Your Camera Adjustments & Video Measurements Corner

Leader Instruments Corporation

In the words of Ansel Adams, “Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships. You do not take a photograph – you make it.”


Following please find a description of some basic adjustments that are available with most professional HD cameras.  Adjustments that help you capture the image as you envision it; adjustments that make the impossible shot, possible.  Each adjustment being described has a link associated with it that provides more information and pictures on each adjustment.

One of the first properties to check on the camera is black balance.  Setting proper black balance ensures the camera is producing proper black (R,G and B all equal at zero).  Using the vectorscope display assures the camera is producing no color information—just black.  The danger in improperly black balanced cameras is that every other adjustment will essentially come out wrong if this baseline adjustment is not made properly.  At the least, improperly black balanced cameras will reproduce black detail with unwanted color

Camera lenses allow light to go through them (no kidding) but some of the light bounces around in the lens creating an overall increase of brightness in the picture; effectively “lifting” your blacks off the zero line.  This reduces the amount of contrast and results in a “hazy” image.  Flare needs to be adjusted for every different lens being used during production and should be done in a lab environment using the appropriate charts.


White balance is about making sure your camera outputs no color (no deflection on the vectorscope); when the camera is pointed to a pure white surface; essentially making all three R, G, B levels equal.  Equal levels RGB make neutral gray (depending on the level); white is made up from 100% R, G and B. 

Text Box: Adjustments like these can really help you paint your own shot from an exposure standpoint.  Being able to compress or expand blacks as well as control the amount of detail in the highlights, provides creative professionals with the ability to truly paint their shot.

Want to paint your camera for a special look?  Perhaps enhance overall color saturation or just achieve a warmer or cooler look?  Adjusting the color matrix of your camera is a sure way to get some real performance from your camera.

Today’s cameras include powerful signal processors and offer unprecedented image control. Black pedestal adjustments help set up the baseline for richer blacks, toe/knee adjustments allow you to optimize your exposure at various levels/zones and matrix adjustments permit you to vary color hue and saturation.  You have the ability to extend your camera’s range to capture rich, vibrant images  -  you also run the danger of going out-of-range.  When you explore the limits of your creativity, you just need a little knowledge and the right equipment to mark the limits for you  -  once you know exactly where the limits are, you can safely dance right next to them and get the maximum performance your camera can offer.

Typical HD Camera


For A Camera Alignment Seminar In Your Area Call 1(800) 645-5104