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Thread: Can auto mode give good quality for documentary and sports footages?

  1. #1
    Valued Member
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    Oct 2009
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    Default Can auto mode give good quality for documentary and sports footages?

    I have tired to use the more selective operating modes on my HV40. But my footage comes out dull and grainy when I capture it using FCP.

    Would I be better off just setting the camera to auto mode? want to use the camera for docs and to shoot sports events.

  2. #2
    Moderator Erik Bien's Avatar
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    In my opinion, "it depends." The HVs have pretty good auto-focus, and the "focus roller" is beyond cheesy: for fast-moving, un-staged, non-repeatable action, you'll probably end up with fewer buzzed-focus shots if you let the camera handle focusing for you, at least when the main subject is more-or-less centered in the frame where the auto-focus expects it to be.

    On the other hand, I and many others feel that the camera's auto-exposure setting often over-exposes exterior shots in bright light. If only the camera had "exposure compensation" like some other Canons I've owned, I could set the exposure to "auto, minus one or two clicks," and IMHO that would generally give a better result in such conditions. Since the HVs unfortunately can't do that, I generally try to lock exposure, then dial it back a click or two on a shot-by-shot basis when shooting such scenes. If you're having issues with "grainy" footage, I think it's worth taking the time to make sure the camera isn't adding any "electronic gain" to dimly-lit shots, which is usually the chief culprit when footage looks "noisy" or "grainy."

  3. #3
    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    As Erik already mentioned, the grain comes from lacking light. The dulness is related to this issue. There's not enough color information (just like the human eye: the darker it gets, the lower saturated your image is). If the camera boosted saturation, it'd also boost grain - your image would get worse.
    What you call a grumpy German? - Sour Kraut

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