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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old January 11th, 2008, 03:12 PM   #1
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Settings for Timelapse

I would greatly appreciate any tips to get me started on this shot. I'm shooting a 24 hour car race in a couple of weeks and would like to get a timelapse of sunset and sunrise, with the lights of the cars "streaked" when it's dark.

I'm going to shoot some tests, but would love not to have to shoot too many. I'll start from 1080/30, put the camera on auto iris, 1 frame per second. The shutter is my big unknown. I'm guessing to get the "streak" it'll need to be in SLS mode at 2 frames (minimum available), but:

1. Since I'm recording 1 fps, will that give me an effective 1 frame SLS?
2. Guessing even stopped down, that's way too much light for when the sun's out--do I make two different recordings, or try to use the ND without nudging the camera?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #2
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Auto iris might be concern with car headlights (especially after dark) - it could create a higher frequency of correction than you might like which will look like flicker at playback speeds. The alternative, unfortunately is to ride the iris manually - not recommended (done it many time on film cameras).

Just be prepared to fix some flicker in post.

I would think you'd need at least 8 frames of accumulation to get decent streaks - that's about 1/3 second (at a base of 24). Maybe 16.

Make sure your interval is quite a bit longer than your accumulation - the unfortunate thing about the longer accumulation and interval settings (extra slow shutter) on the EX1 is that they are not mathematically compatible. The two frequencies can beat against each other and cause a staccato in your finished product. It's hard to describe in words, so I recommend you test your exact settings before your shoot.

2,4,6 or 8 frames of accumulation would work at 1 second intervals at a 24fps base, I think, without staccato, because they divide into 24. 16 should work at 2 second intervals. 32 at 4 second intervals etc.

I haven't had time to test these - so please test them for yourself.

Last edited by Eric Pascarelli; January 11th, 2008 at 10:37 PM.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 09:04 PM   #3
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Don't forget that still camera's can take beautiful HD timelapse movie, there are many website with footage and some explain how it is done.

Here is some footage, not mine but it shows cars at night

http://www.599productions.com/599/Ti...Large%202.html

http://www.599productions.com/599/Ti...e%20Large.html

Bob
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Old January 12th, 2008, 06:11 AM   #4
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You should be able to do all your tests in one trip.

First, decide how long you need your shot to be. Do you want to see the sunrise in 10 seconds or 1 minute?

Time how long it takes the sunrise in real time and get an exposure reading at full light. I would use a setting of 8 or maybe even 16 on the SLS. This makes a really nice blurring effect on the timelapse. This is where you'll have to decide how much streaking you want.

Do the math to figure out how to set your interval timing based on how long it takes for the sun to rise and how long you want your shot to be. I would only record one frame at a time so set your interval accordingly.

Using autoiris will screw up the effect and look terrible.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 08:29 AM   #5
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This is such a good forum--even if you don't get "the" answer, you're sure to get plenty to consider and a push in the right direction. Thanks all! I'll do some tests hopefully later today and post the results.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #6
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Yesterday I did a time-lapse of some rain clouds/mist rolling in and and around some local mountains. My settings were 720p 60 with a frame rate of 1 per second, shutter speed 1/60, manual iris, shutter button set to OFF. I let it record for around 10 minutes and the result was very smooth.

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Old January 12th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #7
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Staccato should never be a problem when undercranking or interval recording unless the slow shutter or extra slow shutter settings, which use multiple frame accumulation are used.

Smoothness is helped by having motion blur more proportional to the interval used (less strobing effect), so the multiple frame accumulation is desirable, but just beware of the numbers you are using.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 01:48 PM   #8
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I have shot 4 time laps so far and all were at 1080 30P, 1 frame every second and I liked the EX Slow Shutter Mode at 16 if there is lots of movement.
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Last edited by Paul Cronin; January 13th, 2008 at 10:51 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 11:51 PM   #9
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Here's a test I shot tonight--my first timelapse with the EX1.

I started with the sun up, and my plan was to ride the iris. I didn't want to use the ND, and so when first recording put the iris between 16 and closed--the result, frame attached, was badly blurred. I assume this is the result of having the iris too close to closed? Focus was full MF at infinity.

Once opened up to a proper 16, all came in focus. I regret trying to ride the iris--you'll notice jumps in exposure on the first clip. Maybe with a remote lens controller this could work?

Both clips recorded at 1080/30, interval 1 fps, but I sped up the first by 900% in post, otherwise untouched. The first clip was SLS at 8, the second EX slow shutter at 16. This shows that to get the streaking of headlights 16 is preferred. No PP was used and gain was -3.

http://robcollins.net/tl.mov
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Settings for Timelapse-tl-blur.png  
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Old January 13th, 2008, 12:28 AM   #10
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Rob,

For a scene like this, auto iris will do a great job. It's just passing car headlights and the like, which vary at a high frequency, that I would warn against.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 12:31 AM   #11
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Also, the softness looks like it's out of focus. It doesn't have the quality of diffraction softening to my eye.

Is there anything that could have gone wrong with the focus?
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Old January 13th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #12
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Eric,

Not that I can think of--you're speaking of the frame grab I assume, not the clip. Focus was locked on infinity. I don't know what diffraction softening is.

Do you know what I'm talking about, stopping down between 16 and closed? My guess is the aperture was too small, not letting enough light in to focus...of course that's the opposite of how it's supposed to work with aperture and focus.

I could very well be wrong, but the focus ring itself didn't move. Here's the whole clip. Again, I only touched iris ring--and accidentally zoomed out a tad once.

http://robcollins.net/tl2.mov

Thanks for your help.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 08:31 AM   #13
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Now wouldn't it be neat if one could use LONG durations for shot transition during time lapse.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Collins View Post
and so when first recording put the iris between 16 and closed--the result, frame attached, was badly blurred. I assume this is the result of having the iris too close to closed? Focus was full MF at infinity.

Once opened up to a proper 16, all came in focus.

http://robcollins.net/tl.mov
Hmmm. Sounds suspiciously familiar, only different.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=111685
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Old January 15th, 2008, 12:23 AM   #15
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Just curious, in making these timelapses, does the EX1 create a new file for each frame? This would be just like doing it with a digital still camera where you may have hundreds or thousands of individual files to work with.
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