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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 07:45 PM   #1
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Best Low light profile?

Is there a Profile for low light shooting that keeps the image as clean as possible? The project is 25p

Thx in advance!
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:27 PM   #2
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I've been looking for the answer to this question for a while now. Never really got a good answer. But...here's some stuff I've learned from reading this forum (but never actually tested)

1) There is a big difference in brightness between the different frame rates. For example, 1080 60i is brighter than 1080 30p. I can never remember all of them, but Adam Whilt has them listed in his original EX1 test.

2) I think that a lot of people that had successfully shot night footage have done so without using a Picture Profile. I did read about one person who boosted the blacks, if I remember right.

3) Turning the shutter off let's in more light as well (located on the bottom front of the camera)

4) Most of the nice night footage I've seen was shot with the gain at -3 or 0. This is amazing to me.

Personally I shot some 1080 60i concert footage at +3 that looked great. Amazing color and low noise. I was too chicken to shoot it at -3 as it was a paid gig. :)
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Old March 4th, 2009, 03:17 AM   #3
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There is a related thread that discusses noise and gain here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...mma-noise.html
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Old March 4th, 2009, 05:21 AM   #4
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Thanks guys.

Up till now I have been shooting with 0 gain and shutter off or at "33" for night stuff.

I will test shooting at 50i and doing a de-interlace in FCP with magic bullet. If it makes a big improvement I may just go that route.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 05:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Levins View Post
Thanks guys.

Up till now I have been shooting with 0 gain and shutter off or at "33" for night stuff.

I will test shooting at 50i and doing a de-interlace in FCP with magic bullet. If it makes a big improvement I may just go that route.
Adam,

Of course choosing interlaced over progressive is your own decision, but mind you - the light sensitivity at 25p with shutter off, is the same as with 50i.

Myself, I shoot 25p exclusively (and turn off the shutter if it's really dark).
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Old March 4th, 2009, 07:54 AM   #6
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I agree with Piotr. If you need progressive footage, choose that setting in the camera, don't try to do it in FCP. Shooting 25p is good advice.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 08:00 AM   #7
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From Adam Wilt's great review of the EX1:

To measure sensitivity, I set the exposure of an 18% gray card at 50% on the waveform monitor with the camera in its default Standard Gamma 3. I metered the card with a Gossen Starlite and incident light with a Spectra Pro IV, and varied the ISO settings until the shutter speeds and apertures matched the camera (both meters agreed within 1/10 stop). I determined the sensitivity of the camera to be:
ISO 400 in 1080p modes
ISO 800 in 1080i modes (just as youd expect: with dual-row summation, you get twice the sensitivity), and
ISO 500 in 720p modes.
Apparently Sony is picking up some gain during downsampling to 720p, analogous to what happens in dual-row summation.

The camera can run at 3dB, useful if you want the lowest noise possible. The highest gain, +18dB, is noisy but not unusable; its comparable to the Z1 at +18dB or the HVX200 at +12dB. The noise is best characterized as colorful, fine grain: its perhaps a bit more colorful than noise from some other Sonys, but not annoyingly so.


ProVideo Coalition.com: Camera Log by Adam Wilt | Founder | Pro Cameras, HDV Camera, HD Camera, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, RED, Video Camera Reviews
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Old March 4th, 2009, 09:45 AM   #8
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I use cine gamma 4 and 6db gain for my night stuff. Detail off of course, but my night stuff is usually almost pitch black so I push gamma really hard rather than push the gain beyond 6db. I think it keep the image cleaner that way.

The live action stuff (non slo mo) in this video was shot like that but I used 9db and you can see some noise. I could have used 6db and would have looked cleaner.

Dumont Dunes, New Years Eve 2008 on Vimeo

this one was shot at 6db same profile.

Trick or Treat 2008 on Vimeo
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Old March 4th, 2009, 09:55 AM   #9
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For real low-light (night) shooting, I believe using STD gammas instead of CINE is much more adequate; you're sucking all available light onto the sensor this way - cine tend to steal much of it.

For crushed blacks (and less noise), use STD1; for more detail in midtones (along with noise, alas) - use STD4.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 06:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
For real low-light (night) shooting, I believe using STD gammas instead of CINE is much more adequate; you're sucking all available light onto the sensor this way - cine tend to steal much of it.

For crushed blacks (and less noise), use STD1; for more detail in midtones (along with noise, alas) - use STD4.
actually you are completely right, I use STD 4, not Cine 4. I have no idea why I wrote that in my first post..LOL thanks!
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