About Scene Files for the AJ-HPX3700
The VariCam 3700 and VariCam 2700 cameras have a similar menu structure to the entire line of Panasonic 2/3" HD cameras, including the HPX3000, HPX2000 and HDX900. Since these are P2 VariCam's, the Film-Rec and gamma settings are a cross between the HPX3000 (a P2 camera with Film-Rec) and the industry classic 27H VariCam. These cameras have a user-definable matrix; color correction tables; gamma, knee and black stretch functions; pedestal; and individual channel gain. These elements can be used to create looks, which are a part of the total scene file for these cameras.
A look changes the way the camera sees tones and color, but a scene file can change everything about the way a camera performs.
Each of these scene files contains only one look, and each file can be stored in the camera or read from a card in the camera. If stored in the camera, up to four may be stored at any one time. If written to a card, eight may be stored at any one time.
To change a look, you must change the scene file’s parameters for tone and color. Panasonic has done that for you by creating many different scene files for each of these cameras.
For proper use of the following scene files, your camera must be white-balanced to the "A" channel.
Many of the files below have color spaces that are not "legal" by NTSC standards. This is because the colors are oversaturated. Because HD has no such "legal" limits, these colors can be captured by the camera but will be clipped in an NTSC transmission. However, they are useful when used in HD display or in a filmout. Nevertheless, it must be understood that oversaturation produces a diminished sense of form in the oversaturated colors that tend to emphasize a graphic or 2D effect on the image, consistent with the flattening of the three-dimensional form. Lighting choices on the set and variation from "normal" exposure further enhance or reduce this effect.
The files Digineg, Vivid and Timid are all the same color balance and look the same on a vectorscope when displayed at the same gain with which they were created. However VIVID and TIMID look different when displayed at a gain of 2.01, which is the same gain at which Digineg and all the other files are created. The difference in these three files is saturation, which was implemented in the matrix, leaving the chroma menu set flat at the 0 detent, thus maintaining the full range of chroma adjustment.
All of these files are primarily color files, although knee, gamma settings, gain, master pedestal and detail have all been used to contribute to the looks.
Tweaking the look to your needs is recommended. Shutter angle and frame rate choices make a significant difference in most looks. Overall chroma adjustment in the knee menu is desirable. Gamma is integral to many looks but not so much to others. Trial and error produce many interesting variations.
All files were created in AVC-Intra 100 and almost all use FILM REC gamma, which produces the most range of tone and color for this codec. However, other gammas are used for effect in certain files.
Concerning the screen grabs: Some of the frame grabs of the models appear similar because these images do not include the full range of colors in the DSC chart and were selected just to show the effect on skin tones. To a great degree, humans are the subjects of most shots. To help illustrate the differences in the "looks", the DSC chart and vectorscope screen grabs are included, along with the frame grab from the HD footage of the models.
It is also important to note that, while many of these files have names that have been used for color scene files for other cameras in the Panasonic line, no attempt has been made to "match" cameras according to file names, except for Digineg, Vivid and Timid. All other files are subjective approaches to the use of color and differences between these files and older files for other model cameras reflect changes in my thinking about the use of color for specific applications. Those of you who have become enamored of some of the "older" looks may or may not prefer the updated versions. Nevertheless, I encourage you to modify these looks and make them your own.
Installing Scene Files
- To change the scene files in your camera please follow these steps.Insert an SD card into the SD slot in your camera. Press and hold the menu button located on the front lower right of the camera (as it faces you).
- Using the jog wheel navigate MAIN MENU>FILE>SD CARD READ/WRITE> CONFIGURE>YES thus formatting the card.
- Remove the SD card and insert it in your computer using a card reader (or the SD slot in your PC).
- Click on and open the SD card's icon to see its contents. You will see a folder named PRIVATE. Navigate down through the layers of folders until you get to the last folder, P2SD, and you will see that its contents contain one or more files labeled SCENE1.TXT, SCENE2.TXT and so on, but be aware that no more than eight files will function on a card.
- Drag these files to the trash.
- Using up to eight of the files supplied by Panasonic, replace their names with the same names as the files that went to the trash. All files at this level must be named accordingly or they will not be seen and read by the camera. No names can be duplicated. That is, there can only be one SCENE1.TXT etc.
- Now, drag these files to the folder that formerly held the other .TXT files and eject the card from the computer.
- Eject the SD card from the computer and reinsert it into the camera.
- Press and hold the menu button. Using the jog wheel navigate MAIN MENU>FILE>SD CARD READ /WRITE. The names of the files appear, numbered 1 through 8, under 'TITLE:'
- Use the jog wheel to navigate to R SELECT and choose the number of the file you wish to load into the camera. Then navigate to READ>YES.
- The scene file will load into the camera as the active file.
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