tips of night shooting with lots of background lights at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant

Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 28th, 2003, 10:11 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
tips of night shooting with lots of background lights

Hello.

i'm going to be doing a documentary and a lot of it will take place at night at a park in florida that has been HEAVILY lit with several million small holiday lights.

are there any special settings for night time shooting with an obscene amount of small lights in the backgrounds?

this will be with a dvx-100a

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 10:19 AM   #2
Space Hipster
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 1,508
If it is indeed heavily lit, you could use reflectors and wide open apeture for a nice effect. Also, maybe take something for an eyelight. Exposure for highlights, bring out shadow detail in post.
__________________
stephen v2
www.insaturnsrings.com
Stephen van Vuuren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 10:22 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
i have never used reflectors...so far everything i have done has been solo operator and 90% on the go

what aperature setting would you use??

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 10:26 AM   #4
Space Hipster
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 1,508
As wide as you can get it. Also, depending on focal lengh and subject/background distance, should soft focus the lights when they are background.

If you are solo, you might try a camera light with diffusion on it (to get rid of news look) if you are shooting peoples faces.
__________________
stephen v2
www.insaturnsrings.com
Stephen van Vuuren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 10:27 AM   #5
Space Hipster
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 1,508
And if possible, test before going out.
__________________
stephen v2
www.insaturnsrings.com
Stephen van Vuuren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 01:28 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
well i am in massachusetts and the project is in miami, so i won't have a chance to go out before hand, but the project is with/for a friend and i'll be there for 5 or 6 days so i should be able to spend a good bit of time testing things out.

i am VERY new to the dvx-100a, it is my first serious camera, and i'd appreciate some tips on which settings to play with to get the best results.

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 02:33 PM   #7
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
Matthew, use proper exposure for the subjects, be careful not to underexpose. Use manual focus, and like Stephen suggests, keep the cam wide open.
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 02:50 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
can someone give me specific settings, wide open is a bit vague, i'm a newbie at the cameras at this level with all of the controls.

i have used a lot of cameras but the dvx-100 allows a bit more control than i'm used to and specific references to which settings would be grately appreciated.

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 04:48 PM   #9
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
Wide open - aperture/iris opened wide.
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 05:10 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
ok thank you.

i thought you meant the iris but i didn't want to ASSume

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 07:24 PM   #11
Space Hipster
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 1,508
Also, shooting 24p at 1/48th or 1/24th shutter with give more light to work with without weird artifacts. If you are shooting locked off still shots, you can use the new slower shutter speeds but note that moving objects will strobe/blur (which also be used for a nice effect but experiment first).

I would definetly use cine-gamma and expose for highlight - I would disagree with Frank about worrying about underexposure. Cinegamma will allow you to bring alot of detail from the shadows, but no detail from blown highlights.

Leave matrix and other settings as is if you don't have time to test before hand.

Avoid shooting with gain unless desperate as noise will be noticably and unless you are shooting news-type documenatary or have no other choice, it will degrade the shot.

And finally, disregard everything I've suggested - what's most important is to experiment, learn and develop your own look and technique. That's what will set you apart...
__________________
stephen v2
www.insaturnsrings.com
Stephen van Vuuren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 08:14 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
i guess what i'm looking for is a crash course in what specific controls give what effect so i have a base to use for experiementing.

i will try to use my tripod as much as possible but a LOT of this has got to be done handheld walking around an event, at night with literally 3+ million lights!

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 10:18 PM   #13
Space Hipster
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 1,508
"Crash course"?

Beware of the word "crash" in "crash course".

Here's my two tips plus some soapbox time:

(1)

Try to use techniques of previsualizations that many DP's etc. use.

Get visual samples (photographs, clips, paintings etc.) that have the look you are striving for.

Then that gives you and us a specific idea of what you "see" - then we could give you an idea of what settings to use. But it's not quite that "simple".

(2)

The best crash course in how the settings works it to hook up the camera to a large, quality monitor via SVHS - get manual out, set camera at controlled subject and adjust every setting, full range, one at a time, until you understand what it does.

I did this when I first got the camera. Really helped alot.

SOAPBOX:

Many people under the mistaken impression that there are "magic settings" in the camera that apply to scenes.

That's not how it works. The world is too complex with too many variables to work that way. One person's "perfect settings for night shoots" is another's "ugly blue and overexposed".

There is no easy way - you have to understand how the camera work, how DV works, how the settings work and most importantly, how light and shadow works, and the be able to use them to get the look in a particular shot in time.

I don't mean to sound like I'm evading the question, but I see lots of people asking "what settings to shoot for xxxx" or whatever.

The basic problem is they haven't ask themselves the first question - how do I want this to look, to feel? And the answers need be extremely specific. What levels of color, shadow, noise, highlights, gamma do you want? What focal lengths and apertures are you want (i.e. framing and DOF)? What camera motion, motion blur do you want? And on and on.

That doesn't mean being open to experimentation and the moment (I make experimental shorts), but it's combination of knowing your medium, your tools, and your inner artistic voice.

That applies to everything from news to event to art films.

Of course, you can just switch it to 60i and auto and fire away. That will work but may not be want you want. That's the crux of the issue - how important is it to get a specific look?

The bad thing about the DVX100 series is how many interconnecting settings it has. The great thing about the DVX100 series how many interconnecting settings it has.
__________________
stephen v2
www.insaturnsrings.com
Stephen van Vuuren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2003, 09:44 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 219
Let me add this. Don't use auto focus. If you are shooting 24p you probably won't anyway but you might in 60i. This cam has what is to me an irritating autofocus issue. I have found that often the auto focus on this cam does constant modulating (seeking) to find the right focus. Most cams do this of course but usually they do it for a moment and then stop. They do sometimes start again but this one does it then stops then does it then stops then does it then stops quite a bit. This causes a VERY distracting effect that is especially noticable and very much amplified with little backround lights. The effect is more severe than with other cams I've used. The worst part is you can't see that it's happening on the LCD or viewfinder. You don't know it happened untill you see it on your NTSC.
Rob Easler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 30th, 2003, 08:34 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
thanks for all the tips, it has given me a huge push in the right direction.

i had a lot of fun last night playing with the shutter and the iris

can someone share some more tips on what sort of settings you could use on the iris for different situations?

the only thing i haven't quite gotten the hang of is that feature where it is supposed to show more detail for focusing, it says in the manual something about showing an outline around the subject or something, and i can't see any real change when i use that button.

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:26 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network