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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


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Old June 9th, 2013, 08:22 AM   #1
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Stage shoot Settings?

Ive got a stage shoot in Gibraltar to do soon. Dark cave and bright stage spots, has anyone done anything like this with the EA 50? I have to use the stock lens as I need zoom and it's time coded so we are rolling for an hour and a half - 4 cameras. Any there any settings out there in the knowledge bank? ;)

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Old June 9th, 2013, 10:52 AM   #2
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

I"d use a preset that will shoot more flat so you will have more details in the overall image since you seem to be shooting in a high contrast scene. But since you will be working with 3 other camera's that might be a issue. The stock lens ramps quickly once you start to zoom so you could be looking at shooting at high gains.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 12:39 PM   #3
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

With my NX5U that ramps to f3.4 I set the iris at f 3.4 ( so I do not have to worry about ramping when zooming) leave gain in auto with a gain limit set, for the NX5U its set at 12db so you may be able to go a lot higher with the EA50 . I then use AE shift, for stage set at -2 on the NX5U likely about -0.7EV ( if comparisons with the NX30U is a guide you can adjust of course to your taste) I have this AE shift and Spotlight assigned to the programmable buttons and use the appropriate depending on the scene. General stage light is the AE shift, hard spotlight the spotlight setting. If things keep changing these are useful settings. If stage lighting gets fixed I then go into full manual. On the NX5U I can leave the AE or Spotlight set for auto operation and just go into manual. If I press the gain or iris buttons that will go into auto and the AE shift or spotlight will be active. So switching between them is not a big problem if you look at the setting in the LCD and can switch if they are close. I know the EA50 does not have smooth gain switching ( for the switch settings) like the NX5U or if the EA50 has speed settings for AE shift as the NX5U has slow, medium and fast for the response and I have mine set as slow response so it doesn't change fast if panning for instance.

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Old June 9th, 2013, 11:40 PM   #4
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

First.....Rehearsal. Stage productions with good stage lighting always have a full rehearsal. It is important for a four camera crew to be there if you want it perfect.

Second...zebras....you will live or die by your exposure. For me, no auto exposure settings are safe enough regardless of compensation. The only exception may be if I was there for the entire rehearsal and spoke to the LD. There is no recovering from a clipped exposure. Stage lighting is a classic fail. If the show is lit for the audience only and not cameras, the lights are set for the eye. The contrast range is far above exposure latitude.

Third....white balance....stage lighting can easily fool AWB.

Fourth...communication..do you have four operators? Do you have com? What is the set up? Are they all EA50s?

Lens selection has nothing to do with time code, what did that mean? The EA50 does not have TC input so I assume you mean once you start all four cameras you can't stop?

But really....this is all generality's. What are you doing? What is the set up? Why am I trying to provide help for something I know nothing about? Four cameras, stage light, settings, it is not that easy.

Steve
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Old June 10th, 2013, 06:11 AM   #5
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

Agree with most of what you say Steven. I only shoot theatre and mainly run my NX5U in full manual with zebras and peaking to continually check focus. However for a school dance show with black costumes, flashing coloured lights and spots there is no way I can be as good in manual as the automatic settings I described in my first post.Which is why I described as I thought the conditions may be similar. If one is on a close shot and a spot is turned on the automatic exposure will be a lot faster than manual. When the spot goes off it will also be faster to recover specially if the actors/dancers are in black!!! It is not the way to do a long distance full stage shot of the stage though. The spotlight setting will not clip that's how it is designed to work controlling all exposure parameters and knee. The Sony's tend to be a little hot so I have AE shift negative with slow response and spotlight on in these conditions.

WB is another issue, most theatres these days have a mix of lighting technologies that often change colour temperature with cue so setting WB will always be wrong at some time. I set all my Sony's to indoor preset and at least they will all be wrong together!!!

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Old June 10th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #6
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

Agree Ron, you know what your shooting and what works, and what is repeatable in your repeat situations. My mistake was trying to answer a question that is unanswerable without more information. You shoot theater all the time. You have a grand understanding of it. And your advice was solid. To simply say "I am shooting theater next week. What settings should I use?" is a poor question. My bad, for attempting to give advice. Theater is not easy as you well know. It falls in the category of "If it were easy Uncle Bob would get it right."

"Theater" is a very broad term. It means nothing when you are talking about the complexities of shooting stage presentations.

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Old June 10th, 2013, 11:23 AM   #7
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

Yes just pointing the camera at the stage will definitely not work and actually no one way seems to work either depends on the show. The little Sony's I have ( SR11, XR500, CX700 and NX30U ) all seem to do well MOST of the time with AE shift at -3 for the older ones and -0.7EV on the newer scale most unattended with focus set with the spot focus control. When lights come up after a black out none of them respond well all overshoot a little with the CX700 and NX30U having better response than the SR11 or XR500 that's why most of the time I have the NX5U in full manual !!! I also agree about me giving advice too without really knowing the full story.

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Old June 10th, 2013, 11:54 AM   #8
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

Hi guys

Thanks for being concerned with this. It's no biggie really - Honestly I'd love to shoot it on primes - but I can't this time so the old stock lens concerns me a bit. I did this gig last year with my old Z5. I just wondered if anyone had used the ea50 in a stage situation with the stock lens- maybe what they did to compensate for the general contrastyness and to stop the lights blowing out. I'm okay with the ea50 but no experience with it in a spot lit situation. By settings i meant preferable profile settings and gain. but anyway from the stuff you've all mentioned i've gleaned plenty of info. It's not my gig either but the guy in charge isn't worried about matching cameras - so i just need to deliver the best possible rushes. We don't get rehersal time, it's a set of 3 or 4 bands and the light is constantly changing. I guess with the other 3 cams running i get a bit of time to adjust and get it right. ;) soz about the bad question.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 01:06 PM   #9
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

Wasn't a bad question. There is nothing wrong with looking for tips. That is what we are here for. If there is any fault to be had it is probably with me because I tried to offer more than a few tips and got frustrated.

My Bad,

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Old June 10th, 2013, 01:31 PM   #10
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

Four bands, four cameras. OK Dave, here is what not to do. My favorite camera position for concerts is the shoulder cam in the mosh pit working from the edge of the stage. We were working an Alice Cooper show. Most of the guys in the control booth were friends of mine. So I could not resist messing with them. When I knew I was not live on I-Mag I waited until Alice leaned right over me as he did frequently. Then I zoomed in all the way tight straight up his NOSE. It was so disgusting it looked like something on the Discovery Chanel shot under a microscope. My head set blew up with...PULL OUT CAMERA 3, PULL OUT CAMERA 3, PULL OUT CAMERA 3!!! I was laughing so hard I could barely recompose a real shot!

Steve

Also, four bands....don't mess up the audio :)
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Old June 21st, 2013, 10:10 AM   #11
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

haha, nice job that one - love a bit of Alice Cooper, he's good at golf these days.
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Old December 4th, 2013, 03:33 PM   #12
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

I shot today a stage with my "new" NEX-EA50 an my small panasonic HC-X920. Just praticing, was general repetition.
The sony handles the high gains (24db) very good! I used the digital zoom to get closer. Looks still good for me.
I also used the advanced zoom on the panasonic that goes to 25x zoom.

I will look closer to the footage to decide which I will use for the close ups.

But I can't find the setting "spotlight" on NEX-EA50?
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Old December 4th, 2013, 04:19 PM   #13
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

Spotlight is a consumer camera setting. All it does is set auto exposure to underexpose your shot in an attempt to not blow out faces.

If you must use auto exposure (I don't for stages), you can do the same thing with the EA50 using the Exposure Value setting. Same thing as spotlight only you get to pick your setting.

Steve

Edit: I just reread this whole thread again. Ron, I guess my comment above only applies to old handycams. I did not know they had refined spotlight to the level you speak of.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 03:09 PM   #14
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

Must be AE shift. I set this as assign button but I can't control it?
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Old December 5th, 2013, 03:21 PM   #15
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Re: Stage shoot Settings?

Never used AE shift on that camera as I always controlled the iris manually but as far as I know you can only select a ae shift value in the menu and then the camera over- or underexposes depending on what you set. Sony camera's in general tend to overexpose in auto and ae-shift helps to correct that, it doesn't guarantee though that your exposure is always correct as the camera reads the whole image to decide what exposure to give, if you shoot inside and you pan across to a window the backlight will cause your image to be totally underexposed and ae shift won't help fixing that.
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