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Set up question

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Mike Allen
Set up question
on Jul 18, 2005 at 6:04:19 pm

I own a new 2/3's inch chip DSR-400. I realize it is not high def or 24p. However, it does have all kinds of set up control. Would anyone be willing to give some advise on tweeking the setup to get a more film type look. This may not be possible with DV25 but I thought I would "ask the masters" to see if you have any suggestions.

If setup is not the answer, do you have filter or post production tips that might help me to atchieve good results. I have been producing corporate video for about 10 years, mostly on DV and have learned much about the importance of lighting. We seem to get good results using Kino Flow Deva florescent 56k.

I have had the opportunity to hang out on the set with Leo T. during several shoots for Synovus in Columbus Ga. I really love the look that he gets for his Varicam and would value some tips on improving the image from my DSR-400.

Currently, we have decided to stay away from HDV and wait for an affordable HD solution. I feel it may be some time down the road before this happens and I would like to make the most of what we have.

I am editing on FCP HD (G5) and a M100 (G4). If there are things I can do in post (tricks of the trade so to speak) to atchieve a better look, please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

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Peter DeCrescenzo
Re: Set up question
on Jul 20, 2005 at 6:43:50 pm

Hi Mike: In addition to info you may get from folks here, you may wish to refer to this thread over in the COW's Sony DV forum concerning the DSR-450WSL (and DSR-400) cams. Simon W. & others have posted some helpful info there:

Looks like Simon may have some good info forthcoming on his website soon, too.

All the best,

- Peter

Just a friendly reminder to all: Please consider filling-in your COW user profile information so we have a better idea who you are, where you're from, and so forth. It's the friendly thing to do. Thanks!

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Mark Frazier
Re: Set up question
on Jul 26, 2005 at 9:30:58 pm


I've been shooting BetaSP for many years, and to get a less "video" look, I have lowered the detail level on my camera. (For reference, my camera has 1/2" chips and I've got the detail set to -07.) There's a noticeable difference between the video I have shot since I did this and the video I shot before I lowered the detail.

I'm not personally familiar with the DSR-400, but I would assume (knowing what happens when you assume anything) that you have a menu that lets you change many attributes. Another setting you can manipulate is the black level up or down a few points, but that will depend on the lighting situation you're in for any given scene. Having a good field monitor will save you having to "fix it in post".

If you use filters when you shoot, you may want to check out the Tiffen Black Pro Mist filters. The lower density filters will get you closer to a "film" look without too much diffusion.

Of course, if you have the flexibility to shoot a few scenes multiple times, using different filters and/or camera settings, you'll get a better idea what works best for your camera and personal tastes.

Have fun experimenting!


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