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Old May 31st, 2006, 12:13 PM   #1
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Is there a way to fix the darker image caused by zooming?

I have what is probably a very standard question, but I'm afraid I couldn't seem to find an answer seaching through the forums. Oh, and my apologies if this is posted in the wrong forum.

I know that by zooming in with a videocamera, the amount of light intake is reduced, and the image gets progressively darker. But is there any way around this?

I use a Panasonic AG-DVC30. My old camera was a consumer Handicam, and it seemed to deal with the problem automatically, so I would zoom in and the light level would look the same. Similarly, more professional videos use zooms all the time and it looks fine, so there must be a way around it. I can't imagine professional shoots have an "exposure puller" as well as a focus puller... But then, I really don't know.

However, not being able to zoom is driving me nuts.
Ed Glaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2006, 12:21 PM   #2
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does the DVC30 have an automatic gain setting? You might have it set to manual, so it stays the same while the aperture gets smaller (ie. bigger number). I imagine that's what handheld cameras do to keep the video looking like it's lit the same. Also, you might try setting your camera to aperture priority so that it automatically adjusts the shutter speed.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 12:26 PM   #3
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This should only be an issue when shooting in dark places where you need the maximum aperture. For example, let's say the largest aperture at full wide is f1.6 and at full telephoto it goes down to f2.8. If you set the iris at 1.6 and zoom in then you'll get the problem you described - things will get darker (assuming you're in full manual mode).

On the other hand, if you set the iris to f2.8 at the wide end of the zoom, then there won't be any change as you zoom in. But if you're working in a dark place then this might not work for you so you could try one of Raji's suggestions.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 01:03 PM   #4
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You're right -- I think the problem occurs in low-light environments. Unfortunately, I'm doing a great deal of shooting in low-light.

I'll have to check on the automatic gain. From what I gather, changing the shutter speed isn't the greatest idea. Especially since I ultimately want to run the footage through Magic Bullet. So I've been keeping it at 1/60.
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