Custom Preset for ship on sea at

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).

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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:24 AM   #1
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Custom Preset for ship on sea

Hi All,

I just received my A1 and I am a beginner with this camera.

In a few weeks I wil be shooting test footage on a sea ship (big one). I would like to make it look like film as much as possible.

1. We will be shooting action at night on the ship, with the artificial lights of the ship. No extra lights.
2. Portraits during the day with the sea in the background.
3. Shots of the sea from the ship, horizons.
4. Shots inside the ship. Low light.

Hope you can advise me on which presets are best to use.

Many Thanks, Jasper
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Old April 10th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
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There are a number of things that help the footage shot on the A1 (or any digital camera for that matter) look similar to film. (You probably already know most of this, but just in case...)

1) Study some movies and notice the lighting on various shots. Lighting is probabably the single most important factor in creating a "film like" look.

2) Shoot in 24f mode. This will give you a similar look to film because of the very slight strobing effect and because it is progressive Most film is shot at 24 frames per second. Think of each negative on the film as being a single, progressive frame of opposed to interlace - which you typically see on television. Try to use a shutter speed of 1/48. You will have to adjust this as it seems there will be many low light scenes. (note: be careful not to pan the camera quickly, use slow, smooth motion.

3) Depth Of field. A dead give-a-way that you are watching video instead of film is infinate DOF. If you watch movies, you see that the subject is in focus and the background is usually blurry. The Bokeh as they call it, makes the subject stand out from the background and gives it a 3 dimensional look. In video, typcially everything is in focus in the field of view. You can accomplish a shallower DOF in basically two ways, a 35mm adaptor using 35mm lenes. (Expensive and takes a lot of practice) or, if you move your camera farther away from the subject and zoom in and focus on the subject, the background will tend to be out of focus. This is somewhat limiting, but can have a really nice effect. This also requires practice, but it's FREE!

4) DON"T ZOOM! The human eye doesn't zoom, it cuts to different distances from the subject. You can zoom to frame a new shot as long as you're not recording.

5) Custom Presets. There are plenty of custom presets posted in this forum. You might try some to see if any fit what you have in your mind's eye. However, the best practice is not to create any look in the camera. You are better off creating the "look" in post.

6) And finally, move the camera like it is a movie camera and not a video camera. Slow, smooth movments. Truck the camera sideways instead of panning. Dolly the camera forward and back instead of zooming.

If you go back and watch some movies, you'll notice all of this. Take some time and practice before you get on that ship. Get a feel for it and you should end up with some good results.

Hope this helps.


(Formerly from Den Haag)

Last edited by Marcel D. Van Someren; April 11th, 2008 at 10:10 AM.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 06:13 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bradford, PA
Posts: 67
Marcel, that's really good advice. A lot of people ask about getting the film look on here and you really hit the nail on the head with your suggestions. Thanks.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:33 PM   #4
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Location: Sydney.
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Jasper, for 2 & 3 try having the blue sky and clouds appear in 'soft focus.' For some foreground subjects like ships and aircraft, it helps them stand out.

You can easily do this by selecting it in the A1 menu. See manual page 64.

I use a B+W multicoated polarizor, graduated tabac and ND filters too, they can add nice effects to the scenes. Bon voyage.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 05:58 AM   #5
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many thanks for the great advise everybody.
It will take another week before we go and this trip is a try-out for the real movie we will make. Just to see how things work and to get the know the ship.

many thanks, jasper

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