Avoiding graininess & getting a clean "Chiaroscuro" effect in lowlight w the Sony A1 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old September 5th, 2007, 05:58 PM   #1
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Avoiding graininess & getting a clean "Chiaroscuro" effect in lowlight w the Sony A1

Hi... i am in process of making an experimental film in Tokyo, shooting mostly in the late afternoon through till deep into the night. I know very well that my camera, the Sony A1, is pretty awful under such light (as a matter of fact, i had bought it originally on the basis that i'd be shooting mostly in good daylight and well-lit interiors, but somewhere along the way my plans developed towards a different lightscape...)

My question is... how do i retain the "integrity" of the HDV images i am filming, without having to settle for those awful grainy/jittery A1 lowlight images? With my previous camera, the VX2000, I was very happy to rely on the "natural night mode" AE (not talking about nightvision)... it gave me less light to work with but kept all my lowlight shots very natural, clean and beautiful...

I know from previous posts that 6 clicks from the right on the A1 Exposure bar will give me maximum aperture and 0 gain... but will that still give me a lot of grain in my image... is this something i have to live with as far as the A1 is concerned?

i am also shooting rather intuitively and on-the-go... so i won't have so much flexibility to keep adjusting and searching for the right exposure setting.

in fact, I am looking for a certain "Chiaroscuro" effect in my film... something like the feel of Hopper's famous "Nighthawks" painting... so i don't mind if my scenes are engulfed in darkness, as long as the areas where i do have light to work with allows me to have good, clean, non-grainy/non-jittery images... film-like grain is fine by me, but i really hate those bluish/reddish flickering video grain... very unnatural looking...

Any insight, tips, lowdown would be appreciated. Thanks!

Nigel
Nigel Rebello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2007, 03:45 AM   #2
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Switch to a lower shutter. 1/30 or 1/25 for pal. Gives you a nice boost, but will make more motion blur so be careful with that.

If you keep the gain at max 9 the image is still ok looking.
Mikko Lopponen is offline   Reply
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