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Two EX1s - colour balance not matching

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Tom David
Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 21, 2009 at 5:17:55 am

Hi guys,

Our two EX1 cameras don't seem to match when it comes to colour balance.

An automatic colour balance in identical conditions on a sun lit white card produced a 5600K white balance on camera A, and a 8600K balance on camera B. From this calibration alone, I would assume from now that Camera B is the problem.

Both cameras are set to factory default STANDARD profiles.

More odd was when I manually adjust colour balance on both cameras (switched to PRESET, and manually adjusted temperature in PICTURE PROFILE). Camera A produces the expected result and my sunlit white card turns white when I dial 5600K.

...But I literally couldn't find white at all on Camera B on the sunlit white card - as I manually increased colour temperature, the colour of the white card shifted from blue to yellow/red without passing through 'white' at all.

So in effect, I couldn't get a white balance manually at all on camera B - it only hit white on the automatic balance - but 3000K greater than camera A. But manually, when I dial 8600K, the card isn't white again. Only on the automatic white balance will the camera recognise white as white. Arrrrh.

As a result, on shoots recently Cam B fluctuates in magenta and cyan colour space compared to Camera A, and lots of grading follows.

Has anyone else encountered this?

Cheers,
Tom

Cheers,
Tom

Camera Operator - Editor - Motion Graphics
(http://www.tomdavid.com.au)


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Michael Palmer
Re: Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 21, 2009 at 2:05:36 pm

I was recently at CES shooting two EX3 cameras and suddenly the handheld unit (set to auto white balance) went really blue and I ended up using the Reset All to clear up this issue. There where so many different booths displaying amazing colors that I'm sure it overwhelmed one of my EX3, however the second static EX3 was OK. I thought this was strange but in the heat of the battle I rest all and it came back and I didn't think much of it until this post.

Have you tried to reset the camera?

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Craig Seeman
Re: Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 21, 2009 at 9:35:10 pm

Tom, you're the 2nd person I've heard of with the two EX1 with wildly different white balance settings issue. Did either of your cameras recently get a firmware upgrade to 1.11?

Michael, yours it the first EX3 I've heard of doing this and I assume you didn't get a firmware upgrade (although I do hear there are two firmware versions floating around).

Of course if it's only the EX1s with new firmware having the issue (and EX1 1.11 may be similar to the initial EX3 firmware), maybe there's a pattern here.



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Tom David
Re: Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 21, 2009 at 10:02:12 pm

Thank you for your input, I will try reseting unit later in the day. On the firmware issue though - I couldn't backtrack through this forum on how to check my firmware version.

I am sure Camera A has most recent firmware as it was services just over three months ago and had an upgrade. Camera B had one of the earlier upgrades prior to this...




Cheers,
Tom

Camera Operator - Editor - Motion Graphics
(http://www.tomdavid.com.au)


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Craig Seeman
Re: Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 21, 2009 at 11:12:03 pm

There have been posts about going into the maintenance menu of the EX1 to see the firmware but there's an easier way for people who don't want to mess with that.

Engage the Menu.
Go to the bottom Menu (looks like 4 boxes . . . like when did Sony hire the artist formerly known as Prince to design menus?!).
Go to Clip

You'll see
Title Prefix
Number Set
Update
Last Clip DEL
All Clips DEL

The Update option only exists with EX1 and firmware 1.11 (all EX3s have it afaik).

I also believe seeing the ↵ (a more curved version) for return, is another earmark but the Update command is easy to identify.

I'm asking this because I do believe there are faulty firmware upgrades. Actually I KNOW there are faulty firmware upgrades because it happened to me although it exhibited itself differently for me. For me, when I turned on SDI out I would get Media Error when trying to play clips off the SxS cards.

I don't know for sure if your white balance issue firmware upgrade related but I believe the other person with the issue had a firmware upgrade done on two EX1s and one of them exhibited the odd white balance issue.

If the firmware itself were inherently faulty this issue would be more wide spread and it would be in recently sold EX1 with 1.11 installed as well as those that went into Sony Service for upgrade.

My speculation is that the firmware upgrade process can go awry (again I KNOW it can because it happened to me) and it's not obvious to service. I also speculate that it may exhibit itself differently (if it has gone awry) though with different cameras.

I really think people who've had their EX1 firmware upgraded should walk through every function and test.

In any case the white balance thing is just a theory of mind but you are the 2nd person I know of reporting this and the other person just got a firmware upgrade.

Probably the best way to test is light a white balance card with 3200k light, kill ALL ambient light in the room. Set your two cameras next to each other, manual white balance on the card. Obviously they should both end up with 3200k (or near that). If one makes the card look white with another number check to see if that camera is firmware 1.11 (look for the Update function).



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Michael Slowe
Re: Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 22, 2009 at 11:33:21 am

Oh my goodness Craig. I'm due for a firmware upgrade at my Sony seller tomorrow! Should I not bother? I got my EX1 last Summer and the firmware version is 1.03. If 1.11 might cause trouble is there any advantage in upgrading? Also I presume all carefully chosen settings have to be re set after upgrading? I know one can store settings on a card and then restore them so I'm not too concerned about that. You early advice would be greatly appreciated.

Michael Slowe


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Tom David
Re: Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 21, 2009 at 11:03:12 pm

Thanks Michael,

Though can I confirm with you - I reset the camera from the in-camera menu (the same sub-menu where I would change camera format etc). I tried this reset, and the camera seems to have gone back to factory settings (including wiping picture profiles etc), however the colour balance issue still remains - my sunlit white card still hits 8500K for an automatic white balance - where the other 'normal' camera A is getting the expected reading of 5600K.

Any other thoughts re reseting?

Cheers,
Tom

Camera Operator - Editor - Motion Graphics
(http://www.tomdavid.com.au)


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Craig Seeman
Re: Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 21, 2009 at 11:14:03 pm

Tom see this post
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/142/862391
and let me know the results.
Seems you've already done a comparable test. See my simple non maintenance menu method to check the firmware. Read the post to see why I think the firmware upgrade is a factor. Please let me know the results.



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Tom David
Re: Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 21, 2009 at 11:21:40 pm

Hi Craig,

Checked, and certainly I have the UPDATE option in my clip menu, so confirmed firmware 1.11. Anyway, I'll trot down to Melbourne's service centre tomorrow and chat to the techs there. I will certainly let you know what they think. Thank you.

Cheers,
Tom

Camera Operator - Editor - Motion Graphics
(http://www.tomdavid.com.au)


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Craig Seeman
Re: Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 21, 2009 at 11:34:57 pm

[Tom David] "I'll trot down to Melbourne's service centre tomorrow and chat to the techs there."

It's good they're in trotting distance. Teaneck was in trotting distance for me too. In my case I called them and spoke with the tech who had my camera. We walked through my issue, with him testing on his camera. I made an appointment to meet with him the next day. We tested face to face and he installed the firmware while I waited and we tested and confirmed the fix. The entire round trip took only 2 hours.

I'm mentioning that because rather than leaving the camera there, if you call before you drop in they may be able to do the firmware reinstall while you wait and you'll leave with a working camera. In other words, for you, do a white balance test there to show him and do it again before you leave.

It must be really frustrating for those not in trotting distance of their Sony Service facility.





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barry stone
Re: Two EX1s - colour balance not matching
on Jan 15, 2014 at 10:47:31 am

Thanks for that post. I was having a moot version of that problem. My two EX1s, which usually match perfectly, were giving me slightly different skin tones, one slightly more red then the other even though all the settings were identical. Reset all on both cameras and reentering all the camera data fixed it .


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