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EX3 Setting review

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Frank Hoppen
EX3 Setting review
on May 13, 2009 at 6:24:31 pm

Dear Forum,
This is a really great resource and I do see so many nice responses and help, hoping someone will make the effort to give me his/her insight.
I photograph for the last 12 years professional dirt bike races http://www.Hoppenworld.com, using Canon 1DsMkIII , shooting raw and process in PS or Capture One.
Now I have to make the jump for some clients into video, using first the 5dMKII which is great for low light, shooting lenses like the 200mm 1.8, but anything moving the lense, zooming or God forbid, shooting in bright Socal daylight, it is horrible, due no control (jumps to aperture 36 with ISO 400-800).
Everybody in our sport seems to shoot the P2 and I like their deep blacks, but to be different I went to get the EX3, totally excited, and after 2 shoots, I am crying now, staring at the screen (30 inch apple cinema with 8 core pro mac and FCP) and just shaking how bad the stuff looks.
I am testing different settings to find anything what might works best during these test shoots, but now I cannot tell what the settings were.
I am suspecting to have hit the gain by accident and used ND2, but I am not sure.
Is there a way to look at (metadata?) in FCP or in the Sony software to find out.

Seeing other footage, I am shocked how good they look.
good, of course is totally subjective, to me I love real glossy, sharp, oversaturated, deep blacks, 'wet' looking image, kind of what Velvia Fim looked like.
Here is a sample for what colors I like to not to copy only but to enhance.
http://www.racerxonline.com/video/glen-helen-2009-practice.aspx

Needless to say, I know my stills setting and understand each aspect of the 1ds and post, but am totally lost and new to video, the EX3 and FCP.
I got Dougs DVD (excellent) ate my manual, take FCP lesson, but the old saying "Crap in - Crap out' is true to both.

Any suggestions for Picture Presets, what Format ( I love to shoot some slow mo in camera, but have to go down to 720/30 for that), and what shutter speeds for that kind of action.

Again, thanks for your time and advise, I will surely take them full in and test and let you know what went well.
And please be nice to a fellow stills guy, looking with glazed eyes at the screen....



Frank Hoppen


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Michael Slowe
Re: EX3 Setting review
on May 13, 2009 at 8:03:09 pm

You refer to 'Doug's DVD' and I presume you mean the Vortex Media double DVD workshop by Doug Jensen. This too became my 'bible' for my EX1 and I know he did one for the EX3. All your questions are clearly addressed in the workshop. The main thing that you should check first is whether you switched to full auto by mistake. Merely having the ND filter in should not cause a problem except if the light was very poor. With bright light you need the ND to ensure that the lens is open far enough to use it's best range (wider than f8 at least). Also the workshop explains well the various focus settings and it is possible you have not interpreted this correctly. Follow Dog's suggestions and you shouldn't go wrong. Basically, with the switch set to auto focus, you then can over ride and be in full manual by clicking the lens barrel towards you. If then you need to follow focus in auto (you would need this for cycle racing) you just click the lens away from you and the mode is changed without you having to look down to the switch. This is how the EX1 works and I presume the EX3 is the same, if not there will soon be posts to put us right!

Michael Slowe


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Frank Hoppen
Re: EX3 Setting review
on May 14, 2009 at 1:06:26 am

Thank you so much for your quick response Michael.
Yes, I am going many times thru the DVD from Doug Jensen and all you tips are very much appreciated.
I am still looking for a way to tell the settings ( ND filter, shutter speed, aperture, WB etc) from a single clip either in Final Cut or in the XDCAM software.

Looking at the on camera LCD, I love the look already, but once on the (color corrected) 30 inch cinema display, all looks washed out, flat and undercolored.

Last not least, anybody want to share either a great picture preset setting or/and a good starting point what Format and shutter speed to choose in bright daylight for capturing dirt bike race action in normal speed and also in Slow Motion capture?

Thanks again for all your help.

Frank Hoppen


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Josh Rockman
Re: EX3 Setting review
on Oct 9, 2010 at 7:34:35 am

Hi Frank,

I got my EX3 2 days ago and after using it on "full auto" I could not believe how crappy the vision looked. I thought I thew away big $$$. I then spoke to a Camera op (I'm a Producer/Editor) and he mentioned tweaking the settings. I then did Google searches and could only find one...luckily it's a good one and the vision comes up a treat. I used this setting inside with lights, outside in shade and in sunlight with the ND filters. I still can't understand why there are not a load of settings on the net OR supplied when you get the camera!

Anyway if you or anyone that reads this has good and complete XDCAM EX3 settings please share and post them.

The following settings are meant to mimic the film look.

Camera settings suggestions (only mentioning settings that differ from the default):

CAMERA SET MENU:

* Gain Setup: use -3/0/6 as defaults, preferably shooting with 0 where possible, -3 gives just 90IRE
* Shutter: Angle : 180 (this is the angle of a filmcamera’s shutter – given 25fps that comes to an exposure of 1/50th)
* Filcker Reduce: off
* TLCS: AGC limit: 12, AGC point: F/2.8, A.Sht point: F/5.6 (this all is limiting the iris aperture versus the automatic gain control, so we don’t get lower dan a F/5.6) – i personally use manual iris.

LCD/FV SET MENU:

* Marker: Aspect Select: 14:9
* Zebra: Zebra-1 level: 70 (our over-exposure early-warning-system for the caucasian skin), show both

OTHERS MENU:

* i.Link I/O: Enable
* Video Format: HQ 1080/24p or 1080/25p (NTSC or PAL)

Now… let’s get to the serious business. Nicely un-documented by Sony: the Picture Profile

MARVELS FILM PICTURE PROFILE:

* Matrix: On, High-Sat, Level 0, Phase -5, R-G 75, R-B 0, G-R -18, G-B -23, B-R -27, B-G 13. This gives a beautifully balanced color matrix.
* White: on, Offset A +2, Offset B +2, Offset ATW +2. This will give you a beautiful warm picture, by elevating the reds a little bit
* Detail: On, Level 0, Frequency +65, Crispening 0, Black limiter +75, White limiter +75. This gives a very nice definition without the artificial sharpening artifiacts. Ideal for DOF adapter shooting.
* Gamma: Cine-1 for rich-contrast situations, Cine-3 for low-contrast situations. Make cine-1 your standard and avoid cine-4 (too noisy in the shadows).
* Black: -3 or -4
* Black gamma: -2. Will help to reduce noise in the blacks.

Josh Rockman
Video Production Melbourne


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