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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 12th, 2005, 04:30 AM   #1
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lowlight setting -event question

Hi all.

Usualy I film outdoor or indoor where I controll the light, exploiting/enjoying the custom presets used here. That made me a bit lazy however, and I never really experimented too much with the manual settings.

Here is the deal:

Im suddenly asked to film a corporate event with celebrities. The subject(s) will be moving around in a room and about 100 people watching.

Im thinking of having my xl2 on a tripod and studiodolly, and having a consumercam on 'high ground' for safetyshots.

The lightning will be some ceiling lamps and thats it.

2 questions:

1- any tips what settings I should use for the XL2 ? I dont have time to make adjustments during the shooting, so it should be pretty fixed, and I will only have about 10 mins to adjust the camera(s)

2- do I dare go for some closeups and hoping I can cover it with the B-roll (even though the image are not comparable with a mile), or should I just 'safe it' ?

I know it might sound a bit lame, but as some others I'm getting worried about everything. New experience doing this and ofcourse I want it to be as good as it can get. Someone please just say 'dont worry, it will be fine' :)
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Old December 12th, 2005, 12:34 PM   #2
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Opinion for Event

The lightning will be some ceiling lamps and thats it.

Have you been able to take your equipment there to do a test run?

ALWAYS if you have that option take it because you never know what kind of hazard or complication you might run into during shooting.

It sounds like you will be doing this yourself without a second camera operator. The thing is with the consumercam you will not be able to adjust the iris if need be. And most consumercams, at least the one I have if you have it on an "AUTOMATIC" setting, those types of cameras have an automatic focus as well and with low-lit settings the camera is constantly trying to focus on the subject so all in all its a PIA.

1- any tips what settings I should use for the XL2 ? I dont have time to make adjustments during the shooting, so it should be pretty fixed, and I will only have about 10 mins to adjust the camera(s)

There are different options you can use, but it depends on how you are going to shoot it? 24p/30i/60p? If it is going to be a really dark setting, then 24p is probably not your best option. You're going to be following the subjects around and the 24p mode already has a "trail" look to it when your panning along subjects, so in the lower lit setting it will be more noticible.

I recently shot an event with a low-lit setting and we used the 30i, never going above the 3 to 6 level on the gain and it looked great.

In a low lit setting if you boost the gain up to 9 or 12 or even the 18 its going to look grainy, the picture quality is going to go down. Given the fact it's an XL2, the picture still looks good, but you loose potential for sure.

You can also put yourself in a similar lighting situation if you do not have access to the location. Mess with the custom presets some with the gamma and knee and you might pull out a better contrast/look for the event.

2- do I dare go for some closeups and hoping I can cover it with the B-roll (even though the image are not comparable with a mile), or should I just 'safe it' ?

If you go for close ups, you might loose a few stops of light depending on how close you get. I would try it once and see how it looks, you can always cut away to your B-cam if it doesn't look right.

I hope this helped you out, but yeah "don't worry, it'll be fine!"

Take care,

Josh Woll
JW Productions
Wilmington, NC
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Old December 12th, 2005, 10:25 PM   #3
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Agree that +6dB gain is the best for not introducing noise. If you have to go above that be sure to turn up the coring and on the NR. If you want a film like look that gets the most from natural light try shooting in 60i with a 1/30th shutter. You also want to set the blacks to press and make sure you master pedestak and set-up level are not down much if at all. Also, the cine-color settings seem to need more light...



ash =o)
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Old December 13th, 2005, 02:21 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys.

I will be able to bring the equipment the evning before, and I also spoke to the man in charge about lightning. I might be lucky to get in a few more lightsources.

Originally it was only me, but I got in a seccond operator who will be moving in the crowd with a cam.

So with lights, 2 cameramen and 3 cams I think it should turn out ok :)

What scared me more is that I asked if the TV celeb was informed about the videotaping, even if it is intended for inhouse only. They said 'uhm, we are pretty sure it shouldnt be a problem'. I asked politely if they could make sure it wasnt a problem.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 03:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
You also want to set the blacks to press

ash =o)
Hi Ash. Are you sure about this? I thought Stretch would be more suitable to capture some detail that can be adjusted in post if lacking in contrast. Press seems to make everything darker up to the midtones which is not so good in low light conditions unless trying for an effect.

Richard
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Old December 24th, 2005, 02:57 PM   #6
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Well, it turned out I had to leave the entire project to the b-roll guy as I suddenly got a far better 'gig'.

Mostly shot with a panasonic gs-70 on full auto, perhaps most crappy technical pictures I have shot in a long, long time, but by far the most important thing I will ever shoot :)

Small size due to relatives on lousy conections, shared for all who cares to watch.

http://home.online.no/~zirk/zirk/gabriel_small.mov

Now time to try get some sleep.

Have a very very nice chrismas and happy new year !
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Old December 25th, 2005, 12:46 AM   #7
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Congratulations on a far much better gig! Hope all is well with everyone! It couldn't have happened at a better time! Best wishes to all,

Miguel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders Risvold
Well, it turned out I had to leave the entire project to the b-roll guy as I suddenly got a far better 'gig'.

Mostly shot with a panasonic gs-70 on full auto, perhaps most crappy technical pictures I have shot in a long, long time, but by far the most important thing I will ever shoot :)

Small size due to relatives on lousy conections, shared for all who cares to watch.

http://home.online.no/~zirk/zirk/gabriel_small.mov

Now time to try get some sleep.

Have a very very nice chrismas and happy new year !
__________________
Miguel Lombana
http://www.miguellombana.com & http://www.phoenixhamradio.com
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Old December 25th, 2005, 03:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunter
Hi Ash. Are you sure about this? I thought Stretch would be more suitable to capture some detail that can be adjusted in post if lacking in contrast. Press seems to make everything darker up to the midtones which is not so good in low light conditions unless trying for an effect.

Richard

Stretch will pull out details in shadows but in low light it will increase the noise in dark areas....sometimes dramatically. All depends on what you want, press will cover a lot of noise but it will introduce somewhat of an "effect"


ash =o)
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