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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old July 19th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #1
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low light settings

Equipment ex1 and a wide angle adaptor .5. Locations are interiors of homes at dusk and outside shots at dusk. For the homes the only movement would be from the doly or glide cam.
I have been playing with the gain and this helps some but of course it introduces noise. Would slower shutter speed or even slow shutter help?

thanks
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Old July 19th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #2
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Not going to help if you are moving. Any reason you are shooting at dusk?
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Old July 19th, 2008, 11:54 AM   #3
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Sorry I have no time for a full, in-depth deliberating on this. However, one thing to remember with the EX1 is:

It's not so much the gain that will introduce noise, but mainly a bad luma/chroma equilibrium. In other words, decrease chroma where luma is low; only saturate colours in well lit areas.

Even at full sunshine, and with gain at -3dB - if you have too much colour saturation in dark areas, they will be noisy - not necessarily so at dusk, not even with gain at +6dB...go figure!

To experiment and check on what I mean: with full sunshine and a scenery with deep shades and bright sky, engage STD3 gamma (or just switch any custom PP off), and stop the iris down so that you're not clipping the sky (no traces of zebra at 100%). Now look at the shade or back-lit areas; they are noisy as if you were using the HC1 handycam, or a similar, single, small imager! Even though your EX1 is one of the best cameras available in this price range, and the gain is at -3dB.

All in all, here are the measures that needs to be taken to avoid the chroma noise in the first place (and the gain "grain" as a by-product), in this sequence:

- arrange the scene to avoid back-lit areas (you don't need mega-watt, mega-buck setup for this)

- if there are still dark areas you cannot lit up, use PP to desaturate them (incorporating appropriate matrix, preferably non-cine gamma curve, and negative Low Key Saturation, among other things)

- don't be afraid of gain; used moderately it can add luma to those dark areas, effectively decreasing noise! But don't use excessive gain values as it can introduce its own noise; don't try to make your recording look brighter than the scene really is

- as the last resort, get rid of them completely by compressing shades into black, along with their associated noise (STD1 is best for it, particularly indoors).
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; July 20th, 2008 at 03:56 AM.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 04:52 PM   #4
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low light

The reason we are shooting at dusk is we are using the incandesent lights within a house or office, the outside light is balanced with inside. Great time to shoot, but we are at the limits of the light sensitivity of the ex1. Yes, we could light it, but the budget of time would come into play.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 05:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Davis View Post
The reason we are shooting at dusk is we are using the incandesent lights within a house or office, the outside light is balanced with inside. Great time to shoot, but we are at the limits of the light sensitivity of the ex1. Yes, we could light it, but the budget of time would come into play.
Could you perhaps put a couple strong tungsten lights inside the house and shoot earlier in the day? If you are pushing the limits of the EX1, there aren't a lot more cameras that are more sensitive. And renting any of them for a shoot would likely make just lighting this a more sensible choice.

No matter what gear we have, we are all at the mercy of the light.
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