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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old May 25th, 2008, 05:48 AM   #1
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Filming a dance recital

Next week-end I will be filming a Dance Recital and I would appreciate to learn from those who have of experience in filming this type of show.

Last year, I've filmed that show with my xL1s. This year I will be using my xL2 camera and I would like to make the best use of the options which are provided by this camera.

The filming conditions will be the following:
1 - I will be located at the far end of the scene (i.e behind the last row);
2 - Lighting condition vary a lot total black to full luminosity;
3 - I must see the body of dancers in all time (no face zooming);

What would you recommand as being the best camera setup? The filming will be ported in Final Cut Pro and will be provided to the clients on a DVD.

1 - Aspect Ratio (16:9 or 4:3)
2 - Frame Rate : (60i, 30p, 24p (2:3) or 24p (2:3:3:2))
3 - Gain (Auto or -3dB)
4 - Knee Point Adjustment - High, Middle or Low
5 - Black Stretch (Stretch, Middle or Press)
6 - Color Matrix (Normal or Cine)

Here is what I would think I should use :
1 - 16:9 for the Aspect Ratio
2 - 30 for the Frame Rate
3 - -3dB for the Gain
4 - ?
5 - ?
6 - ?

Are there any other set-up I should consider?

Thanks in advance!

Daniel
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Old May 25th, 2008, 07:26 AM   #2
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I'd go with 16:9 to get a wider view of the stage and yield better results for viewing on widescreen TVs. For frame rate I prefer 60i for smoother motion, but that's a matter of personal preference. For gain I'd suggest auto with a pre-set maximum of whatever you find acceptable (eg +6db). Other settings I can't comment since I haven't shot with that particular camera.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 07:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Paquin View Post
1 - I will be located at the far end of the scene (i.e behind the last row);
2 - Lighting condition vary a lot total black to full luminosity;
When you say total black, what do you mean? That the theater will be black, but there will be spotlight on the dancer/s? If you mean everything will be black, then presumably there will be no dancing, and thus nothing to film.

So I imagine there will be light when the dancers are on stage, and because you are at the back of the theater, you will be on full zoom - on lighted subjects. If that is the case, I don't think you would want to add gain to your settings.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #4
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I shoot dance recital's every week during the dance season. I use a Sony DSR-300 to shoot them, but I have tested my XL2 at different settings, it's my backup.

1- 60i
2- I like shooting them at 1/100 sec on the sony, 1/60 on the XL2
3-gain 0
4-black's crushed look's good
5- audio 1, shotgun mike
audio 2, into sound board
6- 16:9 lends itself to a stage setting, although I shoot it 4:3
7- only adjust aperture during filming
8- manual focus- zoom into a center point on the stage then focus, then back out
9- custom white balance, have the lighting guy turn on the stage lights and go up and set white balance.
10- Leave the tape running and edit out the blackout between numbers in FCP (to many times while editing others work, they miss the very beginning of the music)

Leave nothing for the camera to do automatically. Going from a black auditorium to a spot lit stage on a full stage shot you will get blown out kids if you leave it to the camera, and on autofocus you will get hunting
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Old May 26th, 2008, 03:54 PM   #5
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Thanks everybody for the comments, I read them very carefully!

Jack, by total black I mean that you dont see anything while the dancers are going to their place on the stage. Once everybody is settle, the music starts and the light are turned on.

From what I've seen from the past all lights are then turned on. I've got to be carefull not to have surexposure. I quite often play with the Iris button. I always filmed with the XL2 Power Dial setted to Av (Aperture-Priority).

Steve, I like shooting them at 1/100 sec, does it mean you are then shooting using the Shutter-Priority? What would be equal to a black's crushed on a XL2?

Thanks.

Daniel
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