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Recent DSR-450WSL frame grabs


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#1 Peter J DeCrescenzo

Peter J DeCrescenzo
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Posted 28 November 2005 - 11:33 PM

These two uncorrected frame grabs are representative of an interview I shot about a week ago in San Francisco. (The interview subject, Michael Mead, is discussing the importance of mentoring for boys and girls.)

My DSR-450WSL was in 24pA mode w. a 1/48-sec. shutter, native 16:9, approx. f2.8, distance about 6-7 ft. from lens to subject, I did a manual white balance (not preset). I used Simon Wyndham's previous scene file "suggestions" because I hadn't seen his current suggestions yet, which are available here:
http://www.simonwynd...camerasetup.htm

michael_mead_cu_2.jpg
michael_mead_ms_b_3.jpg

The "older" settings I used for this shoot were:
FLM GAMMA 1
KNEE OFF
DETAIL -40
APERTURE LEVEL -14
DETAIL FREQ +40
DTL H/V RATIO +10
CRISPENING -10
WHITE CLIP 109.5

EDIT: The lighting consisted of: At about 5' to the camera's left, the key is a 32"x24" Photoflex CineDome Pro softbox with upper-left half (nearest to camera) of the front diffusion peeled off, mounted on a Mole 650w Tweenie fresnel. The back/hair light above & behind the subject's left shoulder was a 250w MiniMole fresnel with I believe one double scrim (I don't recall if I used diffusion). A second 650w Tweenie with I believe one double scrim & heavy diffusion was located about 5' from subject's right shoulder & about 8' from (and aimed at) the bookshelf. A 48" white reflector is located just off-camera's right near the subject's left shoulder, bouncing some of the key as fill on subject's face.

The footage was captured into an old version of FCP 3.0.4 I own via Firewire. These frames were exported out as PNG files, and then lightly compressed @ 96% JPEGs.

I'm looking forward to testing Simon's latest setting suggestions, as well as experimenting with variations on the cam's defaults.

My current lens is a very basic Canon YJ19x9B4KRS SD lens. At some point I hope to do some tests/shoots using a (rented/borrowed) high-end SD lens, or if I'm really lucky an HD lens.

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo

Edited by Peter DeCrescenzo, 29 November 2005 - 10:57 AM.

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#2 Simon Wyndham

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 05:03 AM

Hi Peter,

Regarding my latest settings that were detailed by the BBC I have found the 'video' versions of those settings to be a bit too overcooked on the sharpness side of things. I would recommend using the detail settings from my previous setup (the ones you used for this recent interview), but to try out the knee and gamma settings I have listed for the latest settings on my site.

Thus far I think the Swiss Effects detail settings seem to give the most pleasing overall look. However I am going to be doing some extensive tests for detail and colour setup along with a colleague soon to see if we can come up with a similar range of scene files as the ones available for download from the Panasonic site for the SDX900.

Edited by Simon Wyndham, 29 November 2005 - 05:03 AM.

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#3 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 11:04 AM

Thanks for the additional information, Simon. Much appreciated.

Are the Swiss Effects settings for the Sony PDW/DSR pro cams on their website or yours? (I looked, but I may have missed them.)

It'll be great if you're able to put together a set of downloadable scene file "serving suggestions". I look forward to trying them out.

Of course, scene file are subject to one's own testing, and when it comes to camera tweaking perhaps "less is more" -- especially when one is as relatively new to it as I am. ;)

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo
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#4 Simon Wyndham

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:25 AM

No, I had to contact Swiss Effects to ask for their recommendations for the camera for filmout. It just so happened that the settings also worked very nicely in general.

Try this one out. Just messing around with the test SAW gamma signal and the waveform monitor, as well as saturation.

Clean Saving Private Ryan;

Detail OFF
Apeture ON
Apeture level +42 (enhancement on high frequency edges)
Crispening -60
Detail Frequency +99 (raising this to the maximum makes detail enhancement very fine and subtle).

Gamma
Step Gamma 0.35
Master Gamma +62
Gamma Sel (STD) 6

Knee;
Knee Point 85.0
Knee Slope +62 (plus figures on these models lower the slope)

Linear Matrix;
Matrix ON
Matrix (user) ON
Matrix (preset) ON
Matrix R-G -99
Matrix B-G -99

Also for a saturated look change those matrix settings to +20 (about the maximum sensible figure)

Try this for a general use look;

Detail ON
Apeture ON
Detail -20 to -40 (depending on preference)
Apeture 0
Crispening 0
Detail Frequency +99

Step Gamma 0.45
Master Gamma 0
Gamma table STD 4

Knee point 85.0
Knee slope +62

Now something interesting here is that the BBC devised settings recommend switching the knee circuits off which is in line with what I suggested in my original article to try out. Although the BBC settings also place the White Clip ON and set to 100.0 ire. In this case I am not so sure that it is a good idea because that will give a very hard clip with no highlight roll off at all (the FLM gamma tables are safer with the knee off because they roll off more prematurely as part of their design). Although even then these days I am more inclined to have the knee on.

In fact I am tending to use the STD gamma table 4 with the knee point and slope set as suggested above because this does in fact replicate the the FLM gamma tables smooth roll off but at the same time giving even more contrast latitude.

For the filmlook use the knee point and slope as above (85.0 and +62) plus the following. This will give you a measured 11.5 stops of contrast range. Yes, the black stretch increases the noise a bit. But these cameras are so quiet it isn't really much of an issue, plus the crispening setting should sort some of that out if I'm understanding this right (which maybe I'm not). But then who am I to argue with the BBC's most experienced setup engineer? :)

Detail OFF
Apeture ON
Apeture Level +42
Crispening -60
Detail Frequency +99

White Clip OFF

Black Gamma;
Black Gamma ON
Black Gam Range H.MID
Master Blk Gamma +62

Now go outside in some really harsh contrasty sunshine! This setting is designed purely with post production adjustment in mind, and gives a similar look to this when you put the mouse pointer over the picture.
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#5 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 08:01 PM

Thanks again, Simon! I'll test some of these and report back.

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo
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#6 Simon Wyndham

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 06:14 PM

Well I found I was wrong about the crispening. Oops! I'm going to have to quiz said engineer on the settings as the -60 crispening will make the coarseness of any noise worse. Hmmmm.

Its helping me get closer to a setup I can use for general use though. I'll probably update my article again in the next few days.
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