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Photon Management
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Old December 24th, 2006, 09:51 AM   #1
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Shooting 60i in 50Hz lighting

One of the strange things about living in Tokyo is the fact that Japan uses NTSC (60Hz) but eastern Japan (including Tokyo) runs on 50Hz/100V electricity. This is always causing me problems, even when just doing a quick video tape of some students speaking at school. Invariably there will be some fluorescent lighting and it introduces flicker. The effect is especially bad on my Sony HC1 because of the rolling shutter CMOS sensor and the fact that you can't see the flicker at all on the camera's LCD (and this is not pro or paid work, so carrying around a monitor or my own light kit is not an option either).

For example, here is a once-in-a-lifetime shot (for me anyway... lol) that I thought was going to be great but turned out not-so-great because of flicker in the Xmas tree lights.

http://www.jasonlivingston.com/video/flicker.avi (5MB XVID AVI)

I've tried shooting at 1/30s or 1/100s which slightly reduces the flicker effect but does not eliminate it. I tried the Anti-flicker filter built into Edius, as well as some free deflicker filters for Virtualdub, but they seem to have little or no effect.

Other than buying a switchable PAL/NTSC camera and cross-converting in post, does anyone have any suggestions? Will shooting 24p (1/24 or 1/48s) help? (I'm currently debating a Sony V1 or Canon A1 in the future, and if shooting 24p would eliminate this problem then that will be a big incentive to buy now. :) )

Thanks,
Jason
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Old December 24th, 2006, 06:21 PM   #2
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You either need to use a camera that can be set to a 1/50th shutter speed, or a camera with "Clear Scan" (or "ECS", Extended Clear Scan) so that the shutter can be set in degrees to 50hz.

I'd assume that your Sony would have a ECS feature... but I guess they don't put it on their cheaper cameras.

Most 24P cameras would have a 1/50th shutter speed setting option, but not necessarily all.
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Old December 24th, 2006, 09:43 PM   #3
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I downloaded the manuals for the Canon XH-A1, the Sony FX7 and the V1U. The Canon has clear scan, but only from 60.1Hz and up, and it doesn't have a 1/50s shutter speed in any mode (24f has 1/48s though). None of the Sonys mention clear scan in their manuals, so I don't know if they even have it. However, both Sonys do mention a feature called "Flicker reduce" which is enabled by default. This might be what I need, but I was hoping somebody might have experience with these cameras and know the answer.
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Old December 25th, 2006, 12:32 PM   #4
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I applied the virtualdub temporal smoother at a strength of 10 to your video and that eliminated the flicker (though it also introduced some motion blur)
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