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  • Histowhatttt?

    Hey guys! New here I've been lurking the forums since I've ventured into Blackmagic cameras.

    I just bought the Micro Cinema Camera a month ago. I'm fairly new to video but I'm coming from a photo background. I'm learning how to expose my videos using a histogram versus using my eyes and I had a few questions.

    Context:
    • I've set Monitoring to be Rec 709 (Monitor is outputing rec709)
    • But I'm Recording Straight to camera using Log
    • I'm currently using the histogram in camera NOT from VA


    Questions:
    1. Is it better to use the histogram in camera or in the VA.
    2. If I'm using the in camera histogram is it reading from the cameras dynamic range setting or the monitors dynamic range setting?
    3. Should I be monitoring my histogram on log or rec709?
    4. What does an ideal histogram look like if I'm shooting for raw 3:1 (for post (using log)?

  • #2
    Using the camera histogram will show the level of the sensor exposure, where the VA will show the level of the Rec 709 signal. I always use Zebra and Histogram from the camera overlay, which more accurately reflects the film log exposure levels.
    DS
    Last edited by Denny Smith; 01-11-2017, 02:02 PM.

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    • #3
      Ta-Ra-Ra-boom-dee-ay, did you get yours today? I got mine yesterday, that's why I walk this way...

      ...and Denny Smith is pretty much always right.
      Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
      Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
      Lights: Every Chinese clone you can imagine

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DPStewart View Post
        Ta-Ra-Ra-boom-dee-ay, did you get yours today? I got mine yesterday, that's why I walk this way...

        ...and Denny Smith is pretty much always right.
        Wooh thanks!!

        Originally posted by Denny Smith View Post
        Using the camera histogram will show the level of the sensor exposure, where the VA will show the level of the Rec 709 signal. I always use Zebra and Histogram from th camera overlay, which more accurately reflects the film log exposure levels.
        DS
        Appreciated Denny that explains a lot I think you're right with using Zebras + Histos in camera it's a much more accurate depiction as the VA isn't a clean signal.

        Comment


        • #5
          IMHO, the histogram is an imperfect tool for setting exposure. Maybe I've just never taken the time to really learn it well but I find that there are too many contextual variables in a scene that can make a perfectly exposed image look incorrect in histogram.

          I get my best and most consistent results by setting ISO to 400, and loading Hooks BMD2Vid_V1.1 lut into the monitor to expose by eye.
          Last edited by modernvigilante; 01-09-2017, 12:26 AM.

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          • #6
            I too came from a stills background where we learned to plot our film curves to our meters and in digital workflow the only real exposure assist tool is the histogram.

            For the past few years now when I need exposure help I use the waveform tool. After using it for a while now and correlating that to my experiences grading it's far more useful. I know if it says the blacks are shut closed or if the highlights are clipped what that really means. I've found the waveform far more accurate than the histogram.

            As I've learned to use the Waveform more I'm now translating that over to False Color for quick looks in changing conditions. Also learning the Vectorscope but still have a long way to go with that. It's a great tool for balancing color especially in a production environment.

            I know some of these tools aren't yet available on the VA such an amazing monitor for the cost. Wonder if they will be down the road?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by modernvigilante View Post
              IMHO, the histogram is an imperfect tool for setting exposure. Maybe I've just never taken the time to really learn it well but I find that there are too many contextual variables in a scene that can make a perfectly exposed image look incorrect in histogram.

              I get my best and most consistent results by setting ISO to 400, and loading Hooks BMD2Vid_V1.1 lut into the monitor to expose by eye.
              Hooks? Do hooks refer to LUTS is there a difference? I'm still picking up all the terminology haha.

              Originally posted by Marshall Harrington View Post
              I too came from a stills background where we learned to plot our film curves to our meters and in digital workflow the only real exposure assist tool is the histogram.

              For the past few years now when I need exposure help I use the waveform tool. After using it for a while now and correlating that to my experiences grading it's far more useful. I know if it says the blacks are shut closed or if the highlights are clipped what that really means. I've found the waveform far more accurate than the histogram.

              As I've learned to use the Waveform more I'm now translating that over to False Color for quick looks in changing conditions. Also learning the Vectorscope but still have a long way to go with that. It's a great tool for balancing color especially in a production environment.

              I know some of these tools aren't yet available on the VA such an amazing monitor for the cost. Wonder if they will be down the road?
              Gahh I know i wish the VA had waveforms and false colour I use them a lot after learning about it from picking up Resolve. I'm honestly thinking about swapping monitors... maybe to the 501 or 502hd

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JimmyVi View Post
                Hooks? Do hooks refer to LUTS is there a difference? I'm still picking up all the terminology haha.
                CaptainHook is a user here and now an employee of Blackmagic. He has some luts available on his website: http://www.captainhook.co.nz/blackma...ma-camera-lut/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RyLo View Post
                  CaptainHook is a user here and now an employee of Blackmagic. He has some luts available on his website: http://www.captainhook.co.nz/blackma...ma-camera-lut/
                  Wow these LUTS are perfect for what I'm looking for. They aren't overly stylized at all!! Thanks for the info

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JimmyVi View Post

                    Questions:
                    1. Is it better to use the histogram in camera or in the VA.
                    2. If I'm using the in camera histogram is it reading from the cameras dynamic range setting or the monitors dynamic range setting?
                    3. Should I be monitoring my histogram on log or rec709?
                    4. What does an ideal histogram look like if I'm shooting for raw 3:1 (for post (using log)?
                    Even though my IKAN monitor has extra exposure aids, I have been trying to get by with in camera histogram + zebras. Question 4. is the question I would also like to hear an answer?

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                    • #11
                      Repeat what Denny says here a few times and it will make more sense to you.
                      Originally posted by Denny Smith View Post
                      Using the camera histogram will show the level of the sensor exposure, where the VA will show the level of the Rec 709 signal. I always use Zebra and Histogram from th camera overlay, which more accurately reflects the film log exposure levels.
                      DS
                      It's spot on.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks Marshal and DP Stewart.
                        If a camera supports it, Waveform and False Color are better exposure aids. Given that the Micro has neither, we are left with Zebra and a Histogram meter. I added a SmallHD 502 to my Micro, and I am in the process of calibrating it against the Micro camera's exposure meters/sensor exposure in film log, to get a corollary between the monitor waveform/false color, and the camera's actual exposure on the sensor. Once you know how the two compare, you can useually trust the monitor's exposure tools.

                        That said, I still always check the camera overlay Zebra to double check for sensor clipping. You can always make some adjustments to,the exposure in post, but you can not get back lost values through clipping or being way underexposed.

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