HV20: Generalized/Specific Camera Settings at DVinfo.net

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Old June 5th, 2007, 09:02 AM   #1
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HV20: Generalized/Specific Camera Settings

Okay, reading through these posts and knowing what to search for is difficult when you don't know exactly what it is you're supposed to be looking for. So I just recently read/printed out the very detailed article by Barry Green on Controlling Exposure on the HV20.

What I'd like to understand better is the whole concept of what you DON'T want the camera to do. I used to be one of those auto-everything guys, but want to get more out of my HV20 if there really are better ways.

So after reading that article, am I understanding correctly that you really don't want a camera to automatically adjust the GAIN (or any other parameter) because of how it will change the appearance of the captured footage...correct? I have always assumed that auto-mode would be intelligent "enough" to make things look their best, but I do understand that this is not always the best-case-scenerio.

Is the basic idea behind camera use to try and completely lock the camera into a non-changing/non-auto mode so that it's parameters are set-in-stone for a particular scene?

Is there a book that details what you really should be doing with your HDV camera instead of always using the auto-mode?
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Old June 5th, 2007, 09:15 AM   #2
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Hi Nathan.

The settings you will use may vary, depending on your needs. Maybe you want a slow motion camera, or a very filmic image.

I recommend you to put your Hv20 in P mode and not using auto anymore (only maybe for point and shoot footage). You can experiment with white balance, or set it automatic. You can work in shutter priority mode, locking the exposure, or record 24p in cinemode to have a more filmic gamma curve.

You also have to notice that you'll want to edit the footage to correct or modify. You have to know your workflow deeply, in order to experiment. Maybe you want a clean, not sharp image to work with. Or maybe you want to record while applying different values to color depth, brightness, contrast, etc. directly on camcorder.

Hope you can understand my poor english; Regards.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 09:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Shane View Post
am I understanding correctly that you really don't want a camera to automatically adjust the GAIN (or any other parameter) because of how it will change the appearance of the captured footage...correct?
Correct... Gain because it's the most obvious change (it adds noise to the image), but shutter speed as well.

Quote:
I have always assumed that auto-mode would be intelligent "enough" to make things look their best, but I do understand that this is not always the best-case-scenerio.
Depends on the scenario. If your goal is to string together a bunch of shots to create a narrative form, that is, if you're going to edit your video into a tangible program, then it's best that those settings don't change (too much) within a given scene. However, if all you're doing is creating the equivalent of a snapshot on video -- just one shot at a time -- then there's nothing really wrong with using the Auto mode to do that. Auto is on there for a reason.

Quote:
Is the basic idea behind camera use to try and completely lock the camera into a non-changing/non-auto mode so that it's parameters are set-in-stone for a particular scene?
Yup -- exactly! For personal or family use, this isn't all that critical, but the more broadly you intend to distribute your video, the bigger your audience is, and generally speaking, the less forgiving they are. Content rules everything: what you're shooting is ultimately much more important than how. But yes, for critical video, you are indeed understanding the concept.

Quote:
Is there a book that details what you really should be doing with your HDV camera instead of always using the auto-mode?
Not yet, but right now you're reading the site that's the closest thing to it. Javier's post above mine has some excellent suggestions. Hope this helps,
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Old June 5th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #4
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Just a bit more of a warning about P mode.

When you engage it, you are still in a pseudo automatic mode until you actually activate the manual capabilities by turning on the exposure control.

In TV mode for instance, you can adjust shutter speed up or down, the camera will still adjust the other exposure levels to get what it thinks is a good exposure. This includes gain and iris. When you actually use the mini joy stick to activate the exposure adjustment, it goes into the full manual mode.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #5
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Man, the cinema setting in the camera is beautiful. I'm very happy with it. There are a lot of things you can do with it just experiment with different settings and see what gives you the look you're looking for.
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