The epic eclipse is almost here and Brinno users have contacted us asking how best to shoot this event. The problem is, we don't really know and can't locate any example footage. We spoke with a few Brinno power users and did a number of tests.
The sun will not damage a Brinno sensor, these cameras are staring at the sun every day on construction sites. The Brinno is a great camera for recording the event without looking directly at the sun. With a Brinno TLC200 Pro, the camera can be set and the lens tilted to frame the sun. A Brinno should do a good job of capturing the overall feel of the eclipse.
In the video below we did some testing using a highly sophisticated modeling technique (a penny on a stick). This is not entirely accurate, ok it's not accurate at all, a penny can't replicate the moon and the surrounding sky did not change. However, this illustrates the potential downfall of a Brinno shooting the eclipse. The exposure is automatic, as the scene darkens the camera tries to compensate by increasing the exposure. This may result in wide exposure shifts which can't be corrected by editing. (Note: If you know a way to correct exposure shifts like this, please contact us.)
We learned, dialing down the exposure prevented most of the exposure variance. The Brinno Pro allows you to drop the exposure five levels, four and five provided the least amount of abrupt brightness change. However, the last portion of the video was shot real time with a midpoint exposure, we are thinking a gradual transition may provide better results than a penny shoved in front of the sun. In the end, we really don't know but here are our recommendations.
Time Interval: 1 Second – Depending on where you are located, the first problem will be clouds which may cover over half of the optimal viewing areas. If you are in a clear area, the entirety of the eclipse should last two to three hours. Capturing every second over two hours will result in a four minute video using 2.5 GB of card space. Four minutes is plenty and allows you to cut down a 20 second video of the best 10 minutes or speed up the start and end and have a slow transition during the most dramatic portion of the event.
Scene: Day – The eclipse happens during the day, so why not go with the setting most suitable.
Exposure: -4 or -5 – Dial the Exposure setting down, your overall scene will be darker but there should be much less potential for exposure adjustments.
Time Stamp: Off – This is on by default from the factory and many users don't turn it off. The time stamp is a distraction. Go to Settings → More → Time Stamp and you will instantly improve all of your videos.
Start/End Time – When do you start recording? Many sources mention when the peak of the eclipse will happen, this site shows the start and end time based upon your zip code.
We hope this article offers some guidance. In the end, we can't be certain until after the event, however, clouds are forecast here so we may be relying on footage from others. If you capture the eclipse with a Brinno, please share it with us, we are excited to see what Brinno users are able to create.