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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old September 15th, 2004, 10:15 AM   #16
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The only solutions, then, that I can think of are to learn to work well within the confines of the 1/3" chip dynamic range, or get a larger chip cam. (You probably didn't need me to tell you that :-).
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Old September 15th, 2004, 01:59 PM   #17
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Shawn, I don't know if you are using a PD150 or not but , what would you do to work around this problem?

In the studio it is not so difficult but on the street when you capture live action, what would you do?

I adjust the IRIS, Gain =0 , WB manual, Shutter speed 50 (pal).
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Old September 15th, 2004, 02:51 PM   #18
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Shazaam!

Nice to know I was missed. Or, is it just my footage? I was testing a new zoom controller the other day, and here is some footage I shot with my PD150. About a minute and a half long. Late afternoon outdoor stuff.
http://www.digitalprods.com/movies/Sequence2c.mov
If you really want to see the footage full size download the following link, but beware! It's almost 40 megs big. Download it, and double the size to see it in all its glory.
http://www.digitalprods.com/movies/Sequence 2.mov
There was no color correction or levels manipulation done to anything. Just raw footage. Remember, it's late afternoon, so it won't look like full sun. The saturation setting in custom presets is turned up two clicks.

Shawn, the Taiko Dojo footage on my site was shot with two Sony digibetacams in native 16x9. Still one of my favorite shoots. I purposely overexposed the lights on the block panels in the background because I liked the look.

Lasse, I don't quite know what you are getting at, other than there is obviously a limit to the contrast range of any camera. DV cameras are not that bad in this area, and it is the responsibility of the shooter to be aware of possible problem areas. Overexposure through a background window is not really a problem if your area of interest is your subject in the foreground. Of course, if the light is so hot that your subject's face is being "poisoned" by that light, then you should be taking some sort of remedial measures, such as gelling the windows, or increasing the light on your subject. How anal you want to get about these pushes on the contrast levels kind of depends on what you are shooting. If you are shooting a movie, you should probably fix the problems. If you are shooting a documentary interview, and you have a fidgety subject who may walk out on you if you start fooling with lighting, you may have to bite your tongue and just go for it. And sometimes you want to overexpose a "kicker" to give your pictures some "heat." (Like I did with the Taiko Dojo panels)

I have mentioned before about learning to "squint" to preview your pictures. If you want me to go over this again, let me know.

BTW, the picture of the girl in that DVX/PD150 "test" is overexposed. This is what is causing the blooming highlight on the girl. Notice in the video clip that you see the same effect on the man in footage shot with the DVX100. If this is the problem you are having with your footage, you should be using your zebras set to 70%, and adjusting your iris so you only see a bit of zebras in the highlight areas of the face.


Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old September 15th, 2004, 03:58 PM   #19
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Wayne Orr, thank you.
I guess I know what my problem is (was). I was reading a lot of filmlook etc. And I turned the sharpness all the way down. It makes a nice soft image but it makes the image more 2D as well. If you capture a closup than the backgrand is in shallow focus and the face is soft, like film. But if you capture a street than people, the main object is disapearing in the background because the softnes. I use the default sharpness again and it looks much better. And if you like to transfer the video to film than you gonna need this sharpnes. Interpolation makes the image more soft.

The other problem is the blowout. I use 100% zebra and adjust the Iris. I will try 70%. I use a Shneider circ. polarizer on a sunny day with an 0.9 ND filter and it makes the picture a bit better.

Use also more color saturation after watching a few dvx100e videos.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 08:39 PM   #20
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"And if you like to transfer the video to film than you gonna need this sharpnes."

Actually, Lasse, if you are shooting for a transfer to film, you most likely should turn down the sharpness level. You will find confirmation of this at sources like Swiss Effects. Of course, you should always contact the transfer house you will be working with to get their specific recommendations.

A couple other notes about using 70% zebras. You want to see the zebras in the highlight areas of the face, such as the bridge of the nose, forehead, cheekbones. Use the zebras according to the lighting source. For example, if you are under fluorescent overhead lights, you want a bit of zebras on the bridge of the nose. But if you are outside in the bright sun, you might take a bit more of zebras because of the lighting conditions. If you are shooting an interview, with a strong side light source, take a bit more zebras than if the source is head-on, to indicate the source. (The use of a practical light in the background on the key side will help sell the effect)

One of the great things about using the 70% zebras, is if you underestimate the exposure using the zebras, you will almost certainly still be in good shape, since this camera (as with most video cameras) looks good underexposed a bit. But it sucks if you overexpose.

Another good point about 70% zebras, is if you want to match your lighting (for reverses, for examply) you can give your actors equal zebras, and you will be in pretty good shape.

One final word of advice, and this is the dirty little secret. You will get different exposure settings if you look for zebras from iris opening versus iris closing. I strongly urge you to set your zebras by starting from a closed (or close to it) setting. For example, with your camera pointing at your subject, be certain to close your iris (or close to it) before looking for the zebra. Now, begin opening the iris slowly, until you see the zebras on the highlight area. Let me put this another way: set your iris at F11 (or close to it) and begin opening your iris toward f/1.8, stopping when you see the zebras.

Good shooting!

Wayne
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Old September 15th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #21
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Hah, Wayne. I don't really know you, but I have seen bits of your work and therefore send folks your way for good looking advice. And isn't that how the best of us wished to be judged?...
And "shazaam"! Advice we can all benefit from! Thank you!

I don't know if what I have to say will be useful and not redundant to you, Lasse, so I'll just offer up as elaboration on some of what Wayne said.

Regarding potential image and blow out problems,
take into consideration, in advance if at all possible,

location,
time of day,
weather,
shot angle and choreography,
and, of course,
composition.


Shawn
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Old September 16th, 2004, 08:05 AM   #22
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Thanks again.
Can someone of you do a test for me, please?
Point your PD150 (if it is a Pal than it's perfect) to a bright lighted subject. A tree maybe. Some of the leaves are almost white in sunshine. Turn your Iris down to get an acceptable picture. Can you notice that the bright part of the picture (some of the leaves)is almost the same and only the dark part of the scene is geting darker?

Do this test only if you have time. It isn't so important.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 10:31 AM   #23
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By the way, Lasse, I shoot with the PD170.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 09:39 AM   #24
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Wayne,
Since you mentioned earlier you were testing remote controllers, I hope you can answer this one. I have the Manfrotto 522C that I use with my Canon GL2s. We're going to be using a PD170 (on order) and was hoping the 522C would work with the Sony. I sure hope it does since it was expensive. Any thoughts?
Bob
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Old September 28th, 2004, 11:06 AM   #25
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Hi Bob,
As you probably have guessed, the "C" in 522C stands for Canon. The Sony version is simply labled 522. However, I would bet that you will be able to control your Sony camera with the 522C. You may not have some of the more arcane commands available (do you really need the "backlight" function?), but I am betting you will have zoom, record, power, and maybe limited focus.

I was not aware that Bogen was manufacturing different models for different cameras, so I am very interested in what you discover when you receive your Sony camera. Please let us know what you find out.

BTW, here is a list of the commands available on the two different Bogen models .

Sony
* On and Off
* Start and Stop recording
* Zoom in and out
* Manual and Auto Focus
* Focus +/-
* Photo Mode
* Back Light
* Fade in or out

Canon
* On and Off
* Start and Stop recording
* Zoom in and out
* Manual and Auto Focus
* Focus +/-
* On-Screen Info On/Off
* Rec Search +
* Rec Search -

HTH
Wayne
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