How to take a good video

tuppetsdad

Funding & Tech Support
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
533
Location
Melbourne
Hi all this year we have been struggling to get a good video of our display despite trying with various video cameras and settings. Seems the cameras have problems with the high contrast between lights on and off.

Our lighting display is designed to compliment our house and so we want to be able to see both. Have tried at dusk (not easy with cars) as well as late at night.

Have seen many members struggling with videos this year.... maybe it's the increase in RGB strips and other very bright lights.

If you have suggestions on how to take a good video - such as advice on settings for your camera - then please post here! 8)
 

Beacy

It's so much better on the dark side
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
467
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Beaconsfield
TD you've read my mind this was the thread I was going to start, you can't even see the colours on my candy canes, There's gotta be a better way & yes Kel I considered that too.
 

Robbo

Full time elf
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
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213
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Hastings-Victoria
get a decent camera, use a tripod and make sure you have manual focus as any auto focus will struggle to find a focus point, even with manual focus you will want to be out during dusk setting up your camera and tripod and focus settings while you can still see enough of the scene to trigger the manual focus points.


I need to experiment with my Canon 7D DSLR and if I can use the high ISO in movie mode then that will help in your situation to be able to allow more light to hit the sensor which will bring the house out of the darkness
 

BradsXmasLights

WiFi Interactive
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
578
Location
Brisbane, Australia
I got my best footage at around 4:15am - about 30mins before sunrise. I also had no traffic at that time of day either.
I used a ~2yo Sony HD Camcorder, set to low-light (twlight) mode. Just wished I'd remembered to disable the auto-focus too!
 

Bird

LOR user
Joined
Nov 8, 2011
Messages
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Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
I have found when using the Low Light/Twilight mode that lower lit objects show much better, but RGB (IE my arches) color variations do not show well and most of them almost look white.

When using Fireworks mode, the colors on the RGB arches show very nicely. Not as well as in person but much better than Twilight mode. However as can be seen in my video, (used Fireworks setting) the train on the roof does not show real good and Santa in the front window is mostly non-viewable.

Seems I would need a mix between to two settings.
 

fasteddy

I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
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Apr 26, 2010
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Albion Park NSW
I used an old 5 megapixel minolta camera in video mode with the vivid colour option selected and in manual focus, seemed to be able to capture the colour better than most other things i tried while having a good contrast ratio. A tripod is essential and the best time is early in the morning when there will be no passing traffic.
 

Robbo

Full time elf
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
213
Location
Hastings-Victoria
looking at my camera I can see that the ISO is on auto when in movie mode which is good for the varying levels of brightness, I am starting to see a lot of good quality movies done on DSLR's with movie mode, but for those without pro or enthusiast level cameras, a couple things you can do to get the best out of it is to have it on a tripod, movement will throw out the focus, which should be on manual if possible or the autofocus will always have trouble trying to focus and almost never be able to get a lock, so if you can lock it manually then do it.


best to setup during a time when there is still some light and set you focus while you can still see the scene then come back when ready to shoot. or have ALL your lights fully on to get your focus if you must setup in the dark before starting the sequence :)


Bird reading your post you could get a good movie by doing both settings and some bit of editing to get the best out of both settings, the fireworks and twilight settings are what you call compensation and has settings to suit each scenario, be good if they had a christmas lights scenario which as you say is a compromise of both settings, the brightness of the lights would def be suited under fireworks (big bursts of bright light, the compensation here is under exposing the scene so as not to make the lights look white) however the darkness when the lights are not at their brightest would be suited under twilight ( compensation here is allowing more light into the sensor, which is making your bright lights look white)
 
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