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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 8th, 2003, 07:58 PM   #1
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Candlelight Wedding

Hi
I am shooting a wedding soon that will have dim lighting with lots of candles. I am using 3 VX2000s. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old December 8th, 2003, 08:09 PM   #2
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Done it with a PD150 with no real problems. Real red though. Real red. Since there was some mix of wall sconces with incandescent lighting in them but turned down I just left the white balance on auto. Outstanding footage. Couldn't see to read but the B&G said NO lights.

Well, the reception was by candle light. The ceremony was outdoors. Is your ceremony all candlelight or?
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Old December 8th, 2003, 08:13 PM   #3
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The Ceremony is candleight. They did not want the reception recorded. I am sure it is not all candleight, but there will be candles with dim lighting.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 08:59 PM   #4
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I haven't done one yet, but, have a candle light ceremony for a friend next December. I shoot lots of receptions with no lights with my VX's, no problem. I just shot a low light ceremony, and my back camera was darker (and redder) than I would have liked. Took a lot of work in post. I could have jacked up the gain a notch and done better. Try to get a lighting check at the rehearsal. Pay attention to your white balance.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 09:19 PM   #5
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You should be OK. Obviously manual settings on everything. Helpful if you can sneak in a white card (or use the bride's dress). With low lights and no UV sources, anything white should be just white, not blue because of the flourescent dyes they use in white bride's clothing.

Don't try to make them look like they are under 'normal' lighting, it wouldn't fit the mood.

Don't suppose they will allow you to strategically add or move candles.

Unlikely the rehersal will be lit at all like the actual ceremony.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 10:36 PM   #6
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Don't forget to turn off the image stabilization or else you get the flying firefles ;)
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Old December 8th, 2003, 10:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for brining that up. By the way I am curious if most of you guys leave the image stabilization on for typical shoots even when on a tripod, or do you only use it for hand held shots. what are the disadvantages of leaving it on all the time
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Old December 8th, 2003, 11:09 PM   #8
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I turn it off almost all the time now.

It has the following problems:

1. The fireflies with bright lights
2. Susceptible to EMI which causes it to go crazy. Police radios are great for causing it to slam into the limits and actually kick the camera.
3. Causes sort of a stuttered image when panning and tilting at any speed on a tripod.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 07:48 PM   #9
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Would this problem with the OIS be present on the PD-170 also? If you turn off OIS when hand-held, what do some of you do to stabilize the camera.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 10:32 PM   #10
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Wide angle lens. lean on something. Monopod. Slow motion in Post. Image stabilization in Post.

OIS doesn't help all that much as the lens gets longer anyway.
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Old December 10th, 2003, 07:18 AM   #11
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Mike, I know this is the prevailing wisdom WRT steadyshot, but I'd suggest that people might want to experiment a little with their own conditions. My specific experience relates to the PDX-10, but I've observed that its steadyshot behaves about the same as my VX-2000.

In shooting theatrical performances from a distance of over 100' at full zoom I get unacceptable amounts of vibration in our 150 year old wooden theatre. Turning on steadyshot makes a huge difference. I'm using a very stable tripod with a nice fluid head (Miller DS-5), but the vibration is transfered through the floor itself. With steadyshot turned off the vibration is particularly annoying on locked down static shots.

With the steadyshot turned on it pretty much vanishes. I've done A/B tests and have concluded I'm much better off with it turned on, even with the occasional glitch while panning (which is really pretty rare in my experience). In fact, the steadyshot also helps to smooth out the pans most of the time.

So this all leads me to believe that it's hard to make any absolute rules about where to use steadyshot. However, this is actually just about the only time that I do use it. Like everything else, your mileage may vary...
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Old December 10th, 2003, 09:54 AM   #12
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RED is a common problem with these cameras in low lit situations.

This can be SOMEWHAT resolved by the following two (2) steps:

Push the custom pre-set button, located behind the handle and display the menu settings. Scroll to the color shift (saturation) and lower it by two clicks to the left. You may also adjust the WB shift in this setting "knocking-out" some of the red by introducing green. Make sure the AGC is not above 12 db. You can also play with the AE shift and add a little more gray.

THEN

In a low lit room, you have to try to manually white balance on a white balance card-preferably a broadcast white balance card.
.
When applying the above techniques in a low lit situation much of the red will not appear to oversaturate.



<<<-- Originally posted by Harry Settle : I haven't done one yet, but, have a candle light ceremony for a friend next December. I shoot lots of receptions with no lights with my VX's, no problem. I just shot a low light ceremony, and my back camera was darker (and redder) than I would have liked. Took a lot of work in post. I could have jacked up the gain a notch and done better. Try to get a lighting check at the rehearsal. Pay attention to your white balance. -->>>
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Old December 10th, 2003, 04:54 PM   #13
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The biggest problem is when no one tells you that they are going to dim the lights, they just do it all of a sudden. Thanks for the preset tip Lou.
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Old December 10th, 2003, 05:46 PM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : Mike, I know this is the prevailing wisdom WRT steadyshot, but I'd suggest that people might want to experiment a little with their own conditions.

snip (read it above)

With the steadyshot turned on it pretty much vanishes. I've done A/B tests and have concluded I'm much better off with it turned on, even with the occasional glitch while panning (which is really pretty rare in my experience). In fact, the steadyshot also helps to smooth out the pans most of the time.

So this all leads me to believe that it's hard to make any absolute rules about where to use steadyshot. However, this is actually just about the only time that I do use it. Like everything else, your mileage may vary... -->>>

Understand. If you are zoomed all the way out and not moving the camera by panning or tilting then steadyshot is just great. If one pans or tilts with steadyshot on, the image tends to jump in little steps. Not very apparent with slow or fast movement, but quite apparent in medium speed movements.

You should really look into placing some stabilizers under your camera legs. Won't help if the floor depresses when someone walks by though. A good solution is a nearly deflated wheelbarrow inner tube with a square foot of concrete walk paver on top makes a fairly good vibration isolator. set your tripod leg on top. One for each leg of course.

Another trick is a larger slab of concrete resting on three tennis balls.
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