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Thread: First attempt filming with HD camera.

  1. #1
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    Default First attempt filming with HD camera.

    Hi there.
    Just wanted to share my/our first attempt using the new JVC Everio HD 7 camera.
    We were with a group so opportunities to film were pretty limited as we didn't want to hold everyone up!

    I have absolutely no background in photography so using this camera in manual mode is proving to be quite a challenge.
    However I think with more practise I'll get there eventually!
    I have the most difficulty with getting those long distance scenery shots all in clear sharp focus.
    Filming close up things seems much easier.
    Anyhow I'd value any advice, constructive criticisms of both the filming and editing if anyone cares to?

    Here it is...

    Thanks!

    Tracy

  2. #2

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    Hi Tracy, nice looking footage, you must be pleased with the new camera.

    Perhaps try using a UV (ultra violet) filter on the lens to cut down on haze in the wide scenic shots (it also protects the front element of your lens).

    On the shots filmed under overcast skies (flat lighting), have you tried upping the contrast at all in the editing suite. It might help to create more umphhhh to the scene

  3. #3
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    Hi Shiner, thanks for having a look and commenting.
    Yes I am pleased with it.
    I will try your suggestion of the contrast in editing, thanks.
    I havent got any filters as yet but will be getting some before our big trip coming up in July.
    I'll be facing conditions with lots of glare and haze....but hopefully the skies will be all blue where I'm going!

  4. #4

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    Nice job, Tracy. I like the composition. Great shot with DOF at 2:00 of violet flowers and bumblebee. Your video makes me want to visit York! Beautiful scenery and a nice job of putting it together too. Two things that would make this clip close to perfect; better lighting and stabilizing the vehicle shots. If this is your first attempt with this camera, I can't wait to see what you do when you get better acquainted with it.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Darrel.
    Yes, we're looking into some sort of stabiliser at the moment. It's hard to decide which one would be best - and harder because a lot of stores don't actually have them in stock so you can't actually LOOK at them. They say they don't have them IN the stores because most camera's these days have such good OIS, but the JVC doesn't. It's biggest downfall.

  6. #6
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    Very good, and I refuse to believe that you dont have lots of exptertise with a still camera.

    This film has all the makings of 'argh oh no' - it is really hard to make your intersts communicate to others, and personally i hate 4x4s but I loved the film.

    As it was so good I am going to get the knives out!

    Overall the film worked really well as a 'pretty road movie' - but a bit more info would hve been good, some input from the peope we saw just talking about the day would have done it and added some human interst.

    Editing - on the money.

    Shots - many of your still shots were nicely composed but many would have benefited from not being still! I try to think of a shot as a mini film with it's own narrative beginning middle and end - a small amount of careful slow panning / tracking if thoughtfully done can be very powerful.

    Backs of peoples heads are fin but if we dont see thier faces next shot it doesnt work for me.

    Music - excellent - you too I see - clver bugger.

    Length - spot on - most people take years to realise auntie ednas funeral isnt worth 3 hours of thier life.

    Sound - needed some contextual sound added - just music dilutes the action on screen.

    More info would show this good film better - how about a map showing the route maybe?

  7. #7
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    Thanks Mark.
    I/we really don't have any experience with still cameras. Not all the manual stuff anyway.
    I tell ya, it's been a major headache trying to understand aperture and shutter speed!
    This camera has so many really good manual features that once you understand how they work... and I'm not sure we really DO yet - a lot is just guesswork and hoping what you see on the LCD screen is what you're going to see blown up on the PC screen!
    The difference though between auto mode, and being able to "control" what you see - things like depth of field, well, it's much more creative if you get the shots right!

    Anyway, all good valid points you have made here. I appreciate the in depth constructive review of this little film.
    The thing was we had just joined the 4 wheel drive club and this was our very first trip with them, and there was an itinerary set of things to do, places to see, so all our filming was done in quite a hurry so as not to hold other people up.
    I was quite frustrated by that at the time - but what can you do....Unless you're with a group of other video enthusiasts who share the interest you have to be mindful of their...boredom, lol!

    Both my husband and I are still working on trying to get our pans AND zooms nice and steady.
    I saw a trick actually using elastic bands for getting nice smooth pans? I have yet to try it, but I must as we only have three weeks before we head off on our big outback trip.

    The thing with panning, I am finding, is that unless you have a moving object to focus on, then just panning around scenery - tree's, or the landscape in the distance, makes it appear somewhat blurred - not pleasant to watch.
    I am wanting to capture the wide open spaces of the deserts we will be in but I think I may have to do other things like film long straight roads fading off onto the horizon....or long stretches of fence line, or perhaps zooming OUT from a lone dead tree in the middle of a barren landscape.
    I just don't think panning around from one side to the other is going to work well....but of course we will try that anyway.

    Unfortunately right now with only three weeks to go - all the preparations/packing etc and crappy constant RAIN here I've not had much of a chance to continue with practising with the camera. Not as much as I would have liked to anyway.

    Hopefully though, when we get back I'll have some really unique footage to show you.

  8. #8
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    Good point about pans.

    Loosing detail on motion is something most cameras will do to an extent.

    Above a certain speed this effect does become noticable as the camera juggles it's bits moer thinly in the moving scene.

    Gains are to had from manual shooting but on many comoct cmares this is always a challenge. One of the main resons I splashed most of my overdraught on my big jvc is that I wanted the contril of a proper lens with proper manual controls - but the flip side is you would be loon to take a huge camera many of the places you would take a contact.

    Musing further, still picutres in video can be used for added impact just becuse we dont often see them in this no tripod wobby calera filming age.

    Point taken about getting in the way, it can take a bit of bossiness to get that shot sometimes and staging stuff is not something i am keen on. It is very common practice for doc film makers to masseage 'actualie' I think this is done at the risk of swapping technical pefection for less 'real vibes' - all depends on what you are after.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I think particularly for this travel documentary I'm aiming (high, lol) at making from our trip, I really want the raw and the "real".
    Of course this will entail me probably having to look at footage of myself interacting with the kids looking VERY raw and "real" - feral actually , especially after an extended stint without a shower.
    It's going to be six weeks of real "roughing it". Bush camping, so most of the time no toilets, no water, just us and a whole LOT of red dirt.
    I want to aim it at people who perhaps have never experienced remote travel, and all it entails.
    The FLIES....oh my....you're not going to believe how truly AWFUL they are!
    I bet I'll get lots of shots of us inhaling them and coughing them up!
    Now that's "real" !
    Blegh! Not looking forward to that!

    What kind of JVC camera do you have? One of those monsters you have to carry on your shoulder types?
    My brother works as a freelance TV news camera man. His is huge like that.

  10. #10
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    My camera - yes one of those monsters - superb picture, great controls, gets me access often. But insaley heaqvy and big so no good for many situations - hence my little pc4.

    The trick is to use the camera for its good points, and with small cams the joy is the freshness of the shots. Bung it on all auto sometimes and run with the action so to speak - get down and dirty and the video you shoot can be very persuasive.

    Scared filmamker to camera shots are great - considor a wide convertor if you find you like this style.

    On some things I have filmed I have taken my big cam for me to use and given my small cam to a participant in the event to run about with - often a kid - you really can get some great video that way.

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