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Old December 27th, 2008, 07:07 PM   #1
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Clipped image on EX3 Analysis sought

This image of the duck was taken with an EX3 and a Nikon 300m lens. The image looked perfect in VF even after calibrating the VF brightness. There were a few zebras on the duck but if the zebras were dialed out, everything else would go dark. Sun was filtered through clouds. Why is it clipping?
the other image was with stock lens, model has beige blouse, heavy overcast sky, auto setting. Blouse also clipped.
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Clipped image on EX3 Analysis sought-fg.jpg   Clipped image on EX3 Analysis sought-img0001.jpg  

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Old December 27th, 2008, 07:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
The image looked perfect in VF even after calibrating the VF brightness.
You cannot calibrate a $100 camera LCD panel. You can set it to look comfortable to your eye, but that's about it.


Question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
Why is it clipping?

Answer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
There were a few zebras on the duck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
the other image was with stock lens, model has beige blouse, heavy overcast sky, auto setting. Blouse also clipped.
Betcha it's the same reason.


Is this your first camera? You need to learn how to use the Zebras, and then the histogram that comes with this great camera. And when you do, then your images will no longer clip. You might also like to learn to play with the cinema gammas as They can help you in these scenarios by keeping your whites from clipping. You can also shoot with -3db gain and that will lend assistance.

The focus is off on the girl. Did you use autofocus?
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Old December 27th, 2008, 07:21 PM   #3
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Hi Brian, this duck is especially difficult to get right as the white tends to burn very easily. I didn't have much success with this same species even with my Canon 1D Mark II SLR camera. The image looks a bit overexposed so I am not surprised the whites are hot.
Cheers,
Ofer Levy Nature Photographer
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Old December 27th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #4
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Dang, tough crowd in here. Perrone, yes the girl was shot in af and we were getting the searching for focus phenomena that has been documented here on the EX3. Seemed to be searching for exposure too on that day. it's a pretty unforgiving camera I guess.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 07:49 PM   #5
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Perrone, Brian didn't take the duck shot. I did. And no, this is not my first camera either. Yes Brian used auto focus on the girl (his shot). And yes, just about every second of the clip she was in and out of focus, even though neither she nor Brian ever moved. I shot the duck using the histogram. And while I was not raised using a histogram, I am familiar with using them.

Thank you for coming to Brian's rescue Ofer. You are a class act.

Now back to the duck, my issue is I would like to understand this camera better - which is why I asked Brian for help, which is why Brian posted this question here. We both have failed to get this great camera yet. We've had it now two weeks, and each shot with it only once. So far every shot I've taken with it looks immaculate in the view finder, and in the proper range of the histogram. Yet so far every shot I've taken with it comes out looking at least two stops brighter once in fcp. I've been through this acclimation process with other cameras. I respect the fact that it takes time until you know what you need to know. Oddly though, just for reference and to quench my curiosity, when I also tried setting the cam on auto it sent the image very far to the bright side of the histogram. Completely over exposed...

And so I ask, you in particular Perrone, why is it that both Brian (on auto) and myself (on manual) are recording such different images than we are seeing (both in the view finder, and in the histogram)? And by the way, if I had brought the exposure down so the chest of the duck did not clip, the rest of the image would have sunk in the mud I expect. So I like your -3 gain idea. All I did was set it on low. I'll search the menu for settings tonight.

Thanks for your help.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 07:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
Dang, tough crowd in here. Perrone, yes the girl was shot in af and we were getting the searching for focus phenomena that has been documented here on the EX3. Seemed to be searching for exposure too on that day. it's a pretty unforgiving camera I guess.
Not meaing to be tough. The EX series of cameras are a double edged sword. In the right hands, they can produce footage that can be showcased on Discovery HD. But in the hands of a beginner or inexperienced shooter, they can produce a lot of problems.

You are using a camera that is not really designed for new shooters. It's better for pros who want to shoot with something small. It may take you some months before you start getting footage out of it that you're proud of. It took me some weeks before I started getting results I was happy with. Now, half a year later, I am shooting paid work. I still have a lot to learn, but I understand enough to not embarrass myself... most days!

Good luck!
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Old December 27th, 2008, 08:07 PM   #7
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GOOD questions Eric. There are a number of things going on.

First, you need to see what the standard gain is in the EX3. I have an EX1 so it may be different. But I set up my camera so that low = -3, mid = 0 and high = 6. It takes a special circumstance for me to move the camera off -3 db gain. I like my images CLEAN, and -3 gives me the look I want.

Second, you need to set the Zebras. In the EX1/EX3 you can have two sets of Zebras. One is a light set that you can adjust. I typically set that at about 75%. This gives me a very lovely clean exposure on Caucasian skin. The other is set at 90 or 95 I think and it's a camera default. Not sure it can be changed. When you see that one, you are in the danger zone.

These cameras have picture profiles, and you can create your own. one of the lovely things about these is that you can set your "knee". Essentially, the camera can record a certain amount of brightness levels. From zero to about 120. For broadcast work in NTSC countries, we really only get to about 100. So you have about 100 steps of brightness between 0 and 100. However, with the knee function you can say that direct the camera to need more and more input to get toward 100. Lets say that we set up the camera in full linear mode. If we give it say an input level of 10, it registers 10 on the recording. And if we give it 50, it registers 50. however, if we set the knee at a 2:1 ratio to start at 50, it would take a 70 input to get us to a 60 output. and if we put in 10 more units we'd only get 65 instead of 80. In this way, we can clamp down on the contrast of a scene by making it harder and harder for more light to make the camera clip. In fact, you can set this camera so that it NEVER clips regardless if you point it straight at noonday sun. It's all in how you adjust it.

There is a sticky at the top of this section of the forum on picture profiles. I suggest you have a LONG read through it (it's about a billion pages) but it goes into great detail about getting accurate colors out of the camrea, the picture profiles, knee settings, etc. Well worth a read. And review that section of the manual first as a primer. It's kinda complicated, but it will ensure that you don't clip any more highlights.

As to the autofocus, don't use it. Zoom in, press the expanded preview button, focus, then zoom out. Leave the thing in manual focus or it will hunt all day. Turn on peaking while your at it. Boy does that ever make a difference when you're shooting detail. in a closeup, you'll see the peaking on the talent's eyelashes. That's when you know you've got it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Gulbransen View Post
Perrone, Brian didn't take the duck shot. I did. And no, this is not my first camera either. Yes Brian used auto focus on the girl (his shot). And yes, just about every second of the clip she was in and out of focus, even though neither she nor Brian ever moved. I shot the duck using the histogram. And while I was not raised using a histogram, I am familiar with using them.

Thank you for coming to Brian's rescue Ofer. You are a class act.

Now back to the duck, my issue is I would like to understand this camera better - which is why I asked Brian for help, which is why Brian posted this question here. We both have failed to get this great camera yet. We've had it now two weeks, and each shot with it only once. So far every shot I've taken with it looks immaculate in the view finder, and in the proper range of the histogram. Yet so far every shot I've taken with it comes out looking at least two stops brighter once in fcp. I've been through this acclimation process with other cameras. I respect the fact that it takes time until you know what you need to know. Oddly though, just for reference and to quench my curiosity, when I also tried setting the cam on auto it sent the image very far to the bright side of the histogram. Completely over exposed...

And so I ask, you in particular Perrone, why is it that both Brian (on auto) and myself (on manual) are recording such different images than we are seeing (both in the view finder, and in the histogram)? And by the way, if I had brought the exposure down so the chest of the duck did not clip, the rest of the image would have sunk in the mud I expect. So I like your -3 gain idea. All I did was set it on low. I'll search the menu for settings tonight.

Thanks for your help.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 08:29 PM   #8
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Now THAT'S an answer Perrone. Thank you.

Brian, you owe me lunch.


Perrone I am familiar with color profiles, just not for the EX3. Great that there are some already here, I haven't even looked yet. Truth be told I should be shot by this EX3. Or maybe electrocuted. I haven't spent the necessary time yet. Not even a fraction of it.

OK I'll do it now...

Great answer. Thanks again Perrone
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Old December 27th, 2008, 08:57 PM   #9
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Look at posts 310, 175, and 177. Also, there is some info to indicate that the EX3 is not exactly the same as the EX1 when it comes to this stuff, so once you get these locked in, go find the EX3 changes and make those. I'm sorry I haven't followed that much since I don't have an EX3.
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