Big birds on the wing ... Your Opinion, please at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 31st, 2006, 06:29 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Big birds on the wing ... Your Opinion, please

Original footage is mine but all the clever stuff was done by Per Johan. His full name is Per Johan Naesje and I saw him first, OK? He's helping me to get a website of my own using his technology but in the meantime, from his website ....

http://www.video-film.no/snutter/brendan.html

All opinions/comments on image quality, size of picture, download times would be appreciated. Technical questions will be handled by Per Johan ..
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2006, 07:16 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oppland, Norway
Posts: 1,394
Just to supplement Brendan:
It's not easy to calculate how you people are able to handle mediafiles on the internet. Some have fast internet connections (DSL) others have dial up connections.
People have different types of computeres in their homes. Some have PC others have MAC.
My question is: If we use the best-griffin example (see link on Brendan's thread above), this file is 47 seconds of length. As you can see the file vary between a file size from 1.25 to 6.3 Mb. The smallest file will give you a fast download on the net, but details will be lost when viewing. With the large one you got a longer download time (and someone maybe not able to download it!), but details begin to show up in a pleasant way.
What do you prefer?

I would also like to know from those who have looked to my site (see link in my signature below), how the flash streaming video performs on your computers. Will it play seamless without any stop? What do you think about the size and quality (technical) of these flashfiles?

I will appreciate if you could try to download a couple of these files, and replay your opinion.

Thanks.
__________________
- Per Johan
Per Johan Naesje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2006, 08:45 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,327
I am using a Mac T-book with 1gig/1gig and Safari. I had no problems
downloading the files on our very fast T1 connection.

Personally, I don't like WMV as it (at least on my system) cannot
be stopped, rewound, etc. It plays when it wants and has to
rebuffer each time you want to see it again. No control over
playback is annoying.

Images: IMO, the time of day and the weather conditions
when the stork footage was shot was not optimal.
Therefore, the color was not as good as it can be.

I am not sure of the rig used, but the shot tracking on the Griffon was
a bit too 'wandering'. Yes, *I know* it is VERY VERY hard to track
a moving bird, especially if you are using a Canon XL with EOS.
I find the H1 with its centering cross makes this MUCH easier.
What tripod are you using?
__________________
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
Jacques Mersereau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2006, 12:25 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Worldwide
Posts: 1,589
I'd have to agree with Jacques - there is far too much shake and soft focus in the video footage, and light conditions were not optimal.

I use a shoulder/stomach support brace for handheld tracking with the 20X lens, but prefer to use a heavy duty tripod + smooth pan head if the big Nikkor lenses are in use (even then, I prefer to lock-up and let the subject fly in and out of the frame rather than pan with the bird. A smooth pan using a big lens takes a lot of trial and error to get right).
__________________
www.WILDCARP.com
www.NIKON.me.uk
Tony Davies-Patrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2006, 12:38 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Birmingham, AL USA
Posts: 722
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau
I am using a Mac T-book with 1gig/1gig and Safari. I had no problems
downloading the files on our very fast T1 connection.

Personally, I don't like WMV as it (at least on my system) cannot
be stopped, rewound, etc. It plays when it wants and has to
rebuffer each time you want to see it again. No control over
playback is annoying.
If you use Microsoft Windows Media Player for mac it's aweful, try getting the Flip4Mac plugin for Quicktime, this works great with Windows Media files

http://www.flip4mac.com/wmv.htm
Nick Weeks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2006, 12:51 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Great to get your insights Jacques.

On a pc 6.2mb file downloads in 12 seconds for me and pausing & restarting are immediate. "Wandering" is a kind word to describe my videoing, thank you ... I usually refer to it as bouncing. The smooth cross-fades were made by Per Johan each time to eliminate an exceptionally bad "bounce".

I'm hoping to get XLH1 some time soon. Meanwhile my XM2 (GL2) does its best. I'm determined to keep practising but given the unpredictable level at which raptors fly into view I find it difficult to use my Benbo trekker + manfrotto head. I turn my bum on a shooting stick instead ...
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2006, 03:57 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,327
It is difficult to compete with what we see on TV every day.
Many of those nature shooters are exceptional camera operators and
they use gear that we'd all hope to own one day (over the rainbow).

The H1 is considered expensive on this board, and the accessories
required to make it all work add many thousands to the price tag,
but compared to an Arri SRIII and even one long lens the H1 is
a good deal. For me the H1 is the only affordable choice.

IMO, the most important peice of the "flying bird footage" puzzle is
the tripod. I use a Vinten Vision 3 (~$2000), but there are
better ones out there.
__________________
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
Jacques Mersereau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2006, 05:17 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 811
Jacques,
Like everyone else, I find tracking flying birds to be the most difficult thing to do with Manfrotto equipment. If you really think that a centering cross makes a difference, try this. Flip open the XL2 viewfinder. Make an
X across the opening with two pieces of thread. (Hold them with Scotch tape). Close the viewfinder. Voila...cross hairs. I don't find this makes much difference.
Steve Siegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 1st, 2006, 04:36 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
more comments needed

Before investing in software I really would appreciate more comments but particularly on picture quality and plumage detail ... being an amateur I need comments from amateurs on these aspects too ... even a comment that the clips were too difficult to download would be extremely useful to me ...

Any opinions, references or comparisons to other footage of birds in actual flight would also be a great help and very relevant ...
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2006, 01:40 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lundy Island, UK
Posts: 175
Hi Brendan,

I'm new to this site and haven't even got a camcorder yet, so please ignore these comments if you want.

When I was learning stills photography of birds in flight, I got a few tips from other people. The main tips were:
1) Take time to know your subject - get to learn where they are likely to be - how the wind direction affects their behaviour (you'll often find raptors on the windward side of hills/ridges) - find favourite roosts/perches
2) Practise all the time on local birds - that big sand bar in Dublin Bay is great for waders. They're not as sexy as Vultures but any experience gained at a local site will pay dividends when you're on location with a strict time limit.
3) Be prepared to ditch 99% of your shots ;-)

Jacques has some of his Osprey footage here:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=67658

As to videos on the web, I prefer to download the file on to my computer to watch it properly, rather than have a stuttering stop/start imbedded image. File sizes of up to 5meg are ok, but I am prepared to download longer files if they have a couple of preview stills.

Grant

ps. Great site folks!
Grant Sherman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2006, 06:12 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Thank you for your comments Grant.

Lundy must be amazing for birdlife, migrants and breeding and residents. Your observations may be more useful than you think ... because you have lots of opportunity to observe and no hang-ups about gear or storylines.

... I'd describe Jacques' opening flight/landing sequence in "Osprey" as sexy and he makes good use of it. My interest in vultures is inspired only by their beauty when gliding and soaring so I'm determind to get better at shooting that aspect of them and of other raptors. I'd love to read suggestions about how to improve the clips at the start of this thread ... I'm not thinking of a documentary or a storyline ... I want to hear how anyone with an eye for the beauty of flight would improve the shooting or the presentation of my clips to make them more interesting. Would a close-up-to-finish make a big difference?... Is a close-up final shot essential? How would you rate the clips 1 -5 (worst to best) ? And I want to hear from those who couldn't be bothered opening the links or who had trouble with WMP or who would have bothered if there was an Apple reader attached ... and How would you compare the clips with raptor footage on the Internet Bird Collection at http://ibc.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/news.phtml ???
Please take a moment to register a positive or a negative, thank you.
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2006, 10:22 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lundy Island, UK
Posts: 175
Hi Brendan,

I've just been googling some irish birding sites - I came across some footage of a Osprey in Dublin at this site:

http://www.birdsireland.com/pages/movies.html

It also says that there is one record of a Griffon Vulture visiting Ireland (back in 1848). I'm thinking that the Wicklow mountains might be good for Buzzards and Ravens.

Lundy is amazing for birdlife - although not as good as it used to be. I was watching Guillemots feed their chicks this spring. Hopefully I'll be filming them with an XL2 next spring!
Grant Sherman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2006, 11:15 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Phuket, Thailand
Posts: 30
Sorry, mate, can't watch any .wmv files.
If you want to be kind to your mac-user friends post it in Quicktime for god sake!
Pedro Paiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2006, 02:00 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
That's it Pedro. That's half of what I wanted to know. You have confirmed what Nick Weeks hinted at already. Thank you both for revealing that many videographers use mac not pc. I suppose that point has already been stated on DVInfo a hundred times ... I swear I never saw it or realised how significant it may be.

I wonder if the Master of the Hounds has any tally of the split between mac and pc on the Forum or is anybody prepared to hazard a guess at the ratio among videgraphers?? In your geographic area ?? In your company or firm or club or among your buddies?

This is not idle curiosity; I genuinely need to know how significant this split is so as to make it less difficult for viewers to see future clips on the Forum or elsewhere. It's hard enough persuading you to interrupt your philandering or whatever takes your fancy just to eyeball a flying turkey but I have no hope at all if you can't do so without hassle and stutter ... I know a guy who got a hernia during a far less complex manouvre ... never mind all that!

Any chance of a tally OR a link to an existing tally !!!

And thank you Grant for the link to Tom Shevlin's site.
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2006, 02:48 AM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lundy Island, UK
Posts: 175
I think my favourite clip is the slow-motion Griffon. It appears a lot smoother and you can see the plumage very well. This might be a newb question: is it possible to slow down small sections of a clip? Would this help to compensate for "bounce" on some of the shots?
Grant Sherman is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:08 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network