Understanding & Setting Proper Exposure with False Colors What are false colors and how to use them

On this video photographer, Garrett Sammons looks at one of the most useful exposure tools that you can use to quickly determine if and how your image is properly exposed – the false colors and how they operate.

There are different exposure tools including zebras (which you can set to a specific threshold of exposure levels), but do not show you underexposure at all.

Waveforms which shows you both over and underexposure but is not very accurate (it only operates on the horizontal axis not the vertical of the image which represents the actual brightness levels)  that will be shown on the camera or monitor whenever they are surpassed), waveforms which shows

False colors give you exact location and level of exposure for each point on in your screen, this is very useful and you can even change the specific colors in some devices (keep in mind that not every monitor has false colors and very few cameras have them sadly).

Personally we find that false colors to be a bit confusing with too many colors displayed on the screen preventing us from reviewing the image itself (it is a matter of getting used to and there are people who can’t work without them). We would like to see a more advanced version of false colors with more user control in the future. For example, it would be nice if false colors could be set to only show over/under exposure and leave the rest of the image unchanged, making the image more clear. It would also be nice if the colors will be more transparent so that even when they do appear they will not completely cover the image.

This isn’t the first time that we have been looking at different exposure tools, you can also check “Back to Basics: 3 Tools for Perfect Video Exposure” by Greg from LensProToGo which also talks about False colors as well as waveforms and zebras.

You can watch more HDSLR and video techniques on our dedicated HDSLR channel here on LensVid.