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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 07:55 AM   #1
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Filming Lightning with the EX1

I know much has already been said about the rolling CMOS shutter. It's a fact of life that CMOS cameras will under certain rapidly changing lighting conditions exhibit banding caused by the way the shutter scans the CMOS sensor. I just spent some time in the USA tornado chasing. As well as storms and tornadoes I also filmed a lot of lightning with my EX1. I didn't really expect it to do that well with the lightning, but in reality in most cases it did a reasonable job. Bolts of forked lightning with bright scenes didn't cause any noticeable problems. At night some lightning strikes suffered from banding especially if inside a cloud and the cloud filled large parts of the screen. However when shooting with a CCD camera at night I would often get smear which I don't get with the EX1. Overall the EX1 performed very well dealing with some very challenging lighting conditions such as dark skies with bright horizons and the timelapse functions are excellent. For night lightning I found that if I used a 2 frame or slower shutter then there was almost never any banding, this also help bring out the details in the darkness without having to use gain. You can see some of my footage on the end of this clip:

http://www.vimeo.com/963436
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 08:29 AM   #2
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Very nice Alister! You are making me impatient on my ex1 purchase (^_^) thanks for sharing.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 07:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monday Isa View Post
Very nice Alister! You are making me impatient on my ex1 purchase (^_^) thanks for sharing.
ditto. Great use of time lapse.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 10:06 AM   #4
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Thanks for the kind remarks. The EX1 is an excellent timelapse tool.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 01:57 PM   #5
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Looks great Alister... now you get to see why I insist on parking in the covered parking area each week at the airport.. the hail will tear your car apart in a short time period....

If you get used to the storms in the spring they are actually pretty nice...

Energy and great sounds fill the air around you... nice to be with your girlfriend during the storms...

my two sons can thank a couple of those storms for them being here... :-)
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Old May 4th, 2008, 01:20 AM   #6
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Amazing shots! Thks for sharing!
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Old May 4th, 2008, 05:04 AM   #7
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Nice work Alister!

Amazing how far a lightning bolt will travel horizontally before finally hitting the ground.

We don't get very many ground strikes like that here in Hawaii.
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