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Old February 3rd, 2008, 02:13 PM   #1
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How do you set your exposure?

Was wondering what are your methods for setting exposure?

Do you eye-ball it, use a light meter, use auto/semi-auto modes: TV/AV. Do you ever work from the auto exposure and adjust from there?
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 02:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
Was wondering what are your methods for setting exposure?

Do you eye-ball it, use a light meter, use auto/semi-auto modes: TV/AV. Do you ever work from the auto exposure and adjust from there?
With my sony vx2100 I trust 80% of the time on it's automatic settings and the remaining time I switch to manual when necessary. Because I have been using it the 3rd year now I usually know when it's under- or overexposed, especially when you have a lightsource in the back like a window and when I see that during filming the camera is trying to compensate, wrong ofcourse because everything in the front becomes way underexposed, I immediately switch to manual and correct. This is done very quickly because it's done by a press of a button which I can find with my eyes closed.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 02:54 PM   #3
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Combo of zebras and eyeball, always in manual mode.

Using the XL2, I leave the zebs at 100, and use them as a starting point. Once they go away, I try to find that perfect balance where the subject for which I'm exposing isn't even a little blown out. that's usually the ticket. The little meter in the upper left of the EVF can also be helpful in conjunction with the other two things. If you're exposing for a person in the frame, for instance, maybe zoom in on their face and see how the meter reads. Ignore the blown out sky in the background behind them.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 03:02 PM   #4
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Combo of zebras and eyeball, always in manual mode.
Amen!

Nothing like watching auto exposure 'seeking' that perfect exposure balance. A media company I do a lot of work with has handed me a decent bit of footage shot with autoexposure.... it can be fixed, but it's *tedious* keyframed CC.

You could, however, use auto to get the exposure, and then lock that in by switching to manual, to keep that setting, if you trust your camera better than your eyes. I never do. Best bet, properly calibrate your monitor and use zebra pattern as well, as Josh states!

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Old February 3rd, 2008, 03:04 PM   #5
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Auto doesn't always get it right, even when it seems like it does. I don't just mean when you have a blown window or sky behind you, but even in normal situations, it thinks it should be darker or lighter than what really looks good. I think, unless you're in a run and gun situation, you should try to learn to do it manually.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 04:29 PM   #6
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I"m often in a run and gun situation, going completely manual is a too big risk but it all comes down to how well you know your camera. After working so many hours with the camera and seeing the result afterwards on a tv I'm pretty confident about when to switch to manual. In a run and gun situation it's very difficult to get all the settings right in realtime and assure that whatever you are filming is framed properly. I've seen footage of complete manual camerawork under a run and gun situation and the cameraman had some experience, well I saw mistakes that I don"t make because under most conditions my camera knows best what to do and if it doesn't I see it immediately and can act on it.
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