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Old May 15th, 2009, 03:23 AM   #31
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Thanks Matt.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #32
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The warm cards are just a way to offset your white balance. You can get the same result as you do with a warm card by changing the white balance offset in your picture profile. Actually more control than picking from just a couple cards.

The XDCAM series cameras give you a lot of control over this type of setting. If you're using a prosumer camera - by all means get the warm cards because you can't do it in camera. That's one reason I paid more for a better camera.

The fewer things I have to tug along the better...
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Old May 15th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #33
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Matt's PP

Hey Matt, I just ordered the warm cards for my ex1. If its not too much trouble, what are the details of your PP you were referring to?
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Old May 15th, 2009, 08:55 AM   #34
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Hey Matt, I just ordered the warm cards for my ex1. If its not too much trouble, what are the details of your PP you were referring to?
Big debate on another thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/1143442-post16.html
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Old May 15th, 2009, 12:49 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Kevin Spahr View Post
The warm cards are just a way to offset your white balance. You can get the same result as you do with a warm card by changing the white balance offset in your picture profile.
I'm learning this stuff so I'm not really qualified to comment (but that's never stopped me before, ha!), but from what I've been reading in these threads is that manual balance *not* the same thing as changing the white balance temp in the PP. Probably pretty close, but not the same. If I understand correctly, when you manually white balance off a card it changes all the color temperature values based on the existing conditions to achieve the correct values, whereas changing in the color temp value in camera in a PP it makes assumptions that may or may not be as accurate.

Also, as I now use Warm Cards, I can see how off I was many times. In some late evening shadow conditions it's not uncommon to have values over 1100 and I don't think I was ever going over 7000 before. It really warms up skin tones even in cool shadows. And it's wonderfully consistent to use the WarmCards®. Ah lawk 'em alawt.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #36
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manual balance *not* the same thing as changing the white balance temp in the PP. Probably pretty close, but not the same. If I understand correctly, when you manually white balance off a card it changes all the color temperature values based on the existing conditions to achieve the correct values, whereas changing in the color temp value in camera in a PP it makes assumptions that may or may not be as accurate
Absolutely.

There's a few circumstances when using a WB in PP is advantageous, but the most accurate setting will come from a proper WB off a proper WB card (even if it is a warm card).
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Old May 15th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #37
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Warm Card = Accurate? Compared to what? Wouldn't accurate be a true white balance?

You're doing an electronic white balance - you're not using a filter to adjust the image.

When "tricking" an electronic white balance with something that is not white - what parameter inside the camera do you think is changing? What is the difference if you change it with a card or actually go in and change that parameter manually - except that doing it manually you can change it from -99 to +99 instead of just 4 choice you get with the cards.

I think instead of accurate - consistent might be what was meant, but a manual offset will be just as consistent. After you select an offset for the white balance in the camera you're going to white balance on a white card so it will be based on the lighting conditions present at that time - just like using a warm card - except you can choose the exact amount you want to warm (or cool) the image. You are affecting the same circuitry with either method except you're saving $100 doing it manually. (that's not going to make any friends here - I better put on my flame resistant suit.)

If you don't believe me - try it...

Sony techs will tell you the same thing, check this link out:

Sony Business Solutions & Systems - Featured

Then look for the video
"Sony Camera Tips - Uncovering creative possibilities with Juan Martinez."

Maybe this guy doesn't know anything - he's probably just selling something.

Some of the other videos on this page are worth watching too!

I hate "tit for tat" that happens on these forums, so that's all I'm going to say.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 05:11 PM   #38
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Howdy Kevin. I'm not seeing any tit-for-tat? If so, I missed it and I apologize if you felt that was what I was doing (not sure if you were even referring to my comments). If what you're referring to is doing a white balance on a white card, then warming it from there for a PP, then I'd bet you're correct. I was talking about what I was doing before... merely dialing in let's say 5600 in a PP and always using that for daylight. Or going to 6500 to make it look warmer, just by the dial and saving it.

If you white balance from a 'white' card each time and then making it warmer to taste by dialing a higher temp and saving it, that to me would be taking a lot of extra time/steps each time I wanted to white balance. Using a (let's say) 1/2 WarmCard would, to me, seem much quicker/simpler if I wanted the same, consistent results in various lighting conditions. But admittedly I may be misunderstanding you (and definitely not tit-for-tatting, ha!). I think for $79 having a set of cards giving me a consistent choice, with the time they save me, is one of my better purchases. But that's just me. And besides the time saved, my color results are better than I was getting before. I guess I just feel more confident that I'm getting a good consistent balance from shot to shot.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 08:04 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Kevin Spahr View Post
Sony techs will tell you the same thing, check this link out:

Sony Business Solutions & Systems - Featured

Then look for the video
"Sony Camera Tips - Uncovering creative possibilities with Juan Martinez."
Thanks Kevin for the link - plenty of interesting stuff! The only problem is the video stalls at some 25 mins (or so) into it... Always at the same moment in time. Or is it just my connection?
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Old May 17th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #40
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Thanks for the links!
Great info.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 06:51 AM   #41
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This entire, lengthy thread, proves one thing . . . shooting movies, whether in video or film, is subjective. What looks good to one person is not necessarily what looks good to another person. Personally, I love the warm cards. I use the blue ones on most interviews. I get an "instant" preview of what the skin tones are going to look like by holding the various shades of blue in front of the camera. Can you have several shades of warming "instantly" with camera settings? NO you cannot. I find that people who are talking negatively about the warm cards are those people who have never used them. By taking a white balance reading with a white card, you are getting a scene that is "flat as a pancake". If that is what you want fine. Better you than me. Audio, lighting, WB, etc. etc. should all be gotten as good as possible on location. To simply say, "I'll fix it in post" is not my philosophy. If it is yours, then good luck.

Warm cards, Tiffen Filters, & cucaloris window patterns have enhanced the look of my interviews. I would say that they have saved me many times.

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Old May 18th, 2009, 07:28 AM   #42
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I get an "instant" preview of what the skin tones are going to look like by holding the various shades of blue in front of the camera. Can you have several shades of warming "instantly" with camera settings? NO you cannot.
Extremely good point, Brian.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Brian Barkley View Post
By taking a white balance reading with a white card, you are getting a scene that is "flat as a pancake".
While I totally agree with your arguments on perception, your sentence above reveals a bias against accurate white balance. Most people seek this perfection for the punch it provides. If your output/monitoring devices use a white point that is bluer than usual, it's possible that you're using the blue cards to compensate for this. Ambient lighting and wall colors that are very warm will alter the perception even more.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 02:23 PM   #44
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If you want to use warm cards fine, but arguing over their superiority for accurate white balance is debatable.

Cameraman have been using many techniques for this for decades. The simplest is to carry a swatchbook with color correction filters in your pocket - that's where the idea for warm cards came from. I always carry one.

Likewise adjusting the color correction menus in the PP settings of an EX-1 can be extremely fast, and is my favorite method as I don't need to keep changing white balances.

And of course there is the good old fashioned paint box if you have one.

Whatever workflow you prefer.

Last edited by Leonard Levy; May 19th, 2009 at 04:09 PM.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 04:31 PM   #45
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If you want to use warm cards fine, but arguing over their superiority for accurate white balance is debatable.
Very true and I second that.
There are so many ways to skin this cat. There really isn't a right or wrong way, or better or worse, as long as you get the look you want and you know how to get it no one can tell you you're wrong, but it is good to hear the different methods that people use and it is up to each one to see what fits their work flow the best. It is a question of habit and what you are comfortable with (and often proven techniques). Each method has its ups and downs. In the past I used to change the PP, and I got what I wanted. The benefits of this way is that you don't need to rely on placing your card in the right spot to white balance it, like in certain events where you have no access to the main stage to get the correct reading for your warm cards and you might find that you are in a spot where there isn't enough light to establish your white balance cards while you can tweak the PP to your hearts desire. But sometimes I just needed a fast solution and in certain light conditions this can get tricky in PP especially if you don't carry with you a proper monitor as I wasn't always certain what is the right look I was looking for (or just basic white) or have enough time to tweak it in PP (other people might be better in deciding and tweaking on the spot with PP, I'm actually sure of it). I also used to carry on with me a color set from a paint shop, and that helped me as well a few times, as there is a lot more choice of colors to choose from. But I really like the vortex warm cards and never leave home without it. They are really well made, durable (very well protected) and the choice of colors is for my taste (perhaps not someone else's), and perhaps this can create sometimes a certain laziness instead of extra tweaking and experimenting for my own perfect right look. But sometimes I just need the look I know and like and I know how to get it fast. in this way the warm cards are very reliable - as I know what color to expect every time I use them, and almost always I'm very satisfied with the results (for others the same can also be said about PP, and you can often get nice surprises with PP which are not easily achieved with cards). But it all ends in the end with each persons own taste and uses.

On a last note concerning the original first post. As for filming with warm cards in interviews and outdoors, they work great. That said, PP adjustment is also really easy and fast in those situations. They both equally turn out great results as long as you know the look you are looking for.
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