Category: Tech Tips

Mono XLR socket

Connecting Pro mics to your consumer camcorder

The problem Many camcorder users, quite rightly, wish to improve their sound quality and an obvious way to do that is to use an external microphone rather than the inbuilt ones on the camcorder. But whereas consumer camcorders boast a 3.5 mm stereo socket to...

Canon HF-G25 with screen flipped

What shutter speed to film swimming?

Answer: You are correct that if you increase the shutter speed, the video image can look choppy; this is because the camcorder takes a faster look at each image and therefore there is less motion blur recorded. As such, when the images are played back...

Wedding image (courtesy www.freeimages.co.uk)

Filming weddings & stage shows

Answer: In weddings and stage shows, you’ve picked the two most technically challenging situations that a video camera can ever face. With extreme contrasts of dark and light – not to mention often wildly varying colour balance for the stage shows – these are very...

Canon XA20 format choice screen

What Canon XA20/XA25 formats to use?

Answer: 1) They are, as you say, effectively the same but in a different wrapper. Some editing programs – notably Final Cut and Avid – will simply prefer the files in one wrapper or the other so you may find it more convenient to shoot...

Audio Technica AT875R

What shotgun mic for Canon HF-G30?

Answer: A shotgun mic is always a handy item to have in your arsenal. However you may actually find that in noisy environments the lavalier works better because it can be clipped unobtrusively much closer to the interviewee’s mouth than you would be able to...

Flower pic, showing shallow depth of field (courtesy www.freeimages.co.uk)

Why can’t I throw the image background out of focus?

Answer: Having the background to your subject blurred is of course a classic ‘look’ in films and documentaries, the ensure the viewer’s eye is drawn to the main subject of the image rather than the background. It’s achieved by controlling the “depth of field” of...

iPhone with iTunes

How to fix “underwater” / garbled sound on the iphone

Answer: First of all, if you haven’t already watched it then I strongly recommend – pardon my ego – my video about improving sound on the G25, as the defaults really aren’t that good in fact: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVHNe-6runQ As regards your specific problem, here’s your issue:...

Rycote Invision Softie Lyre with mic on camcorder

How best to film an audience debate?

Answer: Let’s start with the bad news (sorry): quite simply, no camcorder on earth is going to do the job you want, even half decently unless you invest in the audio system. By this, I mean neither an internal mic or any single shotgun mic...