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# Basic HVX Question: How far back to place camera?

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 Basic HVX Question: How far back to place camera? on Dec 23, 2009 at 10:23:01 pm

I am going to use an HVX-200 to shoot video within a very small area (my living room). The portion of video that will be within the frame will be around 7-ft wide. I will be standing about 5 ft from a wall. I will be recording in DVCPRO HD 720P and using Kinos.

I currently have the camera around 12ft away from me and it is framed about the way I like.

1.) Is there an advantage to moving the camera back even further away from me, maybe 15-20ft and just zooming in?

Thanks.

 Re: Basic HVX Question: How far back to place camera?on Dec 24, 2009 at 2:39:32 am

Depth of focus.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Board of Directors
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group

 Re: Basic HVX Question: How far back to place camera?on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:41:02 pm

The main difference is perspective.

Perspective is a function of each element in the frame relative to the camera position.

For instance, in simple terms, if the key subject is ten feet from the camera and the background is twelve feet from the camera the perspective is quite different (10/12 or a 5:6 ratio) from a setup where the key subject is four feet from the camera and the background is twelve feet from the camera (4/12 or a 1:4 ratio).

Also, as mentioned, depth of field comes into play. In the first example, the depth of field would likely have both the subject and background in relatively sharp focus whereas in the second setup, the background might be out of focus. This depends a lot on various other factors such as aperature, focal length, size of imager, etc.

John B.

 Re: Basic HVX Question: How far back to place camera?on Dec 25, 2009 at 2:21:42 pm

we dealt with a similar situation in a bedroom. The longer the focal length the shallower the focus will be. Thats why a lot of HVX/DVX users use 35mm adapters. But you wouldnt have to providing you use the elements of a large aperture, long focal length and subject to camera distance to achieve that, sometimes its difficult with small spaces though, but its not impossible.

 Re: Basic HVX Question: How far back to place camera?on Dec 26, 2009 at 9:52:28 pm

I am new to all of this, so thanks for your patience. I want everything to be in sharp focus, including me in the foreground as well as the background items.

1.) By saying: "The longer the focal length the shallower the focus will be."
Do you mean the longer the distance the lens is from subject, the softer and more out of focus the background will be from the subject?

2.) Is it better to have the camera closer or farther to achieve foreground and background items in sharp focus?

Thanks.

 Re: Basic HVX Question: How far back to place camera?on Dec 27, 2009 at 7:26:18 am

1. Focal length: say you move far from the subject and zoom in, you will be able to achieve shallow depth of field (the subject in focus and the background out of focus)

2. If you want everything sharp then move further back from your subject without zooming in just keep it zoomed out and everything should be in focus and also vice versa, the closer the camera is to the subject (physically, like picking up the camera and moving closer) the shallower the depth of field (background out of focus)

hope that helps.

 Re: Basic HVX Question: How far back to place camera?on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:58:26 am

It's still about the camera perspective and ratios since, at a given aperture and focal length, a percentage in front of, and behind, the optimum focus distance is considered "in focus." That distance is what is referred to as "depth of field."

One way to extend the depth of field is by stopping down to a smaller aperture.

So, in your case, to keep everything in sharp focus, position your subject fairly near the background and have sufficient light that you can stop the lens down to a smaller aperture (e.g. F5.6 instead of F2.8). The smaller the aperature (which has a correspondingly larger number), the more depth of field you will have.

You will likely want to have the subject a sufficient distance from the background to allow for a "kick" light in order to create a feeling of more depth in the image. That takes us into the whole topic of lighting which is better served on the appropriate forum.

Keep in mind, there's no substitute for actually trying a setup to see if it fits your specific needs. You may find that what you theoretically thought would look good may look better another way when you actually do the setup.

I hope this helps clarify.

John B.