Jump to content


Photo

Help! Old Sony Analog Camera


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 David Perkins

David Perkins

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Other
  • Dallas,Texas

Posted 23 March 2008 - 02:58 PM


Sony DXC-537A - 3CCD Analog Broadcast camera w/ CA-537 studio back

I work for a very small production co. which uses three of these older Sony cameras. I've been trying to find some general info for this model, but not even Sony could offer anything.

Specifically, I have trouble with the auto white balance function (from the CCU controller). I end up having to manually adjust the CCU controller's iris and red and blue channels until one camera looks accurate. Then I have to match the other two cameras to the 1st cam's image. This is very difficult and time consuming. And, it's never perfect. It's terribly frustrating. The cameras are in working order according to the company that does the maintenance.

We shoot for live audiences only - not for broadcast, btw. Mostly corporate and church gigs.

I've not had this problem with other rigs - only this one with these cameras. Anyone have experience with this camera, or similar? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  • 0

#2 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 23 March 2008 - 07:16 PM

It's called shading and is always required for multiple camera set ups, especially with CCUS. Normally you get a chip chart and scope and make sure all three see color the same. CCUs may have different tolerances or settings as do camera electronics so even if you zero out all the knobs they don't match. There is nothing wrong with the cameras. We just did an event at the NY car show with three similar cameras and had to shade them all so they saw things the same. Very common with multiple cameras synced to the same system.
  • 0

#3 David Perkins

David Perkins

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Other
  • Dallas,Texas

Posted 23 March 2008 - 07:59 PM

Walter, thanks for the reply.

Now would that be a vectorscope or a waveform monitor? I'd have to thoroughly explain it to my boss and convince him I need him to buy it for his company's good. It makes sense that I need some instrument to make sure all cameras see the same. Yes, even zeroed out, they don't match. That is where I always start and then work on shading from there.

Also, are these components difficult to use? I've seen a vectorscope before, but never used it. I was simply told, "It's a vectorscope". I'm on my own when it comes to this. We are always in a rush during set-up since we don't have the luxury of working in a studio environment. So, I'm hoping something like this would save time. Otherwise, my boss would see it as a "deal breaker" and want me to continue shading with the naked eye - as this is how it has been done so far - with few complaints. But I'm hoping to do better than those who held this position before me. Thanks for the help. B)

  • 0

#4 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 24 March 2008 - 12:58 AM

If the company that services your cameras actually center vectors the cameras they should at least be close. It sounds like they are not close.

However, cameras can go out of alignment and something as simple as slightly overexposing and underexposing the camera can change the color if the camera is not properly aligned.

The best reason to get a waveform and vectorscope (perhaps a combo will be easier to wire in) is that it will allow you to more effectively communicate with your repair company and this can save you money because you can be specific explaining what is exactly wrong.

I put all three cameras on a white card and one camera vectors too green, etc... It's a specific explanation and an accurate one. Eventually, the closer the cameras are tweaked to each other the quicker the set-ups can be, and that can save money as well.

What you do have going against you is you will look like you are reinventing the wheel, probably not a good idea in a church environment. I probably know of the best television and waveform repair people around. He's kind of getting out of it because of the infiltration of the "price is the only thing that matters" philosophy that the digital age and the internet has unceremoniously ushered in.

I can ask him to introduce himself although he is in the process of dumping his inventory.
  • 0

#5 David Perkins

David Perkins

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Other
  • Dallas,Texas

Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:01 AM

Alessandro,

Thanks, an introduction would be great. The whole "price is the only thing that matters" philosophy is the challenge. My boss (and those who hire him) are looking for the absolute cheapest way out, but ask for perfection. Reinventing the wheel would not be in the budget. No, the cameras aren't close. They never look exactly the same to me. I can get them close enough that the bosses are happy, but they are never just right. It is not professional in my opinion.

I was hoping a waveform and/or vectorscope would allow me to easily and effectively tweak the cameras onsite. Or, I was hoping there was some piece of equipment out there that would do this. If a scope - from the bosses' standpoint - is just a more effective way to complain about the equipment to the maintenance company, I'm out of luck. I will have to continue tweaking from a back room of any given venue at the lighting director's discretion over com. This is how this company has always operated. I want to improve that. The bosses will see me asking for one or two new components, and see that they will now have to have the cameras serviced more than usual, possibly several times before they see a difference. If there is no other way, that is fine. But the budget is out of my hands. I can only make them aware. If your friend has recommendations, they are surely welcome.

I appreciate it.

David

  • 0

#6 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:19 AM

I see it as saving money at some point.

You bring a camera in and say, the blacks are green. Now they know you have a scope and are talking their language. I hope your lenses are matched.

Prices have dropped on waveforms and vectorscopes that you could almost just buy them on your own. If they then see a benefit they reimburse you, if not, you still own some interesting and useful gear.
  • 0

#7 David Perkins

David Perkins

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Other
  • Dallas,Texas

Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:47 AM

Yes, I agree - saving money in the long run, and making more money with higher quality productions. And yes, lenses are matched.

  • 0


Opal

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Glidecam

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera