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Old December 5th, 2009, 07:17 PM   #1
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White balance with EX3 ( XLH1 user )

Hi,

Would appreciate some advice here.

With my XLH1 I can take a colour temp reading on a meter and dial in
the colour temp. I can adjust eather way to warm a tad more or the other way to cool to my liking.

With the Sony EX3 I do an auto white balance on a face next to a warm
light and I end up with a picture which is totally nuetral. No warmth.

The presets are barbaric and not fine enough adjustments.

Am I missing something and I do know the concept of warm cards.

Best regards

Mike.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 08:09 PM   #2
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I had the XH-A1 and the Canon white balance temperature control was convenient. But you should be able to dial in the color temperature on the EX3 from the picture profile, or there is an adjustable offset to give your white balance a push or lean if you favor more warmth from a manual white balance next to your subject.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 10:19 PM   #3
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There are a few ways to do this.

A warm card works great. Super easy.

Picture profile can adjust color balance. You can set up a few one that is always a little warm.

You can also make adjustments to a profile for temporary use.

Spend some time with profiles and a good accurate monitor, they are really powerful and easy once you get the hang of it.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 12:42 AM   #4
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you can also set a matrix for better flesh tones.

My camera's flesh tones are always a touch green on a white balance
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Old December 6th, 2009, 02:44 AM   #5
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I don't understand why people get so hung up on white balance these days, don't you guys grade your work? I thought with NLEs being so good and cheap nowadays that everything excpet news went through a colour grade and therefore white balance was pretty much irrelevant. Yes, it's good to get yourself in the right ballpark, so for daylight exteriors you'll set it to 6300k or so, and 3200k for tungsten interiors etc., but after that leave it to post.
For boradcast work for BBC etc., I always just leave it on a preset (ie 6300k or 5600k for daylight), and this is how it was when we shot film of course, the neg stock was made with a colour temperature built in and there was no such thing as white balance.
Steve
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Old December 6th, 2009, 03:07 AM   #6
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Steve, why go through the hassle of a grade when you don't need to? Plenty of projects other than news have a fast turnaround and no time for grading. Much better to set the camera up correctly and get as close to a finished picture in the camera unless grading is definitely part of the project.

Too many times I have shot things and been told that something is going through a grade when in the end it hasn't.

Its all very well setting 6300k for exteriors, but on an overcast day when the colour temp can be over 9000k thats a lot of blue to remove in post. Yes, film stock is designed for preset colour temps. That's a limitation of using film stock. However that doesn't mean to say that it should be left that way. That's why you have colour temp meters and matte boxes with filters so you can add in extra correction when needed.

My one caveat is that if the video *is* absolutely definitely going through a grade of some sort, and especially if you are using multiple cameras that are set up to match, then using a preset might well be the sensible thing to do because you are getting a known quantity.

But for a lot of work white balance, and the knowledge of when and how to use it (not to white balance a nice red sunset for example) is essential.

Extreme lighting is another instance where you might want to leave it alone though. A few weeks ago I had a situation where I had to shoot in a hall. They had for some inexplicable reason put blue tarpaulin over the skylights, so the interior was extremely blue. It looked utterly crap. I could have white balanced it out, but later on I knew other lights would be turned on only for specific people on the stage between speakers.

White balance to the tarp light was 20000k, while the artificial light was 3200k. I could have put two white balance memories into the cameras, but I had one camera that was locked off which I couldn't access mid shoot, and the camera that I was using. So I just went with a preset of 3200k. That way the stage lights when they did come on would look correct, while the blue look of the hall normally was just how it looked in reality. But I did correct it out as much as I could when it came to editing.

But for most shoots I just assume that nothing will be done in post unless I am specifically told otherwise. It's a lot safer that way.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 03:27 AM   #7
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Adjusting the overall white balance in post is probably the number 1 simplest thing you can do, removing the blue cast from a 9k day on a 6.3k WB is absolutely no problem at all. We used to shoot 640ASA tungsten film stock in daylight and grade that (see any major wildlife series pre Varicam).
Everything I do will go through at least this process, and I would hope that all broadcast work would too, at least to this very basic degree, but at the other end of the spectrum I know there are a vast number of people out there and on this board that do their own editing, and even cheap home systems nowadays are well capable of white balancing, and those folks doing work as a hobby should have plenty of time to do it I'm sure.
If you want to do it then fine, I just don't think it's something to get too hung up on.
Steve
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Old December 6th, 2009, 04:49 AM   #8
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Simon, care to expand on your nice red sunset and no white balance comment?
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Old December 6th, 2009, 06:21 AM   #9
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Hi,

Thank you for reply's.

Here is a link to my web site. mike-leisegang.com

My work should speak for itself.

White balance.

You start at a point. Then as a craftsman you adjust a little here and a little there.

But to frig about with menu's trying to make things happen is just ridiculose.

We all know one can tweak in post or most.

So if you do a auto reading and you get 5600.

Is there any way you can tweak this to 5000 in a matter of seconds,

as you would by dialling it in as per the XLH1.

Best regards

Mike.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 06:36 AM   #10
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Hi Me again,

Let me put it this way.

In the menu.

If my camera gives me a reading of 3400.

I need to change this to 3200.

In menu.

Select menu where I can scroll through settings in 200 increments
to select my desired color temp ie 3200 or even 3000 or can't I..

This is by the way the best grading tech in the world and should take just a second..

I know what my image should look like and that is the way it will stay.

I do not want to be in a debating society in post. Well most the time.

Best regards

Mike.

Ps : Comming from a stills background grading is one of my strongest points!
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Old December 6th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #11
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Mike, are you really going to see any worthwhile difference between 5600 and 5300?
David, Simon's point is a good one, he's saying that if you're filming a sunset with deep reds and oranges, if you do a white balance it'll think it's a very red light source and stick in a load of blue to cancel it out - cancelling out the lovely reds and oranges that you're trying to capture!!!
Steve
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Old December 6th, 2009, 09:24 AM   #12
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Hi Mike,

I too just made the jump from an XL H1a and I do love the ability to easily dial in the color temp I want. The thing I do like about the EX3 is that I can set the white balance and it will tell me what it is. Then if I want to tweak it I k now where to start from. The only way I've found to manually choose a WB setting is to set up a picture profile and set the WB there. It's very similar to how you would do it in the Canon, you can choose the WB I think by 100 increments, but you have to go into the Picture Profile and do it and make sure you have that picture profile turned on. A little more hassle but otherwise it works exactly as you want it to, choose a specific WB temp.

Garrett
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Old December 6th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leisegang View Post
Hi Me again,

Let me put it this way.

In the menu.

If my camera gives me a reading of 3400.

I need to change this to 3200.

In menu.

Select menu where I can scroll through settings in 200 increments
to select my desired color temp ie 3200 or even 3000 or can't I..

This is by the way the best grading tech in the world and should take just a second.
I don't have my camera in front of me, but why can't you do this? I have different white balances set up in my camera...
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Old December 6th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #14
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Hi,

Thanks for all the replies.

Hi Garrett. Yes I see the PP has a way of doing some corrections.

PP menu - white

Offset White - on

Offset A -
Offset B -
Offset ATW -

Preset white -

Will play with this for a while.

Many thanks

Mike.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 04:09 PM   #15
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Not only offsets, but a full color matrix as well as color correction. You can make anything look exactly as you'd like. Barbaric? That's the oddest description I've heard of an EX :)

The default settings are intentionally set neutral to create maximum latitude for the best base for post grading. Especially the Cine Gammas. You still have the flexibility to change that if you prefer though. Read the manual.
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