EX1 Tips and Tricks - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 26th, 2009, 06:19 PM   #31
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,484
Zsolt,

I hope you realize that zebras are for exposure and peaking is for focus. They have aboslutely nothing to do with each other, except that both of them are critical tools for any professional camera operator to understand and use.
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 27th, 2009, 12:12 AM   #32
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Hudson View Post
How do you think people who shoot film are able to get good pictures? So NO, they are not ESSENTIAL. You don't NEED them to be a good camera operator. It's just a helper that if you choose to use, then feel free. Zebras are not something to learn by, but use after you learn the camera and it's capabilities. If you just throw on such helpers and only rely on what they say for everything and adjusting accordingly, then what did you learn out of it?
Umm people who shoot film use light meters.... either way you still need to measure the light somehow.

Personally I have found that while zebras can vary slightly from one camera to another they are generally very accurate once you've established your working profile. On the other hand LCD screens and viewfinders can vary greatly from model to model and individual cameras - many even have a brightness and contrast controls. That is why it does pay to learn with zebras on, especially when you get a new camera, to familiarise yourself with the exact setup you need in bright sunlight, under studio lights, backlit situations etc.

I would turn around what you said and say "to be a professional cameraman who can use a range of broadcast and pro level cameras, you need to understand and be able to interpret zebras".
John Mitchell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 03:41 AM   #33
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Zsolt,

I hope you realize that zebras are for exposure and peaking is for focus. They have aboslutely nothing to do with each other, except that both of them are critical tools for any professional camera operator to understand and use.
Doug, I am fully aware of that. While both zebras and peaking are displayed simultaneously zebras may disturb the screen in the extent that peaking renders useless thus no proper focusing possible. While assessing exposure is possible through this graphic meter thingy in the corner (not sure how they call it) or by judgement of the cameraman I would suggest switching off zebras for focus critical HD work. On the other hand CMOS sensors are less prone to overexposure vs CCD, therefore I cannot see any reason why to occupy my LCD with zebras.
Btw. being on the LCD screen is where they are interrelated, otherwise they really have nothing to do with each other.
__________________
Sony XDCAM EX1r, Canon 5DMkII, Røde NTG2, Røde NT1000, Røde Stereo Videomic, Sachtler DV6 SB on Gitzo 1325V, Steadicam Merlin, Omnitracker, Hackintosh 3.5Ghz Quad 8Gb RAM
Zsolt Gordos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 04:27 AM   #34
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,484
When used properly, Zebras should only be visible in a very small percentage of the screen -- and sometimes not at all. If you're seeing so much zebra that it is interferring with your focusing ability, then you are not using zebras properly. Perhaps that is why some people don't like zebras, because they aren't using them right.

Zebras are not some new gimmick that Sony added to the EX cameras. Zebras have been part of every professional camera for at least the last 30 years and are an essential tool to setting the proper exposure unless you want to drag around a waveform monitor or light meter with you.

It doesn't matter to me whether someone chooses to use them or not, but it does matter to me when someone who does not understand them says they are useless. If ridiculous statements like the ones made on this thread go unchallenged, then other people, who do want to learn how to shoot professionally, might be left with the wrong impression.

Some of the posters on this thread completely contradict themselves. For example, in one post someone says "I tend to slightly underexpose my footage to be safe . . ." and then later they say "I still personally don't use them and all my footage comes out great!".

Well which is it?? You can't underexpose and have footage that comes out great.

I don't understand why people work so hard to avoid learning the proper way to use a camera.
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 04:36 AM   #35
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Poland
Posts: 4,086
I fully agree with Doug; zebras are NOT to be seen by their very design (at least not over to much an area) - so how are they cluttering your view?

If they do, you're overexposing anyway!
__________________
Sony PXW-FS7 | DaVinci Resolve Studio; Magix Vegas Pro; i7-5960X CPU; 64 GB RAM; 2x GTX 1080 8GB GPU; Decklink 4K Extreme 12G; 4x 3TB WD Black in RAID 0; 1TB M.2 NVMe cache drive
Piotr Wozniacki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 07:02 AM   #36
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: All over, USA
Posts: 512
Vewfinders are all over the place for judging levels, zebras are not. zebras are reliable measuring tools for setting exposure, LCD screens are not.
But I'm only speaking from 20+ years of experience shooting for fortune 500 companies and major broadcast and cable networks; what do I know?
Ed Kukla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 07:04 AM   #37
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Kukla View Post
Vewfinders are all over the place for judging levels, zebras are not.
Exactly. I can't be the only EX1 user who has accidently knocked the stupidly placed LCD backlight brightness buttons up or down when the camera is in an awkward position and wondered why the image suddenly looked wrong!
Marcus Durham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 12:26 PM   #38
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
I fully agree with Doug; zebras are NOT to be seen by their very design (at least not over to much an area) - so how are they cluttering your view?

If they do, you're overexposing anyway!
This is an ignorant statement as well. So let's clarify for the newbies again!

Zebras can be set to various brightness ranges by percentage. IF SET TO 100 or above you should avoid seeing any zebras at all to avoid blowing out part of your picture. HOWEVER, if your zebra is set to a lower value (say, 70%) then you WILL see zebras as this is directly related to the brightness of that portion of the image.

This is why it's important to buy Doug's DVD and research/learn the tools before you use them for serious work. I would NEVER use a camera I haven't used before on a pro shoot. Know why? Because I've made that mistake before (luckily on a non-paid shoot) and as much as these cameras are the same they are different in nuanced ways. Those nuanced differences can cost you more money in the end.

On some cameras you can't change the Zebra setting. And if it's set to say 70 and you expose to not see any zebras your footage will be underexposed. So learn (Google it, darn it!) how to use zebra stripes, read the f'in manual and use the histogram while you're at it too!

Don't have time to watch Doug's DVD? Hopefully you've downloaded the manual for the camera and read through it cover to cover. Not skimmed it...

And about the filmmaker comment. Before light meters people used charts and calculated things based on exposure/f-stop and weather. Lots of trial and error and wasted film. Nowadays filmmakers use lightmeters so as to not play a guessing game. The light meter on a video camera? Zebra stripes/waveforms/histograms. If film cameras could have them built-in I bet they would! With that though...video dudes definitely use light meters "just in case." LOL!
Adam Reuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #39
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Poland
Posts: 4,086
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
When used properly, Zebras should only be visible in a very small percentage of the screen -- and sometimes not at all.
Adam,

I was referring to the above statement of Doug's; note the "When used properly" part.

Of course when you use and set Zebra 2 to 70% for Caucasian skin tone, it WILL show in all areas that lit at 60 to 80%. But, you only use it in interviews and such, so - apart from the interviewee's face whose lighting you want to control - there' s not much more in the viewfinder that might get "cluttered" with it.

Other than with interviewing, I almost exclusively use Zebra 1, and that is at 100% by design. So call me ignorant, but I'm standing by what I said.
__________________
Sony PXW-FS7 | DaVinci Resolve Studio; Magix Vegas Pro; i7-5960X CPU; 64 GB RAM; 2x GTX 1080 8GB GPU; Decklink 4K Extreme 12G; 4x 3TB WD Black in RAID 0; 1TB M.2 NVMe cache drive
Piotr Wozniacki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 08:06 PM   #40
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 234
I apologize for my ignorance about your reference. I took the "when used properly" part as "proper exposure."

And indeed if using Zebra 1 then your stripes will always reference 100IRE. Sorry for calling you out, I just don't want any new EX videographers such as the OP underexposing their footage if his menu options are set differently.

Having used a camera that did not have 100IRE as its base reference (you couldn't even change the setting, so without a manual you had no idea what it was reading) I have made this mistake before.

Simply stated, again for new videographers: Not all zebra stripes are created equal. Read the manual and check your menu settings. Or better yet watch/buy Doug's video...now.
Adam Reuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #41
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 1,684
You have a button to turn zebras off except when you need them for spot reference, so if its in the way of focusing your not using them correctly. Nice thing about the levels of the EX-1 zebra is that the skin tone (settable) zebra is very light in the viewfinder and you can function with it on. I've always hated 70% zebras before because they screwed up my focusing. Have the button to turn them off and having them very light in the first place makes them very useful.
Leonard Levy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 11:43 PM   #42
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 59
Thanks again everyone for all the great tips. I just got back from my shoot and it was a great success. I loved using the EX1 and I definitely benefited from taking a lot of your advice.

The best tips were to use peaking and expanded focus. I pretty much left peaking on all the time which helped a lot with focusing, and I also used expanded focus to aid focusing for almost every shot.

Just for the record, I had zebras set to 100% and only used them occasionally for a few seconds using the zebra button. I thought that 70% zebras conflicted too much with recognizing the peaking lines, and so I just used 200% zebras to make sure I wasn't blown out in some high contrast shots.

I did accidentally hit the Full Auto button once, and I knew to check that right away when I saw that things were acting a bit odd. So that was also a great tip.

I'm not sure what additional info Doug's DVD would provide, but I also read most of the manual on the plane ride to the shoot, and that (along with asking questions here) didn't cost me anything. $100 seems like a bit much, and I did fine without it.

Thanks again.
__________________
Jon Betz
www.jonbetzfilms.com
Jonathan Betz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 1st, 2009, 02:54 AM   #43
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK
Posts: 410
I think the $100 dollars for Doug's DVD is cheap for the info it gives. I was up and running with an EX1 for an important shoot in one day. It gave confidence and removed doubt that a potential cock up was not far away. The EX1 guide is also good as particular information is much more easy to find and is clearer to understand than Sonyspeak.
Bruce Rawlings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 1st, 2009, 02:17 PM   #44
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 59
To each his own I guess. I'm glad I saved the money.
__________________
Jon Betz
www.jonbetzfilms.com
Jonathan Betz is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:41 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network