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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old July 28th, 2003, 12:23 AM   #1
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Accuracy of LCD on PD150

Need some help quick....I've been shooting this documercial...different lighting situations/locations every 5 minutes...and when I've viewed the tapes (DVCam 40 minutes) they've all seemed to have a grey hue to them on the monitor. And then this one segment was much!! darker then how I remembered gauging the iris while shooting....How much should I trust this LCD and what tips does anyone have for me in taking the LCD info and adjusting the exposure....?advice about using Zebra bars?.....

for info...I'm shooting completely manual, 1/60th speed, 0 db gain, no extra lighting, no other monitor, sound person attached....?????

ps...this is my first posting and look forward to all this expert advice I see shared within these pages.....
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Old July 28th, 2003, 06:04 AM   #2
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Melissa,
Manual exposure with DV cameras can be a trying experience until you get familar with the equipment under various situations, BUT as a general rule; FIRST, did you WHITE BALANCE the camera, as this can make the footage look off in color, BTW was there a lot of grey in the room you were shooting in? Second, IMHO, the LCD is not the priamary way to judge exposure. WHY??? Glad you asked. I have the LCDs on both of my 150s set up very bright, yours might not be but we both see it as 'right', yet they could both be very wrong. You said you were set at 1/60th but what was the f/stop? It might have been 2 or more stops under. I have used my cameras for a long enough time I know that by looking at the LCD and using a 7.5 zebra and by pushing the aperture button just to check once in a while and by white balancing I'm generally within about a half stop exposure. You can use a light meter to get into the ballpark, set your ISO for 320 as DV is ABOUT/AROUND 320. Without seeing the set up of the venue, it's hard to get real specific about exposure but...
Oh yeah, one more thing. Maybe the exposure is perfect and just looks off in your monitor. My editing monitors look slightly darker and less saturated than my production monitor, guess what's right? Not the computer monitors.
Thats the 1st thing I would check. The 150 is awesome and can just about see in the dark so start with the obvious stuff and go from there.
I'm sure you'll get some other valuable info posted here, its a great forum. Good Luck, stay focused!
Don
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Old July 28th, 2003, 10:37 PM   #3
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Don,

Thanks so much for your reply. I do white balance on the fly in each new situation.....and have been paying closer attention to fstop to have a reality check since I read the PD150 is around 400asa (you say 320...even better to over expose a bump)....while shooting today, the zebra stripes kept the frame brighter then I would of/have been exposing so maybe that's my help in keeping the image brighter and not tending to that grey zone. How much zebra stripes do you think should be in the frame 5-10% for highlights if set on 70? Shooting under mostly florescent lighting....hospital project.....so have to over expose a bit for the shadows in the eye sockets....

Thanks again for your reply...any other advise is appreciated.
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Old July 28th, 2003, 10:51 PM   #4
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OK, white balance...check!
400 or 320...not really much of a difference but better to be safe...
I set the zebras to pop on the highlites of caucasion skin tone. (70%)

One thing I learned about 30+years ago in still work (doing news as a stringer, weddings and corporate reports) expose for the majority of the face and let the shadows go, especially around the eyes, OR use a low wattage 10/20 on cam light just to open up those shadows. Much like using a flash on a still camera outside when backlit. Opens up the shadows and put a little sparkle in the eyes. If possible the light would be the better option.
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Old July 28th, 2003, 11:04 PM   #5
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Don,

My background is stills/photojournalism as well.....so maybe a touch of zebra on the cheeks,is this the highlight area your talking about...hard to expose well when the walls are white and get blown out when trying to give highlight to the face....but these are specifics and will check out the footage tomorrow to learn from what this camera can do.

Do you use the backlight button? What is the fader button for?

thanks again for your advice.
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Old July 29th, 2003, 05:55 AM   #6
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When I see Zebras on the bright whites I'm usually OK, well not me but the exposure. I have used the backlight button once in a while, basically it opens up the aperture about 2 stops for that situation. The fader button does just that when you hit reocrd it fades the image in. I never use it.
You might want to record some stuff with the camera set in full auto just to see what the possiblities are then move to manual exposure. Again, I usually set up at 1/60 althought last week I did an outdoor wedding and ran at 1/350th and set auto aperture just to check where it's at.
I also set my custom presets for levels and saturation different from standard, but thats a different post.
Make sure you zoom in on the face expose and then zoom out to frame or the walls will throw you off.
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Old July 30th, 2003, 06:27 PM   #7
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The fader button is to create a fade out when the camera is stopped and a fade in when it is restarted.

The backlight is for like Don said to compensate for backlit compositions.
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Old July 30th, 2003, 06:40 PM   #8
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Just a comment about your overexposure suggestion, Melissa.

Overexposure in DV is a real bad idea. There is no detail once the count gets above 255 (8 bits). The image becomes (in a PD150, 110 to 115 IRE units. Way too bright.

If you are shooting in a white walled room where the subject illumination also falls on the wall, you will lose detail in the walls. No choice if you want the faces exposed correctly.

In DV, an exposure swing of 1/2 stop is the difference between rich looking footage and flat overexposed or underexposed footage.

The zebra works very well but I like the confidence of a CRT monitor and a waveform monitor for very critical footage. Of course, when you have that kind of time, you can control/modify the lighting anyway.

Through WEVA, I've asked Sony to put an optional waveform monitor function in the next round of pro cameras. I'd like a vectorscope option too. Presented on the LCD screen and/or sent out the composite video or S-Video spigots.
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Old August 4th, 2003, 11:17 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your reply....I think through just using this camera in multiple but similar locations I've figured out the correct exposure for this LCD screen and camera there are a few internal settings that can be adjusted as well, not just the brightness on the pullout screen...... Good suggestions about checking it on auto to see what the camera would do about exposure....the zebra stripes completely help...I check with them, then sometimes turn them off to not be distracted.

Thanks again for all your quick responses. Very much appreciated and look forward to asking more questions to this community.

-Melissa
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