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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old July 5th, 2007, 05:03 AM   #1
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Location: Kenai River, Alaska
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Low light shooting of professional musicians on train (appreciate suggestions)

Hi Folks,
I have used my XL-H1 for past year in HDV format using tape. I look forward to Aja's IO HD when it is available..
What I need assistance with is the following: I have been shooting live musicians performing on a moving passenger train cross Canada or Mexico for 4 to 10 days at a time for the past 3 years. I used my XL-H1 on the last trip. I was not totally pleased with the results. I use a tripod on a secure table that is built into the car. The audio comes off the mixing board into XLR in. During the day, I have light through the windows of the club-car (converted to a performance car) and depending on sun vs cloudy day and summer vs winter, I usually have sufficient light.
The evening performances are where I have most of my problems. Any ambient light is usually by candle light or small train light that is battery operated. Overall, it makes for a beautiful listening/viewing environment for musician and audience but a difficult environment to film on tape.
I have tried different levels on my XL-H1 and either my recordings are real grainy or dark. What has worked best is manual 1/75 at F1.7 gain:+12, and 5500K. Still, I have a darker-grain filled recording. Also, when the musicians move, I see an echo of horizontal lines until they stop jumping around. If Is hoot without the 5500k or auto, I get much worse grain. I the next trip this September, I would like to try out any recommendations that you wonderfully professional people may suggest.
Sincerely, Joe Ray from the Kenai River in the Land of Alaska...
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Old July 5th, 2007, 07:33 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Tennessee
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The first place to start is your shutter. You have it set to 75.
I would consider using 24f with a shutter of 48. That will
immediately give you more light. Since most likely there isn't
a lot of movement (unless it is a heavy metal band, which with
candelight I sorta doubt it) you won't notice the 24f vs 60i too
much.

Ask if the use of some strategically placed flourescents under
counters and behind furniture is acceptable.

Honestly...you can't shoot in the dark, so try to make the best of it
and make sure the customer knows that!!
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Old July 6th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #3
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Low light shooting of professional musicians on train (appreciate suggestions)

Dear Will,
Thankyou for your reply. When I tried to shoot in 24F it appeared to have more grain than at 60i. Can you offer me any suggestions as to white level or coring level? I read that it was suggested to advance the coring level to 4+... Sincerely, Joe Ray
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Kenai River, Alaska
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