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Old September 2nd, 2003, 02:52 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1
What power of lighting?

This board seems to be aimed at a fairly professional level of filming, however i hope you can still answer my question (ive had little help from anywhere else!)

I have a Sony TRV-33 camcorder and want to use it to film at events like parties at night - say if your having people over in your garden at night. I want to buy an add-on lamp to fix to my hotshoe but im not sure what power to get. The area i want to illuminate is about, say, 10-20 metres in front of me. Will a 35w light be enough?
Also, if i want to film in a club environment (ok, i know i dont have a great camcorder to do this with but..) where it will be pretty dark - i realise id need a lot of lighting to be able to illuminate the whole place, but how much could i get away with on a hotshoe that would give me a reasonable result?
Finally, is there anything i can do in post that will enhance my film/remove any of the grain?

thanks very much
Josh Freiberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2003, 08:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
WOW Josh, 10 to 20 meters is a long way. Thats what 30 feet plus. Nope a 35 watt light won't do much there, maybe 250 or so but that's not going to happen so here's the best advise I can give based on the info you put out.

Use the most powerful on camera light you can (generally 50 to 100 watts) get it off the camera, handhold the light over head with one hand and operate the camera with the other OR have someone else hold the light-this will help to throw the light farther at a better angle and cover a little more ground. The best thing you can do is to get in closer to your subject.

As for improving your footage in post yeah you can up to a point. When shooting like that you have to be rock solid steady, have the right exposure and light it up as best as you can. When I did my gig in Hawaii, outside at night all I had was a 20watt light, so exposure went to 1/60th and f/2 to 2.4 but remember I used a PD150-I also got in nice and close to my subjects and oh yeah I set the gain to 12. As much as I hated doing it I knew I had to.

Good luck to you,
Don B.
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2003, 12:04 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 936
If you have a defined area... such as a garden behind your house. Then using regular powered lights is the best bet. Otherwise get a pair of off-cam lights on solid stands and light up the area.

Unless you're planning on buying a $500+ battery belt a 50w on cam light will burn out a battery in 10 minutes or less. Most on-cam "cheapy" lights are less then 10w.

Fortunately for minimal requirements a cheap on cam light can illuminate your immediate subjects. The next logical step is something like a Paglight with seperate battery. Still that's only good for about 8' or so.

My solution is rechargeable 1.5 million candle power spots from Costco for $25 each. Then go to Lowe's and get an 8" square lamp-shade, black, for $7... now get a sheet of Roscolux or Leelux which is full-frost diffusion gel... price? $6... glue an internal baffel in the lampshade 3/4 of the way out... then glue another sheet of diffusion across the face. If you got the right shade it will press onto the rechargeable spots and hold in place almost as if you were using a speed ring.

These lights are bright as heck, but only last 25minutes... so anyway, I bought 4... then just pop your home-made softbox on the next one as each gets used up. Recharge later...

Oh yeah, although VERY effective this technique does require a seperate light guy... which is usually pretty easy to recruit.
Matt Gettemeier is offline   Reply

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