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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 9th, 2003, 07:00 PM   #1
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getting familiar with TRV 950

I guess many of you are professionals and hi-end amateurs. Do you accept the manufacturer’s presets on picture quality, or do you alter these in the ”customer preset”? I tried some alterings :

1. turned the gain limit to 12 dB (6 dB gave a rather pale picture in lower lights)

2. one click up on the white balance shift (a little warmer colours)

3. one click up on the sharpness

4. one click up on the colour level

Am I doing wrong? Will it give a minor result in the long run? Thankful for thoughts and views.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 07:21 PM   #2
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I have a PDX-10 and VX-2000, both of which have similar controls. There aren't any "rules" when it comes to these kinds of things, just try different combinations and see what you think. The gain control would only affect automatic operation.

I often use much more extreme adjustments than you tried and depending on the circumstances they can work well. But it's nearly impossible to tell what the effect will be using the little LCD screen. You pretty much need a video montior. If that isn't possible in the field, make a note of what you changed and look at it when you get home.

For example, in filming time lapse shots of clouds and sunsets I've set WB shift all the way to the cool extreme and color saturation to the max. This resulted in some beautiful blue skies, but didn't interfere with the orange and red sunset colors. I usually like the sharpness in the middle (factory setting), but the other day tried increasing to the max when shooting some tall blowing grass in the foreground with an out of focus ocean behind. Looking at it when I got home, it had too harsh a feeling so I used a plug in "silk stocking" filter in post. Have tried othe shots on a foggy day with the sharpness all the way to soft. These looked nice on the little LCD, but just looked out of focus on a monitor.

Don't be in too much of a rush, enjoy your new camera and have fun learning what it can do!
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Old May 10th, 2003, 01:52 AM   #3
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I usually do the white balancing manually, so my doubt is mostly about the colour level.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 06:49 AM   #4
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Sometimes I do manual white balance as well, however more often than not I'm just as pleased with either daylight or tungsten mode. But in mentioning the white balance setting maybe I didn't make myself clear. I was not trying to create the correct white balance, but enhance the image for artistic effect.

At the moment I'm doing lots of nature photography for a project. Specifically this involves time lapse sequences of skies with moving clouds, sunsets, sunrises, lakes, the ocean, etc. Some of these are very challenging due to the limited contrast range of DV. For example, if you expose the landscape properly under certain conditions on a sunny day you may very well end up with a white sky.

I was not offering general advice on the "best" custom presets, just saying things that I did which pleased me. Once you overexpose something on DV its color and detail are lost forever and can't be restored in post. So I'm learning to be very careful to insure that enough color information is captured. It's not hard to desaturate something in post. And rather than spend a lot of time screwing with color correction later, I try to plan ahead. If capturing a deep blue sky is the important thing in a shot then I make sure that the WB is shifted towards blue and the color level is high. I've seen ads for a product which I think is called "warm cards" that are different colored cards which you can use to manually white balance against. Doing so "fools" the camera into setting the white point to create different effects. Seems like a clever idea, and it would probably be another way to accomplish what I'm doing in shifting the white point.

I like the results I'm getting and so does the person I'm collaborating with on this project. It may not suit your style, and could be totally inappropriate for what you're trying to accomplish. This topic of custom presets comes up from time to time, and people are often looking for some magic formula. There isn't any. The feature exists just to give you a little more control in fine tuning what gets recorded on the tape, so you need to experiment with different settings under your conditions. Sometimes it might look great to max out the sharpness, other times you might turn the color level all the way to the minimum. I think you have to rely on your eye and creativity to determine when and where to do this.

In truth, the parameters that Sony lets you customize are really quite limited. I often long for more control... it would be great if they could build Photoshop into the camera ;-) I think that high end cameras like the DSR-570 give you a lot more choices, and am also interested in what I've read about the Panasonic DVX-100. Too bad they don't offer a real 16:9 in that camera...
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Old May 15th, 2003, 02:16 AM   #5
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I appreciate you points of view, especially your comment on getting enough colour information, within certain limits I guess, and then keeping the possibility to desaturate in post. I’m just about to start on the editing learning.
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