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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 07:34 PM   #1
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Recommendations for sub-par lighting conditions

Hey guys, I'm shooting a short scene in an NYC subway station and - being an XL2 newbie - I'm in need of a few recommendations...

After speaking with some subway personel, I was told that I'm not breaking any laws by filming in the subway station (thanks to a proposed anti-video law that was NOT approved last year) but I can't actually "setup shop" without the proper permits. Unfortunate, these circumstances prevent me from really setting up any proper lighting kit. Plus, I think it's in our best interest to cause as little attention to ourselves as possible (we'll be shooting at 3am on a weekday).

Anyway, the lighting conditions are pretty adequate in the station - flat fluorescent white light... but I was wondering which XL2 settings would would give me the best picture quality given these cirucmstances. I'm planning some stylized effects in post anyway, but I'd really prefer to get the best quality image while shooting. Thanks!
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 08:32 PM   #2
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Fluorescent filter for starters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Scalesse
Hey guys, I'm shooting a short scene in an NYC subway station and - being an XL2 newbie - I'm in need of a few recommendations...

After speaking with some subway personel, I was told that I'm not breaking any laws by filming in the subway station (thanks to a proposed anti-video law that was NOT approved last year) but I can't actually "setup shop" without the proper permits. Unfortunate, these circumstances prevent me from really setting up any proper lighting kit. Plus, I think it's in our best interest to cause as little attention to ourselves as possible (we'll be shooting at 3am on a weekday).

Anyway, the lighting conditions are pretty adequate in the station - flat fluorescent white light... but I was wondering which XL2 settings would would give me the best picture quality given these cirucmstances. I'm planning some stylized effects in post anyway, but I'd really prefer to get the best quality image while shooting. Thanks!
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 09:38 PM   #3
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If yo uare shooting 24p and don';t have a lot of light, I would suggest opening up your shutter to 1/24th of a second to double the amount of light you can get it. Try and keep the lens wide open for more light, and try not to go above 6db gain...
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Old December 5th, 2006, 01:40 PM   #4
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charles,

You probably know this, manually setting the white ballance is important vor low or varied light conditions. You can also set your rgb levels to help out as well.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 03:03 AM   #5
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Challenging lighting

Hi Charles,

That's surprising you can't bring along any lighting (perhaps you mean you don't have any a/c power hookups and no portable lights). At any rate, aside from the good advice above, I always recommend "cheating" when you can't use your *own* lighting.

That's right, capitalize on the available lighting. Bring along a few reflectors to bounce overhead lights to provide key and fill lighting. Hopefully, you can practice before the shoot, experimenting with angle, distance, color, and shaping the reflectors.

Since you have the luxury of tweaking in post-production, I imagine your primary focus will be on the talent's face which should be fairly easy with medium size reflectors.

Good luck, Michael
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice guys... Hopefully, I'll get a chance to shoot some sample footage before the actual shoot. If I do, I'll post it for more critiques.
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