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Old September 25th, 2007, 03:04 PM   #1
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On Camera Lighting Idea...

With the quick acceleeration of HD video in the event video field, it seems that on camera lighting has had a resurgence out of necessity. Not for all, but for most.

The biggest complaint from guests about on camera lighting is that it's too bright and ahrd on guests eyes. This seems to be even more so with the use on on camera LED lighting. Even a diffused Sony HVL-LBP can be very hard on the eyes, even at 10% power.

The issue seems to be that the light is for the most part at eye level, and right in the guests line of sight.

So would it be in our best interest to use on camera articulating arms, such as this one from Noga (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ting_Arm.html), to get the light higher over the viewers head (eyes), and maybe even off to the side, aimed downwards to prevent the light from being as distracting to the viewer. Also wouldn't it create a less harsh light source, thus creating a more flattering light source.

I was even thinking that I could mount my light (now using Sony HVL-LBP) on one of my arms of my DVMulti Rig to get it off the center of my camera. Although the Sony light is quite a beast to get elevated.

What say you all?
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Old September 26th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #2
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I've been thinking about this issue quite a bit and I'm starting to realize that a rim/back light is just as important as a front fill and it would be much easier for it to be bright than to use a bright camera light. I'm thinking that a spot light coming in from the side of something like a dance floor would enhance the details and outline of people without being in their or the audiences faces. In an event situation, I try to take advantage of the DJ lights, but they are often behind the dance floor. If I shoot from the DJ booth, the floor looks lit by floodlights and the audience looks like deer in the headlights. It seems that moving a spot light 90 degrees to the audience would still keep the mood and not bother the audience. This way, a dimmer camera light can be used.

I also think it will be important to match lights to the dimmed room light. When the camera light turns on and it is 3200K and the room lights are dimmed to a very amber ~2000K, it makes the camera light stand out. I have an event next week where I can experiment with some lighting ideas so I'll report my findings after the 5th.

BTW, I'm also thinking of trying some rope light along the front to give a little fill that isn't in anyone's faces. This is for a dance performance in a location similar to a wedding/event ballroom. No, ropelight isn't going to be feasible in many situations, but I have a bit of control in this circumstance.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
When the camera light turns on and it is 3200K and the room lights are dimmed to a very amber ~2000K, it makes the camera light stand out.
I always have a cosmetic rouge or a 1/4 CTO gel handy. Both gels help a lot in these situations.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 08:01 AM   #4
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Michael,

I have been thinking the exact same thing. I have a Litepanel showing up today and planned to experiment with a Noga 8" arm and the DV Multirig to determine the maximum lighting offset. I'm going to see how much it throws off the rig's balance and if it make any difference to the video. I'll post any results.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 10:01 AM   #5
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a good led lamp would be made from dozen of tiny led spread on a surface like a credit card.
http://www.giroud2.com/divers/sx3.jpg
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Old September 28th, 2007, 10:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
a good led lamp would be made from dozen of tiny led spread on a surface like a credit card.
http://www.giroud2.com/divers/sx3.jpg
This is another reason that I am looking into the Zylight Z50/Z90 LED lights. Small powerful, no color shift at variable color temps, switchable daylight/tungsten balanced, remote controllable, and color changable with the turn of a dial.

Expensive, but might be worth the plunge for me.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #7
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I have been frustrated too, for years I've used a lowel 100watt but is uses a lot of battery and not for very long. The commercial LED solutions didn't seem to pack the punch I was looking for, I would like distance as well as use up close. So I put together 2 versions of LED lights.

Version 1 is 4 LED bulbs that have 3-3watt cree leds. Each bulb puts out 240 lumens in a pretty focused beam. I have installed a switch to either choose 2 or 4 bulbs for intensity control. I also made a diffuser to use it closeup.

Version 2 is 4 LED bulbs with 48 leds in each designed in a "ringlight" format to eliminate shadows for closeup shots (like in the medical field) It also works very well as an on standard on-camera. Again the beam is focused and I have made diffusers for close work.

The 12 volt and only 1 amp draw allows me to run these for hours on small batteries and even use a Radio Shack converter to be used from AC.
Gary
Attached Thumbnails
On Camera Lighting Idea...-4-3x3watt.jpg   On Camera Lighting Idea...-4-48-led-ring-light.jpg  

On Camera Lighting Idea...-4-3x3watt-diffused.jpg  
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Old September 29th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #8
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it probably works well, but hey... it's ugly !
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Old September 29th, 2007, 10:16 AM   #9
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You bet, Very Ugly! But I shoot for Dough not for Show!

Last edited by Gary Moses; September 29th, 2007 at 04:08 PM.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 08:14 PM   #10
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I like your ideas, Gary. How strong does the ringlight seem? In a dim room can you shoot at under 9db of gain at about 10 feet? Are those just 12V MR16 style lamps?
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Old September 30th, 2007, 09:16 AM   #11
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Marcus, they are MR-16 12 volt lamps. In fact all of them are. Anyhow I went back to the specs that came with some info:

There are 48 leds total in each bulb, 28 are warm and 20 are cold to create 5500 Kelvin.
Each bulb is equal to a 50 watt tungsten or so.

They have a pretty focused beam at about 20 degrees. At 10 feet they are just starting to fan out for a soft look. I use a diffuser, for anything closer, made from Home Depot diffuser material used for overhead flouresent home lights.

In a dim room I think you'd better use the diffuer.

I haven't checked out numbers, but last Thursday I shot a German Band (for a clients TV Spot) at night, in a restaurant and about 20 feet. There were 5 members in the band so I guess it was about 20 away. As soon as I turned the light on I had to white balance for daylight, so I guess that's pretty strong.

Needless to say outside it's pretty effective too.

I have to admit, though, the other light with the 3-3 watts are much more potent, on and off camera. That's why I have a switch for 2 or 4 lights. I also made a single which is great for CU and off camera. They are MR-16 12 volts also.
Gary
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Old September 30th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #12
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Source size

Hi all:

Some good comments but as a main source, small on-camera or just off-camera lights will never make talent look great. Good for eye lights or a bit of fill.

The only exception are ring lights, the Kamio ringlight can make female talent, in particular look great. But ring lights are soft, relatively large surface area and diffuse. Zylights and Litepanels are great for eye lights or as nook lights but as a main camera mounted source, yikes, your going to scare your viewers. No magic way to refute the laws of physics.

Beauty light = large source, soft and diffuse.

Best,

Dan
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 01:15 PM   #13
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Well, I said I would post results. It also looks like I will demonstrate Dan's points as well, although it would take a lot more than lighting to make this talent look great (and less scary). ;-)

These are frame grabs from my Canon XHA1. The on-camera light panel was mounted with the supplied hot shoe mount. The offset litepanel was mounted on a DVMultiRig using an 8" Noga arm. It doesn't make enough difference to bother with the setup effort. It also throws the DVMR way out of balance.

Note: The wall is only 6" behind the subject. You wouldn't do this in real life.
Attached Thumbnails
On Camera Lighting Idea...-daylight-only.jpg   On Camera Lighting Idea...-daylight-litepanel.jpg  

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Old October 2nd, 2007, 10:00 PM   #14
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The offset mostly just eliminates a couple of highlights. The increased exposure is impressive using the light, but the offset doesn't make a significant difference in the quality. The quality of the light from the window alone is mostly better but the exposure is insufficient. Maybe the litepanel offset on the fill side and dimmed down would look nice in this shot but I don't think there is enough light from the window to act as key.

I'm assuming this is not one of the 1'x1' litepanels but rather their mini camera light. Since there seems to be plenty of exposure, perhaps it is strong enough to work with one of those inflatable softboxes used by photographers. Since it isn't going to get hot, it won't melt plastic. One of those lights with an inflatable softbox would be small and light but might look nice. As it is, it is bright and probably lasts forever on a battery charge.

Glen, can you say whether or not the light is less unpleasant to the subject? If the offset helps get a better reaction from the subject, it might still be worthwhile.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 06:35 AM   #15
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I agree with you, Marcus. The window will not work as key. The unlit sample was shot to provide a baseline showing the existing light. It is fairly accurate since neither the wall or my shirt is white. The camera was WB'd with a sheet of paper.

My appologies for not mentioning the LP model. It *is* the MiniPlus system 5600K flood at 100%. No filters were used. The A1 was running on factory default settings (read: flat).

I'm not sure what benefit would be gleaned from a softbox other than widen the coverage slightly. The light alone is quite soft and the dimmer can drop the intensity.

I have been subjected to many wedding "table shots". I found the LP to be easier on the eyes at 5600K and much easier on the eyes using the 3200K filter. The best part is they don't throw the heat. It's already hot enough in a tux.
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