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Old May 31st, 2013, 04:13 PM   #1
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Best Settings for HF-G10s with Follow Spots

I will be shooting skaters in a darkened ice rink, with 2 follow spots on the performers. There also will be light strings along the rink walls.

We typically run with auto focus enabled. My past experience is that the camera will pull focus on the brightest object. If a skater temporarily has no light, the focus will change to whatever bright spot is in the field of view.

I could turn off the auto focus and do a manual focus on a far wall. Since I have 2 cameras, there is an alternate shot if one goes soft. In normally lit rinks the auto focus method has worked acceptably.

The other question is getting decent brightness. These spot lights are powered from the wall and are not high powered arc lights. How to establish the correct sensitivity on an HF-G10?

Thanks,
Chip
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Old May 31st, 2013, 04:56 PM   #2
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Re: Best Settings for HF-G10s with Follow Spots

The camera is not that easy to focus manually, because the lens is not directly focussed from the ring. I wouldn't focus on the far wall anyway - I'd focus on the halfway point across the rink, and the range of acceptable focus would be ok - IF the light level is enough for the aperture to not be wide open.

You mention followspots being powered from the wall. I'm very familiar with followspotting - and I would be very surprised if they were not discharge lamped. Tungsten lamps, even 2K ones are really very dim, when used in a space ice rink sized. I'd expect a 1K, or 1.2K discharge as a minimum brightness, unless the venue is very, very amateur, and run on a shoestring budget.

Problems are exposure. How are you planning to manage this? Backlight compensation opens up the iris to cope with things like windows, you want the opposite. The camera has an exposure compensation system, so the key feature with followspots is that they are the constant brightness source for the subject, so you need to use the exposure feature to set the level that gives proper exposure on the faces. Even with a dime followspot, the background may well be dark, and have little detail, while the white ice may start to burn out, depending on the brightness of the followspots. With an ice rink with 2 followspots, you need to make sure the camera is also in a place where the skaters are always lit. If the physical layout has both spots on the same side of the rink, the camera needs to be on that side too, or they will be silhouettes.

The last thing is to do with the spot ops. If they are good, the video will be good - if they are rubbish, your video will be a wreck.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 09:12 AM   #3
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Re: Best Settings for HF-G10s with Follow Spots

Ran pretty much on auto but with a manual white balance. Then adjusted black and white levels in FCPX and took some green cast out of one camera. Camera positions are in the unused doorways so that cannot be changed (without pulling out plexiglass). The follow spot operators are skaters' parents so not very experienced.

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Old June 16th, 2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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Re: Best Settings for HF-G10s with Follow Spots

Hey Chip,

Footage looks pretty good.

Nice and sharp.

Are you using zoom controllers? The zooming looks rather abrupt and I thought the G10s had a ramping effect so the zoom would be smoother starting and stopping. If you are using controllers, what model?

As a bit of background I've been using a pair of Panasonic DVX100b for 8 years now and Varizoom rocker controllers. Nice ramping for zooming in and out. Really makes it smoother.

However, I'm ready for HD and your video is exactly what I've been looking for as I do both figure skate carnivals and dance recitals although I'll probably pick up the G30s with the 20x zoom, 60p AND MP4 recording at 35mbps

So, have you found the latitude acceptable for the G10?
Also do you do dance recitals where lighting varies? If so how does the G10 hold up when the stage is dark-ish?

Anyway, thanks for listening.

sincerely,

ian
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Old June 16th, 2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: Best Settings for HF-G10s with Follow Spots

There is a VariZoom VZ-Pro-L on one camera and the other is using the camera zoom only (operator is still learning the settings). Haven't done dance recitals with these cameras. They seem sensitive enough for the venues I have been in.

If I get a 3rd camera, it probably will be a G20.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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Re: Best Settings for HF-G10s with Follow Spots

Thanks, Chip.

Appreciate the feedback.

ian
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