Taking the A1 to the zoo today - question on settings at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 07:59 AM   #1
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Taking the A1 to the zoo today - question on settings

Hi

This is my first post so don't kill me if I screw up. I've been reading tons of info on settings/methods etc and am still getting mixed messages on the shutter speed.

1) If I'm shooting in 60i should I try and keep the shutter speed at 1/60 whenever possible? ie for the sun shots - and it's going to be very sunny today - using the ND filters before upping the shutter speed, assuming the iris is already as closed as it can get

2) indoor zoo parts - shooting still at 1/60 as much as possible and going down to 1/30 before using too much grain - I've tested 12 and it doesn't look good so I'd probably never go to that unless unavoidable

3) stick with Steve's vividgrb setting for both the indoor and outdoor shots. It certainly works well outdoors in what I've tested.

4) stick with manual or maybe TV (shutter locked at 1/60) for some of the sections that have light and dark throughout so the aperture can adjust on the fly (which is handy but visually can be jarring at times from what I've tried)

Any thoughts or insights would be greatly appreciated. I'm thinking of bringing the tripod if they don't have issue with it. The monopod as a last resort which I'm finally getting slightly better with - if I don't breathe.

Trish
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 09:15 AM   #2
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Hi Trish. We only kill after the third post.

1) Use the ND. Try not to close the shutter smaller than f8 (others recommend even wider) because the image will lose sharpness. Keep the shutter at 1/60s as much as possible. Set the gain to -3dB.

2) Sounds reasonable, including your description of adding "grain".. You can use 12dB gain if necessary, but you need to adjust the coring and add noise reduction to reduce the amount of grain. Try not to go above 6dB of gain/grain.

3) Haven't tried vividrgb yet, so no comment. However I did use one of the indoors presets posted earlier and it worked very well. Captured all the details and just needed an S-curve in post to make it pop.

4) If lighting conditions are changing quickly use manual, because the Tv auto adjustment lags quite a bit. If they are changing slowly you might be able to tweak the iris ring on the fly so again use manual. What I do is use Tv but press Exposure Lock for security when there is something changing.

I always feel more comfortable with a tripod than without, though my handheld is getting a bit better with practice. Haven't used a monopod so far.

Richard
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 08:53 AM   #3
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Thanks Richard, for the tips

I ended up only having to go down to 1/30 a few times and never went past the -6 gain (grain, which i have started inadvertently naming it as it seems to do exactly that when added)

I got some nice shots here and there but the tripod was a bit of a dog with the Sunday zoo crowd (first decent weekend this spring in Toronto)

I need to invest in something lighter for these kinds of outings. Felt like I was carrying a bazooka on my shoulder with the two attached.

One thing I found was some footage tended to look better slightly lower than the optimum light meter settings, with a richer feel to the colours.

I ended up just going manual for the whole thing, and IAF only on occasion if it was out in a large fenced area and the animal was moving quite abit.

The few indoor glass mini-inclosures I filmed came out much better than I thought they would. Wish I'd spend more time on them in retrospect.

Trish
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:00 AM   #4
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Consider the the low-light preset for time when you really have to use more than 6 dB of gain.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:20 AM   #5
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I had planned to swap over to the lowlight setting for the dark shots from that preset list and then ended up forgetting all about it in the heat of the moment. (sigh)

But I played back the footage and there was very little/if any noise on the gain ones I shot.

I noticed the description for that lowlight settings says (use with 12gain) which originally made me wonder if adjustments would be needed if you were only using 3 or 6.

Trish
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 10:19 AM   #6
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I suspec that the name was given as 12 dB gain because thast is where the effects really start to deliver benefit, at least in the eye of the person that initially set it up. However, I find it provides a good benefit at 18 dB as well, and is valuable for low light situations like wedding receptions.

It is one of the creative capabilities of the A1, so try it, make changes as may be needed to optimize it for your use.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 11:07 AM   #7
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thanks again for the advice. I will try the lowlight setting on the weekend - yet another interior bar live music situation. I'm still trying to find a happy compromise on the gain in these situations.

Trish
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