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White Balance Testing with Sony HXR-NX80 - Please help with testing protocol

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Hello videographers,
 
During my upcoming trip to Raja Ampat, I am planning to do a 'white balance' testing with the Sony camcorder NXR-NX80, and I am looking for help in putting together a 'White Balance Testing' Protocol. The equipment and camera settings that I will be using are listed below. If anyone wanted me to test any specific camera settings or their own preferred settings, please let me know.
 
My intention is to do the following tests at various depths (say about 6m, 10m and 15m) at a patch of corals.  
1. No Slate, just with WB to a Scene.  Please note that this ARTICLE advises that "the use of a white balance slate is unnecessary [with this camera]. Accurate (or reasonably so) white balance is established by WB SET with any given scene"  From my communications with Gates, and my recent experience in Philippines, it appears that if a scene has enough white (or green) subjects, the camcorder could do a quite accurate white balance with a press of just one button - WB SET.
2. Grey Slate
3. White Slate
 
MY EQUIPMENT and SETTINGS:
Camera: Sony camcorder  HXR-NX80
Housing: Gates AX700 / Z90 with Gates GP34A Wide Angle Port and internal URPro Pink Filter (for green water)  
Video Lights: Keldan Video 8X 11,000 Lumen CRI 92 (5400K) with Keldan Ambient Filter 6BG for 4X/8X (This filter is recommended for blue-green water within a depth range between 4-12 meters)
Camera Settings: 4K, 30 FPS, Picture Profile: BT709.  I follow the following article for recommended camera settings: AX700-Z90-Housing-Recommended-Settings-R2.pdf
 
Thank you for your feedback.
 
Val
 
Please check my YouTube Channel
 

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Val,

I shoot the AX100 with the Gates housing. I mostly use the flip down blue water filter or 10,000 lumen light at depth. When I do use white balance I have three favorites, wife's white fins, silver tank or white sand. I was told that for the Sony system a white card with "red" squares on it provides the best manual WB. It takes away the "sometimes redish" tint while using white balance. I'm satisfied so far; not toting a slate around. I Shoot 4K, 30 FPS as well. I set ISO to Auto and cap the upper limits. I'm sure you will get some great advice on this blog.

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2 hours ago, bill1946 said:

Val,

I shoot the AX100 with the Gates housing. I mostly use the flip down blue water filter or 10,000 lumen light at depth. When I do use white balance I have three favorites, wife's white fins, silver tank or white sand. I was told that for the Sony system a white card with "red" squares on it provides the best manual WB. It takes away the "sometimes redish" tint while using white balance. I'm satisfied so far; not toting a slate around. I Shoot 4K, 30 FPS as well. I set ISO to Auto and cap the upper limits. I'm sure you will get some great advice on this blog.

Thank you bill1946.  I read this ARTICLE about a white card with "red" squares.  I will probably include it in the test, but not sure if a red type would work instead.  I could use a Magic filter for this purpose, if I figure out how to fix it to the slate. In addition, my fins are white, and I am planning to include them in the test.  I guess, this could be helpful when filming in the 'blue', when the camera could not find a reference to something 'white' or 'grey'.

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On 12/8/2019 at 7:40 PM, Laval said:
Hello videographers,
 
During my upcoming trip to Raja Ampat, I am planning to do a 'white balance' testing with the Sony camcorder NXR-NX80, and I am looking for help in putting together a 'White Balance Testing' Protocol. The equipment and camera settings that I will be using are listed below. If anyone wanted me to test any specific camera settings or their own preferred settings, please let me know.
 
My intention is to do the following tests at various depths (say about 6m, 10m and 15m) at a patch of corals.  
1. No Slate, just with WB to a Scene.  Please note that this ARTICLE advises that "the use of a white balance slate is unnecessary [with this camera]. Accurate (or reasonably so) white balance is established by WB SET with any given scene"  From my communications with Gates, and my recent experience in Philippines, it appears that if a scene has enough white (or green) subjects, the camcorder could do a quite accurate white balance with a press of just one button - WB SET.
2. Grey Slate
3. White Slate
 
MY EQUIPMENT and SETTINGS:
Camera: Sony camcorder  HXR-NX80
Housing: Gates AX700 / Z90 with Gates GP34A Wide Angle Port and internal URPro Pink Filter (for green water)  
Video Lights: Keldan Video 8X 11,000 Lumen CRI 92 (5400K) with Keldan Ambient Filter 6BG for 4X/8X (This filter is recommended for blue-green water within a depth range between 4-12 meters)
Camera Settings: 4K, 30 FPS, Picture Profile: BT709.  I follow the following article for recommended camera settings: AX700-Z90-Housing-Recommended-Settings-R2.pdf
 
Thank you for your feedback.
 
Val
 
Please check my YouTube Channel
 

I hope this input is not too late to accommodate in your test.

I believe It is important to have a reference color to ensure that your WB is done correctly. You could use any reference chart or object (with the most dominant colors: Red, Blue, Green). Earlier I used 3 small cut outs of foam with lead attached. Now, I am using the Xrite Passport video color checker. It has a gray card and a focus card as well. It can last 3-5 years with good care. Now they even have a nano version and there are alternatives in the market. I used the color checker for my Davinci Resolve workflow. It can get you to a good start for color correction.

The other point is to try to do a manual WB without a red filter. Red filter can take away about 2 fstops. With lights you really don’t need a red filter in my opinion cause the artificial light should bring the colors back as far as the lights can go. If you are trying red filter to bring the colors beyond the reach out of the light, it is a different story and quite complicated hence you need to attach blue filters to your lights. I do not trust the Kelvin rating of lights manufacturers usually - that’s why manual WB is needed.

You need to try the MWB at a greater depth like 30m in addition to the depths you mentioned.

Here is a link I on the color checker subject - you’ll find a link on the top of the page:

Regards,

Thani

 

Edited by thani
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Thank you so much for very useful tips and ideas, Thani.  It is not too late, I am departing at the end of December.

Val

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On 12/8/2019 at 5:44 PM, Laval said:

Thank you bill1946.  I read this ARTICLE about a white card with "red" squares.  I will probably include it in the test, but not sure if a red type would work instead.  I could use a Magic filter for this purpose, if I figure out how to fix it to the slate. In addition, my fins are white, and I am planning to include them in the test.  I guess, this could be helpful when filming in the 'blue', when the camera could not find a reference to something 'white' or 'grey'.

Here is a short video showing all lighting situations with the same set up. As you will see the variations are what we all see. I find it acceptable. 

 

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On 1/15/2020 at 9:10 AM, bill1946 said:

Here is a short video showing all lighting situations with the same set up. As you will see the variations are what we all see. I find it acceptable. 

 

Thank you for sharing, Bill.

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