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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #1
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Basic lighting for prosumer's baby videos

Hi, I'm video-illiterate, but slowly improving. I just got the Canon HV20 high def camcorder but my townhome is way too dark even during the day with lights on. I really need a basic lighting source. This is just for baby videos for personal sharing. I want bright, even lighting without ugly shadows so that the video is less noisy.

I'm thinking a soft light would work best - agree? Can I light up a regular sized room with just one? What wattage and brand would you recommend? I'm looking at the $300, 500-to-1000-watt soft lights at B&H.

I could also use a recommendation for a shoe-mount video light for videotaping the cats... any thoughts? I know, I'm a stereotypical newbie, all about the cats and babies....

Thanks!!

Brian
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Old November 28th, 2007, 01:00 PM   #2
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You just want something to set up and bring up the level in the whole room, right? If that's the case, you can get something really simple, cheap and you can forget about softboxes or anything like that. I suggest getting a Lowel V or Tota light (or an even cheaper alternative) and bounce it off of the ceiling. If you want to take it one step further, get an umbrella too. This type of setup should give you what you want and it won't cost too much. Also, if you later decide to do less personal stuff, these lights are a good start for more pro stuff too (especially the Tota, which, in a softbox, is a very useful tool).

Good luck!

~~Dave
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Old November 28th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dave Dodds View Post
You just want something to set up and bring up the level in the whole room, right? If that's the case, you can get something really simple, cheap and you can forget about softboxes or anything like that. I suggest getting a Lowel V or Tota light (or an even cheaper alternative) and bounce it off of the ceiling. If you want to take it one step further, get an umbrella too. This type of setup should give you what you want and it won't cost too much. Also, if you later decide to do less personal stuff, these lights are a good start for more pro stuff too (especially the Tota, which, in a softbox, is a very useful tool).

Good luck!

~~Dave
Thanks - yes, I just want something to bring up the illumination of the whole room. Sounds like this would be a good buy:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=465459&is=REG

Thanks!

Brian
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Old November 28th, 2007, 08:02 PM   #4
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Yeah, if you bounce that off of a ceiling or wall, you'll bring up the room level nicely. Be careful, though, as it'll get hot. Don't let the baby or cat near it.

Have fun.

~~Dave
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Old November 29th, 2007, 11:43 AM   #5
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If you don't mind the looks, you can also get one or two 500W halogen worklights (like 20 bucks for one including a basic tripod). If you bounce them off of walls and/or ceilings (or other white things like a styrofoam reflector etc) the light is no different from that of a 500W Arri unit for hundreds of dollars.
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Old November 29th, 2007, 11:23 PM   #6
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Since you live in Atlanta and have a bit of a budget, you might want to look in to fluorescent lighting. Fluorescents tend to provide the soft light you want and are much cooler. If you use daylight lamps, you will get much more efficiency than a tungsten lamp gelled with CTB. Hawaii isn't as warm as Georgia in the summer but even here the lower heat from fluorescent is a blessing. The best of all is that the lower temperature fixtures are safer to have near people.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 12:09 AM   #7
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What Marcus said!
Flo's would be a much better choice that smacking up your baby with a 1k.
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