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Focusing, 24fps, Camera Stabilization - Newbie, help


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#1 hariharan swaminathan

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 08:25 PM

Hi,

Finally i put my footsteps learning cinematography. I mean, i just got my Canon 7D which has a true 24fps 1080i capability. I also made a steadcam rig which is described in this website www.steadycam.org

I have lot of doubts and i realized taking videos is definetly lot tougher than taking pictures.

My doubts:
1. How to maintain focus continously for moving subjects? Is manual or automatic focus good when shooting video? Is there any source to learn the sharp focusing distance? I mean if i use the 50mm and certain aperture value in which distance there is a maximum focus? where do i learn it all?

2. Canon 7d has a 24fps to shoot 1080i. But this is really a great mystery to me and i can't wait to see the replies. Yes, let's say i am shooting video in a high contrast day. I heard to achieve the exact 24fps i need to shoot at 1/50th of the second shutter. If i have to maintain the 1/50th how do i adjust my exposure? I either have to adjust the aperture or iso where sometimes i want the shallow dof, and dont want too much noise i have the only way to increase my shutter speed. I dont think filters will cut off that much light. So if i increase my shutter speed to achieve the right exposure will it affect the 24fps shooting? How does it affect my footage? I am really confused in this part. I am sorry i put my question exactly right. But i hope you can understand what am trying to ask. Please explain this in detail if possible. thanks!

3. Last but not least, how do i stabilize my camera? It seems to be very tough though. What is the cheapest way i can take a panning effect, moving subjects, properly? I know it's not a single solution, but please suggest me the best way. Because i have already spent a lot and i am not affordable.

Can't wait to hear from you all. Hereafter i will post something continously because i am very serious about becoming a cinematographer. Please bear with my english. Looking forward to have long term communication with you all.

Note: Just to add with this, i have very good knowledge about photography. So many of the terms i can understand. But am not sure how similar both cinematography and photography.

Regards
Hariharan Swaminathan

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#2 hariharan swaminathan

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 01:33 AM

No replies yet :(

Hi,

Finally i put my footsteps learning cinematography. I mean, i just got my Canon 7D which has a true 24fps 1080i capability. I also made a steadcam rig which is described in this website www.steadycam.org

I have lot of doubts and i realized taking videos is definetly lot tougher than taking pictures.

My doubts:
1. How to maintain focus continously for moving subjects? Is manual or automatic focus good when shooting video? Is there any source to learn the sharp focusing distance? I mean if i use the 50mm and certain aperture value in which distance there is a maximum focus? where do i learn it all?

2. Canon 7d has a 24fps to shoot 1080i. But this is really a great mystery to me and i can't wait to see the replies. Yes, let's say i am shooting video in a high contrast day. I heard to achieve the exact 24fps i need to shoot at 1/50th of the second shutter. If i have to maintain the 1/50th how do i adjust my exposure? I either have to adjust the aperture or iso where sometimes i want the shallow dof, and dont want too much noise i have the only way to increase my shutter speed. I dont think filters will cut off that much light. So if i increase my shutter speed to achieve the right exposure will it affect the 24fps shooting? How does it affect my footage? I am really confused in this part. I am sorry i put my question exactly right. But i hope you can understand what am trying to ask. Please explain this in detail if possible. thanks!

3. Last but not least, how do i stabilize my camera? It seems to be very tough though. What is the cheapest way i can take a panning effect, moving subjects, properly? I know it's not a single solution, but please suggest me the best way. Because i have already spent a lot and i am not affordable.

Can't wait to hear from you all. Hereafter i will post something continously because i am very serious about becoming a cinematographer. Please bear with my english. Looking forward to have long term communication with you all.

Note: Just to add with this, i have very good knowledge about photography. So many of the terms i can understand. But am not sure how similar both cinematography and photography.

Regards
Hariharan Swaminathan


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#3 Will Earl

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:04 AM

1. How to maintain focus continously for moving subjects? Is manual or automatic focus good when shooting video? Is there any source to learn the sharp focusing distance? I mean if i use the 50mm and certain aperture value in which distance there is a maximum focus? where do i learn it all?


In professional moving picture photography it's more common to use manual focus rather than use auto focus. You can either adjust the focus by visually looking through the viewfinder or have a camera assistant operate the focus based on the distance to subject (read here http://en.wikipedia....i/Focus_puller).

There are Depth Of Field calculators around the internet which allow you to determine the DOF characteristics of a lens given certain variables - aperture, focal length, sensor size, etc.

2. Canon 7d has a 24fps to shoot 1080i. But this is really a great mystery to me and i can't wait to see the replies. Yes, let's say i am shooting video in a high contrast day. I heard to achieve the exact 24fps i need to shoot at 1/50th of the second shutter. If i have to maintain the 1/50th how do i adjust my exposure? I either have to adjust the aperture or iso where sometimes i want the shallow dof, and dont want too much noise i have the only way to increase my shutter speed. I dont think filters will cut off that much light. So if i increase my shutter speed to achieve the right exposure will it affect the 24fps shooting? How does it affect my footage? I am really confused in this part. I am sorry i put my question exactly right. But i hope you can understand what am trying to ask. Please explain this in detail if possible. thanks!


Typically you lock the shutter and iso down when shooting. Changing the shutter speed won't affect the frame rate being shot (in this case 24fps), but the most obvious thing that you'll notice is that it changes the look of the motion blur, changing to a higher shutter speed will reduce motion blur but it can produce movement which looks odd, where as shooting at 1/50th (or 1/48th) will produce movement that looks reasonably natural (for lack of a better word).

The most common ways of adjusting the exposure is to either adjust the aperture or to use filters to control the amount of light. The other way of approach this is to control the light within the scene so you don't have to make changes to the aperture during during a shot.

3. Last but not least, how do i stabilize my camera? It seems to be very tough though. What is the cheapest way i can take a panning effect, moving subjects, properly? I know it's not a single solution, but please suggest me the best way. Because i have already spent a lot and i am not affordable.


The simplest (and possibly cheapest) way is to stick the camera on a tripod.

I hope that helps in some way, if not perhaps someone else will correct me (it's been a while since I've shot anything with a camera).
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#4 Joe Giambrone

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 12:32 AM

I think you're looking for hyperfocal distance. I'd like to learn more about that too. Here's an article explaining.
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#5 hariharan swaminathan

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 01:34 AM

hi
thanks for the detailed explanation. actually that's what i have heard raising shutter speed will make the video looks odd. but if i want the depth of field and i dont want to close the aperture thats' the way to go right? and i dont know how much it affects the motion blur.

and regarding the focus pulling, i know there is a distance for certain aperture. but in reality if the assistant helps with the focus without even looking at the view finder how can be so sure the distance of the subject from the camera? is it a guess work or he is really precisely doing that?

i would like to learn more about focal distance. and how can i use a tripod for moving subjects? it wont fit the need right?

thanks for your replies...

hariharan
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#6 Will Earl

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 06:12 AM

but if i want the depth of field and i dont want to close the aperture thats' the way to go right? and i dont know how much it affects the motion blur.


Given the choice of adjusting the aperture or shutter to expose a shot, I would personally choose the aperture. Although in saying that, it's really up to you, I suggest you try both methods out and see what you like best.

and regarding the focus pulling, i know there is a distance for certain aperture. but in reality if the assistant helps with the focus without even looking at the view finder how can be so sure the distance of the subject from the camera? is it a guess work or he is really precisely doing that?


There are better qualified people within this forum that have probably answered this question many times (do a search in the 'Camera Assistants' subforum). But to give a quick answer... I'm pretty sure they test each lens before hand to make sure the distance markings on the lens are accurate, run through the scene before hand to work out where the actor and camera will move throughout the scene and being able to judge the focus distance accurately and quickly is a skill that most focus pullers pick up.

and how can i use a tripod for moving subjects? it wont fit the need right?


Depends. You can pan and tilt a camera on a tripod. But if you want move movement use a dolly or a steadycam (your first post says you built one - is it not steady?).
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#7 hariharan swaminathan

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 08:57 PM

thanks for the reply. i understand what you mean. i am willing to use the aperture to expose the shots properly. but if i want the shallow dof and at the same time i want to shoot at 1/50th that's where am little confused about. i know i need to use filters to cut the amount light coming to the camera. am not sure how tedious it will be and how many filters i might require... :) anyways, but i understand the concept

actually i built a steady cam but i dont have tools. i built everything in the homedepot itself with the help of the salesman. but i didn't tight 'em. will do it soon and see how it helps.

actually i tried to play with final cut and noticed it works amazing. i mean i overexposed one small clip and i used the composite mode to correct it. it was amazing. so even in movies does it happen all the time? or the footage will be perfect? i wonder... how someone can achieve the perfect exposure everytime. i bet there will be lot of planning involved. right?


Given the choice of adjusting the aperture or shutter to expose a shot, I would personally choose the aperture. Although in saying that, it's really up to you, I suggest you try both methods out and see what you like best.



There are better qualified people within this forum that have probably answered this question many times (do a search in the 'Camera Assistants' subforum). But to give a quick answer... I'm pretty sure they test each lens before hand to make sure the distance markings on the lens are accurate, run through the scene before hand to work out where the actor and camera will move throughout the scene and being able to judge the focus distance accurately and quickly is a skill that most focus pullers pick up.



Depends. You can pan and tilt a camera on a tripod. But if you want move movement use a dolly or a steadycam (your first post says you built one - is it not steady?).


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