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Old April 4th, 2008, 05:13 PM   #1
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Exposure indicator ?

After 5000+ posts on 500+ topics in this Forum nobody has even mentioned the exposure indicator on any camcorder. Only once is the term "exposure indicator" mentioned in the XL2 Watchdog Forum.

I am keen to hear answers to the question:

"How accurate is the exposure indicator on Canon XL2?"

And, if I may pose a supplementary question to those who don't rely on the exposure indicator, what system do you use instead?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 05:49 PM   #2
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I use zebras on all my cameras
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Old April 5th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #3
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Likewise, I use zebras

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Old April 5th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #4
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Having recently changed to video from digital photography I miss the histogram for exposure evaluation. I have been using the zebra set at 100. White birds on the water or in the sky can be tough to meter. I have had a tendency to underexpose by eliminating all the stripes which has occasionally made the background too dark as well as increasing shutter speed which makes for a choppy wing motion. I have also pointed the camera to the sky for a neutral gray setting and then put both the iris and shutter speed on manual thereby locking the exposure. I am sure others use different methods but these seem to work most of the time.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #5
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There are some advantages for coming from stills to video - I've done the same. Getting the exposure reading by pointing at a blue sky overhead is something I haven't read on anything to do with video (but it's probably on these boards somewhere) and you rarely see it now with stills photography as most people rely on the histograms.

The zebra stripes work well, once you've learned how to use them.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your wisdom on the subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
The zebra stripes work well, once you've learned how to use them.
Would you be so kind as to point me towards a guide/thread/tutorial on the use of zebra stripes, Annie? Or, if you have time, I'm sure your description of your own method would be a great help to me, please?
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Old April 6th, 2008, 03:42 AM   #7
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Bredan - try doing a search for zebra stripes, and I'm sure someone will have written about it somewhere on this forum. I can't remember where I read it off-hand - and right now I'm supposed to be finishing writing a report.

There are different levels of zebra striping, and each works best for different purposes - eg for correct exposure of "white" skin, or for general highlights, of for high key scenes. After that is a case of looking critically at the results and deciding if you need to tweak it in general or for particular reasons.

For example, if I want detail in a white flower but there is a lot of dark green background, I'll usually shoot twice - first adjusting the exposure so the zebra stripes just are showing, and then again after adjusting the exposure so they don't show. In stills photography it's called bracketing the exposure. The camera LCD is usually much too contrasty to make a judgement on correct exposure in such cases, so you have to wait until you see the result on a decent monitor.

Often, though, it's a matter of deciding if the bits the zebra-striping is picking up are important things you need detail in, or if they are non-distracting highlights that you can leave to burn out in favour of getting the main exposure correct.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 03:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
Bredan - try doing a search for zebra stripes, and I'm sure someone will have written about it somewhere on this forum. I can't remember where I read it off-hand - and right now I'm supposed to be finishing writing a report.
..............
Often, though, it's a matter of deciding if the bits the zebra-striping is picking up are important things you need detail in, or if they are non-distracting highlights that you can leave to burn out in favour of getting the main exposure correct.
Thank you kindly Annie for finding the time to help me. The second paragraph above seems a very neat way of describing zebra-striping in use. I will add that to my Notes.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 05:45 AM   #9
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The added benefit of zebra stripe is that they can help focusing. If the image is blurred the zebra will have soft edges. If the image is sharp the zebra will be more detailed.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #10
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Zebra stripes

Found the info on using zebra stripes - it was a link someone else had put in on DVInfo. It doesn't matter that it's a different camera, the principles are the same:

http://www.urbanfox.tv/workbooks/sonyz1/z1exposure.htm
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Old April 6th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #11
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Thank you Annie; that links me to a string of good Notes on zebra etc.

Here are 2 similarly useful links sent by Don DesJardin one of the top XL2 (now XLH1) birdflight shooters on DVInfo:

http://thedvshow.com/faq-pro/?action...002&id=2&lang=
http://thedvshow.com/faq-pro/index.p..._id=002&id=251

The first link begins with this vote of complete confidence in the value of Zebra-stripes ....

Ahhh, the zebra stripes. You have seen them before. Some of you may have even shut them off. Others may be dimly aware of what they are for. But make no mistake; do not under estimate the value of the zebra stripes. This is your only real indication of lighting levels. NEVER TRUST A MONITOR. NOT EVEN THE VIEWFINDER. Trust the Zebras for accurate lighting levels.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 02:55 PM   #12
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Thanks Brendan (made sure I spelt your name right this time), I've added those to my list of useful sources.
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