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Video taping at a night club

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stan welksVideo taping at a night club
by on Jun 30, 2008 at 4:55:13 am

I used a small AVCHD camera last night to record some video at a night club. I did not use any lights other than the clubs and I was not concerned with audio (will be edited in later). As expected, the video was dark and grainy.

How could I get better quality video without having to setup a light kit on the dance floor? I also think it might be a bit much to put a light on the camera -- it would shine on people's faces and make the video look like it came from a news reporter. How would you approach this situation?


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Jeff CarpenterRe: Video taping at a night club
by on Jun 30, 2008 at 2:41:00 pm

Get someone to help you and have them hold a light.

Something small that's meant for on-camera use and runs off its own battery so it can be hand-held. Then, add some diffusion to the front to cut it down so it's not too bright. Honestly, I suggest looking at the little consumer lights at Best-Buy. Those may be weak enough to just use as they are.

There are 2 points here:

1- A weak light will probably give you something to work with without really lighting up the dance floor. Remember, you don't want the video to look bright, it's a dark club after all and you want to preserve the mood. The "grain" is likely coming from the camera putting on auto-gain. Try and find a manual mode that locks the gain "off" and the iris all the way open. The video may be darker, but it won't be grainy. Then, just light enough to see the people in front of you...if the background gets dark, let it. That's better than having it turn grainy.

2- By having a 2nd person hold the light you don't get people looking up at the camera all the time. They may look at the light for a second, but then they'll go back to dancing. There are lots of random lights in a club...what's one more? Trust me, they'll get over it. We're talking about a small light, and when they look at it they won't see the camera, so their curiousity will fade very quickly. Having the light to the side also helps avoid a flat, washed-out look when the light is coming from the camera.

The bottom line is that you need some light. But hopefully you can use these tips to lesson the impact it will have on your subjects.

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stan welksRe: Video taping at a night club
by on Jul 1, 2008 at 4:56:55 am

1. Do you mean something like this?

2. What type of diffusion would you recommend adding to it?


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Jeff CarpenterRe: Video taping at a night club
by on Jul 1, 2008 at 4:39:19 pm

Not really. I said 'Best Buy' originally but their website doesn't seem to have nearly the options that I remember seeing in their stores in the past.

So I can't find anything quite right on their website. Spend some time here and see what you can find:

As for diffusion, maybe try looking in the "filters and diffusion" section of that page first. There are some options in there that work with specific lights. Maybe find the filter or soft-box you like in there and work backwards, picking the light that matches the diffusion you most like.

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Perry ChengRe: Video taping at a night club
by on Jul 16, 2008 at 10:56:41 pm

I think using a higher end cam might be an option without adding too much light? Z1? PD170? VX2K... As far as the on board light, try:

Not exactly this one, but I saw some other ones like this but now can't find it.


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Sam Lesante Jr.Re: Video taping at a night club
by on Aug 27, 2008 at 8:41:18 pm

This may be a little too late but i just got a great light at it's called the LitePanel Micro. It runs on 4 AA batteries and it's LED. It comes with an orange filter to put on it cause it shines a bluish tint w/o it.

hope that helps.


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