I'm keen to build up a list of what black and white levels various cameras are shooting by default, in order to reduce the guesswork when giving guidance about manipulating levels in post production.
I'm hoping to get results for a range of video cameras, dSLRs, Go Pro, phones, etc. etc.. The more devices we get results for, the better.
I am aware that minimum and maximum luminance levels can be adjusted on some cameras, so please set them to default settings as far as possible.
Black footage method: Cover the lens with the lens cap or whatever, close the iris, set gain to zero, set the shutter as fast as possible.
White footage method: Open the iris as wide as possible, set gain to max, set the shutter as slow as possible, remove any ND filters, point camera at sky.
Get the footage on the Vegas timeline, match the project settings to the footage, set pixel format to 8-bit and set preview quality to "Best (full)". Note the levels in the histogram video scope. If you put the cursor over the histogram, you can see the luminance value in yellow at the top right of the video scopes pane. Let's limit the results to the overall luminance (the white histogram) unless there is any wild difference between the R/G/B channels.
Here's the black histogram for my Sony Z1P HDV camera. This shows the minimum black at 17 and the black "peak" at 20:
White histogram for Z1P. White peak at 254. Maximum white at 255. (I have no idea what the secondary peaks are):
Black histogram for my Sony VX2000 DV camera. Minimum black at 13 and the black peak at 17. (Not sure why it's giving me the secondary peak):
White histogram for VX2000. White peak at 253. Maximum white at 254:
Please post the camera make and model, approx year of purchase, video format, minimum black level, black peak level, white peak level, and maximum white level in the following format. Feel free to post screenshots of the histogram too if you have the time and inclination.
Sony VX2000, 2003, DV, min black 17, black peak 20, white peak 254, max white 255.
Sony Z1P, 2006, HDV, min black 13, black peak 17, white peak 253, max white 254.
EDIT: I will maintain the results below as we go along.
EDIT: Note that many hybrid stills/video cameras shoot 0-255 for stills, but a more limited range for video. Please test the video mode.
EDIT: Please add what format your footage was shot in. This is especially important if, for example, it shoots both AVCHD and .mov. If possible, please test both formats since they may well be handled differently in Vegas (see Laurence's posts of 4/28/2014).
Cameras that shoot nominally 16-255
- Apple iPhone 5 (JN-)(black actually a bit lower)
- Canon XA10 (MikeLV)
- Canon Legria HF S100 (Pete Ferg)
- Canon Vixia HG21 (amendegw)
- Canon Vixia HF G20 (aka Legria HF G25 in Europe)(Lou van Wijhe)
- Canon Vixia HF G30 (OldSmoke)
- Canon Vixia HF M40 (DaveT2)
- Canon Vixia HF M52 (_Lenny_)
- JVC GY-HM750 (Tech Diver) -(adjustable pedestal (min black level))
- Panasonic AG-AC130 (amendegw)
- Panasonic HC-X920 (fifonik)
- Panasonic HDC-TM700 (amendegw)
- Sony α6600 with Cine1 gamma (RogerS)
- Sony α7R III (JN-)(16-255 with picture profile off)
- Sony DCR-VX2000 (Nick Hope)
- Sony DSC-RX10 IV (john_dennis)
- Sony DSC-RX100 III (JN-)(Based on footage. Cam not available)
- Sony DSC-TX55 (ritsmer)
- Sony FDR-AX53 (frmax)
- Sony FDR-AX100 (Rich Parry)
- Sony HDR-HC3 (riredale)
- Sony HDR-XR520 (PeterDuke)
- Sony HVR-A1 (LoTN)
- Sony HVR-FX1 (johnmeyer, riredale)
- Sony HVR-Z1 (Nick Hope)
- Sony HXR-NX70 (Stephen Crye)
- Sony NEX-EA50 (malowz)
- Sony NEX-FS100 (paul_w)
- Sony NEX-FS700 (essami)
- Sony SLT-A77 (Udi) - (actually a little darker - see post below)
Cameras that shoot nominally 0-255
- Apple iPhone 4 (Grazie)
- Canon EOS 5D MkII (farss)
- Canon EOS 5D MkIII (JN-)
- Canon EOS 70D* (malowz)(other settings can be created with Canon Picture Style Editor)
- Canon EOS 80D (john_dennis)
- Canon IXUS 510 HS (JN-)
- Canon IXUS 900 Ti (JN-)
- Canon IXUS V3 (JN-)
- Canon Powershot G9 (john_dennis)
- Canon Powershot G15 (john_dennis)
- Canon Powershot S90 (JN-)
- Dell Streak tablet/phone (Marco.)
- GoPro HERO5 Black (Nick Hope)
- Kodak PlayTouch (musicvid)
- LG Optimus One P500 Android phone (Nick Hope)
- Nikon D5100 .mov (Laurence)
- Nokia N97 phone (JN-)
- Panasonic HC-X1500E (diverG)
- Panasonic HC-X2000E (diverG)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 (JN-)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 .mov (musicvid)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX80 (JN-)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 (JN-)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZX7 (JN-)
- Samsung Galaxy II (megabit)
- Samsung Galaxy S10 phone (JN-)
- SN9C01 webcam (farss)
- Sony DSC-RX100 IV (JN-)(Based on footage. Cam not available)
- Sony DSC-RX100 V (JN-)(black at 7, not 0)
Cameras that shoot nominally 16-235
- Apple iPhone 7 HEVC (Nick Hope)
- Apple iPhone 8 HEVC (Nick Hope)
- DJI OSMO (Nick Hope)
- Huawei Mate 9 phone (Nick Hope)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 AVCHD (.mts) (Marco.)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 AVCHD (Laurence)
- Sony α6500 with Cine3/4 gamma (RogerS)
- Sony α6600 with Cine2/3/4 gamma (RogerS)
- Sony DSC-RX100 (ritsmer) (Nick Hope's shoots 16-240)
Cameras with selectable levels range
- Z-Cam E2 series (limited range recommended)(Howard-Vigorita)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 (wwjd, Nick Hope)(16-235, 16-255 or 0-255)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 (wwjd, Nick Hope)(16-235, 16-255 or 0-255)
- Sony PMW-EX1 (farss)