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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old June 30th, 2005, 11:18 AM   #1
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Wanting to shoot the 4th

Any pointers or "this is good info" for shooting fireworks. I got a few pointers such as leaving the shutter open on a still camera nad placing something over the lens, but what steps should be taken for fireworks on a video camera, I mean how do you focus to the blast..??
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Old June 30th, 2005, 11:25 AM   #2
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Chris,

If your any safe distance away from the fireworks, you simply focus on infinity. This will ensure the images are in focus.

I shot a fireworks display with my XL2, and they came out spectacular. Just shot wide open, 60i.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 11:32 AM   #3
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so I am probably stupid on this, but what do you mean by infinity, and what setting should I use for this? Is the auto setting ok, or should I try and dial it in with manual?
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Old June 30th, 2005, 12:37 PM   #4
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Chris,

I was speaking in the 'manual' sense of focusing. (I shoot with the 16x manual) Yes, turn your autofocus off, so it's not hunting and seeking. Rotate the focus to the 'infinity' distance... in other words, as 'far away' as it will focus. And then fire away!
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Old June 30th, 2005, 01:37 PM   #5
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Try some shots with a low shutter... that can look very cool... use all manual settings though!



ash =o)
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Old June 30th, 2005, 03:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
Chris,

I was speaking in the 'manual' sense of focusing. (I shoot with the 16x manual) Yes, turn your autofocus off, so it's not hunting and seeking. Rotate the focus to the 'infinity' distance... in other words, as 'far away' as it will focus. And then fire away!
Because the 20x servo lens doesn't have a infinity marking on the lens or in the viewfinder I would think it would be a little difficult to gauge that sweet spot of focus in the dark.perhaps setting focus for the widest setting in advance during the daylight and then saving that in the memory will help. The manual lens really rocks for this type of stuff. You just turn the focus ring CCW until it stops and everything from about 2-3 feet in front of the lens and beyond is in sharp focus.

the problem I have with the 20x is that it seems to move from infinity focus into the macro range without any indication. So it is easy to be at that "infinity" focus point where evething is in focus and turn a touch more and be in the "macro" range. That means object very close to the lens come into focus but objects farther away are out of focus. It's a fine line for sure.
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Old July 3rd, 2005, 10:33 PM   #7
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Ok, so just to clarify, I should just focus all the way wide and let the auto focus adjust to each bang of the fireworks, or should I focus all the way wide and manually focus to each blast..??? I have a 7" monitor to also watch on, would you guys/girls recommend viewing through the view finder or watching on the monitor..??
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Old July 4th, 2005, 01:15 AM   #8
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Chris,

I would turn off the zebra stripes as well. I shot some fireworks tonight and had the stripes on. It was hard to focus with them on. It's hard enough to focus in the dark and find that "sweet spot," but I think would have been easier without the distraction of the stripes. The monitor might help, altho' it isn't necessary.

Lucinda

By the way. I just looked at the footage I shot tonight, shooting at infinity, using shutter priority and it looked great! You don't need the monitor unless you feel you do.

One thing I did try to do was to use the AE function to see about lightening the scene, but nothing changed when I tried to use it. I went up to 25+, 5+, and no change. Does anyone know why? does it not work in TV mode?

Last edited by Lucinda Luvaas; July 4th, 2005 at 02:36 AM. Reason: wanted to add something
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Old July 4th, 2005, 12:35 PM   #9
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How do i get infinity with the 20X auto lens, I don't have a manual 16X
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Old July 4th, 2005, 01:13 PM   #10
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Focus on objects far away, get that sharp and then anything between you and those objects should be in focus. It's not easy because the the focus spot is very tight...if you go one way or the other, you'll be off. Experiment with it when you see the bursts of fireworks. You'll certainly get enough material that is focused and can edit out anything soft in post.

However, if you're nervous about it, use the monitor you purchased. In that way you'll be able to see things more magnified and get the proper focus.

They're right when they say that the Canon XL2 does well in dark areas! I thought the footage of the fireworks looked wonderful.

Lucinda
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