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3.3 Adjust Your Camera

Fully automatic is most likely not going to work, and you will need to dial in the settings on your camera to make sure that the color and exposure don't change during your live stream or video call. In this lesson, you will learn how to get it right without any fancy tools!

3.3 Adjust Your Camera

Fully automatic camera settings are most likely not going to work and you will need to dial in the settings on your camera to make sure that the color and the exposure doesn't change during the stream. In this lesson, you will learn how to get it right. So you're looking at the back of the camera here, this is the LCD. I know it looks a little strange, but I wanna walk you through what camera settings that I have set up. So I'm gonna jump in here to the menu and just go through a few things, bear with me here. This is a touch screen and it's a little bit, well it's a little bit touchy. First a few things, Digital Zoom always turn that off. I'm not gonna be dealing with the zoom, speed, so set to variable and that's fine. AF Mode is currently set to instant AF, that's fine. Focus Assistance is on, that means when I focus on the camera, it's going to kind of punch in and show me a zoomed view. Let me show you. If I turn that to manual focus and I use the focus dial on the front of the camera, it bumps the screen into 100% so you can see exactly kind of a zoomed in view so you can get it dialed in perfectly. Face Detection, this is something that you may want to experiment with. Perhaps with your camera it doesn't work so well. I'm gonna leave it on for now. A few other standard things, Image Effects, we don't want any of that. Wind Screen is set to off, if we were trying to take advantage of the internal microphone in the camera we don't want the Wind Screen filter on. Microphone Attenuator, basically we have two options Automatic and On. I'm gonna leave it on automatic for now. I'm not using the onboard microphone so that's not going to be a big deal. There is one control dial on the front of this camera, and that is currently set to Focus, but I could change that to Exposure. Focus is fine for now. If I jump into the second tab here, let me just show you the options here. Here. If I was ever going to record on the camera card, I want it set to the highest bit rate, which is 24 megabits. It's basically as high as it goes and I wanna capture the best quality if I was ever recording my video stream simultaneously on the camera as well as doing kind of a live broadcast. Frame Rate, this is going to be something that you may need to experiment with. Right now I have it set to 24F which means 24 frames per second. Now, this camera and most cameras in this generation of around 2010 to even currently probably, don't actually send 24 frames a second over the HDMI. A lot of these cameras will send a 60i signal, but it's flagged and coded in such a way that the device on the other side knows that it's 24 frames a second and can kind of put it back together so it actually looks like 24 frames a second on the other side. Now the video capture device doesn't list 24 frames a second in the specification. So I probably wanna switch that over to PF30 which is another kind of strange frame rate where it's actually 30 frames a second, but it records it in 60i when you're recording to the camera. But I think that's probably the safest to start with, but you can experiment to find out what's going to work. I know for this particular camera, all of these send the video signal over as 60i, and because the Magewell can handle 60i it will interpolate those. The Magewell does the deinterlacing for you. I think 24 frames will work, but it may look a little strange. There is one other setting that you wanna look for, and that's Output Onscreen Displays. This is the setting that you need to turn off. When you do this the HDMI will now be clean without any overlays, and that's exactly what we want. So those are the main menu things that you need to look for. Next, we need to adjust the picture so that this looks the best. So in recording programs here, I have some options, Programmed AE, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Portrait. I have no idea what Portrait does, and then Cinema Mode, which it is currently set in. But just look at the difference in the picture, and I know it's gonna be kind of hard to gauge, but when I switch this over to Programmed AE, you can see that it got a heck of a lot brighter. And if you were looking at the HDMI output, what you would see is that the sensor gain got cranked up which means that there's going to be more noise in the signal. It's impossible to tell on this tiny screen, but Programmed AE lets the sensor be turned up in volume to account for lower light situations. I'm not dealing with that because I've lit this appropriately and it's gonna look fine. So watch what happens when I switch it back to Cinema Mode. You can see that the exposure darkens. And I know it looks a little dark now, but I've already set the exposure on this camera and I know that it looks right. So I'm going to leave it in Cinema Mode. Gonna jump back here. The next thing to look at is the white balance. One here, I have automatic white balance, that's one that you do not want because you don't want it changing the white balance during your stream, that's not gonna be great. I do have a few other options, there's a Custom White Balance. So for this to work, I need something that's white that mostly fills the screen that is being hit by the lights that I want to white balance, too. And then I can set the white balance and now it's going to use that custom white balance. And that can be as simple as a white board, a big white piece of paper that you zoom in on. But if we just look at the difference between the Custom White Balance and I know it's going to be hard to tell, but if I switch over to Daylight, there shouldn't be a huge shift because for whatever reason this camera likes the Daylight color of these lights and it looks pretty neutral. So, I'm gonna leave it on Daylight. That's probably your best bet if you don't have a Custom White Balance. If you do have a Custom White Balance, you may want to experiment with that because that's going to lock it in and that's probably gonna be a little closer bit closer to what your lights are actually doing. Mic level, again if I was trying to use a microphone with this camera, I would want to set that to manual. And then you can see here the mic level and I would dial that in so that I was getting a nice juicy signal, somewhere between this 12 here and this 0. But it doesn't matter because I'm not going to use the microphone and in fact I don't wanna see the mic level so I'm gonna turn it back to Automatic. So I don't have to look at that. Focus, right now it's set to Manual, it's gonna be kind of tricky to manually focus, so what you might wanna do is get something in the picture that's going to be about where your head is going to be. All right? And you can see I have this strange blue outline. That's actually called Focus Peaking. That's showing you what's in focus. But if you want to dial it in exact, get something and put it in the plane that your face is going to be, or pretty close to it. So this is actually a focused target, but you can use anything that's in the same plane as where you are going to be sitting, where your face is going to be. And then you can adjust the focus so that that's perfectly in focus. And you'll see that those little lines get nice and bright, those blue lines, that's Focus Peaking. Your camera may not have Focus Peaking, this does. It's in the settings here and I can change the color to Red or Yellow. Red actually looks pretty good. I can turn Peaking and Black and White on. Sometimes it's easier to get focus in Black and White, but I'm gonna leave Black and White off. Exposure, right now it's set to Automatic. And, when I touch the screen, its going to set the exposure for the Highlights. I think actually, I can't turn it up anymore until I go in and change the program here to program mode. Because, it won't let the sensor get any brighter, but you can see if it's on Highlight mode like it is now, it's going to try and make that light gray area kind of be exposed properly for the highlights which is wrong in this particular case. So if I jump back to Exposure and I set this on Normal, and I go back, and now I set the Exposure, it's going to make that about 70% luminance or somewhere in that neighborhood. You see it's actually a little bit less right now. If I bump it up a half a stop it's going to start dancing there. Those are called zebras. And I have the Zebra Pattern set to 70% so that it's showing me things that are basically exposed to 70% luminance. But I have the option to push this all around. You can see I can push this up to a 100% and this will show me when things get to just about 100% luminance which means they're essentially clipped and pushed full white. If I turn zebra off that light grey target is now completely white, and that's bad. So here's how I would do it. I would jump back out of here, put this back on cinema which is going to darken this right down. Go back into Exposure, set it on manual, put the Zebras on 70% and then see what that looks like. So if I jump in front of the camera here and I get my face in here, it's looking pretty good. If I saw zebras on my face, I would know that it's a little bit hot and I may want to pull the exposure down a little bit. I can't actually go up from here unless I put it in another one of those modes. So, you're gonna have to fiddle with the exposure to make it look right, but basically you do not wanna over expose, especially on your face. And that's pretty much it. To review, basically we shut off any kind of auto anything that we don't want the camera to choose for us, so auto Exposure, auto Focus, auto White Balance. If you're using the microphone, turn off the automatic mic gain and set it manually, and then dial everything in so it looks the best. I have my White Balance set, I have my Exposure set. I have this set to Cinema, which is going to look the best on this camera, it's gonna be the cleanest output. My Focus is set properly and all this jazz is turned off expect for Image Stabilization because that's not going to be a big deal. If there is any kind of floor movement here, [SOUND], which I don't think I can do because this is a concrete four, that's going to help to fix that. And then in the menu make sure that your Frame Rate is set correctly. That may take some experimentation with the to find out what looks the best. And then make sure that your Onscreen Displays are off. So now that you know how to dial in the settings on your camera, the next thing to look at is audio and that's coming up in the next chapter.

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