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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 12:15 PM   #1
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Need some advice on a short clip

Hey guys,

I was wondering if you could take a look at this clip and tell me what I can do better next time. I shot it in 24p. The exposure bar was in the middle the whole time and I even used a expo disc to white balance. I also used the vividrgb preset. It seemed the other presets were rather dull color wise.

YouTube - Everglades

Of course click on the HD button before viewing.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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The colours look vivid enough to me, looks like it was a bit of a dull day though, so more a natural lighting issue. I maybe would of opened the iris slightly more, or more likely adjusted the levels in post.
This scene on a bright day would of had a much bigger contrast, with heavy black shadowing and bright highlights.

On another note, I was waiting for a large alligator to jump out at some point...
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hatcher View Post
The colours look vivid enough to me, looks like it was a bit of a dull day though, so more a natural lighting issue. I maybe would of opened the iris slightly more, or more likely adjusted the levels in post.
This scene on a bright day would of had a much bigger contrast, with heavy black shadowing and bright highlights.

On another note, I was waiting for a large alligator to jump out at some point...
Hahaha Believe me I was specifically looking for them. I went to an area supposedly crawling with them. But it was a gloomy day and I guess they were shy. I also didn't have enough time to stay and wait. My next video will have one. I tend to agree that it would have been better if it were sunny. Damn rainy season. So are you saying I should let the exposure bar go a bit to the right of the middle and then fix it in post?
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Old June 4th, 2009, 04:12 AM   #4
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have you tried brightening it in post?

I also think that the sound track has great potential, given the wildlife sounds that are available. You probably need to plant a separate sound recorder in the trees and patch the sound track onto the video.

Here's a 2 camera test I did in which I patched in the dawn chorus, recorded months earlier with my Handy Zoom H2 recorder: YouTube - 2 Camera Test Shoot with Great Spotted Woodpecker

Ian
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Old June 4th, 2009, 10:57 AM   #5
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Those were very "safe" shots, all on a tripod and pointed at a fixed position at a time of day when the sun was not spoiling the fun. Even if you put the camera in full auto the result might not be so different. I didn't see anything wrong with what you filmed.

You might try a more challenging situation like Paul suggested and go back there when the sun is all over the place, then having the exposurebar in the middle would not work anymore as you have to set the iris based on what you want to expose right, then you could try different combinations of irisvalues/nd filter and shutter speed to see how it affects your image. While you make adjustments as you film, say out loud in the microphone what you are doing, that makes it much easier in post to see what happens with each setting.

You have to be carefull about keeping the exposurebar in the middle in the viewfinder, here your camera is telling you what it thinks the exposure should be. I only use this as a guide but allways decide myself if I need to over- or underexpose and if necessary I use the zebra's to assist me making the right choice.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone. Some great advice. I'm going back again in a week. Hopefully with better results :)
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Old June 4th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #7
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I'm not sure what you feel is wrong with the clips. They certainly reflected my memories of the Everglades on a dull day, though there always seemed to be more than just one mosquito around (I heard only one in your piece). Because the clips are long, you need to improve the quality of the sound - there was quite a lot of noise in there that had nothing to do with the birdsong or the picture. Perhaps consider recording the sound separately onto a solid state recorder - it sounds like the you had the camera recording sound on auto.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 02:42 PM   #8
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I actually used a separate digital recorder I placed on the grass near the water. I didn't edit out the hum or do much with it which is my fault but next time I will. Speaking of which, as far as the camera built in mic goes.. what setting do you guys and gals switch the audio levels to when taping outdoors?
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Old June 4th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #9
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because the river was so still, I thought the sound was coming from the camera (and was therefore recorded by the on board mic).

I'd move the sound recorder into the trees and concentrate on the bird sounds. It's more difficult to edit sound, compared to video, so it's worth getting it right at the time.

Ian
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Old June 4th, 2009, 06:00 PM   #10
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I try to check with headphones where the hum comes in, and then either set the level below that to eliminate the hum, or find the lowest setting where I can hear the sound I want clearly. Most often, however, I am defeated by the wind, cars, people and other sounds I don't want. So I try to record some ambient sound separately to use as background. But I am very much a beginner when it comes to sound recording.
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