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Thread: Filming fireworks problems sony nex-vg20eh

  1. #1

    Default Filming fireworks problems sony nex-vg20eh

    Hi everyone! new to the forum but hoping someone can help me with shooting fireworks.
    Sony NEX-VG20EH 18-200mm large sensor DSLR style.

    Ok done some filming butl not happy with the results but I think its getting better.
    Gain: 24 db lower and the fireworks become dim, still got the black sky at 24
    Aperture : f7.1
    WB: Outdoor
    Focus: 35 metres
    AE Shift : Auto
    Shutter: 1/50
    See what you think Brothers Hercules 1 Firework - YouTube

    Same as above BUT the for the following changes
    AE Shift is set to -4
    First half is f8
    second half is f7

    Brothers Fire One x 6 - YouTube

    Don't think the colours are correct, can anyone help with the settings I should be using please?

  2. #2


    What is it your not happy about ? It looked fine to me. I would have zoomed out a little to get a better framing but the exposure etc. looked fine. If you want to be brave and turn off the auto exposure and try some manual settings you might get better results but this would involve trial and error.

    It just depends what it is you want from the video.

  3. #3


    Hi the colours arn't vivid enough, the blues dont show up and the greens look yellow, I am in more or less manual mode, everything save exposure, which when I do change just changes the other setting anyway like gain, aperture and shutter, don't really understand what exposure does really on my camera.
    I suppose I want it to look like real life and they just don't and for the cash thought the vg20 would be much better, maybe it will be once I crack the settings.
    I was just hoping someone might be able to help, rather than me trying to change every setting on the thing before I get it right.
    Kind Regards

  4. #4


    I've not used the VG20 but heard good things about it. You should be able to put it into full manual mode and get some good results form it.

    Exposure is the amount of light the iris lets into the camera, to much and your sky won't be black and not enough will make the fireworks look dim. When the camera is in auto exposure mode it is trying to brighten up the night sky to get "what it thinks" you want from the image IE something and not just blackness this is why you are having to set the AE shift to -4. When the camera suddenly sees the bright fireworks it will automatically close down the iris to get the -4 setting that you aked of it, this will make the fireworks seem dim in the video. That is why it's best to have manual exposure for this type of shoot. You set the exposure for a black sky but when the fireworks start the iris doesn't close so they will be brighter. You will have to find the best settings for your self but as each situation will be different. If you start with the iris set to about F8 this looks like a good starting point to work from with your camera. Don't have a small F number (below F5) as this will give you a shorter focal area ie some fireworks in focus and some not.

    Hope this makes sense.

  5. #5


    thanks midnight for getting back to me, your a star!
    I am guessing when I set the Iris to f8 and the gain to 24, ae to -4 I'm actually doing it manual as those settings are the exposure.I totally agree about the small iris as I've tried that and its very difficult to get them in focus due to the shallow depth of field like you say.
    So having seen my videos what would you try next to better the colour, I'm thinking going -2 instead of -4 AE shift, will that make it more colourful.
    Or trying it on indoor white balance, I'm thinking this may make the reds better, the greens greener instead of green/yellow and bring the blues out too, what do you think?
    Many thanks
    Oh and do you think the shutter speed at 1/50 is about right, what will happen if I change this to 1/100 or 1/30?

  6. #6


    Well yes, it is a semi manual mode. I think it's a good idea to set the shutter speed to 1/100, this might give you a slightly crisper image as there will be less motion blur. This will make the image a little darker but you can open the iris just a little to compensate if needed. It's hard to do a white balance in the dark, so I would just leave that on auto. Adjusting the exposure won't make the colours more saturated. I don't know what setting on your camera would do that BUT you should be able to increase the saturation with your editing software very easily.

    As you can see from the example below, it's very simple but looks good.

  7. #7


    thanks for that, do you know what its called in premier cs5.5 the video effect to change the colour saturation.

  8. #8


    I don't know it's exact name, I use Sony Vegas but I'm sure it will have the word saturation in it.

  9. #9


    many thanks i'll try that and let you know when I set off some more fireworks, happy new year midnight!

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