Iris or ND-Filter (maybe shutterspeed?) at

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old February 20th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 204
I got the Canon Xl2 two month now and i`m very happy with it...
It is my first time shooting with a semi-professional DV-Camcorder.
And i am verry happy that i found a forum, where people can share there experiences especially about the XL2. Please excuse me my English (Im from Vienna and its not my first language :) )

I got two questions.
For shooting outside at daytime, when the light is very bright....
i got 3 different ways (settings) to not get an overexposed Picture.
1. i can decrease the shutterspeed
2. use the ND-Filter
3. or i deacrease the iris.

i already know, that i get less noise in the picture, when i pull down the gain to -3dB, and increase the shutterspeed to 50 or more.

But what makes the difference, if i decrease the iris or use the ND-filter.

i also would like to know about making an "Slowmotion" effect.
what do i need to know about the shutterspeed? and maybe some tipps for the post-production..(a person that jumps down stairs)
: tipps for that.

Thanks a lot!
Greeting from the cold Vienna
Hi Christian,

Before I say anything, I feel the best way to learn something is to just do it. Try changing the three things you've listed and see how it changes the picture.

That said, here's some non-technical stuff: If it's a REALLY bright day, use the ND Filters (20x lens comes with two). That'll allow you to have a sharper picture (and but more DOF) because you don't have to open the iris as much.

In regards to your #1, if you decrease the shutter speed, you'll let more light. I think you meant increase the shutter speed. But that has a big effect on your video...especially if there's any action in it (think "Saving Private Ryan"). It's OK if you want that effect, or if you plan on slowing it down in post or in-camera, but it's not a generally desired effect.

Again, just go out and shoot some stuff and take note what settings they were so when you go back and look at the video, you know how you shot and can pick what "looks" you want to acheive.

Hope that helped.


Last edited by Chris Hurd; February 27th, 2009 at 08:59 AM.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 12:02 PM   #2
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I think I made a mistake...the more light you let in, the more shallower your DOF is, meaning, the backgound will be a bit blurried if it's far behind the subject and you're zoomed in a bit. So, opening up the iris (smaller number), the more light you're letting in.

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Old February 21st, 2008, 08:09 PM   #3
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Location: Florence, KY
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I am kinda like you. However, I have done the above and tinkered with it pretty much since last September.

I think it really depends on what you are shooting and what you want your image to look like?

I don't know the best method but everytime I set up to shoot something I make an assesment on what Shutter speed and I do this after I decide which mode I am shooting. 60i, 30p or 24p. The reason I do think is because a bad shutter can give the hirky jirky chatter look.

After this I then consider the Depth Of Field (DOF)and my method of Focus (I consider them together). If I am shooting something in Auto Focus (Like a flag football game) and my camera is ground level (deeeep backgrounds) then I like to go with a small iris. I do this because when your subject is a group of individual seperated by feet and unltimately not in a stationary position, the camera will get confused and adjust the focus on you. However, because the iris is small the DOF often times will be very clear. It basically smoothes out the bad focus issues.

However, If I am shooting the same flag football game and my vantage point is somwhat elevated, then I have a hard stop background (The ground). This allows me to set the focus to manual and ultimately get a better picture with zero need to smooth out the focus.

But that is a football game. If you are doing trees, people, or some slow moving objects then you may want a very blurred DOF and the Shutter has no meaning...

The good thing is with the XL2 you can control all of the above. Another consideration is using a Polorized lens.

What exactly are you shooting?
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