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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old September 1st, 2009, 10:24 PM   #1
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From Still Imaging to the world of High Definition Video

While I am still trying to figure out the optimal settings to display video on the internet without so much loss, I figured it might be time I posted something although I have a long way to go before claiming to have the results I am striving for. I am not all too concerned with audio yet as I have not even begun to sort through all of that yet I am still working at shooting under natural lighting, getting to know the Cann XHA1, and getting it on the web with semi decent quality via Vegas Pro 8.
It is a whole new world coming from still imaging to HD video with many learning curves ahead.
Without further rambling here is a clip of a Western Towhee on a branch.

Western Towhee on Vimeo

Thanks
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 09:07 AM   #2
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I like it. Looks sharp, lovley light and awesome signing. What lens were you using? I guess you weren't able to get closer shots and wider shots in order to edit all of them together.
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Ofer Levy
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 05:49 PM   #3
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Looks good, just out of interest though it says on the comments that you shot it at 1/1000 shutter.
As a tip unless you want to slow it down I would stick with 1/60 for 60i and 1/50 for 50i. Don't think of shutter speed on a video can like a stills cam. If you shoot normal movement at 1/1000 it will look really jumpy / stutter heaps.

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Old September 2nd, 2009, 08:54 PM   #4
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Looks good, just out of interest though it says on the comments that you shot it at 1/1000 shutter.
As a tip unless you want to slow it down I would stick with 1/60 for 60i and 1/50 for 50i. Don't think of shutter speed on a video can like a stills cam. If you shoot normal movement at 1/1000 it will look really jumpy / stutter heaps.

Jon
Hey Offer and Jonathan, Thanks for the comments. I was using the lens that came with the XHA1 coupled with the 1.6 TC pushed out to the max. I did catch all kinds of continual footage but as for editing I am still grappling with Vegas Pro. My intention was just to get some clips up rather than attempt to string them together. These clips on my Vimeo page so far are all just test clips where I am either testing the camera capabilities, Vegas Pro, and Vimeo.
i have found that as for shutter speed it seems smoother and cleaner at 500 or better. I am certain that jump/stutter you see is Vegas or edit induced. All the original footage is as smooth and clean as a whistle. I started at 1/60 and kept making increases on that Towhee but was not satisfied with anything below 1/500. Between render and getting it on Vimeo there is a significant loss of quality but I am working on that as we speak.
I am not sure where you came up with 1/60 for 60i but the appropriate way to determine shutter speed is based on focal length as a starting point then adjust based on available light, target movement, and other factors afield or so it has been my teachings and works well for me. I would love to hear from more of the advanced shooters here at DVi as for their suggested determining factors on shutter speed.
Thanks Guys
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:07 PM   #5
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Hi Tim,
I think Jonathan gave you a good advice. I also moved from stills to video around a year and a half ago and I am no expert when it comes to the technical side of video. However, I have done A LOT of shooting in the last 18 months using the Sony PMW EX3 and learning from more experienced video guys in here and other forums.

Your statement: " the appropriate way to determine shutter speed is based on focal length as a starting point then adjust based on available light, target movement, and other factors afield or so it has been my teachings and works well for me..." is, to the best of my knowledge simply incorrect.
It is very true for stills but totally wrong for video. I shoot all my video work at 1/50 when shooting 1080 25p and 1/60 when I shoot 720 60p for slow motion. You can have a perfectly sharp and smooth video clip without one sharp frame in it (due to motion blur of course not out of focus...)

Please check out my website.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 06:41 PM   #6
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To get natural fluid movement, 1/60th second for shutter speed is the best for shooting anything where there might be a lot of fast motion. Here's a clue as to why 1/60th makes sense. When shooting interlaced (60i), your dealing with two fields for HDV, upper and lower. Divide 60 by 2, and you get, and I'm rounding off, 30 for upper and 30 for lower. It also is no accident that 60i is related to our AC power grid which is 60 cycle/sec (a wave form of 30 cycles/sec above zero and 30 cycles/sec below zero), and that powers everything we use for playback of our video, interesting. In PAL land they shoot 50i, and their AC power grid is, you guessed it, 50 cycle/sec. The only reason your interlaced footage looks like non interlaced when viewed back in your camera is, all the voltages in your camera is DC (direct current). For some reason, I don't think this is a coincidence. I think this thought is fairly accurate, but chime in if you think I'm out in left field, or left something out.

Another thing I would be interested in is, what format do you upload to Vimeo i.e. wmv, DivX, MP4, ect, and was it interlaced or deinterlaced. And what is the bit rate you encode at. I ask this only because your clip on Vimeo really looks good. Your towhee video looks fine to me, especially the focus. The only nit I have is, if your going to post videos birds, you should identify them correctly. There is no such bird as a Western Towhee, and what you shot is a Spotted Towhee. I'll be looking forward to what your able to do with a fixed 20X lens and a 1.6X.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:27 PM   #7
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Yes Don there is a correlation but I don't fully understand it but I have shot PAL footage in the states and if you shoot a monitor then you get awful strobing effect due to the 50 / 60 hz difference. Shoot PAL cam in PAL land no issue. Must be related....

Unless you want a special effect definitely shoot 1/60 NTSC and 1/50 PAL, you will run into all sorts of issues shooting at various shutter speeds one of them being the getting enough light into the cam.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Don DesJardin View Post
To get natural fluid movement, 1/60th second for shutter speed is the best for shooting anything where there might be a lot of fast motion. Here's a clue as to why 1/60th makes sense. When shooting interlaced (60i), your dealing with two fields for HDV, upper and lower. Divide 60 by 2, and you get, and I'm rounding off, 30 for upper and 30 for lower. It also is no accident that 60i is related to our AC power grid which is 60 cycle/sec (a wave form of 30 cycles/sec above zero and 30 cycles/sec below zero), and that powers everything we use for playback of our video, interesting. In PAL land they shoot 50i, and their AC power grid is, you guessed it, 50 cycle/sec. The only reason your interlaced footage looks like non interlaced when viewed back in your camera is, all the voltages in your camera is DC (direct current). For some reason, I don't think this is a coincidence. I think this thought is fairly accurate, but chime in if you think I'm out in left field, or left something out.

Another thing I would be interested in is, what format do you upload to Vimeo i.e. wmv, DivX, MP4, ect, and was it interlaced or deinterlaced. And what is the bit rate you encode at. I ask this only because your clip on Vimeo really looks good. Your towhee video looks fine to me, especially the focus. The only nit I have is, if your going to post videos birds, you should identify them correctly. There is no such bird as a Western Towhee, and what you shot is a Spotted Towhee. I'll be looking forward to what your able to do with a fixed 20X lens and a 1.6X.
Is that based on the metric system Don? All kidding aside, I stand corrected as for the species ID. I was given a bad proper name.
I use the Main Concept mpeg 2 template for vimeo. So far that works out best but I am still trying other combinations.
Thanks for the input.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #9
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Tim,
Not to drift to far away from your original post, I'll throw in what I have experienced with uploading video for Vimeo's HD content. I also have struggled in the past to achieve the best encoding results while keeping the file size within reason. For a long time now, I have been uploading DivX files using Dr DivX, which is a free encoding program for Windows. You might look at my Vimeo HD channel HD WILD BIRDS on Vimeo for a comparison to what you are doing with the Main Concept mpeg 2 with Vegas. The first video of an Allen's Hummingbird was encoded to a DivX file (49.2Mb) from an HDV MPEG-2 file (205Mb) which is about a 4:1 reduction in the file size, while maintaining good quality. If you don't want your original reason for posting to get lost and turned into another thread, feel free to contact me offline at don AT birdsdesjardin.com .
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Old September 4th, 2009, 04:01 PM   #10
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Your statement: " the appropriate way to determine shutter speed is based on focal length as a starting point then adjust based on available light, target movement, and other factors afield or so it has been my teachings and works well for me..." is, to the best of my knowledge simply incorrect.
It is very true for stills but totally wrong for video. I shoot all my video work at 1/50 when shooting 1080 25p and 1/60 when I shoot 720 60p for slow motion. You can have a perfectly sharp and smooth video clip without one sharp frame in it (due to motion blur of course not out of focus...)
I'm the opposite of the original poster - I'm moving from the world of video into the world of still photography, and this actually tripped me up - I was shooting with shutter speeds of 1/50 handheld at night because I was used to shooting at 1/48 or 1/60 for video, and the result was blurry. 1/125 seems to be the sweet spot for me, with as much as 1/2000 for action shots.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #11
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Hi Brian, determining shutter speed in still photography depends on quite a few parameters as Tim mentions subject, focal length, available light, ISO, aperture, image stabilizer or not, tripod or no tripod, and more. I do most of my professional photography work at 1/50 as it is done at night in low light using relatively short lenses (24-70 and 70-200) and my wildlife work anything between 1/100 to 1/3200 as I work with long lenses (300, 400, 500 plus x1.4 and x2 teleconverters).
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Old September 5th, 2009, 12:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Don DesJardin View Post
Tim,
Not to drift to far away from your original post, I'll throw in what I have experienced with uploading video for Vimeo's HD content. I also have struggled in the past to achieve the best encoding results while keeping the file size within reason. For a long time now, I have been uploading DivX files using Dr DivX, which is a free encoding program for Windows. You might look at my Vimeo HD channel HD WILD BIRDS on Vimeo for a comparison to what you are doing with the Main Concept mpeg 2 with Vegas. The first video of an Allen's Hummingbird was encoded to a DivX file (49.2Mb) from an HDV MPEG-2 file (205Mb) which is about a 4:1 reduction in the file size, while maintaining good quality. If you don't want your original reason for posting to get lost and turned into another thread, feel free to contact me offline at don AT birdsdesjardin.com .
Thanks Don, I appreciate the offer to help and will take you up on that. I am not to concerned with the original thread, I think it was duly noted that I came from a very short stint in still imaging to now trying to tackle HD Video.
As for Vimeo? I have noticed that it seems to depend on Vimeo as to how your end result turns out. I did the same test clip 5 different times with no changes to it on my end once rendered. I staggered the download times I put it on Vimeo from during the week and during the wee hours to the middle of the day to on the weekends with very surprising and very mixed results. I think we are at the mercy of Vimeo for the most part but as I mentioned I am open to trying different combinations.

Thanks also to you Ofer, Jonathan, and Brian for your input.
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