Is there a way to change a quartz-halogen light from 3600-degrees Kelvin to daylight (6000-degrees Kelvin) without buying the expensive products from lighting companies?
San Gabriel, CA
All you need is a daylight color correction gel (a thin piece of transparent, heat resistant plastic of a specific color) to place in front of the light source. They are inexpensive and available from most video light manufacturers or photography and video supply houses (you should be able to find a package of five 8×10-inch gels for about $20). Remember though, you should always re-white balance whenever you change the color of your light source.
Please excuse my ignorance, but from time to time I read about controlling or restoring “black levels,” or the term “black clipping”. To what does this refer?
The black level is that portion of the video signal that corresponds to a specific maximum limit for black peaks. It is the part of the signal that is black when displayed on the television screen. The NTSC format specifies that picture black is set at 7.5 IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers) and the minimum level for black is at 0 IRE (measured on a waveform monitor). When black is set too low (below 7.5 IRE), details will be lost in the dark areas of the picture. Black clipping is limiting the amplitude of the picture signal to a preset maximum black level, usually 0 IRE.
I recently purchased a Sharp VL-5000U Digital Camcorder which has a four-volt powered external microphone jack. The jack accepts a 3.5mm mini plug but the manual warns to use Sharps optional microphone. Any other external microphone, the manual says, could damage the camera or mike. How can I use my collection of various mikes, including my wireless Nady, with this camera?
Los Altos, CA
The Sharp VL-5000Us external microphone input supplies phantom power (supplying the power source for a condenser microphone by sending a small DC voltage to the mike along the same cable on which the microphone sends its audio signal). According to Sharp the system should work with any standard condenser microphone that can handle between 2.5v and 4v of phantom power. However, Sharp said it can make no guarantees for accessories made by other manufacturers. For more information, you should contact Sharp customer service at 1-800-BESHARP. For use with wireless systems you should contact the manufacturer of that system.
I create video productions with a camcorder that has an infrared remote control. Unfortunately, the remote control has to be directly aligned with the infrared sensor. Any obstructions will block the rays. Recently I bought a crane to better improve the camera work and it is now almost impossible to control the zoom and other features using the remote. I called Sony, and they said that getting a remote with a wire is impossible for my type of camera. Can you offer any advice on how to solve this problem?
The infrared signal from your remote control is a form of light (below the visible spectrum) and is therefore a line-of-sight signal. However, just as with visible light, the infrared signal can be bounced. Try mounting some mirrors (automotive or motorcycle rearview mirrors should work fine) or other kinds of reflectors (aluminum foil often works) at strategic locations on the crane or on the camcorder and see if you can reflect the signal to the sensor (make sure the batteries are fresh). I have successfully bounced infrared remotes using smooth, white surfaces. Another way would be to use a long fiber optic cable, but this would take some shopping around to find and may be expensive.