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Old December 16th, 2005, 11:09 PM   #1
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Advice on the Spotlight Setting - XL2

I need to record a live musical on stage lit with overhead stage lighting at a lower level to simulate warm, multiple candles lighting the stage. House lights will be lowered as well. I need to use 2 cameras, an XL2 with either a GL2 or XL1s.

I have never used the spotlight feature on the XL2. Can anyone give me advice on how to do this and whether to use an GL2 or XL1s as as second camera? Thanks for any advice.
Jeff Milligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 16th, 2005, 11:42 PM   #2
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I've never used spotlight mode, but for all the stage productions I shoot, I always go with manual. Use zebra strips to make sure you don't overexpose anything, particularly the spotlit areas.
Go with an XL1s over a GL2 if you can - bigger sensors which makes it better suited to what you're shooting. Use manal focus no matter which camera you decide to use because the cameras will try to focus on the background and begin hunting if the subject isn't centered.
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Old December 17th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #3
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i'd second what andrew said. i thought i would try to make use of the spotlight mode when i had to shoot a single guy dancing on a stage but found that the manual mode was far superior. get a good white balance. use 60i mode, because it handles low light better. also use the "normal" gamma, not the cine gamma. don't be afraid to push the gain when you use non-filmic settings. the camera handles it well.

i actually found that using the non-filmic features in a low light setting actually gives a nice filmic look.
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Old December 17th, 2005, 12:32 PM   #4
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I'm over here from the VX2000 camp, having a snoop around. Forgive me butting in, but I film a lot of stage shows and have really come to love my Sony's Spotlight mode.

The backlight button is hit and miss, but the spotlight button is far more sophisticated than that, allowing an incredible 5 stop difference in the exposure to be accomodated.

Try a little test. In a room with a hanging centre light switch the spotlight mode (SLM) on and off with a bare bulb in frame, and compare that with the 'averaging' exposure given in the normal mode. Then aim the camera at an evenly lit surface and again switch the SLM on and off - now you'll see no difference.

The great beauty of spotlight mode is that you're leaving the exposure on automatic, yet the mode isn't allowing the highlights to burn out. This is perfect for constantly changing lighting. Lighting directors love to do that as it adds excitement and dynamic range - both things you could well do without if you're filming the show.

Let's hope your Canon SLM works as well as my Sony. I used to be a 'full manual' man like Andrew and Meryem, but having to constantly chase the exposure rather than framing the shot was loosing me the plot.

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