16 AM   #10
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Yeah, I also get a little frustrated with the gain control on the Z1 when shooting live stage shows. It would be nice to have a mode like the VX-2000 where you could incrementally increase the gain after the iris is full open.

But with a little planning you can configure the switch to work pretty well. If I know I'm shooting something dark I sometimes start out with 6dB of gain and just iris down. The gain boost on the Z1 is clean enough that it still looks fine, especially when downconverted to SD.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 12:17 PM   #11
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Proper Exposure

Hi Guys!
most of us think that we should adjust gain settings when setting our exposure levels, but the reality is, gain is used for low light conditions when boosting up your exposure is necessary.
To properly expose you HDFX cam, use the shutter. The FX1 has complete manual controls similar to broadcast cameras, so, aperture and shutter speeds apply.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
I just figured this one out the other day myself.

What is interesting, in manual gain, you only have 3 preset levels to choose from by setting it up in the P-menu. Doesn't seem to be any other way to adjust, than by switching the three levels. And if you want to shoot zero gain, one of the settings has to be set at zero.

Has any one figured out another way ? Don't see it in instruction manual.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 02:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shierdan G. Pamintuan
Hi Guys!
most of us think that we should adjust gain settings when setting our exposure levels, but the reality is, gain is used for low light conditions when boosting up your exposure is necessary.
To properly expose you HDFX cam, use the shutter. The FX1 has complete manual controls similar to broadcast cameras, so, aperture and shutter speeds apply.
I would disagree with this. Personally, assuming lighting is out of my control, I would first choose the iris to adjust exposure. When that is not good enough, I go to gain. The only time I use shutter speed is in extreme low light when I might shoot at 30 or even 15 for a greater blur effect. But shutter speed changes impart such a different look that I wouldn't change it just for exposure. For example, shooting at a high shutter speed makes everything look like the fight scenes in "Gladiator". You better really want that look before choosing high shutter.

Just my opinion....
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Old November 21st, 2006, 06:05 PM   #13
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I use aperture to set my depth of field too so gain is then used to get the exposure correct. Try to keep my aperture for stage shows in the 3.4 to 5.6 range gives me almost full stage depth of field and no need to refocus. Going to gain after iris is full open is definately not what I want. I must admit I like my FX1 as it has gone back to the controls my old VX3 Hi8 had( even my single chip V801 Hi8 had much the same controls for iris,gain,shutter and WB) which were dropped with the introduction of the VX1000 and VX2000.

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Old November 30th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #14
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Hmmm

Hmmm. You are right. In my case, based on my shoots under low light conditions, I use the widest aperture, 1.6 and set my shutter speeds to 30. Aside from adjusting my white balance, I also use gail at 9db to 18db whichever applies. The purpose of this is to maintain my depth of field. i really don't change my exposure through iris unless necessary. Lastly, the zebras set to 75% guides me for proper exposure settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo
I would disagree with this. Personally, assuming lighting is out of my control, I would first choose the iris to adjust exposure. When that is not good enough, I go to gain. The only time I use shutter speed is in extreme low light when I might shoot at 30 or even 15 for a greater blur effect. But shutter speed changes impart such a different look that I wouldn't change it just for exposure. For example, shooting at a high shutter speed makes everything look like the fight scenes in "Gladiator". You better really want that look before choosing high shutter.

Just my opinion....
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