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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old January 19th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #1
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Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

Hi all. I'm off up to Norway tomorrow with my F3 to shoot the Northern Lights. I'll be keeping a video diary with the F3 and shooting the Aurora in the evenings with both the F3 for real-time Aurora footage and DSLR's for time-lapse. I'm going to feed near live still frames to my web site as well as daily updates and blogs. The forecast is promising with a mix of clear skies and scattered cloud as well as good solar activity. The blog page is here: Northern Lights Live 2012 | XDCAM-USER.COM
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Old January 19th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #2
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

Have a good trip. We're all looking forward to what you might get!

Hope the weather and the lights are kind/make up for some of the frustrations I know you've had in the past.... and have fun!
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Old January 20th, 2012, 12:42 AM   #3
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

At the airport, on my way. Forecast for both Aurora's and weather looking promising. Tonight should be clear in Tromso.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 05:53 AM   #4
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

Large solar flare just erupted and headed this way so could be spectacular tomorrow night.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 09:10 AM   #5
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

NASA - Long Duration M3.2 Class Solar Flare and CME
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Old January 24th, 2012, 08:09 AM   #6
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

Have some great Aurora footage in the can. The F3 is exceeding my expectations at night, capturing the Aurora in real time. Once I get home I'll be posting clips and footage.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 08:15 AM   #7
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

Great news. There have been a lot of reports of the aurora being visible in the northern UK because of the Sun doing its stuff with CME activity the last few days. It's claimed that over the last few days/right now, assuming its not cloudy and raining, have been/are some of the best conditions in the last 6 years for the aurora - might not be for communications satellites that might get knocked out!
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Old January 27th, 2012, 12:23 PM   #8
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

I'm not trying to hijack the thread, I just have a question about the F3 vs. EX-1R for shooting Northern Lights.

Alister, how do you find the noise levels with the F3 when shooting the Aurora?

I've spend the last few nights shooting the Aurora with an EX-1R and am extremely disappointed with the level of noise in the image. Especially when in SLS mode. I've even tried with the gain set at -3db. Is the F3 considerably cleaner?


Craig.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 06:03 AM   #9
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

Hi Craig. The F3 is different to the EX's. The F3 is more sensitive, with less noise but does not have a slow shutter slower than 8 frames. If you have S-Log with +18db of gain the F3 is as sensitive as the EX1 with +18db gain and 16 frame slow shutter. The F3 has less noise.

The video below is one I am really proud of. It is real time footage of the Aurora as opposed to the normal time-lapse you usually see. So the motion of the Aurora is as fast as it actually was. The colours are also as seen by the naked eye.

It is quite low quality H264 as I am still in the Arctic and internet is very limited. I will upload a higher quality version when I get home on the 3rd of Feb. The original does not have the banding artefacts. I have treated the video using neat video to reduce the noise. It was shot using a 2 frame slow shutter and a 20mm f1.8 sigma lens.

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Old January 28th, 2012, 09:15 AM   #10
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

Wow, that is awesome! I really like the juxtaposition of the house.

Did you shoot this in S-log? To internal cards?

Thanks.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #11
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

Hi Alister,
Amazing images.
Were you star tracking or is there an excited pixel, dead center in your image? Seems to be in all angles.
Perhaps it's just in the QT.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #12
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

It's a spoiler to try and stop people stealing my video.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #13
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

Smart move with the spoiler... How much are you pushing those in post Alister?? or is it as it comes out of the f3? you said you corrected a few noise that got in, but was that it? are you at +18db there? and in terms of time, how much does it take for each cut?? i've never seen the aurora in anything else than video or photos, so i wonder how fast it really moves in real life
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Old January 29th, 2012, 07:05 PM   #14
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

Truly excellent, Alister.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 11:49 PM   #15
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Re: Norway and the Northern Lights 2012

I've wanted to see Northern lights all my life.
This is the closest I've gotten so far. Thanks Alister.
Did you shoot any on 3D?
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