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tim gallaher
zebra stripes
on May 12, 2011 at 4:01:53 am

Hey Creative Cow Folks,

I'm thinking of getting a Canon DSLR for it's HD capabilities, specifically the 60D. I'm seeing though that it doesn't have a zebra stipe feature. I've found zebra stipes to be very helpful for me not to over expose when I'm in a hurry. So I have two questions:

1. Does anybody have any ideas or tips on getting proper exposure easily without zebra stipes other than going into automatic mode?

2. Why do digital SLRs, for the most part, not offer zebra stipe features, when it's standard for prosumer-and-up video cameras?

Thanks,

Tim


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Todd Terry
Re: zebra stripes
on May 12, 2011 at 5:11:41 am

[tim gallaher] "any ideas or tips on getting proper exposure easily without zebra stipes"

Well since when shooting with DSLRs for video work the cameras' native viewfinders are pretty inadequate in general and mostly useless for critical focusing, many (if not most) people use external monitors (such as a 7"-ish TTF display) for actual viewfinding. You can select a monitor that has histogram and scope features that might prove helpful with your exposures.




[tim gallaher] "Why do digital SLRs, for the most part, not offer zebra stipe features, when it's standard for prosumer-and-up video cameras?"

Well I think the phrasing of your own question answered it. DSLRs don't have zebra functions (or actually lots of other features that "real" video cameras do) because they weren't designed primarily or principally to be video cameras. Think of them as sort of still cameras that just happen to shoot video as well... almost incidentally. The fact that tons of people have adopted them for video use doesn't change what they were actually primarily designed for. Manufacturers like Canon when questioned about lack of certain features that videographers are missing and requesting (such as decent audio inputs, audio and video monitoring, challenging exposure and focusing when in movie mode) have been pretty upfront about their position that they are still cameras and intended primarily to be still cameras... that can also shoot video. Canon's position in the past when customers complained about the lack of usual video-camera features in the DSLRs have more or less responded with something along the lines of, "Oh it's easy to get those features. Buy one of our many video cameras."

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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tim gallaher
Re: zebra stripes
on May 14, 2011 at 6:26:14 pm

Hey Todd,

Thanks for your response. Using a monitor to exposure gauge is a good idea, so thanks for that. My second question was perhaps not well worded. What I meant to ask is that zebra stripes are so useful for proper exposure on video cameras, why haven't DSLRs adopted them? I would imagine that stripes would be very helpful for still photographers. But after pondering it a few days, I realize that history has probably the biggest pull. SLRs have historically been analog, and thus no one needed zebra bars. DSLRs try to mimic analog/film SLRs, so they don't include zebra stripe options even though they include video.

Thanks again for the response. And your e35 camera looks cool.

Tim



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Al Bergstein
Re: zebra stripes
on May 16, 2011 at 4:55:34 pm

These cameras are still considered (and engineered)as a still camera with video capability. That's why Magic Lantern has been so successful with many of the Canons.

It's also why so many video people have been falling in love with the AF-100, as it's a 'real' larger sensor camera with interchangeable lens and all the pro add on's like zebra, and waveform. I am sure that Canon will be bringing out a competitor to this soon (next year?) as Sony already has.

This is not to trash canon, as I know this is a canon board, and I own a newer xf305, along with a 7D. so while I love Canon, I also felt the need for zebra's, WF, and XLR in's on the camera I do most of my work on. Let alone the beauty of 4:2:2 at 50 Mbps. Not quite a larger frame sensor, but I use my 7D when I need that feel.

Alf


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