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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old February 13th, 2010, 12:40 PM   #1
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shallow D.O.F. with GL2

Hi, I'm new to this forum and have a question.

This is a screen capture from the Smallville episode Warrior. I want to recreate a scene like this with the background completely out of focus but the main actor in focus.


http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/6389/warrior3.jpg

how would I get a similar shot with the Canon GL2? Can this be done with the manual settings?
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Old February 13th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #2
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you would need a 35mm adaptor to get something like that, or a video DSLR.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 08:08 PM   #3
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Try setting up about 15 feet from your subject and zooming to fill frame, and make sure you background is about 15 feet away from the subject. Shoot with iris as wide open as possible
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Old February 13th, 2010, 08:19 PM   #4
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Is there a way to get it without an adapter like Chris said?
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Old February 13th, 2010, 08:28 PM   #5
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Again using telelens setting, will give shallower depth of field. Using widest Iris opening creates shallower depth of field and putting you back ground farther in back of your subject will mean it is out of focus.

The small imager on a GL2 works against shallow depth of field, but f you combine all three techniques above, you may be able to get close.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #6
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I think i may just invest in a lens adapter, I found reasonably priced ones
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Old February 15th, 2010, 01:56 PM   #7
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Depth of file is an issue with all small sensor formats. You can play withe camcorder-to-subject-to-background distances, and focal lengths but that may result in perspectives you do not want.

A low budget approach is to try chroma key the actor onto a separate shot of the out-of-focus background, But artifacts could be an issue so that may or may not be adequate for your needs.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Try setting up about 15 feet from your subject and zooming to fill frame, and make sure you background is about 15 feet away from the subject. Shoot with iris as wide open as possible
I've done this with all my cameras and told others to do it as well. Works like a charm. Though it's not always possible space-wise. I will be investing in the new Canon T2i and a 50mm lens to cover that effect in any situation. Here's a shot from my HMC150...
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shallow D.O.F. with GL2-screen-shot-2010-01-25-1.07.40-pm.png  
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Old February 16th, 2010, 09:15 AM   #9
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Basically as Chris said you'll want the camera zoomed in, and the aperature to a high setting (low F-stop #, 2.4 or so). Play around with that, that's the best it'll do without adaptors.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 07:07 AM   #10
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I shoot my wife's web series in a small room converted to a studio. I place her about 6' in front of the camera and the backdrop about 6' behind her. I set my GL2 at about F2.0, 1/60th shutter (if I remember right), zoom in a little, and sometimes have trouble keeping her in focus. This has allowed me to easily keep the backdrop "soft" looking. It also helps when shooting white or black backdrops.

In other words, like Chris said, It should not be a problem so long as you control lighting conditions.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #11
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Shoot "wide-open"

If you are doing this shot indoors you will have better luck than outdoors. Indoors there is much less light so it is easier to shoot with wide (low) f-stops ... BUT remember ... the widest (lowest) f-stop the better when trying to make the background out of focus.

The further away the background is from the subject the better the result.

Of course you would shoot with manual exposure. Don't forget you can add the Neutral Density filter if needed (even if the camera does not think you need it), but once you get a proper exposure with the lens wide open there is no need for further adjustment.

NOTE: for outdoor shots you can even add a "regular" Neutral Density filter to the front of the lens in addition to the built-in one.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #12
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NOTE: for outdoor shots you can even add a "regular" Neutral Density filter to the front of the lens in addition to the built-in one.
And that's what I do. Combining the onboard ND I have near enough 3-ND of darkness to play with. I keep the aperture WIDE open and I can get quite acceptable shallow DoF. At least it makes the layer I want pop. And yes, ultimately there is no alternative to having a BIGGER receptor and/or a DoF machine.

Hope you enjoy my sampler! Just regular SD from an XM2.

Grazie
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File Type: wmv Shallow DoF1.wmv (10.80 MB, 639 views)
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Old March 9th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #13
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Grazie,

Really great sample images!!!

I use the same method, but I have also used a polizer with the extra nd. when I have tons of light and don't mind a little warmer color.


Dale
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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:22 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
Grazie, Really great sample images!!!
- Thank you Dale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
. . . but I have also used a polizer with the extra nd. when I have tons of light and don't mind a little warmer color.
As I said, no post-prod in these. If I am wanting to then alter the "feel" of a piece I'd go to my beloved SONY Vegas! - Most importantly is to get the best image I can do, and afford.

Just employing some basic camera skills this camera does produce some great shots. And no it still isn't HD - that's obvious - and when I do climb that hill I'll be then reaching for even MORE dynamic from my work.

Grazie

Last edited by Graham Bernard; March 10th, 2010 at 11:38 AM.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 10:26 PM   #15
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I'll have to pick up some ND's. I am honestly quite surprised that with a wide upen aperature the DoF can be that shallow with the GL2.

Nice frame grabs by the way.

Greg
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