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JVC GR-HD1U / JY-HD10U
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Old June 11th, 2004, 09:19 AM   #16
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I pulled a museum piece out of dark corner, an old 35mm slr, and put it on a tripod next to the GR-HD1, as a "poor man's" light meter. You set the film speed and it reads out aperture and shutter speed, or you can set aperture/shutter priority to one, and read out the setting for the other.

On the GR-HD1, I set the shutter speed to the same as the slr, and let the metering stabilize. If I then toggle to aperture priority, I can read out the other half of the exposure. I repeated this, each time adjusting the ISO film speed rating on the slr until the aperture readout on the GR-HD1 matched the aperture readout on the slr for the same shutter speed. In the end, I appear to have derived the ISO equivalent film speed of GR-HD1, to be 200. Perhaps that's stated somewhere, but I didn't see it.

Based on that observation, my pursuit of the exposure holy grail points me toward using neutral density of (-1) f-stop or (-2) f-stop (for bright daylight).

I would use a polarizer to darken skies, but as opposed to using two polarizers stacked to reduce light, I think I would prefer knowing by how much I am doing so with the known f-stop reduction of a ND.

While I think I would prefer to pan while shooting at 1/60 sec shutter speed, I don't think I want to sacrifice depth of field or edge sharpness by stopping down exposure so deeply with stacked polarizers that the aperture is wide open.

IN FACT THERIN IS MAYBE THE SALIENT QUESTION. Do camcorders like the GR-HD1 even USE a variable aperture? Or do they instead reduce the sensitivity (gain) of the CCD electronically? Because if it's the latter, then there is no depth of field control, no depth of field penalty from stopping down to f1.8! Could someone who really knows...David or Heath (or anybody) please answer?

Many thanks...

Tom
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Old June 11th, 2004, 09:30 AM   #17
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Never mind...answered it myself. Looking into the lens, the GR-HD1 does indeed have a mechanical aperture.

So following up my previous post, if you had some idea of the ISO equivalent film speed, and a light meter (or good judgment of daytime brightness), it should be possible with ND filters to shoot with the GR-HD1 in programmed automation at or near 1/30-1/60 sec shutter (best for panning), under expose (if desired) using the exposure dial, and not suffer the attendant loss of depth of field (from stopping down to F1.8), if stacking ND and shooting in programmed automation gets you in the ballpark for shutter and aperture by default. Hope that's not too confusing...
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Old June 11th, 2004, 09:42 AM   #18
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Then again, a trained eye like Mr. Newman or Mr. McKnight can probably estimate f-stops from a pair of stacked polarizers as well. Perhaps I should attempt to just acquire that skill.

So for example:

- I set the GR-HD1 to shutter priority 1/60 sec.
- Compose the scene and turn the outside polarizer ring until the judgment from the LCD that exposure has been reduced 1,..2,..3,..4 f-stops.
- Then switch back to programmed automation having known from the light meter that (ex. -3 f-stops) would put the camera into 1/60 sec shutter speed by default, while retaining functionality of the exposure dial, and maintaining depth of field through something other than maximum aperture.

Just thinking out loud...pretty quiet in here.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 09:55 AM   #19
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Last post...food for thought

...so let's say you compose the scene through the 35mm slr viewfinder. Put it in programmed automation. Adjust the ISO film speed dial until the readout is 1/60 sec for the shutter. Read the film speed from the dial.

If the film speed reads 50, add +2 f-stops ND to the GR-HD1 and set it to programmed automation. Record the scene.

...a lot of foolery, but any other comments?
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Old June 11th, 2004, 11:57 AM   #20
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Awesome!

You guys were spot-on, all along. No need to make it unnecessarily complex. Practice and experimentation compliments theory.

The dual polarizers is very practical, convenient and what I've settled on.

You've also been right about the shutter speed, 1/30-1/60 sec seems very good for panning when zoomed in. Seems like the optical image stabilization works in harmony especially well.

I'm optimistic using the polarizers to deepen the blue sky, but also increase latitude by putting the CCD into the sweet spot with longer exposures is going to produce some nicely saturated, high quality outdoor videos. So far it sure looks that way.

(The indoor videos have exceeded my expectations without resorting to any trickery.)
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