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Digital Video Forum Discuss camcorders, HD video, HD DSLRs, video editing, DV software, and video techniques. Your DV forum moderator is Skyman.
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Choosing camera and ligting for indoor shooting

    I need to shoot an indoor scene with a stationary mounted camcoder in a medium size room. Haven't done video in a while and I'm not a pro, so looking for some advice.

    Don't have a digicam, but an old Sony Handycam CCD-TR101 Hi8 that have not been used in a while. Final output format will be MPEG4, so with Hi8 I'd have to use a video capture card - already have WinFast TV2000 8bit D/A 640*480 - worked Ok for recording TV, never tried with the camera, would it be Ok?

    Will I be much better off buying a new or used MiniDV Camera in $100-$250 range, or will Sony Handycam Hi8 be adequate?
    - I want to get the highest quality/resolution, but am on a budget, so I'm looking at trade-offs and alternatives.

    Will standard room lighting work fine, or should I get some additional lighting?
    - I have a 500 watt halogen work lights that I can bring along, not sure if it will be good or not, but it's really bright. May be I should put a diffuser in front of it?

    Any info is much appreciated

    Thanks
    Happy

  2. #2
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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    Re: Choosing camera and ligting for indoor shooting

    Your hi 8 camera and capture card should be ok, but you might want to give it a test first. mini dv will be higher quality but if hi 8 is ok then you don't need to spend the $$.

    as for your lighting, it all depends on the look and feel you are trying to acheive. If standard room lighting is bright enough then often that is ok. if there is window light as well you may find that the colour balance from the two sources makes things look funny, some parts will be blue and others yellow / orange (depending on what the overhead lights actually are) I would suggest using the work lights as brighter is better. diffusing them is a good idea as is doing things like bouncing them off the ceiling or a side wall. The idea is to get them nice and bright but also nice and soft so the edges of shadows aren't well defined. work lights that you get from most hardware stores are actually very similar to broadcast lights except that you don't get all the adabpters, focusing abilities, gel holders and diffuser mounts etc. If you have the time, do a test shoot and see if the quality is ok. if you have more time, post it on our video sharing site and I can have a look and see if you might need to change your lighting etc.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    2

    Re: Choosing camera and ligting for indoor shooting

    Skyman, thanks for the advise on lighting! Curtains will be closed, so I don't think mixing interior/exterior light will be a problem.

    Good idea on bouncing the work light off the wall - haven't thought of that, will give a try. Would be interested in hearing about other practical ways to diffuse the light as well.

    I did some experimenting with video capture off of Sony Handycam Hi8 yesterday with VirtualDub - Ok at 320x240, but had problems with interlacing at high res (640x480). Read up on it today - looks like it can be fixed with proper deinterlacing filter. So I'll stick with my old Handycam for now, as cheap MiniDV cameras don't have progressive mode either and they optics will probably be worse.

    Thanks
    Happy

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