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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 January 15th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #16
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Thank you Alister
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Old January 16th, 2010, 12:36 AM   #17
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Paint Menu Settings

Switch Status > Gamma : On
Black Gamma : Off
Matrix : On
Knee : On
White Clip : On
Detail : On
Aperture : On
Flare : Off
Test Saw : Off

Black > Master Black : -4

Gamma > Gamma Select : 5 R709
Gamma Category : STD

Knee > Knee Point : 90%

White Clip > White Clip : 108%

Detail > Level : -15
H/V Ratio : +35
Frequency : +25
Knee Aperture : Off
White Limit : +20
Black Limit : +20
V Detail Creation : R+G

Aperture > Aperture : On

Skin Detail > Skin Detail : Off

Matrix > Matrix : On
Preset Matrix : On
Preset Select : 2
User Matrix : Off

Multi Matrix > Multi Matrix : On
Axis : B, B+, MG-, MG, MG+, R, R+, YL-,
YL+, G-, G, G+, CY, CY+, B-, (All)
Hue : 0 (for ea axis above)
Saturation : +5 (for ea axis above)

V Modulation > V Modulation : On

Low Key Saturation > Low Key Saturation : Off

Noise Supression > Noise Supression : On

*********************************************************

Regarding Knee Point, I have zebra2 on, stripes set to 100%. If I see zebra stripes in the viewfinder, I will adjust down the knee point, usually in combination with increasing knee slope, and knee saturation if the saturated area has color.

Example, knee point +80, slope +15.

But knee settings just depend on what type of detail you are trying to pull from the highlight, texture of clouds, folds of white silk drapes on a window, etc.

Regarding User Matrix, I have no information that points to the need for adjusting the tints of primary or complimentary colors, so user Matrix is switched off.

What I do prefer, is to slightly saturate all the colors equally, this is done in the Multi-Matrix. You have to set the saturation setting individually for each axis, unlike the EX1 where the saturation setting affects all the axis globally.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 01:52 AM   #18
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I arrived at the ranch at twilight, the elevation here is 8,360 ft, the terrain is up and down, rocky, steep hills overlooking a canyon, some creek draws, rock outcroppings, scattered tree cover, ponderosa pine, pinion, aspens, scattered snow cover, drifted in some places several feet deep, in other places ground cover is exposed, windblown and rugged.

No power, no utilities, wireless broadband only, and operating from generator power and propane.

There's sometimes opportunity for photographing elk, deer, black bear, coyote, eagles, turkeys, depending on how quiet you can be to avoid disturbing them, and luck.

I've photographed and shot videos here on many occasions, know what to expect and how to compose, expose and frame it.

But with no surprises, what stunned me was how different and awesome the PMW350 handled extremely difficult lighting. Strong sun on the horizon, deep shadows, and white ground cover, I know not to expect award winning shots, but these blew me away.

I had the gain locked on -3 db, ND2-3, shutter off, iris on auto varying between F1.9 to F5.6. As the cam panned and tracked my dog running into the shadows, emerging into the twilight sun, disappearing into the shrubs and ground cover, from shadow to light, it's jaw dropping how well it seamlessly tracked the changing light conditions without drawing attention to itself, and all the while preserving rich, accurate colors, shadow and highlight details. The auto focus also did a very good job of staying locked on the subject. I set the peaking on color, the color red, making it easy to monitor the auto focus, and quickly catch it if it started drifting the wrong way which it seldom did. In that sense, it was no better or different than my EX1, but I observed no particular problem with it either.

This is high definition on a higher level than I've been treated to before, but corroboration to what Alister saw at the airshow, that the PMW350 seems exceptionally gifted at managing tough lighting conditions. I'm no stranger to getting beautiful shots out here, but not in this type of light. This time of year you often end up with flat, lifeless color, noisy shadows, and lost detail. But of particular note with the PMW350, was the apparent color accuracy to the light, you could just see the golden rays of sunshine, no surprise to see them like this in the fall colors, but the dead of winter, when it's white out? That was a shocker. I had previously manually white balanced on the snow. The ATW white balance seems only slightly more trustworthy (if at all) than my EX1, so I avoid using it.

This cam will handle nature photography in difficult light situations with aplomb.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #19
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Tom your ranch sounds magical with such a lovely description.

I love that area and visit my friend in Longmont a few times a year to shoot and mountain bike the front range and beyond.

Glad to hear you are experiencing the same positive results I have been finding with this amazing camera. I have not tried shutter off or auto iris so it is nice to hear you are having positive experience with both.

I have had problems with auto focus but it was in really challenging conditions.

Agree the white balance controls could not be easier a real treat.

This camera makes me want to just go shoot.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 03:42 AM   #20
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There is a 1 stop drop in lattitude at -3db. Given how quiet the camera is anyway I would not use -3db unless it is essential.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 10:35 PM   #21
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Still here until noon-thirty Monday, wireless internet very spotty, haven't been able to log on much. I guess that's probably a good thing in the grand scheme.

I will try 0 db gain for the extra latitude in the morning per Alister's recommendation.

I did notice a slight episode of the zoom stutter at the very slowest speed using the Libec zoom controller. The temperature was fairly cool, 30-35F, don't know if that was a factor.

Just viewing the video, I do prefer the look at the slightly softer sharpness setting of Detail > Level -15 versus -8 that I had derived from the Imatest tests.

No luck with the wildlife, still have one more chance in the morning. Just some coyotes calling. Have to be quiet, sshhh...., one click and a whole herd of elk will vanish. The conditions are optimum otherwise.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 12:17 PM   #22
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Finally got my hands on a 350 again. I have been playing some more with the scene files, but in particular the detail settings. I have been looking closely at edges and fine detail and I think the standard aperture setting is causing a bit of "ringing" on fine edges and textures. So this is what have set currently, aiming for a natural look, sharp but not obviously so.

All other settings are default, except Gamma HG 4.

Detail Level -16
H/V Ratio +20
Frequency +35
White Limit +35
Black Limit +20

Aperture -30

This is a work in progress. Next I want to take a close look at the knee and maybe using a fixed DCC point for high latitude with the standard gammas.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 04:18 PM   #23
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The detail settings, level, freq, HV Ratio, blk limit, wht limit you posted are close to what I am using on the PMW350 now, but have not yet moved the aperture setting. I want crisp detail that is not grainy, and without halo'd outlines, so I would agree that upping the number for detail, also blk limit and wht limit is moving in the right direction, but I would be careful about dropping too low on the aperture and losing the fine texture within grassy fields and tree foliage containing real detail in scenic panoramas shot at wide angles that needs to be preserved. It's worth a try, yet I know on my EX1 I was able to go to sigficantly higher settings on detail (+65), and Blk/Wht Lim (+75) to reduce the halo'd outlines (overshoot ringing), with no adverse effect on noise levels or graininess. I have not ventured that far up the scale on the PMW350 so far. We're saying about the same thing by agreeing that detail settings are a work in progress. I want to be sure that reducing aperture really knocks down the ringing on fine edges. It seems to me it should not. I want to avoid turning grassy panoramas and distant tree foliage into amorphous shapes, I want to preserve the crispness, but not so crisp it appears grainy. Please continue to share your findings.

I can confirm that my lens does suffer some stuttering when zooming (particularly out) at slow speeds. CA is mostly controlled, however there is red/blue CA visible mostly on horizontal edges of bright white patches like snow. I think this would be more of a longitudinal CA that affects more out of focus areas, since fringing around edges in-focus seems to be absent. LCAs are said not to be correctable. Whether this originates in the kit lens or the prism block, I have no way of knowing, do not own any other 2/3 inch lenses.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Finally got my hands on a 350 again. .......
Production or pre-production?
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Old January 21st, 2010, 04:04 PM   #25
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Tom, Alister,

Thanks for posting your Paint setting updates, On the road shooting but am exciting to look at the new options when I get back home next week.

I do agree with Tom about keeping the detail on the higher end for background footage.

Alister nice to hear you finally have your camera. Did you buy one with the stock lens or are you using your other glass?
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Old January 21st, 2010, 08:25 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Tom, Alister,

Thanks for posting your Paint setting updates, On the road shooting but am exciting to look at the new options when I get back home next week.

I do agree with Tom about keeping the detail on the higher end for background footage.
Not the Detail "Level", I'm with Alister it should be -15 (or -16 as his preference). Higher settings for frequency yes, wht clipping and blk clipping yes higher settings okay there too. The one I'm not sure about, Aperture -30, I'm not saying Alister is wrong there. I haven't tried it, however I am anxious to try it, but I may start a little more cautiously because I don't want to lose the fine detail inside grassy landscapes shot at wide angles, or the fine detail within foliage of tree leaves shot from afar. Nor do I know that I would lose that detail.

But what's good is I think is there's a lot of agreement, that certainly oversharpened images ruin the perception of reality. One of the good newsbits concerning the PMW350, is that the detail that it does render I would characterize as "effortless." In other words, my EX1 is also a very sharp, finely detailed camera. I spent a lot of time with the detail circuit tuning in the look I wanted. That look, detailed yet natural, just seems to come a little easier from the PMW350. So effortless, there is no reason to accept any trace of ugly haloing, outlining or ringing in the image. It should be tuned out, and the natural highly detailed 1080i/p images should flourish because this cam makes it so effortless in the fundamental sense.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 08:13 AM   #27
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Tom understand I was writing on my iphone while off the grid and did not explain myself well.

I have been using detail at -15 and the same similar with the other settings. Aperture setting is new to me so I am counting on the input from both of you to help guide me. Agree I do not want to loose the fine detail inside grassy landscapes or foliage type of shots. This would cause problems while shooting aerials and make the shot not useable.

My EX1 has had haloing, outlining or ringing in the image while shooting aerials at time so it would be nice to have a setting that helps to eliminate this issue with the 350 since this is now my primary camera.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 11:43 PM   #28
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This is a followup post to an observation I had about my kit lens having a bit of stuttering when zooming out at slow speeds.

Today I unlocked the zoom ring from the servo motor by moving the lever from the servo position to manual, then turning the ring about 90 degrees, and then re-engaging the gears by moving the lever back to the servo position.

Thereafter, it seemed like the stuttering was greatly reduced if not eliminated. Perhaps at some point, someone else may be able to confirm this result.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
There is a 1 stop drop in lattitude at -3db. Given how quiet the camera is anyway I would not use -3db unless it is essential.
Is it as much as a whole stop? Have you measured this?
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Old January 24th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #30
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Dropping the gain from 0db to -3db also drops Dynamic Range with Hypergamma 4 from 460% to 325% according to Sony's literature. I have not measured the actual drop but it's certainly noticable.

Edit: Thinking about it it should only be a 1/2 stop drop. 6db being 1 f-stop.
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