2 Different Cameras, settings and color matching?

MikeLV wrote on 4/14/2024, 1:52 PM

I have to shoot a video with two different cameras in a studio setting (unchanging lighting condition). First camera is the Canon XA10 and the second camera is the lesser quality Sony HDR-CX405. Despite being a lesser quality cam, the CX405 has several video settings, and the sample footage I saw online looked very good. I did a test shoot with the settings on auto, and the video didn't look great. How would you configure the Sony with its settings to get a good quality picture? And is there a best practices procedure for color matching between the two cameras? Based on what I learned so far, I think I need to get a color card as I don't have one yet. Thanks for any suggestions; this is all new to me.

Comments

mark-y wrote on 4/14/2024, 2:31 PM

Get the best white balance you can with each camera on location.

In Post:

  1. Match the blacks to dead neutral using individual Lifts
  2. Match neutral grays or skin tone line with individual Gammas. Be careful -- less is more here!
  3. Recheck the near whites and use Luminance Gain to balance the two.

That's the oldschool manual way.

Of the color match plugins mentioned on the forum, Baumann, BCC, and New Blue come to mind.

MikeLV wrote on 4/14/2024, 3:56 PM

Get the best white balance you can with each camera on location.

In Post:

  1. Match the blacks to dead neutral using individual Lifts
  2. Match neutral grays or skin tone line with individual Gammas. Be careful -- less is more here!
  3. Recheck the near whites and use Luminance Gain to balance the two.

That's the oldschool manual way.

Of the color match plugins mentioned on the forum, Baumann, BCC, and New Blue come to mind.

I don't really understand white balance. In the past, whenever I try to set it manually by filling the frame with something white, the picture looks really bad in the camera, vs using one of the presets, which is still wrong but doesn't look as bad. Is there some trick to getting it right?

When you say to match the blacks using individual lifts, you mean to set the Lift level using something black in the video, or to adjust the lift so that the waveform shows black at 0?

What about other settings in the cameras like exposure, iris, shutter speed?

Howard-Vigorita wrote on 4/14/2024, 4:15 PM

@MikeLV Try the One-Push setting on the Sony instead of auto...

https://helpguide.sony.net/cam/1440/v1/en/contents/TP0000557810.html

Aim it at a white or neutral-density grey card if you have one. A white table cloth has also worked for me in a pinch. My Canons tell me the color temp when I do that. If the Sony does, see if you can get them to match. I also record a color chart for each camera. So if they don't end up looking right, I can also try the Vegas Color Match FX to get it a little closer. Don't forget to set your exposures (ei, iris or f-stop) so they match numerically or on camera scopes if available.

set wrote on 4/14/2024, 5:20 PM

Checking the user manuals of both Canon XA10 and Sony HDR-CX405, there's no Picture Profile alike settings that can do specific color adjustments, so the only choice available for this is only White Balance setting.

You must make sure the White Balance 'card' is lighted well enough in the scene you are making video, or if it is the event, it is the main room / stage you are covering the most.

Also take notice of the major lighting color temperature of the room, is it warm or cool or between. Or if you bring your own lighting equipment that can adjust Kelvin color temperature, make sure it is close to major room's lighting.

While sometimes I notice Canon seems 'great camera' (based on my 'first' interest of old Canon XH-A1), but it is also quite challenging to do Color Matching with Sony's.

 

Consider White Balance is the 'color lock' so that whole record in the situation will keep the same, so in the post, if you need to adjust color correction, you can set only to one scene, and copy-paste it to whole.

https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/white-balance.htm

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MikeLV wrote on 4/14/2024, 5:30 PM

For lighting, I have two soft boxes, and each soft box has 5 of these bulbs, so that is my set up for the shoot. Basically just a scene in front of a backdrop on a wall. I guess I will need to play around with the settings on the Sony to get something that looks good. What I've noticed is that the picture on the Sony appears to be much brighter than the Canon, under the same lights, so maybe that's due to a bad exposure setting. I had everything on auto, but I will change the settings to manual to try and make it better.

set wrote on 4/14/2024, 5:44 PM

The more manual adjustment 'lock' of anything you can do, the better the picture gonna be, and you will spend less on color-correcting in the editor.

Turn on the Videoscopes setting from Canon camcorder. If I quick-check previously, there's an option for this.

Can't remember with that type of Sony HDR-CX405.

 

 

5500 K : 5500 Kelvin.

Quite close to similar outdoor lighting or 'blue'-neon lighting

Last changed by set on 4/14/2024, 5:46 PM, changed a total of 2 times.

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mark-y wrote on 4/14/2024, 5:48 PM

You should white balance on a reflective white / gray balance card set, not transmitted light or paint or fabric, which has both UV and dye fluorescence. You said studio lighting, so the cameras should match white balance cleanly.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1365028-REG/vello_wb_csii_white_balance_card_set.html?ap=y&smp=y&srsltid=AfmBOoqIupsE4K3YMjnQUUqIm5GbDuwHU6ortEWWDuCGxEGg3FBCN2J-Tpg

In a nutshell, the steps are:

  1. White balance on location, in-camera.
  2. In post, match the near-black chromas.
  3. Match the mid / flesh tone gammas.
  4. Recheck the highlights.

This takes practice. Here's a more detailed look at the same principle using Davinci.

https://www.filmconvert.com/blog/match-cameras-post/

While you are experimenting and learning manual three-point correction, one of the plugins mentioned will probably be your best backup.

mark-y wrote on 4/14/2024, 6:09 PM

I did a lot of product photography with those same type of bulbs and big soft boxes. They will work fine for you.

RogerS wrote on 4/14/2024, 9:50 PM

For white balance try getting a good card for it. Here is a good test of various ones: https://www.leeminglutpro.com/whitebalance.html

Fluorescent bulbs may be a bit off in the G-M axis even if the white balance is similar to daylight.

Shoot manual white balance and manual exposure and you should have a much easier time in post getting the rest to match using the scopes.

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MikeLV wrote on 4/15/2024, 2:36 PM

I just ordered this color checker card, it's a cheapy but most seem to like it in the reviews:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DMA06AY?ref=ppx_pt2_dt_b_prod_image

mark-y wrote on 4/15/2024, 2:47 PM

Those look great -- work on getting the "memory" colors matched -- blacks, neutrals, and flesh tones. Don't try to match fabric colors; it will drive you insane. If white fabrics and linens fluoresce blue, a UV filter may help.

MikeLV wrote on 4/15/2024, 2:58 PM

So the trick is to just hold the color checker in front of the subject for both cameras when we start, and then in Vegas, in Color Grading, I tell Vegas what's white, and what's black and then the camera pictures should match pretty well?

Roger Bansemer wrote on 4/15/2024, 3:03 PM

If your finished video doesn't color match you can always use the Vegas Color Match plugin which works well.

MikeLV wrote on 4/15/2024, 3:05 PM

If your finished video doesn't color match you can always use the Vegas Color Match plugin which works well.

What is that? It's in Vegas, or 3rd party?

jetdv wrote on 4/15/2024, 3:21 PM

@MikeLV Been in the last several versions of VEGAS.

mark-y wrote on 4/15/2024, 4:45 PM

Mike, you want to angle the card to reflect diffuse light, angled away from the direct light source, but not in its shadow. This is the single most important factor in shooting a card for white balance.

DMT3 wrote on 4/15/2024, 10:33 PM

The Vegas color match works very well. Especially in matching contrast and levels.

MikeLV wrote on 4/16/2024, 10:11 AM

@Howard-Vigorita, thanks for the suggestion about the color match fx. I just tried it and it seems to work well. Perhaps when I get correct exposure, and white balance from the start, the color match fx will work even better. Do you recommend using the color match in conjunction with color grading? IOW, should I color grade one camera first, and then use color match on the second camera?

@mark-y The soft boxes are mounted on a wall to the left and right of the camera, up about 4 ft higher than the subject. I guess what you mean is to not hold the card where the light is reflecting off of it directly at the camera. I should receive the card today. Not sure if it's very glossy or more matte, but I understand what you're saying.

I would like to find a Vegas video tutorial on the procedure for using the color checker card for two camera shoot. I saw several for Resolve, but not for Vegas. Do you know of any?

mark-y wrote on 4/16/2024, 2:09 PM

The principles are the same for video and still photography, not specific to any one software.

I'm glad to see others' reports that Vegas Color Match is working well. It wasn't always that way.

Share your tests.

MikeLV wrote on 4/16/2024, 5:50 PM

I found this, but it's for Final Cut:
and there are others for Premiere, Resolve, but I haven't found a single one for Vegas 😣

Howard-Vigorita wrote on 4/16/2024, 11:27 PM

thanks for the suggestion about the color match fx. I just tried it and it seems to work well. Perhaps when I get correct exposure, and white balance from the start, the color match fx will work even better. Do you recommend using the color match in conjunction with color grading? IOW, should I color grade one camera first, and then use color match on the second camera?

I only use it as a last resort when I can't get cameras to jive up with cgp tweaking. It adds load outside of cgp which I try to avoid if possible. Have not needed it lately unless I screw up my camera settings. Which does happen from time to time.

RogerS wrote on 4/17/2024, 12:19 AM

I found this, but it's for Final Cut:
and there are others for Premiere, Resolve, but I haven't found a single one for Vegas 😣

Feel free to make one for VEGAS.

Bezier mask can help you isolate the black/white gray and then the primary colories separately (create a mask for each). VEGAS has standard scopes so you can white balance (RGB Parade) and the vectorscope to see where the primary colors fall.

In the CGP PI'd start with exposure to get middle gray right then white balance and take a look at the RGBCMY colors on both cameras. If one is pleasing or accurate match the other two it using the color curves in the CGP or color corrector secondary. If neither are good, match both camera to an absolute reference with the caveat being that you need a good chart for accurate color- what Caleb is holding is acceptable, anything cheaper probably not. At least get the most important colors to match (key product color, skin, etc.) as differences will jump out to a viewer.

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Howard-Vigorita wrote on 4/17/2024, 12:53 AM

You need to use a pre-printed color chart of known accuracy. I use this one, formerly from X-Rite/Pantone:

https://www.amazon.com/Calibrite-CCVWB-ColorChecker-Video/dp/B0973KPTRM

The flip side is for white balance. Here's a short video I made a while back that shows how I use it with Vegas:

Wolfgang S. wrote on 4/17/2024, 1:42 AM

I think this is a great video tutorial, that is shown by @Howard-Vigorita here. Strongly recommended to have a look to that.

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