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VariCam & HVX200 Matching


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#1 Paul Wizikowski

Paul Wizikowski
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Posted 13 February 2007 - 01:54 PM

I'm fairly familiar with the Varicam, and I am very familiar with the HVX. My new quest is to get the two to match on an upcoming shoot. They won't be used side-by-side but rather A-cam and B-cam shooting seperate scenes simultaniously, for a series of commercials. I'll be using the respective P+S adapters for both and they will share a set of Zeiss SuperSpeed Primes. So with as much of the hardware as I can have matching I would like to dial in the settings to as close as possible. Any thoughts, do's, or don'ts would be appreciated.

Paul
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#2 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
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Posted 13 February 2007 - 11:05 PM

I've seen the two cameras cut together and they can look pretty good, but the Varicam still wins (naturally). If at all possible, I'd prefer to shoot wider shots with the Varicam and only closer shots with the HVX, to minimize the difference in resolution. But that doesn't help your scenario much.

It's a little bit of a judgement call -- do you handicap the Varicam to match the HVX, or do you try to optimize each camera and smooth out the differences in post?

FWIW, the HVX has fewer controls for adjusting color, gamma, black, and highlight handling than the Varicam. You'll more easily match the Varicam to the HVX, rather than the other way around. You might start by setting up the HVX the way you like, then -- with a waveform monitor -- adjust the Varicam's Dynamic Range, Gamma, Knee, and black stretch to match. Then move on to color, using a vectorscope.

The Varicam is a bit sharper than the HVX, which again could be "handicapped" with lens diffusion (and/or detail settings). But then, the lens adapters will impose their own softening and lowered contrast. Best to test them with the lens adapters in place.

I'd also test modifying the clean image from each camera in post, to see how far you can push each image to look like the other, and still look good. That way you'll know how much you can rely on post, and what you might be better off doing in camera.
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