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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 February 4th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #1
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HDR tricks for the A1?

I'm going to be working on a golf club commercial shoot coming up and I was wondering if there were any shooting/editing tricks I can do to make a few High Dynamic Range shots. I will be shooting early in the morning, so lighting should be really nice, but I'm just afraid of blown out highlights. Any ideas?
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Old February 4th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #2
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I think the key is in the presets. I'm nowhere near knowledgeable enough to make any recommendations on any of the published presets nor am I at all comfortable telling you how to make your own for this.

That said, I think the key is to capture as much of the dynamic range as you possibly can so that you have more to push around in post. As such, a preset that captures the widest range should be your best bet. I will leave it to others with more knowledge to give you recommendations.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #3
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I am by no means an expert on this but I played around with it a few times. Ideally you would have to have your cam locked on a tripod so it doesn't move and all the shots are identical but if anything the shot moved it may affect the look when you layer them.

A few times I have just dropped a shot that was exposed for sky details on top of itself on my timeline and did this on a few layers. I then boosted the brightness on one track and reduced it on another track and applied some color enhancements along the way. Then play around with tranparency on the tracks till you get a look you like. We don't quite have the flexibility to do this in video that photogs have but it did make my shot a little "sweeter".
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Old February 4th, 2009, 07:15 PM   #4
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You may try a graduated ND filter similar to this:

65063810 B + W 72mm #501 Color Graduated Filter - Light Grey Neutral Density (ND)

I'm sure B&H and others sell same and others. This may work well if you have a fairly flat horizon and your subjects are completely below the horizon. Otherwise, the subjects themselves will be "graduated".
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Old February 4th, 2009, 10:48 PM   #5
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Yep! that B+W ND grad is the best filter in my bag, (the pitching wedge not withstanding) I found however the 502 (drops the sky 2 stops) is better than the 501 (1 stop) more detail on the ground. I use an Expodisc for white balancing, getting quicker every time I go out, be good early in the morning as the light keeps changing.

But if it is early maybe a Tobacco grad will be good for some style. Put the cam on the ground 1' away from the ball teeing off then pray :) On the green, 6" from the hole and roll the ball into it. Make sure you get the sound of it.

Presets it's a personal thing, and I like the PANALOOK2 for the greens and for high contrast VIVIDRGB. In this situation being new I'd shoot everything twice, once with each preset.
If this is for broadcast, better study up on that. HTH

Cheers.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #6
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I'm finding less use for the presets. I can make it whatever I want in post, and would rather be a little flat (as default) and bring colors out rather than having the colors too saturated and then have to subdue them.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 11:16 AM   #7
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How To Get The Most Dynamic Range Out Of Any Camera

Rule number one: SHOOT AT THE LOWEST GAIN SETTING!

This is the most important, and most often overlooked thing to remember about dynamic range. In digital imaging, beit CMOS or CCD, dynamic range decreases as ISO (gain) increases.

On the XHA1, this means setting your gain to -3db. to get the most dynamic range in each shot.

It also means setting your exposure to manual - setting the iris and shutter speed manually. If you try to edit any levels in post, you will have something consistent to work with. It will be very difficult to get consistent results with your color grading if the exposure and gain is always changing.
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