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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 1st, 2007, 09:42 PM   #1
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Do you use "Nightshot" or similar?

I am about to shoot my first wedding this weekend. I have an A1U which has the Nightshot feature. I am sure other makes & models have a similar feature. My question is, do any of you use it during very dark portions of the evening like the bride/father dance etc? I have been playing around with the camera, and found that using nightshot in B&W gives nice results, but would that be acceptable?

I have a Sony HVL-20DW2 20 watt light with a diffuser as well. Should I use this instead?

PS: until I am comfortable actually charging for my services, this wedding will be a freebie for a friend, which is a good chance to test out the camera, mics, light, glidecam etc.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 10:39 PM   #2
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No nightshot. It looks amatuerish. Use your video light with the diffuser instead, you will get much better video.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 07:48 AM   #3
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I have actually had to use the nightshot feature because a bride didn't want any kind of extra lighting at the reception. I told her in advance that if it was too dark i would have to film it all in Black and White and there would be no way to reverse it once I had done so.

All in all it actually turned out pretty decent in my opinion. While filming i set the camera to nightshot & turned on the B&W digital effect so it was less effects in post. It is hard to get a good focus while using it and does incorporate a good deal of grain but at least they have the shot. The entire 15 minute reception video is done this way and she loved it....

....it's definitely not my first choice but it can be a great backup in you have to
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 09:01 AM   #4
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I use the nightshot feature sometimes with My Sony A1 when the lighting is just much too dark even for my Canon A1.

After a Sepia/Sepia Red filter the footage looks fantastic.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 12:00 PM   #5
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I tried it once for some footage with my Sony A1 with no lights. With a little PP I could get usable clips from it, but the IR light really messed with peoples eyes - their pupils turned white. Because of this alone, I scrapped all the footage and never tried again.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 01:36 PM   #6
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I would avoid using it in situations of pitch darkness but in Dim light where the A1 can no longer produce a picture that remotely resembles HDV, I turn it on and then play with a few filters. The results look 'cool' to me!!!
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 04:53 PM   #7
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Yeah...the eye thing is a definite problem sometimes, but I noticed if they don't look directly at the camera its not so bad.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 07:04 PM   #8
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I haven't tried my light in a dark situation yet, but I have tried the nightshot and did notice the pupil thing too...
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 02:08 PM   #9
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If they wont allow a light to be used during the reception, I wont shoot it. I have turned dow many jobs because of that. I wont sit there at the desk working twice as long to make crummy dark footage look good.

And no, never used nightshot, I dont even have that option on my camera anyway.
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