Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
Rob, I'm going against the grain here (agggg!) by saying that I always up the gain before slowing the shutter speed. Dropping from the default 1/50th to 1/25 lets you work in half the light, sure, but at what cost? Any movement on screen, subject or camera, just looks jerky and nasty - there's no two ways about it. Audiences are used to seeing low-light grainy footage on TV every night, so clients too will be well aware that 'romantic' lighting has its downsides.
As I've said above, slowing shutter speed to 1/25 in speech situations rarely causes anything looking jerky or nasty. Because the cameras are mounted on tripods, and mostly static, there is little to worry about in terms of the strobing effect from a camera movement perspective - and if there is any sudden jumping around by any of the subjects, I can easily cut to another camera in the edit (wide angle on the top table is a godsend) if necessary.
What I have found in my experiments with 1/25 shutter, is that general body movement onscreen is not effected enough not to do it providing the subject is in a generally fixed position (i.e. speeches), or walking towards/away from camera (i.e. down the aisle). It is unlikely I would slow the shutter for situations with vigorous left/right movement, or with hand held/steadicam operation.
Originally Posted by Claire Buckley
Point taken, but I seem to have many more animated and dynamic speeches than you probably do - dunno why. I get very few that are rooted to the same spot. The results are much less static and have more energy. Just the way I and my clients prefer it.
I also get less long top tables in my neck of the woods and many more round table setups - you need to be a bit more nimble when they all decide to stand up to toast. On legs all you'll get are the backs of a few heads if you're not very careful. So given that I stay hand-held on the A camera.
A bit more work, bit it works for me :)
Depends on your interpretation of animated - in my experience most people are, if not exactly rooted to the spot, standing in front of their chair at the top table during their speeches. As mentioned above I find a 1/25 shutter just fine for capturing this in most situations, with very little noticable strobe. A fixed tripod position several feet in front of the top table is ideal for capturing whoever is speaking. Because of frequent editing cuts between the 'main' speech camera, the wide angle and the guests' reactions, dynamism is created this way and there is little need in our operation for a swaying camera when people are talking.
When it's tightly packed in the receptions mind you, I might whip the camera off the tripod when people stand up if I feel it's going to be necessary to get the shot.