Lighting + Sound for Night Club Shooting

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    • #36860

      We have been shooting video for our nightclub events but the quality + color isn’t as great as we want because of lighting. We have a small attached light that we have on our Sony miniDV but it’s too bright and in a dark nightclub environment it gets pretty annoying.

      Check out the videos we’ve had – some nightvision (which sucks).

      We had some professionals come in (well more pro than us) but they used a full setup with really expensive cameras and lighting equiptment.

      So any advice for me using my Sony miniDV camcorder? Is there special lighting for better color? Or what about Sound – do I buy a mic? Or could better colors be achieved during post-production using filters in my software?

    • #163712

      This should work and if it does you will be very pleased with the results.
      1) Use a Sony VX2100
      2) Remove all filters in order to avoid flair effect.
      3) Set the shutter speed at one-thirtieth

      Without the strobe, automatic focus should work fine. You might try it anyway. Due to the strobe, the automatic focus may tend to mistakenly focus in the super close-up zone from time to time. Because of the strobe lighting, one more setting to deal with:

      4) Set focus to manual at the infinity position. Essentially, everything at 10 feet and beyond will be sharp. If the strobe dies, you will lose this deep depth of field; just switch back to auto focus.

      The effect of shooting this way may not look like reality; it may look better than that. The above may work with other cams, but setting to a thirtieth is an important part. A fiftteenth would be too surreal due to the constant subject movement. It WILL work with the 2100.

      About one-third of the "professional" shoot at your link is underlit and some appears to be out of focus. Give the above formula a try.

      REGARDS … TOM 8)

    • #163713

      compusolver Wrote:

      Sony VX2100 is the best, affordable camcorder you can get for lowlight gigs. Rated at 1-Lux, its the best way to preserve color and image quality under dim conditions. I’d cover the thing with multiple cams and include audience reaction shots, closeups of musicians, dancers and a wide shot of the stage.

      As for your sound, I would use a digital recorder plugged into the sound system for the music track and then I’d have a shotgun mic pointed into the crowd for ambient sound to mix in with the music. Placement for the shotgun mic will depend on your surroundings, but avoid picking up the music from the speakers as much as possible, which might mean having it near the stage and pointing toward the center of the crowd.

      I haven’t done club shoots, so this isn’t the "voice of experience" talking, at least not from that exact experience.

      All is about not sensitivity but exposure latitude.

      Messure your hot key lights (what is a key light, the light that gives you the mood of the escene in this case all the robotics and strobes and lycos)

      Ok Now i have my reading… the hottest key light would be the plate where the dancer … well, dance. and then have the DJ and then the public.

      Now… remember that your will have no matter how low your low lux rate is… 3 f stops to burnt withe, 3 stops to complete darknes. if your shots have any image away from this range is going to be lost for ever.

      Your on light camera is a….. FILL light… compensate your exposure so your night club shot is darkes 2 fstops low, and do not blown up your whites with the robotics. Dimm the on light camera, no dimmer use a gel.. ND o.3 and added as many layers as you need.

      now you will have 3 exposures and 3 Fills… 1 for the dancer dancing… one for the disk jokey jokeing? jaja and one for the public!

      Make your reading… on ambiance then balance your exposure then! turn off the A of automatic exposure on your cam…

      Try, experiment and good luck!


    • #163714

      gerard’s advice is great (as is the other advice), and if your camera allows you that much control, it’s what I would reccomend.

      I don’t know, but I get the feeling you might be using a Consumer grade camera, and you’re not thinking about upgrading. I would say that you should make sure you have a nice camera, especially for promotional material, but if you are going to use consumer grade stuff, the only way to compensate will be to add lots and lots of fill lighting. Consumer cameras are genarally mostly automatic, designed for the less-experienced, and typically aren’t very good in low-lighting, which means your i-beams and strobe lights are going to throw off focus and cause you worlds of grief unless your fill light almost overpowers them. With lots of lighting, you’ll overcome your camera’s automatic adjust problems, though it will at least partially cost you the "mood" of your scene.

      Specificaly, what model camera do you currently have, and are you even considering upgrading? The 2100 is almost certainly the camera you want if you can afford the upgrade.

    • #163715

      Wanted to reinvestigate this since it’s been a while. We were debating whether or not to just simply upgrade and purchase the 2100 (the video person we’re using is charging us $300 each night for rental).

      The question we have is are there other lower-costs cameras other than the 2100 to accomplish what we’re doing? We know that the 2100 is real professional grade, but maybe one notch down on the quality is OK.

      Any suggestions?

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