Recommended low light settings for A1U 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 July 21st, 2007, 06:27 PM   #1
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Recommended low light settings for A1U

I have an A1U with an HVL-20DW2 light. I am fairly new to this camera, and was wondering if anyone who owns one can tell me what settings they use for low light shooting.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 08:28 PM   #2
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YEah

I dont really do anything special when I shoot in low light I just open up the apature as much as I can and if I still cant get enough I just adj shutter and each time I drop the shutter I play with apature again to see how much range I have until I get to a speed that lets me ahave a little bit of room to move around. Like a lot of club stuff I shoot if there is little to no light Ill shoot at like 15fps at normal 30i and just play with the apature lever while I shoot so I am always getting a good amount of light or not to much light.

If you find anything else out let me know. Also How do you like the light I was thinking of getting a small 20watt one too?
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Old July 21st, 2007, 09:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Cole View Post
I dont really do anything special when I shoot in low light I just open up the apature as much as I can and if I still cant get enough I just adj shutter and each time I drop the shutter I play with apature again to see how much range I have until I get to a speed that lets me ahave a little bit of room to move around. Like a lot of club stuff I shoot if there is little to no light Ill shoot at like 15fps at normal 30i and just play with the apature lever while I shoot so I am always getting a good amount of light or not to much light.

If you find anything else out let me know. Also How do you like the light I was thinking of getting a small 20watt one too?
I really like the light, although in certain situations I need to apply the diffuser I bought for it...it just gets too bright sometimes.

BTW, what do you mean by apature? I don't see an apature setting on the menu anywhere. And 15fps? How do you that? Are you using an A1U?
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Old July 21st, 2007, 10:40 PM   #4
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Oh sorry

Yeah i do have A1u yeah

its called the Exposure lever sorry. Yeah its on the left hand side on the of the lens. first you press the button and then the bar will show in the viewfinder and you can use the lever to make it go left to right which is just letting in more light or less light.

And then to adj the shutter speed you just go to menu then scroll down to shutter speed. Remeber though if you have already pressed the exposure button it wont let you change the shutter speed so you have to make sure that its off then change shutter speed then click the exposure button again and check the range.

Im pretty sure that where the shutter speed setting is my cam is not in front of me but just let me know if im wrong and ill look for you im not actually at home right.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 09:54 AM   #5
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I figured that's what you meant, however, when I find myself in a light situation that calls for a higher exposure setting, the exposure is already at it's highest level. Same with the shutter speed (60)
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 11:21 AM   #6
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Umm

Are you sayin that the exposure is up which is good but you should lower the Fps to let more light in so instead of shooting at 60fps shoot at like 30 or I even do 15fps sometimes. Even though it is more grainy but if you need to get the footy you need to get the footy but you have a light so you might only need to go down to like 30 or something like that.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 12:33 PM   #7
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Darren, what you're changing isn't the frame rate, but the shutter speed. You're talking 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, etc. The frame rate stays at the standard 60 interlaced fields per second, which is 29.97 frames per second.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 12:38 PM   #8
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Yeah

Yeah yeah your right im sorry for the bad explantion. Its one of those things you do and then try to tell someone else and get all mixed up in your thoughts sorry about that.


Chris is right
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 06:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harris View Post
Darren, what you're changing isn't the frame rate, but the shutter speed. You're talking 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, etc. The frame rate stays at the standard 60 interlaced fields per second, which is 29.97 frames per second.
My shutter speed's lowest setting is 1/60...how can I get to 1/15 or 1/30?
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 10:19 PM   #10
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I just figured out by playing around with the menu settings that I can only get as low as 1/60 shutter while using either "cineframe" setting, otherwise it goes down to 1/4 shutter.
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Last edited by Jason Donaldson; July 23rd, 2007 at 05:27 PM.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 11:59 AM   #11
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Yeah

It wont let you change it while cineframe is on that sounds right I usually am just shooting without that on when I change the shutter
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 01:22 PM   #12
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I've used the HVL-20DW2 (usually with diffuser) for a few wedding receptions. It really save the day, shooting in low light with my A1U.

I low light, I usually ture off black-stretch, and lower the color and sharpness one or two clicks below center. I keep my exposure on manual, with gain as low as possible (0 to 12db). Then correct on post.

I can't find the original posting, but the chart below was posted on this forum for the HC-1:

Exposure Aperture Gain
1 Closed 0dB
2 8 0dB
3 6.8 0dB
4 5.6 0dB
5 4.8 0dB
6 4 0dB
7 4 0dB
8 4 0dB
9 4 0dB
10 4 0dB
11 4 0dB
12 4 0dB
13 4 0dB
14 3.4 0dB
15 2.8 0dB
16 2.4 0dB
17 2 0dB
18 1.8 0dB
19 1.8 3dB
20 1.8 6dB
21 1.8 9dB
22 1.8 12dB
23 1.8 15dB
24 1.8 18dB

Exposure = gain setting steps from left to right.

I almost never go below 1/60 shutter speed, unless I want to soften and blur the shoot.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 05:28 PM   #13
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my experience!

most of the work I do is concert, from big stage to small clubs.
I usually work at 1/30 and sometime 1/15 if I have to.camera lights,is forbiden in the shows I do, but I prefer going with slow shutter speed even if there could be blur than going for the gain wich is horrible blue snow.
Consider a good monopod or tripod, or do some weight lift in the gym.
I also carry reflector(photoflex) and some time I use two of them, you can catch ambient light with those.Or I put white paper on the stage or use some flashlight to fill.But everything to avoid gain.
and keep the info of setting in your camera case, because sometimes it can be very hard to set it up or back to tis original position when your stressed!
and you dont'have dvinfo close to you when you dont'have your laptop.
A home made stabiliser cou be good also, and practice focusing manual because the camera react funny when your in low speed or your subject is mooving,also use the wide angle lens it helps a lot.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 06:44 PM   #14
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I love the Sony A1U but absolutely HATE its low light capabilities.

Having said that, for whatever reason where I cant use my Canon A1 for low light, with my Sony A1 I always use the 10/20 watt light (plus diffuser), shutter down to 1/30 and try to use no more then 6-9 dbs of gain (5th/4th settigns down from max on the exposure lever). I find @ 6db of gain I can clean it up enough in post to get a pretty clean looking image still; 9db is iffy... :/

If I have to use 12 db+ I jsut flip it to infared mode and use a sepia/red sepia/or some other black and white filter in post.

I shot a short with my A1 a while back in night clubs and I just pretty much flipped it on night mode 90% of the time. If i had some more light to work with I would shutter down like mad for the strobe effect and called it art :)
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 07:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
= By Michael Wong
I find @ 6db of gain I can clean it up enough in post to get a pretty clean looking image still; 9db is iffy... :/

I am still fairly new to editing etc. I have Sony Vegas 7.0e. I am wondering what app you use and what you do to "clean it up". I am assuming some sort of filter, but if you could be more specific that would be great.
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