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Old September 26th, 2008, 05:48 AM   #1
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Canon HV30 Exposure Calibration

If you're interested in using the HV30 for filmmaking or were interested in Barry Green's approach to exposure, then please take a look at my Web page:

Canon HV30 Exposure Calibration

I would welcome your comments.

Kind regards

Eddy Grabczewski
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Old September 29th, 2008, 06:48 AM   #2
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Interesting article, thanks.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Russ :-)

I've updated the article as follows:
1. extended the exposure chart all the way to f/21
2. expanded the Video Standards section to include PsF and other info.

Cheers
Eddy
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:09 PM   #4
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I am looking at Canon HV30 for a short film I am doing. From some of the footage I have seen youtube it is a pretty impressive dv camera. In my short there will be about 3 minutes worth of dialogue and there will be shots of a computer monitor. I assume I will haveto invest in some microphones to get better sound. And I want to avoid shots that have the monitor flickering. Can you do that with this camera?

Btw, great article.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 04:31 PM   #5
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Excellent job.
Thanks for your time and effort.

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Old October 1st, 2008, 07:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Bisley View Post
I am looking at Canon HV30 for a short film I am doing. From some of the footage I have seen youtube it is a pretty impressive dv camera. In my short there will be about 3 minutes worth of dialogue and there will be shots of a computer monitor. I assume I will haveto invest in some microphones to get better sound. And I want to avoid shots that have the monitor flickering. Can you do that with this camera?

Btw, great article.
If the TV is a modern LCD HDTV then you should find there is no flicker anyway. I've taken shots of the screen of my own Sony Bravia and the picture was fine.

I've been making a documentary myself recently. Being a Sound Recordist for film productions, I normally record using double-system sound (separate digital recorder). At first I tried single-system (straight into the camcorder), which worked fine for a couple of days but then I started to pick-up some motor noise on the audio whenever I started recording. Now, with double-system, I simply record onto a separate digital recorder.

Recording sound for a movie is a high risk strategy. My best advice is to hire an experienced Sound Mixer and Boom Operator. They will usually hire you their own kit at a much cheaper price and without the hassle of going to a Hire company.

cheers

Eddy
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 03:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Grabczewski View Post
Recording sound for a movie is a high risk strategy. My best advice is to hire an experienced Sound Mixer and Boom Operator. They will usually hire you their own kit at a much cheaper price and without the hassle of going to a Hire company.

Eddy

Totally agree with this. I have made some short films using the HV20 and HV30 and a Boom operator is mandatory. The camera on board mics don´t record the talkings with enough voice signal/ambient noise ratio, except in very few specific situations. You need to be near to the talking person to do this properly and most of the time, it is not possible.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 02:11 PM   #8
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Thanks - useful resource. I have tried some of this stuff on an HV30 and it helps to have all the info and links in the one place.

PS You are dvinfo Brit number 301.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 07:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Grabczewski View Post
If the TV is a modern LCD HDTV then you should find there is no flicker anyway. I've taken shots of the screen of my own Sony Bravia and the picture was fine.

I've been making a documentary myself recently. Being a Sound Recordist for film productions, I normally record using double-system sound (separate digital recorder). At first I tried single-system (straight into the camcorder), which worked fine for a couple of days but then I started to pick-up some motor noise on the audio whenever I started recording. Now, with double-system, I simply record onto a separate digital recorder.

Recording sound for a movie is a high risk strategy. My best advice is to hire an experienced Sound Mixer and Boom Operator. They will usually hire you their own kit at a much cheaper price and without the hassle of going to a Hire company.

cheers

Eddy
Eddy,

Thank you for your response. I plan on giving the HV30 a test run in the near future. My objective is to make a short for Youtube. How does the Canon respond body to mics? I might be able to get my hands on a set.

Below is a youtube of what I am talking about.
YouTube - Affordable wireless microphone for your camcorder lavalier
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 02:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tim Bisley View Post
Eddy,

Thank you for your response. I plan on giving the HV30 a test run in the near future. My objective is to make a short for Youtube. How does the Canon respond body to mics? I might be able to get my hands on a set.

Below is a youtube of what I am talking about.
YouTube - Affordable wireless microphone for your camcorder lavalier
Tim

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "Canon respond body to mics" but if you mean can you do single-system recording straight into the camera then all I can say is: everyone else seems happy to do so but my own camera gave me problems with motor noise and I'm using double-system to be safe.

Wireless mics are the panacea of producers and directors and the bane of sound recordists. What the Azden video doesn't mention is that using lavalier mics often ruin sound because of clothing noise and wind - particularly when the subject is outside and moving. It takes a lot of experience and time to prevent these problems in my experience. If the lavalier can be visible then that's great for clothing noise (not for wind) and you'll have a much easier time. If it must be invisible then that's when your problems start!

Wireless lavaliers suffer from the additional problem of interference when passing metal objects (lamp posts, cars, windows, post boxes, keys, mobile phones, buckles on belts and spectacles) whilst moving around. You can loose the signal because of distance too.

From an artistic viewpoint, they make the speakers voice sound very intimate, which may or may not suit the subject matter of your movie. Sometimes you just need to capture some of the ambience of the environment or room - but this only applies in ideal recording conditions. Most of the time you're fighting noise coming at your from all angles (people, traffic, aircraft, machinery, road works, computers, air conditioning fans etc.). Under these circumstances then the lavalier is a good mic to have around. A dynamic handheld mic is even better in really noisy conditions if you can use it close up - reporter style.

I've had more time-wasting technical problems with wireless lavs than normal wired mikes (damaged cable, unexplainably not functioning on a particular day) This can lead to hours of frustration and embarrasing hold-ups for the production - unless you come prepared. You may also pick up interference from other channels, which is a total show-stopper! When this happens you'd better have another microphone handy. At that point, a good handheld mike or shotgun on a boom pole is necessary.

If I only had one microphone then it would be a shotgun on a 10 foot boom pole. There's only one shotgun if you're going to do this properly - a Sennheiser MKH-416 - but you'll need a mixer to phantom power it (the HV30 can't do that of course).

Rather than buying a cheap mixer like the SignVideo ENG-44, buy a second-hand professional model like a Wendt, PSC, Sound Devices (my favourite) or SQN (if you can find them in the US). eBay usually has them for around $1000 second hand. Make sure it's not very old technology though. Ideally it should run on 4 or 8 AA rechargeable batteries for at least 4 hours.

It's an expensive business buying the right equipment and I can't predict what you'd be happy with. But what I do know is that there is an expected professional standard to recording sound, and you can't fall to much below that level with cheap equipment. I learnt my lesson. I bought a SignVideo ENG-44 mixer and used it for a while. It worked and did the job but eventually I hit the limitations and ended up having to buy what I really needed. So the $500 I spend on the SignVideo was wasted and could have gone towards the real thing or good second-hand professional equipment. I also made the same mistake with two Rode NTG-2 shotguns which cost me $600. I had to re-buy and get two second-hand Sennheiser 416s in the end. It looks like I had to make some expensive mistakes to learn the lesson.

Which is why I recommended hiring a boom operator and sound mixer (if it's a big production) or just a sound mixer (if it's a small one). They'll have all the kit you need, otherwise you'll be spending about $2000 of your own money just on basic sound.

The best way to capture sound is still to boom the subject whenever possible, and use wireless lavaliers as a backup. If you're making a documentary then having a boom operator may not work (a little too obvious) and the background noise may be too great for a shotgun - in which case a lavalier could be a good choice if you can take the risks I mentioned above.

I watched the video of the Azden WMS-PRO system. I've seen this system on eBay but haven't used it. You usually get what you pay for - especially with wireless systems. Most professionals who want excellent quality but don't have the budget to buy true "diversity" wireless systems buy the Sennheiser ew 112 G2 series at around $400. It uses a compander that gives you better dynamic range and a very little noise.

If you're really strapped for cash then the Azden sounds like it might be worth the risk. The main worry is background hiss from the electronics (what we call the "noise floor"). Cheap systems usually fail in this respect.

Be aware that the frequency band that the wireless system transmits and receives on varies from country to country. They can be radically different and it's illegal to use them if they don't comply. I made this mistake myself when I bought my Sennheiser ew 100 G2 units from America (to use in Britain). The Azden system if probably only legal for use in the USA. Taking it to other countries will be risky.

I looked at the specs for this unit:

====================================
Details & Specs:

The "all-time" best selling wireless microphone for videography. This versatile system consists of the WM-PRO belt-pack transmitter 2 plug-in electret condenser microphones, a lavalier (EX-503) and handheld (EX-413) and the WR-PRO receiver which comes with both shoe-mount and hook and loop fastener. All receivers and transmitters in the "PRO" Series are on the same 2 frequencies (169.445MHz and 170.245MHz).

Receiver Technical Specs:
Receiver type: Double superheterodyne
Sensitivity: 2 mV @ S/N of 40dB
Battery: 1-9V Alkaline
Power consumption: 25mA
Monitor output: 1V @ 30W, Modulation frequency: 1kHz, Deviation: +/-7kHz
Mic output: 8mV w/10KW load, Modulation frequency: 1kHz, Deviation: +/-7kHz
Mic output impedance: 300W
Dimensions: 86(h) x 60(w) x 21.5(d)mm (3.3” x 2.4” x 0.85”)
Weight w/battery: 128g (4.5oz)

Transmitter Technical Specs:
Modulation system: FM
Sensitivity: 94dB SPL @ +/- 2.5KHz deviation
Battery: 1-9V
Power consumption: 30mA
Dimensions: 86(h) x 60(w) x 21.5(d)mm (3.3" x 2.4" x 0.85")
Weight: 98g (3.4oz)

====================================

A S/N of 40dB is pretty poor, certainly not up to professional standards. I'd expect > 60 dB for a system without a compander, and > 90 dB for a system with a compander (like the Sennheiser) - but I think I may be misreading this spec. But be prepared for some hiss. They don't specify the frequency response either; I'd expect to see at least 50 Hz to 16 kHz. It's also the first time I've seen an output impedance measured in Watts! I think they mean Ohms :-/

Nevertheless, I found some good reviews here:
http://brandsright.com/AZDEN-WLXPRO-...B00006JPD5.htm

If you do buy it and find it's really quiet then please let me know!

That's enough about sound for a thread on HV30 exposure!

Cheers

Eddy
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Last edited by Edward Grabczewski; October 3rd, 2008 at 06:07 PM.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 11:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Grabczewski View Post
Tim

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "Canon respond body to mics" but if you mean can you do single-system recording straight into the camera then all I can say is: everyone else seems happy to do so but my own camera gave me problems with motor noise and I'm using double-system to be safe.

Wireless mics are the panacea of producers and directors and the bane of sound recordists. What the Azden video doesn't mention is that using lavalier mics often ruin sound because of clothing noise and wind - particularly when the subject is outside and moving. It takes a lot of experience and time to prevent these problems in my experience. If the lavalier can be visible then that's great for clothing noise (not for wind) and you'll have a much easier time. If it must be invisible then that's when your problems start!

Wireless lavaliers suffer from the additional problem of interference when passing metal objects (lamp posts, cars, windows, post boxes, keys, mobile phones, buckles on belts and spectacles) whilst moving around. You can loose the signal because of distance too.

From an artistic viewpoint, they make the speakers voice sound very intimate, which may or may not suit the subject matter of your movie. Sometimes you just need to capture some of the ambience of the environment or room - but this only applies in ideal recording conditions. Most of the time you're fighting noise coming at your from all angles (people, traffic, aircraft, machinery, road works, computers, air conditioning fans etc.). Under these circumstances then the lavalier is a good mic to have around. A dynamic handheld mic is even better in really noisy conditions if you can use it close up - reporter style.

I've had more time-wasting technical problems with wireless lavs than normal wired mikes (damaged cable, unexplainably not functioning on a particular day) This can lead to hours of frustration and embarrasing hold-ups for the production - unless you come prepared. You may also pick up interference from other channels, which is a total show-stopper! When this happens you'd better have another microphone handy. At that point, a good handheld mike or shotgun on a boom pole is necessary.

If I only had one microphone then it would be a shotgun on a 10 foot boom pole. There's only one shotgun if you're going to do this properly - a Sennheiser MKH-416 - but you'll need a mixer to phantom power it (the HV30 can't do that of course).

Rather than buying a cheap mixer like the SignVideo ENG-44, buy a second-hand professional model like a Wendt, PSC, Sound Devices (my favourite) or SQN (if you can find them in the US). eBay usually has them for around $1000 second hand. Make sure it's not very old technology though. Ideally it should run on 4 or 8 AA rechargeable batteries for at least 4 hours.

It's an expensive business buying the right equipment and I can't predict what you'd be happy with. But what I do know is that there is an expected professional standard to recording sound, and you can't fall to much below that level with cheap equipment. I learnt my lesson. I bought a SignVideo ENG-44 mixer and used it for a while. It worked and did the job but eventually I hit the limitations and ended up having to buy what I really needed. So the $500 I spend on the SignVideo was wasted and could have gone towards the real thing or good second-hand professional equipment. I also made the same mistake with two Rode NTG-2 shotguns which cost me $600. I had to re-buy and get two second-hand Sennheiser 416s in the end. It looks like I had to make some expensive mistakes to learn the lesson.

Which is why I recommended hiring a boom operator and sound mixer (if it's a big production) or just a sound mixer (if it's a small one). They'll have all the kit you need, otherwise you'll be spending about $2000 of your own money just on basic sound.

The best way to capture sound is still to boom the subject whenever possible, and use wireless lavaliers as a backup. If you're making a documentary then having a boom operator may not work (a little too obvious) and the background noise may be too great for a shotgun - in which case a lavalier could be a good choice if you can take the risks I mentioned above.

I watched the video of the Azden WMS-PRO system. I've seen this system on eBay but haven't used it. You usually get what you pay for - especially with wireless systems. Most professionals who want excellent quality but don't have the budget to buy true "diversity" wireless systems buy the Sennheiser ew 112 G2 series at around $400. It uses a compander that gives you better dynamic range and a very little noise.

If you're really strapped for cash then the Azden sounds like it might be worth the risk. The main worry is background hiss from the electronics (what we call the "noise floor"). Cheap systems usually fail in this respect.

Be aware that the frequency band that the wireless system transmits and receives on varies from country to country. They can be radically different and it's illegal to use them if they don't comply. I made this mistake myself when I bought my Sennheiser ew 100 G2 units from America (to use in Britain). The Azden system if probably only legal for use in the USA. Taking it to other countries will be risky.

I looked at the specs for this unit:

====================================
Details & Specs:

The "all-time" best selling wireless microphone for videography. This versatile system consists of the WM-PRO belt-pack transmitter 2 plug-in electret condenser microphones, a lavalier (EX-503) and handheld (EX-413) and the WR-PRO receiver which comes with both shoe-mount and hook and loop fastener. All receivers and transmitters in the "PRO" Series are on the same 2 frequencies (169.445MHz and 170.245MHz).

Receiver Technical Specs:
Receiver type: Double superheterodyne
Sensitivity: 2 mV @ S/N of 40dB
Battery: 1-9V Alkaline
Power consumption: 25mA
Monitor output: 1V @ 30W, Modulation frequency: 1kHz, Deviation: +/-7kHz
Mic output: 8mV w/10KW load, Modulation frequency: 1kHz, Deviation: +/-7kHz
Mic output impedance: 300W
Dimensions: 86(h) x 60(w) x 21.5(d)mm (3.3” x 2.4” x 0.85”)
Weight w/battery: 128g (4.5oz)

Transmitter Technical Specs:
Modulation system: FM
Sensitivity: 94dB SPL @ +/- 2.5KHz deviation
Battery: 1-9V
Power consumption: 30mA
Dimensions: 86(h) x 60(w) x 21.5(d)mm (3.3" x 2.4" x 0.85")
Weight: 98g (3.4oz)

====================================

A S/N of 40dB is pretty poor, certainly not up to professional standards. I'd expect > 60 dB for a system without a compander, and > 90 dB for a system with a compander (like the Sennheiser) - but I think I may be misreading this spec. But be prepared for some hiss. They don't specify the frequency response either; I'd expect to see at least 50 Hz to 16 kHz. It's also the first time I've seen an output impedance measured in Watts! I think they mean Ohms :-/

Nevertheless, I found some good reviews here:
AZDEN WLX-PRO Lavaliere System | Brandsplace

If you do buy it and find it's really quiet then please let me know!

That's enough about sound for a thread on HV30 exposure!

Cheers

Eddy
Eddy,

Thank you so much for your honest opinion and the information you provided me. As you can see I am still in the embryonic stage with this project. My main goal is to limit as many moving parts as possible by taking the KISS simple approach. However I do not want to forsake the quality of the film for the sake of lowering my overhead.

It appears that my next step is to do some test runs on some equipment. I will let you know the results.


TB
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