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


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Old October 24th, 2010, 08:39 AM   #1
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best setting for low lighting with the Sony EX1

When shooting a indoor wedding with the Sony PMW EX!R where there is low light, what is the best settings to get the most light to the picture without getting to grainy. for example

if im shooting in 1920/30p what should my shutter speed be my gain be set to etc.

and if im shooting in 1920/24p what should the settings be
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Old October 24th, 2010, 05:01 PM   #2
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Hello Michael,
When you shoot 30p have your shutter angle set at 144 degrees, turn the shutter off, gain 0, and if it is still not enough go to gain +3 and that should be good for most of the PP settings posted all over the Internet.
For 24p set for 180 degrees shutter, turn shutter off, gain 0 or +3
That is what I do with EX3. Hope this helps
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Old October 24th, 2010, 05:31 PM   #3
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Luben thanks for the info

I dont use my shutter with the angle set up I use it with the speed would you be able to translate that into speed
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Old October 24th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #4
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You're going to get the best low light performance by:

- Using CineGama 4 (a stop)
- Shooting 720p over 1080p (a stop)
- Switching shutter off (a stop)

You'll get a little extra grain because of the way that CineGamma 4 works, but it's not as objectionable as gain.

We could argue over the benefits of shooting 720p over 1080p, but you get more photons, and more bits, per frame than 1080p, and 1080i when deinterlaced is pretty much the same as 720p. Know any natively interlaced 1080 display devices? I rest my case. :)
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Old October 24th, 2010, 07:24 PM   #5
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Matt is right Cine Gama 4 and if we are going to specifics STD3 would give you even better option. My post was for all PP settings in general... 144 angle is 1/60 and 180 is 1/48
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Old October 24th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #6
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I would think shutter speed and gain would be totally dependent on the current lighting condition. It's hard to say gain 0, or +3, etc. because who knows how much gain will be needed or acceptable? In low light it's always a trade-off of going cleaner and a bit darker or brighter and noisier.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 07:32 PM   #7
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what menu do i find the Cine Gama 4 option
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Old October 24th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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Thats true Buck but i just was trying to see how to get the lightest cleanest picture in a dark event
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Old October 24th, 2010, 08:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Armao View Post
what menu do i find the Cine Gama 4 option
Read the manual. Pages 86-91.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 02:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Armao View Post
what menu do i find the Cine Gama 4 option
Michael
That gets into the whole topic of setting up Picture Profiles, which involves much more than just the gamma settings.
You might want to look thru the "sticky" picture profile thread at the top of this forum.
The EX manual tells you where the menu settings are, but gives little information on how to put it all together to best effect.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #11
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Michael,

Get your manual out and read through it again with your camera on a tripod, or your lap, your choice. Play around with the settings and picture profiles.....you can't break it! You can always hit reset......

To solve your present issue, whether you use a cine gamma setting or not. Setting the the record format to 30p or 24p is a better bet for recording in low light situations. 30p is better for 60i output,.But the reality is no matter what format you shoot, once you dump it all on the time line, it's going to be converted into what ever output format you choose. Once you choose a format to record in, set gain to 0 and turn the shutter off and see how that works. If you think you need more luminance, try switching the gain up to + 3 and if you need more try + 6. But, be aware that any addition of gain will add noise. Sony CMOS sensors produce very clean images up to even + 12 gain, but I suggest limiting it to + 6. If there's no motion in the shot, lower the shutter even more to see what you get before cranking up the gain. Be aware that the slower the shutter speed the more motion artifacts will be added to the image. The higher gain setting will add noise but, look great in the view finder, so be sure to do your own tests before using any new settings on a real shoot.

Hope this helps.....
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Old October 25th, 2010, 08:28 PM   #12
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A very useful resource for the EX- better than the Sony manual by far- is Doug Jensen's "Handbook for the EX1".
Vortex Media's XDCAM Field Guides
It will walk you completely through the camera, and thereafter live in your camera bag and be useful forever.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 08:54 AM   #13
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Hi Michael,

Lots of good advice above. I have had luck with a slightly different settings.

Settings I used with great succes for aerial night shoots with Fox 61 in Hartford CT, and Discovery Lobstermen over the water at night off RI, and Newport Winter Christmas night.
1080p
30p
Cine 1
+3 gain only if you must if not 0
Stay full wide, wide angle adapter if you can deal with the distortion.
Minimum motion with camera this is key.
If there is any light source frame it in a corner
White = 4500

I second the motion buy the Vortex Media field guide and video. It will pay for itself on the first shoot.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #14
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Thanks paul for the great info

I am a newbe in this field in starting a new career after doing 20 years in the nypd. I have to shoot my first sweet sixteen next week and im hoping I dont get there and its a dark place and I dont see anything in the view finder... lol

I have a flo light 128 for on top of the camera i was wondering if I should bump it up to the flo light 256
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Old October 27th, 2010, 07:09 AM   #15
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Michael welcome to the fast changing video industry. Two of my uncles were NYPD a long time ago in the Bronx.

With whatever settings you use, make sure you test them prior to the shoot. What looks good to me and others might not be what you like. That is a big part of being successful in the industry, be creative and make your own path.

For onboard lights YES. I use a Zylight Z90 and really like it. I have never used a Flo light but go with the biggest one you have. If there is some way you can defuse the light that will help it to look natural.

Check the white balance with a white balance card or blue card if that is what you like. When I say we used 4500 that was outdoors and shooting down. Some times we have kept it at 5600 or 6000 for night shooting and inside I have gone as low as 3200. So make sure you set the white balance you will be happier editing.

If you do some test and feel stuck donít hesitate to jump in and ask for help. DVinfo is loaded with talented people who are always happy to help.
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