GS100 Veiled Flaring at DVinfo.net

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Old August 17th, 2003, 11:12 PM   #1
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GS100 Veiled Flaring

At least that's what I think happened. I'm working on footage I shot between approximately 8:30a.m. and noon on what began as a somewhat overcast but ended as a bright, clear, somewhat windy day in Hawaii. Much of the footage shot as the sun got brighter has a fuzzy spot. At first I thought I had somehow managed to get a fingerprint on the lens. But a closer look at the footage says not so. As usual, I was shooting on automatic pilot, except for some zooming (never past 10x). No filter, either. A warning to learn to shoot in manual, I suppose. What's ironic is that as a result of getting a WA lens (no, didn't have it when I shot the footage with the flaring), I can't make use of all the auto pilot goodies when shooting indoors, but don't really want to use the WA outdoors, where manual now turns out to be advised, as well, at least on a very bright day.

The other thing that happened on auto pilot: I shot past a crowd, through a tent, to capture a singer. (I had the camcorder on quick start the whole time - the advantage of that battery pack worn at the belt, by the way.) The first few seconds of the footage show a definite blue overtone. Then I think the camcorder decided where I was really focusing and the scene warmed up.

I am still delighted with the GS100, but since people are already getting out on the limb with Japanese menus, I thought I would mention these issues. True, it all seems attributable to operator error, but in the hopes this may help some, at least, avoid that hurdle...
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Old August 18th, 2003, 12:19 AM   #2
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Patricia, a few thoughts!

1) Auto Mode adjusts the white balance, shutter speed, Iris settings, when you turn on the cam every time. So make sure when u turn on, no cap or cover should be there on the lens. It affects the performance.

2) It adjusts the settings based on the light, and so it may take some fraction of a second to get the scene adjusted, Its called Auto mode hunting!

3) If you shoot the camera from very bright light to dark area, it takes a fraction of a second to adjust to the dark light and during the time if you just pan fast, you may need further time to get adjusted in auto mode.

Manual mode:
4) thats why manual mode is better, you have to set the iris, shutter, white balance, so It never change itself unless YOU change again. where as auto mode changes on the FLY.


IT applies to all the digital camcorders including the FULLY PROFESSIONAL ones.

I tried in MANUAL mode, it gives me EXCELLENT footage.

In auto mode, we have to follow the above three steps carefully, to get the best.


What is that FUZZY Spot? Is it bright light or glare?
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Old August 18th, 2003, 01:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Much of the footage shot as the sun got brighter has a fuzzy spot. At first I thought I had somehow managed to get a fingerprint on the lens. But a closer look at the footage says not so. As usual, I was shooting on automatic pilot, except for some zooming (never past 10x). No filter, either. A warning to learn to shoot in manual, I suppose.
It's always a good idea to have the sun behind you, directly above or off to your rear 45 degree angle. Also, once you've pointed the cam to where you want to shoot, including zooming, wait a few seconds before you press the record button. This will give your cam the time needed to adjust itself. Oh, and please keep your UV filter on at all times to protect your lens.
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What's ironic is that as a result of getting a WA lens (no, didn't have it when I shot the footage with the flaring), I can't make use of all the auto pilot goodies when shooting indoors, but don't really want to use the WA outdoors, where manual now turns out to be advised, as well, at least on a very bright day.
Well, I would use manual with an adaptor slapped on. I'm not sure the auto brains will think as well with that extra glass.
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The other thing that happened on auto pilot: I shot past a crowd, through a tent, to capture a singer.... The first few seconds of the footage show a definite blue overtone. Then I think the camcorder decided where I was really focusing and the scene warmed up.
Yup. You confused your cam, that's all.
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I am still delighted with the GS100, but since people are already getting out on the limb with Japanese menus, I thought I would mention these issues. True, it all seems attributable to operator error, but in the hopes this may help some, at least, avoid that hurdle.
This issues go hand in hand with any 3 chip miniDV cam, whether a GL2, PDX10 or even an older MX300. So this is nothing new and nothing to worry about. You just have to adjust to the cam. :)
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Old August 18th, 2003, 01:22 AM   #4
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Samuel, I don't keep the cap on when I have quick start on. That would defeat the purpose. (Actually, I don't put the cap back on again at all once I know I'm going to be shooting an event, because I'm the kind who forgets to take it off again!) The footage in the particular scene I mentioned did not start with a pan from darker to better lit areas. It was as I described. The auto hunt mode you referred to was still slow, I guess you would call it, to follow up. That is what I wanted people to understand about the camcorder.

The fuzzy spot is veiled flaring, if I have it right. It's not glare, really, since many of the subjects on which I focused (people, actually) would not have bounced light in normal circumstances in a way that would create glare. I think, from what I've read, it's one thing that can happen when a lot of light meets a fast lens, though that's not all that's going on.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 01:39 AM   #5
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Frank, what do you do in situations where you can't really control sun placement? Or the timing of an event? In this case, there was a set program, no time to run around to set up new shots and a concern for showing respect for those involved. The local media were all carefully (and stationarily) set up on the sidelines. Not one moved. They got the great shot of the helicopters in "missing man formation" (I saw it on TV) which I missed (but I got the shot of the lone helicopter coming straight in and dipping to the flag), but not the USMC veteran singing the Hawaii state song nor the church choir singing "Amazing Grace" in two languages. Probably I was the most aggressive "shooter" there - and only after I decided it was either move or not get any footage. A UV filter would have helped, but not as much as learning to use manual adjustments, eh?
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Old August 18th, 2003, 02:05 AM   #6
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P.S. I forgot to mention that one reason I posted this is that someone else somewhere (with another camcorder) reported a fuzzy spot and was advised to return the camcorder immediately. There was no explanation of this advice, so I assume the person giving the advice believed the camcorder was defective, but since anyone in the US buying the GS100K at this time is unlikely to get much satisfaction about attempting a return, I thought it might be important to note that the fuzzy spot is a known and discussed phenomenon, can occur in the GS100K, and may not require a move so drastic as dumping one's camcorder.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 02:27 AM   #7
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Frank, what do you do in situations where you can't really control sun placement? Or the timing of an event?
Patricia, I'm very careful with where the sun or lighting is when I shoot video and stills. It's just something you learn and keep with you as you go along. First off, might I suggest a lens hood and a polarizer or ND.

You have to think your shot through. And the more you do this the faster you'll adjust correctly as you go along. Taking video with the sun in front or slightly off to the side while zooming through a dark area to get to your subject is difficult enough. These situations require manual adjustment. And using manual to capture something quickly requires practice. This in turn develops skill. I've been a photo nut since I was a kid. And I still miss at least 50% of what I want to shoot "for the moment." It's not easy. It's never easy. The trick is to enjoy doing it and catching/learning from your mistakes. We all make mistakes. I was shooting some fast action pics a few days ago, and I forgot to increase my shutter speed. Hopefully 1/125th was okay, but when I noticed this, I increased my shutter speed 2 stops while decreasing my F-stop 2 stops---so at least I got a few good ones---plus the sun was behind me, or almost behind me---and I made sure my shadow didn't creep into the frames. I also made sure the sunlight was hitting the faces and most of the bodies'.
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...a fuzzy spot and was advised to return the camcorder immediately. There was no explanation of this advice, so I assume the person giving the advice believed the camcorder was defective....
If it appears all the time, or often, then your cam is defective. Personally, from what you've said, it just sounds like you not using lighting correctly---and lighting is an art in itself. Just don't point your cam towards the sun or let the sun glare off your lens.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 03:43 AM   #8
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Frank, I know you are absolutely right as a pro. And I appreciate your advice. From an amateur, strictly home movie type point of view, though, I would add that thinking through your shots also depends on your audience and the fact that you are using a handheld. There was no way to begin filming the singer until he actually appeared. Or to film him without shooting through the tent (couldn't get in position fast enough after filming the previous speaker). In the editing process, I could easily cut the slightly blue tinted shot of the singer and insert something else: you know, a scene or still with his voice flowing over it and then moving in to the "correctly" colored shot of him. I won't do that either, however, since audio is not that easy to handle, and that is more important in this instance than the blue tint. Because of the audience. (It's actually a multiple audience in this case, but I won't get into that.) Many of the other clips could not have been shot from a different position - otherwise, there would have been problems with the audio or I would have missed many audience members and/or key participants. So the sun would have been a secondary (maybe even tertiary) consideration no matter what.

I will definitely, however, try to institute better practices re lighting when possible. And I have been looking into hoods, although, in fact, I used the "hood" that came with the camcorder for this particular footage and still got flare in auto mode. (BTW, all of these add ons are beginning to defeat the upsides of a smaller cam.) But the bottom line is that I've learned it's better to go for the shot even when conditions are not ideal. It's possible to do a lot in the editing process - if you have footage - and my audience is not expecting a "real" movie. They will be happy to have a memento they wouldn't have otherwise. That's the upside of being an amateur. At another time and place, I wouldn't be able to do any of this. Wow, what a piece of luck to have camcorder, computer and software come together like this in my lifetime!
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Old August 18th, 2003, 04:37 AM   #9
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I was just saying that you have to think ahead before you start shooting, even if its just several seconds---kind of like, be one with the force, or let the force guide you. By the way, I'm no pro. :)
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Old August 18th, 2003, 06:51 PM   #10
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Hi Patricia,

I think I saw somewhere (maby the Panasonic japan site) that when using the "beauty" or skin tone mode on the gs100 that objects close in color to skin may appear blured. I guess the camera just fuzzes out anything close to skin color. I had a chance to play with the feature (using a close up of my wifes face). It works well enough that I am now under strict orders to use it whenever I film her! If the blurry spot moved around with flesh toned colors this mode may be your problem
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Old August 18th, 2003, 09:25 PM   #11
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Chris, nope. If you saw my footage, you'd know what I mean. The spot appears on people's clothes, on grassy areas, etc. But it does not appear in every scene I shot that day, even scenes which follow the ones with the fuzzy spot, which tends to eliminate the fingerprint issue. It really seems to be what is called veiled flaring (something I found out about after searching around a bit). From what I can tell, Frank is absolutely right and it has to do with not handling light correctly. I doubt there are many folks like me who live as close to the equator and don't want to deal with filters and manual mode if at all possible, but just in case there is someone, and they happen to run across the same advice I did (re another camcorder) about returning it immediately, I thought I would mention that it can happen with the GS100K and it's not an automatic call to get rid of the camcorder. Probably the next time out when I'm up on a hill on a sunny day, I will have a linear polarizer on the camcorder - if I can ever find one that fits. Thanks for trying to send a message of hope, though.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 09:35 PM   #12
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Patricia,
IF this spot is repeatable, then there is a problem with the camera.

If not your camera is good, there may be some flies or some dust sitting on your cam with out your knowledge and might have fallen.


So try to repeat the process and find out whether it is consistent.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 11:56 PM   #13
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Samuel, what is the basis for your statement? As veiled flaring is a known phenomenon, the spot may indeed be repeatable if one accepts that lenses and light don't always do what you want. If you've read some of the other threads, you know, for example, that the PDX10 exhibits vertical smear in certain settings. Some people find this unacceptable and don't want to go near the camcorder. Those who love the camcorder, work around it. In the case of the GS100K, no one else, except me, would dream of trying to do everything in auto. Even I knew ahead of time that that risked getting a washed out look, for example, in a sun-intense environment like Hawaii. In this instance, I was at Punchbowl Cemetery, which is located at the top of a hill, above the city, on a clear day. The brighter it got, with my camcorder set to full auto, the greater the likelihood the camcorder would show some kind of negative reaction. Every other time I have used it in broad daylight, without a filter (but with the hood on), I have had no problem. I'm with Frank in concluding that it's a matter of not doing the right thing re light given the conditions when I filmed. I simply wanted others to know what the camcorder's limitations are if the operator doesn't do that right thing. As you yourself have said, you use manual adjustments and have never had a problem.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 12:37 AM   #14
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I know Flaring is a phenomenon for all the lenses to show responses to the light. It varies from lens to lens depending upon the coating etc. etc.
What concerns is, the fuzzy spot, it goes with the image or something like that.

Apart from that, if it does well with the normal light and with the sun light as appropriate as Frank mentioned then its fine.

I know its a worthy investment for this camera. If something went wrong, then it frustrates to either return or further steps.

I hope there is nothing wrong with camera, the way you explained now with the flare, but still concerns is the fuzzy spot..

May be I never try to take the picture directly focusing the sun. But i never wont attempt to show the lens to a bright sun, even with the UV filter!

I tried to focus the cam towards a bright holegen or fluorescentlight, streen signals etc, there is very very little noticeable flare.

Thanks Patricia for sharing your experiences. Its nice to know about these issues.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 01:05 AM   #15
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Samuel, the term used for the fuzzy spot is veiled flaring. From what I've read, and I know I'm not restating this exactly correctly, flare is a general term used to describe the presence of un- or inadequately processed (from the operator's point of view) light, which then appears in your footage in various forms or shapes. There are specific names for the various kinds of flare. When you get a fuzzy spot, it's called veiled flaring. Actually, I didn't shoot directly into the sun, because I didn't want to damage the lens. But I shot at a higher altitude, in clear air, on a sunny day near the equator in summer - without a filter. I'm probably lucky, now that I've read about various kinds of filters and all the ways they are meant to deal with excess light, that all I got was veiled flaring!

I really didn't mean to worry you. What I wanted to do was make sure we all know as much as we can about the camcorder. (Of course, one result is that you know more than you'd ever want to know about how badly I operate it.)
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