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Old November 29th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #1
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Low light setup on EX1 Help, please

I have read many threads on how the EX1 is excellent in low light situations, but I have not had such luck. I would like to ask any of you how you setup your EX1 to shoot in low light conditions. I am sure I am missing something in the menus. Thanks in advance and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

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Old November 29th, 2008, 02:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Phil Hanna View Post
I would like to ask any of you how you setup your EX1 to shoot in low light conditions.
Shoot in 720p25, turn the shutter off, bit of black stretch and work out whether you want to use a little gain or pull things up in post.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #3
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Thanks, Matt

I will give that a try. I have had to do all the gain in post and it comes out grainy. Also, I can't get much of a picture to begin with when shooting, everything strobes!

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Old November 29th, 2008, 07:26 PM   #4
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Hi,

I would really like to know why you stated it's better to be in 720p than 1080p for lowlight... Using the full resolution of the sensor (1080p) should give better results...

I would just recommend to change the gamma setting (maybe to cine2 or 4, but you better try by yourself) and maybe change the black gamma setting...

You really need to practice depending on what you are shooting and in which situation. This is a big question and can't be answered in few words.

The movie Prune’s Blog Blog Archive Notre Dame de Paris Long version (after the start which is outdoor) was shot inside Notre dame de Paris, France, few days after getting the EX1, without experience or a special profile other than a Gamma change. You really can get good results with basic settings.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 04:46 AM   #5
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I would really like to know why you stated it's better to be in 720p than 1080p for lowlight... Using the full resolution of the sensor (1080p) should give better results...
It's an extra stop.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 05:38 AM   #6
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I have found that if you shoot interlaced (1080i60) you get better low light performance.

Turn your shutter off as well. You can get away with about +9db and still be pretty clean.

I did a test and rated the ISO/ASA of the camera around 800. Not bad at all.

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Old November 30th, 2008, 07:11 AM   #7
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Matt is correct shooting 720P will give you an extra stop.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #8
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What's the difference between 720p without gain and 1080p with 6db gain?
The difference is the blurriness.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #9
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It's more noise which equates to more stress on the codec which means more artifacts which will degrade multi generation performance. Yes 720P is softer than 1080 but I would take a clean 720P picture over a noisy 1080 one any day. Picture noise in the form of film grain is why channels like Discovery and Nat Geo don't like film. Super 16 is not permitted by most HD channels.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #10
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Yes 720P is softer than 1080 but I would take a clean 720P picture over a noisy 1080 one any day.
The noise-difference is only caused by the blur caused by the downscaling-component. It won't be clean 720p, if the 1080p-source was noisy, just a bit cleaner. The mpeg2-encoder of the ex1 works well enough, so I could apply that blur/downscaling in post with almost the same result, if I would want to. I don't care about multigen-performance, I like to see a lot of details in the picture and I generally prefer unprocessed footage.
So I clearly prefer 1080p.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #11
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The noise-difference is only caused by the blur caused by the downscaling-component. It won't be clean 720p, if the 1080p-source was noisy, just a bit cleaner. The mpeg2-encoder of the ex1 works well enough, so I could apply that blur/downscaling in post with almost the same result, if I would want to. I don't care about multigen-performance, I like to see a lot of details in the picture and I generally prefer unprocessed footage.
So I clearly prefer 1080p.
No, 720p is not cleaner but it is nearly one stop brighter than 1080p and you don't have to deal with interlace artifacts! ;)

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Old November 30th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #12
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No, 720p is not cleaner but it is nearly one stop brighter than 1080p and you don't have to deal with interlace artifacts! ;)

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I second this statement.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 01:31 PM   #13
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No, 720p is not cleaner but it is nearly one stop brighter than 1080p and you don't have to deal with interlace artifacts! ;)
I compared 1080p with 6db (not 0db) to 720p with 0db, but anyway...

720p with x db gain compared to 1080p with x db gain is one stop brighter.
720p with x db gain compared to 1080p with x+6 db gain has (about) one stop less noise.
Why? Because 720p with x db is 1080p with x+6 db low-pass-filtered (=blurred).
From this it follows that if you blur 1080p with x db accordingly, you'll get 720p with x-6 db.
If x<6, then it's not possibly to get that 720p-result in the camera, but only in post with 1080p-footage.

One conclusion is:
If there's enough light to film with 1080p with <6db gain and you want the lowest noise possible (and you don't need a framerate higher than 30fps), use 1080p instead of 720p.
That's also true for 1080i, because it's also derived from 1080p with 6db extra-gain.

Last edited by Dominik Seibold; November 30th, 2008 at 02:02 PM.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #14
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Why? Because 720p with x db is 1080p with x+6 db low-pass-filtered (=blurred)
Not sure I understand this. Are you saying that EX1 derives 720p from 1080p by applying 6dB gain, then sizing down and blurring the image?
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Old November 30th, 2008, 09:40 PM   #15
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I made a picture profile just for low light. Set to STD4, and push gamma way high, pushed black gamma as far as I thought I could.

Set to 720x30p and 9db gain the camera will see about the same as we do in low light, but it will be grainy. 1080p it see's slightly less than we do, but the picture is much cleaner.

this was 1080p 9db gain with the gamma's pushed.

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