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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old April 21st, 2007, 12:51 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Freehold, NJ
Posts: 12
XL2 Exposure


I'm relatively new to video - just picked up an XL2. I come from a still photography background where I use Ansel Adam's "Zone System" almost exclusively to achieve correct exposure.

I use my camera's spot metering mode (3% center) to selectively meter colors in the shot, essentially matching them with their respective gray scale tonal values and adjust my exposure accordingly.

A simple example of this is shooting a scene containing snow – in order to expose the white stuff correctly, one will meter the snow, and adjust his camera to expose 2 stops above center or 18% gray.

Depending on the model of camera and several additional factors, you could be up to a full stop underexposed, and I of course compensate for each scenario.

I see that this camera has two methods of gauging exposure - zebra and the built-in exposure meter. I surmise that I can probably use either or both of these functions to obtain proper exposure not unlike I do with stills - metering off of a known tonal value and correlate it with an exposure reading.

I am doing a lot of “run and gun” stuff for a digital signage business I’ve got rolling, and I won’t always have the luxury of a field monitor to go by. Is it possible to use a white card in the lighting under which I’ll be shooting and correlate this with the exposure meter?

Does anyone know what a correctly exposed white or 18% grey card should read on the built-in meter? Additionally, can I use the zebra pattern in the same way?

By this I’m thinking that I would set the zebra to a specific IRE level and I should know where it begins to clip, i.e. between 85 and 90? Does anyone have a suggested IRE zebra setting which will work with this technique?

I do realize that this camera is center weighted, but there must be a couple of parameters which will give an exposure safe zone…no?


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