What Lighting?

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Pathfinder
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Joined: Jan 29 2006

I am currently using a cheap domestic camcorder (mini dv). Funds do not allow a progression to semi pro as per my previous post.

I am going to film a workshop in doors, possible under fluorescent lighting. What is the minimum kit I can get away with? I have edited a version with fluorescent lights by someone else and the quality was dire.

I'll be looking for second hand kit, with a budget of £200-£300

Pathfinder

PP
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Joined: Jan 30 2004

A visit to B & Q has been advised recently. Might be fruitful. Have a look at their "builders" lights.
Don't forget to manual white balance when you/ve got the lights set up

Peter

HallmarkProductions
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Joined: Aug 29 1999

Define "dire"?
I would imagine that under domestic fluorescents, the skin tones looked greenish, but, that could havebeen improved by white balancing. Next, the images would be flat (little apparent depth to the images), but, bearing in mind you are shooting on a domestic camcorder, with inherrent quality limitations, what improvements are you actually hoping for?
Of course, the lighting is very diffused, and all from the top, but you can improve your pictures by framing with that in mind. At least the lights should be bright enough for the camera to cope with.
We have shot many items for TV under office fluorescents, and the quality has not been ideal, nor dire.
You may actually be introducing problems for yourself - the lights from B & Q will be harsh and create strong shadows. They will also be hot to work under, and will draw a lot of power from the mains sockets - careful you do not run too many on one ring main. Also think about H&S issues - the lamps should have protected fronts, and they need to be PAT tested.

Chris
Time for a new signature now...

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005
HallmarkProductions wrote:
You may actually be introducing problems for yourself - the lights from B & Q will be harsh and create strong shadows.

Definitely agree with that - when doing close-ups of hands/tools, even a small shadow can spoil what the viewer is supposed to be seeing.

A dry run with the worker is also helpful, as they always seem to do something which they don't tell you, so you end up on blind side or with lighting from wrong direction.

Video copes with low light pretty well. It's a wide contrast range that's to be avoided (like windw in b/g). Low (or not-bright) lighting is better than harsh shadows - just a question of how much flicker you get from flourescents.

Pathfinder
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Joined: Jan 29 2006

Thanks for the replies.

Pathfinder
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Joined: Jan 29 2006

There is also some filming of a show with dim lighting, is there a single lamp arrangement for close up impromptu interviews, that’s portable? The camera would be hand held for this.

Peter

HallmarkProductions
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Joined: Aug 29 1999

On-camera industry standard light is the Paglight. Sachtler make a handheld reporter light (too late for you - we just sold one)., and IDX make a cheaper on-camera light (Ok, but not as good build quality as PAG).

Chris
Time for a new signature now...

Pathfinder
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Joined: Jan 29 2006

cheers

fuddam
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Joined: Nov 19 2005

can buy the PAG C6 for 175 inclu including battery, dichroic filter etc

battery lasts 2hrs +/-

20W, but can take 10W and 30W

http://www.paguk.com/c6/

infocus
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Joined: Jul 18 2003
HallmarkProductions wrote:
On-camera industry standard light is the Paglight. ........ and IDX make a cheaper on-camera light (Ok, but not as good build quality as PAG).

IDX also do a white LED camera top light, daylight balanced and much more efficient than halogen, obviously needs an orange filter to balance to tungsten. Other big advantage is it's dimmable with not much change in colour temperature. That can help avoid overlighting - set camera exposure/gain for background, then adjust headlight intensity to expose face - without readjusting camera exposure.

Disadvantage of the LED light is the beam pattern and controllability isn't as good as a point source. For what you want, the advantages may outweigh the disadvantages.

Pathfinder
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Joined: Jan 29 2006

Good kit!

Although as I have said I’m using a cheap domestic camcorder and I’m not sure where it could be mounted. Is there an attachment that fixes onto the tripod fix point at the bottom of the cam?

infocus
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Joined: Jul 18 2003

Most headlights screw on to the top of the camera (though small DV cameras may not have that thread). Alternatively, there are adaptors to make use of the hot shoe, or if it comes to the worst get an L-bracket which mounts to the tripod screw.

The best headlights are designed to be used with pro cameras and take their power tapped off the camera battery at 12 volts. Used with mini cameras they do need a separate battery.