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Old January 21st, 2009, 11:28 PM   #1
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Low Light Problems GL2

I've encountered low light issues in instances of virtually unlit rooms or candlelight ceremonies. I've tried a number of manual settings and am coming up drawing a blank on what to do in extreme low light. We recently purchased professional lighting to cure some of the problem but there are those who insist on keeping the light virtually too low to record anything. We did a job this last weekend where they wanted video of the crowd but did not want any lighting. Result= noise even with manual settings.

Any suggestions on how to tweak the manual settings or should we just refuse jobs where it's virtually hard to see anything even with the naked eye?
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 12:34 PM   #2
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A] Lighting

B] Gain

C] Post

D] Closeups using the Candles or any lighting you are allowed to use

E] Hire an alternative camera with a bigger than 1/4" Chip and add this hire cost to the bill! Simple! Never turn work down - if you can avoid it?

Grazie
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Old January 24th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #3
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If better lighting is out of the question:

1. Be sure the client is aware of the limitations of shooting in poor light. Show examples to manage their expectations.

2. Once you run out of stop, try a slower shutter and live with the motion artifacts.

3. Be sure not to use high amounts of zoom that result in losing lens speed.

4. Use as much gain as you feel you can get away with.

5. Use a noise removal software in post; e.g., Neat Video.

6. Look into a camcorder that can do a bit better in low light such as the VX2100/PD170.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #4
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Thank you

Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried the slower shutter but did have to change it back when people were dancing. I will try Neat Video first. Thanks again.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #5
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A low wattage camcorder light, maybe 10 watts, can make a difference and yet not be excessively intrusive.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 12:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
A low wattage camcorder light, maybe 10 watts, can make a difference and yet not be excessively intrusive.
I do have the on-camera lighting and professional lighting and use it where it's allowed. My problem arose when I had to tape people without lighting per the customer (most of them were dancing) in a virtually unlit room while we had to zoom in for the shot and adjust manual settings which didn't work very well. We tried every adjustment possible in Premiere Pro and that didn't fix the issue either.

Neat Video looks like it will most likely fix my issues and it's reasonably priced. $49 for home users and $99 for pro users. It's compatible with Premiere Pro and a number of other editing programs.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 06:05 AM   #7
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And NeatVideo offers a trail version to test before you buy.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #8
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And NeatVideo offers a trail version to test before you buy.
Neat Video looks like it will help us out on some of those overlit shots too. We've shot several stage shows where the in-place house lighting was too intense.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 01:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Michelle Genrich View Post
Neat Video looks like it will help us out on some of those overlit shots too. We've shot several stage shows where the in-place house lighting was too intense.
I have NV too. How does this help your stage shot? Would you mind posting a before and after. I'd like to learn this as well.

TIA,

Grazie
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Old February 1st, 2009, 08:37 AM   #10
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I have NV too. How does this help your stage shot? Would you mind posting a before and after. I'd like to learn this as well.

TIA,

Grazie
I'm not saying it will help the "shot" itself, but if you check the Neat Video website, it appears to reduce intense light. If I post anything on before and after, it won't be for weeks yet.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #11
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Neat Video Before and After Snapshots

Finally got Neat Video up and running. Wow, what a difference.
Attached Images
  
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Old March 10th, 2009, 11:16 PM   #12
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Hi Michelle! Thanks for remembering to post and show us the before and after - great!

Might I suggest that this shot would also benefit from some careful in-Post White Balance? Do you have the facilities to accomplish this?

Grazie
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Old March 11th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #13
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Hi Michelle! Thanks for remembering to post and show us the before and after - great!

Might I suggest that this shot would also benefit from some careful in-Post White Balance? Do you have the facilities to accomplish this?

Grazie
Yes, I have the facilities to accomplish it. I put this one up because the contrast of the grain before using Neat Video and the result afterward. We did fix white balance in post. Thank you.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #14
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Don't forget to use a custom preset with your sharpness knocked down a few notches. This will help with noise tremendously.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #15
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My crude attempts at WB-ing. BTW I asked and got Michelle's agreement to do this.

Grazie
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