In a former post, we took you through how to find your camera’s latitude. This week, in part four of the series, we will show you how important it is to take your tests out of the studio and on to location. You want to see how your camera’s emulsion handles highlights, hot skies, night exteriors and night interiors to help shape mood and depth. Our tests are with the Canon 1DC and were conducted on Canon Log.
Blue Sky Banding
Many of these new cameras work at 8 BIT color depth. This test shoots blue skies in the late afternoon to see if they do 8 BIT sky banding. You will quickly notice when you increase the contrast on your image that your sky starts to have these banding lines, usually where the sky goes from a bright blue to a darker shade. This is a result of the 8 BIT and the compression on the card.
Finding the Right Cocktail for Shooting Slow-Mo
Shooting slow-mo with DSLRs can be a combination of things to get the best results. It is never advisable to shoot 60 fps at 1/60 of a second. This is the equivalent of shooting without a shutter. Your image will feel blurry and not have snap. We tested all shutter speeds while shooting 60fps at 1080p on the 1DC. You can make the determination of what shutter speed you desire for your high-speed capture.
Shooting with Available Street Light
When I shoot my night exteriors, I never set my camera on AWB. I do all WB on the Kelvin temp wheel. First, I plant my camera and I spin the wheel until I find the color of all of the practical light that I cannot change. Once I have that, I also choose the exposure based on the practical light. Now that this is all done, I add light to give it shape, mood and depth.
The lights added have an array of exposures, unders and overs because that is real life. You are always going to come across that sign and or light that you cannot control or take down. So take your camera’s emulsion through those extremes to see how it handles it.
Added light sources for shape, mood and depth.
Night Driving with Light and Without
I wanted to see what it looked like with the extremes of shooting in a car at night, driving down a road that has tons of light, as well as hardly any light. I used different ISOs to see how they work in these different street set ups.
In the first test, we shot on a well-lit street and used just the available light. This was to see how much light would come in from outside and key our model. It was amazing how much beautiful active light played on her face.
The second test was with a very minimal amount of fill from a Rosco Lite Pad. This gave us a base hum in the car so that the shadows were not so extreme. Then we drove down really dark residential streets where all the light was supplied by a minimal amount of sodium vapor street lights and house porch lights.
This concludes our test series. There are many more tests to run per your project, but these are the vital ones to get a grasp of your camera’s emulsion.
Equipment used for this Blog Post
Canon 35mm L Series Lens
Lexar Media Cards
BarTech Follow Focus
SmallHD On-Board Monitor
HP DreamColor Monitor
Rosco LitePad Kit
O’Connor 1030 Head/Sticks
Master Cinema Series: ActionCam and ShoulderCam rigs
Lighting Supplied by Paskal Lighting
The Music Bed