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Setting for 24P documenary feature

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Mark Shepherd
Setting for 24P documenary feature
on Apr 25, 2009 at 7:06:52 pm

I am starting on a documentary film tomorrow, and I haven't shot with the VARICAM for years so I would like to get some advice about settings for the camera We want to shoot 24P, we are shooting in daylight in controlled situations, and doing interviews. I would like to just shoot with somewhat standard settings, so the director and editor can change the look in post. Thanks for any info.


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john sharaf
Re: Setting for 24P documenary feature
on Apr 25, 2009 at 7:27:59 pm

Mark,

The best policy is to get it right on the original photography; both exposure and gamma. This is because the recording in DVCPRO100 has only 8-bits of color depth, essentially 256 shades of each color and does not holdup well to post color correction. The P2 Varicams (AVC-I) and HDCAM-SR cameras on the other hand have 10-bit or more than 1000 shades of each color and it's a whole other story, as do some of the file based recorders recently introduced.

For your purpose of 24p be sure to invoke the shutter to 180 degrees (or 1/48th of a second) and on Film Rec/Film Menu use the Dynamic range control of 200,300,400,500% as necessary to control the highlights, knowing that as you increase the % you are also desaturating the color and raising the gamma crossover. I tend to crush the gamma as I go to higher Dynamic Range numbers (higher gamma numbers like .50, .55 and .60).

Another technique would be to shoot everything at 500% Dynamic Range and instruct the editor to turn on the "Film Gamma Corrector" function in the 1400 deck on transfer into NLE. This will give them a good "look" during editing (function does not exist in 1200A). Also turn on same function in Panasonic monitors on set to help visualize what you'll be delivering to the editor.

Whatever you do, you should test the entire workflow just to make sure everyone is on the same page.

JS



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Mark Shepherd
Re: Setting for 24P documenary feature
on Apr 26, 2009 at 1:17:26 am

JS:

Thanks for the helpful info. One other question regarding audio. I seem to remember that you couldn't plug a 48V mic in the back of the camera... there would be distortion. Are there any tricks regarding line levels from a portable mixer? Thanks again.

Mark


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john sharaf
Re: Setting for 24P documenary feature
on Apr 26, 2009 at 1:30:22 am

Of course you can plug in and power a 48v mike into the two audio inputs on the back of the camera; it will not power older 12v T power mikes. With line level from portable outboard mixer, make sure switch on audio input is on "line" and line up headtone at -20Db on camera's meters. Good idea to also listen at camera headphone out to normal speaking levels to check for distortion and/or monitor audio with headset or earpiece(s) while recording. A competent audio person will know all this.

JS





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Robin Probyn
Re: Setting for 24P documenary feature
on Apr 27, 2009 at 8:14:54 am

Yes you can plug a +48 shotgun mic direct into the back of the camera.But I found the level is very hot,way higher than my Sony digibeta... but if you switch to manual level and dial it right down,its fine.Guess you could put in an attenuator in the cable,but I was told better to deal with it at the camera end,and when the levels are set pretty low its within the limits.Just a bit freaky the first time to have the levels set so low.. dont know why its so much more sensitive than the Sony?
And ofcourse monitor it from the miniplug out from the camera,its fine for sit down interviews (done on a small budget !!!). anything else you need an audio guy for sure.



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