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Thread: Videoing Night Scenes?

  1. #1
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    Default Videoing Night Scenes?

    I have a Canon VIXIA HF R50 camcorder and am having a hell of a time getting any decent, clear video of night scenes, especially my trains that are now lit.

    Can someone please offer some advice on the best way to do night videography of moving objects aka trains.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

  2. #2
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    Does that model contain a Night Scene mode? I think my VIXIA HR R400 does. Go into the setting and see if have that mode.

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    I spent over 6 years doing videography professionally and your going to have issues with any camera in low light situations. As cameras require light to capture images (still or video). If your only relying on the lights from the trains/scenes where you installed the lighting, your probably going to need to add light to the room to capture anything that moves outside of the well light areas of the scene.

    Its difficult to tell what your doing to know for sure, as we don't know what lighting your relying on and cant see how it's set up. You have a very brief description. But my first thought don't have enough light to begin with.

    Generally speaking though here is a few things you can do:

    - Check the cameras white balance options that are built in to see if your camera has dark/night settings and try it out. Canon has a bunch of automated features you'll need to experiment with for white balancing. Maybe one does what ya need in your situation. Try all the various modes out to see what they do. I have the G30 version on the same camera line...and I don't have a night setting. Not sure if other versions have it or not.

    - White balance the camera manually in the light conditions you want to use. Tip: Place a 8 1/2 x 11 white piece of paper in the scene, where your brightest area is. Then with the camera turned on and all the lights you want to use turned on. Focus on the paper and then manually do the white balance while your focusing on the paper. This is setting the camera to your light conditions and recognizing what "white" is in a scene. And it will bring out details in the dark areas. You will have to read your manual on how the camera does white balancing.

    If that doesn't work...add light.

    - Use a adjustable light in the room to add more light to the scene. And slowly turn up the light until you get your desired result. Sometimes all it might take is just adding a little light for the camera sensor to recognize things in the shadow areas.

    Overall there are a ton of things you can do and I would highly recommend reading up on "lighting" and do some interweb searching. Here is a link to some things I got from a quick search on "Lighting a dark scene for video"...

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