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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 02:45 AM   #1
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Why is the picture SO DARK? PLEASE HELP!!

Hi guys. i'm new here and this is my first post of many more to come Iím sure (i'm hopeless with my new VX2000).

When working with my VX2000 the picture is fine when played back on the LCD and on the TV BUT as soon as i transfer the video to my computer the picture gets significantly darker, like maybe two stops darker. I don't know whats going on!!!??? i use only the best equipment. i use a three Tungsten light system (Lowel) totaling to near 2000W. I use Monster cable to transfer to my computer. And I use Premier 6.0 to capture the video from my camcorder. could it be that there's TOO MUCH light? am i missing something? isn't it as simple as point and shoot? do i have to do any sort of initial set-up before shooting? Iíve corrected the white balance but thatís about it.

PS. i'm also experiencing THE SAME problem with my new Nikon D100 digital camera. Under the same lighting set-up as above (three tungsten lamps) the pictures come out VERY DARK and murky.

I may not know much about digital media but i'm ok with 35mm cameras. I had always used 35mm until now. this is the first time i'm working with digital and i'm assuming that thatís where the problem lies. I think that maybe i'm missing something about digital media thatís screwing me in both instances. is there some significant difference between digital and film?

PLEASE HELP!!!!!

sincerely,

Alex.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 03:10 AM   #2
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Get the correct exposure with the subject/s before you begin shooting. It also sounds like you have your lighting incorrectly set up.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 03:58 AM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : Get the correct exposure with the subject/s before you begin shooting. It also sounds like you have your lighting incorrectly set up. -->>>

thanks Frank. but thats the thing...the video looks totally fine when i connect the camcorder directly to the TV using the three colored wires. its just that when i transfer it to my pc the picture gets dark.

i'm thinking it's something to do with my UPLOADING procedures, as thats when the pictures goes from light to dark.

are there any special settings in Premier that'll help me counteract this?
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 04:36 AM   #4
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I'm almost certain that you're under-exposing. You say you get this with both your video and still cams. About your TV, it's probably not adjusted correctly.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 04:38 AM   #5
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Sounds like your pc monitor needs adjustment. Or your preferences in your software. Or both.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 04:52 AM   #6
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Good point, Patricia. However, Alex says that his D100 stills too "come out VERY DARK and murky." So are these stills coming out dark in the cam's LCD or on the computer monitor? If it's with the LCD then they're under-exposed.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 05:08 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : Good point, Patricia. However, Alex says that his D100 stills too "come out VERY DARK and murky." So are these stills coming out dark in the cam's LCD or on the computer monitor? If it's with the LCD then they're under-exposed. -->>>

thanks everyone. really appreciate all this.

Frank, its fine on the LCD. this problem occurs after i download the videos and pics on my computer. i'm NOT using the software that was provided with my D100. Windows XP recognizes the camera and allows me to download the pics without using any special software. is this something thats not recomended? should i be using special software to download these pics from my camera?

On Premier...i just go to file > capture > movie capture
and download the video like that. should i be doing any special set-up BEFORE capturing the video?



my Premier 6.0 Capture setup as of now:

Videos\001 - 00 00 01 13.avi
File Size: 277.64MB bytes
Total Duration: 0;01;18;03
Average Data Rate: 3.55MB per second
Image Size: 720 x 480
Pixel Depth: 24 bits
Pixel Aspect Ratio: 0.900
Frame Rate: 29.97 fps

Audio: 32000 Hz - 16 bit - Stereo

AVI File details:
Timecode: 00;00;01;13
Reel name: '001'
User Timecode: 00;00;01;13
Reel name: '001'
Contains 1 video track(s) and 1 audio track(s).

Video track 1:
Total duration is 0;01;18;03
Size is 267.90MB bytes (average frame = 121.35KB bytes)
There are 2341 keyframes.
Frame rate is 29.97 fps
Frame size is 720 x 480
Depth is 24 bits.
Compressor: 'dvsd'

Audio track 1:
Size is 9.53MB bytes
Rate is 32000 samples/sec, stereo
Sample size is 16 bits
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 05:22 AM   #8
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Then I would take Patricia's advice about adjusting your computer monitor---since you are getting this dark stuff on your computer only, and you are using different programs/different software from both cams. What else could it be?
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 05:41 AM   #9
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Look at the histogram of the images on the D100. Does the histogram show normal exposure or under exposure? If the histogram shows normal your PC monitor probably needs to be calibrated. Start with the contrast at 100% and brightness at 50%. If your images still look dark you may have a problem with your monitor, video card or monitor settings in your preferences.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 07:20 AM   #10
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Perhaps printing a still or two would help. If they print fine the problem has to be with your monitor or related hard-software. You cameras' LCDs are probably both adjustable for brightness. Are they set up high, as for a very bright day? It's tricky when every element has its own adjustments to be sure of where the problem originates.

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Old December 2nd, 2003, 08:50 AM   #11
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I also suspect it has to do with the PC monitor. PC screens have a different gamma than video monitors and the images from your camcorder will always appear too dark unless you deliberately boost brightness and contrast beyond where they would normally be set for a PC.

Having said that, it is easy to underexpose with the VX-2000 howeverl The little LCD screen can be very deceptive. Depending on the angle of view and the brightness setting it can make things look lighter than they really are. A regular TV can be somewhat deceptive also. How are you setting exposure on the VX-2000? Is it on auto or manual? Try shooting some footage and use the zebra patterns to get the exposure correct. Do a search here on zebra for some discussion of that.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 10:20 AM   #12
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It's the PC monitor. I go through this with my wife with her PC at work. I send her a perfectly fine picture, and she complains she can't see it; "it's too dark." Makes me crazy, but she is not inclined to attempt any fiddling with her "corporate" monitor. In our case, a lot of it has to do with the difference between Macs and PCs.

Computer monitors should not be used for making critical decisions for editing regarding picture quality. If Alex is serious about editing, his next purchase should be a professional external monitor.

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Old December 2nd, 2003, 12:36 PM   #13
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Mac's have a native gamma of 1.8 (on most monitors) and most PC's have a native gamma of 2.2. However, the D100 is producing images in the sRGB (native for PC) color space which has a gamma of 2.2 also. It is more likely to be a hardware defect or brightness and contrast are not set properly, than the wrong gamma.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 05:40 PM   #14
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thanks

thanks a lot everyone. very much appreciated.

i'm still confused as to what this could be. i was hopeing that i'd get replies/posts about how this is a common problem with digital media and that i was doing one obvious wrong thing. but that doesn't seem to be the case as everyone has their own theory as to why this is happening.

I don't think i'm underexposing. i know how to use the D100 as i've used a F100 (also Nikon) extensively for years. and the VX200 is set to auto.

Its not my monitor as all other pics on the net etc look perfectly fine.

i'm thinking that its my new computer. i've had it for about for about four months now and it was costome made for me. Basically i had to install a shit load of drivers/softwares to even begin using windows properly.

i honestly think that its something to do with the uploading procedure. something most be happening there thats causing all the images to get darker.

i'll try uploading some pictures from my digital camera onto my old comuter and see if i experience the same problem.

in the meantime...thanks very much!!
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 06:39 PM   #15
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I use Vegas, not Premier, but everything I import into Vegas is darker than actual. (this is common on most monitors) Normaly you just brighten everything up in your nle, edit, then return your brightness to normal before exporting.
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