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Filming A Camera Flash


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#1 Charlie Manton

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 03:51 PM

Hi,

 

Am starting a new project, which involves capturing a camera flash. What is the best way to capture a camera flash?

 

Thanks,

Charlie


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 05:06 PM

A camera flash is almost certainly going to be so short in duration that you will encounter rolling shutter issues with most cameras, leading to partially exposed frames. Is the camera flash in the shot?

 

If it's not, you could use a Lightning Strikes Paparazzi light, which is designed specifically to mimic camera flashes, or maybe an Atomic 3000 strobe light with DMX control


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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 06:24 PM

Any light with a fast rise or fall time can cause banding. It isn't necessarily about brevity. DMX control may help if there's a way to reliably time it to the camera's shutter, but I'm not aware of any such technology.

When I needed this a couple of years ago, I wrote a bit of very simple microcontroller code to create an LED strobe wherein the phase could be trimmed to suit the shot, and it would only let you trigger flashes when banding could not occur (rather like phasing a 35mm camera to suit CRT monitors). I'm not sure if there's any commercial product which implements it that way but I understand that the OutSight Creamsource has some sort of strobe synchronisation capability.

P
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 08:54 PM

It's true that you may still get rolling shutter problems with either the paparazzi lamp or the Atomic, but they are significantly fewer than with other methods. One note, if you use the Atomic 3000, you MUST have DMX control, or you will not be able to alter the flash duration.


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#5 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 09:21 PM

Charlie

 

Presuming you are shooting on video

 

Had the same thing a few weeks ago.. a commercial in a studio with the director wanting flashes for a "fashion cat walk look"..for a part of it.. we shot a test the day before with a high end but rolling shutter video camera.. we had people holding normal stills flash unit,s..  

Very hit and miss as you,d expect with RS.. every now and again you would get lucky.. with a good one.. but a lot of other only partially exposed..

In the end it was decided to do it in post.. but not sure how they did it..

 

If you only need the one good flash.. you could just shoot a minute or two and play back and check if you have a "good" one.. 


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 21 September 2015 - 09:22 PM.

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