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Camera settings for dummies

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Hi to you all,

I've been a Phantom/ Gopro pilot for about 18 months and have lived making some beautiful videos. The GoPro has been great because it does almost everything automatically. I've had my Inspire for just over a week now and am struggling with the plethora of settings for the camera. My videos typically appear either washed out or dark. Can someone please let me know if there is a full auto mode, not a part auto mode that still over exposes everything? Also, how do I change the still camera settings to take 12MP shots? Typically I'm flying in moderate light conditions so I don't know which filter to use. Any help, with basic instructions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Reading some photography and videography tutorials should give you some basics.

Unless you open the camera settings pane it is in auto mode. Just make sure exposure compensation is set to 0, and you've basically got your GoPro.
 
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I've been pondering this for those who are not professional videographers or photographers. The most basic thing one can do to get great looking video (especially with the Inspire) is shoot on full auto. Yes, as you move from bright scenes to dark there will be an adjustment in the exposure. But with this camera, it is set in such a way as to make that adjustment gradual, rather than an abrupt, jarring change. I have found it be fully acceptable--others may not.

The other alternative is to buy an 18% gray card. Set the Inspire so the sun is at its back. Place the 18% gray card in front of the camera (close), in direct sun light and allow the camera time to get a reading (may take a few seconds at most). Then lock that exposure in so it doesn't adjust while moving from light to dark.

My rule of thumb has always been: "Expose for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they may." In well exposed images, black is far more acceptable than poorly exposed images with the highlights blown out.

Hope this helps.
 
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with this camera, it is set in such a way as to make that adjustment gradual, rather than an abrupt, jarring change.
Agree, great advice, I've done this by throwing the I1 around, keeping an eye on the quad and not the filming, so I've got slow it down and be smooth. Thx.
 
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I've been pondering this for those who are not professional videographers or photographers. The most basic thing one can do to get great looking video (especially with the Inspire) is shoot on full auto. Yes, as you move from bright scenes to dark there will be an adjustment in the exposure. But with this camera, it is set in such a way as to make that adjustment gradual, rather than an abrupt, jarring change. I have found it be fully acceptable--others may not.

My rule of thumb has always been: "Expose for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they may." In well exposed images, black is far more acceptable than poorly exposed images with the highlights blown out.
With this in mind, for broadcast video is there any problem with shooting in auto mode if the shutter speed auto changes mid take or should it really be locked off to adhere to the 2:1 rule for shutter speed v frame rate or is that just relevant for getting the cinematic look and not essential?
 

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With this in mind, for broadcast video is there any problem with shooting in auto mode if the shutter speed auto changes mid take or should it really be locked off to adhere to the 2:1 rule for shutter speed v frame rate or is that just relevant for getting the cinematic look and not essential?

Be very careful with your terminology on this one as some people may get the wrong idea. BROADCAST video is a completely different animal to anything else that may appear on YouTube/Vimeo or file media sharing sites. There are VERY strict rules that must be adhered to for final delivery to a production house to make video broadcast safe. Including. but not limited to, colour space, luminance values, legal codecs, bit rate, REC709 (IT-R recommendation), white point and black point and..... many more criteria that must be met that would be outside the scope of these forums.

Just a quick heads up.
 
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Be very careful with your terminology on this one as some people may get the wrong idea. BROADCAST video is a completely different animal to anything else that may appear on YouTube/Vimeo or file media sharing sites. There are VERY strict rules that must be adhered to for final delivery to a production house to make video broadcast safe. Including. but not limited to, colour space, luminance values, legal codecs, bit rate, REC709 (IT-R recommendation), white point and black point and..... many more criteria that must be met that would be outside the scope of these forums.

Just a quick heads up.
Thanks Ed. Yes I appreciate all the settings you list need adhering to, but is it a problem at all in respect of shutter speed change mid take (for broadcast purposes) do you know if we didn't lock it off at a particular speed? Thanks!
 
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Joking aside the video is really good and he seems a good guy.

My German is nil so I will not joke about his English.

I can understand him and I look forward to his next video. Agreed -defo a recommended Video

Kudos
 
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I've been pondering this for those who are not professional videographers or photographers. The most basic thing one can do to get great looking video (especially with the Inspire) is shoot on full auto. Yes, as you move from bright scenes to dark there will be an adjustment in the exposure. But with this camera, it is set in such a way as to make that adjustment gradual, rather than an abrupt, jarring change. I have found it be fully acceptable--others may not.

The other alternative is to buy an 18% gray card. Set the Inspire so the sun is at its back. Place the 18% gray card in front of the camera (close), in direct sun light and allow the camera time to get a reading (may take a few seconds at most). Then lock that exposure in so it doesn't adjust while moving from light to dark.

My rule of thumb has always been: "Expose for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they may." In well exposed images, black is far more acceptable than poorly exposed images with the highlights blown out.

Hope this helps.
"The other alternative is to buy an 18% gray card. Set the Inspire so the sun is at its back. Place the 18% gray card in front of the camera (close), in direct sun light and allow the camera time to get a reading (may take a few seconds at most). Then lock that exposure in so it doesn't adjust while moving from light to dark."

But what about when you stop rolling the camera for the first time? The AE lock turns off again....Is there a setting to keep it on even when you push stop recording? In my experience it's always turned off each time.
 
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Good question!

Once you've take the reading as described above, you can then enter those settings manually and shoot (turning camera off and on) without any further issues.
 
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@InspiredOne So if we're interested primarily in commercial applications, we should be using this 18% card and locking the AE every flight? If you use the card with the sun to the inspires back, and lock in the AE what will happen if you need to shoot somewhat towards the sun at part of the shot? Or aim towards bright reflective water? I'm still learning the camera aspect to everything. It's funny how much different my stuff looks as I progress. Color correction was one of the best things I could teach myself so far for visual improvement in my videos, but i'm still learning the technical photography stuff. It seems like flying the inspire is one art in its own, now we combine it with another skill that takes some people a life to master haha.

at the end of the day I guess all we're really doing is flying a camera...
 
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@InspiredOne So if we're interested primarily in commercial applications, we should be using this 18% card and locking the AE every flight? If you use the card with the sun to the inspires back, and lock in the AE what will happen if you need to shoot somewhat towards the sun at part of the shot? Or aim towards bright reflective water? I'm still learning the camera aspect to everything. It's funny how much different my stuff looks as I progress. Color correction was one of the best things I could teach myself so far for visual improvement in my videos, but i'm still learning the technical photography stuff. It seems like flying the inspire is one art in its own, now we combine it with another skill that takes some people a life to master haha.

at the end of the day I guess all we're really doing is flying a camera...
We should be interested in getting the best image possible regardless of the application. The gray card is merely a tool that ensures consistent exposure, no matter what the lighting is.

For "most situations" you want to take the reading from the gray card with the sun falling on it. Then, when flying into the sun (the subject will be back lit) and the areas with the sun light hitting them will be properly exposed and the shadow side will be darker. If you take the exposure reading from the dark side (with the sun behind the gray card) the lit areas will be blown out (over exposed). There are some occasions where you would want to expose for the darker areas. It's a matter of learning how to "see" the finished product before you shoot the image. If you take a reading off highly reflective water (using you example) you will get the highlight on the water properly exposed, but everything else will go toward black.

If you're exposing your image properly, there will not be any need for color correction. I rarely use it, expect in certain situations where something "unusual" is needed or required. But when you tweak an image, you can always pull some detail out of the shadows, but you can never pull any details out of blown out or over exposed areas because the details aren't there!

Yes, you're absolutely right, it's a flying camera.
 
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We should be interested in getting the best image possible regardless of the application. The gray card is merely a tool that ensures consistent exposure, no matter what the lighting is.

For "most situations" you want to take the reading from the gray card with the sun falling on it. Then, when flying into the sun (the subject will be back lit) and the areas with the sun light hitting them will be properly exposed and the shadow side will be darker. If you take the exposure reading from the dark side (with the sun behind the gray card) the lit areas will be blown out (over exposed). There are some occasions where you would want to expose for the darker areas. It's a matter of learning how to "see" the finished product before you shoot the image. If you take a reading off highly reflective water (using you example) you will get the highlight on the water properly exposed, but everything else will go toward black.

If you're exposing your image properly, there will not be any need for color correction. I rarely use it, expect in certain situations where something "unusual" is needed or required. But when you tweak an image, you can always pull some detail out of the shadows, but you can never pull any details out of blown out or over exposed areas because the details aren't there!

Yes, you're absolutely right, it's a flying camera.
Excellent write up, thank you so much for this detailed explanation! It helps a lot. I've always been instructed that color correction in highly cinematic work is a must. Even if it's to saturate or change the colors slightly?

The companies I look up to that do very high level work (bmw, jeep commercials etc) say they put major effort into their post production, and color correction is a major focus of theirs...
 
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Excellent write up, thank you so much for this detailed explanation! It helps a lot. I've always been instructed that color correction in highly cinematic work is a must. Even if it's to saturate or change the colors slightly?

The companies I look up to that do very high level work (bmw, jeep commercials etc) say they put major effort into their post production, and color correction is a major focus of theirs...
Yeah, but if you will take note, the image is being "color graded" (not color corrected) for a specific reason. Not just because...
 

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