Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kerry Garrison on Understanding Aperture

Cameras and camcorders. There is so much to learn. The answers are out there. I discovered a web site called Camera Dojo. It is for still photographers but much goodness can be found for all that carry some form of camera equipment.

This is a video by Kerry on understanding how light travels into the camera and how setting (or understanding) the lens aperture can affect the recording quality.

What has this got to do with video? Everything, especially if you have on a fixed focused camcorder. If you watched the video or had a photography class you will understand these examples better.

The Flip Mino HD has a fixed 2.4 lens aperture or how wide the lens is open to record video. That will let in light. It also will affect the depth of field (like Kerry said in the video). So if you are shooting something far away it is more likely to be out of focus. Up close with enough light you will be fine.

The much more expensive Canon Vixia HF S2 has multiple aperture settings from 1.8 to 8 so that you would be able to balance the amount of light needed with the distance the subject is away from the camcorder.

With the fixed focused camcorders there isn't a lot that can be done with the camcorder. You can increase the amount of light or move closer but the compensation has to come external to the camcorder.

Oh, one more thing. Looking at the LCD may or may not help you. Your eyes know how to compensate for depth of field. Lenses by themselves currently do not. So what you see is not 100% what the lens may record.

There are other factors as well but this video get you in the neighborhood of understanding about light and aperture.

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