August 31, 2006 at 3:11 PM #42560lonestarfireworksParticipant
We are a small growing fireworks display company wanting to video capture our displays for future use. Been looking at HD cameras but I’m pretty green. Anyone got any suggestions for videoing fireworks, something in the 2 to 3k range. Thanks
August 31, 2006 at 4:01 PM #178673videolabParticipant
Get a camera with the biggest chips and the biggest lens. A big lens allows you to capture alot of light. Big chips allow the same as well as a good contrast ratio. This will be important to you because I assume since you are going to be shooting fireworks you will want to shoot at night. Unfortunatly the HD cameras in that range have small chips and lens’. The DVX-100 is a tried and true camera with a large 74mm lens and 1/3 chips it is a great camera and does very well in low light (It was better than the $20K dvcpro cameras that we had). Some on this fourm also recomend sony’s vx-2100 but as I have never used one I cannot comment on its performance. I do believe however that the DVX-100b (which was recently refreshed) will probably offer the most flexibility as it is a newer version of an already great camera.
December 21, 2006 at 1:07 PM #178674greg0215Participant
I have the Sony HVR-Z1U and was wanting to capture some of the fireworks this New Year. I was planning on manual focus set to infinity. Would it be best to open the iris all the way and set shutter to 60? Would it be better to slow the shutter and close the iris down a little? I was even considering everything on full automatic except the focus. Any suggestions would be great.
December 22, 2006 at 2:32 PM #178675TomScratchParticipant
Trying to remember from this last July 4th:
I ended up with the best results at either a 100th or 250th; this got the most crisp images at peak "blossoming."
This of course means that the aperture was wide. In theory, the sharpest images would result from the smallest aperture. I started out this way, but ended up going for the faster shutter speed instead. With slower shutter speeds the entire sky lights up, and the fireworks blend in.
Shoot early and often. After several minutes the sky begins to fill up with smoke. So by the time of the climactic final fireworks boom-anza, the smoke can really be getting in the way. Depends on atmospheric conditions of course. Yours may be different. But I wouldn’t wait until the end and the possibilty that the most dramatic/cleanest video potential will be at the beginning of program.
No matter what I said above, anyway you shoot fireworks will probably give you interesting usable images. Did my 4th with a Sony VX2100.
Merrie Merrie Merrie,
REGARDS … TOM 8)
January 27, 2007 at 9:27 AM #178676AnonymousInactive
i have filmed fireworks dozens of times and exposure and focus is very tricky. Definately do not leave camera on automatic settings – the cam will see the dark skye and will go wide open + gain, out of focus prob and fireworks will be overexposed – they will all be white instead of different colours.
You want a black skye without noise and you want colourful fireworks – must set cam manual.
my best results on a DSR570 are WB set at 3200k, set focus at infinity then turn it back a touch so its not completely at infinity – zoom in at a point in the show you can afford to miss and check focus. Exposure is where most get caught out – you dont need to be fully open. I judge exposure by experience and the size of the glow/halo. From memory i think i’m about F5.6 or F8 to get good exposure of different colours. It wont be easy to judge in a small B&W viewfinder – you have to trust your instincts and learn from experience. Switch on Zebra and you want to avoid seeing zebra for the colourful FW. Makes little difference for the white ones – you can get away with being OE – you just make the trails and bursts glow more.
Havent shot FW with a Z1 but follow same settings above – will need to be more opened to account for less sensitivity of Z1 – perhaps F2. The colour LCD should give you a good idea of what your getting. Make sure not in auto, otherwise the cam will def put in 18db of gain which is totally unnecessary.
If you want reaction shots of faces of crowd at end, a Z1 will need to be switched back into auto and a on camera light will help.
January 28, 2007 at 6:51 PM #178677bubskiParticipant
hi peoples i’m new here but you might not belive this but i used a cheap cannon 65 dv to film the 4th fireworks in maui it wasn’t too bad except the silver had a little blurr i left it on auto. the finnaly came out the best i guess the auto focus got a chance to stay put for a while and i think the distance was a factor too.cause the barg was moving away from me. i would like to see your finished video if you don’t mind im a phyro at heart.
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