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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Male 1: I see a slew of lighting here. But all these lights have something in common. Male 2: You know how to plug them in. Male 1: Yeah, which is cool. Well I mean, this one we plugged in, but it's plugged into a battery. Male 2: Right. That's fair enough. Male 1: Yeah, and technically there's power inside. But the good thing here is that we can go on location. And we don't need to be looking for electrical outlets. Male 2: Yea, I mean, the thing these days is that lights have become really compact and really small. And this is a huge benefit for your production. Because instead of having to have power outlets and hot lights, we can have small little guys like this that are powered by batteries that use LED lights so they're going to run cool They're going to be efficient in their use of power, and ultimately that's going to save you money, time, and have more options to put them in different places.
Male 1: What I like with a light like this is, besides the fact that it's dimmable, is that it's just regular double A batteries. Male 2: Yeah. Male 1: There's nothing special that I have to go buy. So, if we're on location and we go, oh wow, we didn't charge up all those batteries. Or, I didn't buy enough of those proprietary batteries. I'm going to have to rush order them. It's like, no, I'll just stop at the 7-Eleven, at a gas station. Male 2: Male 1: Oh, I'm good. Male 2: Yep. Male 1: And, and this is nice. You know, I keep these in my camera bag. Now, these are pretty bright, and we'll use these in certain situations. Of course, you could step up.
You've got a, a very versatile light there. Male 2: Yeah, this is a crazy cool light. This is called the Lowel Blender. And it has a lot of different options for really being able to tweak the quality of light. The intensity of light and that kind of stuff. So first on the actual back of the light here, you can see that I have some intensity and color controls. Now if I go ahead and turn that guy on, you'll notice right here if I change the temperature dial, I can go from a nice warm light to a more of a true white, white light. Male 1: Yeah. Male 2: I can also adjust the intensity of that to really get it dialed in. And this is really useful, Rich, in small places where you're trying to sort of paint the scene a little bit.
With color intensity, light, and stuff like that. Male 1: Yeah, what's happening there is, it's really cool, Rob, there's actually two sets of bulbs. So if we turn that one all the way down, Male 2: Yep. Male 1: You'll see that just the bottom row is lit. Male 2: Yep. Male 1: And those are going to be warmer-type lights. And let me just dial that down for the camera a little bit, but you see that. Just those are turning on. And then if we bring the other one up, those are the cooler lights, more your traditional LED type lights. Male 2: Yep. Male 1: And essentially where the blending comes in is you create your own custom mix.
Male 2: Absolutely. And what's even cool about that is that, of course, you can run it without sort of a, a front plate but you can also use these interchangeable plates to get sort of different diffusion patterns. Male 1: Yeah, like here's a honeycomb one. I can just drop that in. Male 2: Right. Male 1: And that's going to diffuse that light a little bit more, giving it a little bit of modeling so it doesn't seem so harsh. Now these are designed to mount on a camera. They also do make adaptive plates for different types of camera batteries if you want to power it. Or in this case, I'm just plugged into a, a Sony V-mount type battry that I might use on a professional video camera.
I got a lot of these lying around the office these days. It's eays. Now this is sort of the extreme, and you know this is in the four or 500 range. These are around $100. There's different brands out there. Male 2: Yeah, I know. It's true, and I mean I would say the one thing about this style of lights we're really looking into is, I actually find a lot of flexibility with these lights. But the thing to pay attention to is what is referred to as the CRI Value, sort of the Color Rendering Index Value. Pretty geeky. But essentially what that means, is that it's the quality of light coming out of the actually unit itself.
Male 1: It's the higher number better in this case? Male 2: Absolutely. Like everything else in production and post production bigger is better. You want to look for values that are pretty high. Values of 85, 90 or higher. Are going to give you a better and more true quality of light. Male 1: Off the top of my head, I want to say this is about 91. Male 2: Yep. Male 1: Maybe 92. We've also, I want to just mention, if you're going to be going with these lights, it's a good idea to start to pick up these types of guys. Male 2: Mm-hm. Male 1: Gorilla pods, Jobi. There's so many manufacturers. These often have just the simple thread mount on it.
Allowing me to attach that to the bottom of the light. And once that's connected, you can do things like set this on the dashboard. Male 2: Yep. Male 1: Or you know, bend this and hook it around inside the car on the little dry cleaning handle. And so you got a hanging light. Now obviously you don't want to do a car chase and have that flopping around and flying into your subject. But it's pretty easy to do. Male 2: Yeah, and the thing again about these and we have another situation here with these little light. That I really love is that, because there hand, hold-able, I guess, is that you can position them and adjust them wherever you need.
So if you're driving on a car and the lighting outside changes, you can just position lower, position it higher. And this one that you have in your h and actually is super, super flexible. Looks like a big, you know, traditional flashlight. Male 1: Yeah. Male 2: But it has the power, it has the ability to be battery powered, down here with the battery pack up here. Up here, show how the sleeve works, which is kind of nice. Male 1: Sure, I could spot that up and down. Male 2: Yep. Male 1: And that's allowing me to really change the shape of that light. As it focuses in, and then on the back we actually have an intensity dial. Male 2: Yep.
Male 1: So you see there, as we change the shape of that, how it's changing the overall spotting effect, which is kind of cool. Now, this is not designed to be a primary lighting source. This is for things like running gun, you're at an event, you're doing event videography, or you're doing coverage. Maybe you're shooting concerts. It's like, oh, I'm backstage. And it's too dark. You know. Boom. Male 2: Yeah. Male 1: You pull it off your Batman utility belt, and you fill in the scene. Male 2: Yeah, and actually, this week when we go out in the field, we'll actually be using this. We actually, you know, use this to sort of. Fill in from outside of our scene.
We had a car and we wanted a little bit more light to flood in. Just have you know, a grip standing there shining his light in, it works really really well. Male 1: Yeah and I want to bring up one more thing, because a lot of times people are like, yeah but that's something else I have to buy. So many of you are often like well I don't want to buy more gear, but I already have a tablet. There are a slew of flashlight apps for your tablet. Now the iPad is no where near as bright as any of these, but if you're shooting a car interior or you need to do a little product shot. You could just fire open the iPad, even a phone, and go to one of the many flashlight apps.
Male 2: Yeah, I know this is going to seem a little, I don't know, nonprofessional. But trust me, I've gotten into situations a lot of times where I've just come into a pinch, where I need just a little bit of light in a dark scene. And the cool thing about these Flashlight apps is that they do pretty good intensity. And the other thing about them is that depending on which app you get, you can also change the color, the intensity of the light coming off the screen, and it gives a nice sort of glow. And a very subtle fill that you can use in a pinch when other lights are not available. Male 1: Yeah, and so I'll fire up this one called MyLight, which allows us to do a lot of different stuff here.
Male 2: Mm-hm. Male 1: You know, you see it's bringing up color controls that you can cycle through. Male 2: Yep. Male 1: You've got the ability to write on screen. Male 2: Change intensity. Male 1: Change the intensity without having to leave the app. Male 2: Yep. Male 1: And so it's kind of nice to cycle through that. And then, you have presets, and now obviously, we're not going to use the strobes or the flashing. Male 2: Well, I don't know. Maybe we're making a dance video or something. Male 1: It could, and, you know, but you've got this ability here to dial in those sort of simple controls. Male 2: Right. Male 1: But that actually provides a decent amount of light, particularly for something like a soft portrait. Male 2: Yep.
Male 1: And, I think what you're going to find is that, you have a lot of battery operated devices, and I'm a firm believer. Make sure you keep as many options as you can. I'm going to keep these in my camera bag all the time. Male 2: Yeah. Male 1: If I know I'm going to be at an event and I need some extra power, having some really powerful lights that I can connect to a battery source, is going to just give me that boost well beyond one of these simple little LED ones. And in a pinch. I can tell you, there's been plenty of times I've lit a product with my iPhone. Just that little bit of extra light pushes it into a lower ISO setting.
Male 2: Absolutely. And just keep in mind, the beauty about all of these lights is that they're small. So they'll be able to get into nice compact places, that traditional hot lights or bigger, light panels will not be able to fit into. And that's definitely an advantage for this style of light. Male 1: All right, let's head into the field and put this into action.
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