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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old June 25th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #16
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Doug,
speaking of PPs, have you adjusted yours since the release of your dvd: "Mastering the Sony EX1"? if so, could you let us know what you like for bright/contrasty exteriors, flat/overcast daylight exteriors, daylight interiors, etc.?

thanks in advance.

-Mike
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Old June 25th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Michael B. McGee View Post
Doug,
speaking of PPs, have you adjusted yours since the release of your dvd: "Mastering the Sony EX1"? if so, could you let us know what you like for bright/contrasty exteriors, flat/overcast daylight exteriors, daylight interiors, etc.?

thanks in advance.-Mike
I still use the same PP for the EX1 and EX3 that I outline in my training DVDs and Field Guides 95% of the time. The only exception is that sometimes I reduce the detail to -10, if I'm shooting something like fall leaves or moving grass with lots of fine lines. But to be honest, by the time my project is edited down to a standard-def DVD, the difference between having detail at 0 or -10 is pretty negligible.

Other than changing the detail occassionally, it is one PP all the time.

Also, I should mention that I rarely shoot outdoors without a .6 ND grad filter and circular polarizer in my matte box. Sometimes on indoor interviews I've been tempted to use a Tiffen Soft F/X 1 or 2, but usually I opt just to shoot interviews clean.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #18
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great. thanks.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 10:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Hi Max,

Besides all the limitations of the camera's LCD that you list in your own post, the camera's LCD brightness/contrast controls are just not good enough for precisely judging color or exposure.

In fact, I would NEVER use ANY monitor to set exposure, let alone a 3" LCD on the camera.

That is what Zebras are for, and I disagree with your comment that Zebra is only good for run and gun shooting. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unless you're going to drag around a waveform monitor with you, Zebra is the next best thing - and have been for decades.

You're right, Zebra doesn't show latitude, but so what? My latitude is already set with my PP settings. All I need to do when I'm out in the field is make sure the exposure is correct and the rest of the picture will fall into place. If you want to see latitude then use Zebra in combination with the histogram, but I'd never judge exposure by the picture on the LCD.

FYI, in my opinion, playing with the PP settings out in the field to affect latitude would be kind of like EQ'ing your audio out in the field. Would you do that? Nope. You just make sure the levels are correct and usually that will be good enough. You can always fine-tune things in post when necessary. Same thing with exposure. Choose the right PP settings, and then all you have do is hit the right exposure - which is very easy to do with zebra.

That's just my opinion, but other people have their own way of doing things.
Hello Doug,
Without knowing specifics from testing I'd nevertheless tend to agree that the camera's LCD is not an accurate exposure tool. Be that as it may I'd never use Zebra, waveform, histogram or meters without a final look at the LCD. It is still a tool and like all tools should be calibrated when possible. Any exposure toolset is designed to satisfy a final judgement by the human eye. As much a proponent as I am for these tools, in the end you have to look at the picture. As much as I've argued against the myth of WYSIWIG video since the days of 1", I have to say a calibrated (insert "Broadcast" here) monitor is essential to judging exposure. True, ideally not on its own. Good tip on the Histogram - a fantastic feature in the EX. I love PPs but trusting that they will make everything fall into place across different exposure zones is just not how I work in certain conditions when I know I have a scalpel with lighting and filtration vs. the paint roller of PPs. But that's what makes learning wonderful, different ways of doing things.


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Originally Posted by Michael B. McGee View Post
i'm unsure of what you're considering as the 3 chip cluster. the pluge on my EX1 has 5 thin vertical strips unlike 3 on most cameras that i've used. by middle and right grey, are you referring to the very far right grey square chip on the bottom row? and for contrast, "the pretty bottom white chip" is A) the squarish chip just to the left of the pluge on the bottom row or B) the thin white horizontal chip found just below the color bars in the lower middle part of the screen?

thanks.

Hello Michael,
Strip number 2 and 4 from either left or right are 0 IRE and basically to be ignored for calibration purposes. Unlike SMPTE split field, HD pluge inserts lovely superblack in between the pluge chips. I believe this is because when it came to HD standards SMPTE finally realized that once you go black you never go back.

Mid and right grey are chips 3 and 5 counting from pluge left. Here...

-2 ire | 0 ire | +2 ire | 0 ire | +4ire
.1......|.2.....|..3......|.4.....|..5....

I'm considering "the pretty bottom white chip" as "A" in your question. If "B" in your question is looking white that is a problem and your LCD is wack out of alignment. This bar should look grey. It lets you calibrate chroma.

Cheers buddies.

Last edited by Max Allen; June 25th, 2009 at 11:21 PM.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #20
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Much thanks to old age I neglected to bring up the obvious problem with Zebra as your sole guide to exposure. How are you going to pick up gamut errors just going by zebra let alone the separate concern of sheer chroma levels off the chart very well rendering your picture illegal. With a monitor at least you can back off when you know what to look for and go into the scene with lighting, your PPs, filters or iris and dial something in. Of course you may make your zebra reading inaccurate after the tweak but that's when you know zebra is not an accurate exposure tool in every situation just like no other single tool is.

Although I light with meters whenever I can, I won't summarily ignore the color densities and tonalities a calibrated monitor, be it the LCD or external, shows me when I'm done. Zebra can't give me that visual approximation nor can a blanket trust in PPs I presume. However, if I drink too much Gatorade during the shoot the PP will be of critical importance above and beyond all other exposure tools.

Cheers buddies.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 11:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
At 0db cinegamma 1,3 and 4 reach 109% while cinegamma 2 stays legal at 100%. However it should be noted that at -3db all the cinegammas get reduced in level, so 1,3 and 4 reach 104% while cinegamma 2 only gets to 94%.

I am married with a very understanding wife and daughter. We were hoping to go on a family storm chasing trip to chase the Arizona monsoon storms, but at the moment that's on hold due to the financial situation.

Alister,
I'm going to be in Northern Michigan this summer along the 45th parallel and was wondering if you could share with us you PP and exposure settings that allowed you to capture the "Northern Lights"? thanks.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 12:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Max Allen View Post
If you want to set chroma you'll need a blue viewing filter, like one used by DPs when we do blue screen chroma key lighting. Looking through it, increase chroma until cyan, magenta and blue blend with the grey bar (that's your 75% white running across) which they sit on.
Where can you pick up one of these blue filters?

URL anyone?
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Old June 30th, 2009, 02:27 PM   #23
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Northern Lights & Green/Blue screen with Detail ON

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Originally Posted by Michael B. McGee View Post
Alister,
I'm going to be in Northern Michigan this summer along the 45th parallel and was wondering if you could share with us you PP and exposure settings that allowed you to capture the "Northern Lights"? thanks.
also, considering your PP with the Detail Level set to -8 or -10, Crisp +20, Freq +30. would you use these settings for Blue/Green screen work? most shooters i know have recommended turning Detail OFF, but your settings seem to soften detail. what are your thoughts are Green/Blue screen work with Detail ON?

thanks Alister or anybody else who'd like to chime in.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 06:26 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Andrew Stone View Post
Where can you pick up one of these blue filters?

URL anyone?
Here you go, you can use this for any monitor without a blue gun in addition to blue screen work:

Tiffen | #5 Filter
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