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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Rich Harrington: Hi, my name's Rich Harrington. Robbie Carman: And I'm Robbie Carman. Rich Harrington: And this week, we're going to be talking about scopes. Now, for a lot of you, you're like, oh that's for editors, that has nothing to do with me, my DSLR doesn't have scopes. Robbie Carman: Yeah, it's one of those things where I want to tell you, learn how to read scopes. Your pictures will look better. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: And I, I, don't mean to say. Rich Harrington: That's Rob's emphatic voice. And trust him, he's a professional colorist. He spends lots of time trying to make other people's footage look better. And, and you must just have to sometimes bite your tongue. When they're like, can we fix this? You're like, let me jump in my time machine and go back in time Robbie Carman: Yeah, I mean, here, here's the thing about scopes, is that scopes provide an analytical measurement about what's really going on with the video signal.
And instead of trusting your eyes or the camera LCD, which is always going to look good. Scopes allow you to take a snapshot of what's really going on with the brightness, the color, the saturation, the color balance, and all those kinds of things in the video signal. Which at the end of the day is going to help you get a much better looking shot, or a whole scene when you're recording, than, rather than just trusting your eyes. Rich Harrington: What's going to happen here sometimes is that the scopes are going to vary depending upon your hardware. At the lowest end, I'll sometimes take a still photo and use the camera's built in histogram.
This is very much like looking at Photoshop and I could see a simple left to right type adjustment, or maybe even a channels adjustment to look for things like exposure and color cast. And this really helps me see, where is my information clumping up. This isn't an ideal scope, but it is built into most cameras. On the other hand, Rob, you bring up a very good point, which is that these things are so valuable that we could take advantage of these with some simple hardware. A lot of folks are on the lookout for adding an external monitor. Robbie Carman: Yep. Rich Harrington: Don't most monitors have scopes built in? Robbie Carman: Yeah, field monitors these days are going to have scopes built in at least a wave form and probably a vector scope.
Maybe not other scopes like a Histogram, or an RGB Parade, but they will have them in there. The other thing too, is that I'm willing to bet most of you have some sort of portable computer. A laptop, or something similar to that. And the thing about a portable computer is that you can load scopes on it, maybe with your NLE. Maybe you're using Premiere Pro, or Final Cut Pro X, or whatever it may be. There's also a lot of dedicated scope systems that you can use on a laptop. Some of the ones that come to mind are Black Magic's UltraScope. Rich Harrington: Which is included with, like, the Black Magic Cinema cameras for free, right? Robbie Carman: Absolutely.
And this is a great hardware scope. A little USB adapter to be able to plug into your machine. To get, you know, the, the signal coming from your camera. There's other solutions like scopeBox which is a great solution. And only 99 bucks for that one. So, the thing I'm really trying to point out is that, having scopes in the field is not nearly as cost prohibitive as it used to be in the past. For a hundred bucks or, you know, even buying part of your monitor. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: You have those scopes built in. And this week what we're really going to do is explore using scopes on a monitor.
Then we're going to dive into actually using scopes on a laptop to check some media that we've recorded in the field. And what I want to have happen at the end of this is that you feel more comfortable with the scopes, and that you integrate them more into your onset and in, in the field work flow. Rich Harrington: And what I want to reassure you, because a lot of you are, are like myself. You're like well, the engineer did that, or the video editor did that, you know, I'm not that technical. It's not that hard to learn how to spot problems on a scope. It's not that hard to get the basics done.
And Rob, I've already seen some of the stuff, you've taught me so much about this, even if you go I'm not that technical or I'm not that geeky, hang in, because you're going to feel a lot more confident about the pictures you're recording.
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