what is Zebra?

RobertWurster's picture
Last seen: 9 years 8 months ago
Joined: 09/22/2008 - 1:34pm

I know what the zebra function does on my camera but I don't know what the zebra numbers or settings mean? 70,80,90? I have looked everywhere and I cannot find what these numbers mean. 70 or 80 or 90 of what?I just pick a number and turn on the zebra funtion and adjust my exposure until I think it looks ok, turn off the zebra stripes and video tape. Itturns out ok but i want to know what the zebra numbers mean.I am using the Canon XH-A1.

Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

zebra tells you what parts of the image are over exposed. When shooting, you dont want to see many zebra stripes in the shot. There can be a little, but not much. 90 is a good setting.

Coreece's picture
Last seen: 10 years 9 months ago
Joined: 08/08/2007 - 7:56pm

The 70, 80 and 90 settings tell the camera to assign zebras to areas of the video signal that are70 IRE's80 IRE'sor 90 IRE's. Many cameras also have a setting for 100 IRE's.

Basically, 0 IRE is Black and 100 IRE is White.

Caucasion skin is correctly measured at 80 IRE, so if you're shooting an interview and your camera is set to 90 IRE's, your iris should be adjusted until there are subtle zebra's on the forehead, nose, and cheekbones since these are typically the "hotspots" on a face and would typically be measured above 80 IRE.

Understanding zebras can be a little tricky to understand and requires a bit of practice to use them correctly, but hopefully this will get you going in the right direction.

Best Regards

Coreece's picture
Last seen: 10 years 9 months ago
Joined: 08/08/2007 - 7:56pm

It's actually more in depth than that, and as I re-read my reponse, I realize that it doen't really do any justice in terms of understanding zebras; but as you said...the mainconcept is to determine the overexposed areas.

I couldn't find much on this subject but here are a couple links that can explain it abit more in depth:


Zebra Stripes Your New Best Friend