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Color/brightness syncing different brand camcorders before live shoot

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Samuel Smith
Color/brightness syncing different brand camcorders before live shoot
on Jul 22, 2009 at 12:01:37 am

I'm doing a concert with multiple cameras. My main camcorders will be a pair of Panasonic HVX 200's. I know their white balance and brightness settings well. But the others will be a mix of HV 30's and of that class to Canon XH A1 and higher end models.

Color correction in post can be very frustrating, not to mention burn out from too much light. I'm curious if there are any standard techniques before a shoot to match them up? Do you all focus on a colored piece of paper or light or something or am I going to have to gather them all around and monkey with the settings for a while to get it perfect?

What should I look for in the standard settings for each: Iris, white balance, (other common names to look for in cameras I'm not familiar with?)

Thanks for the help. I need it.

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Walter Soyka
Re: Color/brightness syncing different brand camcorders before live shoot
on Jul 23, 2009 at 1:04:35 am

At a minimum, you need to white balance all your cameras on the same white card in the same light. Your camera operators should run their own irises manually. If the cameras feature zebra stripes, that may help them all with consistent exposure.

However, this will only get you in the ballpark. Because each of these different models have different CCDs and different video processors, each with different color and brightness responses, I think you will have to do some color correction in post.

Ideally, you would use a set of studio cameras for an event like this, each with a CCU (camera control unit). Before the event begins, you'd "chip" the cameras. During the event, a video engineer would sit backstage, continuously shading the cameras with one eye on a calibrated broadcast monitor and the other on calibrated scopes.

Since your cameras won't have this centralized control capability, I suspect you will be stuck making these adjustments afterwards.

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production

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