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
- Sony VX2000 (Nick Hope)
- Sony A1 (LoTN)
- Sony FX1 (johnmeyer, riredale)
- Sony Z1 (Nick Hope)
- Sony HC3 (riredale)
- 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_)
- Panasonic TM700 (amendegw)
- Sony NX70 (Stephen Crye)
- Panasonic AG-AC130 (amendegw)
- Sony HDR-XR520 (PeterDuke)
- Sony NEX-FS100 (paul_w)
- Sony SLT-A77 (Udi) - (actually a little darker - see post below)
- Sony TX55 (ritsmer)
- Sony NEX-EA50 (malowz)
- Sony NEX-FS700 (essami)
- Sony AX100 (Rich Parry)
XDCAM EX / MOV / AVI
- JVC GY-HM750 (Tech Diver) -(adjustable pedestal (min black level))
Cameras that shoot nominally 0-255
- Apple iPhone 4 (Grazie)
- Canon 5D MkII (farss)
- Canon 70D** (malowz)
- Canon 80D (john_dennis)
- Canon Powershot G9 (john_dennis)
- Canon Powershot G15 (john_dennis)
- 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)
- Panasonic Lumix GH3 .mov (musicvid)
- Samsung Galaxy II (megabit)
- SN9C01 webcam (farss)
Cameras that shoot nominally 16-235
- DJI OSMO (Nick Hope)
- Huawei Mate 9 phone (Nick Hope)
- Panasonic Lumix GH2 AVCHD (.mts) (Marco.)
- Panasonic Lumix GH3 AVCHD (Laurence)
- Panasonic Lumix GH4* (wwjd, Nick Hope)(can be set to shoot 16-235, 16-255 or 0-255)
- Sony EX1* (farss)
- Sony RX100 (ritsmer) (Nick Hope's shoots 16-240)
* - depends on how the camera is set up
** - other settings can be created with Canon Picture Style Editor