Folk Festival using SEMA-1 microphone

Robert Watcher

Mu-43 All-Pro
After purchasing a SEMA-1 microphone adapter for my E-PL1 last week - mostly for the purpose of being able to use an extrenal microphone - - - I decided to take it with me to record a little bit of the Home County Music Festival.

I didn't take any other gear as I was there to enjoy the entertainment. I was at a decided disadvantage for taking any great shots of the musicians, with the limited focal length of the E-PL1 14-42 kit lens. Anne and I set up our chairs rather close to the stage - although fully zoomed from that position, my camera view included the lower part of the stage and barricades and police tape that were set up - - - definitely no way to physically get close with people sitting on the ground in front, or without access to an extended zoom range lens.

But we did enjoy the 5 acts that were part of the night. And I managed to shoot small bits of each act with my E-PL1. I decided to record one complete song so that I could lay the video clips on top later in editing. Other than a few seconds where I turned around in my chair to take a little bit of footage of the crowd from my seated position (you don't dare stand up in front of anyone), I had very little fill footage for cut-ins. I made due with the few seconds that I did get, and just stretched it to fit the couple of areas where people walked in front of me.

Much of the footage on the video is cropped using Sony Vegas, in order to hide the barricades and yellow tape. I doubt that I really benefitted from using the SEMA-1 stereo microphone in this situation. I think that the built in mono mic, would have done an equally useful job of getting the decent audio quality. Fortunately for me, it was virtually a still night - and so there was only once or twice that a breeze came up, to cause some ruffling in the audio sound. Outdoors is not a great place to use these microphones.

During the complete second half of this performance, there was a photographer (staff I think), who stood right in front of me filling my frame with his body. I decided to just lay a couple of video clips from each of the 5 acts, over the audio of the song I used. It was totally dark out for the final act and a half. High ISO settings were maxed out. I used Manual Focus and Aperture Priority Exposure Mode - with the exposure compensation being set from minus 1.7 to minus 3 stops, to keep the dark background from fooling the meter and blowing out the performers. Minus 3 stops was neccessary by the time Bruce Cockburn came on for the final act in total darkness. Unfortunately, my lone 8GB card was filled by the time I captured short clips of his first 2 songs. Nothing special from a professional standard - but good fun shooting as an amateur.

[ame=""]YouTube - Home County Folk Festival 2010[/ame]


These are cropped to about 1/2 of the full 4/3 frame:

f5.6 @ 1/80'th : 200 ISO - 14-42mm lens @ 42mm

f5.6 @ 1/40'th : 3200 ISO - 14-42mm lens @ 42mm



Mu-43 All-Pro
Quite watchable Robert - my net connection was very slow so only watched the first half. Sound quality very acceptable for a live performance. Crowd noise is obvious but I was listening on headphones - expect less intrusive over speakers.

Does this setup give you stereo?

Arctic Photog

Mu-43 Regular
Excellent post once again Robert... what video editing software do you use and what would you recommend for an amateur. I have had my E-PL1 for a few months now but have not tried to do any video.

In the second photo is that Bruce Cockburn?

Robert Watcher

Mu-43 All-Pro
I can tell you that I have tried several different lower priced (in the $100 area) video editing softwares - - - and by far the best in my view as well as my 3D animator friend (High end scifi cg, visual effects, concept art, filmaking and more) is . . .


I have been able to open and combine virtually every format of video and audio that I use - on the same timeline, without any issues. This is a serious tool for serious editing without resorting to the expensive pro apps. Best way is to try it with the Free Trial Download I'd think.


Yes that is Bruce Cockburn - - - he was the closing act. :smile:

Also - the female singer is Lynn Miles and the fellow accompanying her on guitar is Keith Glass of Prairie Oyster.