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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old December 28th, 2008, 01:04 PM   #406
 
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My issue with DETAIL ON is one few people will admit to. With detail on, as you point out, Tom, halos begin to form. No matter how much you suppress the halos, they're still part of the image. Essentially, this is mosquito noise which pushes the compression algorithms in the camera encoder really hard. Encoding halos sucks up bandwidth that would otherwise be available for image information. All this is most apparent when downrezzing to DV resolutions in line twitter and image softness.

And so, I'm experimenting to see what happens with Detail ON at -20 to -40, which is for all intents and purposes, OFF; and frequency turned up as Symon suggests.

I also find Sony's comments rather curious. My profile for the EX1, posted here, was developed with ChromaDuMonde charts from DSC. I find that my profile gives a much richer image than the Sony settings, which I find extremely flat. So, I have to laugh at the Sony rep's comments. To each his own. I shoot what I find most pleasing and I have shared this info. I don't really care what other think of my profile. Most seem to like it, some don't. What's the big deal?

It might also be worthwhile to note that I found it impossible to completely dial out red saturation when I developed my profile. This is indicative of a bias in the sony sensor which cannot be overcome. Perhaps Sony would rather this not be known. I've developed a seperate profile which I have not shared, that uses other methods to force a lower gain on the red channel. That profile produces a very flat, unsaturated image.

After prolonged work with Serious Magic's HDRACK scopes, I've finally invested in an analog WFM and vectorscope. While HDRAck communicates via firewire, the new analog WFM connects via analog component. I'll be very interested to see how the results compare with my original profile. That's not to say that component is the same as HD-SDI, either, but, HD-SDI scopes are priced out of my budget, for the time being.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #407
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Bill, try the setting and then critique it. I've very interested in your opinion about it.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 03:39 PM   #408
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Quote:
My profile for the EX1, posted here, was developed with ChromaDuMonde charts from DSC. I find that my profile gives a much richer image than the Sony settings, which I find extremely flat. So, I have to laugh at the Sony rep's comments.
He's a bit more than just a rep!

But the issue here is not about a rich image or a pleasing image, it is about a neutral baseline setting, which is what the Sony defaults are, and also what a setup to the DSC chart does (by DSC's own statements).

Quote:
What's the big deal?
There isn't one. I'm just pointing out that the DSC chart and also the Sony default aim for a baseline neutral setting and not necessarily the most pleasing image. DSC themselves point out that the CDM chart is not intended to give a pleasing image, just the most colour and tone accurate from which to develop things further.

Quote:
It might also be worthwhile to note that I found it impossible to completely dial out red saturation when I developed my profile.
Sony cameras have always been harder to align to the DSC than other makes. The Panasonic broadcast cameras have always had far better matrix adjustment than the Sony cameras, even the F900.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 05:19 PM   #409
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Tom, I have a copy of your settings carefully tucked into my camera manual. I have been experimenting with different combinations of your settings, my settings, and now Simon's settings. Thanks for those.

I said it before (so I might as well say it again), if you blow off the Detail Set as being unnecessary you are missing out on some of this camera's capabilities.

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Old December 29th, 2008, 06:31 AM   #410
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post


The Frequency setting adjusts the coarseness, or width, of the edge enhancement. The higher the setting the finer and more subtle the effect is.


One other tip I can give is that for low light shots with the gain kicked and shadow areas, you may want to experiment with the crispening function. This function is also useful when used in conjunction with the detail adjustment as it will not only allow you to fine tune the detail enhancement to avoid enhancing the noise, but it will also allow you to further fine tune the parts of the picture you would like enhanced of those that you do not.
Simon, i use detail on, set to -15, any more than that and i can start to see the artificial outlines which you mention, so if adding more detail makes these lines more apparent, ie makes them thicker i suppose, how is adding or subtracting detail different from adding or subtracting Frequency ?

I also notice that detail adds noise in the blacks, especially more so when the gain is on, this is another reason why i don't add any more detail, i do prefer the detail look though, as oppose to no detail at all. So could you advise on a Crispening setting just for helping with the noise in the blacks.

Thanks for the proper down to earth explanations.

Paul.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #411
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Simon, i use detail on, set to -15, any more than that and i can start to see the artificial outlines which you mention, so if adding more detail makes these lines more apparent, ie makes them thicker i suppose, how is adding or subtracting detail different from adding or subtracting Frequency ?
Right, I have to answer this with the caveat that I do not know the full ins and outs. My assumption would be that the main detail setting sets what could be termed the opacity of the detail enhancement lines while the frequency sets the width of them. I'll have to delve into it more and come back to you because some cameras like the F900 allow a negative setting that actually softens the image.

Quote:
I also notice that detail adds noise in the blacks, especially more so when the gain is on, this is another reason why i don't add any more detail, i do prefer the detail look though, as oppose to no detail at all. So could you advise on a Crispening setting just for helping with the noise in the blacks.
Yes detail will apply across the board. There are no magic settings for the crispening, you really need to look at the image via a high quality waveform to see what is really happening so you don't end up killing actual detail. Pro cameras also have a level depend setting that allows you to set the luminance level that the enhancement begins so you can fine tune the noise in only the shadows, while crispening applies to to the whole image.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 08:11 AM   #412
 
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Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
There are no magic settings for the crispening, you really need to look at the image via a high quality waveform to see what is really happening so you don't end up killing actual detail.
Thanx for saying this. I've been looking for a portable, 6" display, battery powered histogram, wfm and vectorscope. Seems very few are made except by HAMLET, which is in your neck of the woods, Simon. Their website is rather sketchy, but, very interesting products. I've written them some weeks ago, with no reply. Have you heard of them?
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Old December 29th, 2008, 09:48 AM   #413
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Crispening (on the EX1) is a waste of time. Turn it one way, it gets noisy, the other way, it gets soft and still noisy. It seems to have more adverse consequences with regards to artifacting than it is worth. Leave it at zero.

You won't see much of the supposed narrowing or widening of the halo outlines from the frequency adjustment either. It's very subtle. Simon sez +40, my preset says +65, whichever floats your ice cream, it's not going to be much different. You need to be fairly bold with that setting so that whatever detail outlines drawn are more like a fine artist pencil rather than a piece of chalk.

The adjustments that have the most obvious influence are:
- Level
- White Limiter
- Black Limiter.

If you want to get rid of the halo outlines, you NEED the White Limiter and Black Limiter. If you just reduce the Level to -15 and don't do anything else, ugly halos will remain very obvious on distant horizons, which ruins a nature shot. But if you Set the White and Black Limiters both to +75, and the Frequency to +65, you can have the Level setting as high as 0 or +1 without these objectionable halos being noticeable. Thereafter, if you find the noise too much, start reducing the Level setting a little at a time until you find the balance between noise and detail that you can accept.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 10:28 AM   #414
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Hmmm. I wouldn't recommend the white and black limiters as a global setting. They are better set on a per shot basis when halos in a particular instance become troublesome.

Quote:
Simon sez +40, my preset says +65
The settings I listed were as an example, not a suggestion.

Quote:
Seems very few are made except by HAMLET, which is in your neck of the woods, Simon. Their website is rather sketchy, but, very interesting products. I've written them some weeks ago, with no reply. Have you heard of them?
Hamlet are one of the best makes of scopes. Though their replies to emails can be sporadic to say the least! They actually do a very good real time PC based scope as well which is better than anything in DV Rack etc. It is probably best to phone them as when I have had correspondence (admittedly a while ago now) they were extremely helpful.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 11:09 AM   #415
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These settings do not open wormholes or cause tears in the universe. To advance the art, you have to be willing to try things.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 01:33 PM   #416
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There is a full explanation of the relationship between Detail and Crispening here:

http://www.sony.co.uk/res/attachment...6605183226.pdf

I normally run detail at -10 or -15 with frequency at +40 and crispening at -10. If shooting in low light I have detail at -25 and crispening at +40 which helps reduce overall noise when using gain.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #417
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
There is a full explanation of the relationship between Detail and Crispening here:

http://www.sony.co.uk/res/attachment...6605183226.pdf

I normally run detail at -10 or -15 with frequency at +40 and crispening at -10. If shooting in low light I have detail at -25 and crispening at +40 which helps reduce overall noise when using gain.
What about frequency in low light ?

Thanks.
Paul.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 05:48 PM   #418
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This is rather unscientific given the issues with Quicktime and gamma etc, but I needed to go out to look for places to shoot for a project I am working on and took the camera with me. So here is something straight out of the camera for what it is worth and compressed for the web with the picture profile from the Sony website shown on the first post in this thread. I used Cine 4.

http://www.simonwyndham.co.uk/severn-sunset.html
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 11:54 PM   #419
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Thanks Simon.
Thanks for reminding me I live in a bland, lifeless desert ;)

That was very nice.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #420
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New data on Polarizer color shift

Doug Jensen, of Vortex Media ("Mastering the PMW-EX1" & "Mastering the PMW-EX3") recently sent the following to me via email (and to Avery at Schneider Optics) regarding his findings. I thought it imperative I share with the forum, if only to help some folks avoid the same frustrations:

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I came across both of the threads about color-shifts while using polarizers with the EX1 and EX3 and I thought I'd let you know what I found out after some testing.
I hope you don't mind me contacting you directly.

I have experienced the color shifting phenomena myself so I decided it was time to get it fixed. I have two 4x4 Schneider True-Pol filters and they are NOT the same. My testing shows that you DO need a circular polarizer with the EX1 and EX3.

Filter #1 was purchased in 2001and the printing on the glass says "Schneider B+W True-Pol"
Filter #2 was purchased last week from B&H and the printing on the glass says "Schneider THIS SIDE OUT Circular True-Pol"


Filter #1 causes a serious color-shift when rotated no matter which direction it is facing in the matte box.
Filter #2 does not cause a color shift as long as the glass is facing the proper direction. If the filter is mounted in the wrong direction then there is some color shifting, but not as severe as with Filter #1.

I tested both filters with my EX1 and my EX3 and as far as I can tell there is no difference at all between the two models of cameras. In other words, just as I knew they would, the EX1 and the EX3 react to the same way to both filters.

So, my recommendation to anyone looking to buy a polarizer to use with the EX1 or EX3 is that you must get a Circular Polarizer. Yes, there is a difference and it is plainly visible right on the camera's LCD -- no scopes are necessary.

I hope that helps shed some light on the debate and I only wish I had discovered this information in time to include on my DVDs. Damn!!
Feel free to pass along my testing on DVi if you would like to.
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