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Old August 18th, 2019, 01:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Los Angeles
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Question about Grass Valley Cameras

I just started working with my church's video team. They use Grass Vally ENG cameras with Grass Valley viewfinders.

There is a "peak" knob, but all is does is mess up the image. The edges are very pixelated. Girls with straight hair look like they have gone back to the 1980's with the crimped hair. Obviously, it looks fine in the final product, but it looks awful and makes it hard for me to gauge focus. The director says it is supposed to help.. It is not like the focus peaking I am used to on my GH4.

Is he correct? It seemed better for me to turn the knob to zero, but he said he did not want me touching the viewfinder controls because they are set for a reason. Am I just crazy? Should this make it really easy for focus?

Thanks in advance
Rory Lane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 18th, 2019, 03:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lowestoft - UK
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Re: Question about Grass Valley Cameras

He's an idiot! He's been told by others. ALL broadcast cameramen adjust the viewfinder so they can do the best job. He's clearly not a cameramen, and probably just got told this. When I step into a BBC studio, the first thing I do is adjust the viewfinder to suit my eyes. I like contrast up a little, compared to how they're often set, and as for peaking - I just find a nice sharp edge, zoomed right in so DoF is minimal, and then tweak it to give me the best clue as to what is sharp. Grass Valley have a 'look' in their viewfinders that's different to Sony. If off is best for you, then it's best for your camerawork. Some people love edge peaking, I am not keen. These things are tools for the cameramen, and you always choose your own tools in any job. Mark the knob position he set with a chinagraph pencil, and then you can return it as you found it.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 26th, 2019, 11:38 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,828
Re: Question about Grass Valley Cameras

+1 on what Paul said. All I can add is it is very likely that camera has a high quality parfocal lens on it. Once focus is set it will stay infocus as you zoom the lens in and out. Step one in the way we focus broadcast cameras is to zoom in all the way on the subject, focus, and then zoom out for proper composition.

You did not give a model of Grass Valley camera but have worked with many broadcast cameras. If you are shooting a church service it should have a "studio kit" on it. God help your back if your shooting studio style from a tripod and using the on camera viewfinder. Many older cameras like that had excellent black and white viewfinders on them. Nailing focus with them is a bit of an acquired skill because sometimes it requires "trust" in difficult situations. Judging contrast and lines is part of the process. As Paul said, peaking is a personal preference. If I used it at all it was because of the situation at hand.

You can learn to love that viewfinder....but your back never will!

Kind Regards,

Been at this so long I'm rounding my years of experience down...not up!
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