taking HV20 to Ocoee River to shoot kayakers at DVinfo.net

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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old October 6th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #1
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taking HV20 to Ocoee River to shoot kayakers

Great forum...been reading it for 2 months...bought HV20 today...going to Ocoee River in TN (120 miles) and want to shoot whitewater kayakers...fast stuff...like to zoom in close when they are flipping and rolling. I'm going to read the manual this afternoon, but thought I might obtain some practical hands-on experience from you folks... Any suggestions on shutter speed etc...bright day, at least cloudy bright..I'm a 35mm/digital photog. Any suggestions at all would be appreciated. By the way Chris Hurd, I'm buying this from Kenny at Showcase in Atlanta. Hopefully after I master (?) this 20 I can go to an A1...tks Bob in North Ga. p.s. I have a good Manfrotto tripod 3221 with a video head on it.

Last edited by Bob Hollifield; October 6th, 2007 at 09:41 AM. Reason: more info
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Old October 6th, 2007, 01:40 PM   #2
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You have a wonderful subject for HV20 Slow-Motion!!!!!

Bob,

I'm very happy with my trusty little HV20 after lugging an XL2 all over the world. You've made the best choice in a palmcorder, IMO :)

The HV20 is EXCELLENT for making slow motion SD video - and you have a spectacular subject in the form of Whitewater Kayaking, especially if there are any wipeouts! :)

Here's my take on shooting action:
(You will probably have to ingest the HV20 manual *and* search these forums in order to implement these methods)

1) I hope you're on Mac. If so, download JES Deinterlacer (free).
There are links for it on this forum.
You will use it to create slo-mo footage and to extract the 24p footage from the 60i stream.
I also hope you have Final Cut or some other pro NLE so you can edit 24p.
Don't worry though - you can still create killer slo-mo with iMovie HD and JES Deinterlacer.

2) Learn how to shoot 24p - that means *slow* camera movements and avoid subjects crossing the frame horizontally faster than 7 seconds.
Watch a few good movies and you will notice no fast camera movements and no fast horizontal action.
Also, avoid zooming whilst shooting.... again, you never see this in good movies - they use cranes, dollies etc instead of zooming.
Don't worry, you can still shoot sports in 24p but you will have to be very skilled at panning to follow the subject - this is the only time it is good to make rapid camera movements *as long as your objective is to keep the subject centered*.
Avoid hand-held with 24p. You've got a good tripod, so you're off to a solid start.
Learn to love the "stuttery" motion and work with it.
Film makers have been using it for 100 years - if your footage looks "jerky" the problem is the operator, *not* the camera!

3) When in HDV 24p mode be sure to also switch the image processing to Cinemode to maximise your exposure latitude and minimise ugly blowouts in the highlights.

4) Manual white balance. I repeat: MANUAL WHITE BALANCE.
I recommend a "white balance filter" which either screws or pops on the front of the lens and provides a perfect grey flat image of the subject for your camera to take a white balance off.
This is better than using a card, especially if your subject is far away and may be in a different light to that near the camera/card - a likely scenario with whitewater kayakers!

5) Shoot regular 60i HDV with the intention to convert to slo-mo in a 24p timeline. Bear the slo-mo in mind when choosing what to shoot. You would not shoot some action at all if was to be displayed in regular motion, but in slo-mo it might be spectacular. On the other hand, boring motion is going to be even *more* boring in slo-mo!
You can get away with hand-held for this - the slo-mo tends to smooth out jerky hand motion (within limits, of course).
*You MUST shoot 1/120 sec shutter for slo-mo*!!!!!!
Use the forum to learn how to lock the shutter on the HV20.
The reason for 1/120 shutter is so when slowed down it has the same motion characteristics as regular 24p motion.

6) Obtain a circular polarising filter for your HV20.
43mm is hard to find, but you can find larger filters at any camera store and use a step-up ring.
A polariser is a *must* for shooting outdoors, especially where water is concerned IMO.

7) Shoot 24p for normal speed stuff, 60i for making slo-mo in a 24p timeline.
60i interlaced looks cheap, smells cheap, feels cheap.... unless you really really really prefer the "reality" of interlaced video.
A lot of sports-oriented people *hate* 24p for sports, but I've noticed the major networks are using 24p when they show *previous* sporting events in order to convey a sense of "this happened in the glorious past".
It gives a sense of majesty and importance to what was otherwise just another football game.
IMO 24p makes things appear slightly hyper-real, and this will help tell the story - this is because we accociate 24p motion with fantasy and narrative storytelling in movies.
I assume part or all of the reason you chose the HV20 was for the 24p, otherwise I wouldn't harp on it so much :)

8) Learn how to use JES Deinterlacer to convert your 60i footage to 24p slo-motion.
You will also need Cinema Tools or equivalent to reconform the 30p footage output from JES Deinterlacer to 24p resulting in 40% of the real-time speed.
If you don't have Cinema Tools, don't worry - you can still use JES Deinterlacer to convert 60i to 30p for use in iMovie HD as a 50% slowdown.
If you are on PC don't worry - there are other methods to convert 60i to 30p or 24p - just search the forums or ask someone :)

I don't know your knowlege base Bob, but don't worry if most of my suggestions were gobbledygook - if in doubt, shoot 60i HDV and learn how to convert it to slo-mo later!
I wouldn't risk the wonderful opportunity to shoot kayakers if you are not comfortable/talented with 24p - just go for regular 60i, but at least try to learn how to lock the shutter at 1/120 sec so you can slo-mo it later on as your skills improve!

You might balk at the idea of blowing $50 on a circular polariser, but in case you have never used one I will say it is almost miraculous how it can cut though glare and reflections from water. I think you will appreciate this when shooting water sports. :)
A polariser will also do wonders for cutting down cloud glare and overly bright skies.

I just remembered you said you are a 35mm/digital photo man, so I apologise if my suggestions seem simplistic or obvious to you!

I envy you.... I've been hard pressed to find interesting subjects for slo-mo conversion.... so far all I've got is the local Rugby club and the City Zoo!

Best of luck Bob, and post some stills/footage when you return!!!
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Old October 6th, 2007, 02:02 PM   #3
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I should add: Siamangs and Orangutans are *spectacular* comical subjects for slow-motion!!!!!!

My City Zoo has regular visitors who sit there all day to enjoy the primate hijinks!
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Old October 6th, 2007, 02:20 PM   #4
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Slo-Mo.. 60i > 30P > 24P

Paul, I'm about to shoot 60i (at 1/120th as you recommend) and slow down, and eventually use in a 24P timeline i've shot. Never done it before, but most of it makes sense. I use FCS2 and Compressor...

However, after slowing down and exporting at 30P, what are the steps in using Compressor to convert 30P to 24P? (I use it all the time to take the true 24P out of my 60i footage that was shot in 24P mode on my HV20).

Thanks!
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Old October 6th, 2007, 02:35 PM   #5
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Conforming 30p to 24p

Firstly your file must be in Quicktime .mov format so Cinema Tools can modify it. The actual codec shouldn't matter.

If you have Cinema Tools (comes packaged with Final Cut Studio) you open the file in Cinema Tools and conform it to 23.98fps - there is a preset in the pull-down tab for exactly that.
It is an instantaneous conversion - Cinema Tools just rewrites the metadata for the file to tell Quicktime to play at 23.98fps.

Otherwise you can open the 30p footage in a 24p timeline in FCP and stretch it by the required amount.

Conforming in Cinema Tools is the best way :)
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Old October 6th, 2007, 02:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul V Doherty View Post
Learn how to shoot 24p - that means *slow* camera movements and avoid subjects crossing the frame horizontally faster than 7 seconds.
I tried searching for panning tables or whatever they are called, but could not find any. Got a link?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul V Doherty View Post
I recommend a "white balance filter" which either screws or pops on the front of the lens and provides a perfect grey flat image of the subject for your camera to take a white balance off.
This is better than using a card, especially if your subject is far away and may be in a different light to that near the camera/card
Interesting, never heard of white balance filter. Googled it up, found this interesting blog entry: http://www.sns.ias.edu/~jns/wp/2006/...alance-filter/
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul V Doherty View Post
60i interlaced looks cheap, smells cheap, feels cheap.... unless you really really really prefer the "reality" of interlaced video.
Did you mean 60Hz, not interlaced? Because 60p looks pretty much the same, doesn't it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul V Doherty View Post
A lot of sports-oriented people *hate* 24p for sports, but I've noticed the major networks are using 24p when they show *previous* sporting events in order to convey a sense of "this happened in the glorious past". It gives a sense of majesty and importance to what was otherwise just another football game.
IMO 24p makes things appear slightly hyper-real, and this will help tell the story - this is because we accociate 24p motion with fantasy and narrative storytelling in movies.
Have you thought that with the advent of consumer camcorders with 24fps frame rate and with more and more stuff shot in 24fps the hyper-reality and glory of 24fps will fade away?
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Old October 6th, 2007, 04:04 PM   #7
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Paul, thanks so much...if you go to colemanroadproductions.com you can see some of my digital stills of whitewater kayaking....all are not good, but some are not bad. I feel like I just got a short course in videography basics and that is what I was hoping for but didn't want to ask for too much. Unfortunately I have windows xp on a pc, so I'll have to makedo until I become accomplished as a shooter. I'll try this thing out and do some research on the forum searches and learn as I go. Thanks again...also Michael thanks for the references...I'll take a look. bob
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Old October 6th, 2007, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Jouravlev View Post
I tried searching for panning tables or whatever they are called, but could not find any. Got a link?

The "seven seconds" panning/horizontal motion rule is often quoted all over the place. I believe it originated in the American Cinematographer's Handbook.
The reason is an unfortunate side-effect of progressive scanning. Cinematographers have been working around it for 100 years...... it's only with the recent advent of digital 24p/25p that videographers have needed to learn how to shoot it properly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Jouravlev View Post
Interesting, never heard of white balance filter. Googled it up, found this interesting blog entry: http://www.sns.ias.edu/~jns/wp/2006/...alance-filter/

That's the one!!!!! It really is a must-have piece of gear IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Jouravlev View Post
Did you mean 60Hz, not interlaced? Because 60p looks pretty much the same, doesn't it?

60p would be GREAT for action videography, but we aren't going to see it in a $1k camera for a few years yet!
The HV20 shoots 60i in accordance with the HDV 1080i spec.
The reason you can extract 60p Standard Definition from it is because even though you have to throw away half the vertical resolution you *still* obtain 1440x540 to downrez to SD which is pretty good IMO.
Double the fields and you get killer progressive SD slow-mo :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Jouravlev View Post
Have you thought that with the advent of consumer camcorders with 24fps frame rate and with more and more stuff shot in 24fps the hyper-reality and glory of 24fps will fade away?
No, because so far it appears the major networks understand the importance of the immediate "reality" look of 60i...
I don't think people would accept their daily news and live sports in 24p because it makes it look *weird*...
When we see 24p our brain tells us "This is not real. It is a fantasy. Disengage reality, suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride".

We were very lucky to get 24p on the HV20.
In some ways Canon made a mistake putting 24p on a consumer cam, but what the heck - they've just released the HDD version with 24p so it *must* be working for Canon :)
I bet the average soccer moms are tearing their hair out if they accidently shoot in 24p and wonder why their video of little Jimmy's football game is so "jerky".
Canon probably recieves thousands of complaints about it. Good on them for sticking it out and educating the public about 24p.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 05:04 PM   #9
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Everyone has already given such superlative advice regarding the HV20 the only thing I might add is the HV20 fits nicely (although you can't use any controls once the camera is rolling) into the Sony underwater housing for the HCR 7. I got one for 150 bucks. I swam a couple big water IV rapids with this housing and the HV20 and was very impressed. I wouldn't swim on the Ocoee because of the all the exposed rocks but if you ever head for bigger CFS it might open up some filming opportunities.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Paul V Doherty View Post
60p would be GREAT for action videography, but we aren't going to see it in a $1k camera for a few years yet!
JVC makes just over-$1K cams that shoot in 720p60. I actually prefer 720p60 to 1080i60 for all the known reasons, and I curse Canon for going with Sony instead of going with JVC. I also curse all the companies that use "True HD" marketing fluff. 1080i is not truer than 720p.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul V Doherty View Post
I don't think people would accept their daily news and live sports in 24p because it makes it look *weird*... When we see 24p our brain tells us "This is not real. It is a fantasy. Disengage reality, suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride".
I am not talking about daily news. The HV20 is a consumer cam, the stuff shot by amateurs finds its way to YouTube. People watch it, first they feel it is 24fps so it is unreal, then they realize it is just a family video. Gradually, the flair of 24fps as of professional-grade quality, Hollywood fantasy production will evaporate. People will not expect magic and fantasy when they see 24fps footage. Maybe not. Maybe I am totally wrong with this.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 05:58 PM   #11
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JVC makes just over-$1K cams that shoot in 720p60. I actually prefer 720p60 to 1080i60 for all the known reasons, and I curse Canon for going with Sony instead of going with JVC. I also curse all the companies that use "True HD" marketing fluff. 1080i is not truer than 720p.

I am not talking about daily news. The HV20 is a consumer cam, the stuff shot by amateurs finds its way to YouTube. People watch it, first they feel it is 24fps so it is unreal, then they realize it is just a family video. Gradually, the flair of 24fps as of professional-grade quality, Hollywood fantasy production will evaporate. People will not expect magic and fantasy when they see 24fps footage. Maybe not. Maybe I am totally wrong with this.
I do agree that on an *interlaced* display (i.e. CRT) you are gain no discernable resolution going from 720p to 1080i. In fact many people think 720p is *sharper* than 1080i.

The reason 1080i still a better stream than 720p for carrying broadcast is because it can display 1080i60 as a native format, it can mash a 1080p60 source into a 1080i60 stream (albiet with a loss of resolution but still about as good as 720p60), it can carry a 720p60 source mashed into 1080i60 with virtually the same percieved resolution, and it can carry a nice 1080p24 source embedded in a 1080i60 stream with *no* loss in resolution.
This is only possible on a 1080p True Full HD progressive display, but let's face it - how many people are viewing 1080i broadcasts on *interlaced* displays? I would bet NO-ONE!

I think it would be a mistake for the EU to adopt 720p as their broadcast standard - it's going to make 1080i conversions look terrible, and the upgrade path to 1080p in the future is not as simple.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Jouravlev View Post
JVC makes just over-$1K cams that shoot in 720p60. I actually prefer 720p60 to 1080i60 for all the known reasons, and I curse Canon for going with Sony instead of going with JVC. I also curse all the companies that use "True HD" marketing fluff. 1080i is not truer than 720p.

I am not talking about daily news. The HV20 is a consumer cam, the stuff shot by amateurs finds its way to YouTube. People watch it, first they feel it is 24fps so it is unreal, then they realize it is just a family video. Gradually, the flair of 24fps as of professional-grade quality, Hollywood fantasy production will evaporate. People will not expect magic and fantasy when they see 24fps footage. Maybe not. Maybe I am totally wrong with this.
I should have added: yes, I agree if 24p falls into the "wrong" hands (i.e. amatuers) it will tarnish the way the collective consciousness feels about 24p. On the other hand it might improve the general quality of amatuer video as more people learn by trial and error how to use it properly - in the same way that cheap digital SLR's have improved the output from the general public.
The downside is, because of outlets such as Youtube we will be *bombarded* with the trial and error clips from amatuers!
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Old October 6th, 2007, 06:24 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the good points. I keep forgetting about 1080p24-in-1080i60, but to display this content properly, displays should have robust IVTC circuits. A year or two ago only Pioneer, Hitachi and JVC were more or less consistent in detecting the pulldown. Things seem to get better gradually.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 08:23 PM   #14
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That's the one!!!!! It really is a must-have piece of gear IMO.
ExpoDisk seems to be a bit expensive though.

There is a Mennon White Balance Lens Cap on Ebay for under $10, but I am not sure if it will fit HV20 - they have 58mm and up.

The cap review:
http://l7foto.com/2007/05/31/white-b...ns-cap-review/

There are also some cards you can hold in front of the lense I guess, but the cap seems handy.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #15
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Everyone has already given such superlative advice regarding the HV20 the only thing I might add is the HV20 fits nicely (although you can't use any controls once the camera is rolling) into the Sony underwater housing for the HCR 7. I got one for 150 bucks. I swam a couple big water IV rapids with this housing and the HV20 and was very impressed. I wouldn't swim on the Ocoee because of the all the exposed rocks but if you ever head for bigger CFS it might open up some filming opportunities.
Well, I went to the Ocoee Sunday, shot about 350 stills with my Nikon digi...got some great shots by the way, still posting on colemanroadproductions.com...then I hauled out the HV20. Don't think I will be doing any underwater stuff Matt....lol too old! Suprizingly enough the stuff turned out pretty good for my first time ever with a video. I figured auto white bal would overexpose the whitewater rapids, but it didn't. Of course to a more calculating eye it probably isn't acceptable, I would post, but I don't have a clue.
I'm now looking for a source to host my videos online...gonna do some realty stuff while I'm learning about this little camera. I like it! Thanks for all the advice...anybody know a video hosting svc pls let me know. tks..bob
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