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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 11th, 2003, 11:42 AM   #1
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Whats your CUSTOM PRESET recipe?

I was wondering what combinations others have found for their CUSTOM PRESET settings.

I mostly use these:

COLOR LVL- one notch to the right
SHARPNESS- one to two notches to the left
WB SHIFT- one notch to the right
AE SHIFT- one notch to the left
AGC LIMIT- 12db

I find the regular settings too blue and washed out for colors and a bit too sharp.

The color rendition is more like a Canon with these settings.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 07:55 AM   #2
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COLOR LVL- one notch to the right or one or two to the left, depending on lighting and the way skin tones look on the LCD.
SHARPNESS- one to two notches to the left if I am using my wide angle adapter, almost all the way to the left if not.
WB SHIFT- one notch to the left (less 'Sony red')
AE SHIFT- one or two notches to the left
AGC LIMIT- Off
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Old November 13th, 2003, 08:14 AM   #3
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AE shift definately two clicks to the left - other settings to suit.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 09:35 PM   #4
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Ignacio,

I'll have to try your WB shift to the left a notch. I find SONYs cameras (PD-150 and PDX-10) WAY too blue so I like to add a bit of warmth by going one notch to the right. What scenarios do you find it to be a "SONY red" outside, inside, fluorescents?

I also find this camera shoots about a stop too "hot" in auto, I vary between one notch and two notches to the left as well.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 10:08 PM   #5
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I don't have a hard and fast recipe, however I almost always keep the sharpness at the minimum. One exception was filming birds in the sky where I wanted a sharp outline.

Color level and white balance shift are varied depending on what I want. For a misty day at the beach I set the color to minimum for a soft effect. For a sunset I turned it all the way up and shifted WB all the way towards blue which helped bring out the full range of colors in the sky. Filming a stage production during rehearsal I constantly play with both WB shift and color level to find the best trade-offs that come close to matching what my eyes see. Then after looking at the results I leave it alone for the performances.

I have actually never used auto exposure, so I don't bother with those other settings... I wish there were a fuller range of custom preset options to further tweak the image. I guess what I really want is Photoshop burned into the camera's ROM's :-)

One other thing that I find useful - after shooting footage of something I try to play it back and compare the image on the camera's LCD with a color monitor. Then I adjust the LCD brightness to come as close as possible to the monitor. In the case of filming stage performances this is really a big help and results in better exposures (I tend to favor the LCD over the BW viewfinder for this sort of thing).
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Old November 13th, 2003, 10:33 PM   #6
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> WAY too blue so I like to add a bit of warmth by going one notch to the
> right. What scenarios do you find it to be a "SONY red" outside, inside
> fluorescents?

A little too red when using incandescent indoor lighting and trusting the 'indoor' white balance setting, but you are right in other occasions it seems to go a little blue.

> I also find this camera shoots about a stop too "hot" in auto, I vary
> between one notch and two notches to the left as well.

Oh yes this is a known problem with this camera. Also, underexposing gives you more overall lattitude, you get better results by playing with curves and levels in the NLE if you don't burn your highlights. As an added bonus, lowering exposure should help fight the dreaded vertical smear.

> after shooting footage of something I try to play it back and compare
> the image on the camera's LCD with a color monitor. Then I adjust
> the LCD brightness to come as close as possible to the monitor.

Very interesting Boyd, at what level do you usually end up setting the LCD brightness?
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Old November 14th, 2003, 07:28 AM   #7
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Boyd,

I only use the auto exposure to get a quick "reference" level and just manually adjust from there.

I have my LCD brightness down only about two notches. Though it sometimes appears to "crush" the blacks when shooting in brighter outdoor situations. Most of the time I find it is more accurate a representation of what I'm shooting. I use a hoodman for the screen and that really helps cut the glare.

The only drawback to making your adjustments to a TV monitor is that the monitor needs to be properly set up or you're making it look good for the monitor when in reality it could be making it worse. I find most TV/monitors to be way out of whack unless they are professional models. I'm sure you do so but proper set up with colorbars is a must and if one has the ability, using a set up DVD such as AVIA or Video Essentials is even better.

This is one area where the sharpness setting can really be affected. Most TV's have that setting cranked and therefore when adjusting the camera sharpness it can look much better turned all the way off, when in my finding it gets just a little too soft at that setting. It may be my sharpness isn't set high enough on my monitor though, its a tougher call to set that properly on a TV then say colorbars.

Anyone using a SONY model monitor/TV by all means disable the SVM (Scan Velocity Modulation) IMMEDIATELY! This adds enormous amounts of edge enhancement and makes the image way to punchy and less accurate. You may need to increase the sharpness control a little higher than normal when SVM is off but it is still more accurate.
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Old November 14th, 2003, 08:01 AM   #8
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I have sharpness full off, exposure a couple of notches to the left, and the rest left alone.

Although I might change my mind on this as I experiment further with the filters and wide angle.

Graeme
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Old November 14th, 2003, 09:07 AM   #9
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Watch out, we are being set up

> The only drawback to making your adjustments to a TV monitor is that
> the monitor needs to be properly set up or you're making it look good
> for the monitor when in reality it could be making it worse.

Oh but let's not forget NTSC monitors are configured to recieve a signal with 'setup', that is black level which is 7.5% (I think) lighter than black. And the PDX10 and PD150 do not output proper NTSC with setup. You can add setup by using Sony's non-standerd setup menu option but then everything gets incorrectly written with setup to DV. Adam Wilt has some info on this setup (pun intended).
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Old November 14th, 2003, 09:17 AM   #10
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The answer then would be to set up your NTSC monitor to take black at 0 IRE when viewing out of the camera. When and if your DV gets broadcast, it needs to have setup added at the point of digital to analogue conversion.

If you have to integrate an analogue and digital VCR into your monitor, then you're going to need a proc amp to add setup to your DV before going into your monitor or analogue deck.

DV camera do output "proper NTSC" - but only if you're not in North America!

And as you advise, don't use the setup option in the menu as that means you're recording a non-standard digital signal, and you're loosing a bit of dynamic range - something you can hardly afford to do on 8bit video.

Setup is the 2nd biggest pain with NTSC video - 29.97 being the first biggest pain. They should have dumped both of these problems with the move to digital, but it looks like it's only the setup that got dumped...

Graeme
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Old November 15th, 2003, 06:46 PM   #11
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> DV camera do output "proper NTSC" - but only if you're
> not in North America!

I have not been able to find out if the standard here at broadcast facilities is to use setup or not, but I can sure tell you monitors and TV's sold and used in this country seem to requiere setup in their default configuration, and when TV stations show color bars the seem to be using setup also, but not always :S
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