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should you trust the viewfinder or LCD screen?


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#1 Jim Nelson

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 04:07 PM

Should you trust the LCD screen, the viewfinder or the monitor? In other words which one gives you a more accurate image?


thanks
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#2 Andrew Koch

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 08:50 PM

If not calibrated properly, you cannot trust any of these. Which camera are you referring to? In MOST cases, the most accurate display is a properly calibrated professional CRT video monitor (NOT your computer monitor) and a waveform monitor.

On a prosumer camera, like the DVX or HVX, the flipout lcd screen will give you a ballpark idea, but is not particularly reliable for precise decision making in terms of color, exposure and focus. The eyepiece on some cameras is a little sharper, but still not entirely accurate. The flipout is particularly a problem when shooting outdoors.

Whatever display you are using, make sure it is calibrated and you are looking at it under proper conditions (blocking out glare, if it is an lcd, then you have to look at it straight on because the image will look different at other angles)

This is all in reference to shooting video.
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#3 Jim Nelson

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 04:56 PM

Thanks for you reply. I now understand that you have to properly calibrate the eye piece, the monitor and the lcd screen to get an accurate image. But what if we are shooting without a video monitor? Is the view finder or the lcd screen more precise?

Also is this the same thing when we shoot with film?
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 09:01 PM

Thanks for you reply. I now understand that you have to properly calibrate the eye piece, the monitor and the lcd screen to get an accurate image. But what if we are shooting without a video monitor? Is the view finder or the lcd screen more precise?

Also is this the same thing when we shoot with film?


When in doubt and without any other aid, believe the viewfinder with the brightness and contrast in their center detents and the peaking all the way down. Without a waveform monitor, you should probably also use your choice of zebra settings to help you. I like to use two zebras- one set at 75% and one set at 100%- that tells me what in the frame is blowing out (100%) and a reference of about what lit caucasian skin should expose at (75% or so, some people say 70%)


When you shoot with a film camera, the viewfinder image means absolutely nothing as far as brightness and contrast of the film image because the viewfinder has nothing to do with the film itself. You are seeing the image as it comes in through the lens, more or less as you would see it if you were just watching the scene. The film will "see" things differently.
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#5 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 09:58 PM

When in doubt and without any other aid, believe the viewfinder with the brightness and contrast in their center detents and the peaking all the way down. Without a waveform monitor, you should probably also use your choice of zebra settings to help you. I like to use two zebras- one set at 75% and one set at 100%- that tells me what in the frame is blowing out (100%) and a reference of about what lit caucasian skin should expose at (75% or so, some people say 70%)


When you shoot with a film camera, the viewfinder image means absolutely nothing as far as brightness and contrast of the film image because the viewfinder has nothing to do with the film itself. You are seeing the image as it comes in through the lens, more or less as you would see it if you were just watching the scene. The film will "see" things differently.


IF in doubt, use zebras set to 70% for skin ton, and 100% for Pure White; 7.5% for Pure Black. You can build in safety measures by exposing highlights at 90-95% (IRE) to make sure you save the details.

On the RED; use the spot meter to find the correct values, never trust exposure off the EVF/LCD, they differ from eachother!
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:41 AM

On the RED; use the spot meter to find the correct values, never trust exposure off the EVF/LCD, they differ from eachother!


Isn't that fun how incredibly different they are and the fact that you can't calibrate anything? At least you can trust the waveform...
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#7 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:58 AM

Isn't that fun how incredibly different they are and the fact that you can't calibrate anything? At least you can trust the waveform...


I find the "waveform" on the RED incredibly tiny, and pretty useless. I've been shooting images that I am very happy with using the built in spot meter and exposing using the IRE values. This is a PITA, since you need to ask actors to hold still to get key/fill/backlight values.

I've been having trouble getting a light meter to agree with the camera. One day it was 2 stops over, and the next day it was 1 stop over...it is nice for determining contrast though.

Jamie

Edited by Jamie Metzger, 18 June 2009 - 06:58 AM.

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