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Getting it right in the (video) camera?

Feb 22, 2013 4:24 AM

A question!  Several years ago I did a UK Open University course in digital (still) photography.  Several of the tutors (tho not all) were very strong advocates of getting it right in the camera, ie minimising the amount left to editing on the computer.

 

As I'm a very keen Photoshop user (dabbler?) once I've got the white balance right (I use a Whibal http://whibalhost.com/_Tutorials/WhiBal/01/  ), the focus and exposure as accurately as possible (as well of course as the composition) I'm happy to leave quite a lot of work for the computer afterwards.   For me it's more than half the fun, to be honest -- often, the photo is merely the starting point for a lot of messing around.

 

I also use Nik software quite a bit, ColorEfex Pro and SilverEfex Pro (black & white -- especially good).

 

But it occurs to me, is there an equivalent in video, for "getting it right in the camera" and leaving as little as poss. for afterwork (afterthoughts?).    Using only a DSLR it seems to me extremely difficult, if not impossible (?) to get video as "right" in camera as still shots -- but maybe with the better kind of dedicated video camera, this isn't only an ideal aspiration, it's the "must-do" reality?

 

Thanks in advance for any comments on this.

 

Brian

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2013 5:38 AM   in reply to gbrmk

    Most camcorders get the white balance right automatically -- and the vast majority of the time that will do just fine. Others have a switch by which you can set it manually.

     

    I don't know anything about your specific DSLR but I assume it has its own automatic white balance controls.

     

    And, of course, Premiere Elements 11 has an Adjustments panel for correcting tints and white balance.

     
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    Feb 22, 2013 6:25 AM   in reply to gbrmk

    Hope you enjoy the book, Brian! I think you will find it has much more applicable information than the Classroom in a Book series -- even without exercise files.

     
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    Feb 22, 2013 7:35 AM   in reply to gbrmk

    Brian,

     

    You have already unlocked one of the "secrets" in Steve's Books - the appendices. Many readers never bother with those, but Steve gives so much useful info, in those, that I try to point all new readers in their direction. Much of that info is a bit drier, just nature, but so very important, especially the hardware suggestions and tips.

     

    Most of my background came from a day, well before any automation, and certainly anything digital. While I had the benefit of one of the best labs in the US, to support me, and did spend many hours in a wet darkroom, both with B/W and color, I was still, always of the mind - get it right in the camera.

     

    I had the great luxury of being able to take my time with most shots, and planning them out, even with days of R&D photography, before I began, as 99% of my work was for advertising use. I was not shooting events, or capturing much in real-time. Even when the shots were going to receive plenty of time in analog compositing, or with bleach&dye work, I wanted to get as close to 100%, as I possibly could. Even with digital, I still want to be, as good as it gets, and try to never utter, "this is OK, 'cause I'll fix it in post production."

     

    Now, video differs from still in that usually, with still photography, one is trying to tell a "story" in one, or a very few shots. Video covers many Frames, and has the benefit (or detriment) of motion. I try to plan out my "story," before I begin shooting. That would be exactly the same, whether using a dedicated videocam, or a DSLR. Some years back, Steve did a nice little article on "the story," that he posted to Muvipix. I will locate that, and link to it, as I feel that it is beneficial to all people shooting video - whether producing a feature, or recording "Little Johnny's" birthday party.

     

    As Steve points out, modern camera take some of the mechanics out of the equation, and most do a very good job at it - such as White Balance, Auto Focus and even Exposure. However, it pays for the operator to understand when that automation can break down, and even get in the way. One instance of such is that with many stabilized lenses, the stabilization can really mess up a panned shot. Same with Auto White Balance and Auto Exposure, with a stage production - you are not likely to get exactly what you want. Knowing the limitations, and working around those, is an important part of the technical aspect, but that is the same for both photography (where you already have a strong background), and video.

     

    With video, you usually also have audio, and the correct capture of that can be very, very important. Unfortunately, the built-in mics on most DSLR's fall quite short. Actually, the same can be said for many vid-cams too.

     

    One of the benefits of DSLR's for video is that one has the capabilities to exchange lenses, and a vast array of lenses to choose from.

     

    Just some observations,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2013 7:39 AM   in reply to gbrmk

    Brian,

     

    There happen to be a few similar posts to the Video Lounge. Most of the folk, involved in those are PrPro users. Also, as they are in the Video Lounge, let's just say that some of the discussions might not be that linear, with tons of tangents thrown in. Still, some good info:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1157540?tstart=0

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1096700?tstart=0

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1036289?tstart=0

     

    Good luck, and remember, there WILL be some "odd" tangents in those threads, so do not get sidetracked... you'll see what I mean.

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2013 9:09 AM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    Here is Steve's Muvipix article: http://www.muvipix.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6306

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2013 2:26 PM   in reply to gbrmk

    Brian,

     

    The Video Lounge IS a good place for discussions that are not really "technical," by their nature.

     

    Some technical discussion might be apropos to, say a thread on aesthetics.

     

    For camera discussions, in general, it is also a good place, as nothing directly related to Adobe Premiere, After Effects, etc., is normally covered. There is also a Premiere Hardware Forum, and some camera discussions to start off there, but it is more related to computers for Premiere, or Photoshop, than for cameras and lenses.

     

    There is a fairly active DSLR thread, one on the Oscars, one on high-speed video for slo-mo, and then a few others, that have zero to do with video, Adobe, Premiere, or much of anything. Those are usually good for getting very "light," and having fun with humor (humour). Most of the general tenants hold - no profanity, nothing sexual, no politics, and no religion, but beyond those, almost anything goes.

     

    I greatly enjoy The Video Lounge, as many editors/videographers will drop by, post a link to their trailer, or maybe a feature, asking for critiques on what they have done. After a day of trying to find out why Premiere won't launch, or why it crashes, discussing some technical, albeit general editing topics, or the aesthetics of video/film. Just a nice change of pace.

     

    When you have some time, and just sort of want to put your mind in neutral, stop by, kick back and do some reading. You'll probably see a few "familiar faces," but there are also some new folk. Some from the Premiere Pro forum, and some from Encore and Photoshop.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 24, 2013 12:58 PM   in reply to gbrmk

    Brian,

     

    Along with the Video Lounge, spend some time on http://Muvipix.com. It is a "sister site" to this one, and also co-created by Steve Grisetti. As it is not an Adobe forum (though many Adobe programs ARE covered in detail), there is much more general discussion, and a lot of great ideas in those discussions. As Muvipix is not pure Adobe, other programs are discussed, along with a lot of talk about cameras, videography, music for video, and just tons of other stuff. Lot of nice folk over there. Also, one major contributor, John Twoheads McDonald, is from the UK, as well, though I am thinking Sheffield (?).

     

    The Community Forums are divided into many topics, with some being program-specific, but plenty of general forums too.

     

    Enjoy,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 24, 2013 5:39 PM   in reply to gbrmk

    Manual focus will depend on the exact camera. With most DSLR's, there is some sort of LED to signal when focus is attained. With other cameras, it can be tougher.

     

    Now, something like this might be useful:

    http://vimeo.com/13159430

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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