So recently I've been having a bit of an odd issue. I have an off white table with white stripes I use for recording. When I record something that is not filling a lot of the frame, I'm fine. But as soon as I film something that nearly fills the frame, the entire background gets blindingly bright and overexposed. This happens with two cameras I've tried. (Kodak Zi8, Sony Bloggie DUO HD)
Here's some pics to give you an idea.
This is ruining my shoots and driving me nuts! Any idea how I can fix this?
You can 1) invest in lights, to match the luminance of the foreground object to the background, 2) choose a darker background, or (my recommendation) 3) move up from pocket cameras to a real camcorder. If you sell the Zi8 and the Bloggie, you should be able to afford something like the $283 Canon HF R20 - which has manual exposure control, mic and headphone jacks, and 8GB of internal memory - so you don't have to buy an SD card to start shooting.
This is simply what you have to deal with when it comes to consumer cameras with automatic video (if you have an exposure lock you can use that to help).. Most consumer video cameras have poor dynamic range and they clip highlights brutally & very fast. If you want to diminish this get you a DSLR with manual controls & custom picture style or at least a video camera with manual controls. I have a Canon T2i with Technicolor Cinestyle and it's quite good for this. If you can't do that, plan your lighting. Light whatever is filling the frame.
Otherwise your only other option is to minimize the harshness in post color grading & see if some of the detail is salvageable...which sometimes it is if you're lucky. What you're seeing is the camera trying to adjust the exposure higher because you're sending it an image that is mostly black in the frame which is telling the camera...."Hey, I'm in the dark! Brighten up the picture!". It's trying to pull out as much dark detail as possible when you have that much black covering the frame because it's thinking the illumination dropped dramatically. When it brings up the black detail there's just not enough dynamic range on the sensor to keep the white from blowing out. This is one of the biggest differences between cinema camera and consumer video cameras....especially automatic lower end models.
Here's a color curve grade I did so you can see what I was able to salvage:
You simply use an editor that has an RBG color curve corrector and learn how adjust the curve on RGB or individual RGB (Ie; Red, Green & Blue curves separately instead of all at once) settings.