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Thread: picture quality need help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Default picture quality need help

    I imported my footage from my minidv to imovie. the footage looks great on the computer ( had that profesional look, like bowling for columbine. when I export it to the camera again after editing, and play it through my VCR with the RCA hook up it looks like an amateur home movie. Like a bad news cast (like americas funniest home videos) Why is this and how can I get it so my movie looks like a feature film. Please help. My showing is in 2 weeks.[/b]

  2. #2


    I loved Bowling for Columbine. It makes me want to move to Canada, especially after reading the book, "Give Me a Break," by John Stossel.

    It would help others to answer your question if you specify what software you're using, your hardware capabilities, connections, file types, etc. Eh?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Default Film


    As above, could you post the following specifications:

    Camera Make/Model
    Computer (Model/Processor/RAM/OS)
    Any additional capturing devices you're using

    Can you plug the camera straight to your TV? I'm thinking maybe the video player's outputting VHS quality signals to your TV. DV is a ZILLION times better than VHS!!! Can you burn DVDs on your system? If you can, burn your film to DVD and watch it on a DVD player.

    There's no short way to explain how to make DV look more 'film-like' - it will NEVER look like film, but you can make your movies look better than 'home videos' by:

    1. Using proper lighting (light it like you'd light it for a 35mm film camera)

    2. Avoid rapid panning (esp. pan left - you'll get jagged 'edges' around objects)

    3. Generally under-expose your shots by one/two stops (unless you know you don't want to) - this gives you some 'fake' depth of field on medium-to-long shots.

    4. Don't use digital zoom (I keep my digital zoom switched off permanently!)

    5. Adjust your white-balance depending on the lighting conditions / mood you want to create. If you do this well, you'll shave hours off post-production color correction!

    6. Sound: This is the hardest part. I would avoid using the built-in mic on the camera, or using the 'mic' socket on the camera to record sound. I've used a minidisc recorder very successfully in the past. Use a boom if you can (Sennheiser K6 gun mic + pole is dirt cheap to rent). No matter how good your film 'looks' if the sound is crap the whole thing is crap.


    1. Color correct (this is easier said than done - I have an editor who does it with me - if you have any editor/DP friends, this is where you buy them a pint!)

    2. Sound: ADR (overdub) anything that doesn't sound 'perfect'. It's easier than you think! You need to have one GOOD mic though... does't have to be expensive, I use a Rode NT2 with a 'Gold Mike' preamp to do all the 'in house' stuff (total value 400). I rent a Sennheiser K6 gun mic and DAT recorder to do 'outside' recording.

    3. I find that a little Gamma correction goes a long way to making shots look more 'vivid'.

    There are probably other important things that I haven't mentioned. I hope I didn't come across as being patronizing - "you must do this and you must do that" etc., I'm just getting started with DV myself, and so far I've found that the things I listed above make a BIG difference.



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