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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.

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Old October 6th, 2011, 01:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: los angeles, ca
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Video Lighting

Hello Video and Photography Experts:

I just bought a Canon EOS T2i and my main interest is to do HD videos and also extract pictures from them. This camera allows me to extract up to 18 fames per second.

But I want to have the "perfect" lighting. Perhaps a lighting kit or equipment that is very versatile that I can adapt to the conditions (interior and exterior).

I will be shooting mostly athletes and other models in general, so I will be capturing mostly skin, muscle, clothes and faces! The background is not so important. Its important to capture the muscle movement / detail, flexing, face expressions, etc with the best quality.

So based on the above. What kind of lighting do you suggest?

I have seen the traditional floodlights, studio kits with umbrellas,etc...that seems to be traditional model, usually with Tungsten and Fluorescent light. Although I have seen that some people use the Canon speedlites as lighting? not sure how (effectively)..... But I am also looking at camera mounted models mostly LED and the Canon Speedlites I mentioned.

What do you suggest? The studio setting ? Which type of lights in that case? Or the camera mounted? What types / models? Or maybe a combination of both?

Thanks plenty in advance for your advise! I look forward to showing the results.

James Blaire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 6th, 2011, 01:42 PM   #2
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Re: Video Lighting

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Old October 6th, 2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Re: Video Lighting

See these articles:

Tutorial: Assemble Your Own Low-Budget Light Kit, Part One at

Tutorial: Assemble Your Own Low-Budget Light Kit, Part Two at

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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:29 PM   #4
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Location: los angeles, ca
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Re: Video Lighting

Thank you.

What I did not see on the Tutorial was anything about camera mounted lights , which seem to make sense for a Canon because they are adaptable to the "hot shoe". Also , they might not provide indirect softer light like a traditional setting as explained in the tutorial. Also not sure if the tuturial considers the new HD technologies which seem to have specific light requirements or effects.

Perhaps some of the newer camera mounted equipment can create the better light effects if used properly or maybe some have it in their technology.

Here are some examples:

Best Buy - Canon Speedlite 320EX External Flash customer reviews - product reviews - read top consumer ratings

Stellar Lighting System | STL-96D LED on Camera Video Light | STL96D

Canon Direct Store- VL-10Li II

Any feedback on these options versus a traditonal lighting setup or a combination will be greatly appreciated,

Thanks again

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Old October 7th, 2011, 02:53 AM   #5
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Re: Video Lighting

Camera mounted lights aren't always guaranteed to produce nice looking pictures - they are great for illumination, but the frontal, on axis light, even if hard or soft, doesn't produce much modelling. However, when your proper lighting creates unpleasant shadows, maybe because you are putting the camera in a low or high position you didn't actually plan for, this frontal light can fill in some of the odd shadows.

I'm a bit mystified why you say background is unimportant - as if you intending to use individual frames (we don't often hear the term extract used in this way) you are presumably going to be photoshopping - and having a background that is lit evenly makes this so much more easy. You can waste hours getting a clean removal from a background. Everyone has different requirements from lighting.

Traditional 3 point lighting can produce your shadows giving modelling, then fill in these shadows to soften them, then have some backlight to help the front stand out from the back. More people started to use softlight panels and cut down on hard keys. Some like this, others hate it. Cameras have become more sensitive, so for some lighting levels have dropped, others kept them high and increased DoF.

Even after all my years doing lighting, I still mess up - green screen is always for me difficult - my eyes can spot creased and bubbles, but they are useless at judging evenness - so looking at the monitor often reveals less bright areas or hot spots, and then I waste loads of time sorting it out. I bought a couple of cheap soft boxes with CFLs in them, but the light is soft, even and dim! I've pretty well standardised for background lighting on redheads with diffuser on the barn doors and can get the backgrounds bright so they key cleanly. I like fresnels for keys, and diffused fresnels for softlight - but lots of people don't.

What is always worth doing before you buy anything is to set aside some time and hire in a variety of different types of kit, and spend a day or two experimenting so you can find what works for you, and most importantly - what doesn't!
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Old October 7th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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Re: Video Lighting

Thanks Paul,

Points taken. I understand the lack of modeling with an "on axis light" because I need light coming from several directions in order to get the right light modeling. And the modeling light needs to be strong enough in order to work effectively. However, the frontal light (mounted on the Camera) in combination with the modeling lights seem to work best as they can fill in some odd shadows as you mentioned.

I go back to the question: What is the best camera mounted light ? I added some examples on my previous post. LED ? Canon Speedlite flash/modeling light combos?

For example the kit below works with Canon Speedlites. But I am not sure how.....Does that mean these speedlites or normal flashes can be used as modeling light? Is this effective for VIDEO?

RPS Studio | Portable Speedlite Studio Kit | RS4037

I am a bit confused with the terminology: Are modeling lights just to create the right lighting for the camera to adjust to the flash or actual light exposure for the photos? Or all the actual surrounding light altogether? Keep in mind I am talking about HD VIDEO and using Individual Frames of that video.

Regarding Background, I mentioned it is unimportant, because I want to blurr the back ground as much as possible focusing on the model or I will just have a simple / plain / uniform / dark background (like a curtain, screen or wall) in most cases. If I am outdoors I might use the backgound but most probably blur it to make the model stand out by furthering the subject from the background as much as I can. So I dont look forward to as minimum photoshop as possible and remember I am mostly shooting video.

This is a science and as you mentioned, technology is changing and we must keep up. i will learn more tricks as I learn to use my new camera better and get more experience. But on the meantime I want to begin with the best lighting possible for my videos. Once again combination of lights seem best, but I want to specifically determine whether I can rely on Canon speedlites for everything (per kit above) and then which ones I should buy or if I need stronger flood / modeling lights, which one I should use....Flourescent, LED, Tungsten, powerful etc.

Thanks again
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Old October 10th, 2011, 10:52 AM   #7
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Re: Video Lighting

Speedlites are (as far as I'm aware) all flashes so they probably aren't what you want. You'd need constant lighting for video.
Modelling light is just light that emphasises the form of your subject to the desired effect, as per most film and video lighting. It would be particularly vital for what you are trying to do.

The kinds of lights you want typically depends on a few characteristics; Hardness/softness, illumination, base colour and power consumption (price as well I guess). eg, Fluros are very soft but give you a lot of illumination for very little power and heat. Some people don't like their narrow colour spectrum chiefly in the green range. Incandescents are often cheap and flexible; if you want them hard or soft they can be adjusted. So too with their colour. They're easily dimmable and I think most give a good linear colour falloff at the extremities and when dimmed. They do chew a lot of power and create a lot of heat, however. LEDs are still pretty expensive but give amazing illumination for a tiny amount of power. They are kinda variable in softness and their colour is chiefly a high kelvin blue-white (about 4500-5000 and up) and can be a bit inconsistent at off centre angles and even from one diode to another. It depends on the unit you get.
That's just for starters anyway.

On camera lights are kinda... Newsy for how precise this project sounds to me. If you really want an on camera fill I would look at some of the video ring lights available.

I assume you want to extract still from video because of movement being captured? If it isn't necessary to capture movement in a given instance you would get better results taking photos. If a certain situation permits that, of course.
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