How to change aperture in Canon xa30 while recording?

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    • #72012055
      AvatarStephen Eckert
      Participant

      In a recent job, I set the Canon xa30 to Manual exposure mode and separately set shutter speed, aperture, and gain using zebra striping to establish the correct exposure while I adjusted gain. I wanted a certain aperture. I then began to record. During the event, I needed to zoom into a TV screen. The zebra striping told me that I was very overexposing. I went to the Mode menu to change the gain but it was grayed out. The Exposure menu was also grayed out. In other words, the camcorder appears to lock out any change I may want to make once I press the Record button if I had previously selected Manual Mode. Is this normal for all camcorders?

    • #72012056
      AvatarJackWolcott
      Participant

      I can’t speak to “all” camcorders. However, I shoot with a Sony NX5U. When beginning to shoot the iris can be set manually from f2.8 to f16. As soon as the camera is zoomed, however, the iris automatically resets to f3.4 and cannot be reset to a wider opening. According to what I’ve been able to determine, Sony considers f3.4 to be the “sweet spot” for that lens and establishing that as the iris open.

      Frankly, it’s a technology “solution” that makes the camera almost useless in many shooting situations.

    • #72012057
      AvatarStephen Eckert
      Participant

      Thanks for the info. Your description is not what happens to the Canon XA30. Essentially, when operating under “Manual” control. once the Record button is pressed, no changes can be made to aperture, shutter speed, or gain so long as the camera is recording. What you experience is common for non-fixed aperture lenses. As the lens is zoomed toward telephoto, at a certain focal length, the f/stop will change to another value which you cannot control on any such zoom lens. For example, the instruction manual for Sony NX5U shows the lens aperture being adjustable starting at f1.6. However, the manual cautions that as zooming approaches telephoto (it doesn’t state the exact focal length), the aperture, if set to f1.6, will go to f3.4 as you experienced. When I use a zoom lens (on DSLR or camcorder) having a non-fixed maximum aperture, I set it to the higher value (f3.4 in your case) so that as I zoom, the aperture will not change (assuming camera is operating in Manual Mode.

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