Light and sound!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Ifti, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Thanks to several forum members I have settled on a Canon 650D to help with my video requirements (mainly YouTube reviews, and the kids etc).

    I now need to look at audio and sound.

    I have an Audio Technica ATR-3350 powered lapel mic, which I used to use with my iPhone. I believe this is not stereo, so I would like a stereo lapel mic to use with the 650D, without breaking the bank. It doesn't need to be wireless etc, so what would you suggest?

    Furthermore, I would like to light up my subject when reviewing. The subject is not usually more then a few feet away, so I would like some soft lighting that I could attach to the hotshoe of the camera. Would this give me good results, or should I go for a complete external solution?
    Any lights in particular I should be looking at?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #2
  3. cwaddell2002 macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #3
    First, a disclaimer - most of my (really extensive) audio and lighting experience is for live events, but I think the knowledge transfers appropriately for your application...

    For audio - is there a reason you feel like you need a stereo lapel mic? If you are trying to pick up background sounds, a separate mic and a cheap mixer may do you better. If not, go with a mono microphone. Stereo works because your ear perceives tiny differences in sound arrival times - while this can provide a sense of spaciousness in a room with acoustics you want to capture - it will hurt intelligibility. Consider that in many theaters, there are 3 sets of speakers, one in the center carries the vocals, and the left and the right carry music (this is a little over simplified). The stereo for music enhances the depth and spaciousness, but the mono vocals keep them anchored and easy to understand in the mix. For a vendor, let me reccomend microphone madness, they used to be an OEM manufacturer for some high end lapel and headset mics, and now sell direct. You can't beat the quality for the price. They will terminate the microphone to whatever connector you need, and are all around good people. I have spend a lot of money with them, http://www.microphonemadness.com/products/mmpsml.htm.

    For lighting - I'm less familiar with lighting for video - so take this at face value - LEDs dim by flickering very very fast (to some extent this is again an over simplification), but especially with cheaper led products, the flicker shows up on video - I don't know all the particulars, but I know that the cheap LED products I see flicker or pulse on video, but the expensive ones don't.

    Good luck!
     
  4. BillMidwest macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    #4
    For very good video tutorials check-out Izzy Video. He has over 200 tutorials for download including several on both lighting and audio. Some are free and others require a membership. I first heard about him in this forum.

    http://www.izzyvideo.com/
     
  5. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Thanks for the useful information.
    Excellent point about he mic, I'm not an audio person so just thought a stereo mic would be the best to go for, but its probably not needed in my case (I'd only use it for narration and voiceovers etc). I'll try the ATR-3350 I already have and hopefully that should be fine for my uses.
    I'll then look into a Rode shotgun mic later down the line for when recording the kids etc.

    Thanks, yes I have used his iMovie videos in the past. He has lots of good videos and ill certainly be taking a look.
     
  6. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #6
    FWIW, I use an LED array in my small travel kit all the time with great results. It looks exactly like that one, but I have a feeling it must be better (mine was something like $150-200, while that looks to be half the price.

    Definitely use it off-camera, though. Get an adapter and put it on a stand, or simply set it on something (that light has broad flat sides).
     
  7. musique macrumors regular

    musique

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #7
    You mention that you want to do reviews. I assume that you or someone you're shooting will be on camera and speaking to the camera. Will you have cut-aways to a product (like a camera or a car)? Or, will you be reviewing movies or other things that you don't need to show? The answer may dictate what kinds of lighting would serve you best.

    If you or someone else will be on camera, I recommend searching for 3-point lighting in google or on youtube. It's a very basic, but useful, way to use one or more lights to make the talent (on camera person) look best.

    For small products there are set-ups you can buy to make them look "professional" such that they are lit like you'd see them in a commercial. This is done almost always for smaller products. Lighting a car is a whole different ball game.

    A lapel mic is one way to go to get reasonable audio from the talent. Another is to get a mic stand and, assuming the talent will be stationary, suspend your hypercardioid mic 1.5 to 2 feet above the talent's mouth. This will get you good audio, in general, because lapel mics, although getting better all the time, are not as good as a standard audio mic. A lot will depend on your studio. Is there a lot of noise? Is it very quiet? Do you have space for these things?

    Good luck with your projects.
     
  8. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Why would you say to use it off camera?
    The plan was to just attach it to the shoe on top of the camera, why would you advise otherwise?
    A stand and mounting adapter aren't very expensive so I don't mind buying them (I have some amazon vouchers anyway) but just wondered why its advisable to keep it off camera rather then on?


    Thanks. I review smaller products, gadgets, etc. Nothing anywhere near the size of a car etc. Just wanted something to light the subject up a little better and make higher quality videos.
     
  9. musique macrumors regular

    musique

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #9
    When light comes from only one direction (one source) it's going to give shadows unless it's bouncing off another surface. Depending on your subjects (your gadgets), it may look dramatic or it may reflect light and give glare.

    Placing a light on the camera is what ENG guys often do because it's the only option. But in your studio you have time to set up your shots. If you have one light, you might illuminate your subject from one angle (say 45 degrees off of the camera) and put a piece of foam core, oak-tag, or something else that's white on the other side so that the light will bounce back onto your subject.

    Remember that you can have the product in front of you while you do your presentation to the camera. But, for a more professional look, having some cutaways to some close-ups of the product while you're doing the voice over may give your review more interest.

    Today, people tend to get bored watching the same thing for 10 or 15 seconds. One source I trust told me "No shot longer than 6 seconds." Longer shots can be effective in narrative (fiction) films, but for internet viewing on a computer your audience might appreciate a change often.
     
  10. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Good advice. Thank you. Will definately take that on board!
     
  11. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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