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-   -   Slo-mo at its coolest (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/under-water-over-land/94255-slo-mo-its-coolest.html)

Brendan Marnell May 17th, 2007 05:02 AM

Slo-mo at its coolest
Look at this clip on IBC by Bob Thompson and if you're watching the HQ version you may, like me, drool ...


... I'll catch up, you just wait, Bob

Bob Thompson May 18th, 2007 03:17 PM

Bendan, thanks a lot for the kind comments.

The Dalmation Pelican was filmed using a Sony D600P Betacam camera using a Optex modified 300mm T2.8 Canon FD lens and a Sachtler Studio 7+7 tripod head. To create the slow motion efect, he shot was then played back at variable speed out of a Sony Digital Betacam A500 recorder/player into FCP.

The location is the Mai Po Nature Reserve (a Ramsar site) in Hong Kong

Brendan Marnell May 18th, 2007 04:09 PM

On second thoughts Bob, don't wait for me.

I am not for a moment overlooking the tantalising prospect of a legacy down the line but time is not on my side and I'm guessing your tripod costs more than all my humble gear

... I'll settle for more of your clips, Bob, anytime

Bob Thompson May 19th, 2007 02:19 AM


The problem filming shorebird at Mai Po (Hong Kong) is that all the hides are floating hides, so planning your days shoot is all dependant on the tides.

Once the tides have brought the shorebirds close enough to film, you only have a short interval before the hide floats, making filming impossible


PS: It is a 1 km walk along a floating boardwalk through mangroves before you get to the hides, so several trips are needed to get the heavy gear to the hide

Brendan Marnell May 19th, 2007 07:09 AM

This is a fascinating scenario, Bob and the set-up at Mai Po is obviously crucial to getting your images so sharp. But there are other things I want to know ...

1.Your Sony doesn't appear in B&H catalogue so I don't know its optical zoom, chip dimensions, IS or other features. And the lens & other gear ... see what I'm getting at? If I had my way I'd have you up all night explaining to me the features and possibilities of that standard of equipment ..

2. The quality of your slo-mo depends greatly on your original frames per second ... it's impossible to produce the clear images of plumage, even during wingbeat, that you did in slo-mo unless you used a high fps rate ... at what fps rate did you shoot & roughly how much did you slow down the footage by (in FCP?)?

3. Because the gulls flying across stayed out of focus I'm sure you used manual focus, but were you able to tweak that as the pelican came closer or did the pelican remain at almost the same distance from you throughout the clip?

Dale Guthormsen May 19th, 2007 07:38 AM

This is a real nice demo of slow motion with a cideo camera!!!! Did you not have a polarizer on it??? so bright!! Fix it in post, eh??

some sony cameras allow you to play back a tape in slow motion, then this slow motion then is recaptured. A friend of mine has a cam corder that does this and that is about as good a slow mo as I have seen.

The pelican has a slow wing beat to start with which will also facilitate making better slo motion.

Now the Sony fx 7 and one other sony have the ability to shoot 240 frames a second or such, and then replay the footage back at 29!!!

About time the companies realize that this is a necessary feature for most video work!!!!

Once they get this down with good quality, film will go by the way of the dodo.

I shoot slo mo a lot. I would buy one in a heart beat, but I have not yet succeeded at getting a fx7 owner to post some of this slo mo footage!!!! It is to much cash to outlay in good faith.

Bob Thompson May 19th, 2007 07:51 AM


The lens I am using is a Canon FD 300mm T2.8 Optex modified with an interchangeable mount. I have "PL" mount for 35mm Arriflex camera, a Arriflex bayonet mount for 16mm Arriflex cameras, a Sony B4 mount for the Betacam 2/3" 3ccd camera and a mount for the Canon XL2.

The Sony D600P Betacam camcorder has a digital front-end (same as the original Digital Betacam cameras) but records to analogue SP Betacam tape ( I hope I haven't confused you).

The Pelican was filmed at 50i and the lens is manually focussed and no image stabilisation. Most filming at Mai Po is done on the rising tide and once the water is too deep for the birds, they fly into the reserve and wait for the water to recede.

As to the slomo, the tape was playback on a Sony Digital Betacam recorder/player using the variable speed mode and captured normally in Final Cut Pro. I think the start of the clip has a change of speed as I manually changed the variable speed control.



Alexander McLeod May 19th, 2007 10:28 PM

Bob, I'm checking in a little late on this but your film is tremendous. I've tried for the past couple of years to emulate in both my GL-2 and my 30D (a different mode, of course) on the southern California coast what you have done. Keep it up, as I'm sure you will.


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