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Old October 23rd, 2009, 08:19 PM   #1
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Helicopter shoot

HI,

Shot some aerial footage with the 5D. Incredible but want to get suggestions about what the optimal shutter speed you guys/girls would use. The chopper is shaking and I am doing my absolute best to not translate that to the cam. Some footage is just breathtaking but some is just too juttery to use. I recall hitting the shutter speed dial and shooting some footage at 50 and I think that is what looks marginal. I do recall testing some higher shutter speeds and it seems to have done the trick. I used my 16-35 the whole time on 16 at f22 iso 100 need to buy a polarizer :) and maybe a nd filter

I recall the Canon people recommending 30 or 60 but what happens at higher shutter speeds?

Thanks in advance
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 08:45 PM   #2
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Mike, I shoot aerials and usually crank up the shutter speed some, to 125 and even 250. I also use a Kenyon gyro which helps. You can probably recover quite a bit of footage with deshaker; again the higher shutter speeds help with this.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 08:51 PM   #3
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You shot at F/22?? Why? You definitely will not improve depth of field going beyond f/16 and will actually soften the image at f/22, especially handheld in a chopper. Setting the lens at f/5.6 or f/8 is about right, depending on conditions.
The PL filter will not work as a PL filter if angled away from the sun, although it will act like an ND filter to help control too bright conditions. The PL filter will also deepen colours in some situations, but could be a problem in others if the light and shooting angles are constantly changing.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick View Post
Setting the lens at f/5.6 or f/8 is about right, depending on conditions.
Yes, I use an ND filter (non-polarized) and almost always shoot at f/8 for aerials. Any wider aperature and you start losing sharp focus at the corners, any narrower and you start losing resolution to diffraction.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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Agreed and Thank You!

The reason f22 was not to blow out the image. It was either blow out or get a little soft. Not all was shot at 22 though. I didn't have a PL on the 16-35L just a regular filter. The 5D was mostly as a last resort for the widest possible shots ( I thought) It turned out to be the cam I wanted to shoot with most of the time but I went with what I was told to shoot with and used the EX1 with the PL on it 90%. -3db 30P

The images I got were stunning from both cams but really just so rich from the canon right out of the box.

I am well versed in ruining otherwise good footage with a PL :) This time it was a serious test of my PL tuning skills.. hanging out of the chopper while it was turning and rotating the PL to suit! It worked most of the time:)

Will post some quick stuff soon.

Thanks again, the shutter speed thing had me. At $1500 per hour of flight time I didn't want to come back with junk. The higher shutter will obviously yield a wider aperture than 22:) I knew I would catch some grief for that...

Last edited by Mike Williams; October 23rd, 2009 at 10:06 PM. Reason: redundancy
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Old October 24th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick View Post
You shot at F/22?? Why? You definitely will not improve depth of field going beyond f/16 and will actually soften the image at f/22,
Thanks for sharing good advice about avoiding diffraction. I would like to add that while it's true that the image will be softened by diffraction at f/22, the depth of field does actually increase. It's necessary sometimes for macro and other extreme DOF compositions. Another way to think of it is making the softening more even throughout the image. If there are areas that are slightly out of focus at f/11 due to DOF, then at f/22 they will sharpen up a bit and the rest of the image will get softer, providing a more even sharpness through the image.

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Setting the lens at f/5.6 or f/8 is about right, depending on conditions.
Agreed.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #7
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Another reason to use a fast shutter is that the lack of motion blur will make it easier for image stabilization software to make the shot look good. It also can reduce artifacts in interpolating slow-motion software.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 09:39 AM   #8
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Also, a fast shutter is nice if you want to do screen grabs.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #9
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Another reason to use a fast shutter is that the lack of motion blur will make it easier for image stabilization software to make the shot look good.
Yes. I have been trying to get a good fly-by of Mt. Whitney where it is always very turbulent. I shot this again on Sunday with no ND filter, f/8, ISO 100 and a shutter of 1/320 (and as usual I was bumping all over going by the higher peaks). I ran it through my usual deshaker workflow and it's quite nice - smooth with no motion blur.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 06:03 PM   #10
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Charles:
You say that you use a Kenyon gyro...with the 5DMk2. It's a light camera so i wondered which model? Is it the version that has stabilisers in both axis?

David T.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 08:11 PM   #11
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You say that you use a Kenyon gyro...with the 5DMk2. It's a light camera so i wondered which model? Is it the version that has stabilisers in both axis?
I use a single KS-6 which is about right for the 5DII. A single Kenyon stabilizes in 2 axes, not three; for three you need to add a 2nd gyro perpendicular to the first. I stabilize pitch and yaw, not roll.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 10:30 AM   #12
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I love this place!

Having a very grateful moment, please bear with me. I Just wanted to thank all of you for being here on dvinfo and sharing your knowledge with others!

This will surely improve my next outing and I can't thank all of you enough!

At what point would you say is the shutter too fast? Is this a "looks like film/looks like video" cadence issue?

The final delivery is Blu-Ray.

Mike
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Old October 30th, 2009, 10:02 PM   #13
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At what point would you say is the shutter too fast? Is this a "looks like film/looks like video" cadence issue?

The final delivery is Blu-Ray.
Mike, I'll give my view - others may differ. Once you decide to run the shutter speed up to avoid blur, then it really doesn't matter how fast you go. Let's say you went to 1/250 so you could the stop action with each frame. 1/2500 would still just stop the action, it really wouldn't look any different.

The reason for a slower speed, say 1/60, is to get a little blur to somewhat simulate how our eyes see motion. But with your helicopter video this isn't much of a factor; the motion you want to capture is really pretty slow (unless you get in closer than I want to be) and wouldn't blur anyway except for the unwanted camera movement from vibration and turbulence.

So the simple answer is to run the shutter speed up and don't worry about it.

Higher speeds can stop the rotor - not usually very pleasant - so if you shoot the helicopter from the ground, say on the ramp, I would run a slower shutter for that.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 07:53 PM   #14
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Hi Mike,

I just shot some helicopter video with the 7D. IT was my first time and didn't turn out too well. I'd be interested to see your footage? Have you posted that somewhere yet? Have you had any follow-up trips since October?
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Old February 12th, 2010, 06:31 AM   #15
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Guys whAT ABOUT THE FOCus?
i guess on cams like z1 or z7 u shoot @ infinity right?From the chopper i mean

thx
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