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Old February 3rd, 2009, 02:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I disagree. Depends on what your're shooting and how much post-production processing that you want to do. I stand behind my statement that is is better to err on the side of overexposure, but that's assuming you're talking about only a 1/2 or 1 stop. If it's more than that, you've got to stop and ask yourself what you're doing wrong.
If it's sky, I'll side with you on overexposure as lesser of two evils, if it's skin tones I'd choose underexposure.
Like you say. it "Depends."
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 03:03 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the great replies guys! (Doug Jensen....WOW!)

I think I've come to a couple of realizations. One that is kind of stupid and the other is helpful.

1) Expose your subject. In other words, if you're shooting an interview and the talent looks perfectly exposed, but you have some 95% zebras on a lamp (or what ever) in the background, don't worry about the zebras. On the other hand, if you have 95% zebras all over the talents face, then you're obviously over exposed. Duh! :)

2) Setting the zebra level to 100%. I played with this a bit last night. If I'm having trouble with underexposed footage then I want to turn my zebra's up (100%), not down (70%). Maybe it's because I've been a videographer so long, I'm used to 100% zebras. Because when I switched to 70% EVERYTHING had zebras. (that would take some time to get used to)

The only other thing I'm concerned about it Doug's settings of:

Matrix>Setting: On
Matrix>Select: High SAT
Gamma>Select: CINE4
Black: -3 (this is the one I'm concerned about)
Black Gamma: -2 (and this one also)

I turned Black from -3 to -2 for my upcoming shoot on Thursday. We'll see if that makes an difference. Maybe I should have turned them both up to -1 or something. I wish I wasn't so busy, I would like to take some time to do some test shooting and dial the camera in to my taste.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 03:11 PM   #18
 
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I use Doug's settings and I'm getting beautiful results. Ouch! Now I have to get a cast for my arm...
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 03:18 PM   #19
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Good to know. Thanks Jay!

The weather's been really bad here. All of the shoots I have done with our new camera rig have been indoors with tungsten lighting. I wonder if that makes a difference? I'm guessing that Doug's settings will look fantastic outdoors with plenty of light.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 03:34 PM   #20
 
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I've used the same settings indoors and out--no problems whatsoever. And from the looks of Doug's videos, the same is true for him (he states he uses the same settings).
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 07:22 PM   #21
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Have you used them with a 35mm adaptor? (that could make a difference....no?)
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 08:36 PM   #22
 
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No, that wouldn't work for the kind of videos we do.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 02:20 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
when I switched to 70% EVERYTHING had zebras. (that would take some time to get used to)

.
What do you mean? Can't you just stop it down so the zebras reduce?

Also, are Doug's setting suitable for the EX3 or EX1? Which camera did he use?
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Old February 4th, 2009, 03:19 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
I think I've come to a couple of realizations. One that is kind of stupid and the other is helpful.

......2) Setting the zebra level to 100%.......Maybe it's because I've been a videographer so long, I'm used to 100% zebras. Because when I switched to 70% EVERYTHING had zebras. (that would take some time to get used to)
Coming from a 2/3" camera, the zebras on the EX cameras are an absolute joy compared to what exists on pretty well any other camera in the sub-$10,000 price range. But what is most significant is the range of contol, and the fact that you can have TWO zebras on at the SAME TIME.

If you're not used to it, it can sound confusing, but the patterns are very different (move different ways) and it shouldn't take too long to get used to it. My personal preference is for zebra 1 to be 100% (so you know what's peak white), and zebra 2 to show levels between 85%-90%.

With a face, that normally means a little bit of zebra 2 on the brighter parts of the face, which tends to be easier to work with than zebraing covering the entire face.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 05:57 AM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
Also, are Doug's setting suitable for the EX3 or EX1? Which camera did he use?
Doug's settings are for the EX1 and EX3, which he both owns and operates, along with a larger XDCAM (I forget which model).
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Old February 4th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
What do you mean? Can't you just stop it down so the zebras reduce?

Also, are Doug's setting suitable for the EX3 or EX1? Which camera did he use?
Yes, if I stopped down to where there was just a bit of zebras, the whites (I was just testing by looking at the white walls of our office) would be drastically underexposed as I'd be setting them to 70% instead of 100%.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 08:50 AM   #27
 
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I would be very careful with applying black/black gamma. Negative values will, of course, drop the shadows to black until shadows get crushed. So much of the use of this(or any) setting is a function of the overall lighting in the scene. Negative values increase the dynamic range at the expense of loss of footroom. It becomes very easy to crush the shadows, not necessarily a desireable thing if your shooting, for example, a stage production.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 09:09 AM   #28
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Thanks Bill,

So in your opinion, when using CINE4 and HighSAT, there's no reason to reduce the gamma levels? I shoot what you could describe as "stage" shooting (lots of tungsten lighting with a dark background). My video looks like the blacks are slightly crushed, but I thought it was just because I was slightly underexposing.

I'm guessing you can get away with crushing the blacks a bit of you're shooting outdoors with lots of light. But when shooting indoors wide open, especially with an adaptor, the blacks can look crushed? Dunno....

Other people are having good luck with Doug's settings, but I think the difference is I'm using an adaptor and they are not. I need to do some shooting without the adaptor but with Doug's settings. :)
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Old February 7th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Getting the right exposure within 1/2 to 1 stop isn't so hard if you use the zebras properly (not at 70) and have a little experience with the camera.

Doug
What's wrong with 70 zebras on the EX3?
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Old February 8th, 2009, 07:57 AM   #30
 
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Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
Thanks Bill,

So in your opinion, when using CINE4 and HighSAT, there's no reason to reduce the gamma levels? I shoot what you could describe as "stage" shooting (lots of tungsten lighting with a dark background). My video looks like the blacks are slightly crushed, but I thought it was just because I was slightly underexposing.

I'm guessing you can get away with crushing the blacks a bit of you're shooting outdoors with lots of light. But when shooting indoors wide open, especially with an adaptor, the blacks can look crushed? Dunno....
In my experience, an adapter doesn't significantly change the luma values compared to using no adapter. It should make no difference to luma values. At least, that's my experience with a Letus Extreme. Yes, I would suspect your shadow detail will suffer with those gamma settings.

Just for grins, if you have access to an HD monitor, even if you have to rent one for a day, take it to your venue and watch the image while you adjust the black gamma and black level. You'll surprise yourself.

Image capture is not perfect. Most people think that "crushed shadow" look looks better than an exposure with proper shadows. A properly exposed image, with detail in the shadows, looks less contrasty, which is what is deceiving.

Last edited by Bill Ravens; February 8th, 2009 at 09:29 AM.
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