Interrogating Emotions - Vixias

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Media Loan

  • Bring your Evergreen ID with the current quarter sticker.
  • Make a reservation for equipment, stop by Lib. 2504, or call (360) 867-6253.
  • Test and confirm all equipment is in working order before leaving Media Loan.
  • Media Loan has SEVERE LATE FINES. Return equipment on time, or call to make a renewal. Follow up with an appeal form to negate late fines.
Late Fines assessed daily, per item
Equipment valued over $250 — $20.00 per day
Equipment valued under $250 — $10.00 per day
Keys and all equipment and accessories valued over $50 — $10.00 per day
Equipment and accessories valued under $50 — $5.00 per day

Camera Models

These instructions are specific to the Vixia HF M500 model cameras. There are four models of the Vixia available at Media Loan. The HF200 has a joystick interface and the HFM300, HFM400, and HFM500 have a touchscreen interface. Please make sure to specify the model of camera you want to checkout.

Charging Batteries

Media Loan will not necessarily have batteries already charged, please account for this before shooting.

  1. Attach the power cord to an outlet, insert the power adapter into the back of the camera under the DC In cover, and insert a battery.
  2. Make sure the camera power is off to start charging the battery. Once the red light turns off the battery is fully charged.
  3. Release the battery by opening the side LCD panel, and pull the battery release slider while removing the battery.

Camera Setup

Camera Modes

  1. Turn on the camera.
  2. Open the LCD screen.
  3. Press the Camera <-> Play button to toggle to Camera mode.
  4. Press the Home button.
  5. Using the LCD touchscreen select Camera Mode and M for manual control of all settings.

Record Settings

  1. Press the Home button again.
  2. Select Recording Standard and select AVCHD. This is the highest quality recording format.

*Do not select MP4, this is a lower quality format, and the maximum record time will be 30 minutes.

Other Settings

  1. Press the Home button again.
  2. Touch Other Settings.
  • In the Camera Tab confirm the following settings:
  • Self Timer > OFF
  • Digital Zoom > OFF
  • Focus Assistance > ON
  • Auto Backlight Correction > OFF
  • Conversion Lens > OFF
  • Image Stabilizer > OFF (when using a tripod you shouldn't need this)
  • In the Film Strip Tab confirm the following settings:
  • Recording Mode > MXP (=2 hours and 56 minutes of record time)
  • Frame Rate > 60i
  • x.v.Color > ON
  • In the Wrench Tab confirm the following settings:
  • AV/Headphones > Set to AV for playback, and select Headphones when using headphones to record sound.
  • Initialize > Initialize, tap Complete Initialization.

Make sure to initiailize the memory card after checking out the camera from Media Loan to clear out old files. After saving video clips, and before returning equipment to Media Loan, initialize again to protect the privacy of files.

Shooting Functions

Record Programs

(P) Programmed AE - the default automatic exposure recording program to adjust functions such as white balance.

(Tv) Shutter Priority AE - adjust the shutter speed value, the camcorder will automatically adjust the aperture. Reduce the shutter speed to create blurred motion, increase the shutter speed to capture fast movement.

Please note: At low shutter speeds the image may not focus properly, and at high shutter speeds there may be image flickering.

(Av) Aperture Priority AE - adjust the aperture value, the camcorder will automatically adjust the shutter speed. Lower the aperture for a shallower depth of field (shorter focus), and increase for a deeper focus distance.


  1. On the LCD screen touch Function on the top left.
  2. Tap the Exposure menu.
  • For manual exposure press M and use the left and right arrows to darken or lighten the exposure.
  • For auto exposure, deselect M, and touch the area of the screen to be exposed properly.


The Zoom lever is on the top of the camera. W is for wide or zoomed out. T is for telephoto or zoomed in.


  1. On the LCD screen touch Function on the top left.
  2. Tap the Focus menu.
  • For fixed manual focus, press MF and use the wide and telephoto buttons on screen to adjust the focus point. Focus assist will appear to temporarily zoom in for critical focusing.
  • For auto-focus deselect MF, and touch the area of the screen to be focused on. The camera will try to track focus on the subject if it moves.

White Balance

White balance is a function of the camera to adjust color tones based on different lighting situations. Use the custom white balance setting whenever possible to ensure that images will have accurate colors.

  1. On the LCD screen touch Function on the top left.
  2. Tap the White Balance menu.
  3. Select the custom white balance icon.
  4. Using a white piece of paper placed in the same area as the subject, zoom in to overfill the screen with the paper.
  5. Press Set WB to calibrate the camera to the lighting setting. The custom WB icon will stop flashing when a proper white balance is achieved.


  • Press the record button on the back of the camera to start and stop recording.
  • The record light and record counter will display on the LCD screen, and show remaining recording time.
  • It is recommended to shoot pre and post roll to account for transitions later in editing. This means recording a few seconds before you start the action of the scene, and let it record a few seconds after the action has completed.


  1. Press the Camera/Play button on the inside of the camera.
  2. A grid will appear on the LCD screen.
  3. Press video to play it.

Downloading Files Using a Card Reader

Download files in either of the Computer Center Mac classrooms, or the Multimedia Lab. It is recommended to use a card reader available from Media Loan to download files, or if working in the Multimedia Lab, they are attached to each station.

  1. With the Vixia powered off, remove the memory card from the camera and insert into the card reader - it will appear on the desktop as a removable device.
  2. Right click with the mouse on the desktop and select, New Folder and label it with your name.
  3. Copy the entire private folder into your folder on the desktop.
  4. After the files have finished copying, eject the memory card by dragging it to the trash.
  • Backup the project folder to the program share on Orca.

Downloading Files Directly from the Vixia

It is possible to download files directly from the Vixia camera using the supplied USB cable.

  • When using a Mac tower, use the back USB port, or a Cinema display USB port only. Using the front USB port will not recognize the camera.

Fixing Folder Structure

Before importing video clips in Premiere separate the original .MTS video files out from the private folder.

  1. Open up the private folder inside the folder you created on the desktop.
  2. Right click with the mouse on the AVCHD folder/project bundle and select Show Package Contents.
  3. Repeat this step for the subsequent folders, AVCHD > BDMV until you reach the folder, STREAM.
  4. Open up STREAM, and select all the .MTS video clips. Hold down the command key to select multiple clips.
  5. Once all the .MTS clips are selected, right click, or control click, on one of them, and select copy.
  6. Navigate back to your main project folder and create a new folder and name it video.
  7. Open up the video folder and paste the .MTS files by pressing command V.
  8. Once all the .MTS files are copied to the video folder, delete the private folder - these are duplicates.
  9. In the video folder rename each .MTS file with a descriptive label. Doing this will help prevent overwriting files if copying files from multiple cameras, or a different shoot.


Full Vixia HFM500 Manual