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    AD GURU Kyle Stebbins's Avatar
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    this is the best thread i've ever seen on dvxuser.
    video editor
    portland, or
    www.kylestebbins.com


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    Member Philip Leech's Avatar
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    This is certainly old news by now as there are already 14 pages of compliments, But what an incredibly well presented and thoughtful response to a question that could so easily of been snuffed at. I have just gotten my first DVX100 and that gave me a giant leap forward in my understanding. And all in the space of about 15 minutes. I skipped pages 3 to 14 but if anyone with just a DVX100 is wondering, all the explanation seems to apply the same. Apart from in Scene File 5 it didn't want to let me use the gain.

    Thanks Andy, here's to a great future for us all!


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    Junior Member fadetohappiness's Avatar
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    Nicely done. I recently worked with a consultant who tried to explain to me exactly what you just put into words. Your version is much clearer. thanks!
    How many times you been in a lineup? It's always you and four dummies.


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    Member zacharyb's Avatar
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    Read it and loved it. 2 years later and you are still getting wonderful reviews andy. Congratulations.


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    Can somebody reformat the posts on page 1 to get rid of the &quot nonsense? It makes it very very difficult to read, and it's a shame because they're good posts.


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    i would just l ike to say &quoti love this camera&quot&quot&quot&quot

    and thanks for all my support&quot&quot&quot&quot&quot&quot&quot&quot&qu ot&quot&quot&quot&quot&quot&quot&quot&quot&quot&qu ot&quot&quot&quot


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    Reformatted - 1
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    DVX100a Basic Primer

    Here are the steps we will cover in the next several posts:

    1. Camera baseline.
    2. Selecting the scene file setting.
    3. Adjusting the exposure.
    4. Setting the White Balance.


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    Reformatted -2
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    1. CAMERA BASELINE

    Before we can go through the settings, we need to put the camera into a known state.

    Turn on the camera, remove the lens cap, and open the LCD screen. The switches on the side of your camera should be set as follows to begin: (1) The Focus switches should be set to “A” (autofocus). (2) The ND Filter switch should be set to “OFF”. (3) The GAIN should be set to “L” (low, which defaults to 'Off'). (4) The WHITE BALANCE should be set to “A”. You have two places to store white balance “A” and “B”, and then there are is a third position, “Preset”. I'll explain these settings in a bit, as they control the red and blue coloring that you said you were getting in some shots.


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    Reformatted - 3
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    2. SELECTING THE SCENE FILE SETTING

    There is a dial on the back left of the camera with numbers on it going from “f1” through “f6”. These are scene files, and they control a number of internal settings of the camera. I will assume for the moment that you haven't modified any of these scene files using the on screen menu, and that they are still at their factory defaults. The most important positions for you to know are “f1” and “f5”. You can read about the rest of the default scene files in the manual. “f1” gives you 60 frame per second interlaced video, which looks sharp like a news video. “f5” gives you 24 frame per second video with color correction that looks a lot like the images you see in a movie -- from film. The main things you need to know about these two settings is that the AutoFocus works very slowly in 24p (f5) mode. It takes several seconds to refocus -- not like a consumer video camera. The AutoFocus in 60i (f1) mode operates as you would expect. The other thing that you need to know is that you need to choose either 60i or 24p for an entire project or video. You can't easily mix the two different types of material on a single time line in a non-linear editing program. Select (f1) or (f5).


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    Reformatted-4
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    3. ADJUSTING THE EXPOSURE

    Now that your camera is set to a basic state, follow these procedures to use the assistants to help you set the camera properly.

    Look at the LCD screen. The Znn in the upper right corner is your zoom. It tells you what percentage the lens is zoomed in and it goes from 00 to 99. Right below the Z is AFnn, which stands for AutoFocus. The autofocus numbers will be changing a little bit as the assistant focuses the lens for you. The number immediately beneath that has an “f”, which stands for “F-stop”, and that describes how wide the Iris is. The iris controls how much light from the lens reaches the sensors. If the number is low, the Iris is open more and more light comes in. If the number is high the Iris is smaller and less light comes in.

    Press the button that says “IRIS”. It should say “MANUAL IRIS” on the LCD screen. Press it again until it says “AUTO IRIS”. When it is on AutoIris, the assistant will automatically set the Iris and report that setting on the screen. When it is set to “Manual Iris” the little dial next to the IRIS button is activated, and you can open and close the iris by turning this dial up or down. For now, you will want it to be set on “AUTO IRIS”.

    Depending on your environment, there may be too much or too little light to get a decent image. The iris only has a certain range, and if it is open all the way and there is still not enough light, there is some help available on the camera as an alternative to actually lighting the environment. That is the GAIN control. Also, if the iris is closed down all the way, and the environment is still too bright (as often happens outside on a sunny day), there is some help in the form of the ND (Neutral Density) Filters. Fortunately, the camera will tell you when to use each of these settings.

    For now, point the camera out the window on a bright sunny day. Never point the camera at the sun. The f stop reads “f16”, indicating that the iris is as small as it can get, but there is still too much light. A blinking message will appear on the screen saying “ND 1/8”. This is the assistant telling you to move the ND Filter switch from OFF to 1/8. An ND Filter is a gray (colorless) filter that will cut some of the light out. Move the ND switch from OFF to 1/8. If it is still too bright, in a second or two you will see “ND 1/64” blinking, which indicates that you need to cut even more light out. The f stop is probably still on f16. On overcast days you might only need 1/8, but on sunny days you will probably need 1/64. Go ahead and move the switch to 1/64 if that is what the assistant is telling you. Now you will see the f stop move off of the f16 setting and start to go down. The ND Filter is sort of a shift key for the Iris. It cuts out the light when it is too bright until there is just enough for the iris to do its job of making sure the right amount of light reaches the sensors.
    The GAIN switch is an electronic amplifier. If you were in a really dark environment, at night or whatever, you can turn off the ND Filter (of course) to let in the most light. And then if you can't get a good image, you might turn the GAIN switch from (L) (low / off) to (M) or (H). M stands for medium and it will provide a 6 decibel increase in signal. H stands for high and gives a 12 decibel increase. The main thing that you need to know about GAIN is that because it is an electronic amplifier, it not only amplifies the information in the signal coming from the sensors, it also amplifies the noise in the signal. So although it will enable you to get shots when there is less light in the environment, it will increase the chances that you will get artifacts -- blocks of color -- in the image.


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