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DVX 100A skin tone too red in low light... help


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#1 Jan Doyle

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 02:22 PM

Hello,

I have been shooting weddings for about 1 year now and when I get into a low light situation (receptions) with my DVX 100A, the peoples skin tones get very "reddish" no matter how often I try to re-white balance, they go too warm. The shirts are white the brides dress all white tablecothes etc. I have tried white balancing with a slightly orange filter in front of a white card, no luck (a trick a news cameraperson told me) and I am really at a loss. I have used an on board light for my camera (50wt-to 100wt) it helps but people really don't like the light.

Can anyone help me with this, I have made 16mm films for many years so pretty familar with 16mm filmmaking, but this has baffled me for some time.

Thanks for any help or advice... the more the merrier... Thanks

Peace,

Jan
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:32 PM

It's just something that happens, especially with that camera it seems. I think the only way around it is to work on it in color correction or light.
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#3 Josh Brokenbourgh

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 05:02 PM

Have you tried using a incident light meter to adjust your exposure and then balancing? If you have a meter place it under someones chin (even your own) and aim the dome of the meter at the dvx's lens. Then adjust your shutter accordingly.

Since you have no control of the ambient light you may be cranking the db up. The min. lux on the 100a is 3 which is pretty good. If you shoot in 30p/60i (remember to black balance when switching modes) that will give you a minimum shutter speed of 1/4 verses 1/6 in 24p. The try stopping at f/1.6, and bring your gain up the least amount possible.

Of course this is a moot point if your all hand held with the iris all the way open and your speed so low. If you can get away with mounting your camera it would help at such a slow speed. But if not you, may consider a glidecam2000 to keep it more stable and adjusting stops and iris to compensate.

Dare if you will to fix it in post. You can run it through some tedious color correction but again if your gain is up you'll end up worse than red in your shots.

Low light is always an issue on small chip digitals. Without control of your lights this is the most I can think of.

I hope this helps :)
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 05:51 PM

It may be just the way that the chips respond to low light, and the color temperature of the light. Dimly-lit reception areas are often warm in color, which might be starving the chips of enough blue info to render correct skin tones (even after white balancing).

You can try adjusting the color temperature and color saturation in-camera to be a little cooler and less saturated. But it would be a trade-off with the whites (dress, etc), which would go a little blue. Since skin tones are essentially "warm" to begin with, saturation control might be enough to get them looking normal again.

An interesting experiment with this camera would be to use a slight blue filter like an 82B, just to see how it might control orange saturation on the chips. In practice it would probably soak up too much light for dimly-lit shooting, though. You could experiment with some 1/4 or 1/2 CTB over the lens, just to see how the camera responds (not that you would actually shoot with gels as filters).
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