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    • #47109

      Hello i want to start to film sunrises and sunsets at the beach, and i also want decent audio to do it, i was wondering if anyone knew of a decent camcorder to use to do this with, and i am looking to do this with the least amount of money to be spent???? any suggestions would be wonderful

    • #193918

      Is this for personal viewing or will you be sharing or selling them? Do you want a tape based camera or flash memory based camera? Standard definition or HD? A little more detail would help us provide you with better suggestions.

    • #193919
      Grinner Hester

      You didn’t state what film format you wanna shoot on. If 16, I really like Canon’s little Scoopic. You can still find em on ebay for very little. Today, you don’t need a nagra or anything of the like for audio. A simple digital recorder will do the trick just fine.

      Looking for the least expensive avenue, filming it is not a good choice. You can find cheap HDV camcorders all over the place and not have the expense of film, telecine or the time involved marrying it all together. I’d go with video, unless film is really required.

    • #193920

      Hi, I’m writing in the same post couse my problem is related to sun rises. But my question isnt actually about right camera but I’ve got a problem with cam settings. So I’ve got Sony NX5 and I’m going to shoot sun rise. I haven’t tried it yet but I suppose that there will be a problem that my footage is too dark (especially at thebeginningwhen there is not toomuchsun ) and too bright (when the sun comes up and is flashing directly onto my camera). What settings should I have to do it properly? Maybe I should just left it on auto mode. Hope you will find better solution πŸ˜€ Thx in advance for your help!

    • #193921

      IMHO, Michael, you WANT to keep the drama of the shifting total lightness to total darkness, if you’re going to record that complete occurrence, so set your iris appropriately for exposure for the overly bright start and allow the darkness to prevail toward the end. Trust me, there will be enough “brightness” over the duration of the exposure to satisfy your sunset/sunrise needs.

      I expect the original poster is like a LOT of other “strictly video” shooters in that they use the term “film” inappropriately when they’re ONLY using video or other digital forums and actually NOT shooting FILM at all. In the case of videotaping, it would be difficult to advise as per standard definition (takes LESS memory, smaller files) or high definition (MORE memory, larger files) like “Crafters” notes.

      You might consider taking a look at the Canon Vixia HF-M301 … I’ve heard from other friends and sources that it has sold for as little as $400 at various Costco stores; and the tape-based HV40 is an excellent camera, going for about $600 or so, if you can still find one. Then, of course, there’s the HF S20, about $1K, give or take, and the digital SDHC card using replacement for the ever popular HV20 through HV40 series that uses MiniDV tape.

      Grinner’s suggestion for a standalone digital recorder hits the bullseye, and the best unit out there, IMHO is the Zoom H2. Put that puppy on a light stand for elevation and isolation away from your camcorder and general unwanted noise sources, perhaps up front, closer to the shore and out of the shot (of course πŸ˜‰ and you’ve got GREAT audio to work in under during post.

    • #193922

      I’d steer clear of motion cameras altogether. Timelapse with a dslr and then animate with something like Quicktime to make the movie.

      Get really fancy and set your timelapse to shoot bracketed exposures then merge the bracketed shots into HDR shots, then load the HDR shots into quicktime to make a High Dynamic Range movie.

      eg (not mine):

    • #193923

      While that is certainly a creative approach, and works and results in some great looking stuff, it’s not my particular cup of tea. I prefer to shoot the full event then, if desired, speed it up or slow it down in post, using a motion camera to get ALL the motion of the event. Time lapse and real time, even real time speeded up or slowed down, are seriously different approaches with specific visual results.

      Also, I believe there was a “budgetary” consideration by the original poster that likely excludes investment in a dslr.

    • #193924

      Than you EarlC and Don forexhaustivepost. My plan was to record whole sun rise as a traditional shoot (24 fps) and thanadjustits duration in Adobe Premiere. I dont care too much about file size. I’ve got 64 Gb on camera and enough space on my computer.

    • #193925

      you’re welcome… Earl, I must say is an incredible resource. He explains things very well.

      If you did not know how to swim, you’d probably want Earl to teach you, as opposed to me…. I’m more the “You’ll wanna hold your breath, until you get your head above water, and BTW kick your feet and paddle your arms” as I throw you out of the boat, kind of teacher….

      The important thing is one way or the other, you’ll swim.


    • #193926

      Reports are Earl just drowned trying to teach Don how to swim πŸ˜‰ Thanks Don, for the kind words. Even I tell myself I talk (write) too much πŸ˜‰

    • #193927

      EarlC… I did as you told me but opposite couse I was shooting sun rise and thebeginningof the video i quite fine but that when sun is up it’s too bright in my opinion. also it was so windy that it moved my camera a lil during shooting. What can I make to make this short footage looks more professional/like in cinema?

      Here’s a link to video I did.

    • #193928


      I have to say I DID enjoy the footage, especially the two vessels going across the horizon added a unique quality to the shot. There will be a dozen other opinions and suggestions and most of them will be good for one aspect or another. For THIS sequence I would simply use whatever settings my post editing software provides to bring down the brightness just a wee bit. While it is bright, I didn’t find it to be out of acceptable range personally. I understand what you’re saying though, and to get a crisper less blown out shot of the sun itself is going to take some extra patience and effort.

      So, in post, simply bring down the brightness, and nudge the contrast … some programs have an exposure adjustment that can do a better job without the heavy application that brightness and contrast can generate … a more subtle change/adjustment, but a light hand on the brightness/contrast can work.

      Shooting: Obviously if the wind was causing camera movement you need to rent or borrow a heavier tripod, especially if you’re going to attempt to increase or decrease your iris setting during the shoot, or attempt to dial in, or slide over the lens an ND filter that will help reduce the light as the sun peaks out.

      I assume your camera likely doesn’t have a two- or three-point adjustment for ND? On the other hand, if you preset your exposure to handle the brighter aspect of the sun actually coming out, then your beginning footage will be fairly dark by comparison … where do you want to make the tradeoff? That would be the question for a simply sunrise/sunset shot.

      I did something crazy once, using two identical models (because I had them, a pair of XL1 Canon) side-by-side on heavy tripods, framed as close to identical as possible but with one having optimum setting for the start of the shot, and the other my best guess at an optimum setting for the ending shot. I blended the two and it came out reasonably well, although a true shooter/editor would see where the first/second sequence joined. I looked around to find that footage but you cannot imagine the pile of tape I’d have to go through. If I ever am able to come across it, I’ll share and show with a new post or resurrect this one.

      The speed seemed a tad fast to me, but you could probably cut the lead part. I’ve been inspired by you to go out and attempt some new stuff with sunrise and sunset, trying to pick up pelicans flying in formation, and vessels on the water, that was really a unique touch, I thought.

    • #193929

      Looks great to me. Only suggestion is to reduce the amount of ocean in the shot. The high speed of the waves (for me) distracted from the slower, fantastic clouds. Perhaps showing only the ocean farther from the shore in the shot would smoothe it out better for me. But otherwise, I thought it was great.

    • #193930

      EarlC –> Thx for advice. I’m glad I inspired you πŸ˜€ Filming nature is absolutely fantastic. I love that moment when after 2 hours of filming the sunset I upload footage on my computer, speed it up and watch itcarefully. But that’s a lil off topic… I must say I did a stupid thing (which finally gave interesting effect)because I do have 3-point ND filter in my camera…but I didn’t used it for that shot. I’vedecreased iris to F11and that was all I’ve done πŸ˜€ I’ve got no idea why I forgot about ND filter. May be couse I’m beginner and that camera got sooo many buttons πŸ˜€ (Sony NX5).

      I came up with idea for your crazy project. Put your two footage one above the other and align them in Adobe Premiere for instance. I assume that one of them is a lil too dark and another too bright. So when you’ve got them aligned play with opacity to make abeginninga lil brighter and the end, when there’s a lot of sun in your frame, a lil darker. I have never tried it before so Ive got no idea what output that will give but might besomethinginteresting… or total crap πŸ˜€

      pseudosafari–> I think your trick might work but I don’t have too much room there. there’s a big, high cliff just behind me πŸ˜€

    • #193931

      Aaa…. forgot topmention. Here’s a great tutorial how to make proper colourcorrection. Helped me a lot!

    • #208486

      All…I enjoyed reading all the comments and suggestions.  I, too, have a situation somewhat related to sunrise/-set.  I shot a (my second) wedding video–outside at a gorgeous site.  My "creative" side wants to end the video with a shot of the site (empty, of course) while the sun sets (shooting to the east, sun at my back) and the scene eventually goes dark (or black, perhaps).  I thought time-lapse would be a good technique, but I need some guidance/suggestions camera settings.  I did some shooting with the camera on "auto," and the camera tried to keep the scene "visible," and just got grainy.  I am shooting digital video (Sony).  Thank you.

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