what to do about camcorder settings
It's that time of the year again and we're going to be shooting our daughter's choral concert. We want to do a better job this time and were wondering if we should try doing some manual settings. The only problem is that we won't have much of a chance to test the lighting since they only put on the real lights when the actual performance starts. Googling around I know that people adjust gain, shutter speed, iris, and white balance. Which should we attempt if any? And if so please explain how to best do it.
Some camcorders have an option where you can take a reading off a white object, push a button, and the white balance will then be accurately calculated for your environment by taking a reading on that object. That is generally the most accurate way to set white balance. But it requires that you both have a white object on the stage to get a reading from. And get close enough to the stage so that you can fill your viewfinder with the object. Once the white balance is set, you could then move to where you plan to record your video from.
Good to know. I'll definitely try to set this!
Many cameras have this feature, especially if they are advanced. That is why so many photographers have a white colored card inside their bag.
A choral concert does not involve any fast action. So you could get by using a slower shutter speed. And that will help a lot in a low light situation. I usually shoot in 1080/30p, with the recommended shutter speed of 1/60th. But if the stage is real dark, you could try 1/30th second instead.
Or you could shoot in 1024/24p mode, with a 1/48th or 1/50th second shutter.
Thanks! I think the stage is fairly well lit. I'll have to check and see if we can set the shutter speed.
Once the shutter speed is set, adjust the iris to that it can hopefully get all of the choir in focus. If you are going to shoot from a fixed position at the same distance from a stationary subject, you should then manually set your focus too. Zoom in close to the singers, when you set the focus, so that you are sure that your focus point is right on them. If your camcorder has focus peaking, then turn that on, and it will make it real easy for you to confirm that all of your subjects are in focus
If lighting will be constant throughout the show, you could set the gain and leave it on manual. Otherwise, if the lighting will vary during the performance, leave gain set on auto, so that the camera can use it to adjust for any changes in exposure.
Auto is what we'll have to use here!
Thanks for the detailed explanation and how to achieve what we need to get!
Don't focus on exceptional photography focus on exceptional subjects to photograph. -Bill