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

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Old June 9th, 2003, 10:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Canada
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Shooting Dance Recital: Rookie question

About to shoot Dance recital this weekend. I have 2 questions. The first of which is : Would it be safe to say I should put my camera on "Spotlight" ot get the best quality of video. The shoot is in a Theatre with standard stage and lighting. My second question is: Will I be ok audio wise just using the onboard mic on the GL2 or should I invest in a DM50 mic or something of the same nature. If the latter is suggested, what setting would you put the mic on. I will be shooting from the back of the theatre with. I would not be able to hook up to the sound system incase that is a suggestion. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old June 9th, 2003, 10:43 AM   #2
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Can you not rent a Beachtek to hook into the sound system? Otherwise, the onboard mic is probably going to sound very hollow.
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Old June 9th, 2003, 11:44 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2001
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My experience is that the spotlight setting only works in very modestly spotlit situations. I've shot quite a bit of theatre, and You'll get better, more consistent results with manual settings. If you can do some testing at the dress rehearsal, you will be way ahead of the game.

My recommendation would be to use the following settings

White balance---- incandescent preset (lightbulb icon)

Manual exposure--- 1/60 sec, lens wide open, Set zebras to 95ire, and adjust gain as necessary as the lighting changes, try to avoid 18db gain. Adjust gain so that zebra stripes are just barely visible on the tops of the dancers bare shoulders. If there is a lot of light, you may not need to adjust gain, in which case, adjust the aperture.

Custom preset.

-1 to 2 notches sharpness
+1 to 2 notches on setup

If you don't like the grain caused by increased gain, this sharpness adjustment will take the edge off the grain. the setup adjustment will lower the contrast of the scene (as contrast will be your main problem when shooting under theatrical lighting.)

I'm a big proponent of frame mode, however, if you plan to be shooting mostly full stage, I would recommend standard movie mode.

On the microphone thing...It depends a lot on the hall. If the room is lively(echoey) the on board mic will be a problem...if the room is flatter, the gl2 mic does a great job. Your best bet is to get a line feed off the sound board, the DM-50 would be a slight improvement in this situation, but I'm not sure if it would be enough to justify the purchase or not.

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