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

  1. #1
    Valued Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    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
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Dimvur, CO


    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
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Saipan, USA


    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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