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Some questions about manual/automatic camera settings for my first time out shooting

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Max Palmer
Some questions about manual/automatic camera settings for my first time out shooting
on Aug 1, 2012 at 7:30:40 pm

Hi guys- we just received our new Canon XF100 here at work, and I took it home last night to pour through the manual, study what everything does, and try and get the camera set up the way I think I want it... but of course none of this decision-making is based on experience! I'm planning on getting the camera out to our department picnic in a couple of weeks, so I can play with it and really learn to use it under no pressure in a practical environment with bright outdoor light, and lots of different shot types.

So, obviously learning how to do manual controls is of the essence for any serious videographer. I come from the still photo world, so I know how important this is. I would imagine even more so with video, because you can really tell when certain automatic camera functions are turned on when you watch a video. When shooting a dynamic event like this, is it common to leave some of the automatic functions on, and others off? Are there any automatic settings that I should learn to master first?

I understand the use of zebra stripes and peaking, waveform monitors are a mystery to me, and I haven't really figured out the edge monitor.

Also, (and I've googled this for hours...) is there a good place to see an example of what a 30p or 60p overcranked shot looks like with different shutter angles? I'm going to shoot the picnic in 60p, but I want to see the differences that shutter speed makes with frame blur. I know that a 180 degree shutter angle creates little or no blur which is good for really crisp slow motion, but makes for a bit of a jittery looking video when played back at real-time speed. Is this the case?

Thanks!


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Some questions about manual/automatic camera settings for my first time out shooting
on Aug 4, 2012 at 9:21:23 am

Speaking as an editor, I'm bound to say DON'T LEAVE ANYTHING ON AUTO, AT ALL, EVER.

Having said that, some cameras have a useful feature that you can flip the auto on to get a quick setting (e.g., exposure) which stays there when you flip the auto back off so you can use auto to your advantage in some circumstances, as long as you turn it off before pressing the record button.

And if you're not certain about exposure, edge towards a slight underexposure - blocked out blacks are far less aesthetically displeasing (within reason) than clipped highlights, so a shot thats underexposed by a stop will probably still be useable but a shot that's burnt out probably won't be.


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Max Palmer
Re: Some questions about manual/automatic camera settings for my first time out shooting
on Aug 4, 2012 at 1:35:36 pm

So what would be the method of choice, if say, I was panning across a scene that went from an area that was darker, to an area that was lighter? Let the camera auto-iris, manually adjust iris, or just leave the iris alone and let some parts of the picture blow out?


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