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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 19th, 2005, 05:37 PM   #1
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PD 170 Best settings?

Hi all,

I just got my PD 170 in yesterday and I'll mainly be using it to shoot weddings. I am having trouble though finding the best setting combinations (Gain, shutter speed, iris...etc, etc.) for low light situations.

Can anyone help?

...and thanks
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Old April 19th, 2005, 07:13 PM   #2
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IMO there is no such thing as BEST settings-each and every situation will call for something a bit different.
I suggest you "play" with the camera and LEARN the various controls and settings and what each one does by trial and error under a no job setting (don't want to practice on a paying customer) until you become comfortable with both the controls and what you can do with them.

I've shot jobs where I've shot at 1/60th and f2 with 12db of gain and 2 weeks later in the same room I was at 1/60th, f4 and 0 gain. No 2 situations are the same.
Now having said that a basic starting point could be 1/60th at f4 with 0 gain and go from there. Move the gain up to 3 or open the iris to 2.8 move the gain up to 6 and open the iris to f2. You've got to play a bit to learn the best setting for the look you're going for.

Don
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Old April 19th, 2005, 07:38 PM   #3
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I agree...

Thanks, Don - and yes, I agree with you. I was just trying to get input as what the average PD170 pro might use in say, 10 - 20 watts of lighting to be specific. I played with it a lot last night and it seems hard to get even a fair result under these conditions. I understand of course that with very little lighting its much harder to get good results, but I thought there may be some standard tricks to a very low lit situation since the 170 supposed to be so good in this category.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 10:12 PM   #4
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Brandon,
With a 10/20W light in virtually pitch black conditions (they turn off almost every light in the joint) I've gotten very good results. Remember a 20W light is only going to throw at best 10-12 feet and still be effective.


For that kind of situation I generally wind up at 1/60th f2 or LESS and perhaps up to 12db of gain. Using those settings I have very good footage to choose from. Even using a 50W light which I do when needed, the throw is still only perhaps 15 ft but it gives me a chance to use either a smaller iris OR less gain. Of course a 50W light is "kinda bright" but with the 20W you should be able to get very acceptable footage.

Don
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Old April 20th, 2005, 01:13 AM   #5
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Thanks again, Don...looks like I'm looking for help in all the right places. You guys are great.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 06:07 PM   #6
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Do not forget you can set up custom pre-sets (CP) via the small button located at the rear of the handle. You can lower saturation, change the phase/tint to match other cameras, raise or lower detail, adjust the Automatic Exposure and put a GAIN limit if you ever use auto functions. BUT.............after setting same DO NOT forget to engage the menu to ON.
You will observe a CP in the EVF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Wood
Hi all,

I just got my PD 170 in yesterday and I'll mainly be using it to shoot weddings. I am having trouble though finding the best setting combinations (Gain, shutter speed, iris...etc, etc.) for low light situations.

Can anyone help?

...and thanks
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Old April 21st, 2005, 07:23 PM   #7
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Hi Lou,
Yeah I use the CP so much I forgot about it. By using YOUR settings on the JVC5000 and playing with the CP on the 150 I can ALMOST :-) get them to match...at least pretty close, well a lot closer than the first test I ran when I first got the 5000. Surprisng how close you can really get the 2 cameras with a bit of trial and error.

Don
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 01:14 AM   #8
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Thanks Lou,

What a great tip.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 09:56 AM   #9
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YEAH.....................so many people in my shop are not aware of this. I can match almost every camera with each other..........using a good monitor of course.

LOU


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Originally Posted by Brandon Wood
Thanks Lou,

What a great tip.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 04:54 PM   #10
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Matching Cameras

Lou,

Sounds like you have got camera matching down pat.

I have a shoot with a PD170 and GL2 coming up next weekend. Can you offer any guidance or specific steps on configuring the PD170 to match the GL2?

BTW, I had previously started a thread on this specific question. You may want to post your response here:
Using a PD170 and GL2 Together.

Many thanks,
Pete
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Old May 16th, 2005, 08:32 PM   #11
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Speaking of custom presets... Try bumping the sharpness down one notch - it helps to soften some of the hard edges. Helps a little to cure the DV look (my opinion).
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Old May 16th, 2005, 08:33 PM   #12
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ooops!@#%!#@#
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Old May 19th, 2005, 06:46 PM   #13
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I like to keep the iris open as much as possible for low light shooting. Don't forget to pump up the gain. I also change the shutter speed from 1/60 to 1/30. While this has NOTHING to do with how much light enters the camera, the finished product (imho) actually looks better.

The best thing about having a PD170 is that there's so many options, you'll find new things to do with it every day.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 08:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Yannetta
I also change the shutter speed from 1/60 to 1/30. While this has NOTHING to do with how much light enters the camera, the finished product (imho) actually looks better.
How do you figure that changing the shutter speed doesn't change the amount of light that enters the camera?
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Old May 19th, 2005, 10:23 PM   #15
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Because the shutter speed has nothing to do with the actual shutter speed (since there is no shutter). What it does control is the amount of time (to a point) between read/refresh cycles on the CCDs. The longer the CCD is allowed to integrate the incoming light, the more apparently sensitive the camera becomes. The downside is that the CCD is also integrating more noise, hence the salt and pepper effect in the image.
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