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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old January 13th, 2004, 09:00 PM   #1
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Softer film look

Is there a technique or a filter I can use to produce video that is more "film-like"? I'm shooting with a VX2000 and I worry that some of the shots look like "video". Most of you will know what I mean. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make it more "soft"? Can I lower the shutter speed down from 60? Would that help?
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Old January 13th, 2004, 09:36 PM   #2
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Try a Cokin Sunsoft.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 10:42 PM   #3
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Cokin Sunsoft

What is that??? Is it an editing filter or a filter for the camera???
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Old January 13th, 2004, 11:22 PM   #4
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It's a screw-in filter, or adaptor filter.

See: http://www.cokin.fr

For where to buy the screw-ins, click link found here:

http://www.dvfreak.com

Some Cokins are damn good, and inexpensive, but you have to order them from France. (See Link.) The 81B is also a nice softening filter---I own both.

Another good one is the Ziess Softar, sold by B+W and Heliopan---but they are very expensive.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 12:06 AM   #5
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Look at the black frost on this site
http://www.centuryoptics.com/products/filters/soft_&_diffusion/index.htm

black promist and diffusionFX on this site
http://www.tiffen.com/filters.htm

look at supermist
http://www.formatt.co.uk/glass/filters.asp

The first and the last filter brand are in my opinion far superior to the popular center manufacturer. tiffen uses green glass to manufacture filters and has rested on their laurels for too many years. Just my opinion.

Cokin, B+W and Zeiss make the equivilent of a black mist as well.

Try this link for more info and a good source,
http://www.2filter.com/
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Old January 14th, 2004, 10:01 AM   #6
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Black Pro Mist Filter 1/2 by Tiffen or even a #1 will take the sharp edge off of the video picture.
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Old January 17th, 2004, 11:36 AM   #7
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Brian,

Diffusion filters are great. But be very careful about the type of diffusion you select before you purchase. Both the Black Pro-Mist and the Cokin Sunsoft are diffusion filters. But they create very different and unique aesthetics.

If all you want is a video image that is less sharp, you can easily achieve that without buying any diffusions filters at all. Simply press the CUSTOM PRESET menu button on the back of the top handle. Then select SHARPNESS and turn it a notch or two to the left (down). Then make sure you select CP MENU ON. By watching the live image on a television you can see how much softer or sharper the image gets while you change it. Try some different settings to see what you like best.

And changing your shutter speed is a simple task as well. By selecting the SHUTTER SPEED button on the back left of the camera, you can change the shutter speed to a higher or lower value. Best to keep the speed lower than higher for most narrative type stuff. The values are displayed as 30, 60, 90, etc. corresponding to 1/30th a second, 1/60th a second, 1/90th a second, etc. By setting the shutter speed lower than 60, you can achieve some interesting effects. Such as 1/30 giving you a slight motion stutter and fake 30P type of look. Or 1/15 for a cool dreamy motion blur type thing.

But keep in mind that you are losing vertical resolution when you switch to any shutter speed lower than 1/60. Since NTSC video actually shoots and records 60 fields per second, anything less than that has to be electronicaly created. So the camera has to interpolate fields to create 60. The loss of vertical resolution may or may not be objectionable to your taste. For most video and DVD type presentation, I personally don't feel it is objectionable. But that's my opinion...

Also, don't forget that you have to set the SHUTTER SPEED before you set the EXPOSURE. Once you set the shutter speed, then you can engage the exposure and adjust it as you see fit.

Of course, if the aethetic achieved by turning down the camera's sharpness setting doesn't do the job, then you may want to investigate the type of diffusion filter to fit your taste or needs.

Just remember that all diffusion filters are not created equally...

Jon
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Old January 17th, 2004, 08:14 PM   #8
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Jon,

I thought the loss of resolution occurs below 1/30th of a second, not at it. But I haven't actually measured the captured image so I could be wrong.
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Old January 17th, 2004, 08:24 PM   #9
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Are you using Final Cut Pro? If so, take a look at Joe's Filters, there are a number of useful things there. I'm fond of Joe's Diffuser personally. It can give you an effect similar to a promist filter.
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Old January 17th, 2004, 09:49 PM   #10
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Mike,

No need to "meaure" anything. If you are working with NTSC video, then all features bend to the law of 720x480 60i record and playback. And since NTSC records and plays back 60 interlaced fields (effectively 60 images per second), then the signal must be supplied 60 images per second. You can't have a shutter speed that is lower than the frame rate. Thus, by switching the shutter speed to 1/30th, the camera must interpolate the fields to create 60 images per second. Since the camera only has half the information, you have effectively cut your vertical resolution in half.
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Old January 18th, 2004, 10:37 AM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : Jon,

I thought the loss of resolution occurs below 1/30th of a second, not at it. But I haven't actually measured the captured image so I could be wrong. -->>>


On my JVC GY DV5000, the manual states a loss of vertical resolution. Probably holds true to any camera due to the interlacing.
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