Quick Tips for Shooting in Concert at DVinfo.net

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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 May 4th, 2007, 04:20 AM   #1
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Quick Tips for Shooting in Concert

I will be taking my new A1 for the first concert shooting to San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts with pretty complex - lots of blue and red - lighting. It's not a commercial gig this time, but my wife will still attempt to crucify me if the image doesn't turn out well.

Could someone please suggest couple of quick tips for that type of shooting environment along the following lines:

1. Framerate. I would really like to shoot in 24f. I love the cinematic look and it's easy to transfer to DVD for final delivery. Plus, there won't be much motion on the stage, so it's not a problem. Is 24f generally suitable for shooting in concert halls?

2. Audio. I will be using built-in camera mic. I will turn attenuation on. I will have studio monitor headphones with me in case I need to adjust the levels manually. Anything else I need to remember?

3. Video. Keeping in mind question 1 , what preset out of the great preset library on this forum would you recommend. I don't think I will be using the on-camera "spotlight" mode, or should I be?

4. Monopod. The concert is about 2.5 hours. I will not be shooting handheld for sure, and since we are in the audience, I will get a monopod.

5. I will try not to use LCD too much. Do you think the 950 battery will last me about 3 hours? Again, I will refrain from using LCD and doing too much zooming.

Thank you all in advance!
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Old May 4th, 2007, 08:49 AM   #2
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1. Framerate will be fine at 24f.
2. Don't expect audio recorded with the built in mic to be useable in any fashion other than as a reference. You would need an additional mic to record anything useful.
3. There's a preset in the library on this site called DVXMatch and I think it's pretty good but I would suggest you experiment yourself. It's all subjective.
4. Monopod sounds good but don't let go of your camera :) If you don't use a monopod, the OIS is surprisingly good, I use it a lot myself.
5. Battery should easily last but don't ever do any shooting without at least one spare fully charged battery.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 11:43 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot for the info, Steven.

One more question. When shooting on Monopod, should I turn of the OIS? The reason I ask is that some older (but not too old) canon lenses that came with IS required the IS to be turned of when shooting on a tripod or monopod.

Thanks again. I will experiment with DVXMatch preset.

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Originally Posted by Steven Dempsey View Post
If you don't use a monopod, the OIS is surprisingly good, I use it a lot myself.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 01:22 PM   #4
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If you have good steady support using a decent monopod then keep OIS off but if there is still a lot of undesired movement, turn it on.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #5
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I went ahead and bought Azden SGM-1000 shotgun microphone.
It's too narrow to fit in A1's mic holder, but comes with its own shock-absorbent holder that slides into the flash/accessory shoe on the A1. I will do some testing tonight to see how it handles sound.
The B&H site states 1000 hours on a single AAA battery; I am considering this instead of phantom power, as phantom power drains the cam battery, doesn't it?
This is my first shoot with an outboard mic in concert - I used to be able to convince the sounds mixer guys to plug me in to the mixer; not this time :)
Should I keep the windscreen on the mic or get rid of it?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 06:18 PM   #6
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Well...don't get rid of it,
but indoors it isn't really necessary.

David
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Old May 4th, 2007, 06:46 PM   #7
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Thanks, David. Sorry for the misleading question. I was not going to get rid of (as in, throw away) the windscreen. I was just not going to use it shooting indoors.

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Originally Posted by David McGiffert View Post
Well...don't get rid of it,
but indoors it isn't really necessary.

David
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Old May 8th, 2007, 01:59 PM   #8
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Thank you!

I wanted to thank eveyone for the tips! The video came out very very good.

I have to admit, the control ring was in full manual, I was tweaking the aperture at times. I was also controlling zoom, but the sharpness was on auto, so was the AGC (I will trurn have it turned off from now on), so was the audio levels. I did not want to introduce too many variables I had to control manually.

Monopod was a huge thing. I would not be able to shoot handheld, not a chance!

Overall, shooting with HVXMATCH preset was a very pleasant experience and the image looks great. Thank you to whoever made it. During the intermission, I had a guy come to me and say, "Can I buy a tape from you?". I guess the A1 has made the impression. Also, the audio did not clip once!

Next day we went to the beach to shoot my daughter for our family video project, and I must say a big big thanks to Steven for the VIVIDRGB preset. We came back home, I captured the video and played it back on the 65" Mitsubishi widescreen. My wife was in aww... She said, "I could never go back to watching DVDs now. The image is perfect." By the way, I preview the captured image by connecting my external hard-drive to Sony Playstation 3, connected to the TV via component. This little puppy reads Canon's captured MPEGs with no problems - 60i, 30f, and even 24f!

I know that as I get more experience with the camera, the quality will, hopefully, get better. But myself and some outside reviewers were VERY happy with how the video turned out, I honestly expected it to be worse :)

Next Sunday I am shooting my daughter's dance concert. That will be outside in bright sunlight. I will be using Steven's VIVIDRGB preset (thanks again)!

So, my big thanks to everybody who provided tips and for great presets!
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:30 PM   #9
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make sure you post some footage in the sample clips section. I'd love to see the vid. Glad the A1 made you a happy shooter. I just shot a short for school over the weekend and now I'm officially in love with my cam. I think I'll name her Isabel.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Yager View Post
I think I'll name her Isabel.
That's a very pretty name. I wounder what should I call mine... Let this question be our biggest puzzle on the road of mastering our camcorders.
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