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Old April 9th, 2006, 11:35 PM   #1
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Wing flicker

Gentlemen,

For those who shoot a lot of bird flight the wing flicker is a huge problem in my book.
What I have done is to shoot in 30p and have slowed the lens shutter down to like 1/100 of a second. This has helped.

I was wondering what some of you do to make flight look right.

I know you can use slow motion is post to make them look right but then there are sopund track issues if you need the original sound.


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Old April 10th, 2006, 01:11 AM   #2
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The faster shutter speed certainly helps, 1/100 is a lot better than 1/50. The problem with faster speeds is the necessary wider aperture limits depth of field, and a bird in flight is not necessarily at a constant distance from the camera so it easier to lose focus.

I find that the colour of the wings is also a factor - black tipped white wings, eg Gannet being worse than most. The speed of the wing tip is another factor - raptors with their slow wingbeats are generally not too bad.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #3
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wing flicker

Allan,

My primary targets are waterfowl, upland game birds and falcons.

Has anyone tried 24 frames/ second andmore akin to actual film??

To slow doesn't work as then there seems to be to much blur/movement.

If I shoot 250 wings are crisp but there is definite flashes of wings in various positions as apposed to smooth movement.

I recently watched a video made by a professional that was paid 1000 dollars a day to film a persons trained falcons. Well, he had only a short snipit in actual speed ( it was as bad as any I have shot that way) and all the rest was done in post and was in reduced speed to get the smoother wing beats, and no original sound track.

obviously there is plenty of ground to be made in this area!!



thanks for the feedback!!
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Old April 11th, 2006, 10:02 PM   #4
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Wing Flicker

At present I work with an XL-1 (NTSC) with a Nikon 80-400mm lens attached. I shoot a lot of different birds in flight, and everything is in manual mode at 1/60th. The video play back is very fluid and smooth. I would be glad to send anyone a short WMV file to demostrate the 1/60 setting.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #5
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footage

Don,

Don, first I Grew up just down the road from you, in Encino, well about 50 miles. I did a lot of film and photography all over that countryside.

I would love to see a wmv of some of your flying footage with your 1/60 settings.

Curiously, what presets are you using on your camera???
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Old April 14th, 2006, 10:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen
Don,

Don, first I Grew up just down the road from you, in Encino, well about 50 miles. I did a lot of film and photography all over that countryside.

I would love to see a wmv of some of your flying footage with your 1/60 settings.

Curiously, what presets are you using on your camera???
As I remarked in another thread, I've had a big problem with bird's wings with DV recording on a VX2100. My Digital8 TRV730 shows a slight wing-flickering, but it isn't nearly so bad. With the VX2100, the wings show up simultaneously in several places throughout their strokes. No shutter setting is able to correct this. But, on my older analog formats, when I used a higher shutter speed, around 1/500 or 1/750, the wings remained distinct. I'd expect that with HDV, the problem would be even worse. It's interesting that the Canon user had no problems with this. Perhaps, this is just something that has to be accepted with many camcorders that use these high rates of compression.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #7
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acceptance

Steven,

First I truly appreciate your posts on any of the threads i have read.

I will be working on this one until the day I die I suspect. I would love to use my old bolex movie camera, but to be honest I have to shoot so much footage to get what I consider good footage it really is not economicly practical.
So, I have to work it out to get the best I can with my gl2 and my new xl2.

Interesting is that my digital 8 sony trv 480 when set to "Sport" does reduce the flicker. I wonder just what that setting actually is!!??

I was thinking that 24 P at 60 would be as close to film as possible.

Does anyone have any practice at this???

Tonight I was filming a badger digging a hole at 60th at 30 P. when i watched his fast little feet digging they were fine. I also filmed some grouse doing their dance with the fast feet and they looked fine to.
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Old April 15th, 2006, 12:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen
Steven,

First I truly appreciate your posts on any of the threads i have read.

I will be working on this one until the day I die I suspect. I would love to use my old bolex movie camera, but to be honest I have to shoot so much footage to get what I consider good footage it really is not economicly practical.
So, I have to work it out to get the best I can with my gl2 and my new xl2.

Interesting is that my digital 8 sony trv 480 when set to "Sport" does reduce the flicker. I wonder just what that setting actually is!!??

I was thinking that 24 P at 60 would be as close to film as possible.

Does anyone have any practice at this???

Tonight I was filming a badger digging a hole at 60th at 30 P. when i watched his fast little feet digging they were fine. I also filmed some grouse doing their dance with the fast feet and they looked fine to.
The Sport mode on a Digital8 camcorder and probably also on DV models, sets the shutter up as fast as 1/500th, if the light is adequate to permit it. It's the only way to directly raise the shutter speed on many of those models. I have noticed that the wing flicker is worst in dim light, when the shutter speed is automatically set slower by the camera. This slower shutter in lower light, is probably the main reason for the wing flicker. The VX2100 and its close relatives are so capable in dim light, that it's easy to forget that the light is too low to support anything above 1/60th. Many of my bird shots are taken late in the day, so I don't need to look beyond that, to understand why I get so much wing flicker. You know, this VX2100 thinks it's smarter than we are, regarding shutter and ND-filter settings. It's sometimes annoying when it "suggests" an ND filter should be engaged and then disengages it when it thinks it shouldn't be used.
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Old April 15th, 2006, 02:50 PM   #9
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It is not just the VX2000, the Canon XM2 is no different, once the sun is above the yardarm it demands one uses the ND filter. With birds in flight, it is arguable that the wing flicker problem over-rides the potential diffraction from small apertures.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 11:30 PM   #10
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Wing flicker

Good evening,

The last few days have been rather overcast. I spent some time shooting mute swans, water fowl and wilsons snipe. I set the speed at 1/60th and shot them with their paddeling take offs and the ift into the sky and it looks pretty excellent. I was watching some film the other night and therre was a small amount of wing flicker in it as well.
when i make the footage into slow motion of about 60% the wing flicker is gone. I am now convinced that shootinting at a faster shutter speed actually enhances the flicker. You could only rid that by shooting at 64 to 96 frames a scond on a blolex movie camera or such.
When i get the opportunity I will see about posting some of the flight footage.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 09:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen
Good evening,
(EDIT) I am now convinced that shootinting at a faster shutter speed actually enhances the flicker.(EDIT)

I totally agree. The more you shorten the exposure time
the more the image is 'frozen'. Spielberg used short exposure
times to great effect in Saving Private Ryan. That gave a very jaggy/stuttered look.

Shooting geese fighting each other at 1/500 with a digital still
will freeze water droplets in mid air and show feather detail.
The same thing shot at 1/10 will be a mass of blurred images.
Our eyes naturally have motion blur built-in which is
why live we will never see a bird's wings frozen as they flap.
One way to achieve smoother, but far more blurred results
would be to shoot in in 1/30 or upgrade to 720P which has
60 full frames a second.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 11:44 PM   #12
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With high shutter speeds, the bird wings are shown with sharp definition at the position they occupy when each video field is registered. Since the flapping frequency doesn't match the field frequency, the wings won't appear in proper sequential positions onscreen. This causes them to appear to jump around and interferes with the way that the eye and brain perceive motion. Much of the flickering is an illusion, caused in the brain. When normal shutter speed is used, the images of the wings blur and don't generate the strobing effect of a fast shutter, that would make them appear to be in several positions at the same moment. Normal shutter speed produces images more like what we'd see naturally and this works more smoothly with our visual perception.

If you do a freeze-frame or frame-by-frame advance of footage that shows wing-flicker in real-time, the wings should appear in only one position. This demonstrates how the flicker is an artifact of how our visual system is affected by video shot with high shutter speeds.

This is similar to how spoked wagon wheels on movie film may appear to rotate backwards. As the wagon speeds increase, the wheels pass through a transition where their RPM is less and then greater than the frame frequency, giving the illusion of changing rotational directions.

When shooting flying birds, it's important to check your camcorder settings, to make sure it isn't automatically increasing the shutter speed as a means to control exposure. When I shoot flying birds for real-time video, I push the shutter-speed button to put it on the VF screen, so I can be assured that I have a setting that maintains it at 1/60 or normal speed.

However, there are some occasions when I shoot flying birds, that I will record some footage at normal shutter speed for real-time playback and then some more with a high-speed shutter, for later capture of unblurred still frames. This is also the one occasion when I may sometimes use the 15-FPS progressive scan of my VX2100, to record scenes to be used only for still-capturing. The progressive scan eliminates the blurring that occurs between adjacent lines with interlaced scan, when fast motion is involved. For all other video purposes, the 15-FPS recordings are useless.

Hoping for 60p.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 11:14 PM   #13
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wing beats

Steve,

Thanks for the explanation. I always wondered about the backward rotation of wheels, never thunk it out, so to speak.
I sorted out that it was best to shoot 1/60th of a second for almost all flying birds and I shoot it in 30P. On my big screen TV it is very acceptable. We have also learned some amazing things watching some of the ariel moves in slow motion or frame by frame.

if I can find a way to share some footage I will do so this summer when I have ore time.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 09:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don DesJardin
At present I work with an XL-1 (NTSC) with a Nikon 80-400mm lens attached. I shoot a lot of different birds in flight, and everything is in manual mode at 1/60th. The video play back is very fluid and smooth. I would be glad to send anyone a short WMV file to demostrate the 1/60 setting.
I'd appreciate your WMV file Don, if you still have it. Can you attach it an email: marnell@indigo.ie or videoraptor@yahoo.co.uk ?
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