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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
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Old July 18th, 2016, 03:45 AM   #31
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

When outdoors (generally cloudy in the UK!) I just go for the daylight preset. But indoors I find a different kettle of fish. If I'm balancing with a white card/object/whatever I'm essentially cancelling out a lot of the warmth from the existing lighting. I don't like that, I like to capture what it looks like in the moment. So I actually do a lot of indoor stuff by eye alone and dial in a custom setting so that what I see on my screen matches what I see in the room, I've not had any issues so far. Of course I operate in run and gun situations 90% of the time, give me an interview setup and lighting and it's proper WB'ing every time.
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Old July 18th, 2016, 05:39 AM   #32
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

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Originally Posted by Nathan Buck View Post
When outdoors (generally cloudy in the UK!) I just go for the daylight preset. But indoors I find a different kettle of fish. If I'm balancing with a white card/object/whatever I'm essentially cancelling out a lot of the warmth from the existing lighting. I don't like that, I like to capture what it looks like in the moment. So I actually do a lot of indoor stuff by eye alone and dial in a custom setting so that what I see on my screen matches what I see in the room, I've not had any issues so far. Of course I operate in run and gun situations 90% of the time, give me an interview setup and lighting and it's proper WB'ing every time.
Yep I do the same thing (with run and gun work) and 99% of the time it's spot on and I don't need to tweak colours in post (I like to shoot with a WYSIWYG profile).
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Old July 18th, 2016, 06:09 AM   #33
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

I don't think Auto WB is ever a good idea, but I also don't subscribe to the idea that every single shot needs to be WB manually with a white card. I also don't think there is any point disparaging other peoples methods if it is working for them.

Learn about the different types of lighting and how they are mixing together in your scenes, then you can make informed choices on the spot. For example, if you're running between sunlight outside and Fluro's inside, you can probably flick back and forth between ~6500K and ~4200K and be pretty much in the ballpark each time. In this situation you can even set these up as your presets.

These days the tools are good enough that you can adjust a lot in post, too. If you were shooting 30 years ago there was not an easy way to do a global white balance adjustment. These days - especially with 10 bit files and the Lumetri sliders in Premiere - it is incredibly easy to fix minor white balance issues in post. You probably can't correct blue skin if you've totally forgotten to do a WB at all - but you can fix things like the gradual warming up of a setting sun throughout the afternoon, which might equate to a 300K-500K change. Use your knowledge, Kelvin dial and presets to lock your white balance into the right ballpark, and you'll be much better off than with AWB, without having to constantly reach into your bag for a white card or find something white in the scene.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 06:00 PM   #34
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

There are 3 WB options with the switch. Just take a moment and make them appropriate for your environment as you set up (come early if you think you have no time) and switch between them on the fly if you actually move from one lighting to another. Auto WB will always be changing, so it's always ruining your footage. You can trust the pros telling you it's never a good choice to use auto WB. They are trying to save you trouble down the road. If you ever get a truly pro gig where you turn in the footage for someone else to edit, just see what happens when you give them auto WB footage. You will undoubtedly get some negative feedback, and probably won't get called again. I can only suggest you just try to deal with not using WB. It's a psychological crutch that isn't really helping. It's easier to fix an improper WB in post than an auto WB, as auto is constantly shifting.
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Old July 21st, 2016, 11:39 PM   #35
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

I know I will get flamed for this, but I'm using ATW quite often with my FS7 (works nice, and the WB changes are very gradual and subtle). I can afford this as I'm personally editing all my stuff - and doing so, in 99% of the auto-WB changes I find them acceptable and not even calling for any balancing in post...

Of course I only do this when e.g. following my subject in run&gun style, while he/she enters indoors from sunshine or vice-versa. I'd say that gradual change of white balance as executed by ATW can look more natural than abrupt changes I'd get if I had stopped recording, WB-ed to some gray card (one-push AWB is not always possible in low-light indoor circumstances), and continued shooting with completely different white balance setting (not to mention I'd have to stop my subject and ask him/her to wait till I'm done with it).

Now flame me :)

Piotr
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Old July 22nd, 2016, 01:17 AM   #36
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

When I discovered ATW on a Beta 300, I thought I'd found Utopia. It's like white balancing, only automatically! As tutored by my older mentors, I never used it - always white balanced at every scene change. Shooting news, I was just using the (B&W) viewfinder.
Fast forward to shooting in a hospital and needing to follow a gurney from an ambulance into the ER ... white balance hell - I decided to flip to ATW and hope for the best. Did a quick walk through of the shot and then back outside to get the gurney coming out of the ambulance. Roll the shot, follow the crew out of the (warm) ambulance, into the (cool) sunshine, into the (problematic, sometimes warm, sometimes cool) fluorescents in the hospital. Get back to the station and play back the shot... the inside stuff is blue, the outside stuff is orange, the hospital stuff is blue again. Turns out it takes the ATW 15 seconds to settle on a WB, and in my three-scenario change, there was just enough time to screw every segment of my shot. This being the 90's, I turned the chroma down on the proc amp, ran it black and white, and declared it artsy.

Anyhow. This is why old codgers don't like ATW. Because 20 years ago it sucked.

The ATW on my FS5 could take care of that ambulance - daylight - hospital shot no problem. (Luckily we have HIPPA now, protecting citizens from... well, I dunno, but providing more opportunity for paperwork in government - so that shot would never be possible now anyway.)

So there's that story. And then there's this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Johnson View Post
If you ever get a truly pro gig where you turn in the footage for someone else to edit, just see what happens when you give them auto WB footage. You will undoubtedly get some negative feedback, and probably won't get called again.
A "truly pro gig" is a video gig for which you are paid, when doing video is your profession. You are using the term to mean something different, presumably working on a major Hollywood production with a team of colorists and editors backing you up. While that's a fine goal, it's not everyone's goal (it's certainly not mine), and even if it is your goal, the fact of the matter is that while achieving that, you will shoot a metric ton of stuff that does not have a decent colorist (much less editor) backing you up.
Having shot a metric ton of stuff over the last ~20 years, I have edited some myself, and handed much off to editors of a variety of skill levels. I assure you that my phone continues to ring. Today, the editors that I know would rather have a decent baseline to color correct from. If I shot that indoor -> outdoor -> indoor shot on a fixed WB, the editors I work with would kill me.

Don't be so closed-minded about "professional" work. It could mean Hollywood and that could mean never using ATW. But there are a lot of "professionals" out there doing something different than what you do.
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Old July 22nd, 2016, 06:06 AM   #37
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

Quote:
I was just using the (B&W) viewfinder.
Ah, sweet memories, 10 years ago I was doing a videocourse where we had to shoot with a Sony dsr250p which also only had a b&w viewfinder, I"m not sure but I think it couldn't even do autoWB and we would get hit in the head whenever we forgot to whitebalance and come back from a shoot where everyone looked like a smurf indoors :)
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Old July 22nd, 2016, 04:54 PM   #38
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
A "truly pro gig" is a video gig for which you are paid, when doing video is your profession. You are using the term to mean something different, presumably working on a major Hollywood production with a team of colorists and editors backing you up. While that's a fine goal, it's not everyone's goal (it's certainly not mine), and even if it is your goal, the fact of the matter is that while achieving that, you will shoot a metric ton of stuff that does not have a decent colorist (much less editor) backing you up.
Having shot a metric ton of stuff over the last ~20 years, I have edited some myself, and handed much off to editors of a variety of skill levels. I assure you that my phone continues to ring. Today, the editors that I know would rather have a decent baseline to color correct from. If I shot that indoor -> outdoor -> indoor shot on a fixed WB, the editors I work with would kill me.

Don't be so closed-minded about "professional" work. It could mean Hollywood and that could mean never using ATW. But there are a lot of "professionals" out there doing something different than what you do.
By "truly pro" I mean a gig where the client knows enough to tell when the WB is not right. There are plenty of paid gigs where the client knows nothing about video, and it's our job to know what looks best.
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Old July 23rd, 2016, 06:35 PM   #39
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
I know I will get flamed for this, but I'm using ATW quite often with my FS7 (works nice, and the WB changes are very gradual and subtle). I can afford this as I'm personally editing all my stuff - and doing so, in 99% of the auto-WB changes I find them acceptable and not even calling for any balancing in post...

Of course I only do this when e.g. following my subject in run&gun style, while he/she enters indoors from sunshine or vice-versa. I'd say that gradual change of white balance as executed by ATW can look more natural than abrupt changes I'd get if I had stopped recording, WB-ed to some gray card (one-push AWB is not always possible in low-light indoor circumstances), and continued shooting with completely different white balance setting (not to mention I'd have to stop my subject and ask him/her to wait till I'm done with it).

Now flame me :)

Piotr
I won't flame you, but I will point out that those slow, gradual changes are exactly where the problems can arise. One single, abrupt manual WB change can be covered by a cut away, and only happens once. A slow, gradual change effects the whole scene, and especially becomes problematic when you start cutting between 2 cameras which will drift in and out of balance. An example is in an interview situation where the subject might move their head a little to the side and throw off the balance of the scene causing the AWB on one camera to readjust. Sure, the camera might do this nice and smoothly, so much so that you might not notice until you cut to the other camera and realise it is now totally different. And once the interview is cut up, with grabs shifted all over the place, you'll end up up with colours going all over the place.

The indoor-to-out-door follow-cam shot is about the only scenario I can think of where auto WB should ever be used. Even then, I prefer to break it up as a sequence where possible (ie cut from to reverse shot from inside) or, if that's absolutely not an option, put in a cut-away.
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