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  1. #1

    Camera settings on a cloudy day

    I'd only just brought my new canon mvx250i camera when i was asked to tape some motorcycles. I had had a play around with it to learn that it has manual focus, white balance, exposure & shutter speed settings. Unfortunately i didn't have time to use these settings as the bikes caught up to us very fast and only just had time to jump on the back of the ute and place the camera on top of the tripod (not locked down though) when they went flying past.

    The video came out "dark" and not very clear as you can see by this picture
    If i had time to do it again, what settings should i of used.
    I was thinking along the lines of manually setting the white balance and maybe using the "sports" option for shutter speed.
    Problem with the white balance setting is that if you watch the video in my website (click the video link on the homepage) you can see that it goes from cloudy to sunhine. Would this confuse the white balance settings?
    Also you will notice that the riders are in shadow as the sun comes from the opposite side. Was there anything i could of done to fix this.

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    Last edited by westie; 17th Sep 2006 at 21:56. Reason: spelling
    A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only cling film for shorts.
    The shrink says, 'Well, I can clearly see you're nuts.'

  2. #2
    A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only cling film for shorts.
    The shrink says, 'Well, I can clearly see you're nuts.'

  3. #3
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
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    I don't know much about your exact camera model but I'll assume that it's a fairly standard camcorder in terms of features and operation. My experience with these camcorders is that although they usually have all the manual functions available, in the real world it's not practical to use them all. I'd say in a situation like the motorcycle shot you would have to decide which are the most important things to set manually and which things you can live with on automatic.

    Personally I would leave the white balance on auto. Obviously this isn't ideal but at least you can see the LCD and know if the colours are too far out. It also means you don't have to keep re-doing the white balance when you already have enough things to worry about.

    Going from sun to clouds can sometimes create a nasty white balance if you have set it manually. It depends on the time of day, time of year, type of clouds, etc. Again, auto-white balance is a passable solution.

    I can see that the glare from the clouds has made some parts of your video too dark on auto-iris. That's a difficult one to deal with as little camcorders can be very tricky to adjust on the fly. If you could adjust the manual iris, you just needed to open it a little more. If you needed to keep it on auto, you could have tried tilting the shot down a little to get more of the road and less of the clouds - this may have given you a better auto-exposure.

    A sports shutter setting might have been nice, but I don't know if it was really necessary. I think the default shutter setting looked okay.

    BTW, thanks for the link on your site
    Dave Owen

  4. #4
    No worries.
    (if you remember back, i did ask you by the way )

    I think that all the conditions for that video shot were not in my favour. I realise it's only a consumer video camera and limited in it's abilities but when the conditions are right it does take nice footage
    Plus the analogue/digital pass thru feature works great for transfering my old hi8 footage over to my computer.

    I'm thinking of saving up for a prosumer model camera and keeping this one as a second camera.

    Anyway, Thanks for the great tutorials. If you ever get the spare time do you think you could do one on how to use the colour correcter in Premiere?.

    Cheers, westie
    A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only cling film for shorts.
    The shrink says, 'Well, I can clearly see you're nuts.'


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