• 07-21-2010, 02:26 AM
    Best settings for Canon HD Vixia video cam?

    I am new here - actually my first post - hello!

    I am using a Canon Vixia S10 video cam.

    With regard to the settings. I am unsure which is better settings to use when shooting HD 24 frames. Obviously the noise in the video will increase in certain modes due to the lack of available light reaching the sensor (the same as noise increases with a higher ISO in still photography)

    To achieve the best video output, what is the best setting to use - manual (1/50th), AV, TV or Cine? OR - does each setting more or less produce identical results (assuming the same available light)??

    I am aware of what each setting does as I have a sound background in still photography.

    Thank you, Willow
  • 07-21-2010, 04:02 PM
    Re: Best settings for Canon HD Vixia video cam?
    Welcome to the forums! This is a great place to learn about video and photography, so feel free to pester us with anything you can think of.

    As with still photography you should match your settings to the lighting conditions and adjust them creatively for the shot you are getting. So if you want a shallow depth of field open your iris (same as the aperture but for some reason videographers prefer this term) or close it if you want greater depth of field. If you want to capture fast action set a faster shutterspeed. If you want to make the action blurry set a slower shutterspeed. One difference with video is that there is usually a gain setting. This is roughly equivalent to setting a high iso on a digital camera, but using too much gain introduces sensor noise or "gain grain" into your shot. If you are able use lights not the gain, but if it is unavoidable try to limit its use. As for which setting, as you already know TV and AV will let you control either the shutterspeed or aperture and automatically adjust the rest to achieve what the camera thinks is correct exposure. In manual mode you are required to set both. The choice of what mode to utilise is a creative one that will vary depending on what you want to achieve with your video, however you might find that with your camera one mode will serve you well enough as it can be fiddly switching between modes or jumping between setting the aperture and shutterspeed independatly in manual. That is where pro cameras are much better. Having said that properly used there is no reason why you can't make great videos with a camera like yours.

    I hope this helps, but feel free to post samples if you think you are still having trouble, sometimes it is easier to see what is happening rather than talk about it in general terms.

    Once you have had a chance to explore all its features a bit, write a review. The link is in my signature. It really helps others to decide what to buy, and your thoughts are the foundation of this site!

    I hope I helped
  • 07-22-2010, 05:18 AM
    Re: Best settings for Canon HD Vixia video cam?
    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for your reply and comments.

    I have been reading quite a bit about the 180 degree shutter rule which suggests that the shutter speed should not be greater or less than the frames per second. For example, at 24 frames the shutter speed should be as close to 1/50th as possible. I have read that if you increase the shutter speed too much the image will become choppy in appearance (like the opening sequence to Saving Private Ryan when they landing on the beach). Likewise, if you lower the shutter speed too much the image will trail and blur.

    Is there a preferred shutter speed to try and maintain a normal looking video (not creative)?

    Many thanks, Willow
  • 07-22-2010, 04:54 PM
    Re: Best settings for Canon HD Vixia video cam?
    coming from a film background it was a law i didn't really need to learn, but reading up on it, it is just another way to make video (especially with digital slrs) look and more importantly feel more like film. The trick is that whatever your frame rate your shutterspeed should be roughly half that. The only reason you need to adhere to this look though would be that on a film camera breaking this law was a physical impossibility, and if you are serious about creating "the film look" it might be worth learning. I understand that many people are romantically attached to the "feel" of film, but It is a law I really wouldn't be overly concerned with.
  • 07-22-2010, 05:09 PM
    Re: Best settings for Canon HD Vixia video cam?
    Hi Simon,

    Thanks. I actually read about this law in relation to the DSLR video and was concerned that it applied to video cams as well. As you have stated - not really that much. I am probably getting to involved in theory! Film is nice sure - but it isn't the be all and end all.
  • 07-22-2010, 05:18 PM
    Re: Best settings for Canon HD Vixia video cam?
    On another note, just quickly Simon as I know your time is valuable.

    In relation to the special scene recording functions such as: portrait, snow, sports, etc.

    In your opinion do you believe it is best to shot in TV or AV mode rather than selecting one of these "pre packaged" effects that alter several variables??

    The S10 unfortunately does not have true manual (M) like a DSLR. The closest thing to it seems to be TV or AV.

    I have done some test shooting and portrait is pretty good, however if the light is low, the video play back is far from smooth and silky that is achievable in AV at a low f number such as f2.8

    Many thanks, WilloW (if your down in Hobart, I'll have to buy you a coffee)
  • 07-22-2010, 08:18 PM
    Re: Best settings for Canon HD Vixia video cam?
    Again it really doesn't matter that much with video. I have noticed that with DSLR's using the automitic modes as canon calls them results in slightly higher jpeg compression which is to be avoided. I haven't noticed the same issue with video though, so it is generally not a bad idea to use those setting, especially when they effectively do what you want them to automatically and like you said manual mode in these cameras leaves a lot to be desired.

    Tasmania is definately on my list of places to visit! you have to wow these Northern Hemispherians with the lovely landscape!