HV20 settings for low light - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-25-2007, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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My granddaughter will be celebrating her birthday with friends and family at a "Cosmic Bowling" evening at the local bowling center. I'd like to try to capture the action with my HV20 but am not exactly sure how to set up the camera for those low light conditions. Since its "Cosmic Bowling" it'll even be darker than normal. I'm not going to be looking for the usual excellent daytime HDV video but would at least like to have something watchable. Suggestions for camera settings would be appreciated. Since this is bowling there will be motion involved.. am I just going to have to live with jerky video due to low light shutter adjustment?
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-25-2007, 02:18 PM
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I don't think you can record to well inside Cosmic Bowling (unless they use a LOT of blacklight).

regardless, my favourite indoor setting if the light level is severely low:

1/30 shutter speed (set it at Tv -- shutter priority)
custom settings: brightness +1

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post #3 of 11 Old 04-25-2007, 02:41 PM
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I would use 24P, it helps low light a lot.

Tim
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-25-2007, 03:06 PM
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How strange. The first time I tested my Canon HV20 was for cosmic bowling! I was pretty happy with the results (I used both 24P and Cinemode). You just have to be careful with the panning (problem with 24P in general, not just low light). I also made use of the camera light when filming subjects not bowling.
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-25-2007, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Latedate, so using those settings keep the camera as steady as possible. Also, did your video come out good enough to tell who was who if the subjects were not completely in the dark without using the light? how were the distant shots? Was there enough light/detail to tell who you were filiming?
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-25-2007, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gvc View Post

Latedate, so using those settings keep the camera as steady as possible. Also, did your video come out good enough to tell who was who if the subjects were not completely in the dark without using the light? how were the distant shots? Was there enough light/detail to tell who you were filiming?

Of course, it goes without saying you should always keep the camera as steady as possible. But more importantly, while in 24P mode, try to keep panning to a minimum (and if panning is necessary, make sure you are not in zoom and that you pan slowly).

I will try to put up some clips to give you an idea of the detail. Looking at the video again, I see that you will definitely want to use the camera light as much as possible; it makes a big difference in the close up shots. Even without the camera light, you can still tell who the subjects are, certainly, but nowhere near as detailed as having it on. As for the distant shots, they seemed to come out clearer since the ambient light from the bowling lanes seemed to help considerably.

The bowling alley we visited switched back-and-forth between cosmic bowl and regular bowl. In case you are in the same situation, you will most likely want to check your white balance when they flip the lights back on. I didn't and my footage suffered a bit. I probably should have set it to fluorescent lighting (or manual setting). All in all, I am pretty happy with the results.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-26-2007, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latedate View Post

Of course, it goes without saying you should always keep the camera as steady as possible. But more importantly, while in 24P mode, try to keep panning to a minimum (and if panning is necessary, make sure you are not in zoom and that you pan slowly).

I will try to put up some clips to give you an idea of the detail. Looking at the video again, I see that you will definitely want to use the camera light as much as possible; it makes a big difference in the close up shots. Even without the camera light, you can still tell who the subjects are, certainly, but nowhere near as detailed as having it on. As for the distant shots, they seemed to come out clearer since the ambient light from the bowling lanes seemed to help considerably.

The bowling alley we visited switched back-and-forth between cosmic bowl and regular bowl. In case you are in the same situation, you will most likely want to check your white balance when they flip the lights back on. I didn't and my footage suffered a bit. I probably should have set it to fluorescent lighting (or manual setting). All in all, I am pretty happy with the results.


Sorry for taking so long, but I was trying to create a Windows-compatible video format; I chose to go with QuickTime (.mov) files since most users seem to have it installed (and it's free). I hope I succeeded (I don't have a Windows machine handy to test, but it appears to work in a Windows virtual machine, at least).

NOTE: Be sure to click "Download Original Video" for the following clips! The flash version embedded on the page was re-encoded into flash and was re-sampled (much degraded) by the divshare.com people!

Here's a clip with the camera light turned off:
http://www.divshare.com/download/492169-181

And here's one with it turned on:
http://www.divshare.com/download/492182-818

Please note that I may not have done the most perfect job at encoding (e.g., I wonder if I chose the correct bitrate?) so there is a good chance there is some degradation from the master. But, I think it should still give you an idea, at least (to the naked eye, they seem to look similar).

FYI, for anyone familiar with linux, here are the steps I used to create the QuickTime movies above (if you have a better solution, I would love to hear it):

First, I removed the telecine in order to get at the progressive video:

Code:
mencoder -oac copy -ovc lavc \\
  -vf pullup,harddup \\
  -lavcopts vbitrate=8000:aspect=16/9:mbd=2:trell=yes -ofps 24000/1001 \\
  -o bowling24p.avi bowling.m2t
Second, I used avidemux2 to cut out the short clips. I did not perform any encoding at all (set both audio and video streams to "Copy"). I had to make sure that I began on an intraframe key (very important! if you don't, you will lose aspect ratio!)

Finally, I used ffmpeg to create the QuickTime file:

Code:
ffmpeg -b 8000000 -i clip24p.avi clip24p.mov
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-26-2007, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Latedate for the samples and taking the time to offer them. It does give me an idea of what to expect. thanks again.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-26-2007, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gvc View Post

Thanks Latedate for the samples and taking the time to offer them. It does give me an idea of what to expect. thanks again.

You're very welcome. I have to admit the footage isn't exactly stellar, but you have to remember how dark that place was! My better lit hv20 footage is obviously much clearer. Good luck with your granddaughter's birthday party! Don't spend too much time behind the camera!
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-26-2007, 04:47 PM
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Also don't forget to put in cine mode when doing 24p. I think that will also help.

Tim
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post #11 of 11 Old 04-26-2007, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColorChange View Post

Also don't forget to put in cine mode when doing 24p. I think that will also help.

cinemode was applied in all of my 24p footage, btw.
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