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Just worked with some HDCam footage seemed a little gray

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Blub
Just worked with some HDCam footage seemed a little gray
by
on May 1, 2006 at 10:25:10 pm

I just did some work with some HDCam footage and it impressed me as being a little gray or undersaturated. Is this common in HD or HDCam?

Thanks

Chris


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DetroitDIT
Re: Just worked with some HDCam footage seemed a little gray
on May 3, 2006 at 1:12:36 pm

If the footage you worked with was a little gray ther are a few things that could cause that but it more than likely was because the master pedestal on the camera was not at zero. If you were using a paint box like the RMB-150 or 750 the pedestal knob might have gotten bumped. If not then the camera's reference file may need adjustment. With the Cinealta even though the menu may show zero at the master ped it could be something quite different. The way to check it is to make sure it has been set to zero. Then cap the camera and do a auto black balance, look at the black level on a waveform monitor. Black should be at zero not above or "crushed" below the zero line. If it is above zero simply lower master pedastal until the line on the scope is at zero take care to not pull it too low or crush the blacks. Usually the numeric value is around -3 to -4 but you may have to go lower I have seen needing to be as much as -6 to -8. Once you are happy with the black level save the new setting in the camera's reference file. Once saved when you go back to master pedestal menu page the value will read zero. Now your camera will be calibrated correctly for black levels.
A common reaction is to suspect the camera's settings but the playback deck you were using may have it's pedastal setting incorrect. I've seen that before as well.
The answer to your other question is no the overall gray tonal quality is not normal for this camera or format. The footage should be as rich and as contrasty as you would like right out of the camera. I hope this was helpful this is my first post to creative cow let me know if I was helpful. Regards.

Don't panic it's only ones and zeros.
Detroit DIT


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Blub
Re: Just worked with some HDCam footage seemed a little gray
by
on May 4, 2006 at 12:16:56 am

Thanks for the info. While I look forward to renting this camera I have not used it yet, I have only used footage shot on it. I think you might have hit on just why things seemed gray. Sometimes people set up cameras just by eye, disregarding any technical measurement or feedback, I think that


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DetroitDIT
Re: Just worked with some HDCam footage seemed a little gray
on May 4, 2006 at 1:20:08 am

Glad I could be of help. When you finaly rent a f900 try to make sure you have a little money for a DIT in your budget. That should help ensure you get a quality product straight away and spend less money in post "fixing it".

Regards

Don't panic... it's only ones and zeros.
Detroit DIT


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Robert
Re: Just worked with some HDCam footage seemed a little gray
on May 4, 2006 at 4:46:05 pm

Hi Chris -

Often times people will set up an F900 to intentionally look "low contrast" and desaturated. This approach is about capturing all information in the highlight and shadow areas with the intention of color correcting it in post. You can often decide to clip whites or blacks in post production with good results if you have captured images carefully. Video cams have limited dynamic range and obviously don't handle highlight information so good, but many of them can capture a lot of black information. Highlight clipping is mostly unrecoverable information, but blacks can usually be controlled (within reason) during color grading.

Often when a high contrast lighting situation is encountered, operators will expose for the highlight (IOW, to retain all the highlight detail and not let it clip), but then their shadow detail could be lost. If they want the shadow detail but cannot fill it with light, they will often stretch the blacks using black gamma or master ped. It can get overdone however, resulting in a "milky" picture, so it's best to have a qualified tech (DIT) do this sort of thing. Is this what your stuff looks like? What was the content? Was it a controlled lighting situation (i.e. studio) or was it daylight exteriors? Was it a rental camera (some houses will preset their camera with a "lowcon" look for information capture)?

In any event, hope your material is salvagable. Having a good onset D.I.T. (working closely with the DP) can help facilitate smart decision making when it comes to timing the camera, so they are often useful to have on your video crew!

Hope this helps, and good luck!



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Blub
Re: Just worked with some HDCam footage seemed a little gray
by
on May 5, 2006 at 12:42:01 am

The camera was a rental beyond that I don


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