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Chris Burns
camera set up workflow
on Apr 1, 2008 at 4:56:22 pm

I am looking for some advice is how best to set up shutter speed, exposure etc, for different locations. I shoot alot of high school sporting events with of course, different lighting and outdoor conditions. I am wondering the best way to get my camera (Canon GL2) set up to optimize exposure and also get the clearest shots for doing slow motion clips. Example... set white balance, then exposure then? Most of my shots are crisp, but once in a while I end up with a shot that seems to dark or looks poorly when slowed down to 50%. I am also going to be purchasing a Canon XH- A1. Is the capability of using 60i going to really improve the quality of slow motion shots?

Thanks, Chris



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Don Greening
Re: camera set up workflow
on Apr 2, 2008 at 6:32:56 pm

[Chris Burns] "Example... set white balance, then exposure then?"

Set exposure first in order to have enough light to get a good white balance lock.

[Chris Burns] "Is the capability of using 60i going to really improve the quality of slow motion shots? "

If you're shooting with a GL2 then you're already shooting in 60i, unless you have it on frame mode, which is don't recommend because that mode lowers the picture resolution somewhat.

Without looking over your shoulder it's tough to know why you're having slow mo problems on some shots and not on others. It could be a problem with the way the clip was actually shot or an issue on how your NLE is handling it.

- Don



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Chris Burns
Re: camera set up workflow
on Apr 2, 2008 at 7:21:45 pm

Don,

Thanks for your reply.

I think that part of the problem for washy slow motion on some clips is from not having a fast enough shutter speed. I've had the camera set to Manual and I had been trying to set the shutter speed as high as I could while adjusting the aperature to still get the proper exposure. Maybe setting the white balance as you suggest will give me better results. I had been trying to leave the gain set to 0 to stay away from adding any noise. Would it be advised to raise the gain in order to achieve a higher shutter speed?

I do have the camera set to 'normal' under movie mode

Chris



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Don Greening
Re: camera set up workflow
on Apr 2, 2008 at 10:31:40 pm

[Chris Burns] "'I've had the camera set to Manual and I had been trying to set the shutter speed as high as I could while adjusting the aperature to still get the proper exposure."

For myself, I only went for a shutter speed change on my GL2 as a last resort to reduce the amount of light coming in. Otherwise I kept the shutter at 1/60th sec. I would suggest that you try a number of tests at various shutter speeds to see what kind of look you're after and what works for the smoothest slow mo. High shutter speeds will result in a "Private Ryan" stroby look while slower speeds will have smoother motion. If you're outside on a sunny day and want to keep a set shutter speed (and the built in ND filter isn't enough) you'll need to buy another ND filter for the front of the lens.

[Chris Burns] "Would it be advised to raise the gain in order to achieve a higher shutter speed? "

Pumping up the gain should be used as a last resort to increase light levels and should be avoided because of the increased picture noise.

I personally have not had issues with bad looking slow mo and I always try to keep the shutter speed at 1/60th sec. regardless of light levels. Doing a white balance will not affect your slow mo result, but it will affect the way the camera records colour. If you're noticing that your GL2 colours go towards the reds too much in low light shooting I've got a fix for that.

Do some tests at various shutter speeds with people walking/running etc. and see what works for you with regard to the best slow mo result.

- Don





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