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Old November 12th, 2009, 10:33 PM   #1
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HMC-40 at cattle auction

I covered the 31st annual cattle auction at a local ranch today. It was very overcast and I was shooting outdoors and under an open-air cattle barn. I fiddled a bit with the scene file settings and shot most of the auction at +1db gain.

When I was using the camcorder on auto under the cattle barn enclosure, I noticed that the auto white balance was very slow to adjust. I'd start videotaping a scene with a tungsten blue tint and it would gradually fade to a brighter, more natural color. Is that normal?

Videos: Adams Ranch hosts annual cattle auction - Treasure Coast, FL | TCPalm.com
Sherri Nestico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2009, 11:20 PM   #2
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I've noticed the same issue under certain low-light circumstances. All your video looks good though.

Something I'm working at getting better with is manual WB. It can make a big difference with indoor lighting.

I notice you're on the move a lot. You might like my favorite video tool the Manfrotto 561B fluid monopod. I find it almost as convenient as hand holding, and sometimes more so.

Amazon.com: Manfrotto 561B Pro Fluid Monopod with Head and 501PL Sliding Quick Release Plate: Electronics

Thanks for sharing your adventures.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 12:28 AM   #3
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Hi Sherri

Nice footage!! The 40 still doesn't like panning does it??? With MOS chips you always need to be aware of that!! Rather let the people (or bulls) move instead of panning! The sensors don't like the gates as people have already discoved with picket fences!! If you plan your shots there is seldom any need for anything but a slow pan...if you do a fast pan just to get to the action you can always cut the offending footage out.

My HMC72's have the same issue with a significant light change especially with moving from low colour temp (indoor venues) to high temp sunlight!! The auto balance takes a while to adjust cos it's trying to find a white reference point. Here's the trick I use!!

Once you are in the changed lighting conditions, simply give the camera as much white to see as possible. A white wall...in a Church at weddings there is always a white tablecloth some place!! Otherwise carry a tiny white board with you if conditions might change.

Zoom right into an all white object and "hey presto" the camera will balance almost instantly ... It helps a lot when the action is ongoing and all you want to do is avoid having blue or yellow footage. Also remember that the auto balance only can balance between around 3000K and 6000K!! If the range is exceed you need to manual balance or help the cam with a white object.

I learnt that trick from a TV cameraman who used to carry small squares of white paper in his pocket!!!

Your shoots are coming along in huge leaps and bounds..great stuff!!!

Chris
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Old November 13th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #4
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Good morning!

Dan, I've bought every kind of gadget there is - tripod, monopod, wrist support glove, contraption that straps on like a belt - to help steady my shots. My problem is I HATE to carry extra gear (I'm not very strong) and I especially hate to have to fiddle with said extra gear in the field. So most of those contraptions are littering my office floor right now.

However, that said, I have broken down and ordered the 561B. I've had other photographer friends tell me they love theirs and hardly even notice they're carrying it. I know I'm not as rock solid some days and I need stabilization. In some cases yesterday, I was wrapped around fence posts, balancing the Panny on the slats (I can get creative when I need to..lol).

Chris, thanks for the encouragement. I have tried to pan slower and avoid picket fences for sure! As far as the white balance, I may just start setting it manually - the "outdoor" setting seems to be all-purpose. I tried doing a custom white balance setting once on the cruise, and I got frustrated with all the steps you have to go through. So doing that in the field is definitely out.

This weekend is the annual air show. Haven't decided what I'm going to shoot there, but I will go armed with my new neutral density filter.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 02:33 PM   #5
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Greetings Sherri,

There may be good news in your future. I too hate to carry extra gear. I'm usually on mountain trails for hours or days. If I'm carrying too much stuff I tend not to bother even getting it together. With my monopod or tripod, I simply leave the camera mounted, rest the monopod or tripod on my shoulder, and can walk trails for hours in this way. Also, unlike handholding, the monopod or tripod is doing the work of support while you're filming. Even though I'm a large person, I find this a big relief, and worth the effort of carrying the extra thing.

Last but maybe more important, being a rather impatient person, if I force myself to use a new tool that I might not like at first, in time I don't even think of the fiddling I initially had to do.

Here are some clips done almost entirely with the 561B. Some at near full zoom.

Thanks again for sharing your work. It helps us all be better with our HMC40s.

Kind Regards,
Dan
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