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How to make footage look better?

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  • dpalomaki
    My limited experience with Panasonic consumer 3-CCD camcorders is they tend to shoot too contrasty, too saturated, and may have white balance issues as well with certain lighting. At first the image seems pops out at you during an in-store demo say or maybe 30 seconds of the neighbors kid's first soccer goal. It helps sell camcorders to average consumers looking for the buzz word magic of "3-chip sensor" (even if 1/6 inch) but the actual image gets old in a hurry when trying to edit or mix it with material from a different camcorder.

    These camcorder do not appear to offer much in the way of convenient manual control, but you might try work with the "intelligent contrast" mentioned above, try using manual exposure when shooting to bring out shadow or highlight detail of interest, and using manual white balance. Having a better monitor than the LCD may help settings, but at some point it becomes more economical and much more convenient to upgrade to a different camcorder. (It came out ~8 years ago didn't it, several generations of technology advancement since then.)

    However, I too suspect that most of the correction work will have to be in post.

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  • Cobra427
    Thanks everybody.
    I will try your suggestions.

    This is not the a very good camera (handy, but not that good), but I have to do with it. As said before: there are some great looking films shot with a consumer camera, so it must be possible to improve the quality of my footage.

    If you have any more suggestions, please help me out.

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  • Rusty
    Sharpness is a selling point on consumer cameras and is generally fine for your kids birthday.
    Unfortunately, some data may be lost to the contrast-y consumer images.
    I'd experiment with the Smooth Blur filter, a low value may do the trick.
    I don't know much about Matrix, but you may get good results here.

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  • Woody Sanford
    You can do a ton of things in post and this is really a very broad question but there is an old saying "Junk in = Junk out". Which means you need to get as much right in your camera first.

    That camera does have some manual controls to get better picture quality than auto settings allow. The "intelligent contrast control" might be something that is giving you to much "sharpness" sometimes. You might look through your manual and see if you have settings to reduce sharpness and contrast a bit. Your picture will look flatter before you bring them into edius but a simple "S" curve in the YUV filter and a saturation adjustment to taste and your there but reducing these can help clean up some of the artifacting that goes on in most consumer cameras and give a cleaner image.

    Make sure you use those manual setting to expose correctly and you will get rid of a lot of your brightness issues.

    Good Luck

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  • Bluetongue
    to give a few hints
    Learn to use the YUV filter in conjunction with the Vectorscope to keep the video levels between 0 and 100
    You can stretch and compress the video content so changing the saturation of the video as well as the gamma
    Some professional cameras have the ability to change this to compress or expand Blacks or whites, you can do this with the YUV, it works in spline or curves, each way is slightly different
    Get to find out how it can improve your video and give some sparkle even on overcast days
    Try adding some extra saturation with the color balance filter, don't go too heavy around 5 to 8 max can add a little extra to a dull clip
    There are a lot of third party filters NewBlue Colorfast can be a help but depending on your system and graphics card may require rendering
    Better if you can master it with the native filters
    Make sure you click on the "IRE" button on the Vectorscope to make sure you get correct video levels

    Last edited by Bluetongue; 04-23-2014, 09:35 AM. Reason: ADDED

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  • Cobra427
    started a topic How to make footage look better?

    How to make footage look better?

    I am still using my "old" consumer camera. This one is now about 5 or 6 years old. It is a 3 ccd Panasonic HDC-SD5 with OSD. The footage looks sort of too sharp and the colors are unnatural bright. The darker it gets the worse is the footage. Indoor does not make for good footage.
    I have looked at the films in the upload section of this forum and wow do these movies look great. So much better than the ones I make. I am not talking about the way they are edited, but about the basic footage. Even movies shot with a consumer camera look much better. Why, how do they do that?

    My question: are there "tricks" I can use (Edius 6.08) or are there filters I should use?

    (and yes, a better camera would be an option. At this moment I do not have the money to buy one)
    Last edited by Cobra427; 04-23-2014, 09:06 AM.