Filming anything with different models and makes of cameras can be a nightmare. There is so many variables that could cause the footage to not match.
It’s not recommended to shoot anything with different models and makes of cameras (especially different makes), but sometimes it could be a necessity. I wouldn’t shoot a narrative film on different cameras, but will do so with live event filming.
I’ve just recently picked up a cheap Sony HDR-HC3, a HDV prosumer camera. It’s nothing fancy, but can produce surprisingly high quality footage for the price. I got it to use mainly for corporate and event production work, and for this it works perfectly.
Now, if I wanted to mix the footage from the HC3 with a Canon DSLR 550D for example, the best way to do so is to test out all the camera’s settings on both cameras. So far, I’ve only done a quick test, but have been able to make the footage not look to different from one another.
Footage from the Sony HDR-HC3
Footage from the Canon 550D
For a quick first attempt, I find that these camera’s will match quite well for event filming. They don’t match up perfectly, but when shooting an event, for example a Pro-Wrestling Event, I would have the Canon as a stationary camera while the Sony would be shoulder mounted/hand held, roaming around, so the angles would be different.
The settings I changed on the Canon were just the picture style, which I set to Neutral (ProLost/Philip Bloom settings). The most important factor was the white balance, which I did a manual white balance on both cameras. The settings I changed on the Sony were the Sharpness and Colour which I toned both done to the minimum. I also set the Exposure to manual. As a prosumer camera, it doesn’t have many manual options. The exposure works in a strange way, and it sets the Aperture and Gain together.
Exposure Aperture Gain
There are the settings of Exposure you can use on the Exposure scale. I was using setting 17, f2.0 with 0db gain. Setting the shutter speed is done in a unconventional way as well. If you want a 1/50 shutter speed, you need to put exposure back into Auto mode, cover the lens with your hand, while you’re doing that turn it back to Manual and then the Shutter will be locked at 1/50 (1/60 if using a NTSC model).
Overall, I think these two cameras can be made to work well side by side. The Sony HDR-HC3 will come in handing when shooting events, because shooting an event entirely on a DSLR isn’t the most enjoyable experience at times.