PTC-150/150T and RMC-180
Advanced Configuration Tips
In the above tutorial video, we show you some advanced features of the PTC-150 series cameras and the RMC-180 Camera Controller to optimize your shots. This guide also applies to the BC-80 block camera.
For our 4K PTC-200 and BC-200 cameras, please see our guide on optimizing your cameras for the KMU-100.
(Automatic Gain Control)
To start, let's enter the menu using the IR remote. You can also do this by pressing the left knob under the LCD display on the RMC-180 controller. Using the right knob, Navigate to the Camera Set Advanced menu.
First we are going to adjust a few settings related to exposure to get better low light performance and more consistent exposure.
- Select ACG in the menu by pressing the right knob. You can adjust the auto gain control to ON, or OFF.
- If you are shooting indoors or in low light, keeping it on will help you see into darker areas of your set. Set the gain limit to 9 dB or 12 dB to get more exposure but not add too much noise to your image.
- Increase gain and lower pedestal to reduce overexposure when zoomed out and underexposure when zoomed in.
This affects exposure compensation, which will engage the iris or auto gain control, depending on the shooting situation. Please note that with camera firmware 2.8 or later, the default behavior of this setting is sufficient.
- From a wide shot, zoom in to see if the exposure is fairly consistent. If it is not, you may need to decrease this setting.
- The maximum Aperture and AGC limits both apply when you adjust the pedestal effect.
- Pedestal adjusts Exposure Compensation in +/- 1.5dB increments.
- Please note that in low light conditions the iris is generally fully open.
Please see the following video tutorial on configuring white balance. White balance affects the representation of color for your camera, and if not set properly, can have a very negative impact on your image. Auto white balance is a quick fix but for the most accurate results, we recommend using manual white balance and then choose the best option for your environment.
If you are shooting outdoors or with daylight balanced lights, use the Outdoor white balance preset, and for indoor tungsten lighting, use 3200k or Indoor white balance. If you have time, use One Push and zoom in on a white piece of paper or piece of foam board on your set.
Now that we have a properly exposed image, let's adjust the color. If you find the saturation of color to look flat in your PTC-150 out of the box, you can make your images more vibrant by adjusting the Vivid Effect.
- Increase the Vivid Effect to 9 or 10 to give the colors in your image an extra punch of saturation. Depending on your lighting conditions, especially with the highlights and skin tones in your image.
- Increasing the vivid effect too much can have an unnatural look.
Setting the WD Mode to VE Mode (Visibility Enhancer) will make the darker part of a image brighter as well as automatically correct brightness and contrast to show bright parts clearly without over exposure.
- In most shooting environments you should leave the WD Setting Off, as false colors may appear in some parts of the image.
As you may have learned in our last PTC-150 tutorial, you can do presets for each of your cameras using the ‘store’ button for each camera preset button on all of your channels. You can also set the speed of the camera movement during each preset.
There are also features on the RMC-180 controller that are available for you to use in your productions.
- To do this, go through the menu on the RMC-180, and select ‘MEMORY SPEED.’ Setting your memory speed to 1 will be slowest and 18 will be fastest.
- Presets with slow speeds can be used as automatic camera movements, and faster speeds can be used to quickly move from shot to shot.
You must set the memory speed prior to assigning your camera presets. Note that when you recall a preset, it recalls at the memory speed at the time the preset was written, and not the current Memory Speed value in the RMC-180. This allows you to set a different speed value for each preset if desired.
You can adjust the joystick direction and screen mode to match your camera position if you hang it upside down.
- First select the channel that has the camera you would like to adjust. Then, use the ‘screen mode’ option to flip and mirror your image into the correct orientation.
- Use the ‘Joystick Direction’ option to also horizontally and vertically flip and mirror your controls to match the camera’s new position.
We hope everything you learned in this tutorial helps you get the best possible images when shooting with your PTC-150 series camera with your RMC-180 controller.