A Guide to Underwater Wildlife Video & Editing: Part 8

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Read Part 7 here.

A part serialisation of a book by Jeff Goodman

PART 8: Colour Bars and Monitor Setup

It may be that the picture in your camera monitor is looking pretty good but looks quite different when you get it back onto your PC.  This may simply be because your camera monitor and PC monitor are set up differently. To help standardise this we use a reference picture called Bars.

Have a think about exactly what your camera monitor is showing you. It may be that the monitor brightness, contrast and colour are set incorrectly and if they are, then the resulting video image that looked OK to you at the time of filming may look awful on another machine, i.e. your computer.

‘Bars’ is a reference chart that will help you calibrate your camera monitor as well as your computer. If your camera has this option then a reference colour and exposure chart can be viewed in the monitor. Adjust the monitor levels until the reference bars look correct.

There are a few different bar types so please read your manual to see how to set up yours correctly. Record say 30 seconds of these bars on the camera and play it back onto your computer monitor, setting it up to match.

If your camera does not have this option you can download from the internet a standard bar chart for setting up your computer screen.

This will then ensure that your picture quality will be good when played on any monitor that is also set up correctly with the standardised bar chart.

colour bars

Next time we look at White Balance.

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