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Old December 19th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #1
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Not a hot dog either

Golden Eagle's first instinct is to lift this fresh bait away to privacy but it has been firmly anchored by Dobromir of www.spatiawildlife.com.

http://www.stage6.com/video/1966653/

My instincts as videographer were pathetic; shutter speed much too slow and forgot to refocus when I zoomed; learning at sub-zero temperatures is not clever.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:47 AM   #2
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Brendan,
congrats with some amazing Golden Eagle shots!

Even in this compressed divX format it looks pretty nice. Must have been a cold experience to sit there in the freezing wind and snow operating your camcorder?

I bet you are at full telephotoend with your camcorder, though I should have wish for some more close-up of the bird?
Also monitoring sound is difficult with still-photographers sitting around you!
In fact I have been experimenting with put some lavaliers wireless at the bate for monitoring good sound without getting the operators (stillphotographers) click in the audio track!

The shutter speed is pretty much high in this sequence, when I look at the stuttering effect of the snow drift. You are talking about a even higher shutter speed, well I'm not sure about this?
In my eyes this is the big difference between stillphoto and video recording. Stillphotographers want high shutter speed to freeze any movement of the bird, snowdrift or whatever. Videorecording is different, you are recording a sequence of movement, in this sequence you want everything to look natural. In my eyes stuttering snowdrift or stuttering wingstroke is not natural?

I most often shoot at 1/50 (PAL), to get rid of this stuttering effects. When doing this I often get more interval for choosing apropriate aperture, decide DOF and so on. (higher shutter require more light and limit your possibilities for choosing different DOF's etc.).

Well, hopefully some of you will chime in and give your opinions on this?
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:34 AM   #3
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Your comments are helpful as usual, Per Johan, thank you

It was cold but not seriously sub-zero as you experience in musk-ox country.

Close-ups were mainly of the eagle tearing away at bait with head hidden below the rockline.

Re sound: I should have simply edited it in post but I was impatient to get my first video up on Stage6. Camera clicks were self-inflicted ... I was alone in the hide.

My concern about shutter speed has more to do with capturing plumage details, especially when wings are raised or flapping. My still shots at higher speeds did show snow flying in short almost horizontal lines which, as you say, does not look natural. In a later clip I think it will be more obvious where I lost lovely plumage detail (in fine weather) because my shutter speed was too low. I spoiled even more footage by not refocussing after zooming.

After I post another clip later today please tell me how much better the XLH1 would be in this type of situation.

Informed tips from anyone greatly appreciated.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:49 AM   #4
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Great shot of the Golden eagle Brendan.
Also think your clip show a very good depht of field, with the focus on the eagle and with the mountains diffused in the background.
A bit "funny" to see the snowing with the snowless mountains in the background :) It somehow gave the whole sequence a magic atmosphere.
I liked it that way.
I'm not an expert on shutter speed though, so I leave that to the others :)

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Old December 21st, 2007, 04:54 PM   #5
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Glad you enjoyed that, Geir.

I paid too little attention to the camcorder while concentrating on shooting stills. As a result few frames from the 30 min sequence show sharp for me at 100%.

I am interested to know how you would expect your XLH1 to perform in this situation Geir. For example, is it possible to attach Canon IS 100-400mm lens (or whatever lens you normally use to extend beyond x 20 zoom) to your XLH1 and what magnification would that allow you? Do you require an adapter to use such a lens?
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Old December 21st, 2007, 10:16 PM   #6
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Yes, you need an adapter to use other lenses.
I'm not sure if I would go higher than 400mm, well it depends on the tripod though - steady enough.
When you use other lenses on the XLH1 you can multuply with (I think) 7.2.
It would give your 100 - 400 mm x 7.2 = 720 - 2880 on the XLH1. That's not so bad :)
I've got one extra lens, Sigma 100 - 300mm, but it's a cheap one and not so effective in bad lightning. I am now saving money for a more quality lens 100 - 400mm. But why I choose the XLH1 is first of all because I can change lenses because I shoot mostly wildlife stuf.

Regards and a Merry Christemas to you.

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Old December 26th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #7
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Brendan,

I really enjoyed your eagle footage. shot with a gl2 at that!!! Outside of the fact the gl2 does not allow attachment of lenses the camera makes so beautiful video!!!!

As geir mentioned about the snow, kind of sur-realistic, an interesting effect to use intentionally at times.

If you wanted to try a century 2x on your gl2 I have one I could loan you.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 04:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
.....
If you wanted to try a century 2x on your gl2 I have one I could loan you.

Thank you for the kind offer Dale.

I wish I was able to make the best of the technology built-in to my XM2; that would be a start; and by the time I get to that stage I may be looking for a camcorder with interchangeable lens and variable frame rate ...
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Old December 26th, 2007, 08:06 PM   #9
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Brendan,
I think that you can do quite well with the XM2, as demonstrated with your recent eagle footage. I think if you have a manual mode on the XM2, set your shutter speed at 1/50th, and try and keep the f stop at between f8 and f11. If your shooting in very bright conditions, control your f stop by investing in some ND filters. Get a good quality 1 or 2 stop ND filter that screws directly onto the front of your lens. If you don't use these filters, you'll find yourself increasing the shutter speed to keep things from blowing out, because you can't stop the lens down enough at 1/50th. Also, when you render your avi files with what ever codec you might use to reduce the file size for emailing or web presentation, make sure you deinterlace as part of the process.

I just posted a Northern Harrier sequence to Stage 6 that you (Brendan) have already seen on another site, but I thought others might enjoy it. It has about as much movement as one would encounter.

http://www.stage6.com/user/aviartist...rthern-Harrier

For those who might look at it, it was shot several years ago with my XL1 and a Nikon 80-400mm lens. It was shot in the winter, and even though the sun is much lower in the sky, it was still quite bright with a lot of heat shimmer. I didn't have any external ND filters at that time, so I was probably set at around f11-16 and at 1/60th. I was shooting the harrier most of the time at a great distance, so I was always between 350 and the full 400mm zoom. I was using a crummy Manfrotto 501 head and tripod, which I have learned to live with to this day. The original avi file was 707Mb, and using the DivX codec, I was able to reduce it to 27.9MB with preserving a reasonable degree of quality. Practice is key, and if you can't shoot your really big birds right now, go for the gulls, or get near an airport and shoot airplanes landing and taking off.
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Old December 27th, 2007, 06:04 AM   #10
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You have my opinion already on this Northern Harrier footage, Don. The bird flight I like to shoot is more leisurely than that.

I just can't figure out how you captured so much plumage detail swirling so fast at that distance. For a start I find it hard to understand how 1/60 was your shutter speed. My doubts are based on the fact that my sharpest still images (with Digital Rebel)of birdflight are at between 1/250 and 1/1250 with f7.1. This may be very relevant or bear no relevance to video settings at all. My first problem is I don't know whether it's relevant or irrelevant.

So, my second problem is to understand why you recommend 1/50 shutter for my XM2. If you mean that 1/50 would be right for the overcast conditions in most of my eagle clips I understand that and agree with you, because the light was not good enough most of the time. But as you can see, once the eagle flapped or even raised a wing my action images are blurred BECAUSE my shutter speed was 1/50. In the vulture flight clips I do get some plumage detail. The pathetic news here is that I don't know what my shutter speed was when shooting vulture flight so I am learning 1% of what I should be learning.

Anyway there's something telling me that if I want to capture plumage detail during bird flight I must use a fast shutter speed. I know fast shutter speeds require good light and that is not always available, especially in Ireland. But in the Med the light can be too strong and I am definitely taking your advice about getting a good ND filter but with my tiny brain muddled as described I am unable to put the jigsaw together that would make sense of your statement " If you don't use these filters, you'll find yourself increasing the shutter speed to keep things from blowing out, because you can't stop the lens down enough at 1/50th." I would have thought it would suit me (for plumage detail) to be upping my shutter speed !!! [Yes I know I did not try this out last time in the Med ... dear God, I didn't even know why my in-built ND filter was flickering to be turned on.] I don't want to die until I check this out .... with your help please. What is the big downside of faster shutter speed???
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Old December 27th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #11
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Brendan,


If I can share my own experience read along, otherwise move along.

I came from over three decades of still photography with everything from 4x5 to 35mm with heavey lenses etc.

The hardest thing I have had to wrap my noisey little head around was the entire shutter speed issue!!!!!!!

In still photography most people shoot snaps of bird flight and want every feather defined. the very best artistic photographs have a certain amount of blur in wing tips or such to give the impression of movement but with area of interest in focus, eg. the head on a ruby throated humingbird. (yes, this is a subjective opinion). So I too felt high shutter speed essential.

My first video camera it was important for me to make sure it had a fast shutter speed.

I learned quickly that the faster the shutter speed the worse my video looked.
I did notice when it was put into slo mo it looked better, totally baffled me!!

I believe it was Don who sent me in the right direction of using noninterlaced footage with slower shutter speeds.

I have had to realize that I am shooting video, not stills.

At 25 frames a second, even in progressive, with a fast shutter speed that clearly stops the wing movement will show a to much difference between the two frames, hence the stutter effect.

When you slow mo it via interpolation or frame duplication it more or less fills in the blanks.

Until we can get at least 64 or 128 frames a second of full quality video I do not believe you can get what you are trying to acheive.


Please, if anyone can I would pay to know!!!!!

When I shot film back in the 60's I got a few good shots that may have fulfilled what you are trying to do.

Perhaps round up or rent a bolex H16, comes with three lenses, and try shooting some film!! It truly would be a cool expirement for you to compare!!

I have thought of shooting more film, but I do not think I can afford to shoot the amount of footage I shoot today.

Anyway, something to think about.
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Old December 27th, 2007, 09:23 AM   #12
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Dale, I think you are absolute right about this. Todays technology in the camcorders at our price level, isn't good enough to fullfill Brendan's whish!
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Old December 27th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #13
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So here is JVC GY - HD250U with
- interchangeable lens
- SD & HD
- variable frame rate
- x16
- progressive scan

Please check out ...

http://pro.jvc.com/prof/main.jsp

and tell me why ...

3-CCD ProHD CAMCORDER w/16:1 FUJINON LENS GY-HD250U

would not suit my needs (whatever about my pocket & my shoulder/tripod)?
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Old December 29th, 2007, 12:11 PM   #14
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Brendan,

I looked at this camera too and the 110.

By variable frame rate on this camera i think they are meaning

30 progressive, 24 progressive, 25 , 50interlaced and 60 interlaced.

I do not believe it can run 64 or 128 frames a second of progressive and then have it play at 29 frames or 25 a second.

If what i said is correct you are spending a lot of money for what you already have in an xl2 or even a gl2 that shoots frame. you end up with the same problem.

If I am incorrect about this someone please correct me, for i would buy that camera myself it could do real slo mo.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #15
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Brendan,

If what i said is correct you are spending a lot of money for what you already have in an xl2 or even a gl2 that shoots frame. you end up with the same problem.

If I am incorrect about this someone please correct me, for i would buy that camera myself it could do real slo mo.
Elsewhere, Tom Hardwick tells me .......

Well, Calumetphoto.co.uk sells the XH-A1 for 2540 and the V1 for 2670, just 5% dearer. The CMOS sensors and the smooth slo-mo may be worth that on their own.

......... Is the Sony V1 suitable camcorder for bird flight plus good slo-mo possibilities?
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