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Show recording

Started by TNF250, December 21, 2016, 06:50:12 PM

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I see all these recorded shows/displays and they look so clear and clean. My attempt has only ended with a blurry and wash out recordings. Possibly it the equipment i'm using or my lack of understand how to set it up. Currently I have tried a Nikon D5000 SLR and a Canon HD Vixia HF20 Camcorder. What are others using to achieve a great recording.
Springfield, TN

X-Lights - RPi3 - FPP - Falcon - DLA Lynx


Blurry is usually having the autofocus on.  So go to the menu and turn off autofocus and make sure you have good manual focus set for the lights.  A lot of times I'll turn all the lights on to make sure I'm in focus, set manual mode then I start the show.

Washed out is usually because the cameras try to set their exposure based on the scene, which is usually black then all of a sudden bright then back to black again.  On my Canon Vixia or anything I shoot with I turn the exposure down about 2 to 3 stops--which will be -2 or -3.  Also sometimes I have better luck with fireworks settings and sometimes not.

A tripod is essential.  So set manual focus and make sure it's dead on, then roll the exposure down to -2 or -3 then try it.  Also check the fireworks mode and see if that does better. 


Thanks for the suggestions Garyh. I will make the changes and try it out tonight.
Springfield, TN

X-Lights - RPi3 - FPP - Falcon - DLA Lynx


Thanks, I've historically struggled to have a good video.  I tried again last night and failed (out of focus, even though I was in manual -- I didn't focus it good, apparently)
and I was using a tripod.   

Found my super tall tripod (modified $30 mic stand from amazon) works nice for going over vehicles.  I bought it for use in volleyball (going over tall nets and people in gyms) ... but it works good going over vehicles that drive up in front of my on the street also.

I've wondered how to set things like 'white balance' and 'iris' ... but my HDC-SD800 panasonic camcorder usually does worse than my SLR or even my iphone 5s.

I think my main problem was the lack of proper focus ... as the manual focus uses blue lines that show up to indicate focus points ... but its really hard to see on a tiny LCD camcorder screen.

Should I zoom in the video to do the focusing... then zoom back out?   Or should the focus occur in the fully zoomed out way the video will be taken?  Thats also confusing me!!


You bring up a good point on the white balance... just make sure it isn't in auto.  Auto will have the camera trying to correct for all blue, red, etc...makes post editing a pain later on.  So try different manual settings to see what looks to represent what you are seeing.  I find puttin a red/green/blue/white test pattern across the display let's me choose the best white balance setting, like daylight, cloudy, flourescent, etc.  That's if you do NOT want to do post processing like Adobe Premiere or one of the other editors.

Iris is how small/big the whole is that lets the light in--think of a pinhole camera if that helps.  A lower iris number like F2 indicates the hole in the lens is letting a lot of light in, but the focus will be very shallow at that setting.  Think of taking a picture of a person, with F2 you can get their eyes in sharp detail, but the tip of the nose or their ears will be out of focus--not the best thing for a display that has items at different distances.  If you can choose an iris like F8, then the hole the light comes through get's smaller, you have a greater depth of focus (nose, eyes, and ears all in focus) but you have to wait longer for all the light to come in to make the image.  So you need to find a balance.  If your camera has a fireworks setting that can do fairly well as it sets a lot of the same things automatically for you.  Manually setting the iris at F5 would be a good place to start and see how the video comes out.  As you increase your iris, the hole letting the light in gets smaller, and you should see the lights getting dimmer in the viewfinder.

I generally zoom in as much as I can optically before my video cam goes into digital zoom and set the focus as good as I can.  Setting focus gets easier as you move back since you will be getting closer to the infinite focus range of the camera. 

As far as traffic, I find it easier to wait an hour or two after the lights are off and go out and video then.. or do an early morning video.  The car headlights can wash out the display a bit, but I'm just too picky I think.


Quote from: taybrynn on December 22, 2016, 10:45:18 AM
Should I zoom in the video to do the focusing... then zoom back out?   Or should the focus occur in the fully zoomed out way the video will be taken?  Thats also confusing me!!

I have read some lenses have different focus at different zoom levels, so it is just dependent on the lens.

I am trying to use a DLSR too and the best focus I have had with test videos is when I shoot a test picture in manual focus and then zoom in on the lcd to check how it looks. I then switch to video mode without touching focus that is also set to manual focus, so kind of prefocusing.

The lens I am using is not the fastest at F3.5 but it is what I have, settings are for WB set at flourescent (I heard incandescent is just under that and acceptable too). I have the camera set so I can adjust ISO and exposure and have mine set at 60 with a -3 exposure (recommedations I read were 125-250 but that was too dark for me and they were probably using a faster/lower F stop lens). Some under exposure can be corrected in post editing but overexposure cannot be corrected well.

Some reading i have done for shooting fireworks/lights recommended not to shoot at higher frame rates like 60fps but instead 30fps or even 24fps. I didn't have 24 as an option so shooting 1080 30fps.

I have over the last few days, with a tripod, filmed 10 sec test video blocks while announcing settings for reference, then changed the settings and repeat. I then pull it into the computer and check how the results look and picked the best one.

The GoPro I used in previous years met to an early death via a flood during diving, so I am trying to get good video this year with what I have.
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