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Old March 14th, 2004, 02:20 PM   #16
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That largely depends on whether you are shooting in daylight
or at night. At night I wouldn't go with auto functions for sure
due to the rapid changing light levels. I've shot fireworks at
night for fun, but don't remember what settings I used.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 02:25 PM   #17
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ManFoc

Manual Focus. Find something, even in the gloom, which is at the furthest point you think that you would need. Foocus on that and you should be good to go. Manual exposure? Tricky . . . I'v done manula focus and let it be . . . I've got some footage if I knew where to stick it . . you could see it . .maybe some stills from the piece? You interested?

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Old March 14th, 2004, 07:32 PM   #18
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"Manual Focus. Find something, even in the gloom, which is at the furthest point you think that you would need. Foocus on that and you should be good to go. Manual exposure? Tricky . . . I'v done manula focus and let it be . . . I've got some footage if I knew where to stick it . . you could see it . .maybe some stills from the piece? You interested?"

Sure I'd love to see what you've done, but I'm a newbie to this and don't really know how. Maybe you could email me
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Old March 14th, 2004, 07:42 PM   #19
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I wonder if the digital gain feature where the shutter is slowed down to 1/16 or 1/18 etc of a second might produce a real nice look.

However you should probably use a tripod.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 08:04 PM   #20
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If I was shooting still, I'd probably go for a time exposure and stop down the lens to f16 or so to avoid overexposure, but I'm not sure how to transfer that to video. I guess I don't understand shutter speeds longer than 1/60 sec with video since you get 60 fields per second interlaced. I'm also concerned that I'll overexpose and not get any colors
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Old March 14th, 2004, 08:26 PM   #21
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Hopefully the color viewfinder will prove helpful.
Since the fireworks trails elongate, part of the streak may washout but the moving part might retain it's color.

You probably don't want to be wide-open with your f-stop but I'm not sure where to tell you to put it. Hopefully the viewfinder will help.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 11:04 AM   #22
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For fireworks at night, use manual focus and manual aperture.
If you let the camcorder on auto-iris, it'll try to make daylight out of night and push the gain up to noisy-grain land!

To capture the real colors of the fireworks, you should even close the iris one more stop. If not, each burst of light will be washed out white in the dark sky.

On most camcorders, any shutter speeds slower than 1/60 (NTSC) will force the cam to deinterlace: it will totally discard the even field and duplicate the odd field on the next line in order to get longer exposure lapse than 1/60. So you'll lose half the vertical resolution, and each light dot will be stretched over 2 hor. lines of the image. Any speed slower than 1/30 will also give you choppy strobe movements. Stay at 1/60 shutter speed, even if colors seem richer in slow-shutter mode.

As for audio, Auto-level will cause the volume to pump up and down on each loud explosion. If you have manual audio level, use it.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 01:15 PM   #23
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I'm a big fan of frame resolution rather than field resolution. Usually when I see the digital gain used the cinematographer I couldn't tell it was field rather than frame because of the blurriness of the handheld digital gain shot.

I don't think I've ever seen digital gain without it being hand held! If digital gain is only field resolution then just for kicks I would see what it looks like but in all likelihood you are better off not using the digital gain mode.

Does anybody knoiw if you lose manual exposure control when in the digital gain mode?
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 10:08 AM   #24
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Taping Fireworks

Last year I taped the fireworks display with my ancient analog Sony set on automatic focus. Each firework came out blurry and slowy came into focus.

Recently bought a new GL-2 which I am crazy about. Would like to tape the fire works display this year.
I'm a rank newbie in this area. I will have the camera sitting on a tripod using the lance control that came with the tripod for the zoom.

Question: What settings should I have pre-set on the camera ?
Manual focus/vs autofocus ? lens setting, etc. Your feedback will be appreciated. Thanks !! :-)
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 10:25 AM   #25
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Shoot the Fireworks

Does anyone have a recipie of settings on the VX2100 for tapping fireworks at night? Even if someone has a starting point I could use it to test the results.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 11:22 AM   #26
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Good question for this weekend (in the U.S.). Here's a starter list.
  • Tripod mount. Shooting fireworks displays is strictly a locked-down affair.
  • Full manual mode. That is, manual exposure and manual focus.
  • Focus on infinity. That is, focus on the furthest point you can.
  • Set your shutter for 1/60. You can also try 1/30, although you should not go lower than that unless you want a stuttery effect.
  • Your aperture is the wild card. Depending on your shutter speed, above, I'd set this somewhere between f4.0 and f6.2.
You'll have to experiment a bit with the first few bursts. It will depend largely on your position with respect to the display as well as on your shutter speed. But the key here is to use all-manual control and to fiddle only with the aperture until you reach your sweet spot. Then just let the camera run by itself.

One tip: It's often more interesting to shoot the faces of people watching the display. People of all ages momentarily have child-like expressions watching fireworks. It's great b-roll to show close-ups of people watching a display with the reflection of shell bursts coming off their faces. So if you're planning to edit together a piece consider adding some of this to break up the monotony.

Good luck!
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 11:33 AM   #27
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Hi Ken,
Thanks a lot !! That was the info I needed. The idea of catching the faces of some of the people watching the fireworks sounds like pure genius !! WOW ! Never thought of that.

Will set my ancient old analog Sony for the B roll for those shots !! That way, I can concentrate on their OOH's and Ahhh's with that camera while shooting the fireworks with my shiney new GL-2 :-)

I use the Pinnacle Studio nine for the edits. Plan on moving up to the liquid edition later on, not unless I can find something better along that line. Bob :-)
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 12:54 PM   #28
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Probably the best way is to use the LCD and adjust as you go. You should be able to adjust aperature within 2 shots or so. Speed I'm not so certain about but I'd go for 1/60th for starters.

Turns out we both are probably going to try it for the first time on Video this weekend, eh?
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 01:58 PM   #29
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I cross referenced this question to Camorderinfo.com and found this:
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/bbs/t44898.html

There is alot of info in this thread and should be read in it's entirity. I am going to try with what they suggest and use your advice on monitoring it. If you want we can post and compare the results. Please let me how you do.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 03:00 PM   #30
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You might be interested in this GL2 thread, also. Just more tips.
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