Handling a Certain Filming Situation

MH7 wrote on 11/23/2022, 5:08 AM

As some of you might know, especially when looking at my sig, I have a Sony FDR-AX700 and also an iPhone 12, specifically and iPhone 12 Pro Max. I want to say upfront, I’m by no means a professional filmmaker. I mostly film videos of my family. However, I do still like to make my videos look as professional as I can. Because of this I usually use film in manual mode on my Sony video camera and also on my iPhone in the iOS app Filmic Pro (I also have another app called ProCamera, although I prefer the former app, Filmic Pro, for filming video).

So, what is my post about, and what particular filming situation am I referring to? Well, I normally set my white balance (WB), exposer (ISO), and shutter speed manually like anyone who likes to have complete control over the filming of their videos and what they look like. However, sometimes there are filming situations where, to use a term, that are “run-and-gun” where I might have my camera’s WB, exposer (IOS), and shutter speed set for the lounge room but then have to suddenly change to the hallway and then dining room/kitchen and don’t have time to change anything.

I know that the probable answer is to just switch the camera from manual to auto and let the camera handle everything, and it might work out alright, except I still do like to have control of how the video looks. Therefore, are there any better solutions?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Cheers,

MH7

John 14:6 | Romans 10:9-10, 13, 10:17 | Ephesians 2:8-9
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Aussie VEGAS Pro 18 (Build 527) User As Of 28th March, 2021 (Upgraded from VEGAS Pro 15 Edit)

VEGAS Pro Help: VEGAS Pro FAQs and TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDES

My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@TechWiredGeek

Video Cameras: Sony FDR-AX700 and iPhone 12 (iOS 16)

My Productivity Workstation (AKA - The Rocket Ship)

CPU: AMD R7 1700 @ 3GHz Motherboard: Gigabyte AX370 G5 RAM: Corsair Vengeance (4x8GB) 32GB DDR4 Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD & WD 2TB HDD GPU: Gigabyte RX 580 OS: Windows 10 (Build: 21H2) Main Monitor: LG 27UD88-W 4K IPS Secondary Monitor: LG 27UL850 4K HDR IPS (both monitors are colour calibrated and matched).

Comments

Dexcon wrote on 11/23/2022, 5:52 AM

IMO, it's "horses for courses". If in a controlled filming situation where lighting is reasonably constant, then manual camera settings are fine. But in "run and gun" circumstances where the camera operator can't keep up with ever-changing lighting differences, then the auto function may well be the better choice. To my mind, it's a practical decision which method to use rather than a desired ''philosophical'' decision.

When editing, what is going to be the better solution? Trying to use footage that has exposure (etc) changes mid-scene where camera settings have been manually changed (probably sharply) while trying to keep up with those lighting changes ... or using footage where the camera has auto-adjusted and the adjustment changes can either be creatively edited out with minimal loss of image length, or can be smoothed by using color correction FX or other in Vegas Pro

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Reyfox wrote on 11/23/2022, 7:47 AM

+1

MH7 wrote on 11/23/2022, 8:03 AM

IMO, it's "horses for courses". If in a controlled filming situation where lighting is reasonably constant, then manual camera settings are fine. But in "run and gun" circumstances where the camera operator can't keep up with ever-changing lighting differences, then the auto function may well be the better choice. To my mind, it's a practical decision which method to use rather than a desired ''philosophical'' decision.

When editing, what is going to be the better solution? Trying to use footage that has exposure (etc) changes mid-scene where camera settings have been manually changed (probably sharply) while trying to keep up with those lighting changes ... or using footage where the camera has auto-adjusted and the adjustment changes can either be creatively edited out with minimal loss of image length, or can be smoothed by using color correction FX or other in Vegas Pro

@Dexcon You raise a valid point. I actually have a recorded video from my Sony camera (which is partially why I started this thread) where the video is overexposed and I had to stop recording and readjust the exposer and colour temp and it is noticeably darker. I now wish I had gone auto on that video. Oh well. It’s a good lesson to learn though.

Last changed by MH7 on 11/23/2022, 8:05 AM, changed a total of 3 times.

John 14:6 | Romans 10:9-10, 13, 10:17 | Ephesians 2:8-9
————————————————————————————————————

Aussie VEGAS Pro 18 (Build 527) User As Of 28th March, 2021 (Upgraded from VEGAS Pro 15 Edit)

VEGAS Pro Help: VEGAS Pro FAQs and TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDES

My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@TechWiredGeek

Video Cameras: Sony FDR-AX700 and iPhone 12 (iOS 16)

My Productivity Workstation (AKA - The Rocket Ship)

CPU: AMD R7 1700 @ 3GHz Motherboard: Gigabyte AX370 G5 RAM: Corsair Vengeance (4x8GB) 32GB DDR4 Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD & WD 2TB HDD GPU: Gigabyte RX 580 OS: Windows 10 (Build: 21H2) Main Monitor: LG 27UD88-W 4K IPS Secondary Monitor: LG 27UL850 4K HDR IPS (both monitors are colour calibrated and matched).

Musicvid wrote on 11/23/2022, 8:21 AM

Yep. Two scenarios, two approaches.

I appreciate your attraction to planned setup and manual control when the situation permits. The camera work that really "pops" and stands out from the crowd is not happenstance, but is the result of forethought and wise scene-setting.

When you do not have that opportunity, either because of time or conditions, Auto-Everything is by far the lesser of two evils. You will almost always get serviceable footage, but the notion of being able to correct bad footage in post to "save" the day is mostly folly; the damage has already been done.

If you are an ENG / Guerilla shooter, you need to be ready to go at all times with a minimum of futzing -- and that means the camera you pick up is set at Full Auto.

RogerS wrote on 11/23/2022, 9:47 AM

For the Sony you can switch ISO to auto pretty quickly and then ride exposure compensation when the scene changes. I'd probably keep WB manual and fix it in post. The worst is when auto WB jumps around.

Reyfox wrote on 11/23/2022, 2:07 PM

Agree! If the WB is jumping all over the place, it will be almost impossible to fix instead of one not so great WB.

MH7 wrote on 11/24/2022, 9:14 PM

For the Sony you can switch ISO to auto pretty quickly and then ride exposure compensation when the scene changes. I'd probably keep WB manual and fix it in post. The worst is when auto WB jumps around.

Agree! If the WB is jumping all over the place, it will be almost impossible to fix instead of one not so great WB.

@RogerS | @Reyfox

Thanks for the suggestion guys. I had thought about WB and having it frequently change would be difficult to fix. I believe, ever since I got my first proper video camera, which was the Sony DCR-DVD810E (and a big thing for me back then was being able to film in true 16:9 widescreen and not just fake 4:3 letterboxed widescreen, if you know what I mean — 16:9 black bars just chopping of the top and bottom of a 4:3 frame to make it “widescreen”), I have, to my knowledge, always used manual exposer and WB every time and had it locked.

On that note, I have a video recorded from my Sony DCR-DVD810E that had the WB manually set but because of the lighting change it turned out more orange and quite warm in colour and not so great at the start. But I have since fiddling with in VEGAS Pro 15 (and 18 I think), and because of VP’s great colour correction abilities I know I can fix it up quite well and it makes it look like there was no white balancing problem at all.

Therefore, I am quite confident, that if I had the WB manually set on my Sony FDR-AX700 and suddenly had to change location or “scenes” that any WB problem could be fixed and even key-framed quite easily.

John 14:6 | Romans 10:9-10, 13, 10:17 | Ephesians 2:8-9
————————————————————————————————————

Aussie VEGAS Pro 18 (Build 527) User As Of 28th March, 2021 (Upgraded from VEGAS Pro 15 Edit)

VEGAS Pro Help: VEGAS Pro FAQs and TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDES

My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@TechWiredGeek

Video Cameras: Sony FDR-AX700 and iPhone 12 (iOS 16)

My Productivity Workstation (AKA - The Rocket Ship)

CPU: AMD R7 1700 @ 3GHz Motherboard: Gigabyte AX370 G5 RAM: Corsair Vengeance (4x8GB) 32GB DDR4 Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD & WD 2TB HDD GPU: Gigabyte RX 580 OS: Windows 10 (Build: 21H2) Main Monitor: LG 27UD88-W 4K IPS Secondary Monitor: LG 27UL850 4K HDR IPS (both monitors are colour calibrated and matched).

MH7 wrote on 12/3/2022, 12:03 AM

Just a question to anyone who has a Sony FDR-AX700, like I have, since I haven’t used my Sony camera for some time, how would I go about setting the white balance manually and then have everything else on auto, would I have to switch the camera from manual to auto or could I do it in manual mode?

Thanks in advance for any help re this.

John 14:6 | Romans 10:9-10, 13, 10:17 | Ephesians 2:8-9
————————————————————————————————————

Aussie VEGAS Pro 18 (Build 527) User As Of 28th March, 2021 (Upgraded from VEGAS Pro 15 Edit)

VEGAS Pro Help: VEGAS Pro FAQs and TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDES

My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@TechWiredGeek

Video Cameras: Sony FDR-AX700 and iPhone 12 (iOS 16)

My Productivity Workstation (AKA - The Rocket Ship)

CPU: AMD R7 1700 @ 3GHz Motherboard: Gigabyte AX370 G5 RAM: Corsair Vengeance (4x8GB) 32GB DDR4 Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD & WD 2TB HDD GPU: Gigabyte RX 580 OS: Windows 10 (Build: 21H2) Main Monitor: LG 27UD88-W 4K IPS Secondary Monitor: LG 27UL850 4K HDR IPS (both monitors are colour calibrated and matched).

fr0sty wrote on 12/3/2022, 1:03 AM

If you are an ENG / Guerilla shooter, you need to be ready to go at all times with a minimum of futzing -- and that means the camera you pick up is set at Full Auto.

Sometimes... When we're out in the field shooting music festival recaps, running to this stage and grabbing a few band and crowd shots, stopping at various vendors along the way, grabbing shots of attendees having fun as we walk, filming the various activities happening around the festival, then moving on to the next stage while navigating thick crowds... the lighting and focal conditions change rapidly, and much of it is outdoors during the day, which requires us to use ND filters, and even then leaving the camera on full auto can still lead to focus or exposure issues sometimes... Sometimes it overexposes, other times under (like shots where you were trying to focus on what was in the darker area of an image, not out in the bright light)... So for everything that is not mounted on a gimbal, we tend to leave our cameras manual even when doing run & gun. We found that the shots you end up with just come out looking better overall... but for the gimbal stuff, since we don't want our operator bogged down by someone else pulling focus and adjusting exposure, especially as we're on stage with the bands filming them play, we leave it full auto, but we still tell whoever is operating it to check every shot before moving on to the next one, when possible. Obviously when on stage, that is not one of the instances where it is possible, but we do it for crowd shots, etc.

Howard-Vigorita wrote on 12/3/2022, 7:55 PM

I generally keep my zcam e2 and Canon xf605 full-manual. Also embed jvc ptz/wifi cameras onstage with only focus set to auto. All except the zcam are wb'd and iris'd manually ahead of time. Really don't want exposure or wb trying to follow onstage light shows.The zcam is a little different with a feature the others don't have... auto wb that locks on record without a grey card... and it nails it every time. I don't really do much run and gun but often move the zcam about a venue with a rolling tripod dolly... as long as I stop and restart recording, wb gets recalibrated at each location. Also keep a small scope showing along the bottom of the zcam's Atmos NinjaV display for quick location adjustments with the iris ring of the Canon lens I generally mount to it.

If I have to make short trips outside, I grab the xf605 which has built-in nd and either switch it temporarily to auto wb or a daylight preset. It has a scope I can pull up with a touch to the lcd for quick exposure adjustments on its iris ring.

Howard-Vigorita wrote on 12/3/2022, 8:07 PM

Another thing to consider if you cannot quickly recalibrate wb is filming a small color chart at the different locations. Then you can use the Vegas color match fx in post to try and correct wb for the changed lighting.