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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 06:39 PM   #1
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Gain on PD150/VX2k

For VX2k and PD150, how much "gain" you use in dark receptions? Last time I checked my pd150's auto-gain, it set itself at 15db. I thought that was too much, so I switched to manual gain and set it at 9db. I have to admit that the footage is too dark and too red. I used an NRG varilite with 50w bulb in combination with a diffuser and the difference was so obvious in those wide shots where my camera light didn't cover all. I'd see the center of the shot where the light covered was nice and bright, and the area around that properly lighted spot is all dark and red. Does 15db gain yield acceptable quality for you folks at these dark receptions?

Thanks in advance,
Lucas
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 06:55 PM   #2
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I have frequently used 15db at receptions, with no light. I have had no complaints at all about quality or grain. With my bescor 20w light, 0db works well.
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 07:21 PM   #3
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Personally I hate using it. I prefer 0 but will accept 6 only if I have to. That's one reson I'll use my on cam light.
But that's just me
Don
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 07:47 PM   #4
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Well, even with an on-camera light, your light cannot cover the whole room, can it? If you always zoom in closely, then it's nicely covered. If you shoot a wider angle with more people, your on-camera light can only cover the center spot, which ever it is... a face, a head, a shoulder....the rest of the scene around that bright spot is still dark/red. Let me know what you think.

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Lucas
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 08:05 PM   #5
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I don't believe there is any way to limit gain to 15dB. Is there?
Dave
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 08:21 PM   #6
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Set it to manual and you can. I can set it to 15db or let the automatic gain to take control, but since the folks here insist that they can live with 0db with a 20w on-camera light. To me, that is impossible, because i witnessed my pd150 showed a lot of dark/red areas on the footage even at 9db, especially in a wide shot. The center spot where the light is focused on, is very nice and bright. The rest is bad, at 9db gain.
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 09:34 PM   #7
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When I shoot receptions first I use a WA lens, then I get in close. Very little zoom. I'm not there to hide, people know I'm there shooting, I also do not make myself a pain in the A** but I get paid very well to do a job for the B/G who have seen my work and know I'm using a light. Especially in situations where the lights are down so low that it's almost dangerous. Of course everyone has their own style, that's just mine.
I'd rather be a little more obtrusive with the light and get the kind of image quality, the customer who is paying the bill, expects.
Of course if it's not needed then I don't use it but in the 40 weddings I've already done this year, it has been needed at about 38 of them. I expect the next 15 to be the same.
Maybe I"m just unlucky and have the B/G's that like the receptions so dark you need a flashlight to get to the bar :-)
Don
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 12:13 AM   #8
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Hi Lucas,
So what do you shoot your receptions at? Wide open aperture, 1/60th shutter, and 15dB gain? No lights ever? I must
admit I have seen alot of reception video where, in the wide shots, the only thing you could see was what was illuminated by the light and everyone else was in the black; didn't think this looked too good. On the other end of the spectrum, I heard of some guy who illuminated a -- I think it was Greek -- reception with three 500 watt lights! Hope this wasn't you Don ;-)
Dave
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 05:59 AM   #9
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Nope, not me. The only time I ever used lighting like that at a wedding was when I shot a fake wedding outdoors for a wedding coordinators demo-that's what they wanted-they hauled in a bunch of people as models-family I think, I hauled in a bunch of equipment and we spent the day shooting a "wedding"-Lights, camera, action. I even got to yell, CUT at the kiss:-)
Don
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 11:34 AM   #10
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Lights or not, you cannot shoot long shots in the dark. Get in as close as you can.
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 04:25 PM   #11
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I limit myself to +6dB of gain up at weddings mainly because going more than this looks so bad on the DVD. The VX/150 chips do give wonderful quality at +15dB, but DVD really shows up the grain and when I'm at +6dB I reach for the movie light.

I'm not a big fan of on-camera lighting for weddings because I dislike the varying exposure the further folk are away from you and I really dislike the moving shadows. Also, I dislike seeing wedding films where I see reflections of the video light in glass, mirrors and polished wood etc

tom.
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Old August 25th, 2003, 07:38 PM   #12
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+6 is my limit. When converted to MPEG2 for DVD's artifacting occurs.
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