Why do pressroom cameras make so much noise?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by qveda, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. qveda macrumors regular

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    #1
    When you watch a press conference on TV, the cameras in the room seem to make a huge amount of noise when they take shots. Most of the mics are set up at the podium and probably cardiod so that they reject sound from the background. Of course there are mics in the room for the press to ask questions.
    The camera sound is so loud that its almost seems like they have mics on the cameras ! I find this really annoying and was just curious if anyone knows what going on with this.
     
  2. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    #2
    I'm not sure why the mics pick up all the sound from behind them -- I think it says more about how quiet everyone in the audience is.

    Generally, most reporters use SLRs, so the vast majority of the sound comes from the internal mirror snapping up to reveal the shutter.

    IIRC, photographers in the Parliament House in London are required to use viewfinder cameras (like Leica), so the only sound is the shutter itself -- the sound is a subtle, slithery sound.
     
  3. qveda thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    SLR , DSLR loudness

    Do you think the 35mm SLRs are louder than the DLSRs ? aren't the mirror mechanisms similar ?

    And interesting that the press photogs might be using film. I'd think they'd be using digital so they and transmit the image to their editors almost immediately. (on his recent posts, KenRockwell pointed out that all the featured images in Outdoor Photography magazine are taken on film - perhaps understandable due to the very high res of a scanned 35mm transparency, but still surprizing)
     
  4. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #4
    Most press conferences are held in a very "live" room that has been acoustically designed for optimum sound projection and dispersion (so people in the room can hear the speaker more easily) and you find it odd that all sounds can be heard very well in that room? :confused:
     
  5. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #5
    There is no indication he knew this, and going by the fact that he asked we an safely assume he doesn't. So why post like he's stupid, it makes you look stupid for not realizing.

    AppleMatt
     
  6. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #6
    Film camera also involves advancing the film. Louder than digital.

    Noise level
    Film SLR > Digital SLR > Digital non-SLR

    However, no press photogs will use film now unless it's a long term project or some kind of art project, due to the non-immediate nature of film in a 24/7 internet world.
     
  7. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Cardiod mics reject sound from directly behind them. At most press conferences, the mics seem to be pointed up significantly. That means the mic doesn't pic up sound from the floor just in front of the speaker, but still gets the room.
     
  8. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Film SLRs will generally be louder but no press photog would use film nowadays. Unless they were doing something mighty weird.

    IMO the reason most 'good' landscape shots are taken with film is that landscape shots take forever to get right. For the light to be right, and for everything to be right. You don't take that many photographs. The costs of a digital with the same resolution as large or medium format would be prohibitive for most real landscape shooters. And why bother when film works well. Digital wouldn't improve the shots and learning how to use it would take time away from actually taking photographs.
     
  9. qveda thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Never having been in one, I am not aware of the acoustic set up of these rooms. I would not assume they are super "live" since everything is mic'd . But perhaps more like a large conference room with good acoustical properties. In any case, the cameras in use do seem unreasonably loud - so much so, that I have wondered if they purposefully amplify the sound to give the speech that sense of immediacy and importance ;-)
     
  10. Milessio macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Interesting how during the Q & A afterwards you often cannot hear the questions from the press.

    I would guess (not being a sound engineer) that it could be due to the nature of the sound coming from the cameras (frequency & duration) and not just the volume?
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #11
    Good ones aren't really that live, since you want the *speaker's* words to travel and not everyone else's. That means you put your speakers up, dampen down the sound everywhere and use the levels on your sound board to ensure the speaker is heard though the speakers.

    Granted- the only experience I have is with sound at the White House and at various Presidential trip sites many years ago- but our AV folks were rather serious about sound quality.

    I think it's more a fact that many networks these days want to mic their own reporters rather than taking the press feed from the main board (and they can get away with that in many places.) Couple that with the number of cameras and you get lots of noise that's generally filtered out of the main feeds that are given to the networks at such events where there's not a pool and the numbers/equipment control that go with it. Plus, the travel kits most press folks go with don't really include things like notch filters for high-frequency noise- no idea why they don't filter it out in the broadcast booth though- perhaps it's a bit of the "atmosphere" thing.
     
  12. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #12
    Actually, most press briefing rooms I've been in are fairly small.
     
  13. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    +1

    Incidentally, a coworker of mine and I were talking a couple of days ago, and he said he had been inside of the white house press room. He said that contrary to how the television cameras make it seem, the white house press room is actually tiny, and there's standing room for fewer than a dozen reporters. Get a few photographers in there snapping pictures and it gets very loud very fast
     
  14. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #14
    Yes, I've been there too. It is only about 10ft wide, and 20ft deep ... not nearly as big as it looks on TV. I was quite surprised.
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #15
    I'd sometimes cut through there to sneak through the Rose Garden to slack off watching an arrival or departure instead of doing work.

    You don't get a few photographers in there snapping off pictures- or at least you didn't. Most photos were done by staff photogs (I helped to manage the photo application for a few months before someone figured out the military really shouldn't have that application and gave it over to the OA folks.)

    But yeah, it's a very small room, it's a wonder it hasn't been moved to the OEOB to get the space back.
     
  16. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #16
    Usually the reason you'll hear the camera noise (along with coughing, paper shuffling ect) is because politicians are normally pretty bad when it comes to using microphones. The softer they speak, or the further away the speaker gets from the capsule, the more the engineer will have to walk up the gain, which will in turn pick up more and more of the room noise, and electronic noise. The smaller the room, the bigger the impact this has on a recording.

    A high quality lectern microphone from Countryman will have excellent side and rear rejection, but you will still get slap off of the wall behind the speaker and into the microphone, so this also contributes.

    Also especially with larger events, the house or contractor will run out of isolated feeds for press use, and videographers or radio reporters will use microphones located in the audience.
     
  17. ThunderRobot macrumors regular

    ThunderRobot

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    #17
    OT, but this was the subject of an episode of The West Wing a while back. The summation was any perception from the press or the public that the White House was trying to distance itself from the Press would be taken very negatively.

    Accepted this was fiction, but the principle advisor to the show was Dee Dee Myers, Clinton's press secretary so it could well have a touch of truth to it.

    Anyway, back to the thread!
     
  18. MTI macrumors 65816

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    #18
    A Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR), like the film Single Lens Reflex (SLR), uses a mirror and pentaprism to allow focusing and framing. The 45 degree mirror swings out of the way when the shutter is pressed to expose the photo sensor or film, as the case may be. Since there is no motor drive, as in film cameras, to advance fresh stock, the noise is primarily the mirrors flapping up and down.
     
  19. iPhoneNYC macrumors 6502a

    iPhoneNYC

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    #19
    Digital SLRs make pretty much noise. In concert halls, sometimes the press will use some type of blimp. In a press room SLR noise is considered fine and even to some extent the more noise makes the event seem more important.
     

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