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    Mid & Low light Setting Suggestions Please?
    Member John J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Ontario Canada
    As a quick example,

    I'll be set to shoot at either 720/24P or 720/60 with HVX still in auto mode, in a moderately lit room (existing light). As soon as I switch to manual, the scene turns into noiseville. Bring up the manual iris seems to really only "light up" the noiseville look.

    What are some basic settings I should be going to for mid and lower light scenarios? I have some upcoming dusk by the fire-side shots that, along with some subdued additional lighting I would like to record as noise-free as possible. Some HVX footage I've seen here in low-light conditions look excellent...I know all too well the HVX isn't the best low-light 3chip by a long shot. Thanks in advance guys!

    - John

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    Looking for the same answers. We did a test last night in a suprising well lit parking lot, unfortunately the camera was hardly picking any image up so any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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    I haven't done much lowlight with the HVX, so it might have some gimmicks I haven't heard of, but as far as lowlight goes, you generally want an open iris, as-slow-as-possible shutter speed, and maybe a touch of gain to pump it up a little bit more.

    I'm no expert, so more professional people on this forum can feel free to correct me, but...

    You have to remember that the human eye is much more flexible than a camera. At night time, you may be able to see well, but in all probability your camera won't see a thing. This is why a lot of night scenes (or any dark scenes for that matter) are actually 'lit' to 'look' dark. If you are planning to do a fireside shot, bring along your own lights and a few handfuls of CTO to simulate the fire's light. Doing it this way allows you to get your scene into the acceptable light range ('latitude'? not sure) for your camera, and from there you can tweak your Iris, Shutter, and Gain to your liking. Also, post production can help achieve the nighttime effect as well. Avid has some good color correction tools, and After Effects has a great - and more dynamic - set as well.

    Check out for a tutorial on turning daytime shots into nighttime scenes.

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    We had the iris open and the shutter at 1/24 which causes smearing. Don't want to add too much gain due to the noise issue. I realize more lights are the answer but I was wondering if there were some settings I wasn't aware of that could help us get some more light into the camera.

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    Suggestion Only: Experiment using Cinelike D preset, and change Cinelike to B.Press and perhaps try Normal for Matrix. Whilst Master Pedestal of say -7 to -14 can make the black range look good, you may be crushing black, and the data is all gone. Sometimes you can get better results with shooting Master Pedestal at 0 to +7 range, which will give a milky looking image, but that can be tweaked in post. The issue to overcome in low light is macro-blocking, which are compression artifacts on encode to DVCProHD codec. Low light images do not compress as well.

    If you can not add more light, and drop down the image in post, then I would suggest you consider experimenting with the above and consider shooting 1080p, not 720p, as it has been proved to have better resolution and compression results (macro-blocking) in the source recording. Good luck!

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    Thanks for the greatb feedback! We were at a Master Pedestal of 0 and still nothing readable. we've basically decided we've got to buck up and get some 4k's. should be fun! thanks again!

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    Senior Member indigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    London, England
    Quote Originally Posted by jasper View Post
    We did a test last night in a suprising well lit parking lot, unfortunately the camera was hardly picking any image
    I feel your pain brother!

    Indy... In El Salvador, going to Peru overland from Mexico with his HVX!

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