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Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma

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brian paterson
Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 7, 2012 at 4:25:24 pm

Hi I have been using an EX1r for some time now and was always a little suspicious of the accuracy of the auto Iris or more to the point whether the image I saw in the LCD when using auto Iris was accurate, as it always looked too dark to me. Always too busy to do anything about it I eventually found a few spare hours today to make some tests. What I found horrified me. Not so much the lightness or darkness of what I was being guided by visually in the LCD but the gamma was way out compared to my computer screen.
I know I do not have a balanced monitor for video but I do send a lot of graphic work to professional print houses and what I see on my screen is pretty accurate. ( So far over the years I have had no surprises when the jobs have been produced.) Even if my monitor was a little out it couldn't be as much adrift as the pictures I am seeing. I have uploaded one here. ( I hope it comes through O.K. as It's my first pic upload to this site. ) I have looked and looked through the menus and tried to do some research on the web but I cannot find a way to change the gamma of the LCD screen. Maybe it's not possible, but it would be nice to be able to match up what I see on the LCD screen to what I see on my computer otherwise I am driving blind, so to speak. Please have a look at the picture I have sent through which shows the EX1's LCD screen flipped out on the right with the computer screen behind showing the same shot in my FCP timeline. The R/H still looks monotone here but actually did have some colour but it was blue and cold looking. Shot in natural light on a Grey day in dull conditions. My usual temptation would be to ignore the auto Iris and manually adjust it to get a brighter picture. That was supposed to be the be all and end all of the test so you can imagine how shocked I was to see such a colour difference as well.
Looking forward to your thoughts. ( P.S I have to shoot a wedding tomorrow and this has really thrown my confidence.)
Many thanks
BRIAN.


brian paterson


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Michael Palmer
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 7, 2012 at 6:39:20 pm

If you need assistance with exposure start using the histogram and set the zebras to 95-100 so you know what is starting to clip. A big part of shooting is setting the exposure manually to give it the look you want.
You should be able to correct the LCD color/contrast within the menu setting, however I have been on jobs with multiple like cameras and found many different looks from each of these EX LCD's and the only way to know what we were really seeing was to use a professional external monitor with a vector scope.

Also explore your Picture Profile setting for advanced gamma setting.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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brian paterson
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 7, 2012 at 7:48:05 pm

Hi Michael thanks for your reply, the only adjustments there seems to be are for Contrast, Brightness and Saturation. However none of these affect the gamma, i.e. the warmth or coolness of the colours.
Is there actually anything that you know of which will do this or am I wasting my time searching for something in the settings which dosen't actually exist.

I have looked at the picture profile settings as well and tried everything but as far as I can see these settings have nothing to do with altering the temperature of the LCD screen on it's own.

So how can I match up the LCD screen to the temperature of the image I see on my computer.

I don't think a professional external monitor has anything to do with this scenario. What I simply want is to be able to see on the LCD screen what I will eventually see on my computer when I ingest the footage. Easily done by matching the colours to each other. If they are both wrong or both right it makes no difference just as long as they are the same and I can see in the LCD screen the image as it will appear in my computer. At least if they match I have a fighting chance rather than trying to guess how much more blue or red the image will come out at after I have eight hours of footage to edit, (and consequently to colour correct if I have guessed wrong. )

Hopefully there is a way somehow but i'm not banking on it.

Regards BRIAN.

brian paterson


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Jw van der Vlies
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 10, 2012 at 8:17:47 am

You are right and wrong in my opinion. Yes, the colors are different, but in my opinion that's not because of the cam, but because of your mac screen. Those screens are always way to yellow.

I use the cinema display (the older beautiful not shiny ones) and use this for coloring (not for broadcast, only web). I know this screen, it's always more yellow.

I find the picture of my ex1r very 'correct' to what i see in the finished production. (i always put in a lot more black though).


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brian paterson
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 10, 2012 at 10:55:08 am

Thanks Jw, but can we please stick to the original question which was: Is there any way to adjust the colour of the flip out screen on an EX1. - Not the contrast, not the brightness, not the saturation. - Just the colour.

Regarding the other issue you raise about Mac Sceens being too yellow it all depends how you set up the gamma on them. As I said in my original post, I send a lot of high quality artwork to print and the resulting work is pretty true to what I see on the screen. However the point I was trying to make is that I would like to be able to match the colour of the EX1's LCD screen to the colour I see on my Mac.
- Not the other way around. At least that way when I film something and I choose a picture profile in the camera that I like the look of I am not then going to get something so completely different when I get back home and begin the edit. I don't see why that is so difficult to understand yet people bang on an on about colour balanced monitors. I used to run a company reproducing fine art greetings cards and we used the same printer that the top museums used. We wasted hours and hours every month discussing the accuracy of the original to their print. In the end I gave up quibbling about small differences and just went with the mantra " If it looks great , it is great." because really it makes no difference if it looks marginally yellow or blue as long as it's not way way off and nasty to look at. However most important thing in those days was for me to see what I was going to be sending to the printer. Or at least knowing what he was going to see when he recieved it. So when I scanned a transparency into my computer and brought it into photoshop it had to reflect the same colours on screen as the original and this was then checked against the printing proofs before going on the press. So the colours were all the same all the way through. Otherwise if I couldn't match the colours up then how would i know which was correct. What I want with the LCD is a simpler version of what I just described . I just want to match the LCD to what I see on my computer screen. Is that so much to ask without going into all the technicalities of colour theories. No I don't think so. So if anyone knows whether what I am asking is possible ( or not possible ) please let me know.

Many Thanks
BRIAN PATERSON.

brian paterson


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Jw van der Vlies
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 10, 2012 at 11:03:00 am

Ok. I didn't know that was your original question. I meant not to worry about it. I also work at a graphic designer and they also use the mac screens for print and it also works for them.

But for your problem, I don't think that you can change the colour of the lcd in that way. (maybe in the hidden menu where you also black balance...don't know).


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Michael Palmer
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 11, 2012 at 12:21:37 am

I don't have your camera model but as I said these LCD's on the EX cameras do not always look the same from camera to camera and it would be best if you could try and calibrate it. Your Mac or PC monitor can also be calibrated and it does make a difference in how you grade for your final export. I use Final Cut 7 and there are video scopes available from the tools menu. Here is a quick video to see the steps for calibrating an HD monitor and I suggest you research a few others out there and how others are calibrating for your NLE.
These small monitors are affordable and you may want one.

















Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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brian paterson
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 11, 2012 at 12:40:41 pm

Thanks Michael,
That's very kind of you. I have a lot of experience over they years in calibrating monitors, mainly for print purposes but I will look into this in relation to the Sony. My initial post was simply posing the question as to whether there was something hidden in the menu settings I had missed which would enable me to tweak the LCD colour but obviously there is not. At least knowing that I can start to plan a way around it.
Many thanks for everyone's help and invigorating discussions on the subject.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas at this time of the year.

Regards
BRIAN PATERSON.

brian paterson


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Robert Quimporte
Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 11, 2012 at 2:30:28 pm

This is equipment designed for creative professionals. And creative professionals -- artists working in broadcasting and vdeo production or graphic arts -- should look at creative jobs in Switzerland or the multiple career opportunities in the United Kingdom


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Michael Slowe
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 10, 2012 at 6:51:57 pm

Brian, I've read through the thread and I do see the point that you are trying to make and your question. However, others have attempted to explain that there is no connection between what your computer screen shows and what your EX camera screen shows. The camera is presumably showing a correct interpretation of your camera settings. That is exposure, focus and white balance. The screen has been calibrated by Sony in the fist instance so you should try reverting to all default factory settings to test this. As to white balance, I often set my own Kelvin setting (through the PP menu) if I think that the screen is showing too cold or too warm a picture for my taste. I've never had a nasty surprise when viewing footage ON A PROFESSIONAL EXTERNAL MONITOR in my edit suite.

I would never rely on my computer screen for an accurate picture, OK for editing maybe but not reliable colour wise. I'm puzzled why you think that you can rely on yours.

Michael Slowe


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brian paterson
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 10, 2012 at 7:54:43 pm

HI Michael,
Thanks for the reply however we all have to make the best of what equipment we have ( or can afford ) there is no way on earth I can afford a Professional External monitor so I have to work with the screen I have on my Mac. If it is good enough for good accurate professional print proofing then I can't see it will be that far out for producing wedding footage on DVD and in fact I don't see a lot of difference ( if any ) between the footage on my screen after I have edited and colour graded it and the picture I get on my TV when I play the finished DVD. In fact I just made my first Blu Ray and was amazed at the quality all round. So all the rest I can control and can trust, however the bit that is always a guessing game is what the colours are going to come out like after I do the shoot. They might look great on the camera LCD but that is no guarantee they will look the same when I get back home. If I could adjust the LCD to match the gamma on my Mac, then me, my camera and my mac would at least be reading from the same script. It dosen't matter if it's correct just as long as it is the same.
I don't know how many times I have to say that or why it is not sinking in. You say you would never reply on a computer screen for an accurate picture. Well what about all the wedding trailers and other stuff presented to clients online. Are they not looking at the material on a computer screen.? I make a lot of stuff on a computer for people who are going to view it on a computer and many do the same. The theory of colour and all the talk between the geeks and the so called professionals is mainly bunkum. We all see colour differently anyhow but we will never know how the other person sees it. Sure it's necessary to have standards and all that stuff but to people who just want to be wowed by great colour the different of a shade or two means nothing just as long as it looks great. I have worked with colour for 45 years and have developed a pretty good eye for it. Every application I have at my disposal allows me to tweak the colour to my liking except this LCD screen and I'm damed if I am going to adjust every other thing I own to match up to that one screen, because frankly I don't trust it and there is no way it is ever going to allow me to test it so it seems.
Many Thanks for your reply.

BRIAN PATERSON.

brian paterson


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Robin Probyn
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 10, 2012 at 11:08:18 pm

Brian

Your chasing your own tail here.There is no camera where you can adjust the gamma on the LCD screen only.. for the good reason that its meant to be giving you a fair representation of the gamma you have set for your camera,not the screen.. defeats the whole object.. no one works like this in the TV world.. thats it.



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brian paterson
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 11, 2012 at 12:28:32 pm

THanks,
I don't work in the TV world.
I produce wedding videos and post them on the internet. That is where people view them. On computer monitors. Probably not as good as the one I have in most cases. That said do I understand what you are trying to say but then why does the EX1 have contrast, brightness and saturation adjustment if it has a "fair" adjustment built in as you say. Why not add colour temperature as well.
This camera is great up to a point but it is aimed at the lower end of the budget spectrum where people who would buy this would not have all the expensive monitoring equipment that TV companies would have so we have to compensate and make the best of what we've got. The ability to match colours to our "cheap" monitors would go a long way to helping us see so we are not guessing at what is going to come out. I am not talking of massive amounts, but just to be able to tweak here and there to taste would help. Nobody is going to force the user to ignore Sony's setting but to have the choice would be good.
At the end of the day it's all going to be colour graded to what I see on my screen anyhow so I might as well have the ability to set the lcd to match my screen in the first place and save a lot of extra work in post after the event.
Your comments seem to be in line with most professionals who have all the expensive equipment and who look down their noses and lecture the rest of us from their exalted positions.

Try to appreciate what the rest of us have to work with and not only from your own perspective.

Many Thanks

BRIAN PATERSON.

brian paterson


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Michael Slowe
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 11, 2012 at 10:44:21 pm

Brian, I'm actually not a professional in the sense that I earn my living from film making, as you appear to do. I'm not "looking down my nose at you" and nor are other members of The Cow. There are no "exalted positions", we are all struggling to produce our best. An external monitor allied to an edit system is standard practice with everyone I know who edits their material, both commercial and non commercial. Most of what they shoot, (and all of what I shoot) ends up by being viewed on a TV screen, either plasma or LCD. I've rarely seen a computer screen that matches one of these big TV's. If yours does then you're lucky. I would have thought that your customers, having paid a decent amount for their DVD's, would want to view the wedding on a decent size TV screen rather than on their computer. Certainly the parents and grandparents would.

I still can't see what your problem is with shooting your wedding videos. If your EX is set up correctly you'll get decent pictures with accurate colour. As I've already written, you can set colour temperature figures within the Picture Profile menu.

Michael Slowe


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brian paterson
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 11, 2012 at 11:54:58 pm

What I edit and colour grade using my Mac always seems to look great on a large LCD or Plasma Screen. I don't have a problem with that. However I do post wedding trailers online which are viewed on all sorts of bog standard none calibrated computers and they still look great as far as I have seen. ( you can check me out at or for a none wedding film with more natural colours - something I did for fun but with all the same equipment I use for a wedding. If you think my colours a way out then please let me know. By the way I do not make a living from film making either. I probably only do four or five weddings a year as they are so badly paid. Hence there is no money for an external monitor and I am still struggling to pay off the camera. You must know some well off people if they all have the luxury of external monitors. Some of us are struggling just to pay the mortgage.

Yes I realise you can set picture profiles, of which I have about six set up, but that function cannot make independent adjustments to the LCD. The colour of that profile will still be different when I see it on my computer by exactly the same degree of difference that already exists between the camera and my Mac. As I said you can set contrast brightness and saturation in the LCD settings but not Hue as far as I can see. I will also repeat for the umteenth time it would be helpful if I could adjust the hue ( maybe by reducing the yellow just a little ) to match my monitor as ultimately it is that monitor I will end up using to do the grading. Right now I know that the footage will come out a bit more yellow but by how much is always an unknown. I could alter my monitor but have spent quite a bit of time setting it up to reflect the accuracy of the print work I do for a living so I do not want to upset that balance.
I suppose I could make a separate profile and save the settings to call up when editing videos and I may yet do that but this whole thread started with just a simple question which was, - does anyone know if I there is something I missed in the camera's settings that can alter the gamma of the LCD on an Ex1. That is all I wanted to know. As yet I have not had a Yes ( or a no ) but I guess the answer is- NO !

Maybe one day i'll win the lottery and buy that professional monitor to see how accurate Sony's settings really are.


Thanks for discussing this
With Regards BRIAN PATERSON.

brian paterson


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Robin Probyn
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 11, 2012 at 11:17:04 pm

You can change your camera settings to anything you want.. in the picture profiles.. but its for the whole camera look,not just the monitor LCD.. but that monitor should give you a fair idea of what you see is what you get.. thats what Im saying.. why do you just want to change just the monitor.. the camera image will be different..

But changing the camera settings is dangerous without at least once when your doing it.. connecting up at the very least to a pro level monitor.. nearly all have built in wave form monitors etc.. you can rent a monitor for $50 a day..or pay someone a few hundred to help you.. then you will have your look and can save it to a memory card..

I dont think anyone is being condescending towards you Brian.. cheer up its xmas.. :)



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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 14, 2012 at 2:56:53 pm

"I produce wedding videos and post them on the internet. That is where people view them. On computer monitors. Probably not as good as the one I have in most cases." ...

This is no new phenomenon; since the 1930s content providers have been trying to reproduce an accurate picture on myriad different sets of varying quality and manufacture. Even two identical displays will show the same signal differently, so what do you do? That's where the reference comes in. You cannot possibly put out a signal customized for every display that'll see it, so you have to put out a correct, accurate signal - and it's up to them to adjust their displays properly to take advantage of it.

Nobody's being snooty with you; rather, the only solution to your quest for accurate color and gamma is to get a properly calibrated reference monitor. Period. If that's not feasible, then trust your camera's display first.

Have you purchased a cheap Spyder or other monitor calibration tool for your computer's display? If not, then you're chasing this from the wrong end in the first place. Most computer displays, despite what they say, are about as accurate as most computer speakers...which is to say, not. Don't question your Sony's built-in display before you have established what your computer's doing.

"The theory of colour and all the talk between the geeks and the so called professionals is mainly bunkum. We all see colour differently anyhow but we will never know how the other person sees it."

Strange observation from someone looking for help in getting an accurate display.

Again, if you haven't calibrated your computer's display then you would be ill advised to go tweaking on your camera's display in order to match it.

Cf


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Michael Palmer
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 14, 2012 at 4:23:49 pm

Clint
I'm finding that the answer is not always the answer.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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brian paterson
Re: Sony EX1r LCD screen Gamma
on Dec 15, 2012 at 1:23:06 pm

Clint,
Of course you cannot possibly put out a signal customized for every display that'll see it. That is why a little adjustment in the camera would help.

Currently my monitor has good natural greys and whites. I could adjust this to make it more yellow to match the Sony but then the grey's and the whites look horrible so it would be far simpler to tweak the LCD screen so I can see like for like. It is not going to make any difference to anything other than make my life easier because I will still edit on the same screen and colour grade the final ouput as I do now. I don't know why you can't get your head around that and if you believe I am outputting my colours wrongly whilst thinking what I see on my computer to be perfect then please check out a couple of my very short trailers on your calibrated monitor and tell me how far out you think they are. ( you can check me out at or for a none wedding film with more natural colours - It would be nice to get an opinion from an expert.


Regarding "Snooty"- that might be the wrong word, what I really meant was that a lot of the forum experts seem to talk down to their audience by saying you can't possibly do this or that without this piece of equipment or that piece of equipment, as if it grow on trees. However we don't all come from a world where this sort of equipment is affordable or lying around in abundance at our friends places.
I am not so stupid that I don't know the benefit of having a calibrated monitor and if I could afford one I would not be writing in to ask you if I could tweak the LCD. Instead I would be writing in to ask you about information on Calibrated monitors.
My original question was to ask if there was an adjustment in the ex1 to tweak the colour of the LCD screen. After all Sony have provided three of the elements to adjust the gamma so why not the fourth.

I have had meetings with teams of expert from Barco in the past when I owned one of their monitors and their theories are all very well. But in the end all the waffle and technical dissection of colour amounts to nothing if you can't "see" it and "feel" it.


BRIAN PATERSON.

brian paterson


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