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-   -   ex1r lcd brightness out of the box (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdcam-ex-pro-handhelds/502442-ex1r-lcd-brightness-out-box.html)

Jim Stamos November 7th, 2011 07:02 PM

ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
using a hoodman loupe with my r and its great. im noticing on my footage ive shot it will look brighter than it did when i shot it after ive adjusted my gain and iris down to the right look. has anyone experienced this? wondering if the lcd is set too bright on the original setting.

Doug Jensen November 7th, 2011 07:51 PM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box

Originally Posted by Jim Stamos (Post 1695166)
using a hoodman loupe with my r and its great. im noticing on my footage ive shot it will look brighter than it did when i shot it after ive adjusted my gain and iris down to the right look. has anyone experienced this? wondering if the lcd is set too bright on the original setting.

Please tell me you're not judging exposure by the picture you see on the LCD? If so, stop. Learn to use zebras and then it won't matter how your LCD is setup. Rule #1: Never judge the color or the exposure by what you see on the LCD's picture.

Jim Stamos November 7th, 2011 09:03 PM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
havent had the cam that long doug, ive been using the histogram and zebras but since i havent used zebras much, just another reason to get your dvd to refine all this out.
on the zebras just not sure how much to dial down the iris as far as when i see them on the face. some have told me to go down where there are no more lines on the face and some have said to have a few.
anyway, planning on ordering the dvd this week. i can assume you go into area well

Doug Jensen November 7th, 2011 09:15 PM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box

I can't teach you how to use zebrs here. but a couple of things to keep in mind:

1) Looking for zebras in a face is pointless because skin tones vary too much. Is the person an African American, Latino, albino, Asian, or northern European? Zebras at a certain level on one face might be perfect, but on another face, a stop or two off. Some people say they can adjust automatically by how dark or light they judge the person's skin tones to be. Well, I can guess on the exposure too without even using zebras!! The point is to be precise. Therefore you have to know the reflectance value of WHAT you are judging zebras on. I discuss how to do that in my DVD.

2) The zebra setting is variable in the menus, so you also have to know WHAT setting someone is talking about when they tell you where you should be seeing zebras appear or go away. For example, you and I could both have the exact same exposure . . . on the same exact scene . . . with the same camera . . . and you might see zebras in your viewfinder and I wouldn't see any (or vice versa) because we have our zebras set at different levels. Maybe I have 80% and you prefer 70%. Neither is right or wrong -- as long as we each know where and when we should be seeing the zebras appear on our camera.

So, he bottom line is that you have to know what value your zebras are set for in the menus . . . and also on what objects you expect them to appear within the picture. Only then (unless you have a waveform or light meter to rely on) can you nail the exposure without just guessing at it.

The whole reason you started this thread is because you are guessing. But there's no need to guess with a professional camera. Zebras will tell you everything you need to know and you will be very happy with the results.

Jim Stamos November 7th, 2011 09:26 PM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
thanks doug, looking forward to getting the dvd. in houston, whats the shipping time on it

Doug Jensen November 7th, 2011 09:30 PM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
Jim. If you order direct from Vortex Media it will ship the same day or next business day via UPS Ground or Priority Mail from Utah or Rhode Island. If you need it faster than that, you should order from one of the many resellers around the country that carry it and can provide other shipping options. http://www.vortexmedia.com/DVD1.html

Les Wilson November 7th, 2011 09:32 PM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
Yes. What Doug said.

The Vortex DVD will help you get up to speed.

Also. no harm in adjusting the LCD and the Viewfinder. Lookup how to use colorbars. My LCD is setup as follows but I last tuned it a year ago:
Color 80
Contrast 39
Brightest 27

Doug Jensen November 7th, 2011 09:35 PM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
I agree with Les, you should take the time to adjust the viewfinder and LCD so you have a more pleasing picture to look at. All I'm saying is that, even after adjustment, you should NOT be using them to judge color or exposure. They are not good enough for that.

Alister Chapman November 8th, 2011 01:45 AM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
I'm afraid I don't agree with Doug on this one at all. I believe you can accurately expose with a well calibrated LCD on an EX. In bright light it will need to be shaded though.
I don't normally use zebras, don't need to. IMHO they are a distraction that tends to make you expose certain objects at certain levels instead of considering the entire image and then adjusting exposure to suit the scene. Low key moody scenes will look better with lower exposure levels, high key dramatic scenes may require brighter levels. The only time I do use zebras is when the viewfinder is shot or perhaps set at 100% as a warning of the onset of clipping in high key scenes. The key is checking and calibrating the viewfinder so that what it tells you is accurate.

Most editors and colourists don't use waveform monitors to grade, they rely on a calibrated monitor as what is important is not whether faces are at exactly 65IRE but whether the picture looks good. It's no different when you shoot unless perhaps you are using a Log curve where a WFM or the Histogram will allow you to see your total exposure range and luma distribution. Yes a WFM will be used to make sure signals are legal, but the exposure/look judgement is done with a monitor.

I'm not a huge fan of the Histogram, I'd much rather have a WFM, but the histogram combined with the centre spot meter are the tools I use if I need to check exposure.

I know this is one area where Doug and I often disagree. That's fine, I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't use zebras, different approaches will work for different people. The key is to figure out which approach works for you and your style of shooting.

Doug Jensen November 8th, 2011 07:24 AM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
Yes, Alister and I cetainly disagree on this one. This topic always good for a lively debate! I think his approach comes down to two things: Drag around a very expensive waveform monitor with you . . . or just take a guess at the exposure by how pretty the picture looks on the viewfinder or LCD. He can correct me if I am wrong, but I also believe his normal workflow is to expose conservatively and then grade everything in post to smooth it all out. So keep that in mind when listening to his advice. If you love to sit at the computer and grade every shot, and then wait for it to render, then you can certainly just take a guess at the exposure and "fix it in post".

On the other hand, I prefer to nail the exposure at the time of shooting, and thus avoid nearly all grading. It is not hard to do. It does not require any extra equipment or time. It does not add steps to the workflow. And is repeatable over and over again. Why are some people so resistant to the concept of just setting the exposure right at the time of shooting? And so willing to basically just take a guess -- when zebras are readily available right there in front of your eyes.. I just don't get why that kind of sloppiness is tolerated.

Why have VU meters for audio? Can't I just listen to the speakers or headphones and tell how the levels sound? Why have a tachometer on a race car? Can't I just feel the engine through the steering wheel? Why have a speedometer? I can kind of tell how fast I'm going just by looking out the window.

Why have cinematographers carried light meters around with them since the dawn of film? Why didn't they just guess at it? Because you cannot just guess at the exposure by how you think the scene looks. Zebras and waveform monitors are simply the modern equivalents of light meters for video.

Try standing outside in bright sunshine, and then come indoors to a darkened interview lighting setup and try to judge the exposure on your 3" LCD. How does it look? You can't really tell. That is an extreme example of why you can't rely on the LCD no matter how good it is -- but those environmental factors are always at work. But I could walk indoors and set my exposure perfectly with zebras.

Quote from Alister, "In bright light it will need to be shaded though." That is an unacceptable solution to me because I cannot be sure I will have shade everywhere I shoot. I need to be able to set exposure quickly and accurately in all shooting situtions.

I am perfectly aware that many editors and colorists don't use waveform monitors to grade. So what? What does that have to do with shooting? A colorist or editor is sitting in a controlled environment day after day, with a perfectly calibrated production monitor that costs thousands of dollars -- sometimes over $20K. And, more importantly, they can undo any changes they make over and over again until they like what they see. We don't have that luxury while shooting. The tiny LCD/viewfinder on any camera is hardly a substitute for a real production monitor. And most shoots do not take place in a shaded, controlled environment with lots of time to play with the shot. It is ludicrous to suggest that you can judge the picture by a tiny LCD that does not even have proper controls for precise calibration.

I find it ironic that Alister is so sure of his exposure methods for some cameras, yet on another thread he posted today, he his asking for advice and opinions on how to set exposure on an F3 in S-LOG mode -- which he has been singing the praises of for many months. Now we find out after all this time that he is unsure of how to set exposure for S-LOG. So, how has he been setting his exposure all these months? I'll tell you how -- just guessing. And guessing is never the best approach even if you do get it right some of the time. http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...iscussion.html

Well, I am not unsure of how to set exposure for my F3 (with or without S-LOG), my EX1, my FS100, my F800, or any other camera because I always use Zebras. Once you master how to set and use zebras, you are ready to go with any camera you pick up.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding. I have posted dozens of videos at Vimeo that have not been graded at all or have only barely touched-up here and there. Almost all the exposure is right where it should be. Check them out. Doug Jensen's videos on Vimeo

Hopefully Alister can post some similar examples that show the results of his technique.

Olof Ekbergh November 8th, 2011 07:26 AM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
One way to quickly come up to speed setting exposure on a new camera, is to hook it up to a calibrated pro monitor and external scopes, or even your NLE scopes.

Then use histogram zebra or whatever tools the camera offers, some actually have scopes. Spend time learning what these should look like for proper exposure on the ref monitor and scopes. I do this with every new camera to figure out how to get the best picture, this is also how I set up my picture profiles, and match camera looks.

I find it useful to do this both with studio controlled lighting and out the window at high contrast trees mountains etc (I have a nice view here in the valley right at snow covered peaks). You will quickly learn how a camera handles highlights and deep shade and the best way to expose for the look you want, a mannequin or model is a good addition as well. Just practice using the camera VF/LCD, zebra, histogram etc. and then check what the ref monitor and scopes look like. Keep doing this until you nail the exposure every time. Then you are ready to go out and shoot.

Dave Sperling November 8th, 2011 09:18 AM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
One other thing to remember - most LCD viewfinders will tend to seem a little brighter or darker depending on your exact viewing angle - and factory settings certainly can't take into account something like your personal viewing angle. Obviously if you're using a magnifier attachment it will tend to keep your eye at a somewhat repeatable angle to the LCD, but depending on yow you mount your 'hood' this may or may not be the optimum viewing angle of the LCD. Even if you're out in the field without scopes, try turning your color bars on and see whether the 'pluge' black bars at the lower right seem to be at proper brightness. This may provide an indication as to whether you're at least in the right ballpark.
And as Doug says, any kind of critical exposure judgement should be made using other exposure tools provided in the camera, such as Zebras and Histogram -- unless you can actually carry around a WFM.
Remember, the people who use monitors to judge brightness / exposure are almost always in a controlled environment (a color-correction room with a pre-calibrated light level even on the wall around the viewing monitor, or on location a black pop-up tent) and they have a full assortment of scopes to use as a reference should they need it.

Jim Stamos November 8th, 2011 08:48 PM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
doug ordered your dvd. looking forward to your xpertise on this jewel of a cam.
talked to some other shooters today and some are shooting 70 ire some 100. both shoot alot of events, talking heads.
i guess its preference. whats the difference for using zebras with these settings?

Doug Jensen November 8th, 2011 10:06 PM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
Hi Jim,
Thank you for getting the DVD. If you find it doesn't answer your exposure questions send me an email and I'll help you get on the right track. It's not very difficult so, so between the DVD and what I've posted here, you should be able to figure it out.

Piotr Wozniacki November 8th, 2011 11:51 PM

Re: ex1r lcd brightness out of the box
As someone working mainly with multi-camera projects (live classical music), I always make every effort to ensure they will be shot with the same camera models (preferably the EX 1/3s I'm most familiar with). Recently however I just couldn't influence the producer's decisions, and ended up with a real editing nightmare: several projects shot with different cameras (ranging from the Sony DSRs through EXs through some DSLRs)...

After what I've been going through, I must admit I personally tend to agree with Doug's opinion: it's best to get everything (exposure, colors, etc.) right in the field while shooting, rather than leave it "to be fixed in post", as they put it!

My own kit consists now of 2 different cameras (the EX1 and the FS100), so I'd like to ask Doug very politely to share some of his experience with us on matching the two. Doug, did you develop any EX1/3 and FS100 PPs that make them match best they possibly can?



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