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  1. #1

    Video for post fire investigation

    HI everyone, I'm new to the forums here but have a pretty good grasp on video shooting/editing. I have a few questions that I thought maybe you could help me out with.

    I work for a fire department, and we are looking to start using video in our post fire investigations. What I was wondering id if anyone has done this before, and if you have any tips on camera/lighting/etc?

    I've shot some limited video with an older Hi8 camera a few years ago with limited success. The problem is - everything is SO black. all the carbon just seems to absorb the light that's present, and also the lighting we have is very specific task (IE spotlights). Would I be better to try and use some kind of diffuser?

    My department wants to get in cheap - I was thinking of a Canon Optura with a couple hundred for extras and then a few hundred for an editing suite. I use Vegas for my side business, but we could get away with something very simple. Is there a simple program out there that will show the time-stamp on the video? We need it for continuity to show the whole video in case it would go to court. The plan is to dump this to DVD and then put the original DV tape and the DVD with the file.

    Thanks in advance...


  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
    Blog Entries
    Hi Brent, that's an interesting problem.

    You could certainly try some diffusion or just use more lights. Experiment with different light positions as well, especially lighting at more of an angle. It might also be worth trying a low contrast filter to see if this brings out more detail in the black.

    In post-production you could try lifting the black levels a bit which would have a similar effect (if this works it would be preferable to using a filter IMO).

    If you dump DV footage to DVD, I believe that many players will show the time stamp as a subtitle (but don't quote me on this). It's worth looking into as it could save you a lot of time and hassle. Alternatively, there are lots of cheap programs which bring out the hidden time stamp data and make it into a visible caption.
    Dave Owen


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