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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 19th, 2007, 09:18 PM   #1
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The park in the dark shooting.

Yesterday I took the car and went to a park in Delft (The Netherlands) where I helped out a few guys with making the first recordings for a Dutch Star Trek fanfilm (one of my fun projects for the next few months).

They wanted to record a scene in a park with very low light. It was the very first time I did this with the A1, so I was sweatin' bullets to get it right.

Afterwards the original footage had quite some noise in the picture so I had to correct that in Premiere.

I made a screenshot of the AVI (converted HDV to AVI, PAL Widescreen).
I don't know if anyone can say anything about the result (see the picture), but please, any comment is appreciated.

EDIT: Ok...they alowed me to put a small piece of the video online.

http://dump.darkarmada.nl/personal/HDV2PAL_WS_C.avi (~100 Mb)
Attached Thumbnails
The park in the dark shooting.-hd2palc.jpg  

Last edited by Gert Kracht; May 20th, 2007 at 06:02 PM. Reason: Added URL to download the video.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #2
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Added a URL to watch the footage.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 08:13 PM   #3
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Hi Gert

The AVI is showing the unconverted aspect ratio - not sure if that is happening at your end - when converting it has to resize to regular 16:9 - just like the picture you posted which has the correct aspect ratio

not sure what setting that is on avi to ensure that happens in the conversion but i know how to do it with the .mov files

the noise wasn't too bad considering the conditions - what settings did you shoot in? the night mode? manual with x amount of gain? The gain after 12 gets nasty

did you have at your disposal or was that just found light you used? Some backlighting on the faces would have been nice if available but considering the darkness, not bad overall

If possible, it would be great to shoot that same conversation twice from both camera angles, over the shoulders (a third front on as well for frames with them both in the picture) and then cross cut the conversation like the regular movies do (which usually have even more angles, and extreme closeups and mids etc) .

A very effective method and then you won't get stuck with that shot where both people are at the ends of the frame for the entire conversation.
Trish
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Old May 21st, 2007, 09:07 AM   #4
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Looks fine from my end...i could only play it in Premiere (my work computer won`t open .avi extensions for some reason). What settings did you use? I second the over the shoulder suggestion, as well as prodding the guy on the left and telling him to act more natural ;) He is too stiff and 'repeating lines' rather than having a conversation ;)
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Old May 21st, 2007, 09:18 AM   #5
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Hey all,

The project is built up by students. The project is 'fan based', meaning: almost no budget and they spent a lot of time making everything themselves. Script, Costumes, Props. All of that is made by them in months.

About the camera work: There is one A1: mine. The other camera's are small DV cams or Digital 8. We could do a setup with two or three cameras, but I'm afraid of the difference between the cameras. We could end up in filming the scene with three different results afterwards.

We made two recordings of the same scene in two angles. The third was not made, but for the next time: very good idea.

As for the acting: I tried to stay in my role as a cameraman. My task, to make a good recording of the stuff they want to make is hard enough with all the things the A1 can do and that combined with the limited lights and other stuff.

But it is a very nice learning process for us all. Sure, we make errors all the time. But we try to learn from them. That's why I posted the clip. Asking other people about their opinion. Building knowledge and experience. That's what we all did in the past.

Oh yes...about the settings:

The little AGC switch was 'on' and the white ballance was wrong at the time (Yes, I felt very stupid afterwards). We did not see that on the little screen of the camera. Ending up with a snowy picture. That's why i'm going to buy an external monitor.

I ended up correcting the video in Premiere. Took out some green, lowered the luminance and gave it a bit more contrast. Ending up in this result.

For the next time we will use much more light. And I will pay more attention to the settings. Like I said: learning all the way.
In the future I want the picture to be good. So we don't have to correct the picture of every film we make.

About the AVI: next time I will make a Quicktime of the movie.

Next month we're going filming again. I hope we can do a new night shoot then.

Thanks for all the tips!

Last edited by Gert Kracht; May 21st, 2007 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Settings and other stuff added
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Old May 24th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #6
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Hey people,

Thanks for all responses, they were very helpfull! Since we think it can be so much better, we've deceided to do a reshoot of this material. Gert has bought an external monitor (probably he spammed in another topic about that ;)) so we can do a quality check within minutes. Furthermore, we'll do another lighting and microphone setting.

The file that was posted on our server took 20gig bandwidth till now, therefore I've replaced it with a smaller (compressed) file of 7meg. If you want to see the 100M copy, no problem, just pm me (or mail to martin[adt}darkarmada{d0tt]nl ). I'll keep you updated about his evening scene.

Yours,

~~~Mart
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Old May 24th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #7
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I think conversations are one of the hardest things to shoot professionally while making the scene appear natural and believable. That is my only tip, shoot more angles of the conversation and cross cut the whole thing while carrying over audio to clips of the listener's reaction, and so forth. I think you have enough advice as far as the picture goes, so good luck with this project! Would love to see it in its entirety.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris C. Collins View Post
Would love to see it in its entirety.
We also try to learn from it.
We sertainly will post more material in the future.

@Martin: ONLY 20 Gigabyte? :-) (thanks for the hosting Martin)
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