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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 30th, 2005, 02:20 AM   #1
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Can HC1 do this effect?

I'm deciding to upgrade my cam to either the HC1 or Panasonic GS400. They r not exactly on par but I really wanna do HDV. One of the effects I wanna do is to focus on a foreground object n have the background blurred, there after turning the focus on the background while the foreground blurs. I understand that this effect requires control of the F-stop to fix the focal length. (I'm a relative newbie so pls correct me if I'm wrong!)

Since HC1 doesnt have independant iris control, can this still be achieved? GS400 has all the functions BUT it is afterall DV. Please advise.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 05:27 AM   #2
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What you are referrring to shallow depth of field. How it's done I don't know, I am a newbie myself. But I have bought an adapter to my HC1 and are testing it. You can read this thread

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=49313

There I have posted 2 videos so that you can see for yourself.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 07:44 AM   #3
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My HVR-A1 has a feature where you can preset two zoom and focus settings, time, time curve shape, and time delay before the effect starts. This feature is designed exactly for the shots you are after. I don't know if the HC1 has this feature as well.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 11:12 AM   #4
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Hi Sean

Absolutely the HC1 can do this.
What you need is to get the aperture (=iris) as big as possible. i.e. as close to maximum aperture of f1.8 as you can.

Although HC1 doesn't have direct control of aperture, it can be reviewed with Data Code on playback.

The PROGRAM AE mode "Portrait" will be the one to use.

In outdoors lighting, with a polariser on the lens, you will get f1.8 almost all the time using Program AE mode "portrait". Make sure background is far away too.
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Old October 1st, 2005, 01:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Make sure background is far away too.
That, sort of, said it all. :)
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Old October 1st, 2005, 10:56 AM   #6
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Thanks folks! Stu Holmes, so once I set to AE-Portrait I will get the largest iris, meaning the background will be blurred. Next, how can I reverse the effect to have the background clear while foreground blurred? Assuming I will not pan or do any zooming. I just want to move the focus to the background. Is this possible?
Anyway I will try out the demo set!! (Again)

In fact I tried it today n I pretty liked it except for the bottom loader part..Ooh but itz true that the auto zoom is a tad too fast for HC1. I think it takes less than 10sec for a total zoom sequence.

The only way around this is via an ext LANC controller rite?
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Old October 1st, 2005, 01:01 PM   #7
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Sean

in Portrait AE mode, you'll get the largest iris for that light level and shutter speed. You won't necessarily get maximum iris of f1.8. Say it's a very birght sunny day and you're not using some kind of ND filter (polariser has an ND effect) the you may only get an iris of something like f3.4

Remeber that the HC1 will stick resolutely to 1/50th (PAL) or 1/60th sec (NTSC) for most of the time. It WILL go to a fast shutter speed than that, but generally only in very bright situ's. In other words, when light levels do get high, then it copes with that by stopping down the iris most of the time rather than by changing shutter speed.

I find that with a polariser on most of the time, this brings the transmitted light level down far enough that generally i'll get max. aperture or pretty close to it outdoors.

As Stephen implied, you will need to pic a background that is as far away as possible as these cams with small sensor tend to have, inherently, a large DOF, and so you really have to try fairly hard to achieve the soft-background-sharp-foreground-subject effect you're searching for. It's not much use filming someone 5feet away, (focusing on them) and having a background 10feet away. - The DOF is still too big to throw the background out of focus significantly at all. Get fairly close to subject, try to force cam to max. aperture, and get background maybe 100mtr away (trees are good as a background for portraits when they're out of focus).

On getting background sharp, and foreground OOF, then simply use manual focus and move the focus point to the background. You can also do this with auto-focus, but you will have to recompose the shot until the camera 'understands' that you now want the background to be the focus point.

slow focus issue - yes the HC1 is annoyingly fast zoom rate. 10secs is slowest anyone can go. A1 *appears* to be slower, (someone has got 22secs zooming out).

LANC controller is way to go - (the ones that have adjustable zoom-speed function).
Try :
www.varizoom.com

Someone has reported the 'Stealth' model as being of good use.

rgds
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 01:05 AM   #8
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Thanks 4 spending yr name on a newbie Stu!! I get it now..
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Old October 6th, 2005, 07:52 PM   #9
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Yo yo I managed to get the effect on the HC! demo set last nite.. not too bad I would say.. but I think for best effects, I would prob need an adapter of some sort. So far it seems that only the Letus has been fitted to the HC1. Waiting for more alternatives.
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Old October 6th, 2005, 07:54 PM   #10
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Yo thanks Stu, I managed to get the effect from the HC1 demo last nite.I like the manual focus ring. ONly thing I cant stand is the poor zoom rocker that simply moves too fast!I should think the best DOF effect would require a 35mm adapter.Hope to see more ppl testing that out besides the LEtus35.
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