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T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!

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Zack Florance
T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!
on Mar 24, 2010 at 12:15:52 pm

I don't get it. The footage will look great in the lcd screen and then when I pull the card out and look at it its wayyyyyyyyy darker?!?! What gives? Anyone see this before?


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Noah Kadner
Re: T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!
on Mar 24, 2010 at 1:52:27 pm

Well considering the LCD screen has a brightness control- it's not the best place to gauge exposure. It's worth spending time with the manual to truly understand how the built-in exposure metering works.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!
on Mar 24, 2010 at 3:17:08 pm

Also worth considering - an external spot meter or incident meter. They take some getting used to, but you'll love them once you do. These cameras very much remind of my 16mm days - meters and math and I don't blow $30 every time I blow a take. ;)

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Zack Florance
Re: T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:19:26 pm

Thanks for your help all. So am I the only one who has noticed this? It really just happens indoors , dark outside so no natural light and when I'm open apertured and higher ISO...it will look good in the LCD and i pop in the card and BLAM! SO dark it's unrecognizable.

Zack
Bloomfield Hills, MI
Avid Express V 5.6
HP Compaq nw8440
2 GB Ram
Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:36:38 pm

Yep. Sad but true. Example - we shot a zombie short a month ago. It looked GREAT through the LCD. Nice contrast, nice exposure. We checked the settings - ISO 3200, f4, shutter 1/50, 24p - it was dark. We shoot. Looks great even on playback through the camera. Take it to FCP and wah, wah, wah, no dice. After much processing and hair-pulling, got the second take to work, but lost nearly all detail in the shadows and the point was the shadow detail so pretty much lost a shot and we can't get the actors (in makeup!) back again. :(

Oddly, we had metered every shot prior to that, but this one we didn't. Naughty us. I thought my DP had done it and he thought the other assistant did it. Should have said something. Chalk it up to experience. By the way, the metered shots came out within +/-5% of what we expected.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Zack Florance
Re: T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:48:02 pm

So is what I'm hearing trust the metering and metering only, and not the LCD?

Zack
Bloomfield Hills, MI
Avid Express V 5.6
HP Compaq nw8440
2 GB Ram
Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz


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Noah Kadner
Re: T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:52:14 pm

[Zack Florance] "So is what I'm hearing trust the metering and metering only, and not the LCD?"

Precisely. That would be thinking like a pro...

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!
on Mar 24, 2010 at 7:27:53 pm

I trust the light meter because I'm used to using them. There's a whole generation of video and photo pros who don't use them because digital is fast and has instant feedback (unlike film). How's this: don't trust the LCD implicitly. After a few shoots, you'll want to draw on your experiences in various situations to know how to get a particular shot.

Pick up an inexpensive light meter (any will do at around $50 - you can spend a whole lot more so don't spend a lot until you know it will work for you) and see if it helps. They take some getting used to so don't immediately drop it into your workflow and expect it to be the magic bullet, but learn to rely on them when you use them correctly. Set up some practice situations, low light, extreme sun, indoor, outdoor, etc. JUST use the light meter and set the camera accordingly and see how the footage comes out. Rinse. Repeat.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Chris Tompkins
Re: T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!
on Mar 25, 2010 at 12:58:18 pm

A calibrated Field monitor would be wise.


Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta


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Richard Harrington
Re: T2i footage looks good in LCD but ends up wayyyyy darker!
on Mar 26, 2010 at 8:46:53 pm

As would a loupe

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and ATS:iWork


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