View Full Version : Transition to HDV

11-02-2008, 12:19 PM
So I understand that lighting HDV is much different than lighting DV. I was hoping someone could give tips or articles that they know of explaining the difference.

Shooting with the Canon XL H1.

I understand it depends on the scene and what i'm looking for, but just general guidelines i guess.



11-02-2008, 12:47 PM
I've never heard that, nor have I experienced it. I light DV exactly the same as I light HDV.
I use the same general set up when I shoot with my JVC DV5000 ( or my HD 250 (

The genral guideline of three to five point lighting applies to all formats.

11-03-2008, 05:00 PM
Thanks for the response.

I should have been more clear. I know that the same procedures should be used...I've just heard that HDV lighting is more difficult because of the way the camera responds to the light.

11-03-2008, 07:33 PM
No, you were very clear. I've never heard that and I've never experienced it.

Anyone else find lighting is more difficult with HDV?

01-12-2009, 02:29 PM
I have found my Canon HV20 which is HDV 1080i records lights way better and accurate rather than my canon xl1s.
I use 3 x Arri 650 fill key and hairlight and the HD works so much better, but then i can use the Neutral density filter with my canon xl1s and it has less grain and sometimes creates a better image.
Maybe you should post the images you have recorded from both your DV and HDV cameras so we can look at the difference.

01-12-2009, 03:06 PM
The genral guideline of three to five point lighting applies to all formats.

5 point lighting? I know what 3 point lighting is, what is 5 point lighting?

01-12-2009, 05:13 PM
Its when you have a bigger set or more actors,

When you might need 2 key lights to light up your 2 actors having a conversation and 2 fill lights to fill in the shadows on the actors faces, and obvisouly the hair/back light.

01-12-2009, 07:48 PM
Ah, ok makes sense, thanks! :)

01-12-2009, 11:29 PM
The way lighting for HDV vs DV is different, is the fact that most HDV cameras, save a few sonys (Z7, FX1000) have a bad lux rating of 3 or higher (worse), so than many DV cameras, especially ones like the sony vx2100 and pd170, which are both best with lowlight in comparison to others. This really affects wedding videography, where we often have little to no control over lighting and need cameras that can give a good picture in lowlight. Independent films on the otherhand, well, we should be controlling the lighting, and that being said, just about any prosumer 3ccd or cmos/3cmos camera should serve you great with good lighting. Want a cheap prosumer model with spectacular quality given good light, try the Sony HD 1000u, sports a bit more film like DOF as well along with the ability to touch the portion of the screen where you want focus!

I use sonys primarily cus they were the only good ones for lowlight at the time and still pretty much are, and I can obviously use same accessories between them, but other than that, any brand is going to serve you well in well-lit situations, canon, jvc, panasonic, etc, they are all excellent. Go on a 2 or 3 camera shoot with 2 or 3 different brands running same ccd/cmos sensors and run good lighting and they should be identical!

But anyways, yeah, the lower population of decent lowlight HDV cameras are the only real difference relating to lighting between DV and HDV, still use same keylight, fill, and backlight!

Will Vincent
01-12-2009, 11:50 PM
I don't find it any different. If it's more difficult in that you feel like you need to use more light than you did shooting DV, that just means you haven't been using enough light all along, and probably still aren't.

Digital Video should be lit with more light than would be used for film. Just because the camera registers a picture, doesn't mean it's properly lit.

01-19-2009, 03:12 PM
Well, originally someone had told me its more difficult to light, however, i've just used the XL-H1 on a shoot a week ago and it was fine for lighting. It looks fantastic.


01-19-2009, 07:34 PM
My advice is to use diffusion or be more acutely aware of diffusion in your light for HDV as opposed to DV. HD resolutions of 1280x720 and 1920x1080 (or it's bastardized 1440x1080) means there is more detail. If you use harsher light, the higher pixel count makes the details more visible and more "flaws" are seen. This is why they say actresses hate HD etc. It brings out lines in faces, skin imperfections, etc.

With standard definition, the lack of pixels smooths out these alleged defects. Smoother, more balanced and pleasant lighting from diffusion will give a more pleasing aesthetic to HD (and DV).