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Old December 23rd, 2010, 10:16 PM   #1
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Matching an EX1r to a bone stock Z1U suggestions

So I have convinced my day job to purchase an EX1r and the inevitable question came up: Since we have a Z1u sitting there, is it possible to set up the EX1r to look like the Z1? Realizing of course there will be SOME differences due to sensor size et al but if you think of the Z1u as the Producer Cam to be used for OCCASIONAL cut ins and the like and don't want to spend a TON of time in post, can it be done?

I looked through the PP setups - all 40 pages! - and didn't find anything like that there. Although the arrived-today EX1r is now programmed with 5 new profiles...

For sake of simplicity, assume a bone stock Z1u setup UNLESS someone has a killer blend between the two to make this feasible.

Many thanks for your consideration.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 05:05 AM   #2
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Let me preface by saying I don't have a Z1u but an out of the box idea might be to spend time in your NLE and create a custom color corrector using A/B footage of a color chart or something. That custom filter might do nicely most of the time and just need some tweaking in others. Of course the other obvious approach is to make the EX1R look like the Z1 but that's kinda defeating to point of getting the EX1R a bit. Maybe.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 08:37 AM   #3
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I used to have Z1U and for a while I was trying to use it as a B-cam with an EX3, when shooting interviews.

I messed around with all the settings a lot and got the cams so the color match was pretty close. Mostly the Z1 has a kind of warm red brown tint that is a little muddy, I could fix that. But only in a studio setting where I really could control the light. I did this using scopes and a Pro ref monitor.

Shooting outside with very large differences in light intensity. I simply could not match them at all. The EXcams have a much sharper image and a greater dynamic range, that is why I love them. Even though I could reduce the detail in EX3 and post and pretty much match the colors in camera and post. The Z1U just muddies up the shadows and blows out the highlights in these situations. There is a huge difference in contrast, and I was not willing to reduce the quality of the EX3 footage to match the Z1U though you probably could in post.

So I got an EX1R as B-cam for these situations. It works great for these outdoor interviews. I do a lot of them and now it is really easy.

I hope this helps. This was my experience a few years ago.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #4
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This can be a bit of a challenge but it can work pretty well if you put in some time with some CC profiles in your NLE. Here is my opinion on how to set the cameras to give you the easiest match in the edit suite.

In the Z1 set Cinematone to TYPE2 and make sure SKINTONE DTL is OFF.

This should help retain highlight detail which is one of the biggest problems of matching the two cameras together.

Make sure the sharpness in the Z1 is set at 5 or below. Also bring down the color saturation a couple of notches (-2). Bring them back in post as needed. I am not a fan of the in camera sharpening with the Z1 or the V1.

Make sure you don't overexpose the Z1 at all. Even if it means your skintones are a LITTLE below your target levels. Bring them up in post.

Ok now for the EX1r.. The main thing to do is this - set CINE2 as your gama setting in your PP IF you are wanting the best match with the Z1 in exposure latitude. CINE2 limits the dynamic range on the camera a little and it will come closer to matching the Z1. This will reduce the top end of the camera from about 110 IRE to 100.

With those settings and some CC in post you should be able to cut between them without any problems. If possible try not to cut back and forth from the exact same thing because the sharpness of the EX1r is impossible to hide compared to the Z1. I find when using my V1 with the EX1 I use the V1 as the closeup camera on interviews where the softness is a good thing. It also helps keep the camera with the smaller imager zoomed in more so the DOF looks similar.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #5
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Thanks guys.

For clarification, the day job is at a publicly operated/funded hospital and buying a second new camera just ISN'T feasible. Not looking to cut the two together seamlessly, as in a multicam live switched environment. More of an opportunity to get cut ins at the same time as principal photography on demonstartion videos and the like OR a Producer cam, effected to be obviously not the same camera, much like we used to do with PD150s alongside Betacams back in the day.

Chris: I'll try that when I get a chance. Principal photography starts on a new project this week so getting THAT up and running is my primary concern right now. Thanks!
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Old December 26th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #6
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I would rephrase the question to "how do I get the Z1 material to intercut with the EX1r?" There is no way you want the EX reduced to Z1. Recently I had to shoot with a FX1E as second camera. I presumed from the start that I'd be using 2nd camera only for cut-aways and some cut-ins and that a match wouldn't be really possible. So I just set the FX1 PP to cinematone (it has only one), set the aperture to auto (unskilled operator) and shot cine4 detail-8 (as usual) on the EX1. In post clips from each were matched using curves and CC with quite acceptable results. It was a wedding with all the usual lack of controls, so not as critical as a production (provided skins and costumes were right).
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Old December 27th, 2010, 02:35 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=Serena Steuart;1602096]I would rephrase the question to "how do I get the Z1 material to intercut with the EX1r?"[QUOTE]

Fair enough. I was trying to ensure that those folks who were willing to comment KNEW that I realized there is a significant difference in the images and IF an EXACT match would be possible, it certainly wouldn't be by making the Z1 a dead ringer for the EX1.

When I get a chance, I'll put all this advice to work and see what is close enough for us to get by with.

Again, everyone is volunteering their time to respond, so I am thankful!
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Old December 27th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #8
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Shaun, understood that is your intention, so just clarifying. I should have mentioned, in case it isn't obvious, that the FX1 is essentially a dumbed down Z1. So getting a usable match isn't hard. But the differences will be obvious in a side-by-side comparison.
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