Category: Q & A

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...

Panasonic x920

Canon HF-G25 or Panasonic x920?

Answer: For starters, whilst the HF-G30 has features more on a par with the Panasonic, it is substantially more expensive, so on pure price terms you’d have to compare the HF-G25 with the x920. Then, in terms of “bang for the buck”, the x920 vastly...

Canon HF-G25 with screen flipped

How best to record audio for a fishing documentary?

Answer: Clearly the wired mic is a non-starter. As soon as you or the angler moves, the wire’s going to yank away from his clothes or pull out of the camera, or you’re both going to trip over the wire and so on. Your Rode...