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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old December 30th, 2010, 09:11 AM   #1
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Interval Recording

I am going to try some timelapse shots with my XF300 but I am not sure of the settings. When I do it with my stills camera I usually set the interval to 5sec and it obviously takes only one shot every time. With the XF300 I get the interval bit but what about the number of frames? Should I just set it to record one frame each time? Why would you use more than one frame at a time?
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Old December 30th, 2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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Andy,

As I demonstrate in my XF305/300 training DVD, if there is motion in the subject of your time-lapse, such as clouds or traffic, you should always choose 1-frame. Otherwise you get a little bit of motion . . . then a time jump . . . then a little bit of motion . . .then a time jump . . . etc. The result won't look very smooth.

However, allowing the camera to record multiple frames on each capture is still a good feature to have in certain situations. For example, last week I had to do some stop-motion animation of an LCD panel on the back of an SLR opening up and rotating around to a new position. Rather than doing a traditional stop-motion animation what would require me to press the record button for each capture, I set the camera to record a time-lapse with 10 seconds in-between each capture. That gave me plenty of time to move the the LCD to a new position and get my hands out of the way before the next capture. I got the shot done in a fraction of the time it would have taken to trip the camera manually.

I also set the time-lapse to record 3 frames on each capture so that I only had to move the LCD 20 times to get a final 2-second animation. If I had left it on 1 frame, I would have had to record 60 frames to get 2-seconds. For the purposes of this shot, I did not need 30 frames per second smoothness, so recording multiple frames was a great feature to have.

http://www.vortexmedia.com/DVD_XF305.html

I hope that answers your question.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 09:59 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick answer Doug.

The bit I don't undestand out of what you said was why you would want 3 frames. Doesn't it wait for ten second the bang, bang, bang then wait another ten second etc etc. Won't the 3 frames just be the same?
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Old December 30th, 2010, 10:38 AM   #4
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Yes, all three frames of each capture will all be the same. But because I need 30 frames to fill a second of video, I will have to shoot 1/3 as many frames to fill 30 seconds. That's the advantage of setting the camera to record three frames in this situation.

1 frame x 30 captures = 1 second
3 frames x 10 captures = 1 second

If I wanted really smooth animation, then 1 frame would be the best choice. But in this situation, 3 frames looked better for the effect I wanted and took 1/3 the time to shoot.

But this only works for shots that are stationary. If I tried to do this technique with clouds or traffic that moved a little bit during those three frames, then the results would have looked terrible.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 10:56 AM   #5
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Ah I'm with you now. So it's a technique when you are trying to get a set number for frames in a given time rather than an purely artistic technique.

Thanks for clearing that up.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 12:01 PM   #6
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Is there any way to alter the number of frames recorded? I tried it on 1 second interval BUT there seems to be no option to only record 1 frame each time. The options are 2, 6 or 8 I think.

I really want 1 frame at 1 sec interval.

Andy S
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Old January 5th, 2011, 01:37 PM   #7
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Check your owner's manual because 1-frame probably only works in certain modes. At least that's the way it is in the USA.
24P and 60P modes only allow 2 frames, but 1 frame is possible with other settings.
I don't have a PAL camcorder so I can't help beyond that.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 01:50 PM   #8
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I'll have an experiment with other settings then. Thanks.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 08:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Check your owner's manual because 1-frame probably only works in certain modes. At least that's the way it is in the USA.
24P and 60P modes only allow 2 frames, but 1 frame is possible with other settings.
I don't have a PAL camcorder so I can't help beyond that.
I've checked the NTSC and PAL manuals: 1-frame isn't available in PAL.

However... I'd be happy with 2-frames option IF the frames were captured evenly over the time interval selected. For example, if I choose a 2-frame/2 second combination what happens is that the two frames are captured at 00:00:00:00 and 00:00:00:01, then the next two are done at 00:00:02:00 and 00:00:02:01.

Two frames in succession and then a 00:00:01:23 gap produces horrible results. Is there a reason why people would want to capture like this -- or (quite likely) am I missing something obvious?

Thanks,

Clint

Last edited by Clint Watt; January 27th, 2011 at 08:24 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old January 27th, 2011, 10:11 AM   #10
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I can't think of any reason why someone would want to shoot like that. Sounds like a design flaw with the camcorder.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 03:27 AM   #11
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Hi

This comes as a surprise, at least for me. Why isn't it possible to record 1 frame on the PAL models? Is there a technical explanation or is it, as Doug says, a design flaw? One of the (many) reasons for me to eventually invest in this camcorder is the possability of interval recording but why isn't it possible to configure it to one frame at a time? Don't understand this....

Canon, time for a software upgrade??

Regards,

/Bo
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Old January 28th, 2011, 06:47 AM   #12
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Hi

Just checked the FAQ for the PAL model of the XF100 and the NTSC manual for the XF100 and the same frame numbers selectable for these models as for the XF300 models:

XF100/XF300 NTSC - 1, 3 or 6 frames. 2, 6 or 12 if in 24P or 60P mode.

XF100/XF300 PAL - 2, 6 or 12 frames. Nothing said about i or P modes.


Strange, but someone might have a clever explanation.


Regards,

/Bo
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Old January 28th, 2011, 06:58 AM   #13
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Sadly I've not found any way of recording just 1 frame in PAL mode. This is a real shame because on the face of it time lapse on the XF300 should be much much easier than on my stills camera because the XF300 compiles the clips in camera whereas the stills camera you have to make the clip in post.

I really hope Canon can add the ability to do 1 frame recording in a software upgrade.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 07:31 AM   #14
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Hi, me again!

I just checked tha manual for the Sony EX1R which also have the same type of frame and interval recording modes.

Actually, the same type of "limitations" is described in the manual for the EX1R.

Interval recording: In 1280/60P or 1280/50P "you can select from among 2, 6 and 12 frames. With other settings, you can select from among 1, 3, 6 and 9 frames."

Frame recording: "You can select from among 2, 6 and 12 when Video Format is set to 720/60P or 720/50P. With other video formats, you can select from among 1, 3, 6 and 9."

Can it be so that it's possible to use 1, 3 or 6 frames if a PAL XF100/XF300 is in another mode than P mode , that is in any interlaced modes, even if the manual doesn't say so, or are there differences between PAL and NTSC models as described in the manual?


Regards,

/Bo
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Old January 28th, 2011, 07:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Solaini View Post
I really hope Canon can add the ability to do 1 frame recording in a software upgrade.
I raised a support ticket with Canon yesterday on this issue, but I don't know if they normally reply to such requests.

I wondered if there could there be a technical limitation as to why 2, 6, 12 are the only selectable rates - as opposed to letting the operator select any rate between 1 to 24 (or 25) fps?

Meanwhile, if Canon do give me some feedback, I'll let you guys know.
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