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ThomHaig

Using an external monitor to make using a6500 a better shooting experience?

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I found a simple and effective method to further stabilize my one-hand-gimbal shots, in particular steps. It's kind of the poor man's Armor-Man Exoskeleton, without the ridiculous Transformers approach. I make my own arm a spring arm. Got a giveaway from my pharmacy: a four feet long yellow rubber band (you're probably supposed to do stretching exercises with it). Used it like an arm sling so that I need some force to hold the Zhiyun in a 90° angle. Evens out some of the up-down movements when I walk (and yes, I know how to walk with a steadicam). Thought of building a more sophisticated version with a vest and biker's rubber bands - but why?  Reduce to the maximum!

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Got the a6500 through. So far, so impressed. The crazy menus are taking some getting used to, but on the plus side there's a lot of customisability.

Axel, I meant to ask, when you suggested shooting S-LOG ETTR, is this purely a perceptual thing, or is there a setting to so show histograms etc to encourage you to naturally shoot ETTR?

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9 hours ago, ThomHaig said:

Axel, I meant to ask, when you suggested shooting S-LOG ETTR, is this purely a perceptual thing, or is there a setting to so show histograms etc to encourage you to naturally shoot ETTR?

The histogram is the most reliable on-board tool of the A6500 for ETTR. You "just" need to interpret it correctly. You are not supposed to allow clipping on the left side, but in some circumstances you have to. You are not supposed to allow clipping on the right side, but rather there, for two reasons:

1. With S-Log, you have some headroom (110% instead of 100% or so). Additionally, you usually don't leave knee and slope on auto, so highlight clipping is somewhat feathered.

2. When capturing the scene's actual light sources (the sun, light bulbs) minimizing clipping to just one peak in the right corner will result in underexposed mids (and black clipping). The scene has a too big dynamic range to fit in the histogram. If it did (an overcast day, an evenly lit room) you could as well set ISO to 800 (the camera's native ISO with maximum DR) and allow auto exposure with exposure shift of 1-2 stops (Alistair Chapman afaik recommends 1 2/3 stops for the A6300 in S-Log2). So with manual exposure it's up to you to decide which part of the image may clip. mercers trick with the blinking Auto ISO in the display/viewer additionally helps. Rather sooner than later you will realize that shooting with ISO 800 in daylight is virtually impossible without ND and that an ND fader will then be your means of setting exposure (with fixed ISO, aperture and of course shutter).

The problems with this approach are consistency on the one hand and skin tones on the other. Because caucasian skin usually lives at ~ 60%  (with ETTC) it's prone to sit on the gamma curve's knee (~75%) with ETTR. Here it gets scientific. Should I use a grey card? And where should it show on the histogram? 

I used to have raw or 10-bit ProRes with way more values than 8-bit, and I became rather sloppy regarding exposure. Certainly I will never use a grey card for every shot, I will rather test further and learn to expose intuitively with this camera (I am not yet experienced), make it "a perceptional thing".

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I am struggling to expose in Slog2. Tried to ETTR but having the a6500 on the Crane with Slog2 is a bright sunny day makes it impossible to see the camera screen.
In post I've found that most times my exposure was off and could not get the colour right on skin tones. 
I have just order a cheap external monitor, but I am not sure i made a good choice.  (Feelworld 760) 

Anyway, please keep updating this post and sharing experiences.

 

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1 hour ago, Pedro said:

I am struggling to expose in Slog2. Tried to ETTR but having the a6500 on the Crane with Slog2 is a bright sunny day makes it impossible to see the camera screen.
In post I've found that most times my exposure was off and could not get the colour right on skin tones. 
I have just order a cheap external monitor, but I am not sure i made a good choice.  (Feelworld 760) 

Anyway, please keep updating this post and sharing experiences.

 

See this posting. Goggles are in a pouch on my belt. In direct sunlight, I connect them via HDMI. I frame the shot, monitor the framing on it, repeat. Would like not to look like Geordie La Forge in public, but there is one big advantage: doesn't add any more weight to the gimbal. When I'm finished, I just unplug the HDMI, put off the power, fold he glasses and put them back in the pouch. It's not suitable for judging exposure, you first have to do that through the EVF (histogram or zebra not shown on the glasses).

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18 hours ago, Axel said:

See this posting. Goggles are in a pouch on my belt. In direct sunlight, I connect them via HDMI. I frame the shot, monitor the framing on it, repeat. Would like not to look like Geordie La Forge in public, but there is one big advantage: doesn't add any more weight to the gimbal. When I'm finished, I just unplug the HDMI, put off the power, fold he glasses and put them back in the pouch. It's not suitable for judging exposure, you first have to do that through the EVF (histogram or zebra not shown on the glasses).

Thanks Axel!
I don't think I can do "the Geordie La Forge" look in public. :) I do understand they can be useful for framing.   I can see this technology evolving and giving us histogram, zebra, false color...
How about external viewfinder? could mount it on the cranes's dual handheld grip...  zacuto is way out of my budget right know, and not many budget options out there though.

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4 minutes ago, Pedro said:

How about external viewfinder? could mount it on the cranes's dual handheld grip...  

Many do this. Own the Ronin M (for A7rii) and frequently used a borrowed Shogun (1500 nits) on it, and it's still hard to frame with that in direct sunlight. But possible. That's why I didn't want to buy a field monitor again. The cheap ones won't help much. 

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On 4/18/2017 at 5:05 PM, Axel said:

See this posting. Goggles are in a pouch on my belt. In direct sunlight, I connect them via HDMI. I frame the shot, monitor the framing on it, repeat. Would like not to look like Geordie La Forge in public, but there is one big advantage: doesn't add any more weight to the gimbal. When I'm finished, I just unplug the HDMI, put off the power, fold he glasses and put them back in the pouch. It's not suitable for judging exposure, you first have to do that through the EVF (histogram or zebra not shown on the glasses).

Have you checked the new SmallHD Focus? Looks promising!

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18 hours ago, Pedro said:

Have you checked the new SmallHD Focus? Looks promising!

Yes, I'll wait for reviews how well it performs in sunlight. Right now, people claim to see everything, but i.e. in Max Y.'s video the screen appears to be very dim. I just don't want to gather useless equipment anymore ...

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On 2/27/2017 at 3:24 PM, Phil A said:

If it's the same screen dimming as the A6300, it works okish on cloudy days but if it's sunny (imagine on a tropical beach, in the desert, etc.) it's invsible. You'll want to use the EVF then or a screen loupe. 

About the cage, just keep in mind that you will probably not be able to balance the camera with the native lenses (16-50mm kit, 35mm 1.8, etc) on a gimbal if you put it in a cage. At least I can't get the A6300 in SmallRig cage balanced on the Zhiyun Crane.

By the way, the A6500 is supposed to show the overheating warning but not shut down like the A6300.

That's how I use it, just waiting on my UltraThin HDMI cable at the moment:

crane.jpg

I have quick release plates on the camera and the crane so they can quickly go on my mini-tripod or tripod with fluid head. I also use some small quick releases specific for accessories so I can swap the arm with the monitor between the crane and my shoulder brace.

Hey Phil,

I'm super interested in how you attached the smallHD 501 to the Zhiyun-Tech Crane. What kind of mount/arm is on it? Which quick releases do you recommend for mounting the camera, as well as mounting the monitor to different accessories? If you use the monitor, do you not have any controls of the Sony a6500 on the Zhiyun since you did not plug in the control cable? 

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On 16.6.2017 at 10:21 PM, Aaron T said:

Hey Phil,

I'm super interested in how you attached the smallHD 501 to the Zhiyun-Tech Crane. What kind of mount/arm is on it? Which quick releases do you recommend for mounting the camera, as well as mounting the monitor to different accessories? If you use the monitor, do you not have any controls of the Sony a6500 on the Zhiyun since you did not plug in the control cable? 

I used the SmallRig 1138 clamp ( https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00SIRAYX0/ ) and added this quick release ( https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01LXOJTU4/ ) between the clamp and the magic arm. I have the same quick release on my handheld rig, so I can quickly change the monitor between the two.

For the Sony a6300 I just used a rather small Cullmann Revomax quick release ( https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00NHCMG6O ), have the same on the bottom of the Crane. 

With the A6300 you can't use the HDMI and the remote cable at the same time, there's just not enough space. That's a lot easier with the GH5 now. Also I've replaced the HDMI cable with a Sanho Hyperthin cable.

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