HELP suggestions for fixing orch shoot with XL1s at

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Old March 8th, 2003, 08:12 AM   #1
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HELP suggestions for fixing orch shoot with XL1s

I have been attempting to video an orchestra performance that includes some acting in front of the ensemble.

The lighting is reduced because of rear-screen projection that's part of the program. The orchestra is seated in front of black curtains and wearing multicolored T shirts. A central charcter in the acting is wearing an all white costume -- and of course the orch. music is white as well. Against the black background it's a contrast nightmare.

I've done recording at two performance as will have access to a third. Wide-shot footage from the first two shoots looks bad. No detail in the white, none in the black and the colors bleed. Close up shots on my B roll look great -- I assume because the close ups remove the stark black/white contrast issues.

Question is: does anyone have any ideas about how I might tweak XL1s settings to make the wide shots look better or is the stark black/white difference more than the camera can handle effectively.

Thanks in advance for comments.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 08:51 AM   #2
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DV is not a wide medium. Regardless of the contrast, there is a noticeable difference between wide and CU shots. This is true of all video and digital in general. DV is at the near bottom rung of the video medium and the differences are quite apparent as you have discovered.

I would shoot more tight and CU shots and try to cut the three performances together using one audio track. Use as many CU and medium shots as you can and avoid wide shots except to establish the scene. Fixing the contrast won't help much and is probably too difficult with the time remaining.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 01:45 PM   #3
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Different cameras handle this kind of thing differently. I don't know if the XL1 allows you to adjust the contrast from the menu. Check your manual. If you can lower the contrast, that may help some. You could also use a low contrast filter. Check the Tiffen website. These measures won't help a lot but may a little. Also, you can average out your exposure a bit, ie., let the hot areas go a little too hot, and that will help out the dark areas. Although contrast is a part of the problem, it's probably mostly an exposure issue. In order to bring up the darks you'll have to let the lights overexpose some. Obviously you can't shoot this kind of thing using auto iris.
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