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HMC150 - Will NOT work with strobe lighting :(

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Rikki Daman
HMC150 - Will NOT work with strobe lighting :(
on Dec 29, 2009 at 12:08:40 am

Hi folks,

Really hopeing someone can help me out here as Im having real issues with my HMC151E (HMC150 for all intents and purposes).

I shoot in nightclubs quite a bit but the HMC150 just dies when there is a lot of strobe light action happening.

Eg:

http://www.strathycruise.com/pics/badavchd.jpg

On DVXUser peeps said it might be a one off problem but I was out working at Xmas and again with the strobing came the problem of absolute mush recording.

Orig 400mb AVCHD file:
https://rcpt.yousendit.com/795968098/3186ee735a689968de7f335c1aaf4556

Smaller chunk from a 1.6gb file which Im not going to upload, but saved out as MP4:
https://download.yousendit.com/TzY3RE9pTk03N0FLSkE9PQ

I was recommended changing my setting from PH mode which is variable to one of the other modes but on my 151E I cant see an option for recording in 25p mode in anything other than PH mode :S

Can anyone help as Im going mad with this and my starter HD cam the HV20 and its supposedly inferior HDV system never exhibited this kind of result :(

Many thanks for your help,

Rikki


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Dave LaRonde
Re: HMC150 - Will NOT work with strobe lighting :(
on Dec 29, 2009 at 7:22:49 pm

A lot of what you're experiencing depends on the frame rate at which you shoot and just dumb luck: after all, you don't control the flash rate nor the duration of the strobes. And the lower the frame rate, the greater the chance you'll catch a strobe on for its full duration.

Most dance floors I've seen are normally illuminated by several hundred lumens of light. But when the strobe fires, it can go up to several thousand lumens. The problem compounds if there are multiple strobes. When you're irised for a comparatively dark shot, of course you're going to have exposure problems! And it doesn't help one bit that in the example you posted, you were shooting almost directly into the strobe!

You might have better luck if you change the shutter speed, but it'll be hit-and-miss. And it may be why you didn't see the problem much on those other cameras. But I think it was more of a matter that you just got lucky.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Rikki Daman
Re: HMC150 - Will NOT work with strobe lighting :(
on Dec 29, 2009 at 10:06:57 pm

Hi Dave, thanks for taking the time out to reply :)

I run my HMC in 1080/25p mode at all times as I deliver to the web and progressive shooting really ticks the boxes for the content I am producing. I follow the "filmic" rule almost always of using a 1/50 shutter emulating the 180 degree shutter action of a film camera but due to the darkness of the venue I was shooting in on the posted examples at times I moved down to 1/25 - but even at this rate the same problems persist.

Flashes and strobes have a very fast discharge time, usually between 1/500 and 1/1500 depending on the type of unit employed so altering the shutter speed doesnt really help (just as in stills photography you control light from flash/strobe with the aperture and not shutter).

I wasnt facing the strobe lights as they were in front of the stage and pointing away from the performer (so as not to blind them) and unfortunately for me just now, I never once had this type of problem using my previous camera the Canon HV20 (which I was constatly reminded is a consumer toy) and I shot in nightclubs with it at least once a month over the course of 2 years.

What has been mentioned to me is that this could be down to Panasonics AVCHD variable rate algo getting confused and not supplying adequate bandwidth for recording. But again Im not sure as I cant see any option for 1080/25p recording in anything other than PH mode to test this theory :(

Many thanks again,

Rikki


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Dave LaRonde
Re: HMC150 - Will NOT work with strobe lighting :(
on Dec 30, 2009 at 6:33:26 pm

It sounds like your shooting environment demands that you record in a codec that can better accommodate the information from over-driven image sensors. Something from the people at RED, perhaps?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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