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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 05:39 AM   #1
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Sony White Balance

OK - assume I know nothing about Sony camcorders at this point, because it's so long since I used one all my knowledge will be out of date.

However, I'm starting to look again at Sony products, specifically the PMW-200 and also the PXW-100 for dipping the toe in to 4K.

What I can't seem to find is accurate information on white balancing.

When I shot with multiple Panasonic cameras I used to hate the fact that the only way to white balance them was using a white card. No matter how well we did this, including both camera and card in fixed positions, no two cameras ever got exactly the same white balance and we'd be forever prating around in post to match them.

When we moved to Canon cameras, both DSLR and XF300 we could simply set every single camera on the shoot to a common white balance, and not just 3200K or 5600K, but to anything we wanted, such as 4500K, or 4200K etc. This saved so much time in post later on because all cameras were starting from the same point.

As I look again at the Sony cameras, I'm seeing lots of mention of manual white balance using cards, and also using some presets of 3200K and 5600K, but nothing that allows me to quickly set a specific K number.

Does it exist in these cameras?
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 06:03 AM   #2
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Re: Sony White Balance

Yes. You can set the WB to a specific color temperature. In the case of the PMW-EX1R, on which the PMW-200 is based, the setting is made in the Profile. The camera has a 3 position WB switch for Memory A, Memory B and Preset. The setting you put in the Profile is what you get in the "Preset" switch position.
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 06:12 AM   #3
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Re: Sony White Balance

So you have to edit a profile in order to set a white balance? Wow. Is this trivial to do?

Right now on the Canon we can press one button, see the K value on screen and move it up and down while seeing the results live, no diving in to menus etc.

If you have to go in to profiles that would seem a little trial and error (which takes more time) unless it's possible to get a live view while changing it.
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: Sony White Balance

The PMW200 and PMW100 are not 4K they are just HD 1920x1080 etc. If you want 4K then the choices are PXW-Z100, FDR-AX1 , F5/F55 or a FS700 with outboard recorder. All the Sony's have a WB preset as described by Les.

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Old November 23rd, 2013, 10:04 AM   #5
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Re: Sony White Balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
The PMW200 and PMW100 are not 4K they are just HD 1920x1080 etc. If you want 4K then the choices are PXW-Z100, FDR-AX1 , F5/F55 or a FS700 with outboard recorder. All the Sony's have a WB preset as described by Les.

Ron Evans
Thanks Ron.

I did say the PXW-100, rather than the PXW-Z100 (sorry I missed the 'Z'), but yes, that's the 4K model I was looking at, as well as the PMW200 for HD.

It's a shame Sony make you jump through hoops like this, but I guess it's better than the Panasonic that didn't let me set a pre-defined WB settings other than 3200/5600.
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 10:20 AM   #6
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Re: Sony White Balance

It sounds like a hoop but its actually not so bad. You can dial the WB setting very easily. It takes a couple more steps than having a direct button to dial WB but it is still a job done in seconds.
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 11:55 AM   #7
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Re: Sony White Balance

I had 2 Canon ENG cameras and the 5DM2 then moved to the Sony EX1R. I really like the Sony EX1R ergonomics.

Think of it in terms of ENG. You can have 3 WB settings and move between them with Click or Click, Click. Two of those can be set on the run with a white card. The third can be dialed in. There is a dedicated button to access Picture Profiles so it becomes Press, scroll 1, Press, scroll 3, Press and you are there. It's not like having a dedicated button like stills cameras do but it's a powerful WB system. You can even dial in offsets to the first two WB switch settings which helps when mixing cameras and you find they don't quite match at the same Kelvin.
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 12:43 PM   #8
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Re: Sony White Balance

Thanks. I guess I need to get my hands on one and play with it. Guess it's rental time again :(
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Old November 24th, 2013, 05:46 AM   #9
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Re: Sony White Balance

On the Sone Fs100 they made it simple just like Canon , you can set WB easily with a touch of a button and set your WB as desired, just like Dave described with Canon camera's...I don't know why Sony did that only with FS100 and not on every camera...I have to say that I find it very useful in many cases and I use it a lot.
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