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Old January 23rd, 2004, 10:42 PM   #1
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Best way to shoot in low ligh with 953?

Hi all,
Picked up a PV-DV953 finally, after a few months of research, reading and more reading....
I often have to shoot in low light condition, mainly family video at home. Just need some advice as the best way to approach it:

No Extra Light way:
1. Use Gain Up Mode, leave WB in auto
2. Use Gain Up Mode, manual WB setup
3. Normal Mode, WB in Auto
4. Normal Mode, Manual WB
5. Other???
(I remember reading somewhere about gain up being configurable, is that correct? How to do it?)

Say if I get a small 3,5,10W portable light... (any suggestion on what to get?)
1. Use Normal Mode, Manual WB
2. Use Gainup Mode, Manual WB
3. Other???

Min
Min-Chin Hsiao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2004, 02:07 AM   #2
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I don't think you can do much to squeeze more LUX out this cam. If you can't add more lighting, like replace those 60's with 100's, etc, then buy yourself a cheap older cam like a DVL9500, Optura PI, Optura 100MC, and better, the PV-DV852. I'f I needed a new cam for mostly indoor shooting where I cannot control the lighting, I would most certainly not consider the PV-DV953.
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Old January 24th, 2004, 02:23 AM   #3
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my mx500 has a low light mode (candle symbol) that allows auto focus tpo continue, whereas my autofocus doesn't work in gain up / "magic pix" mode .... i second what Frank says, however, just tilting a few lampshades here & there gives marked results :-) ... i was out last night shooting skeleton sleds in the olympic arena here in lillehammer under minimal floodlamps & got some very nice results :-)
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Old January 24th, 2004, 03:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
just tilting a few lampshades here & there gives marked results
That's exactly what I do for some of my indoor footage and pictures. In fact, even in a studio you've got to play around with the lighting, and shoot towards where the light falls just right. But at least with pictures, a good flash sure comes in handy, even in outdoor shooting to fill in the little shady areas.
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Old January 25th, 2004, 07:01 PM   #5
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I suggest limiting gain to +15. At +18 the noise gets pretty unbearable.

As for add on lights, it is good to have one around, but I don't recommend it for everything.

WB has nothing to do with exposure, you should always set your WB to your liking.

The candle mode is similar to telling the camera fo 1-stop brighter. It is more gain. I can't remember if they half the shutter peed, and if they do, motion will be jerky. I have not used hte candle at all. In low lights, use manual exposure.

Lastly, if it is REALLY so important, you can squeeze a light light and maintain some quality in post-production (software) like Premiere or maybe exporting frame-by-frame to Photoshop, etc.
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Old January 26th, 2004, 10:30 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Yow Cheong Hoe : I suggest limiting gain to +15. At +18 the noise gets pretty unbearable.
-->>>

The thing I don't get is how to set this??? Could you give me some pointers.....?

I just don't find this in the menu.

Min
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Old January 26th, 2004, 10:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
The thing I don't get is how to set this??? Could you give me some pointers.....?
Put the DV953 into manual and make sure everything is in focus. Press the jog dial to bring up iris (aperature) (if you press it again you will get shutter, but you don't want that...leave it at 1/60). Adjust the jog dial to bring aperature below 0 (open), then it starts adding gain in +3 dB steps. Set it to +15 and leave it or press AE Lock to hold the settings.

You may have to set your LCD display options so you can see this on screen.
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Old January 26th, 2004, 12:32 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Guy Bruner : Put the DV953 into manual and make sure everything is in focus. Press the jog dial to bring up iris (aperature) (if you press it again you will get shutter, but you don't want that...leave it at 1/60). Adjust the jog dial to bring aperature below 0 (open), then it starts adding gain in +3 dB steps. Set it to +15 and leave it or press AE Lock to hold the settings.

You may have to set your LCD display options so you can see this on screen. -->>>

Thanks a lot! I will try that tonight.

Min
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Old January 26th, 2004, 07:16 PM   #9
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Actually, I noticed that the gain is in steps of +1, but the screen disply only shows +3, +6, ... +15 and +18 (in steps of +3). You can see this if you are in a dim place, and SLOWLY turn up the dial, the scene brightens in small steps without the gain indicator changing!
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