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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old August 31st, 2009, 07:07 AM   #16
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Alister,

Here is an example of what I have shot.

Vehicle shot from outside the passengers door showing the front of the vehicle and the front wheel traveling through a rural town at 30mph. Only thing is, as the vehicle proceeds through town the entire day goes by from dawn to dusk in 30 seconds.

Altering the speed of traveling timelapse never improves the shot. Having the ability to set up specific, technical shots and durations is critical to many shots I do. Reducing the number of choices in a scrolling list isn't necessary.

Jeff
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Old August 31st, 2009, 10:21 AM   #17
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I could not find your sample. So lets say you shot for 12 hours and need a 30 second shot at 30fps - 900 frames. You could shoot at 1 frame every 48 seconds and this would achieve the 30 second duration. But you could also shoot with a 30 second interval and then simply speed up the playback by 160% and your back to a 30 second clip. The motion will be the same, the clip will look the same, plus you have the advantage that you could slow the clip down and extend it if you want, something you can't do with the clip shot at the specific rate. Even if you shot with a 10 second interval and then sped up by 480% the final clip would still look the same, unless you were using an exposure longer than 10 seconds.

I recently did a 5 day timelapse sequence of a stage and seating being built for an outdoor concert. The build took 4 days, then on the evening of the final day the crowd arrived filling the stands, this only took about an hour, then the band came on for 2 hours. By shooting with a 30 second interval as the build stage finished and the crowd started to arrive I was able to ramp the playback speed so that the crowd and concert part of the sequence lasted longer than it would have otherwise.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 12:08 PM   #18
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Alister,

This thread is about keeping things simple.

You are talking about complicating shooting and now post production by having to put up with an unnecessarily crippled device. And this is only about limiting the number of choices in a scrolling menu.

I am perfectly comfortable with people using the beginner menu and fixing shots in post. On the other hand I do not wish for someone else to have to fix the duration, or anything else in post. I am a DP who's job it is to capture something properly the first time and not have to tell a producer, don't worry you can fix what I did in post. That is clearly unacceptable.

I have no problem if you don't want the additional intervals. Just don't use them. But your standards of getting another part of production involved to fix your footage is not a way that my clients are willing to work with. And it clearly is not keeping things simple.

It is simple to have the correct speed the first time.

Jeff
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Old August 31st, 2009, 02:23 PM   #19
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Jeff:

You must have far different clients than I do. For me, it's more important to give them choices, and ways to stretch or contract sequences, whether it's real time or a timelapse.

But then, my main clients play with the video so much in post, it's kind of a given that they need options to experiment with.

I've already got multiple cameras with multi-layered, Byzantine menus. A little simplicity in a piece of electronic gear would feel pretty good every now and then.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 02:36 PM   #20
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Time Lapse Recording Proposal

Hi Jeff, Alister-
Dan has an excellent suggestion for programming the time lapse recording. We can display the time interval just like the time code preset: HH:MM:SS. You can then dial in whaterever interval you like. The nanoFlash will then record one frame and start a countdown based on this preset value. When the countdown expires, nanoFlash will capture another frame and reload the counter. A second preset value: DD:HH:MM would define the total run time.

If the time interval is set to zero, and the time-lapse recording is enabled, then the nanoFlash would simply capture one frame (and stop) each time the record function is triggered.

When over/under crank becomes available, you can record at rates faster that 1 frame per second.

A second mode will allow you to record for a preset period of time. The "record time" could be set in a similar fashion: HH:MM:SS. So each time you trigger the nanoFlash to start recording, the recording would run for the preset HH:MM:SS and then automatically stop. This should be a great feature for recording lightening strikes, for example (when used with the pre-record buffer).

Would these two modes satisfy most of your applications?

Best-
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Old August 31st, 2009, 03:51 PM   #21
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Mike,

I couldn't be happier with your solution.

For the preset length of recording a useful option would add the preset time to the remaining record time if the record is triggered while it already is recording. That would be very helpful for a new camera we are releasing soon.

Bill,

Many of the moves we do are of specific length and speed. Pans and moves would speed up or slow down otherwise. If something calls for a slow pan and you start to play it at 2x in post you no longer have a slow pan for example.

I do not suggest that you can not alter normal non moving timelapse of course.

I am specifically referring to camera/lens/subject moves during timelapse of specific durations.

Jeff
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Old August 31st, 2009, 04:07 PM   #22
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Hi Mike, Dan's idea is a good one and would work well for everyone.

Jeff: I don't regard the way I work as "fixing it in post". My sequences are planned to run long and then be fine tuned in the edit, it's hardly a fix or bodge, just a more flexible workflow. You should try it, speed ramping in and out of TL sequences can look very dramatic. I guess we will just have to disagree on this one. Certainly Dan's idea keeps it simple and allows us both to work in our own ways. : )

Sorry for taking the thread off at a bit of an angle.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:26 PM   #23
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Panasonic's HDX900 has a built-in intervalometer, which works great. Maybe you could copy (steal) these ideas.

It has the following choices available.
  • Interval Record "on" or "off" (convenient so one can leave one's favorite settings and just turn the function off for normal recording)
  • Duration of Each Interval (from one frame up to 59 seconds, 29 frames)
  • Interval Between Shots (from one frame up to 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds, 29 frames)
  • Take Total Time (the length of time over which the time lapse should occur - from "none" up to 5 days)
  • Total Record Time (This is computed automatically by the camera based upon the settings above.)

If one has a camera with interval recording built in, I suppose one could do a time lapse on the nano, even without the nano having that capability. This assumes the camera has an SDI output, since HDMI will not output time code. If the camera increments time code through the SDI output, it should trigger the nano to start recording and to stop recording.

I haven't actually tried it yet, but I will do that and report back to this thread. I don't know if a short time code increment (i.e., one frame) will trigger the nano flash to record or not.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:12 PM   #24
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Dear Steve,

I like Item 1, an On-Off for the Time-Lapse function, great idea.

For Item 2, duration, we asked quite a few users and they did not feel that this was necessary. I would be interested to see what others say. Our customers just wanted the ability to record one frame for each interval.

We are going to do Item 4, a Total Time value. When we reach this value, we will stop recording.

I do not know if one uses the camera in time-lapse, if the advance of timecode by one frame will work on not. It may work under some conditions and not others.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 08:01 AM   #25
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Dan,

I can't say this from personal experience, as I haven't done a lot of time lapse myself, but I used to rent my camera to a producer who used it for a lot of his own time lapse projects. He told me that sometimes capturing more than one frame at a time for each time lapse shot was advantageous for long sequences.

I'm not sure why that would be, but apparently Panasonic thought it was a good idea, since they included that feature. I know, I know... just because Panasonic offers it in the camera's menu doesn't automatically mean it's a good idea :-)

Anyway, I suppose I could live without that feature in the time lapse functionality. And I guess it could be added in the future if enough users think they need it, eh?
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 08:22 AM   #26
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I did try to use the HDX900's time lapse feature to work with the nanoFlash and that was a dismal failure. Here's why.

The HDX900 captures frames for time lapse to internal memory (on a separate card that contains RAM, like the SDX900, I assume). When that becomes nearly full, the camera pre-rolls the tape and lays the contents of that memory buffer to tape. I'll bet you see where this is going already.

When the camera rolls the tape, time code increments and the nano starts recording. Oops! The nano doesn't know whether incrementing time code is playing or recording.

So, I guess I'll wait for the nano's time lapse feature or use the camera's built-in time lapse function until that time.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 09:28 AM   #27
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Formatting

My wish is when formatting you could select which slot. As of now if you format both cards are formatted, unless I'm missing another method to isolate the slots. One might erase a card unintentionally.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 09:38 AM   #28
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Dear Dennis,

We thought long and hard about this.

It comes down to safety.

For example, if during the format process, we ask which slots are to be formatted, then everything is ok, as long as the user specifies the correct slots.

If he or she makes a mistake, then the wrong card would be formatted.


So, we elected to format all of the cards, in all of the slots, to make it easy and safe.

One just needs to remove all cards which are not to be formatted and insert the ones to be formatted. This also makes the process a little easier and less complicated since the Slot Number question does not need to be asked.

While we only have two slots on the nanoFlash, the Flash XDR has four slots.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 09:48 AM   #29
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Dan,
Does that negate future hot swappable features?
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 09:53 AM   #30
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Dan,
Interview situation, continuous recording. So when I fill a card up and it switches to the other slot, I would like to dump the card and reinsert it after copying. Will the formatting remain if I just erase the files on my laptop, keeping the Unix Dir file ?
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