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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old May 12th, 2008, 11:50 PM   #1
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"High Light" instead of Zebras?

Has anyone turned the Zebras off (both of them) and just relied on the "High Light" warning? I have been underexposing a bit recently and I tried this with good results. The High Light warning is center waited but it still seems very effective. My eyes are not the best and in bright light I must use the viewfinder and not the LCD and small amounts of zebra and highlights get confused.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 06:45 AM   #2
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Zebras are really useful. Set to 95% and keep them off the image to protect your highlights. When you say you've been underexposing, do you mean that the image looks dark straight out of the camera? If so, that's not neccessarily a bad thing, there's probably lots of info in the shadows that you can pull out in edit, and your highlights will be preserved so you'll end up with a very balanced image.
From clips I've seen of EX1 it's obvious that more people need to "underexpose" a bit more as there are plenty of clipped highlights and yet this camera has 10 stops dynamic range so shouldn't be happening.
Steve
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Old May 13th, 2008, 10:56 AM   #3
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No, I didn't mean it just looks dark. I mean where the waveform monitor only goes to like 85 and not 106. But while we are talking Zebras you say 95 but a lot of guys here say 106! Now I know the zebra level is somewhat tied to the cine choice but as the year has progressed and everything here in the desert is getting very bright I'm having difficulty just seeing what I am doing. I do wish there was a hood for the LCD that really worked. I've tried them all.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #4
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Set at 95 you're just being extra cautious to control those highlights - if folks have them set at 106 maybe that's why there's a lot of clipped skies out there! Difficult to know what to do about viewing - the LCD as you say is really difficult to see outdoors, and the EVF, let's face it, is bloody awful for focussing!
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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #5
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You guys still seem to be forgetting that setting Zebra 1 to "106" will show stripes starting at 96 and up to 116%. Now, what kind of precision control can this be?
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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
You guys still seem to be forgetting that setting Zebra 1 to "106" will show stripes starting at 96 and up to 116%. Now, what kind of precision control can this be?
Having tried all combos I think Sony fixed zebra 2 at 100 threshold for a reason and it is the one to use, but here is my problem. The camera records without blowing up to 106 and in my bright desert I'm finding zebras set to 100 with striped just gone is underexposing! Knowing just what stripes to allow seems key. As i said to Serena somewhere else last spring when light was good I had no problem but now in the harsh bright desert i either can't see the zebras or I need leave more of them showing. My problem is exasperated by it being to bright to use the LCD even with all the hoods I've tried.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #7
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I hear you, Mike - the only solution I guess it to let it appear distinctly enough to notice it, and then gently stop down (fortunately enough, the iris ring is very precise).

As to the LCD visibility, I agree - even with my Hoodman 400, when the sun is behind my back I can't see much...
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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #8
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Probelm is though that if you open up your exposure any more then the dunes will clip. If there is no way to keep the dunes unclipped and enough exposure in the shadowy areas then I guess you've reached the limits of the camera's dynamic range and you just have to decide what you can sacrifice. .
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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:33 AM   #9
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I think the problem is that Sony Zebra 2 should really be controllable to 109 (the max the camera handles I believe before clipping).

Yes 100 can be too low when you want to stretch things to the max. 100 might be a ceiling for "broadcast" but there are many circumstances, as some are noting here, where 109 indicator would be more useful.

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Originally Posted by Mike Stevens View Post
Having tried all combos I think Sony fixed zebra 2 at 100 threshold for a reason and it is the one to use, but here is my problem. The camera records without blowing up to 106 and in my bright desert I'm finding zebras set to 100 with striped just gone is underexposing! Knowing just what stripes to allow seems key. As i said to Serena somewhere else last spring when light was good I had no problem but now in the harsh bright desert i either can't see the zebras or I need leave more of them showing. My problem is exasperated by it being to bright to use the LCD even with all the hoods I've tried.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #10
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What zebra's are most users using ?
I use both,usually 65% and obviously 100%

Paul.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #11
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I think having one around 65% is pretty useless unless you're shooting skin tones, and having 2 zebras at once tends to get in the way.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:59 AM   #12
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Yes that's what i meant,65% for skin,and i try not to show any 100%.

What zebra settings do you use ? And why ?

Paul.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 12:03 PM   #13
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Have hardly ever used EX1, but most cams I tend to set 95% and get rid of it to make sure highlights don't get clipped - the hallmark of (bad) video! It's always amazing what you can get from the shadows.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #14
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Steve,what sort of stuff do you shoot ?
And do you ever need a 2nd cam ?
If so could you give me a shout,i'm not far from Wales and don't mind travelling.

Thanks,Paul.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 12:22 PM   #15
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Exclusively wildlife, mostly for BBC. It's generally 1 man op, or with producer/ap/researcher helping out - even the NHUs budgets and crew sizes are shrinking!
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