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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 10th, 2007, 07:32 AM   #1
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6am Low-Light - Any Tips?

Hey guys... I'm relatively new to video (and the A1), and I have done very little low-light shooting outdoors in the past. I have a shoot tomorrow that is outdoors at 6am (no lights), so it is going to be pretty dark and the only light we are going to have is that from the sun/moon. Any suggestions on how I should shoot in these conditions?

Usually I just leave the camera in Auto and hope for the best, but I'm afraid that in Auto, the camera will try to brighten the image too much and the video will look a bit "gainy". I want the video to emulate what the average person would see through their eyes at this time of day (or night rather). Any guidance would greatly be appreciated.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 08:02 AM   #2
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As I write this right now it is 6AM here in Seattle, there is more than enough light at this time to get a great image, I wouldn't worry about it at all. Now if it was the dead of winter maybe, or if you live in the north pole, but you shouldn't have any problems where your at.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:34 AM   #3
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Look into the low light custom presets, and consider using manual control/settings to optimize the image.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #4
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I would definitely get out of all auto modes. If you're shooting 24fps, set the shutter at 1/48. Try a zero db gain first. If it's still too dark, try +3. I've shot at +6 at night with only one of those yellow bug lights over the deck, and it looked like what the eye sees. I wouldn't want to shoot at over a +6. I'd think at 6 a.m. there would be enough light just about anywhere in the continental U.S. I'd also use the daylight preset. If you white balance, you'll lose all the nice early morning warmth.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #5
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erm..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
I would definitely get out of all auto modes. If you're shooting 24fps, set the shutter at 1/48. Try a zero db gain first. If it's still too dark, try +3. I've shot at +6 at night with only one of those yellow bug lights over the deck, and it looked like what the eye sees. I wouldn't want to shoot at over a +6. I'd think at 6 a.m. there would be enough light just about anywhere in the continental U.S. I'd also use the daylight preset. If you white balance, you'll lose all the nice early morning warmth.

daylight preset? where is that located?
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
If you're shooting 24fps, set the shutter at 1/48.
But 1/24 will let a lot more light in....
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kalulu Ngilo View Post
daylight preset? where is that located?
Time to read the manual, my friend.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 09:39 AM   #8
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Yep, 1/24 shutter speed will let more light in, but it's not a still camera and anytime you use a different shutter speed you're going to get an effect you may not want. Slower speed will give more strobing and blurring. If nobody's moving much, you can get by with it.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 11:08 AM   #9
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check the presets thread here on the forum - and download on to your memory card. Definitely worth the effort and gives you an idea of what the various settings in a preset can do.

there is a lowlight preset in that collection.

this XL H1 total control guide pdf talks about the various settings that you can adjust in a preset and what they do, you can also download the camera manual online as well - much handier than the book as you can do quick searches within the PDF

http://downloads.canon.com/cpr/softw...ageControl.pdf

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Old May 11th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #10
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Referral Denied
You don't have permission to access "http://downloads.canon.com/cpr/software/video/XLH1_TotalImageControl.pdf" on this server.

Reference #24.a3c53342.1178907046.184437a

That's what I get when trying to access that link.

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Old May 11th, 2007, 01:54 PM   #11
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The link is working for me. Odd.

I've searched online and this is unfortunately the only link to it

http://downloads.canon.com/cpr/softw...ageControl.pdf

I've put it temporarily on my space
try this:

http://www.northwitchproductions.com...ageControl.pdf

trish
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Old May 11th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #12
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Thanks Trish.

Bill
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Old May 12th, 2007, 03:41 AM   #13
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North pole in May

Yes, this is off topic. But I had to respond to the low light at 6 AM at the North Pole during this time of year...

Fairbanks is a little south of the North Pole (north coast of Alaska currently has no sunset) but it is currently 12:25 am and it is still twilight. The length of visible light is 21 hours 48 minutes with 18 hours 19 minutes from sunrise to sunset. At 6 AM, the sun will have been up for almost 90 minutes. You want a long day of available sunlight to shoot video? I got if for you right here:-)
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Old May 12th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Yep, 1/24 shutter speed will let more light in, but it's not a still camera and anytime you use a different shutter speed you're going to get an effect you may not want. Slower speed will give more strobing and blurring. If nobody's moving much, you can get by with it.
Shooting at 1/24 shutter speed does tend to give a slightly strobe-like, "Gladiator" effect if there is any fast movement. This has actually worked well for me shooting indie movie action scenes, but may not be what you want. Switching to 1/48 shutter speed eliminates the strobe.
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