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


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Old March 24th, 2003, 11:45 AM   #1
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Manual settings

I will be videotaping a ballet performance this weekend and have some questions concerning manual settings vs. automatic. I will be doing a certain amount of both wide angle as well as telephoto shots in order to please both the company owner and the parents and have no control over lighting.
Other than the GL-2 itself I also have a Tiffen Black Pro Mist 1/2 filter that I might use.
My questions are centered upon the desire to produce a "warmer", more inviting, image (film look).
Would I best be served by using the filter or by dialing down the sharpness? Differences between the two? Which might be preferable? If I choose to manually set the sharpness what might be a good setting?
Should I adjust the color gain? If I use the Promist should the color gain adjustment be different than without it?
Is white balance best left with an indoor setting, manual setting or auto?
In other words, what would be some overall adjustments that might help achieve the effect better than an auto shoot?

Tom
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Old March 24th, 2003, 12:45 PM   #2
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my thoughts

assuming you use premier or final cut pro, I'd leave the bluring to post and leave the promist off. you can blur in post but you can't sharpen what is not there. white balance in the same light you'll be shooting in, but the problem is if the lighting changes. If they light it with colored lights then all you can do is try to lock in a setting for white light early on and stick with that. don't manually balance off some colored lights on a stage production...If you have a 30 foot cord try to get a mic on-stage where you can lay it flat. if not...good luck with sound.
when switching lenses, leave the camera running if you need the music/sound to be contiguous. just start the camera running and don't turn it off if you are getting your sound from the camera itself.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 01:52 PM   #3
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Yup - As the pros say "Do it in post!" - After all, if you aint got it in the can to start with - you aint gonna make it happen at all. I'd concerntrate on getting the best, sharpest and most interesting shots as possible. I'd also get to know, intermately, the "runtime" programme as much as possible. Know and if possible practice the shot sequences - write down your own "ballet" film score; make sure you can get access the areas you think you want - there is a lot more - Oh yes try not to obscure the view of the audience - presumably they have paid - or you might obtain special dispensation from the organisers -yeah?
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Old March 24th, 2003, 02:16 PM   #4
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Also, try talking to the people that run the lights and sound. The sound guy might let you hook up to the house mixer for the audio, and the lighting guy might let you know what they will be doing, so you know how to set up.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 03:26 PM   #5
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and if you can't...

if you can't get a white balance from the house lights well ahead of time don't worry. just bring a white card and white balance from the auditorium lighting. you can fix that balance in post too. I did a two camera shoot in an auditorium and my 'helper' didn't white balance at all. his entire footage was orange. he thought it was ruined. in FCP I used the color correction and he couldn't tell what I'd shot and what he'd shot. he was astounded and I was happy. it's amazing what you can do with color correction in post in FCP (and, I assume, in other programs)
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Old March 24th, 2003, 03:32 PM   #6
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My personnal settings (but it's just me):

color gain +2
color phase +2
sharpness :+1
setup level +1

I always shoot with these settings then add effects in post to warm.

Sometimes I use CTB cards to warm the white balance.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 06:19 PM   #7
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Thank you to everyone for all the suggestions (I'm open for even more). Unfortunately there will be no post production work. This is strictly a "make it as good as you can for as low a cost as possible" type of job. The budget available allows for little else so what I need to do is make the video presentable right from the start.


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Old March 25th, 2003, 04:17 PM   #8
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make as good as you can

ouch...no post...you can't even put it into an imac and work it in imovie or something similar on a pc? seems a shame with all the simple video editing software out there on both platforms to not be able to do any post from a dv cam. you're just going to shoot it and dump exactly what you shot ont a vhs tape or something? while I understand that from mrs. johnson and her old vhs videocamera, for a denizen of this forum it seems...how to be polite here....unusual. (grin). If that's just how it is, then i'd try to get with whoever is doing the lights to setup the normal lighting for you ahead of time or just before the performance so you can do a manual white balance. best of luck on this cause I know it would be a challenge beyond me to get decent footage with no editing in fcp !
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Old March 25th, 2003, 09:36 PM   #9
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Cheap editing

If you're on linux or has access to it you could try
http://heroinewarrior.com/index.php3.
They have Cinelerra wich is a free editing program.

I haven't tested it or know anybody who has, but you never know... Could be good.
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