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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.
Why shoot long? Well, the real reason to shoot long, Rich, is to get the most dynamic range and the most flexibility out of your images in post production. And the thing about it is that when you go to shoot long things are going to be uncomfortable. They're going to look a little weird and a little funky, and the other thing I want to point out is that not every camera is long capable. Now a lot of the newer Digital Cinema cameras like the Black Magic Cinema camera and stuff we have here. >> Some of the ones from Sony. >> Some of the ones from Sony. Some of the Canons, like the Canon C300, and other cameras like that are, the Arri Alexa of course comes to mind, allow you to shoot true log on the recording.
Don't think that a Flat profile is the same thing as law it's not. >> You will get some of the same benefits, but those benefits are not going to be as pronounced. You know, what we're seeing here, why shoot log? We're on a high contrast backdrop. We're trying to go for sort of an etherial look here. We want the whites to bloom and blow out. But I want that blooming and blow out to be something we do in post, not to lose the detail on set, and we still want to see good shadows and crispness here. We've got, you know, it's a lovely musician, Jason Massey. And he's got beautiful hair, I wish I had this problem.
And we're going to want to be able to see all the details in the hair coming out. But we're on this bright backdrop. And normally, if this was a DSLR, that hair would either be crushed or the background would be blown. >> Yeah, that would be the problem. I'm either going to have to, I'm compensating for one or the other. I'm going to blow out that background and then his hair is going to look like mud. You know, just kind of grayish, not really right. Or I'm going to get his hair nice and black, and I can't get the background to blow out. And the cool thing about Retro View, if you take look at the large monitor we have here. What I'm showing on the monitor right now is a Log image. And, you'll notice, it's actually pretty contrasty overall.
Some log cameras, when you shoot even a narrower band of imagery there. But notice that nothing is black, right? But it's very flat. It looks washed out and it doesn't look like it has a lot of definition to it. So now, on this camera Rich, this is the Black Cinema Camera. And I have a couple of different ways that I can record. I can record ProRes, DNxHD, or I can record RAW. Now when you're recording RAW, it because it's RAW there's not, you're not really recording linear or log. But when I go to the ProRes or DNxH HD modes, I have this Dynamic Range option.
And on the Blackmagic Cinema camera, I have two choices film and video, Right? So video is going to be sort of a linearized image where it looks just like your DSLR. Everything you're going to do. >> Yeah. >> Everything looks normal, if you will. >> Ready to use. >> Ready to use. And if I was shooting in that mode, I would need to pay a little bit more attention to the overall tonal range. How hot things are? How crushed things are? That kind of stuff because I'm shooting a linear image. However, if I change this to film. So, here's the video mode and you can see on the monitor there, it looks pretty video-y, right? It looks.
>> And I can absolutely see here, on the Wave Form monitor. Look It's slammed to the top. Slammed to the top. I got a lot that's coming down towards, you know, approaching black on the Wave Form monitor. It looks like a shot that you would get out of your DSLR traditional video camera. >> Yeah. >> Now if I stop recording there and let me go back to my menu here. And change this, again I'm shooting ProRes, from Video recording mode and change the Dynamic Range to Film. >> Wow. >> Check that out. Let me go ba, let me go back and forth so you can see that again. There's video mode. There's film mode and right off the bat, you can see that, that sort of on the waveform monitor, the signal's been compressed to a narrow band of contrast.
It looks flatter. It doesn't look like there's nearly as much saturation. Let's go ahead and record a little bit of that. >> But see, this brings up an interesting problem, Rob. Because a lot of times, you've got directors coming on set. They're not familiar with this, or, I've seen other crew people and they'd look at an image like this, and they're like, something's wrong. And they start brightening up the camera, going into the menus and pushing buttons, and they freak out. >> Totally. Now, this happens all the time. And people, there's two sides of this. You have the people that freak out, and then the people who later on in post when you actually start doing something to the image to make it look normal, go, Whoa, whoa, whoa! We didn't shoot it like that.
>> Yeah. >> And it's become this kind of running joke among colorists and the post, post-finishers that people kind of have fallen in love with the log flat look, you know. So what happens when you're on set monitoring log. You have a couple options. Option number one, a lot of times on the camera itself, on this particular camera, I would go to my Monitoring Options and in the Dynamic Range and Display settings here. I can actually change it from, which it is now, film, and I can change it to video. And when I do that, it's not going to change on the SDI output. But here on the camera itself, I now have a linearized image.
I'm seeing the image in a normal way versus sort of the flat log mode and that can be a huge, huge help. >> I'm sure they'll fix the firmware at some point, so the image you monitor will be optimal. >> I would imagine so. Now the other way to do this. >> But this is a good benefit here right like you can set it to a video mode. Sort of look at it, paint the camera to what you're used to and, and then shoot. Then the other side, you notice we have a laptop on set that's here for a reason to because we can use a Lut. Oh yeah and how would we use that? >> So a LUT or a lookup table is a way of taking one set of information and translating into another set of information.
You could use a LUT for anything, translating video color spaces, or translating you know, how many widgets here to how many widgets over here. And the purpose of a LUT in this case. Is to take the log look that we have on the camera and translate it into a normalize, sort winterized video space that looks normal to people. And a lot of monitors these days especially professional and production monitors are going to have the ability either built in to apply a lot into the image. Or you can actually load your own watts onto the monitor to transform that image how you need, how you need it, and that great for when clients are set.
That you as the DP or the camera person or the producer go yeah, let's put it in Log and you know what's going on. But then when that client walks by you can just go and the image looks normal again. >> All right, well we're going to explore the post-production workflow more in depth. Rob's a colorist. He knows this inside and out. I'm looking forward to learning from that, but before we do let's just roll a couple of shots. >> Sure. >> Using both styles of recording. >> Okay. >> Also get me some as well as so we can compare those. >> Okay. >> And we're just going to roll for a few minutes, and then we'll head down in the post environment and take a look at the shots.
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