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Old July 12th, 2016, 06:59 AM   #1
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FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

Because a lot of my projects are run and gun I (mostly) have no choice but to rely on the FS5's auto White Balance (WB). Sadly it seems a lot more off across scenarios than my Canon (XF300) ever was in auto WB. The FS5 suffers from a tendency towards green in my rushes, particularly outdoors. But it's not consistently off enough to alter the WB settings in the profiles.

I'm curious to know whether others are finding the same thing and whether you regularly use a white/grey card to manually WB your FS5's?
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Old July 12th, 2016, 07:09 AM   #2
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

I have another camera but the principle is the same, for run and gun I use a expodisc to whitebalance which is very quick to do and easy to carry around.
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Old July 12th, 2016, 07:56 AM   #3
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

When I can, I'm using a collapsible Lastolite white/grey card. But I must admit the expodisc lots very interesting Noa. In practical terms is it always as good as a card?
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Old July 12th, 2016, 08:15 AM   #4
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

I see they now have a newer version and one with extra gels but when I got mine there where two versions I believe, one standard and one that gave some warmer colors. I have the standard version, when I enter a room where I have to shoot I either point the camera to the most dominant light source or I stand on the place my camera will be pointed at and then point my camera to where I"m going to stand and make the white balance by just placing the expodisc on the lens and press my whitebalance button on the camera, if necessary I make a second whitebalance and assign it to either the a or b whitebalance switch.
The expodisc is just hanging with a strap around my neck ready to be used in an instant.

My expodisc gives me a balanced color that is perfect for further grading, it's not the exact color as you can see it with your eyes but it makes white appear white even if there are other factors, like colored stained glass, that influence the overall color. This is exactly what I want as I then can easily push it more towards red or blue depending if I want it to have a colder or warmer look or if I need to match it with other brand camera's which also becomes easy.
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Old July 12th, 2016, 02:26 PM   #5
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

I only do manual white balance usually on anything that may be reflective white. Takes 5 seconds. Outside, I rarely white balance, but use preset. Works just fine. Auto white balance ...never use it...ever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Davey View Post
Because a lot of my projects are run and gun I (mostly) have no choice but to rely on the FS5's auto White Balance (WB). Sadly it seems a lot more off across scenarios than my Canon (XF300) ever was in auto WB. The FS5 suffers from a tendency towards green in my rushes, particularly outdoors. But it's not consistently off enough to alter the WB settings in the profiles.

I'm curious to know whether others are finding the same thing and whether you regularly use a white/grey card to manually WB your FS5's?
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Old July 12th, 2016, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

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Originally Posted by Nigel Davey View Post
Because a lot of my projects are run and gun I (mostly) have no choice but to rely on the FS5's auto White Balance (WB)
Nigel, I always hear "I don't have a choice" when you refer to your reliance on the cameras auto features.

But you *do* have a choice. You have a choice how to learn to use your equipment properly. Please stop giving the impression that as paid professional camera people we have to rely on auto features rather than use our skill and judgement to operate expensive pieces of kit that have a superb range of controls that are easily used by a moderately skilled operator.

Having had footage presented to me by a third party where the operator used auto white balance and auto exposure, it was painful to grade and was an awful lot of effort and I couldn't get perfect results from the footage.

While balance was the first thing drilled into me by one of my tutors back when I was learning. There's always something around you can white balance off and it was the press of a button even back then on the Panasonic VHS cameras we were learning on.
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Old July 12th, 2016, 03:31 PM   #7
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

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Originally Posted by Jeremy Cole View Post
I only do manual white balance usually on anything that may be reflective white. Takes 5 seconds. Outside, I rarely white balance, but use preset. Works just fine. Auto white balance ...never use it...ever!
Exactly. There is always something to white balance off. Pretty much the words of my tutor 18 years ago. He wouldn't tolerate 'auto' features from a bunch of video production students just a few weeks into a 3 year course, so goodness me we shouldn't tolerate it as qualified professionals.
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Old July 12th, 2016, 04:17 PM   #8
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

When you have to move fast looking for "something white" indoors is a luxury you often don't have which is why I like using my expodisc so much, I only need to look at the light source that I need a whitebalance from, place the disc on the lens, point the camera to that lightsource and press a button. Since the disc is within hands reach all the time this is the fastest way by far to get balanced colors.
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Old July 12th, 2016, 04:55 PM   #9
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

Guys please dial down the condescending padawan thing, please. Your projects are probably very different to mine and I know that you know, one shoe does not fit all.

Here's a typical scenario I shot just the other night. It was a church youth event. Three rooms, different activities, some time sensitive (art and cooking, so a temporal progression to them). It was 7pm at night (light was slowly changing outside) and all three rooms had windows and overhead lighting (tungsten in two rooms flores in the third). Some of the kids didn't have parental permission to be filmed, but I couldn't herd them into a corner, thus some angles were limited. One of the activities had kids running around a sports hall (overhead flores and windows only along one side). For health and safety reasons I could not turn off lights in any of the rooms. I had one hour to get all the activities and to do that I needed to rotate between rooms every 5 mins or so.

Now if you can shoot that sceanrio taking time to WB in all the different constantly changing scenarios, you are indeed a videographer I should be heeding.

There are definitely some scenerios where you do not have a choice.
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Old July 12th, 2016, 05:07 PM   #10
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

I also can say that I have never used auto in all my 35 years of shooting. Not once. And I've been in some situations that make your scenario look like a walk in the park. In fact, in the situation you describe there is even more reason than ever to WB correctly and often.

Listen to Marcus, he speaks wisdom above.

BTW, shameless plug, I usually white balance on WarmCards.
http://www.warmcards.com/WC1.html
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Old July 12th, 2016, 05:31 PM   #11
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

I find white-balance cards difficult to deal with when working alone, you either need to hold them in front of your camera by yourself or ask someone to hold it for you or place them on something. That's fine in controlled environments but doesn't work out so well if your time is very limited and if you have to run and gun.
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Now if you can shoot that scenario taking time to WB in all the different constantly changing scenarios
The way I described how I take my whitebalance should not be that difficult to deal with the scenario you described, it just takes a few seconds every-time you change location and saves you from a headache getting your colors right in post.
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Old July 12th, 2016, 07:42 PM   #12
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

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Originally Posted by Nigel Davey View Post
There are definitely some scenerios where you do not have a choice.
You haven't described circumstances where there is no choice. There was a choice, you chose not to.

By making that choice you then end up with a recording where the white balance may shift around within single shot making grading more difficult as you'll then need to start setting keyframes.

In the footage I had to grade, each room was lit with fluorescents, had daylight through the windows and a projector running in the middle of the room. Every time the camera panned past the projector (which seemed to be running at a fairly high colour temp) the camera (think it was an EX3) shifted the colour balance and then back again. It looked ridiculous and was time consuming to correct. All the operator had to do was pick a single sensible white balance for the room but instead played the auto white balance lottery creating alot of work.
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Old July 13th, 2016, 01:28 AM   #13
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

Marcus you are trying to deflect to a different scenario, that although challenging, did have a manual WB option. You have not told me how you would achieve manual WB'ing in my scenario and acquire enough of the shots to maintain continuity.
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Old July 13th, 2016, 01:31 AM   #14
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I also can say that I have never used auto in all my 35 years of shooting. Not once. And I've been in some situations that make your scenario look like a walk in the park. In fact, in the situation you describe there is even more reason than ever to WB correctly and often.

Listen to Marcus, he speaks wisdom above.

BTW, shameless plug, I usually white balance on WarmCards.
WarmCards - White Balance Reference System
So how would you have manually WB'ed in my scenario then?
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Old July 13th, 2016, 02:01 AM   #15
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Re: FS5 - Are you doing manual WB?

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Originally Posted by Nigel Davey View Post
Marcus you are trying to deflect to a different scenario, that although challenging, did have a manual WB option. You have not told me how you would achieve manual WB'ing in my scenario and acquire enough of the shots to maintain continuity.
I wasn't trying to deflect at all. I was trying to point out the problems of auto, which will happen in your situation as well.

The camera has two white balance presets. You pick a sensible mid points for your rooms. You don't need to micro manage every shots white balance. If you have a good balance then correcting small imperfections in post is a doddle.

Not everything needs to be balanced to a perfect white when there are multiple light sources and you are on the move. Doesn't happen in real life. If you really are working that fast in a dynamic situation (and we all have to do it) then you get it as right as you can. Whatever you do yourself, it will be better than the cameras auto features going for a walk and at least the colour temp will be fixed so you can easily sort it out later rather than having to keyframe shots.

But if you learn how to use the cameras features it just becomes subconscious. You only realise this when you swap from another model of camera only to find your left hand fumbling for a control that is now in a different place.

Just practice and experiment. It will soon become second nature.
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