Newbie shooting advice: Manual or Auto? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 25th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Summersville, WV
Posts: 35
Newbie shooting advice: Manual or Auto?

I've had this camera for a few weeks and thoroughly enjoy it.

Although my videography experience is limited, I initially opted to do the "manual everything approach". Unfortunately, almost all of my footage was too dark as I was fearful of blowing things out.

The automatic modes yield better footage but I find the auto focus feature causes blurring every now and then.

Now, I've settled on a hybrid of sorts. I control the white balance myself and set AGC off (as recommended elsewhere). I still get dark images, though. And when I turn on gain I usually find a herd of zebras. Since most of the things I now shoot are static, I don't have as much of a focus issue. So, I'm good there.

Any tips on which settings or practices I should use to get better footage while I learn the ropes? Are the automatic features "good enough" for most small time productions?

Thanks.
Dave Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,298
Practice, practive, practice. Shoot and look, then make corrections and shoot some more. A couple hours a day, or more, until you get comfortable at producting satisfactory video with it

Learn to read the zebras at the setting you are using. If you want to not see zerbras except when near overexposure, set the level to 90 or 95 and only allow zebra in the hot highlights. Or what ever makes your comfortable, or matches other camcorders you use.

If you do want to take the time to practice and learn the beastie, use automatic settings, but void the green box mode if you want to do anything at all with manual settings. Actually automatic does produce reasonable video under typical conditions - just not optimized to the extent you can do in manual modes.

Automatic may not please a profesional production for broadcast, but for typical event work like weddings, most customers will never know the difference. Their only point of reference for video is what uncle charlie does, ot theiir own attempts.

Just my 2 cents.
__________________
dpalomaki@dspalomaki.com
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,267
Try learning to use the TV Mode concept using the Exposure Lock to turn the Auto Iris on and off. It is a good idea to check yourself to see what Auto thinks the exposure should be but shoot in Manual to avoid unnecesary iris changes during recording.
Daniel Epstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2007, 01:57 PM   #4
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Just to echo Don's excellent advice, the Green Box mode should be avoided completely (it's for mothers-in-law, students, and first-timers only). It is auto-everything with no override; the only effective controls are zoom and record.

The A mode, which is similar to P mode on a Canon D-SLR or PowerShot digicam, allows for your choice of a custom mix between automatic and manual settings... for example, manual gain control but auto white balance, if you prefer.

However, Tv mode is actually a better way to go than A. In the A mode, the shutter speed will change as the camera sees fit to adjust it. In conditions of varied lighting, an automatic shutter speed change is not desirable as it isn't a good experience for the viewer. Therefore it's a good idea to shoot in Tv mode, to lock the shutter speed so that only the iris will adjust itself in conditions of changing light.

In either A or Tv mode, you can instantly switch to full manual control by pressing the Exp. Lock button.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2007, 05:31 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Summersville, WV
Posts: 35
Thanks for the excellent advice.

I'm taking advantage of the unseasonably nice weather here and just got back from a trip out with the camera.

Thanks again.
Dave Smith is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:16 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network