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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 18th, 2003, 06:04 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 484
Locked exposure, autoshutter question

I shot Saturday on a cruise boat, a rectangular floor space for table seating (max 150) under an overarching smoked glass/plexi ceiling. The entertainer worked from the bow with a vast expanse of this glass behind him as we traveled over a river under a noon sky of blue and big fluffy clouds. I white balanced regularly and exposed with 70% zebras on the bright side of his face and locked it in. Viewing the results with the data code displaying I see the shutter speed varying from 60 to 250 over a matter of minutes. The image is quite good for the most part, although changes in direction introduced periods when his face is more shadowed, and times when the background is close to blown out. Generally the background (water, boats, island shores) is quite realistic while the interior is too. I was shooting from a tripod and using pan and zoom to follow his walkabouts through the crowd, and monitoring both line level and mic inputs to a BeachTek, so I was pretty busy for a relative newcomer to this type of shoot. My question is, did the auto shutter save my butt or should I have had it shut down?

One comment hopefully of interest: I was concerned about vibration from the deck and had no rehearsal, so I bought a couple of hemp bags of rice, with carry handles (16kg/10 lbs in total) and suspended them (velcro ties) from the mid-level spreader of my "inexpensive" tripod. I've never had better results with panning on this unit. It was rock solid.

David Hurdon
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Old August 19th, 2003, 06:33 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 8,287
The shutter speed changed to allow more or less light to hit the chip. The auto exposure system saved your butt. If you had gone to complete manual, you would have needed to operate the aperture control and/or shutter speed control, to insure proper exposure.

I generally set the shutter speed to 1/60 of a second (for NTSC video) and control the exposure with the aperture control. This method allows me to control the DOF. In some instances, I'll set the shutter higher to help control motion effects (fast moving cars etc.). However, too fast a shutter speed can causing an odd looking flashing or stobing of moving objects.
Jeff Donald
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