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Old June 8th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #1
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The background darker than I would have wanted.

I'm using the ex3 and recorded the bridal party on the dance floor. When I put the clips on the timeline and played them back I noticed the background was darker than I would have liked.
If I had used my DSR390 I know it wouldn't have been as dark.
Everything recorded up until that was OK, well, some clips inside the church were a wee bit darker too, but as you know this can be corrected in the edit.

I had the B+W 486 filter fitted (I forgot to take it off) and I am using the PP Doug talks about in the Vortex DVDs, would any of these have caused the background to be that bit darker.

Thanks in advance.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 07:15 PM   #2
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When I put the clips on the timeline and played them back I noticed the background was darker than I would have liked.
Did noticing include viewing on a broadcast calibrated monitor while shooting and while the clip was in your timeline?

And of course you set up your EX3 picture profile checking on a broadcast calibrated monitor before the shoot.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 02:22 AM   #3
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..And of course you set up your EX3 picture profile checking on a broadcast calibrated monitor before the shoot.
No, I didn't because I don't have one, It hasn't stopped me getting good pictures before with my DSR390. Theres nothing wrong with the EX3 pictures, just the background while the bridal party was on the dance floor is a bit darker than I would have liked. Viewing it on a full HD TV btw.

Has anyone else noticed this or may be I just need to open the Iris a bit more next time.

Thanks Craig.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 05:16 AM   #4
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Anthony...

Results can vary depending on your picture profile, gamma, etc.

You might want to conduct some tests using known targets, and compare the results with the same conditions shot with your DSR-390.

In my experience, the EX1 (and probably the EX3) have a great deal of dynamic range. You could try the Cine 4 gamma setting which helps open up shadows and tames highlights. I shoot with that all the time to get as much dynamic range as possible, then make adjustments in post.

Hope this helps.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 06:37 AM   #5
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Thanks Dean, Ive just got the EX3 so its all new to me. I'll try that Cine 4 gamma setting.

Thanks.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 07:36 AM   #6
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Dean, that's exactly what I do. Cine4. Isn't that what Doug Jensen recommends which would mean that's what Anthony is using?

Key though is you CAN NOT blame the camera for this kind of look issue. The operator sets the look. The operator must judge that either in the LCD or an external monitor.

The DSR390 does NOT have that kind of control.

If Anthony doesn't see something close to what he saw in the LCD then he doesn't have the monitor set up correctly. Even if it's only calibrated in the "mind's eye" (you know the differences based on experience) you need to know what to set the camera to to get the results one wants to get.

At the very least, I set up my edit computer monitor with a Spyder Pro so I know I'm looking at something resembling a proper gamma curve and color balance even though it's not a calibrated broadcast HD monitor.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #7
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Darker background

Is this possibly the result of the camera setup? THe EX 3 is most likely set at 0 ire for deep black, but the DSR camera would most likely be set at 7.5 ire, opening up the shadows a bit. Raising the blacks a bit or choosing a PP that stretches the blacks would open up the shadowed backgrounds.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Anthony McErlean View Post
. . . may be I just need to open the Iris a bit more next time. Thanks Craig.
Anthony,

That is not the solution. You don't want to over-expose the main subject just to get more detail in the background shadows.

Was your main subject exposed properly? If the answer is yes, then exposure is not the problem.

If you are following the PP recipe that I recommend in my field guides and training DVDs, then you are already using CINE4, so that's not the solution either.

If you want more detail in the shadows in this type of shooting situation, I'd try bringing the Black Level and Black Gamma settings up to zero or even to a postive number.

Ultimately there are so many variables with a scenario like you have described that is is virtually impossbile for anyone to Monday-morning quaterback it for you. Plus, it's all subjective anyway. What looks wrong to you might look right to someone else, and vice versa. As long as the main subject is exposed properly, everything else is open to debate.

What I would do is set up a similar situation at home, tweak the camera to provide the look you want in that scenario, and then save it as a PP for use the next time you find yourself in a similar situation. That's really the best way to deal with it.

Good luck.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #9
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Thanks Doug, I just watched your DVD again and yes it is CINE4. Yes, everything else is perfect the brides white dress is perfectly exposed, not under nor over, just the background is that wee bit darker than I would have liked.

I'll try that with the new setting, I'll save it and use it next time.

Thanks Doug.

Just saw the other replies, thanks.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 09:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Denis OKeefe View Post
Is this possibly the result of the camera setup? THe EX 3 is most likely set at 0 ire for deep black..
I do seam to have deep blacks on the EX3.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #11
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Guys, for God's sake!

I'm not saying Doug's (or anybody other's) PP's are wrong, but please keep in mind they're just PROPOSALs.

Want to get more detail in shadows? OK - just "stretch the blacks"... Exactly in the way you did it with the "older" cameras.

Want to get a more "punchy" look? OK - just "compress, or crush, the blacks" - as above...

The EX cameras give you all the freedom required to paint your scene to your liking!

BTW If you're shooting in a low-light situations (like the dance floor after wedding) - do not stick to CINE; try SDT instead - it will suck much more of the available light.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #12
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Anthony, as you are aware from our previous correspondence, I had switched from a DSR 300 to an EX3. From my tests that I did, I found that, to really get the same low light capabilities of the DSR with the EX3 I shoot in the default factory setting (i.e with no pp) and use 1080 50i. I'm talking here about filming weddings with only the available light or with just a small kick of light from an on-board lamp. This does however mean that I have to very closely monitor the exposure with the help of zebra all the time in order to avoid overexposing which is a very easy thing to do with an EX3 (as compared to a DSR 300 which was almost non-existing).
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Old June 9th, 2009, 01:50 PM   #13
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Hi Brian, yes, I remember you telling me you had the DSR300. So you found the default setting suited best with the available light. I too record in 1080 50i mode and use the IDX on board light btw.
I'll try that at my next wedding.

Thanks Brian.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 02:15 PM   #14
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I tend to film weddings with the available light whenever I film indoors - in my country we have some very big dark churches but I still manage to get a good picture with the Ex3 - like I used to do with the DSR 300. I do use the 6db and in some cases even the 9db setting. Although the grain tends to show up more in HD, one has to remember that most of the time the client is setting a certain distance away from the TV screen and so the grain will not be so noticeable. Anyway even so, my clients would definitely not bother in seeing some grain but would definitely be bothered if I use any additional light in church.

As regards to the on-board camera light, I have invested in the Zylight 90. I was very hesitant at first because it is quite expensive and did not have the facility to try it out before purchasing. However I definitely do not regret this decision. The Zylight 90 is an incredible piece of equipment - it's small and light, it is very powerful (like a 20-35 Watt halogen lamp) yet dimmable in order to tame this beast, it has built in colour temp correction (without the need of external filters), it has two built in preset colour temp settings (3200 / 5600 K) and two user defined colour temp settings memory, it's light is very soft, amongst other features. However the features mentioned here are extremely useful and noteworthy for wedding filming. .... and I'm not affiliated in any way with the company that manufacture the Zylight. The only negative point is that for an LED lamp it is quite power hungry (30 watts in full light intensity).

If you are going to use the default setting Anthony, please make sure to watch your zebra. I found out that in order to get an overall good exposure, you have to make sure that the faces of the people being filmed are almost about to show up the zebra lines. At this point you will have zebra lines all over the bride's white wedding dress but it still produces a good picture. Obviously one has to keep in mind that we are filming event videography and not a controlled scene in a film where one will set the light particular for that scene. So slight compromises has to be made. In my opinion as long as the faces and any exposed skin is well exposed (sorry for the pun) and as long as the background is reasonably lit, then you can be rest assured that your wedding video quality will impress your client. And there is no need for elaborate tweaking in post if you make sure that the shots are filmed well in the first place.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #15
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Thanks again Brian for that detailed reply, Thats interesting about the Zylight 90, good to know.

I must confess I don't use the zebra much but with this new camera I have started to use it more. Thanks for the advice regarding it too.

I've only recorded 3 weddings with the EX3 so far and I'm happy with what I've done, considering. If I had a few more under my belt I'll be flying :)

To be honest, even with the background that wee bit darker than I would have liked, I still could get away with it, the foreground, (dancers) in my eyes, look just fine.

Thanks everyone for all the advice. I'm a bit wiser now for the next one.
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