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Old September 23rd, 2014, 03:31 AM   #1
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Outdoor interview without auto iris

Hi all,

I have recently purchased a Canon C100. Until now, I've been using cameras like the Sony EA50 that has handy features like auto gain and auto iris. When shooting outdoor interviews with changing light conditions, I often used the auto iris feature to keep the image from over or under exposing while I'm interacting with the interview subject.

The C100 doesn't have auto gain, and the auto iris only works with Canon lenses (which I don't own).

So basically I'm wondering - how do you shoot an outdoor interview with changing lighting conditions (clouds moving across the sky) without auto iris or auto gain?

Being a 1 man band, riding the iris isn't possible. And even if I used a Canon lens and auto iris, would the "clicking" of the iris not show up in the footage?

Thanks in advance for any tips.
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Old September 23rd, 2014, 10:32 AM   #2
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Re: Outdoor interview without auto iris

Sorry if this is a silly question but if the EA50 is better suited to your work why switch cameras?

Personally I wouldn't use auto iris on a large sensor camera because your depth of field is going to vary and that would seem unnatural IMHO.

Gain, depending on how wide the swing, can add noise.

You could ride a variable ND filter but that would also be an awkward challenge.

Perhaps look for more controllable location such as away from direct sun, such as shaded tree.

Given the low motion on an interview, auto shutter might be less obvious but some can spot that as well.

Personally anything that changes the camera's behavior during an interview may be more distracting than the changing lighting.

Perhaps for this kind of shooting a "traditional" small sensor ENG camera would be better. Auto Iris wouldn't impact the depth of field as much.
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Old September 23rd, 2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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Re: Outdoor interview without auto iris

If you shoot with your subject back-lite there tends to be less variation on the face compared to front lighting. What will work depends on the nature of the production and the stop you've got on the lens.
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Old September 23rd, 2014, 04:22 PM   #4
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Re: Outdoor interview without auto iris

Thanks for the info.

Craig, I still have the EA50 but would prefer to use the C100 as it has a much nicer image. But if the EA50 is going to be easier for interviews, I would probably stick with that.
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Old September 24th, 2014, 02:30 PM   #5
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Re: Outdoor interview without auto iris

I mostly shoot with manual lenses. For me, compensating for partly cloudy conditions is mostly about placement and lighting:
- having the sun as a 3/4 backlight minimizes hard light altering the subject too greatly
- put the subject in a shady location if possible
- if no shade is available, make some with a silk scrim on a stand
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Old September 24th, 2014, 07:06 PM   #6
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Re: Outdoor interview without auto iris

Hi Jody

I used to have the same issues with my Panasonics when switching ND filters ...if a cloud came over the camera would run out of iris adjustment and would need an ND change (manual on the AC-130) and that caused a flash on the footage ..not too good for a wedding ceremony.

Not being familiar with the C100, does it have an auto mode at all?? If so why can't it control iris on a Canon mount lens if it's not a Canon brand? My Nikons have all their functions with say, Sigma and Tamron lenses as long as they are Nikon mount. If that's the case it seem crazy that you cannot use auto on a generic lens like all other still cameras can.

Surely you can still adjust the iris by hand or does the camera have to be in manual mode ? I would think that any camera should be able to let you set the aperture manually and then still have an auto mode that will adjust shutter speed and ISO to correct the exposure ....the EA-50 does this so surely the far superior Canon can do it??

Chris
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Old September 24th, 2014, 10:05 PM   #7
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Re: Outdoor interview without auto iris

Hey Chris,

The C100 doesn't have any auto ISO or shutter modes. It does have auto iris, but only with Canon branded lenses, so it's disabled for my Sigma and Tokina lenses.

You can adjust the iris manually using a little wheel, but I'm usually a one man band so I can't be sitting behind the camera keeping an eye on the exposure all the time when shooting interviews.

I really love the image that comes out of the C100, but it is taking me a while to get used to shooting with it.
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