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Old January 1st, 2008, 09:18 PM   #1
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Full auto mode users

Should videographers who use full auto mode on their camera's be considered professionals.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 10:29 PM   #2
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depends. in some news gathering situations you just dont have the luxury of time, auto is the only choice. But if you have time to do setups, auto is not your option.....
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 08:35 AM   #3
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Why are you asking this question?

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Old January 2nd, 2008, 09:58 AM   #4
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did a basketball tournament, and shot 2 games in auto (sony hc7) big disaster, everything way to yellow. used my sony walkman as monitor, but it did noy gave me the right colors.
tyank god the customer just wanted to see the players/ game, but no more auto for me.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 10:43 AM   #5
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pro·fes·sion·al /prəˈfɛʃənl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[pruh-fesh-uh-nl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective
1. following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional videographer

are you asking if a videographer that makes a living using a camera on full auto still makes a living making videos? the answer is yes.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 11:52 AM   #6
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I'm asking because the company i work for has to hire videographers around the country. We do real estate video's. The people who are hired are supposed to be professional. However, I can tell that some are in full auto mode. We panning across a room the camera compensates for the room, then when it reaches a window it compensates for outside. This makes the room dark and the features are lost. Also, when using auto focus, the camera is trying to focus on everything in front of it during the pan.

Also, when shooting exteriors, the camera may try to compensate for the sky and we lose details in the buildings, espcially if the buildings are in the shade. I was just looking for input. I don't use auto mode for this because I like to control the situation. I have to edit a lot of these videos and sometimes the video is so bad, I have to go and reshoot the whole project. I was wondering what other's thought about this.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 12:37 PM   #7
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If the light level ramps up and down, or focus hunts then they could be professionals, just bad ones! I'd have to admit to using auto exposure quite a bit , but only when it suits. I'm quite quick are switching in and out of auto iris, but sometimes, you have to work out which is more likely to give better pictures - sometimes auto is essential - other times not. I don't own any cameras that have auto focus so can't comment on that one - personally, hunting focus looks dreadful under any circumstance!
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 01:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Heiner View Post
did a basketball tournament, and shot 2 games in auto (sony hc7) big disaster, everything way to yellow. used my sony walkman as monitor, but it did noy gave me the right colors.
tyank god the customer just wanted to see the players/ game, but no more auto for me.
You probably could have fixed that with some color correction in post.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 04:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Corey Williams View Post
I'm asking because the company i work for has to hire videographers around the country. We do real estate video's.
A significant portion of my income comes from real estate video and virtual tour projects. The human eye is capable of managing a much larger dynamic range of both luminance and color than any camera. I always use manual settings to insure my images have a very natural look. In my opinion manual settings are the only way to get consistent quality images that will honestly represent the property. Occasionally an auto setting of an outdoor scene has the potential of working with the other images, but only on a case-by-case basis. I would consider the auto settings you describe as distinctly amateur.
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Last edited by Waldemar Winkler; January 2nd, 2008 at 04:39 PM. Reason: Left out one important word.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 05:27 PM   #10
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Waldemar, you understand what i'm talking about since you shoot real estate videos also. These people are asking for day rates and they are not delivering quality footage. I don't know if it's their first time shooting real estate videos, but it's not working for them. Not to offend anyone, but i can put a camera in the hands of anyone in full auto mode and show them how to pan and tilt. Especially since the camera is doing the work and they're only moving it around.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 06:00 PM   #11
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No

I don't consider myself professional yet, but I DON'T use full auto, pffft! If someone is claiming to provide a professional service and claim to result in professional looking footage AND use full auto - something is wrong. Full auto is point-n-shoot, $200 camcorder stuff. Most "pros" will use a pro or prosumer level camera and at that level they SHOULD be using manual or they are wasting resources and potential. I mean that is the equivalent of shooting a hollywood production and then taking the footage into Windows Movie Maker for post, not pro at all.

I've seen this here when calling to scope out the competition for certain niche work. One guy claiming to be a pro, had an amazing website, pro level high prices, but was listing a friggin' hi-8 camcorder as his primary!!! I viewed some of the sample footage and you could see that it was full auto, exposure flux, bad auto focus seeking, etc... I think he spent much more time on the website than learning how to use ANY camera.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 06:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Corey Williams View Post
Waldemar, you understand what i'm talking about since you shoot real estate videos also. These people are asking for day rates and they are not delivering quality footage. I don't know if it's their first time shooting real estate videos, but it's not working for them. Not to offend anyone, but i can put a camera in the hands of anyone in full auto mode and show them how to pan and tilt. Especially since the camera is doing the work and they're only moving it around.
Clearly, you need to have the security of knowing the footage you receive will meet a quality standard and the shooter you hire needs fair compensation. It doesn't appear to be balanced at this point. May I suggest you interview based upon submitted samples and then offer an exclusive 6 month to one year contract? I'm sure the effort of advertising for qualified videographers will more than pay for itself in the long run.

If you represent properties in my geographic region, feel free to PM me. If you are more focused upon the South and South East, PM me as well, as I can recommend a talented young videographer in the Houston Area.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #13
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With small prosumer camcorders like the DVX100 or HVX200 I sometimes use auto iris and/or auto focus - when I shoot eng-style stuff where I have to be quick and don't have a chance to repeat a scene. Try holding a HVX200 and quickly adjust iris and focus while moving around and still getting steady shots - it's almost impossible... with a shoulder mount you can do everything at the same time, and quickly (which is why I think handhelds are not a real option for eng shooting).

I never use auto white balance (it always looks crappy, better find a medium wb in advance and cc a little if needed) or auto gain.

In the scenario that you described I think it is highly unprofessional to leave even one setting in auto mode!
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Old January 4th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Corey Williams View Post
The people who are hired are supposed to be professional.
Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. If you're seeing full-auto results then perhaps you're only paying a full-auto rate.

You need to look within your own organization and determine what mistakes *you* are making to cause these solicited video clips to be submitted in full-auto. Have you taken the time to present a set of guidelines describing exactly what you want? In other words, are you telling these folks in writing how you expect their video to look, i.e., manual exposure only, no full auto, etc.? Are you communicating with them in advance to tell them that you can't use video shot in auto mode? It is your responsibility to clearly communicate to these people exactly what your expectations are, and to pay them enough to make it worth their time. If you haven't taken these steps, then you have no one else but yourself to blame for solicited video that isn't usable.

At any rate, I fully agree with Allen Plowman: yes, videographers who use full auto mode on their cameras should certainly be considered professionals if that is indeed how they're making a living.

I think the *real* question in this thread is, what steps can be taken to insure that solicited video is shot in manual mode and not full auto. And I think the answer is to communicate ahead of time clearly to your shooters that you can't use clips that were shot in full auto.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #15
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Thanks for everyone's opinion on this subject. I wanted to pass it on to the people I work for. I don't hire these people. I only edit what they've shot. I agree you have to use auto in some circumstance's. In staged circumstances, such as real estate I don't think so. When we shoot "Cheaters" we have to go full auto when we jump out of the van's. There's no good way to adjust iris and focus when you're running behind people and things are being thrown at you. Also, with 8 cameras, you will always have a shot to work with.

Also, I didn't mean professional in terms of a dictionary technical description. If someone shot footage that was dark, out of focus and colors were off. Audio cuts in and out and they edit it on a low-end program. If they get paid for this are they too considered professional. Would you hire them?
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