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The View: Video Display Hardware and Software
Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old July 26th, 2002, 04:56 PM   #16
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A couple things: a LOW end monitor is 800??? I thought for 800 dollars you basically got a TV that could accept a battery pack and therefore be used anywhere. When I think low end, I think of the 265-300 dollar CRT monitors.


I feel retarded, but what do you mean when you say "Expose for the highlights?" The only thing I know about exposure, judging from what I see on TV and in the movies, is that what can be overexposed in your shot has to do with framing (i.e. on a closeup, background could be blown out is long as your subject's not, but in a wide shot or medium closeup, a blown out background would look crappy. The zebra bars bother me because it usually tells me my sky is overexposed, and when I take the iris down enough so that it isn't, everything else in the picture is dark! Aaargh.
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Old July 26th, 2002, 06:04 PM   #17
 
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Josh,

When I said "low-end monitor" I was talking about an NTSC monitor. Not all are classified as NTSC monitors--a standard in the industry. Hence the cost. You can pay in the $1000s! Someone mentioned JVC as an alternative.

Don't feel retarded. The only dumb questions are those that never get asked.

I think you said eariler that your camera's IRE was set for 70--that's for flesh tones (white folks). The top end for "pure white" in the broadcast world (NTSC) is an IRE of 100. Black is, if I remember correctly, 7 or 7.5. In Japan, black is "0" -- duh! Leave it to the American's to muck things up! If there are no "people" in your shot, you must use a different IRE setting to determine your proper exposure, especially when it comes to the hightlights.

Think of it as a scale. Pure black--"7.5"--is at the bottom (or left, delending how your look at things), and pure white--"100"--is at the top, or on the far right of the scale. Anything beyond those numbers on the scale does not broadcast properly (look good).

When I said to expose for the highlight, you set the exposure so as to make certain any details in the "highlight" (brightest) area are visible in the final image. I saw a beautiful documentary about Yellowstone National Park. When shooting the geysers, the videographer made certain that the detail in the "white" of the geyser retained it's detail. That way it looked like water (although it was white), there were details and texture to be seen (snow is another example--snow, white as it is, has texture!). Many of the shadows, in and under the trees, for example, fell into black. That was far more acceptable, because that was NOT our point of interest. It was the white, gushing water of the geysers. Had he exposed for the shadows, the geysers would have been flat, bright-white shapes. Very boring to look at!

Take your camera outside and find something that is white and has details or texture, like a clapboard house. Adjust your IRE so the zebra pattern is set for 100. Focusing on the white subject, adjust your exposure so the zebra patter is either just one click away from disappearing or has just disappeared. Shoot some tape. Now adjust the exposure so you have a hint of detail in the shadow areas. Shoot some more tape. Take the shots home and compare them. Tell me which one you prefer.

For more info go to: http://www.greatdv.com/cameras/Zebra.htm
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Old July 26th, 2002, 07:27 PM   #18
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Josh,

Here's a recent thread you might be interested http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2269 It covers black level, IRE, set-up and such very thoroughly. For the complete treatment on DV try http://www.adamwilt.com/DV.html spend a few hours reading and post back with questions and comments. It will help.

Jeff
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Old July 26th, 2002, 08:03 PM   #19
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Ok . . .I was going to ask about that: setting the IRE on the zebra levels. It's set to 90 when the XL1s is new, I believe. So it should be 100 (with people in the shot)?

How is it different when there are no people in the shot? I figure white is white, right? If something's too bright, it's too bright.

Just read the above recommended post. It just made my brain hurt. Guess it's off to futz with the camera.
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Old July 27th, 2002, 09:21 AM   #20
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I'm going to keep this in small chunks so we can go step by step. The XL1 Zebra pattern is fixed and can not be adjusted. It is set at 95 IRE. The XL1s has a user adjustable Zebra pattern. It is adjustable from 80 IRE to 100 IRE in 5 IRE increments. The Zebra pattern does not directly influence or adjust the cameras exposure. It mearly displays in the viewfinder the part of the scene that exceedes the preset Zebra pattern value.

Contrast is the measure of difference between the lightest and darkest values appearing in an image. High contrast images contain mainly dark values and white values with few steps or middle tones in the image. Video produces an image with more contrast (fewer middle tones) than film. It has fewer steps or tones between black with no detail and white with not detail. DV in its pure form (before going into a NLE) measures this from 0 IRE (black) and 100 IRE (white). In North America analog video (not DV) has it's black level raised to 7.5 IRE. This is referred to as setup (or pedistal). Setup is added by some decks and NLEs but we'll discuss that latter. In PAL and the rest of the world black is 0 IRE. Our early NTSC (analog) broadcast system required this bump to 7.5 because it needed a saftey margin to allow for poorly adjusted TV sets.

You really need to understand this little bit of basics before we move on. Questions?

Jeff
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