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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 May 23rd, 2010, 08:21 PM   #1
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Shutter Speed / Settings Questions for Live On Stage Events

I just picked up a used Sony HDR - HC1 from a fellow DV Forum member. And today I guess I just got my first comissioned job. Holy Crap. Should be fun but I just got the camera a few days and I know next to nothing about it.

It is a music video, more like a montage that will be strung together and synced to the sound track. First footage will be shot Saturday in a typical darkish dance club. They will have your standard stage lights but I have no external lights for the camera. Sound will be dubbed.

I don't have much time to experiment, looking for suggestions on shutter speed, white balance, etc for your typical dance club.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 12:11 AM   #2
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Unfortunately I think you picked the wrong cam for the job, or the wrong job for the cam. Lock the WB on Indoor and shoot in SPOTLIGHT mode. That's about the best this cam can do, but if you're expecting professional results, I think you're going to be disappointed. You could lock your shutter speed on 30, but you'll get a lot of motion blurring which you may not want. It's going to want to gain up tremendously and you'll end up with a very grainy picture... although you might like that look. I convince myself it looks like film grain.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 06:44 AM   #3
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What the? The HC1 is perfectly capable of that job provided you know how to use it.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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It's not very good in low light and lacks the manual controls necessary to do a professional job. To say otherwise is misleading.

While the skill of the operator and really knowing how to use your equipment is always the most important factor, you don't try to make toast in a microwave. It's the wrong tool for the job.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 08:30 AM   #5
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With the advice from another forum member I was able to get some good usable tape. A little darker than ideal - yes. Wrong camera for the job - I'd be willing to say it's not the ideal camera for the job, but still capable.

And for what I paid for it I'm not complaining.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #6
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It would be helpful if you could share the advice you got so others could benefit.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 10:24 PM   #7
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This was a small indoor stage with about 10 par cans for lighting (small ones, don't remember the size). Dark pool hall with little additional lighting. And I got to play 9 Ball with a tweaker between takes.

As follows:

Shutter speed: 1/60th (twice the frame rate).

White balance: I had them bring up the lights (simple red/blue/warm/cold, not a lot of variation) and set the "one touch" white balance on a piece of blank paper center stage.

Exposure: -1 so the highlights donít blow out. They still did a bit but acceptable for a music video.

If using a tripod, (I wasn't, probably should have) turn off the steady shot. Youíll get a higher resolution image since it is an electronic image stabilization instead of optical.

I will post the video at some point and the critiques may begin. It's my first stab at it so we'll see how it turns out.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #8
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Just a quick note on setting white balance for stage shows - always do it under plain (not gels/coloured lights) white light. If you balance under coloured lights, your footage will end up with a coloured tint (if you balance on something reddish, you get a blue tint, vice versa).

Sometimes this means you need to balance off the house lights just infront of the stage rather than under coloured lights onstage. In a pinch you could also use the indoor preset - this will not give perfect results but will be alot easier to fix in post than a colour tint.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 10:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
Just a quick note on setting white balance for stage shows - always do it under plain (not gels/coloured lights) white light...
I'll try that to see how it looks. I liked the results from the way I did set the white balance. There were some obvious reds, especially in the skin tones. If realistic color was the goal I failed but it worked well for the project. The low angle shots of the the guitar and vocalist with the lights behind them turned out very well.

I should have my new Mac by the end of the week and I'll have to get serious about it.
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