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Chris Westerstrom March 23rd, 2010 07:22 AM

Timelapses
 
I bought the video from Philip Bloom and liked how he shot timelapses.

A couple of questions for those of you who shoot them:

- Do you shoot in Raw? If so why? If not, why not? Does it take up a lot of space? how much?

- Also, once exported from quicktime, do you have to then convert that file to pro res? Is that file huge and do you have any troubles with drop frames while editing it?


Thanks!

Michael Murie March 23rd, 2010 08:01 AM

I've done a couple of experiments shooting timelapses, and am plannning to do more for a project later in the spring.

I shot using JPEG. I didn't really see the point of using RAW as the image is being scaled down to 1920 x1080 (or smaller) anyway.

I used Photo JPEG as the compressor from QuickTime Player for the clip just to save time (actually, I didn't even think of changing to ProRes), but also I wasn't planning to do anything to the piece within Final Cut (I just used Final Cut to resize/crop it to the final dimensions and then export.) If I was going to add effects and layers and things, I probably would have recompressed to ProRes.

Whichever one you use, I don't think the files are going to be tremendously huge; afterall unless you're planning to shoot a timelapse over many days, you're not going to have that much content (I shot a 600+ image sequence over an hour and a half and had a final sequence of about 25 seconds which is probably about as long a sequence as I want.)

Chris Westerstrom March 23rd, 2010 09:48 AM

thanks for your response, I guess I am forgetting that with the 7d shooting stills, i am still only using a few frames per second.

I used to speed up HDV footage which got me drop frames every time I hit the space bar! But that was shot at 25fps anyways haha

Norman Pogson March 23rd, 2010 10:05 AM

If you shoot raw with the 7D for timelapse you do get very big files, which are great for doing panning and zoom shots in post, that's the only advantage I see.

HD is 1920 x 1080 so a jpeg file near to this would be more manageable, you would have to be good with exposure and white balance as you don't have the same adjustments to jpegs as you do to raw.

Jon Fairhurst March 23rd, 2010 11:05 AM

From what I've read, if you shoot RAW, only do it at full size. The smaller RAW formats have worse quality that JPEGs.

With JPEG, you can shoot at various sizes. At the large size, you can still pan and scan the image.

The main advantage of RAW is that you can really push the color grading in post. If you are confident that you can nail the exposure and color in the camera, then JPEGs provide a simpler, faster workflow. You can use a smaller image size and the compression to use fewer bits. But for full creative control and the best possible quality, shoot RAW.

To me, the big cost of timelapses is the shutter life rather than the bits. The shutter wears out just as quickly with JPEGs as RAWs.

Chuck Spaulding March 23rd, 2010 11:33 AM

Also, it depends on your exposure time and interval. It takes much more space and time to write to the card using RAW.

So you have to take this into account so that you don't exceed your buffer.

Norman Pogson March 24th, 2010 07:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst (Post 1504183)

To me, the big cost of timelapses is the shutter life rather than the bits. The shutter wears out just as quickly with JPEGs as RAWs.

I agree with this and I think if timelapse is going to be a large part of your shooting, then buying a cheaper DSLR, maybe used is a better alternate than using up a $2k camera.

Floris de Rijke March 24th, 2010 10:30 AM

The shutter breaks down over time because it's a mechanical part, which also means it can be fixed/replaced. This pretty much costs the same on a expensive SLR as it does on a cheap one so percentage wise it's more economically viable to fix the shutter of a more expensive SLR. Besides that you end up with better quality material and don't have the added cost of an 'extra' cheap SLR.

In short I believe investing in an extra body just for not using up your shutter life sounds like a clear case of penny wise, pound foolish.


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