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Video color correction: filters vs. white balancing?


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#1 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 02:06 PM

After reading the excellent response from Dominic Case in the recent General Discussion thread regarding film filtration vs. correcting color in telecine, I’m wondering if there is there any benefit to using color correction filters on video cameras. With film, it is typically best to filter when the color temperature of the light is substantially different than what the film is designed for (shooting daylight-balanced film with tungsten lights, for example.) Trying to get the same result in telecine can be difficult as the relationship between colors is altered. (As Michel Nash noted in the thread, correcting one color can throw others off.)

I don’t shoot much video, but I’ve noticed that digital still camera RAW images shot under tungsten are often very close to the limit of the RAW converter’s adjustment temperature scale, while images shot in daylight conditions are typically right in the middle of the scale, giving much more room for adjustment.

I searched the forum and read the chapter on filters by Ira Tiffen in the ASC Video Manual, but I can’t seem to find anything definitive. Mr. Tiffen’s article states: “Color Conversion filters are used to correct for sizeable differences in color temperature between the internal video correction and the light source.” He doesn't elaborate.

So, I’m wondering, are video chips and/or sensors designed to record colors most accurately at a specific color temperature? Does simple in-camera white balancing produce the same effect as filtering?
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 02:20 PM

So, I?m wondering, are video chips and/or sensors designed to record colors most accurately at a specific color temperature? Does simple in-camera white balancing produce the same effect as filtering?


Hi Fran,

They are, if you get a chance to test a Viper in film stream (no white balance possible) you will see that they are optimised for 3200K

If you set the filter wheel first on a normal video camera first, then yes. If you white balance with the wrong filter then the signal is less clean.

Stephen
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#3 Joshua Provost

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 05:48 PM

The problem is that different video cameras are designed to work natively at different color temperatures. Some are best near tungsten, some near daylight. Usually this is not a published specification, unfortunately. If you can figure it out, by all means, get it close with a filter, fine tune with manual white balancing, and finish in color correction.
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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 09:28 PM

The problem is that different video cameras are designed to work natively at different color temperatures. Some are best near tungsten, some near daylight. Usually this is not a published specification, unfortunately. If you can figure it out, by all means, get it close with a filter, fine tune with manual white balancing, and finish in color correction.


I don't think it paints a complete picture to talk about color correction without mentioning white level clip, black level compression, and black stretch. There are scenarios in which a Panasonic MX-50 digital switcher with built in independent black and white clip levels offers more of what I need to adjust a scene than the highly valued Sony Component color corrector that was very popular in the 90's but had no function.
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