Getting low noise video out of the HM700 at
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 10:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Eugene Oregon
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Getting low noise video out of the HM700

Greetings everyone! I am gearing up for a documentary film that will be shot primarily on my trusty HM700.

I used the camera for a few years now, but besides switching the resolution to 1080p I really haven't tweaked any of the settings. I have mainly used it for small projects and videos where as long as the quality was decent, it wasn't that important.

For my documentary I really want to get the best picture possible from this camera. Using another camera really isn't in my budget. That is fine because for the most part I love the HM700, I just want to use it to the fullest of its ability. So I have been playing around with it and doing tests, trying to see what settings work best.

I know a lot of people say that if you shoot in 720p mode with the detail level set to minimum there really aren't any issues with noise in the image. Unfortunately this isn't what I have found. Even turning detail level to minimum and shooting at 720p the shadows are still significantly noisier than the $20,000 broadcast cams I used to work with in TV news (yes, I know the JVC costs much less, but that is still the picture quality I am used to working with).

What I am finding works for me is to shoot with the widest possible latitude. Cinema gamma, cinema subdued color, black stretch at a fairly high setting, and I like having my detail level set around -4 to -5. There is still noise in the shadows when I do this, but when I then do just a little bit of color correction and crush the blacks just a tiny bit I find the noise all but vanishes. The result is I get video with a wider dynamic range than if I would have just left the settings on normal with much less noise in the darker areas. It doesn't seem to matter too much if I am shooting 1080 or 720.

For those of you who have perhaps spent more time messing with the camera than I have, what are your thoughts on my approach to minimizing noise? Do you have any suggestions? Tips or tricks?

Finally I thought I would share this video-

I shot it today while playing with the camera settings just for fun. It is shot overcranked at 720p with some simple color correction applied for bleak colorless look.
Adam Grunseth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2012, 05:59 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ferrisburgh, VT
Posts: 179
Re: Getting low noise video out of the HM700

Your question an answer.

I shoot with the 200u, and I think that you have correctly identified the limitation: latitude comes with noise attached. You can get a very "clean" looking image from your camera by lowering the black pedestal, but then you will lose detail in the shadows. It's probably better to shoot wide like you are and crush the blacks in Post if you have the time.
Finn Yarbrough is offline   Reply

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