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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:41 PM   #1
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Why So Grainy?

What did I do wrong? I have el cheapo lights, but are they the cause? Is it the lens? The Kelvin I set too high? I color corrected in FCP so she doesn't look like a yellow alien, but it still sucks. Please help!

Here's my settings:
Canon 60D
Vivitar 50mm
f/5.6
60 shutter
ISO 320
Kelvin 7000 (dummy me...ugh)
24fps/1920x1080

I color corrected in FCP 3 way color corrector, but that's about it. I'm at a loss and feel so totally discouraged. I watch all these awesome videos on here and I can't even make a simple one scene take look decent! Ai yai yai!! When I white balance it looks so washed out, but maybe that's right? I also use Philip Bloom's setting suggestions for video with the contrast, saturation and sharpness set down. I thought the kelvin would "warm" it up, but I went way too far.

The video should be up by morning. It's uploading now. I'll be taking it down again after tomorrow though.

password: MBSR
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Old April 20th, 2011, 10:36 PM   #2
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Re: Why So Grainy?

Grain should be coming from lack of light as far as I know. f5.6 is restricting light compared to wide open settings. I don't know how much bumping ISO does to compensate for the smaller aperture. When you set this up, did you look at lower f stops and ISOs at all, or just go with these settings right out of the box ???
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Old April 20th, 2011, 10:57 PM   #3
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Re: Why So Grainy?

Hi Lisa,

It's not that bad :)
It looks like it was well lighted ...is that why you adjusted the aperture to f5.6? Normally for us, we keep it at f2.8 or lower and work our way up depending on the lighting conditions. We adjust the aperture than play around with the ISO ...also,your shutter setting should have been 50 at 24p...if you are really concerned about the looks/colour of your video, you can get a colour plug in for FCP like Magic Bullet or Genarts Sapphire.

Cheers,

Kren
Vertical Video Works* Winnipeg Wedding Videography
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Old April 20th, 2011, 11:09 PM   #4
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Re: Why So Grainy?

Hi Lisa

On my HMC's even when lit I'm working around the F2.8 mark so at that aperture it seems like you are severely underexposed!!

I was looking at using a 3rd DSLR like the GH2 (well it's not quite a DSLR an EVIL actually) and Jeff Harper says he gets rotten results with the kit lens which is F3.5...the way I figure it if I used a setup like that I would need at the VERY least a decent say 15 -50mm zoom at absolute minimum of F2.8 ...F1.7 would be even better!!! Lenses that come with the camera are seldom ideal for low light receptions!! Jeff mentioned his favorite is the 20mm pancake which is fast at F1.7. Wedding receptions are always badly lit and you cannot really walk in with 20 kw of studio lights and make it into day!!!

Over here a decent fast lens costs more than the camera and I also agree with Jeff that that is your number one priority!! Get really decent and fast glass before you even begin!!! Pushing the ISO is not really going to help if you are using a slow lens!!! It's much the same as pushing the gain right up on a video camera. I think you need to spend some money on a fast lens to get good results!!

Chris
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Old April 20th, 2011, 11:57 PM   #5
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Re: Why So Grainy?

I would usually use the portrait setting in my camera. Then adjust the White Balance to suit. Kelvin 7000 is way too high. If you're new, make good use of the AWB. If the AWB gives you some strange colour (bluish outdoor or yellowish indoor), adjust it manually.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 12:04 AM   #6
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Re: Why So Grainy?

Am i correct, in understanding that you're using a 60 shutter speed with 24FPS recording???
I'm don't shoot 24fps, but i'm pretty sure that most folks would stick to 1/48th shutter speed..

But i may be wrong..
Anyhoo....I don't see the problem with grain.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 03:51 AM   #7
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Re: Why So Grainy?

I don't think that it looks particularly grainy but is a bit soft (maybe the Vivitar lens causes this?). It probably is underexposed but as you have already played about with colour correction & is not the original footage we cannot tell exactly where you went wrong. You also edited it then compressed it & uploaded it to Vimeo who compressed it yet again. So all in all without original footage off the camera we are deeply in the realm of speculation.

The counsel of perfection for WB is to do it manually but generally it's good enough to use the presets for tungsten, daylight, fluorescent as appropriate then tweak in post. You should be able to see on the camera's LCD that the WB is there or thereabouts. 7000K is way outside anything you will find indoors as tungsten lights are around 2500-3500K & fluorescent lamps around 4000-5000K

I have a 5DII not a 60D but generally with all the Canon DSLRs you are safe to bump up the ISO to 640 or 800 without any appreciable grain being noticeable.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 07:49 AM   #8
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Re: Why So Grainy?

While your camera settings are fine the question I think is what did you do to it in post?

I noticed the slight grain and given your low ISO (and using a multiple of 160 which should mean cleaner video) the only cause I can think is that you boosted your levels in post or had to over process the image due to colour correction?

Also, when shooting at 24fps you should stick to a shutter of 1/50th. Peter is right but the canon DSLr's dont have 1/48 as an option so 1/50 is the next best thing. Although to be honest with DSLR.... it doesnt really matter.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 08:13 AM   #9
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Re: Why So Grainy?

OK, thanks guys. So, it sounds like it was the kelvin. I'm not used to that setting at alll, but after today, I have a feeling I'm going to be an expert on it! Perhaps it's the lens too, but it sounds like I should've kept it wide open at 1.9, but it looked so blown out. I will be in "school" today online learning how to compensate. Anyone have any good links?

I did close up the aperture (oh, I'm showing my true noobie self here...please be nice!). I saw on this forum lots of others using 60 shutter with 24fps, so I thought that was right, but I'll keep it at 50 next time. For a wedding, will that cause too much blur though?

Perhaps for a music video where I bring in the lights, I use 60fps and 120 shutter next time...wow, I gotta be a mathematician! And I got the ISO thing doing in increments of 160 from Philip Bloom at least.

Sigh, okay here we go. Off to more learning. If anyone else has any more tips out there, I am so very grateful for any thing you can teach me.

Thank you guys!

BTW, the video can now be seen here: YouTube - Someone Like You Adele - Madilyn Bailey (Cover) TeenHootContest!!!
If you vote "like" for her, she can win the contest!

Last edited by Lisa Maxwell; April 21st, 2011 at 08:25 AM. Reason: spell check!
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Old April 21st, 2011, 08:24 AM   #10
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Re: Why So Grainy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
While your camera settings are fine the question I think is what did you do to it in post?

I noticed the slight grain and given your low ISO (and using a multiple of 160 which should mean cleaner video) the only cause I can think is that you boosted your levels in post or had to over process the image due to colour correction?

Also, when shooting at 24fps you should stick to a shutter of 1/50th. Peter is right but the canon DSLr's dont have 1/48 as an option so 1/50 is the next best thing. Although to be honest with DSLR.... it doesnt really matter.
Yes, this could be it...here is a screen grab of it before color correction...I think you may be right.

Do you know why the strings look red? The lights I used were two 6400K fluorescent lighting with white umbrellas over them.
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Why So Grainy?-maddy-yellow.tiff  
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Old April 21st, 2011, 08:27 AM   #11
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Re: Why So Grainy?

Oh one more thing...maybe next time I should use ProRes 4444 instead of ProRes 422 LT because of the filters, huh?
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Old April 21st, 2011, 08:32 AM   #12
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Re: Why So Grainy?

The white balance has nothing at all to do with whether it looks grainy or not. If the WB is wrong but exposure correct it will still be sharp & detailed but with a colour cast.

If your footage was underexposed & you fixed it in post then this can look much worse than recording with a higher ISO in camera. You can safely use up to ISO 1250 without appreciable grain but if you underexposed it & need to lighten it in post it will likely wind up grainy.

Remember doubling the ISO value is the same as opening up to the next F stop. So in this situation changing to F/4 allows double the amount of light onto the sensor & has the same effect on exposure as upping the ISO to 640.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 08:39 AM   #13
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Re: Why So Grainy?

try that same scene at Kelvin 2500
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Old April 21st, 2011, 10:37 AM   #14
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Re: Why So Grainy?

Ok, got it. So I should have used:

60fps with 120 shutter or 24fps with 50 shutter
100 or 160 ISO
1.9 aperture
2500K

Until Kelvin comes natural, I'm using camera presets for where I'm at (indoor tungsten, fluorescent, daylight, etc.). I wonder what I should've done though if it was still blown out? Go up a stop or two? Yeah, 5.6 sounds like I overdid it.

Whew, ok, not so daunting now. Still learning...
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Old April 21st, 2011, 10:57 AM   #15
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Re: Why So Grainy?

Took a quick look at the still, and didn't look too bad - then looked at the video... is part of what you're seeing perhaps moire rather than "grain" - I know DSLR's are prone to that problem... guitar strings were very noticeable, so I'm guessing that's what caught your eye? Jumped at me right off the bat, and AFAIK, no way to win that battle...

The other thing I might suggest is that your lighting looks a bit "flat" - I'm no lighting expert, probably just a little ahead of you in that dept., but seems like you might want to light the background to pull the talent "off" of the background, and maybe rig a hair light? the still didn't look "bad", but lacked that "pop" that good lighting can bring. There was also a hard reflection off the guitar pickguard, probably need to use your lighting a bit more "dramatically" and perhaps a different background?
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