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#1 kata

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 07:58 PM

Can I have any comments on this image? It's a grab from a still camera shooting 800x600 15fps video. the depth of field is better than any video camera i've tested (from 2 feet away from my nose anyway)

It's a little grainy, (compresses to mjepg on the fly) but still, I like the grain. the image had to be compressed to upload, but I compared it to the original, and it's pretty close)

It still seems fluid at 15fps. Wondering if I should explore this option for videoclips.

(please dont judge lighting or composition, I just sat next to a 100 watt lightbulb and turned it on :D )

Thanks
Eric

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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 11:23 AM

Welcome, Eric. It looks like a photo, just like you said it would :)

What do you want to do with it? Generally speaking, you probably won't be able to do much production-wise with a camera like you describe; 15fps, mjpeg, 800x600. If you intend to do video editing and manipulation of source material nowadays you will want at least a MiniDV (digital) or BetaSP (analog) level video source, otherwise the images degenerate so rapidly in successive generations your end result looks bad.

Here is one of the first lessons to learn about the difference between consumer home-based gear and production level gear. You can take pictures or moving images with cell phones or equivalent devices, but if you want to do anything other than show the unprocessed and unedited result to your girlfriend, you will be dissapointed with the results.

Look around the forum threads and see what others in your position are doing to capture images.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 10 February 2006 - 11:25 AM.

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#3 kata

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 01:55 PM

Robert, thanks for the input!

I have a workaround for this kind of footage. Namely Avid Videoshop 3.0 circa 1995. It's basic, but pre-DV, so it handles the source as-is, without generation loss by converting to a workspace and I can export it to fully uncompressed Quicktime. I figure I can get all the work done in there and then just run the analog feed out to a deck or convert it to DVD mpeg2.

I have tried importing this kind of non-standard footage in FCP FCExpress and even iMovie, but they all have DV spaces with fixed aspect ratios and they can't give me what Videoshop can. I'm glad I never threw out that CD :-)

This way I should only get 1 generation loss at the final transfer and none between.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 02:58 PM

Hi,

The main problem is the frame rate - although you might even consider experimenting with something like Twixtor!

Otherwise, it depends what it cost and what the MJPEG ratio is. Some of those machine vision cameras have very good CCDs, and if the MJPEG is 3:1 or less it's as good or better than DV.

Phil
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#5 Thomas Worth

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 04:57 PM

What camera did you use? Many digital still cameras use 1/3" CCDs, which aren't any better than a typical prosumer DV camera's as far as depth of field is concerned.
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#6 kata

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 08:15 AM

the ccd is a 2/3, 8Mpx. The lense is a 28-200 (35mm equiv) f2.8-f3.5. Manual focus and zoom in movie-mode.

To me, it looks close to what i'd get shooting 16mm at 15fps. No?
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#7 Greg Gross

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 09:01 AM

What was your white balance set at? If it can be adjusted and not automatic.

Greg Gross

Mr. Worth,

I viewed the "Rise Above", the promotional spot on your web site. I love the
way the girls were shot,wonderful use of color here. Would you care to comm-
ent on how the girls were lit. The motion,action here is splendid.

Greg Gross
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#8 kata

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 09:05 AM

W/B has to be preset. auto, tungsten, fluo (2), daylight, flash ( ! ) I also have two "custom" slots I haven't checked.

I have no idea what the camera was set at.

On a side note, I did export the Quicktime to DV stream and it seem to hold up nicely.
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#9 Greg Gross

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 09:16 AM

kata,
Have you thought about getting creative here through managing your W/B?

Greg Gross
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#10 kata

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 09:21 AM

Greg, my first idea for this was a black and white conversion, but I haven't really experimented with the white balance yet.

unfortunately, i'm at a hotel and I dont have the camera with me, but I may go get it and do some tests as I have a few days off. :-)
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#11 Greg Gross

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 09:28 AM

Thanks kata,
Okay I understand now. Good luck with achieving desired look!
You are a lucky guy!- I love Montreal.

Greg Gross
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#12 Thomas Worth

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 03:00 AM

I viewed the "Rise Above", the promotional spot on your web site. I love the
way the girls were shot,wonderful use of color here. Would you care to comm-
ent on how the girls were lit. The motion,action here is splendid.

Glad you liked the spot, Greg. I shot this back in Atlanta with a couple guys in a pretty trendy bar, the old Fountainhead Lounge (since renamed). Anyway, all of us had spent plenty of time there over the years so they already knew us and let us shoot there one afternoon. The lighting was pretty simple, if I remember correctly. I backlit the girls with a 1K open-face, gelled with some primary blue. The key was either a 500w or a 650w open-face shooting through a white umbrella. For some of the shots there was another 500w fill, this time bouncing off an umbrella instead of going through it. The whole place was painted red and all the furniture was red. It was really cool. We couldn't have picked a better location!

I shot it with a first generation Canon XL1 (NTSC) in regular 60i mode. I used the stock 16x lens. For the wide shots, I used the bayonet mount wide angle adapter from Century Optics. All the close-ups were shot at full telephoto, as far as the lens would go, to reduce the depth of field as much as possible.

In post, ALL of the footage was deinterlaced and conformed to 24 fps. Yes, that's right -- every single piece of footage you see has been slowed down 20%. It was all MOS, so it didn't matter. In the end it was output 24p as a progressive scan DVD.

Here are a couple stills for the people who haven't seen it:

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#13 kata

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 03:27 PM

In response to Greg, yep, I can set the white point to purple if I want to :-) , Ev +- 2 and contrast settings available (PS Harrisburg reminds me a lot of Montreal, must be the water and the Island park)

Thomas, I forgot to mention the camera... it's a Minolta A200. It also does 640x480 30p, but it looks a little more like 8mm 800ASA (ok, maybe not that bad...)
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#14 Greg Gross

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 05:24 PM

Kata,
Yes, I love our water park here in Harrisburg and I shoot models there. Travolta did some
"Lucky Numbers" scenes there and I got to go on the set. Fell in love with a beautiful japan-
ese girl in Montreal one time but I lost her. The light there is starting to get a little more beau-
tiful now in late afternoon now,days are getting just a little longer. I'm only 45 min. away from
Montreal by air, Canadian airlines,Dash-8 300's,rough rides at times. I'm a private pilot myself
so I tend to like rough rides. Okay on being able to vary W/B on your camera,I like to lean to-
wards lavender,so beautiful,and of course I'm a great lover of pastels. Saw Peter Guber inter-
view Michele Yeoh yesterday,by god she's so beautiful(does her own stunts). It brought back
many wonderful memories of Montreal. Maybe I'll fly up this weekend with a couple of Nikons
and a couple of Canons. Good luck with using your camera,you will find many possibilities if
you explore them. I like beautiful films. Have you read Hal Smith's post here? Great discussion
of creative white balance.

Greg Gross
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#15 Greg Gross

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 05:47 PM

Mr. Worth,
Thanks so much for your post on light set-up for "Rise Above". I love to photograph beau-
tiful women. Thomas, the legs of these girls as they were seated,reminded me of Truffaut's
'L' Homme qui aimait les femmes(1977). Not erotically but rather beautifully. The look you
have created with "Rise Above" is a portrayal of how I would like to shoot film,the warmth,
mood, the splendid action. Sweet jesus I would like to do a wonderful romantic film with all
these reds,scenes filled with warmth,the lover's meeting at locations such as in "Rise Above".
Of course I would make use of pastels also. Thanks again for light set-up,greatly appreciated.
I really like the fact that you did not overlight. I'm going back to your website to view some
more of the shoots. Thanks Thomas. Maybe a re-make of "A Man and A Woman is in order.

Greg Gross
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#16 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 07:51 PM

I see nothing wrong with doing things with Digital Photocam.

I like the idea of having a small cam and shooting.
It somehow takes out the seriusness out of the process.
Well, for me. Extremly good for spontaneos, "catch a moment" type of
situations. Documentary, artsy.

With a big, $$$$($) camera you go out with the idea
i need to shoot.

Couple of years ago i had some clips
shot with my Canon Powershot G-1.
320x240 15fps mjpeg.
Yes the picture is small, low FPS, high compression, noise....
But those couple of clips, i LOVE them. I think i would'nt capture those
moments with a big cam.

I do wish me now a D-photocam with BIG sensor and 25fps.
Smooth image, low compression.
Yeah i am in PAL, Europe.

I see specs of cams and they go like 15/30fps. Rarely mentioning 12.5/25fps.
HELLOO! Not everyone lives in NTSC-land.

I use a term "Transcending technology".
It means a creative persons goes out of
the frame of what can or can't be used to create.

So he may choose intentionaly lo-fi gear and express himself.


Your skills and creativity are your biggest assets.


I've even seen one music video on MTV shot with web cams.
Well, on Alternative Nation, (or was it on Chill Out Zone?)

:)


Best of luck.


Igor
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#17 kata

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:33 PM

Igor, thanks.

I dont think I'll end up at Sundance with this :-) but who knows, it does open up new avenues, especially for music videos. I like the fact that it's small, and you can turn it on and no one knows it's rolling.

the anti-shake is also very good (battery-drainer, need an AC adapter) but I think I'll definately do some serious tests with this. maybe set up a mini rail/dolly system... :-)

Greg,
Dash-8??? :wacko:
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#18 Greg Gross

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:44 PM

Dash 8
Dehavland Twin Turbo-prop
Pratt&Whitney Engines
Seats about 35 people
Flies in to HIA(MDT)
45 to 1 hr. depending on the the winter conditions.
Ride a little rough at times,usually evening flights very smooth.
I think I'm going up to Montreal Friday and I'm coming back Monday.
Taking PD-170 and Canon Eos-1 D Mark II N. Cannot fly Cessna 182
up due to flight time and winter conditions(winds) change to much. There
are old pilots and bold pilots but no old bold pilots.

Greg Gross
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#19 kata

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:50 PM

Greg, I know what a Dash-8 is, they just don't have a pukey smiley...

But hey, after flying on an 80's Banderante EM-100 with a cabin door that "sort of" stayed closed, over the Bahamas, i'll take a Dash-8 anyday :-)
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#20 Greg Gross

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:59 PM

Roger That!

Greg Gross
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