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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old June 20th, 2008, 03:06 AM   #1
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1st Shoot with Sony EX1

After only having my new Sony EX1 for under a week I had to shoot a Wedding in Australia. Having not had the chance to fully test the camera prior to this there's been a mixed bag of pic quality.

I shoot largely at 1080 25p with 1/100 shutter.

But what I have noticed is a large majority of shoots have come in underexposed.

I will be editing in Final Cut Pro.

So what do people suggest to within Final Cut Pro to address the underexposed nature of my shots?

Thanks
Simon
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Old June 20th, 2008, 09:43 AM   #2
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You should have been shooting 1/50 with 25p and in some situations you can even get away with shutter off (1/25 at 25p). Shooting interlace can buy you some more light too. You really need to think about what settings you're using and why.

You should have bought one of the EX1 training DVDs although some very basic video knowledge or even still photography would have informed you that your shutter speed was not optimal for your goals.

I don't know how "underexposed" it is but in some situations, an on camera light helps too.

Learn basics about iris, gain, shutter speed and how they related to exposure vs their other impact on the image. These guidelines are not specific to the EX1.

When shooting, you should be able to spot an issue and determine if/how you can solve it on the spot or whether it's something better/easier fixed in post.

You can use any of FCPs inherent Color Correction tools or Magic Bullet Colorista but if you bring up luminance on underexposed video there's a good chance you're increasing the noise.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #3
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Shooting at that high of a shutter speed indoors would be like wearing a pair of sunglasses.

Had you got your gain on auto or what was giving you the impression it was correctly exposed?

You will have serious trouble getting usable footage out of it in any editing suite, did you use a second camera or was the EX1 your only one?
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Old June 20th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #4
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Afraid it was the only camera.

This is a prime lesson on testing before shooting.

It was a made rush from getting the camera to shooting.

Not enough time to get use to the camera.

Ouch of a lesson.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 02:16 PM   #5
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Afraid it was the only camera.

This is a prime lesson on testing before shooting.

It was a made rush from getting the camera to shooting.

Not enough time to get use to the camera.

Ouch of a lesson.
It can be really frustrating, but when you get a new toy nothing else will do but to get playing with it ASAP, I hope some other members on here will be able to help you with brightening up your footage.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #6
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So what do people suggest to within Final Cut Pro to address the underexposed nature of my shots?
Thou shalt buy Colorista, thou shalt watch the tutorial movies (especially the intermediate level one from Stu) and thou shalt enjoy beautiful footage:

http://redgiantsoftware2.com/Downloa...vanced_web.mov

Underexposed? Lift the mids, up the exposure, dip the blacks. Usually, job done.

Colorista makes Color redundant for most FCP editors. If you're digging a pool, FCP gives you a spoon. Color gives you a crane. Colorista is a nice back-hoe excavator.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 07:34 PM   #7
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Sure hope you didn't charge them for this "learning experience".
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Old June 20th, 2008, 10:14 PM   #8
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No but worse it was family.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 01:08 AM   #9
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No but worse it was family.
Ah well, if it's family I'm sure they'll forgive you.

Learn to use the EX1's zebra bars. They'll help you to identify areas of overexposure as well as how to properly expose for your entire picture. Now, everyone is different and some camera operators don't like to use zebra bars and some do. If, after you become comfortable and proficient with your exposure and find that having zebras visible is distracting then by all means turn them off. That's why there's a zebra bar activation button on the side of the camera.

Here's how I do it: Set zebra bar 1 to 80% if you're exposing for caucasian skin. 90% or even a bit more for darker skin. When you start to see zebras painting facial highlights on cheekbones and foreheads then you know you're right in the zone. Set zebra 2 to 100% so when you see THOSE bars appear you know that those areas of the picture are about to be blown out. With the EX your picture will be totally gone at 107% and will be unrecoverable in post. You can also choose to have both sets of zebras active at the same time. I love this feature. Check it out.

Bon chance.

- Don
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Old June 21st, 2008, 09:37 AM   #10
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A family wedding... forgiveness? I hope so for your sake.

BUT look on the bright side, all you have to do is colour correct your footage, at MY wedding I was rushed and forget to switch the mic inputs, so I have a lovely Z1U HDv image with NO AUDIO.

Maybe you can post some samples for people to see and take a crack at with various softs. Unless its blooming hot, its probably somewhat salvageable.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 09:44 AM   #11
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Maybe you can post some samples for people to see and take a crack at with various softs. Unless its blooming hot, its probably somewhat salvageable.
An absolute corker of an idea! I'm game - couple of shots, no more than 25 MB of footage (that or thereabouts).
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Old June 21st, 2008, 10:52 AM   #12
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OK guys I will shelve my embarrassment and grab a few screen shots to post for some feedback.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 11:18 AM   #13
 
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I think you'll find that setting zebra to 60% for caucasion skin works much better.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 11:28 AM   #14
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Simon

If you're using FCP version 6x then you have a free color balancing program, Apple's Color, included with your software suite.

I've been using it on a professional level to turn out some pretty good looking programs for broadcast here in the US, and it works well.

You have to play the tutorial DVD that came with FCP and check out the Color section. Then go to apple.com and find the Color tutorials there. You'll find what you need, for sure.

Just a little less panic, a little more patience, and you'll scoop your way out of that one handily, and start to learn a bankable new skill in the process.

HTH
Cheers
Chris
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