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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old July 16th, 2008, 08:45 PM   #1
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Time Lapse help needed

I must shoot a time lapse sunset with people at an event, I am not ceratin whether to use an auto exposure or fix the exposure wil the scene is still in daylight and then accept the overly dark shot toward the end. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks, Craig
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Old July 16th, 2008, 11:00 PM   #2
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Google shared this link...

http://www.rondexter.com/professiona...time_lapse.htm

...might be of some help?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:09 AM   #3
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I have had very good results using auto iris and auto shutter for sunset...If you try and manually dial down the iris or crank up the shutter the results can be poor if not done correctly. I had one in vegas that I thought was going to work out great but instead every full second or so it looked like a slight flash of lightning in the distance. ND filters are not recommended for sunrise or sunset time lapse. If the Auto settings are not working for you. You can also combine with a custome color profile.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 05:55 AM   #4
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It depends what you want.

Auto Exposure will try to make the scene look like normal daylight and as the light fades, it will try to keep that daylight look. Unless you have the camera set up with this in mind, the Auto Exposure must get the extra light from somewhere, so it will increase gain, open up the iris and reduce shutter speed until there's nowhere else for it to go. The result will be a sunset that looks like daylight, but with increasing grain and reducing depth of field.

Manual exposure will capture the true feeling atmosphere and gradual fading light of the sunset - but yes, it will eventually get dark. That's what sunsets do.

Added a minute later:
I don't recommend altering any settings once the timelapse has started recording.
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Last edited by Andy Nickless; July 17th, 2008 at 05:57 AM. Reason: My brain's very slow.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 07:38 AM   #5
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Thanks all

Thank you all for that feedback. I'm shooting this evening, will post the clip after edit next week.
Best, Craig
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Old July 17th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #6
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Got to be manual, surely you want it to go dark as the sun sets?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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I agree.
I've done it both ways and it seems to me that the manual setting results in a more realistic and natural looking result. If the sun is still bright when you start, you can begin with the settings a little overexposed and it won't get too dark too fast on the clip.
Truely a big mistake to change settings once the recording has started
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:31 PM   #8
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I've been inspired by the timelapse work of Ron Fricke (Chronos, Baraka) and Louis Schwarzberg (Koyaanisqatsii). Fricke has especially been innovative in moving the camera during the exposure cycle. I still want to do a shot similar to the one where he transitions from day to night and you see the stars emerging from the blue sky as the shot transitions into the evening. It's all motion control and MAN is it beautiful.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #9
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Robert, I am curious how you you perfrom a Time Lapse in full Manual with out riding the settings so to speak...Maybe I am not understanding your approach.. Can you please give an example of your procedure...
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Old July 17th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #10
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What I forgot to add to my odd post was that these guys tend to let the light do what it's normally going to do. That is, they set the optimum exposure and then let the light do its' thing. If you try to ride the exposures up and down, you'll drive the viewer (and yourself) crazy.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #11
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Jason- If I'm understanding your question correctly, what I do is just a straightforward manual exposure: i.e. shutter:60, gain:0dB, adjust iris for current light conditions, start recording and leave all the settings as is until finished.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #12
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Robert, I got you now... I am going to try that out compared to auto again, as I think I may of had a setting hiccup (probably my shutter) when I tried this last.
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