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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 May 5th, 2015, 02:37 AM   #1
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X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

The BLACK GAMMA menu is all greyed out in my camera. I have tried every combination of other menu settings on and off, but cannot for the life of me figure out how to enable black gamma adjustment. It is pissing me of, because the way my camera is now, everything dark is just super dark black inky oblivion.

I am set to STD5 ITU709 gamma, matrix's on or off doesn't make a difference, turning off gamma, or anything else, doesn't make a difference. Tried Sony tech support, but their website is FUBAR, the CAPCHA thing is broken.

Any ideas here?

Paul
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Old May 5th, 2015, 03:23 AM   #2
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Re: X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

Hey Paul, that's strange, the loan X180 I have allows me to set the Black Gamma on/off (menu 2-5)
Gamma (2-4) is set to on STD and STD5, so not sure what to suggest, but I have a suspicion some other menu setting may be preventing you from using it?
Firmware for this camera is 2.00 and Network firmware is 1.31

On a separate point with this camera, do you know if the streaming works with Youtube live or Ustream directly, the documentation is very unclear (no surprise) about what "destination" can be used?
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Old May 5th, 2015, 03:39 AM   #3
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Re: X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

Yeah, I found out about that weird stuff when I couldn't figure out why my scopes would not display. Turned out that if the output was set to SD, scopes DEACTIVATE. Thanks for documenting that Sony!

I will reset the camera to factory this weekend and reenter all my settings until i figure out what kills black gamma!

On the live stream, the only options to change are MPEG-TS UDP or RTDP or whatever that other option is, a web IP address, and a port. I would think commercial sites would need username and log-in data as well. Works great with my stations Teradeck receivers in house. I actually stream whenever the camera is on shooting b-roll, so the producer can keep a monitor up n my activities, very handy. :)

Paul
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Old May 5th, 2015, 05:35 AM   #4
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Re: X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

Apparently, my camera will not allow me to BLACK BALANCE either. :-\

Paul
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Old May 5th, 2015, 02:22 PM   #5
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Re: X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

You've done a reset?
Sounds like a camera issue....
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Old May 5th, 2015, 04:15 PM   #6
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Re: X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

I've got to jot down all my multi matrix settings before doing the reset. My camera also has a thing it does where the LCD will not show status/text when powered on, I have to close and reopen the flip. I am not in love with this camera like I was with my X70. The X70 was like getting a new Mini Cooper with sports stripes. The X180 is like a brand new Ford Transit van. It does what it was made for, but it is no fun.

Paul
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Old May 5th, 2015, 04:29 PM   #7
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Re: X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

Just did a full factory reset, the BLACK GAMMA is still greyed out. Can anyone else do a full camera save to SD card and reset to factory and confirm their black gamma menu is available? I am very tempted to ditch this camera for a X200, lens not withstanding.

Paul
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Old May 5th, 2015, 11:49 PM   #8
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Re: X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

Paul ~

You do have the 'Knee Saturation' turned OFF don't you? The default is ON. For the Black Gamma selection to be active the Knee Saturation must be turned OFF I seem to recall. You can't have them both on which to me is a crazy situation. It's a while back now but I recall seeing something about it in the manual. Paint section probably.

Chris Young
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Old May 6th, 2015, 12:43 AM   #9
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Re: X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

That did it Chris! When I turn KNEE off, black gamma is still disabled.....so weird....lots of these anomalies in this camera. I am used to manuals which state what features do not work with other features, with asterisks and such. :)

Starting with a setting of HIGH and +25........looks much better now, you're a life saver.

Paul
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Old May 6th, 2015, 01:15 AM   #10
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Re: X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

While you are here Chris, can you take a look at the clip from something I shot last night. On the waveform and vectorscope, I never see my blacks go to 0IRE. On my X70 footage, I do see 0IRE stuff in the blacks. Is my master BLACK needing to be knocked down -2 or -3, or is this normal? That was shot without the black gamma adjustment, and BLACK is ON but no adjustments made. I noticed things get a bit lighter in the darks with black "on".
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Old May 6th, 2015, 11:43 AM   #11
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Re: X180 will not allow BLACK GAMMA adjustments

Paul ~

Normally at 0dB I would cap the lens and check the black levels on a WFM. As a starting point I'm usually happy adjusting the Black level to about 15mV above blanking (black level) which of course sits at 300mV. So capped black at 315mV. 0-300mv being syncs of course. That's black levels we are talking about. Black gamma is obviously going to affect dark levels above this right up towards the mid levels of the gamma curve.

For shooting in the States if you are using the STD gamma curves I would guess you would generally use STD5 R709. if you using the Hyper Gammas I guess you would select HG4 4609G33. The Hyper Gammas are obviously going to give you more dynamic range. The HG4-4609G33 breaks down to meaning you are going to get 460% more dynamic range with a max recording level of 109 IRE and with mid level grey sitting at 33 IRE.

Many things can effect the perceived 'blackness' in an image. Shooting down the light gives you the greatest perceived contrast and black levels. Shooting across the light makes the image look not so contrasty / black. Shooting against the light often lifts black levels as perceived by the sensor due to lens characteristics, flare etc. In studio setups we used to compress the gammas on the side cameras as opposed to the central cameras because the side cameras didn't look quite as 'black' in the lower end because they tended to be shooting more across the main lighting from the grid.

It's all a 'Black Art' so adjust for the best results. The HG4-4609G33 Hyper Gamma selection will or should give you the max you can squeeze out of the camera but in the end a lot of it comes to to subjective assessment as to what you like your pictures to look like.

Check out Alistair's page on Correct exposure levels with Sony Hypergammas and Cinegammas it will give you some good pointers.

Correct exposure levels with Sony Hypergammas and Cinegammas. | XDCAM-USER.COM

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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