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Old May 30th, 2014, 08:39 PM   #1
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Shooting with XF100 for first time. 60i or 30p?

Hey all,

Shooting a dance recital and was looking for a tip or two.

I'm shooting 35 Mbps VBR 4:2:0 footage to maximize the amount of footage I can record.

However...should I shoot the recital in 1080 60i or 30p?

I'll be editing in Vegas Pro 11 and going to Bluray/DVD in DVD Architect Pro 6.

Thanks for listening.


ian
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Old May 30th, 2014, 10:48 PM   #2
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Re: Shooting with XF100 for first time. 60i or 30p?

Is this your first dance recital with the XF100, or your first shooting with the XF100? If it's your first time with the camera, that's a fairly tough situation for a first outing! You should test, test, test. It would help if you knew about the lighting - just a big wash of floods? colored lights at times? spotlights? Will there be a dress rehearsal that you can visit to test some settings???

I would suggest using manual exposure. Set the lens iris wide open then use as little exposure Gain as possible. The goal is to avoid important highlights like faces being overexposed, so use zebras or (my preference) the waveform monitor to keep important highlights below 100 on the waveform.

Use manual white balance. You don't want the camera attempting to compensate for any color lighting changes.

The exposure Gain on the camera gets pretty noisy. I try to limit it to +6 if possible, +12 only if absolutely needed. If the lighting is decent, you may need less Gain than you think.

If you are comfortable adjusting CP files and are able to adjust exposure in the editing process, this is where the camera shines. I'd use a low contrast CP file to control highlights and raise shadows, then adjust them to taste in post. This all works better if you use the highest quality setting. The 50mps 4:4:2 codec is really the reason that many folks bought this camera in the first place. I'd test to see if I could live with the quality difference before using 35mps and 4:2:0.

If it's an option, I'd just buy another card. The 32gb Sandisk was down to $55 or so at B&H this past week. At highest quality that will give 1 hour and 18 minutes. There is usually time to switch cards between groups at a dance recital or at Intermission, or you could switch out cards in one slot while recording to the other.

60i or 30p - I'd test to see if I was OK with the difference. I always shoot progressive, as do most folks now. If you're concerned about movement blur at 30p, try using Angle shutter. That shoots at 30fps but with a more movement-stopping 1/60th shutter speed.

I hope this sounds coherent - it's late. Hope this gives you some things to think about and good luck with it.
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Old May 31st, 2014, 09:18 AM   #3
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Re: Shooting with XF100 for first time. 60i or 30p?

I agree with the suggestions. 30p. If it's really dark shoot 24p, you can an extra stop of light, but it's a bit harder to get movement.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 08:08 AM   #4
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Re: Shooting with XF100 for first time. 60i or 30p?

This may be too late, but I'll add my advice for the benefit of others. I shoot a lot of dance recitals with the XF100.

Mr. Dixon is right... you should be testing as much as possible. I differ a little from his settings.

I set the WB to tungsten. It's close enough for un-geled lights. If your theater is using the newer LCD technology, you might want to take a custom WB if the LD can get you white light.

For exposure, I run in automatic mode with auto iris and shutter, gain to auto with the gain limit to 9db. You won't be able to keep up with exposure changes, especially if you are following the dancer. Typically upstage and downstage lighting is darker, as much as 1 or 2 EV. I find dance recitals, especially competition dances, can be quite bright, so the gain is usually not a problem. The key is to set a -0.25 to -0.5 exposure compensation. The dark Marley floor tends to make the camera over expose. If you have a white cyc then -0.25 should work. A darker background may require -0.5 or more. Turn on the zebras or waveform to be sure.

You want to use manual focus, especially if there is a blackout between dances. If you don't, the camera will hunt. Fortunately, the XF100 has a parfocal lens, so you'll want to zoom all the way in to the center mark on the floor and set a manual focus, then leave it alone. If you're shooting from the back of the theater your're probably 60+ feet away, so your DOF is enough.

Remember sound is as important as video. If possible, you should get a feed from the board. Your camera can take a full line level feed, and run it into channel two. Set the level control to manual, turn on the level monitors, and do a sound check. Set channel 1 to the internal mic. You'll use that for ambient sound (applause), and mix the two in post. You can use manual level control or auto, but if you use auto, I'd turn on the limiter. Manual is better. Right before the start of the show, when the theater is full and everyone is talking, but they haven't taken the house to half yet, the audience level should be around -30 to -20db. But be prepared to adjust it during the first applause. Keep in mind the on board mic is pretty sensitive, so it WILL pick up your voice.

If there is going to be tap dancing, it's better if you can get a wireless mic for the live sound and put it on the stage apron. It looks kind of dumb in the video to see a tap dance but not hear the clicks of the shoes.

Lastly, remember this is DANCE... dancers want to see their feet and arms. Don't zoom in too tight. Remember as they move downstage you need to pull back a little. I find it's easier to control the zoom with the ring rather than the rockers or a remote.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 09:27 PM   #5
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Re: Shooting with XF100 for first time. 60i or 30p?

Hey everyone,

Thanks for all the great advice.

The shoot turned out pretty well, except for a couple of times where the zoomed cam did a focus hunt. But that's why I had a 2nd cam fixed for wide shots :)

Now to the edit!

ian
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 10:19 PM   #6
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Re: Shooting with XF100 for first time. 60i or 30p?

Glad it turned out well for you. Didn't know you were using two cameras. Did you sync them like I posted here?

Could this technique be used to sync the timecode of XF100's?

Makes it a dream for multicam editing.
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