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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old September 4th, 2008, 02:21 PM   #1
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Hisat vs Cinema Matrix

Hi, i'm curious to know from those people who are shooting short films/features to what setting they have there matrix set to. I ask because i have an ex1 and will be shooting some shorts but i lack the ideal monitoring setup in my editing suite to really judge how colors are being handled by the camera and even though the ex1 lcd panel is very crisp i wouldnt like to rely on it for what is really happening saturation wise.

My two main areas of intrugue are between the HISAT setting and the CINEMA setting. Now in the camera the CINEMA setting looks (to me anyway) very cinematic as it's name suggests and i love the way the overal saturation is toned down to give a more organic look similar to what i see produced from hvx users. However when looking back at this footage on my not so idea monitoring setup and some DVD conversions for sd playback, the look i thought i loved somehow looked washed out and very weak, not at all like i was seeing in the camera. On the flip side to this, using Bill's TC2 setting with HISAT it made everything pop and look very sharp, well saturated and crisp but to me lacked the organic feel of the cinema setting.

So i would really like to hear people's experience on the different matrix settings (and when they chose to use them) between cinema and hisat and especially to those who have had the chance to see their footage displayed on a professional setup or big screen projection.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #2
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Cinema 4

I've used the Cinema 4 settings for all of my projects this year and it looks fantastic all the way through the upload or to dvd burn. I've never seen this degradation all you guys talk about frequently on this site. I've shot and edited almost a dozen jobs (some on green screen) since March and this format is seamless from beginning to end. The editing monitor is an Apple Cinema 30" and a 24" HDTV is used for a client program monitor. Who looks at anything in SD anymore? It's not even a consideration for me, or my clients.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 06:25 PM   #3
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Thanks Chris for sharing your experience with the Cinema setting. I wasn't aware there were others who spoke of a degrading look to this setting but it's even more interesting hearing this now. My concern with people viewing my work in SD is due to the nature of the material i'm filming right now which is short films, which means giving a copy to all the cast and crew involved which of course will be on DVD, so I am very concerned with how my finished output will look from it's native codec/resolution right down to an mpeg 2 DVD.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 08:46 PM   #4
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Cine 4

It'll look as good as the day you shot it if you stay true to the codec all the way to the dub. Pay attention to settings in Final Cut Pro HD or whatever NLE you're using. I think that's where quality is lost if you don't set it for H.264 or Apple Pro Res. I think that's where people are having issues. The Cine 4 setting is ideal for most situations, and it does not degrade. There is another thread that discusses other Cine and Matrix settings in detail, and the guys share their personal profile settings. Look around for that.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 09:06 PM   #5
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I'm a new EX1 owner and have been playing around with the gamma settings. I've been using TC2 outdoors with Cine 1...I got a very nice look today using a polarizer while shooting some building exteriors in bright sunlight.

I have an interview with a CEO tomorrow and am wondering what gamma setting would look best. Plans are to use tungsten (white) light, but there is a possibility that I could balance for incoming daylight in the room. I was thinking Cine 1, but maybe not. Any advice is appreciated.

I continue to be amazed at the picture quality this camera produces, that is, when I get my settings right.

Forrest
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Old September 4th, 2008, 10:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest Burger View Post
I'm a new EX1 owner and have been playing around with the gamma settings. I've been using TC2 outdoors with Cine 1...I got a very nice look today using a polarizer while shooting some building exteriors in bright sunlight.

I have an interview with a CEO tomorrow and am wondering what gamma setting would look best. Plans are to use tungsten (white) light, but there is a possibility that I could balance for incoming daylight in the room. I was thinking Cine 1, but maybe not. Any advice is appreciated.

I continue to be amazed at the picture quality this camera produces, that is, when I get my settings right.

Forrest
I'm using TruColor 3 and for interviews or outdoors I use hisat and cine1 or cine2 (depending on if I plan on color correcting it or not/want it broadcast safe straight to tape). For low light I use cine4. I don't touch Cine3 but it's the in-between (noise and highlight detail vs. exposure trade-off).
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Old September 4th, 2008, 11:58 PM   #7
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There seems to me good reasons for not prefering cine4 in low light, if by low light one means "somewhat dim and of limited dynamic", because all the cine gammas have a lower slope throughout than the standard (STD) gammas. See: Default Cinealta Gamma Curves - Gamma Curves DV Info Net Gallery. Certainly cine4 provides greater dark-end discrimination than the other cines, if that was the intended interpretation. It gives the widest dynamic for generally lit scenes and the preferable characteristic for bright outdoors.
However opinions and personal preferences vary widely on this subject, so given knowledge of the gamma curves you need to assess these for yourself.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 12:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serena Steuart View Post
There seems to me good reasons for not prefering cine4 in low light, if by low light one means "somewhat dim and of limited dynamic", because all the cine gammas have a lower slope throughout than the standard (STD) gammas. See: Default Cinealta Gamma Curves - Gamma Curves DV Info Net Gallery. Certainly cine4 provides greater dark-end discrimination than the other cines, if that was the intended interpretation. It gives the widest dynamic for generally lit scenes and the preferable characteristic for bright outdoors.
However opinions and personal preferences vary widely on this subject, so given knowledge of the gamma curves you need to assess these for yourself.
Serena,

What general settings would you recommend for an interview with controlled lighting?

Forrest
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Old September 5th, 2008, 01:38 AM   #9
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Simple question which should get a simple answer. But? What is the "look" you need? If for TV doco or corporate video then a "punchy" look might be appropriate in the context of being viewed in bright light. You have full control of the lighting, so you can provide the fill needed for shadow detail and generate the lighting ratio for the look you want. This suggests STD gamma with HiSat matrix. Generally I prefer cine4 with matrix "cinema" because I think it kinder to skin tones, I like the subtleties in the images and want max info for post. I light to put the subject in the middle region of the gamma curve, so caucasian skin falls at around 60% white. Cine4 can look flat in the highlights, so if you have there important detail then cine1 will be a better choice with whichever matrix. With film, you start with the "look", select the film emulsion, and light accordingly. Same here.

Detail on or off? There are good arguments for shooting with that "off" and do sharpening in post. If the producer is peering at the images on set then I think "on", which brings the discussion full circle.

Guess this is of marginal help!
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Old September 5th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #10
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Overall I prefer Hisat for most situations. But we recently did a 48 Hour film (Parlor Hound on Vimeo) that involved shooting present / past (1920's) and it was helpful to use Hisat for present and Cine 3 for past.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serena Steuart View Post
Simple question which should get a simple answer. But? What is the "look" you need? If for TV doco or corporate video then a "punchy" look might be appropriate in the context of being viewed in bright light. You have full control of the lighting, so you can provide the fill needed for shadow detail and generate the lighting ratio for the look you want. This suggests STD gamma with HiSat matrix. Generally I prefer cine4 with matrix "cinema" because I think it kinder to skin tones, I like the subtleties in the images and want max info for post. I light to put the subject in the middle region of the gamma curve, so caucasian skin falls at around 60% white. Cine4 can look flat in the highlights, so if you have there important detail then cine1 will be a better choice with whichever matrix. With film, you start with the "look", select the film emulsion, and light accordingly. Same here.

Detail on or off? There are good arguments for shooting with that "off" and do sharpening in post. If the producer is peering at the images on set then I think "on", which brings the discussion full circle.

Guess this is of marginal help!

This was of help, thanks.

Forrest
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