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JVC GR-HD1U / JY-HD10U
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Old May 9th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #1
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HD10 Real life Shooting Lessons

OK after 2 weeks shooting with the HD10 here are my opinions about using this camera. overall i like the camera. It's a lot lighter & more compact for doc work compared to a BetaCam. ( I humped a BetaCam around Disney World, EPCOT & Disney MGM non stop for four days before. Brutal.)

Running a shotgun mic and omni mic directly into the cameras XLR port seems to work fine and was easier than the double system sound we used the first week.

We shot outside on a few cloudy days and mostly sunny days.

The camera makes beautiful color video on cloudy days and at evening. ) We always used Manual focus.

We always kept Shutter-priority at 1/60 second shutter speed.
The JVC engineers should be flogged for not giving total manual control of aperture & shutter.
At night I got some cool light smear effects by shooting Atlanta
spot lit sky scrapers and moving car tail lights at 1/15 sec shutter.

We used the Tiffen Warm Black diffusion 1/4 filter which gives a slightly softer look to the video. CAUTION at smaller apertures (f16) on blank color backgrounds like sky this camera has depth of field to the front of the lens and you can possibly see the filter's diffusion pattern.

We used .3 and .6 ND filters stacked to force the F stop to stay at
f5.6 to f 2.8, decreasing depth of field.

We usually used the NDs like this:
Very Low Sun (sun below tree-line) -- no ND or no more than .3 ND
Low Sun w/ no hotspots -- .6 ND, use sun as backlight
Low sun w/ hotspots -- .9 ND, use sun as backlight
High Sun -- 1.2 ND

Outdoors in bright sun the shadows were harsh. Atlanta gets that southern sun. Foam core and shiny Tyvek insulation sheets ( 8 ft x 4 ft then cut in half.) make damn fine hard reflector boards. Putting the sun at the subject's back for backlighting and shining the reflector softened the face shadows. CU shots were done under a 10 ft x 10 ft scrim we built and supended 9 feet above the talent using 4 light stands. Very effective.

In practice we rarely used ND's indoors, because we got better DOF by using less ligh instruments.

We used 2 Lowell Softlights lamped at 1500 watts and 750 watts.
We even put soft filters over these lights to soften the light for some close ups. We used foam core as fill light for CU. This gives super modelling of the face for black complexions.

We also used a 600 watt light as rim light/ hair light.

Indoors we had lots of windows so we just put CTB blue filters over the lights and balanced the camera for daylight. Instead of fighting the daylight, we just used the daylight to help us.
We placed the key light by windows to supplement the daylight.
We tried to mostly place lights near a practical light source (windows) but I always felt free to control the light for what I wanted.

The other daylight blue soft light was fill for shadows. We almost always used the back light/ hair light.

I always used the tripod or the SteadyTracker gizmo for camera support. Handheld shake is more noticeable with the HD10 even at wide angle ( maybe because of the HDV detail?)

We also would usually:
Keep top of frame just below the top of the subject's head (cut their head off);
this looks good and also makes it easier for the sound person to keep the mic close

Even the "wide shot" can be pretty tight; I like the action to fill the frame. I love the wide HDV frame and hope I never have to shoot 3:4 again.

The 16:9 frame is beautiful for 2 & 3 person dialog, We would usually get two-shot, closeup, reverse and over the shoulder, unless we were rushed. It's a doc and a docudrama.

You can never have too many closeups and b-roll shots
for editing.

I'll try to post some stills or video by mid June. For now I'm doing post.

Ed Hill
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Old May 9th, 2004, 02:42 PM   #2
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Awesome, thanks!

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Old May 13th, 2004, 11:12 PM   #3
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Screen grabs? clips? these are better than 10000 words...why not post some?
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Old May 14th, 2004, 08:13 AM   #4
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Screen clips good idea. But first I have 17 hours of footage to log.
Plus pre-production for a cooking show and a comedy DVD.
Will post the clips when things get less crazy.

Is there a way to post photos here on the forum?
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Old May 15th, 2004, 01:23 PM   #5
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Great report! I'm starting to itch to shoot some HDV projects (as opposed to the DV mode, which pays the bills).

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