Scene Files / other features, worth it?
OK, this might p*ss some of you off...I don't really know.
Shooting w/ the 2700, mostly local car commercials, so far ALL broadcasting in SD still.
Disclaimer 1: I have very little knowledge of using such a high end camera (it's not mine).
Disclaimer 2: Yes I realize I'm completely spoiled and naive, and local SD car commercials don't need a Varicam, but hey, it's what it is...
Disc 3: The camera is basically right out of the box, hardly adjusted at all.
So: For 6 months, been shooting on this thing and never even touched scene files, or 98% of the rest of the camera's capabilities. I'm wondering if, for what I'm doing, it's really worth it for me to experiment and spend a lot of time figuring out scene files and different looks, as in, can it really improve the image THAT much, when the final picture is ending up on local channels in SD.
All I really do now is import the files into Final Cut, adjust color/brightness a bit, and that's about it.
Yes I know it would be worth it in the long run, yes I know the camera can work miracles, yes I will hopefully move into a more full time role w/ the owner of the camera (my employer) and have time to do those things...but right now I'm just a contractor who comes in, uses their gear, edits the spots at a thousand miles an hour, and gets ready for the next shoot. It's a sweet deal, but I know that the 2700 (scene files and all) offers so much more than I know.
But w/ my current work, should I even bother. ?
I love the Cow btw, and thanks to everyone who makes our lives easier...
Well I guess it comes down to who, including yourself cares. If you think you might gain higher end clients by taking the time to learn the full capabilities of your camera and maximize its potential or perhaps take more personal satisfaction in your work, then by all means invest the time and read your manual and learn it. If you think it's a waste at the level that you're working at, then sure why bother?
If you're asking- is it in general worth mastering the tools you make a living with- I don't think you'll find a true professional in *any* profession who wouldn't say yes...
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.
Have you ever watched you footage and said; "I wish the highlights weren't blown out" or I have to adjust the overall color on every shot"?
Then, yeah, it might be worth it to learn the camera. I love taking my footage to an edit house and the editor NOT have to adjust anything. Saves time and money, not mention, the footage just looks better on air with out blown-out highlights etc.
Thanks to both of you guys...
Noah - Definitely. I always want to get better and expand my own skills. Pertaining to this post, I guess I was asking more short term, specifically relating to SD broadcast TV, and whether or not the SD broadcast is gonna take my image, whether it's amazing or just ok, and make it all look about the same...
Ernie - I edit the footage myself, so I've learned what adjustments to make in the edit room BEFORE I send the spots off to the stations, so that they look OKAY on air. But the thing is, I know what all the other local guys are shooting with, and I watch their spots right after mine on the local channels, and they all just kind of look about the same. Ours look a little bit better, but not as much as I hoped.
Panasonic 2/3" cameras are optimized for Asian skin tones out of the box. They will be deficient in green. You might consider downloading Panasonic's "DigiNeg" scene file for a closer REC 709 rendition. At least you would have something to compare to. "Vivid" might be worth looking at as well. These scene files are starting points, you can customize to suit, if comfortable.
The 2700 offers many gamma options, the most well known being Film-Rec, which will be very useful for high contrast scenes or Filmlike 1, 2, or 3, as well as DRS 1, 2 or 3 can help in high contrast as well. The latter will boost mid-blacks, potentially requiring less grading in post. All will look flat and a bit de-saturated compared to HD gamma, which might work fine for controlled light. Some of the low end Panasonic cameras have an SD gamma setting, but not the high end models.
Gamma would be an easy place to start comparing, maybe do some test recordings of an actual scene using different gamma settings. Know that if you use the film type gammas, you will probably want to do more grading and color correction(at least saturation) in post--especially Film-Rec at an aggressive dynamic range such as 600% or even Filmlike 3, which compress mids, mid-blacks to gain more highlights.
Of course, the 2700 also offers simple controls like chroma, much easier to use than matrix or color correction circuits in the camera(although the Panasonic scene files will make use of these).
If shooting bright primary color cars, you need to be careful about keeping the colors legal, so any liberal tweaking of chroma or matrix should be done carefully with a vectorscope.
The HPX2700 is a very powerful camera and can provide amazing results, especially if you're looking for a more subtle, natural image vs. the HD news and sports look. But you can get yourself in trouble as well--that's why I believe the Panasonic scene files are a good way to preview what's possible.
Shooting Star Video
Thanks so much Jeff. That's a lot for me to chew on!
You guys are awesome!