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Old December 4th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #1
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Anna's Hummingbird

I was so impressed with Sassi's videos posted to Stage 6, that I also joined and started to upload a few videos. DivX does such a good job of encoding to reduce file sizes and still maintain good quality. I just posted my first one, which is a short 1 minute clip of a male Anna's Hummingbird putting on quite a show. This clip started out as a 222Mb file, and after encoding, it's now a 8.39Mb file. Enjoy.....

http://www.stage6.com/user/aviartist/video/1916937/Anna's-Hummingbird
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Old December 5th, 2007, 04:56 AM   #2
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A few great shots and SO close up the detail is fab. Good shots to show the iridescence on that collar plumage as well! Add these to some 'Humming' shots and you'll have a basis for a great sequence.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 03:31 PM   #3
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What a fabulous shot of the bird. Very detailed and colourful.
Don't think this bird is to be seen in Norway, so I enjoyed it very much.
As Mat mention you could easily use these shots together with others to get a full seqence/mini short and with a story and maybe with some real sound from the bird itself. You put the bird slightly to the right in the picture, nice use of the "Rule of thirds". It gives the bird some space in the looking direction. Hope to see more of your work.

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Old December 5th, 2007, 04:22 PM   #4
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Don, lovely footage of the hummingbird. I really liked the close-up. Amazing to see how the colors are changing when he move the head.
I think the footage is stunning to look at in the original resolution?

Good work!
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Old December 5th, 2007, 07:55 PM   #5
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Thank you all for you kind compliments. Yes, the footage looks sunning view on an HD monitor. This hummer has adopted my front yard, and the feeder since it first showed up earlier this year. It guards it's feeder 24-7, and rarely lets other hummers near it. I just posted a short clip shot early September, which shows his adult feathers starting to come in.

http://www.stage6.com/user/aviartist/video/1919797/Anna's-Hummingbird

I shot both with the XL H1 and a Tokina 80-200mm coupled with a Nikon TC14A teleconverter. I had to choose days where the light was just right, or the colors would have been blown out.

As far as creating a short story video around this hummer, perhaps when I collect enough footage, and have more time than what I have now.

Again, thanks for your support....Don
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Old December 5th, 2007, 10:31 PM   #6
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Beautiful! I have to echo Per here.... the colors changing with the bird's movement is stunning! Also, I liked the timing with some of the feather ruffling to the music. :) Your patience paid off!

Carl
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Old January 10th, 2008, 06:33 AM   #7
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As I can't afford XLH1 I'm trying to be resourceful.

This gorgeous hummingbird clip makes me wonder how XHA1 + teleconverter would work with wildlife, using a tripod, I suppose? I am thinking bigger birds.

Any views on how XHA1 is inferior (or not inferior) to XLH1 for wildlife would also be appreciated ?
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Old January 10th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #8
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Don,

What a great piece of dead steady video!!!

The irredescencet color shifting in the light is fantastic!!

I too have gone to stage 6, and now that I have time i will share some clips in the ear future

I hope to see more of your fantastic footage.

oh yea, did you down res to sd or leave it in HD???
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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #9
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Dale,
The footage was down converted to DV via the camera at time of capture, and thanks for the compliments.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 05:49 PM   #10
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Brendan,
Your question about the comparison between the XH A1 and the XL H1 is really a tough one, and it depends on the exact type of shooting you want to do. I have a friend that bought a XH A1 to replace his XL1. He was going to use it to video hummingbirds, since that was his passion. He soon found out that the new 20X lens was only slightly better than his XL1. Next step was, that he spent more money and bought a HD 1.5X teleconverter from 16x9, which wasn't cheap.

http://16x9inc.com/products/16x9/169...72-can-a1.html

It still didn't give him the telephoto power to get close to these little 3" winged creatures, so what next you ask. Well, he bought a used XL H1 that came with an EF adapter, bought a new tripod and fluid head, bought a new Canon 100-400mm lens, and had a common plate fabricated for another $150. He still has the XH A1 gathering dust. What about his XL H1? It's exactly what he was looking for, but he's going in for major reconstruction on his shoulder and he will not be out in the field for at least 6 months.

The main difference between the XL H1 and XH A1 that I think your interested in, one has interchangeable lens capability, the other one doesn't. If you are not going depend on a camera to start a career in wildlife filming or shoot stock HD footage for sale (good luck), you don't need either one of these cameras. If you really want a camera that will give you great video quality and the ability to use different lenses, I would look at an XL2. If your going to invest in any camera beyond your XM2, your also looking at a major step up in a new tripod and very quality fluid head. Just keep one thing in mind though, it's not the camera so much, as is the person behind it and the fluid head it's mounted on. It also helps to have a working understanding on the operation of the camera that's in front of you.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #11
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I've been thinking hard about your advice Don. It is seriously well-informed. You have years of experience with XL1 and have made much use of its interchangeable lens facility. I have seen most of your 500 video clips on IBC and some more on Bird Cinema and Stage6 and they include most of the top-ranking bird videos published, that I can find on the net.

I have 2 reservations before opting for XL2. First, you have got XLH1 already. I am wondering by how much your bird flight clips with XLH1 will improve on your present collection. Lots of your XL1 clips are of bird flight and the image quality of your future XLH1 clips of bird flight is eagerly awaited by more than me.

Second, XLH1, which has all the advantages of XL2 PLUS HD, weighs little more than XL2. So if I have to use a tripod with either cam a lot of my future output might as well be HD, if I could afford XLH1, which I see for sale at $8000; if I could get it for the euro equivalent of $8000 I might buy it.

There is food for a 3rd reservation in Per Johan's recent hint that Canon may have an update on the XLH1 in the pipeline, but that will only interest me if it's cheaper than XLH1.

A big plus for XL2 is that it's price is within my budget. And i already have a good Canon 100-400mm IS lens to attach to it for close-ups. 2 Questions there: 1. would I need an adapter to attach that lens to XL2? and 2. would my Benbo trekker + manfrotto head be good enough to allow tilting and panning? My XM2 would still cover me for handheld opportunities.

Anyway, this looks like progress. You have helped me eliminate XHA1 and you have suggested a more versatile cam that is cheaper (in places) than XHA1. Many thanks Don.

Last edited by Brendan Marnell; January 12th, 2008 at 01:28 PM.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #12
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Don,
Really fine footage of Anna's Hummingbird. You answered a question for me, in spades. That was what is the actual difference in resolution between HD and SD when shooting subjects like hummers in extreme close-up. I have similar shots of Costa's Hummingbird shot in SD, and the difference between mine and yours is huge. Now if the prices would just come down. Maybe Sony's new one.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #13
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Beautiful stuff, Don! As a hummingbird shooter myself, I would say that one can set the camera very close to these little guys and it doesn't bother them.

I shot a clip back when I first got my F350 that would have been great if the sun hadn't come out and blown the highlights. The cool part is that I had a Sen ME66 about 3 feet away hanging on another part of the tree and got some very great audio.

We have feeders at our house and at the lake house. I can vouch for how territorial they are. We have witnessed many rounds of 'aerial combat' as a hummer defends its feeder. And then again, I've seen two of them on the same feeder, but not often.

-gb-
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Old January 12th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #14
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Brendan,
Although I have an XL H1, I haven't had the time or opportunity to get close shots of big birds in flight, and if did, it would still be down converted to DV, mainly because what I do is a hobby and the finished footage either goes on a DVD or the Internet. I still have the HD source tape if needed in the future. If you had an XL H1, you have to ask yourself, what what am I going to do with it. Just because you have an XL H1 doesn't mean the camera is magically produce stunning razor sharp images. It still boils down to exposure, focus, and a really good tripod and head. The old saying "garbage in, garbage out" applied to computers, also applies to good video footage.

OK, here is a plan for you to look at, and it's not going to cost you an arm and a leg. Go to this web site,

http://www.birdvideodvd.com/

and select "Our Products", then select "Birdwatching in England", and then purchase it. Paul shot this using the XL H1, using various Canon and Tokina lenses, along with the XL H1 stock 20X lens. The DVD is in standard definition and is not only very well done, but the video quality is really great. This will give you a good idea what the XL H1 can do, even if the HD footage has be down converted. I think you have to really think this SD verses HD thing through a little more before you think about spending money on another camera.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #15
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Brendan,
To continue, yes you would need a Canon EF adapter for any XL series cameras to use your Canon 100-400mm lens. I don't know the specs on the tripod and head your using right now, but find out the weight of your 100-400mm lens and the XL2 without the lens, then multiply that by 2 and then see if the head your using is rated for that amount of weight. I found that most good fluid heads perform better if they are rated at least double the weight of the camera and lens your going to mount on it.

Greg,
Thanks for your kind words. When I can afford it, I'm going to get either a wired or wireless mic to where I can put it close to these hummers. There is always some audio when hummers are perched, but the level is so low, most onboard mics will never properly pick it up.

Steve,
Also thanks. Like I mentioned, it was HD footage down converted to DV. I'm not totally convinced that XL H1 HD footage down converted to DV is better than DV shot with a DV camera like an XL1. I have lots of footage shot with the XL1 that looks better than down converted footage from the XL H1. It seems that I had less problems with contrast and color shooting with the XL1 than with the XL H1 using the same Nikon and Tokina lenses. I will say, that it's totally dependent on the subject matter and lighting conditions, so it's hard to compare video from two different cameras that was shot under different conditions. The down converted XL H1 footage looks great, but to me, it has a different look to it that stuff shot with the XL1. I'm pretty much a "what you see is what you get" shooter, so my exposures have always been good on the XL H1 and XL1, so at this point of time, I think it's just a case of me getting used to the look of HD. If anyone has noticed the same, I'm sure we all would be happy to hear about it.
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