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Old March 28th, 2008, 01:46 AM   #1
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Best Settings for Tennis Scene

I'm about to film a couple of tennis scenes for a short film with the A1. Those scenes will involve some powerful shots and fairly fast on court action. At this stage I don't think that I will have to slow any action in post but would love to be able to take footage that, as a first priority, looks good, and second priority, is able to be slowed in post if required. Court is outside and weather is expected to be mostly fine. By the way, I'm in PAL land.

All help appreciated.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 09:37 AM   #2
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I'd shoot it fast. 1/500 or 1/1000. There's something about that look that for me conveys action. Critical focus can get a bit dodgy at these speeds but the results should be worth it. I'd also shoot at 50i so that if you do decide on some slo-mo you have something to work with.

All of the above goes into a cocked hat if you need to match the look of this footage to surrounding scenes.

These recommendations are just based upon my experiences and are probably worth less than what you paid for them.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 07:19 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions Tripp. Bad weather prevented the main shoot going ahead....but thankfully I had the opportunity to film a few minutes of tennis with different settings i.e, 25f 1/25, 1/50, 1/120, 1/250, then 50i 1/25, 1/50, 1/120, 1/250. (I'm in PAL land). I burned the entire test to DVD. The best footage came from 25f at 1/50 & 50i at 1/50. At higher shutter speeds the on-court action looked good, but the flickering of white lines on the tennis court was unacceptable. There must be a way to reduce the flickering of white lines. I'd appreciate it if somebody saved me wasting a heap of time and DVD's to solve this frustrating problem.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 10:06 AM   #4
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Brendan... That's an odd sounding problem that I'm not sure I understand. It sounds like an interlace flicker but I couldn't say for sure without seeing some footage.

If you have a chance, you might try some shots with even a faster shutter. If you watch sports like motor racing and tennis on television, they will shoot with really fast shutter speeds. Capturing the really fast action on each frame can make for compelling shots. Slower shutter speeds will give your blurrier frames, but sometimes you might want that.

I wish I had a real solution for you. Maybe someone else will.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 11:01 PM   #5
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Tripp,

Yes, it must be something to with horizontal thin white lines on the tennis court footage and, as you say, interlacing. But the same flicker did occur in 25f mode?? Anyway, in the abscence of any other suggestions, I'll follow your advice to see what happens if I shoot even faster. I would have thought there would be heaps of tennis fans & players who have encountered the same thing and discovered a solution. Ah well, back to the drawing board.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 10:29 AM   #6
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50i at 1/50, definitely. Unless you absolutely need high quality stills.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan Kelleher View Post
At higher shutter speeds the on-court action looked good, but the flickering of white lines on the tennis court was unacceptable.
Seems like a possible problem caused by the details (sharpening) settings of the camera. Since the white lines have high contrast the edge sharpening of the camera can be the cause,e specially if the camera is moving. Try reducing the sharpening to the minimum and see if there is any change.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 08:06 AM   #8
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Tripp, Paolo, & Seun,

Thanks so much for your help. I'll check the sharpening and keep shooting at the slower shutter speeds unless I'm doing something specifically for slomo.

It's nice to have such a forum and I appreciate your suggestions.

Regards,

Brendan
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:46 AM   #9
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Tennis

As suggested earlier, I would increase the shutter speed to 1/250 or 1/500 or even higher, light permitting, if you want to avoid slight blurring of individuals and/or the balls. You stated you would keep shooting at the slower shutter speeds. What speed would that be?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:43 PM   #10
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Phil,

I shot some footage for slow mo at 50i & 1/250 but for general use I am trying to stick with 25f and 1/50 for all footage.
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