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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 July 21st, 2006, 08:58 AM   #1
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Blurring the background with HC1

Hi

I will have 2 people in a shot and want one of them in focus and the other one blurred. Does anyone know how I do that using the HC1?


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Old July 21st, 2006, 10:21 AM   #2
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"I will have 2 people in a shot and want one of them in focus and the other one blurred. Does anyone know how I do that using the HC1?"

The first thing you should consider is your depth of field. You will have to place one subject closer to the camera, probably no farther than about 3 or four feet, then place the other subject farther back. You can probably adjust this distance, depending on the kind of shot you're looking for, as long as they are further back that the first subject. Next, just switch to manual focus and adjust the focus ring, turning it left or right. This will allow you to bring one or the other in focus with the other blurred. You will probably want to put the subject you want to blur farther away from the camera because you will get a much sharper focus on the closer subject, but thats up to you. Someone else around here may have better ideas than this, but I hope this helps.

Check out this thread too : http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...t=67203&page=3

Last edited by Jonathan Gossett; July 21st, 2006 at 12:03 PM.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 12:00 PM   #3
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Well unfortunately, it's not quite that easy on the A1/HC1 (or most digital video for that matter), otherwise there wouldn't be so many 35mm adaptors being sold and made. Essentially, to get a shallower DoF you are going to need to open the aperture as wide as possible and zoom in as much as you can to the subject you want to remain in focus.

You can set the Auto AE to Portrait which tends to open the aperture as wide as possible and appears to adjust the gamma settings a bit too.

Neutral density filters will cut down light going in to the camera, allowing for wider aperture in brighter light.

Then there are the 35mm adaptors which can help. There's a wealth of information (maybe even too much) about these adaptors on these forums http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=70
In fact, Agus who pioneered the home made adaptors first announced his discoveries/invention here at dvinfo.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 06:35 PM   #4
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1. Switch to manual focus
2. Be as close to the 1st person (the guy in the foreground) as you can.
3. Adjust the focus
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 07:10 PM   #5
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Open up the aperture to 1.8 (six stops from right in the exposure lever). Zoom halfway in (a must to get decent dof). This will get you nice results. Here's a couple of pics.

http://hmcindie.pp.fi/kuvat/uudet%207.jpg

http://hmcindie.pp.fi/kuvat/uudet%2013.jpg

http://hmcindie.pp.fi/kuvat/uudet%2016.jpg

Make also sure that your background is far enough to get the effect working.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 08:37 PM   #6
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I'm still unable to achieve that sort of look. I have it in manual focus, literally only about 1-2 feet away from my subject that I want in focus. I have the exposure at f1.8. I am zoomed in half way.

Other things: I have the Sony 0.7x Y wideangle lens on. I have the conversion lens setting in the menu set to wide. I have steadyshot on. I am shooting indoors (kind of dim). I do seem to have sufficient background distance to allow it to blur. In the example pics, even a person right behind the front person was able to blur, but I am unable to do that. I can't even get a background much farther than that to blur.

Help?

EDIT: I was able to achieve it by zooming in fully, instead of just halfway. Maybe the wide angle lens made it so I needed to fully zoom to achieve the right DOF. But I also opened up exposure to the max, otherwise it was not only too dark overall, but it was too dark to tell what part of the picture was in focus and what part was blurred.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 12:03 PM   #7
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Take the 0.7x WA lens off. That will only help give you DEEPER DOF which is not what you want. Check via Data Code, Camera data, that you were definitely shooting at f1.8

These camcorders have inherently deep depth-of-field due to relatively smaller sensor. You have to 'work quite hard' to achieve shallow DOF. Its much easier on an SLR, due to much much bigger 'sensor', particularly film SLR at 36mm x 24mm.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 04:19 PM   #8
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re

Try the telemacro option, perhaps it is usefull to simulate DOF.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 05:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I am going to try each and every one of them out next weekend.

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Old July 23rd, 2006, 06:09 PM   #10
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Well, even with the 0.7x lens on, I was able to achieve a blurred background.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 04:55 AM   #11
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Dof

Hi,

an easy way to achieve some shallow DOF effect with the HC1 is to zoom in at least half way -even more is better- and use the portrait mode which forces the camera to the widest aperture setting. You can then spot adjust exposure on a face.

Alternatively you may want to get a 35mm adapter. Have a look at the bottom of this thread for some samples of what can be produced with a standard 50mm SLR lens -notice the shallow DOF effect.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=71807


Nick.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #12
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I usually get the best shallow depth of field when I'm at the end of the lens (zoomed all the way in) on the subject who needs to be in focus, and as mentioned above, the iris is open as much as possible. If it seems too bright, go to a neutral density filter, but don't close the iris.

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Old July 24th, 2006, 12:52 PM   #13
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Nick, could you explain what you mean by spot adjust exposure on the face?
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Old July 25th, 2006, 09:10 AM   #14
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Spot adjust

I mean use the touch sensitive screen and touch the persons face when in the 'touch based exposure' mode. Sorry forgot the menu name for this.


Nick.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Outram
Sorry forgot the menu name for this.
"SPOT METER" would be it.
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