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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old July 4th, 2007, 09:59 AM   #1
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No super white recording on FX1

Hi guys.

I'm editing the first program that I shot with my new FX1 camera and found that almost every clip needs color correction due to excessive white levels.
I was wondering if there's any way to configure FX1 to record only on safe broadcast white levels...

Cheers.

PP
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Old July 4th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #2
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I have a Z1 at work so I'm a little experienced with it. Have you tried shooting and adjusting your levels using the zebra bars? I'm not sure on the FX-1, but zebras are usually adjusted to either 80, 90 or 100 ire. I have never shot with a camera that clips the levels and keeps them all below 100 ire.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 04:10 PM   #3
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I have found that when even shooting with the Zebras on and using them correctly that what you see in the Z1/FX1s viewfinder AND LCD is considerably darker than the picture you get after you digitize. It really alloyed me.

No worry, i just sold my Z1 and am getting ready to upgrade, being cameraless is weird.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 06:31 PM   #4
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I don't find the LCD darker than the final clip; did you adjust the LCD/viewfinder brightness?

In terms of super whites, it will depend on how you set exposure. Obviously you can underexpose so nothing goes to 100 IRE let alone 110. Zebras give you full control. If you use auto then you have no control. Exposing to 110 gives you greater dynamic range with less clipping on bright scene elements (e.g. clouds). Adjustment in post is a normal procedure, but if you don't want to do that then use zebras and make sure that no portion of the scene (including clouds) exceed 100 (I don't think you'll like the result).
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Old July 5th, 2007, 12:04 AM   #5
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Nope i havent touched the LCD brightness, i've also seen the same thing on another Z1 i was using to digitize one day at work (footage i hadnt shot myself btw).. the pictures were all slightly hotter than both what i was seeing through the cams viewfinder and LCD.

They werent like way blown, and can easily be fixed but they werent the same.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #6
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Guess you should have adjusted the LCD/viewfinder brightness. Not that they are a good guide to good exposure.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #7
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Pedro, your previous experience is probably with cameras from another manufacturer. I often use my Z1U in multicam shots with Canons and Panasonics - and I get the blame for white level differences... but not for excessive whites, on the contrary, for low luma! What I found is that people get used to adjusting their equipment (NLE, monitors) to accomodate their camera and not viceversa. Sadly, when I watch their finished products, the whites are blown out, I checked on scope and they often go to 105-110% on the white.

Bottom line - for me - the white level on the Z1 IS CORRECT when zebras are properly used!
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Old July 6th, 2007, 02:57 PM   #8
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Make sure you are not in a "Picture Profile" like HD profile that makes the brightness compensated to a higher point.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 06:47 PM   #9
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I have found that the best thing a Z1U user (sorry, FX1 users) can do is turn their viewfinder to black and white. Use the LCD for color checking, but checking the lighting and focus in B&W. Haven't had an issue with overexposing since, zebra or no zebra (though I do use zebra too).
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Old July 17th, 2007, 06:54 PM   #10
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I used my FX1 in a small room with a 50" HDTV, so for fun, I used the TV to show the subject of the interview what they looked like. Then I turned it off and shot the footage.

I had not realized how much darker my LCD was than the component output. So I tried it on other (calibrated) monitors and sure enough, I needed to brighten it up.

I will now be doing that regularly.
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