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


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Old August 12th, 2005, 06:10 PM   #1
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Auto Vs. Manual

I understand most of you say to never shoot in Auto mode? Why is that? Is it really all that bad? I tried messing around with Manual mode, but found myself have to constantly adjust the focus, fix over exposed shots, underexposed. I was messing with the camera so much that I was not ever paying attention to what I was shooting anymore. Very little of shooting is done on a tripod. I mostly shoot video of moving objects such as cyclists and race cars. I found maual mose to kinda be a PITA for such situation. I can see where it would be preffered in controlled situations such as shooting weddings. But my video the subject can be two feet in front of you one minute two seconds later thirty feet from you. Sometimes moving slow, sometimes fast. It's unpredictable. I would like to learn how to use manual if someone thinks it can still be applied in my situation without so much work. And I do admit, I'm still new to my GL2 and learning, or at least trying to.

All thought, and opinions welcome. Excuse the poor grammar and spelling, im half alseep. :)
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Old August 12th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #2
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Hello Adam,
It sounds like AUTO mode (or Tv / Av depending on considerations such as depth-of-field etc.) is probably a good option for the type of shots you are taking. I am not at all an expert in video, but most of the video I have taken has been in AUTO mode. Probably 95% Auto and only 5% Manual where there is a specific circumstances and reasons for doing so. I have also generallly had my Auto Exposure (AE) set in the range -0.5 to -0.75 to give an Auto exposure which I am happy with. Under normal conditions this gives me less reason to adjust the exposure manually.

Most of the time I would also use Auto Focus. Again there are occasionally certain circumstances where Manual Focus or Auto Focusing and then locking the focus by switching to Manual may be useful: very low light situations, situations where you want to control the point of focus away from where the autofocus has gone, objects near/far moving or panning causing an undesired shift in focus etc.

I think is is useful to understand the manual capabilities of the camera and when the are best used for a specific purpose. My method is to use the Automatic modes for general use but be prepared to take manual control with a specific purpose or reason to achieve or improve a shot.

Regards,
Steven.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 10:48 PM   #3
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Yeah, I was kinda thinking along those lines. I just seem to be seeing a lot of posts lately that say your should NEVER use Auto or Easy mode.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 11:58 PM   #4
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Well, hello Adam! - This site is just CHOCK full of advice and the reasons for using Manual, being selective on your approach and analysing WHAT it is you want to shoot.

View ALL the MOV tutes!

This SHOULD be required watching after about 2 months of getting around the XM2 - have fun!

Graham "Grazie" Bernard

http://www.sony.com.au/articles/arti...articleId=3500

Last edited by Graham Bernard; August 13th, 2005 at 12:35 AM.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 03:44 AM   #5
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I have been doing a lot of experimenting with manual lately.
In trying to acheive perfection I find myself concentrating more on the exposure than on what I am filming. Also the viewfinder is now getting more and more cluttered! When using zoom, the zoom display replaces the exposure meter - very worrying.

Mel
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Old August 13th, 2005, 04:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Davies
I have been doing a lot of experimenting with manual lately.
Mel
GOOD! ! ! !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Davies
In trying to acheive perfection I find myself concentrating more on the exposure than on what I am filming.
Perfection? Well .. ok .. but we just gotta do the "grunt" - no way around this. Your own eye/arm/finger coord has gotta get up to speed. Try keeping "both" eyes open - I try and keep left eye on the reality and the right on the e/p or the LCD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Davies
Also the viewfinder is now getting more and more cluttered!
True . . .true . .. true .. and guess what? You will get used to them all AND be able to frame AND take note of all them. You will!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Davies
When using zoom, the zoom display replaces the exposure meter - very worrying.
Yeah . . . This is a pain ... But this is where your Zebras can momentarily take over .. . Anyway, if you knew what the scale was doing WHILE zooming, what would you do AT THE SAME time to alter the exposure?

I got myself a cheap 5" LCD TV that is bolted to my DVRigPro. This gives me loads of real estate.

BTW? Did you get to the link I gave? The answers to go Auto<>Manual ?

Good to see you here . at last! LOL!

Grazie
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Old August 13th, 2005, 04:44 AM   #7
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Yes, Graham, I take it all onboard.
And I did D/L the MOV files from the link. Most of it seems common sense. Wish that I could see the complete lecture rather than just snippets!

Thanks - Mel.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 04:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Davies
Most of it seems common sense.
Thanks - Mel.

Oh, well you are/did better than me! I really struggled with this stuff! Honest!

Grazie
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Old August 13th, 2005, 04:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Bernard
Oh, well you are/did better than me! I really struggled with this stuff! Honest!

Grazie
Perhaps you have a more detailed copy of the D/L (lol)

Nice to chat to you here.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 06:58 AM   #10
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Mel, it is in several bits, there are 9 headings to download.

G
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Old August 13th, 2005, 07:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Bernard
Mel, it is in several bits, there are 9 headings to download.

G
I know Graham - got all 9 and used vegas to stitch them all together!

Boom - boom

Mel
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Old August 13th, 2005, 07:16 AM   #12
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What a clever old thing you are .. . now that makes sense!


Now all we need is the friggin' rain to vanish at Old Trafford and we can "mop" up the Ozzies!

G
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Old August 13th, 2005, 09:51 AM   #13
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Guilt-free auto

The GL2 and other cameras with various auto modes plus lots of manual controls give the user options. I think that the emphatic advice to use manual controls is to make sure that we learn what they and the camera can do, and it's good advice. But, that being said, sometimes the auto options are the best choice.

First of all, people are different. Some people catch on very quickly by doing, and have an innate talent for rapid fine muscle control in coordination with perception and thought. Yes, as with all skills, these can be learned over time, but how easily and to what degree is partly a matter of natural ability. On that scale, I think I'm an average guy. Not a slouch, but no special gifts either.

Autofocus is almost always the best option for me, especially with the GL2, whose autofocus works very well. With the moving targets mentioned in the inital post, it would be an absolute must for me.

I tape a lot of stage productions. Lighting is a challenge in several ways, not the least of which is that it changes color and level frequently and rapidly. I tried like hell to use manual exposure control and manual white balance in this setting, with the result that I, like several other posters in this thread, messed up on basic framing of the shot. Heck, with the need to monitor and adjust audio thrown into the mix, I missed entrances and exits! In post, the number of abrupt lighting changes were doubled or tripled. First it changed according to the lighting design cues. Then it changed again when I adjusted. And adjusted again. And if that weren't bad enough, with two camera shoots, two individuals were compensating at different times in different ways. What a mess that was in post!

Now I use programed incandescent white balance and spotlight exposure mode (even when there is no actual spotlight) on my Canon GL2, my Sony VX2100 and my Panasonic GS200 in three-camera shoots. The color agreement among cams is very good--the subtle differences due to cam characteristics would be forgiven by most eyes in cutting from one cam's angle to the other even without color correction (but such correction is easy to apply in post). The transitions are smooth, and much of what the lighting designer was trying to achieve is preserved.

Auto controls can free us up to pay attention to other aspects of the job. But auto modes often make the wrong decisions, and limit creativity, so we need to know when and how to use manual.

I'm not the first on these boards to say this. Learn all the manual and auto controls offered by the cam. Experiment with their effects. We paid for all of them, and have the right to use the ones that give us the most satisfaction.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #14
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Adam,

I would recomend using th TV mode. You set the shutter speed you want and you can change it at a whim while filming very easily. You then press in on the ae lock and you can adjust the aperature with the dial. When the zebra strips are gone press in again and you are back to TV mode. I have found this far more convient and I still have control of the camera but more easily.
focus is always an issue!! generally I will use auto focus to get it right quuickly and the I press manual focus to keep it there and make necessary adjustments on the fly with my manfrotto remote, or the barrell adjustment.

My biggest complaint about the camera, and I love mine, is the barrell focus the movement of the barrell is so short.

When I am not shooting close I set the focus for infinity, leave it there most of the time and then you only make very minor adjustments. hard to do with things going 200 mioles an hour!!!


Dale Guthormsen
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Old August 14th, 2005, 02:25 PM   #15
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Auto or Manual

Hi Adam, I use the new sony z1 and use the auto focus about 85% of the time. I wear glasses, so I don't want to rely on my eyes. If I shoot in manual mode I sometimes have some focus problems, because my eyes play tricks on me. What I think is in focus, really somtimes isn't. I'm nearsited, so distance shots I shoot in auto. Close up shots I use Manual.

Thanks, Murry
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