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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 9th, 2004, 09:34 PM   #1
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Taking stills: in Post or via the Mem Card

What is the diff between taking a still pic and saving to the PDX mem stick vs. just freezing a frame in FCP? Are there any other variables I can adjust in camera to avoid having to apply the flicker filter in FCP?

I ask as I do a lot of weddings hence I need to freeze a video frame to create a still. In FCP I HAVE to apply the flicker filter to each and every freeze frame I create before buring to DVD or watching on a TV or else the image flickers severely.


Thanks,
Al
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Old November 9th, 2004, 11:30 PM   #2
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1. You cannot record stills to memory stick when using 16:9 mode

2. Stills taken in 4:3 mode will be much higher quality - 1152x864 progressive scan, versus 720x480 interlaced, but the field of view will not match.

Here's a full resolution PDX-10 still photo: http://www.greenmist.com/dv/16x9/10.JPG. Note the rectangles representing both 16:9 and 4:3 video. Now without changing the camera position or zoom I switched to 4:3 video mode: http://www.greenmist.com/dv/16x9/01.JPG. And 16:9 video: http://www.greenmist.com/dv/16x9/03.JPG

Given your needs I'm not sure what will work best; try some experiments. Another way to prevent the flickering is to apply a vertical blending filter, like the one with Joe's Filters. Flickering is usually caused when horizontal lines or edges appear in one interlaced field but not the other, causing them to pulsate on and off 30 times per second. I usually only have this problem with using a non-interlaced still image, like a photoshop file. The PDX-10, and almost all video cameras, internally apply vertical blending to prevent this problem (although it causes about a 25% loss of vertical resolution). This feature would be disabled when taking stills (which are progressive scan).
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Old November 10th, 2004, 08:32 AM   #3
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If you're shooting a wedding Alan I really think you should stay in movie-making-mode and not try to flit between the two. Lots of brides have asked if I would shoot both at their wedding simply because the advertising to the public has been that a modern camcorder will ''easily do both stills and movies''.

So I'd do what you're doing; shoot movies and make the stills from the sharpest movie frames on the timeline that you can find. If you have subject or camera movement present - even in the tiniest degree - then you'll have to de-interlace or apply the softening anti-flicker filter. When I've had to resort to the latter I've also taken the opportunity to apply some sharpening to claw back the anti-flicker losses, and it works well.

Slow motion also (by its very nature) loses you half your vertical resolution, so out comes the Canopus 'sharpen' filter once again.

tom.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 03:07 PM   #4
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Thanks

Well I did a test.. I took some stills (super fine qual.) with the PDX and imported into FCP ... some flickered some didn't. It seemed the flicker was less than when freezing a frame of motion video though.

Boyd, the filter you are talking about - it wouldn't save me any time right? I would still have to apply it in post... that is what I am trying to avoid as it eats up render time and I have to apply it to all stills. I am happy to apply either the deinterlace or flicker filter in FCP - both do the job.

Tom,
These are just a few stills I am talking about taking during down time at weddings. There is always down time - the last one the bride and groom were 20 minutes late walking down the aisle.
I am just taking them for the DVd cover etc.., I only offer video from a professional sense.

Thanks guys,
Al
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Old November 10th, 2004, 03:36 PM   #5
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I did a project with a lot of photorealistic computer animation, and I had the flickering problem you describe. It was really difficult to fix this, the flicker filter didn't do anything. Motion blur did the trick pretty well though, and made it look more like the live video too. But these weren't stills. I have seen the problem with stills, it can be evident in my titles for example.

I'm not sure how FCP creates freeze frames, but another technique would be to zoom all the way in so you can select a single frame on the timeline, use the blade tool to snip it off from the reset of the clip, and Modify > Speed to make it as long as you want. I just tried for fun and couldn't see any difference between the results of this and the freeze frame command, but nothing was flickering anyway. I use a widescreen LCD panel for editing though... a CRT monitor or consumer TV might be different.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 07:23 PM   #6
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Ok I will try that

Boyd,
Interesting idea about doing the long slow-mo so to speak.
Let me give that a try - might be the ticket although I am still going to have a long render. A new G5 might help to.

Perhaps the flicker is just do to my 2 TVs which is what I view on: one connected via camera as monitor and the other connected to a DVD player.

Do you know if you get a flicker if you connect to a TV while using FCP or another monitor?
thanks,

Al
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