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Shooting B/W on a DVX100A for blowup to HD?


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#1 Viktor Keene

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:05 PM

Hello everyone. My name is Viktor Keene, and this being my first post to this forum, please go easy on any and all naivete presented herein.

 

I'm a writer looking to shoot some of my own material and I recently purchased a DVX100A off Craigslist for $200. I know it's now a HD world (with 4K right on the horizon) but my research shows lots of well received films have been shot on the DVX100 series. And right now my computer would struggle with editing HD. I'm a writer, so I don't need massive computing power. Hence my computer is a bit behind the times, but for sure fast enough to do some work in SD.

 

I've googled the heck out of this camera, done lots of reading on other forums and what I'm hearing is if I want to actually do some B/W work with this camera, I shoot should in color and convert to B/W in post. Lots of people are claiming that gives me the most options. And the Panasonic actually will force me to shoot color anyway because while I can control lots of picture settings... there is no B/W setting.

 

My question is, if I'm NOT ever going to want to present my footage in color, are there some settings in camera that will deliver a better B/W conversion down the line rather than simply shooting a "more normal" picture profile.

 

With color not at all being a consideration. I would want the cleanest original footage I can get my hands on in camera, right?

 

Any and all thoughts are welcome.

 

Thanks.

 

V.K.


Edited by Viktor Keene, 09 January 2014 - 04:09 PM.

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#2 Viktor Keene

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:07 PM

"I should shoot in color and convert to B/W in post. Lots of people are claiming that gives me the most options. And the Panasonic actually will force me to shoot color anyway because while I can control lots of picture settings... there is no B/W setting."

 

At least that seems to be the prevailing opinion.

 

But to get right to my question... if I turn down ALL the color information settings I can in camera, will I get a better B/W end result than simply converting more normally acquired color footage?

 

It would make sense, right?

 

The less color processing the camera has to do before it lays the signal down to tape, could mean a better image when it goes to B/W later?

 

Possibly?

 

V.K.


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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:11 PM

No, get as clean, "normal" an image as possible. this gives you the the most info to tweak in order to get the best black and white in the world.


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#4 Viktor Keene

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:49 PM

No, get as clean, "normal" an image as possible. this gives you the the most info to tweak in order to get the best black and white in the world.

 

Hey Chris, thanks for the response.

 

Yes, that is what I have been hearing. But wouldn't turning down the color in camera gain "something" over leaving it on the normal defaults. My reasoning being if the color is turned down, wouldn't that ask less of the CCDs and image processing computer, and allow more focus on pure luminance?

 

Even if the difference was on the order of simply 1 percent "better" B/W... That'd for sure be worth it.

 

V.K.


Edited by Viktor Keene, 09 January 2014 - 09:51 PM.

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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:59 AM

A great choice. The DVX100 is a fantastic camera. I just sold one as I have a HVX200 but the HVX has a much, much more annoying workflow. The DVX is great because as well as producing very nice looking footage it also has really, really good quality sound recording. It also has balanced XLR's and phantom power. I recommend you get a decent microphone for it. Perhaps a Sennheiser 416 or for a cheaper option a Rode NT3 or even if you are on very low budget the older ME series microphone set which is not popular anymore because it needs wierd batteries but still works off phantom power so you can just not put batteries in there in the first place. I think the ME80 was the shotgun mic and the ME40 was the cardiod head. Worth having both!

 

As to B&W. I think the idea is that on some shots you might want to accentuate the reds and on other shots you might want to accentuate the green channel in the way you desaturate the footage. A bit like putting B&W filters on the camera only doing it in post. I think whatever you do to the settings in camera it will be hard to see what it would look like in B&W too so having that option to fix it in post would be useful here.

 

Also the other thing is that in theory, you should be able to do a higher quality desaturation in post than in camera, although maybe you can do some interesting things with scene files in camera. If you wanted something very desaturated but not entirely B&W then you might be able to come up with something interesting in camera. It's up to you really tho. Experiment, play around with the setting and see if there is something you like.

 

Freya


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#6 Viktor Keene

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:17 PM

A great choice. The DVX100 is a fantastic camera. I just sold one as I have a HVX200 but the HVX has a much, much more annoying workflow. The DVX is great because as well as producing very nice looking footage it also has really, really good quality sound recording. It also has balanced XLR's and phantom power. I recommend you get a decent microphone for it. Perhaps a Sennheiser 416 or for a cheaper option a Rode NT3 or even if you are on very low budget the older ME series microphone set which is not popular anymore because it needs wierd batteries but still works off phantom power so you can just not put batteries in there in the first place. I think the ME80 was the shotgun mic and the ME40 was the cardiod head. Worth having both!

 

As to B&W. I think the idea is that on some shots you might want to accentuate the reds and on other shots you might want to accentuate the green channel in the way you desaturate the footage. A bit like putting B&W filters on the camera only doing it in post. I think whatever you do to the settings in camera it will be hard to see what it would look like in B&W too so having that option to fix it in post would be useful here.

 

Also the other thing is that in theory, you should be able to do a higher quality desaturation in post than in camera, although maybe you can do some interesting things with scene files in camera. If you wanted something very desaturated but not entirely B&W then you might be able to come up with something interesting in camera. It's up to you really tho. Experiment, play around with the setting and see if there is something you like.

 

Freya

 

Freya, thanks for the detailed response. Ok, I think I understand a bit better "... on some shots you might want to accentuate the reds and on other shots you might want to accentuate the green channel in the way you desaturate the footage. A bit like putting B&W filters on the camera only doing it in post." Got it. I do remember in a film production class I took several years ago the mentioning of using filters when doing B/W film photography to accent different aspects of the B/W picture. So that makes total sense why I want to retain the option to do that in post.

 

And thanks for pointing me in a good direction for microphones. A few "filmmakers" I know teased me about buying a Mini-DV cam and told me I should at the bare minimum get a HD DSLR, even a used one for $400-500 like a Canon T2i or T3i. But I'd have to get a more powerful computer, and I'd have to explore a real way of getting decent sound. Which would mean doing the dual system sound thing with a clapper/sticks which is frankly beyond the scope of my limited budget and patience. So that is another reason I thought the DVX for $200 was the Craigslist deal of the century. It's also a professional audio recording section too. What's the point of having pretty pictures if you can't hear the actors?

 

I will start looking for some decent used xlr microphones for the camera right away (starting with your suggestions above) now that I have a better understanding of why I should try and get a "normal" color picture laid down to tape before I convert to B/W.

 

I know I need to get out there and shoot tests. Simply wanted to try and wrap my head around the reasoning behind certain methods before getting out there and actually doing it.

 

Thanks Freya and Chris for the responses. Very appreciated!

 

V.K.


Edited by Viktor Keene, 10 January 2014 - 12:20 PM.

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