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Best settings for direct to air?


jasondhsd

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This post is just pure curiosity as I just read about how the Wall Street Journal uses GH2 for all their video work & have upgraded to GH4s anyway that got me thinking what would be the best settings to shoot video when you're not going to grade it or even run it through an NLE to do sharpening or adjust contract, etc?  You're shooting news footage that will be delivered and put on air shortly after it's shot.  Like would you still keep sharpness and noise reduction -5 or just shoot standard or natural with everything at zero?  

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Does Wall Street Journal have a TV station? My guess is they only publish online (no "air" in the traditional sense) and that they are not publishing "daily headline news" like CNN, but more like in-depth analisys and reportage (not so "perishable"). In my years in boradcast news (Betacam SP and Digibeta later) the rush of the news cycle meant that news were edited "as is" (no CC), so the camera settings had to be pretty neutral and the WB right on the spot.

 

I'd imagine if any station used GH cameras for daily news (though supposedly they are not broadcast quality) the idea would be to use a preset that could serve as a final look -provided the white balance is right-. When you have a couple of hours to go some place, shoot, go back to the office, write a piece, record a VO edit and publish ther is no time for finesse. On top of that, very often the person in charge of the news piece is a journalist with little video background that will not appreciate grading or even proper editing.

 

For many years TV news have been closer a "radio that you could see" rather than "small format informative cinema". Fortunately in recent years more producers/editors are replacing the traditional writers/journalists, which means editing is no more sticking one shot after another to cover a voiceover. Newsshooter.com has interesting articles and videos on this new trend which I'm afraid has not yet settled in daily news.

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Ah thanks I think newsshooter is where I might of saw that article about WSJ and yeah they shoot to web & it's probably edited & adjusted but it was the fact they were a news company that made the question pop in my head.  I found this article just now about a Sky cameraman using a GH2 (unhacked I assume) http://www.newsshooter.com/2011/12/14/size-matters-sky-news-beijing-bureau-cameraman-andy-portch-reports-on-a-year-with-the-panasonic-af101-and-gh2-cameras/  it seems like the qualifications for HD broadcast quality are pretty loose though & doesn't seem to describe the actual quality of the image itself. The two things I see a lot of people mentioning is 50mbps bitrate, 2/3 sensor, 4.2.2 output.  Now I'm not sure why the sensor size would matter all that much & I'm guessing the 4.2.2 would mainly be useful if you were throwing the footage up behind a newscaster in front of a green screen but I don't see green screens being used that much anymore it's mainly big flat screens isn't it? So in most cases now I think GH cameras would be fine.   

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50mbps and 4:2:2 are submission requirements for the BBC -and some other channels- to ensure QC after possible adjustments by on-air technicians. Sensor size does not matter, but the fact remains that (except for Alexas, F55s, REDs et al.) most cameras meeting those requirements are small sensor broadcast cameras (Grass Valley, HDCAM, DVCPRO HD). The only large sensor/DSLR style cameras approved were the 1DC and the C300. But I think that's total BS because they have no trouble using footage from a bystander's phone if the circumstances demand it...

 

Still, WSJ is not a TV channel, so as long the footage & editing looks nice, I guess they -and other online media- will accept anything shot on GH2s, 5Ds or even the Sony RX100 (I read it was becoming popular for run & gun due to the fixed lens and sturdy compact body).

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