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


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Old May 18th, 2011, 07:17 PM   #16
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

No, most of us use manual focus most of the time with these cameras, the auto focus is handy now and then, but for sports I absolutley cannot imagine using it. Fast moving subjects, no way.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 10:48 PM   #17
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Man all you guys have been great. Only way you could be better is if you were all Packer fans! :)

Seriously, Jeff you gave me some great ideas on using 12db gain maxium and a faster shutter speed when shooting sports. I've been searching on how to video tape sports and one article said to use a shutter speed of between 2000 - 4000fps since this will also give you great slow motion. During the day this will not be an issue but at night forget it. I've recently done a wedding, no fast movement of course, with the FX 1000 and the picture was great! I'm going to play a bit more with different settings on the camera at the next soccer game and I'll let you guys know what I find out. I'll also focus on using a solid tripod.

Here is another thing I noticed about picture jitter last evening while I was playing. This in fact my be the issue. I recorded one game in HD 1080i and when I played it back from the timeline in CS5 Premiere Pro the picture on my Toshiba T.V. I use as a monitor had a lot of waves and sort of an unstable picture. However, when I played it from the source monitor the picture looked absolutely perfect. I couldn't figure it out since the computer monitor is prgressive scan and I'm not for sure what the T.V. is. It's a newer 19" so it may be progreesive scan also. I was guessing the picture would look better on the T.V. connected via an HDMI connector but no way. Finally I stumbled on to field options in Premiere and I checked "always deinterlace". Problem gone! I'm not for sure why I need to deinterlace an interlaced recording but I guess I really don't care. May be it is the TV/monitor I'm using. One other thing. When I burn it to DVD I can leave the time line as interlaced and when the DVD is played back on the T.V. all looks fine. Sorry I took so long to explain but this was sort of amazing to me. I'm not for sure any thing is wrong with the Sony FX 1000. However, I'm still very interested in how the game will look with the faster shutter speed. More to follow.

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Old May 18th, 2011, 10:52 PM   #18
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
No, most of us use manual focus most of the time with these cameras, the auto focus is handy now and then, but for sports I absolutley cannot imagine using it. Fast moving subjects, no way.
Great advice Jeff. During the next game no auto focus or image stabization. Can't wait.

Thanks.

Larry
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Old May 19th, 2011, 03:11 AM   #19
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Larry, you DO want to use auto focus on the FX1000, I would think. I was referring to poor auto focus on the GH2, as someone asked about using it for sports.

If you are using a tripod, and if your camera is steady, you should turn off Image Stabilization for best quality, for sure. If your camera is being vibrated or shaken, leave it on.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 09:01 PM   #20
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Jeff I did a little experimenting and it looks to me leaving off the auto focus in addition to turning off the IS while on a tripod provides a bit more stable picture. Looks to me the HDR 1000 auto focus is a bit slow to respond when I pan to fast so leaving it off actually seems to give me a more stable picture. I zoom in as far as I can on a player on the field manually focus and then get into a wide angle position. Seems to work. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

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Old May 19th, 2011, 09:19 PM   #21
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Hi Larry

I always have OIS (mine's optical) off...it seems to be more problems that it's worth!! It's far better to run the footage thru something like Mercalli if you really have to, but I certainly wouldn't worry about minor wobbles..remember the viewer is watching the player not the background!!!

I would have sided with Jeff on the autofocus but then again on a bright day and with the players a fairly long way out you are in focus most of the time anyway!! At 1/100th shutter and probably F16 you will be in focus from really 20' out until infinity!!! The little GoPro Hero's are fixed focus and have no issues.

Are you sure you don't have autofocus settings on the FX???? By default my Pannys update lightning fast (I can have the AF distance on the EVF and it updates probably 5 or 10 times a second to keep stuff in focus)

Maybe post a small clip so we can see it????

Chris
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Old May 19th, 2011, 09:33 PM   #22
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Larry, I was only referring to the auto focus on the FX1000, I always found it "decent", but it can be pretty slow or even terrible in low light.

You do what you feel works. I do not shoot sports. I've shot one soccer game, that is all, so you will figure out what is best.

What you described sounds like a good solution, to adjust after zooming in...it is that kind of thinking that will give you your ultimate shooting method. And of course, no one method serves every situation, so therein lies the rub!

I really think you are on track to get this down to a system and settings that will work for you.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 10:18 PM   #23
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Yeah leave the IS OFF when on the tripod especially at the long end of the lens. It can have adverse affects on the image quality when on legs.
Auto focus works on a contrast and while it can in many if not most cases be quite adequet (SP) for most sports especially fast moving sports you'r better off focusing like you described. That's how a professional lens is focused. Zip in close, focus, zip out to frame. As long as the back focus is set right you're OK.
Hell even when I did NASCAR remote cameras I focused down the track to a certain point I had picked out geberally about 1/2 down the straight away using the same method and allowed my DoF to cover past the point of focus and short of it. I was following cars from the turn away from me thru the straight away into and thru the turn I was covering to the next turn. Aways in focus (thank goodness) and yeah we were shooting HD.
anyway that's the accepted way to do it.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #24
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Don, suggest to me how you would manually focus on a bride, or bridaly party members, as they come down the aisle, will you?

What I did last week was ran four cameras, then focused the two rear facing ones on different spots in the aisle, and I did the same for the front facing cameras. I then followed with one zoom lens, focusing ahead of the bride by few feet and then attempted to follow focus. When I lost it, I just repeated the pocess of focusing in front of her, and then just as she hit the spot at which she was in focus, I attempted again to follow focus. Does that sound as good as anything?

I really don't have a clue as to what I'm doing with manual focus, that is for sure, but I'm giving it hell trying to learn.

Your Nascar experience sounds very relevant to what I do at a wedding.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 01:56 AM   #25
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

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consider going to an SDHC card camera...you save a fortune on tape
Made me smile. How does spending 1 per gig (SDHC card) save you a fortune over spending 1 for 13 gigs (MiniDV tape)?
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Old May 20th, 2011, 02:12 AM   #26
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

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Another thing, if your final product is SD, are you shooting in SD widescreen? If not you should be. With the FX1000 there is no advantage to downconverting the HD footage to SD, it only adds work and potential issues in the downconversion and resizing process.
Thing is though Jeff that any HD or HDV camera ia *always* shooting hi-def. The chips are 1920 (or 1440) x 1080 whichever way you look at it, so if you switch the camera to its SD mode all you're doing is using the cheap 'n' cheerful on-board down-converter to save the image in SD onto tape or flash.

Generally it's better to record what the chips have seen, then in post use far more sophisticated Lanczos technology to do the down-conversion. If you record to HDV (say) and output SD from the camcorder you're again using the cheap on-board downconverter, a just-good-enough pcb that costs the manufacturer as little as possible. Just look at the Z1's SD aliasing as proof of that.

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Old May 20th, 2011, 06:20 AM   #27
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Tom, regarding shooting HD vs SD it's been beaten to death, so I'll leave that alone. The main idea is the poster was having issues that sounded possilby conversion related, and the simplest way to avoid those issues is to not have to convert. The forums are rife with people having issues with the conversion process. As it turned out it wasn't an issue for him anyway, so it's a moot point.

On cards vs tape, as many others have said, I miss having the tapes as back up.

But Chris is correct on savings. I ran four cameras for over four hours each last Saturday, which would cost about $35us for 16 tapes (and I would have had to change tapes every hour on each camera). One 32GB card costs about $60 dollars maybe more. Cards, as we know, are useable at least dozens of times. True I did spend $200 on one fast card, but the rest were $60 or so. (edit: my cards actually cost well over $60 each, I was mistaken, but I digress)

Handling 16 tapes, finding a place to store them in my bag, and keeping them organized not to mention the download time,, wow. Furthermore one card per camera for an entire day? Nice.

I own only 6 cards, and I can reuse them for ages. Tapes not so much, as we all know.

Tapes are reliable, and I love having the security of the backup. Cards, IMO are less reliable. I trust tapes, and rarely had dropouts.

So my preference is clearly for tapes, but strictly speaking, cost wise there is no comparison. I do not have boxes upon boxes stacked in cupboards filled with tapes that I will never use again as I used to.

I download the footage when I come home, in less than an hour Ive got 16 hours worth of footage safely tucked away and I can go to bed, after I back it up to a second drive.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 06:22 AM   #28
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Hi Tom

Had to answer that question..that is assuming that you used to use tapes just once it's way cheaper for me!!

I recycle my cards every 6 months so based on the fact that using just ONE card of 8GB I can squeeze pretty close to 60 minutes of footage using a VBR at 24mbps in AVCHD so we can compare that to a 63 minute tape now. I'm basing this on just one of my cameras as well.

Over 6 months I will shoot around 20 weddings and I also shoot around 100 Realty jobs in 6 months too.

120 x Pro Tapes (bought wholesale here) costs me $720.00 (I used to buy packs of 10 for $60.00)
1 x 8GB card costs me under $20!!! Saving ???? $700.00

If of course you are prepared to use your tapes 120 times over then there is no saving on the actual media!!

Of course in real life I use 8 x 16GB cards and rotate their use over 6 months so each card is only written to around 15 times which is nothing for a card but it is good security....even buying 8 x 16gb cards at $32.00 each your outlay is STILL only $256.00 a saving of $464.00 over single use tape.

I'm also not even factoring in the 120 hours that it would take to physically capture your tapes (time is money!!!) against the average of around 3 minutes it takes to transfer about 8GB to a normal drive.

Might not be for those who re-use tape over and over, but for me I save a fortune!!!

Chris
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Old May 20th, 2011, 07:51 AM   #29
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Jeff,
What I do for the processional is to focus about 1/2 way or so down the aisle, (I pick a person sitting in the pew there) and in 99.9% of the cases the DoF will carry the focus. I let the bridal party walk thru the shot (I don't follow them all the way to the altarand I usually am set up front and use a shot that they get almost to the altar so I can pick up the next people walking down, of course every setting is different-hope that all makes sense) but I do follow the bride to the handoff. As she hits the spot of focus I slowly zoom out and adjust focus if needed but in most cases it's not. Please keep in mind I'm still shooting with a PD170 without any attachments on the lens (no WA or Telephoto) so with the 1/3 inch chips and decent DoF (even at f/2.4) it keeps the focus. If I see if going out I use a LANC control with focus capability and slowly adjust.
Again for the most part, unless it's a really dark setting or I'm shooting backlit because of windows or open doors I'm pretty well fixed on focus. Once she gets handed off to the groom and they make they're way to the altar as they're doing that, I swing around and get behind them (making sure I don't step on the dress and my B cam which is generally up front catches them, if not then I have a C cam either in the balconey OR way up high in my tripod at the back to act like a Balconey shot.
Once you learn manual focus I think you'll find that you'll wonder how you ever did anything on auto focus, not that it's bad, there are many times auto focus is the way to go but I think most processionals call for manual since the auto can and does hunt and that can be a problem.
Also keep in mind that the DoF is a value based on the F/stop as well as the focal length of the lens and where in that range of focal length the lens is focused. IOW, if the focus point is 10 feet away the DoF isn't going to be as deep as if the lens is focused 20 feet away. Of course there is a point of diminishing returns depending on the lens and focus point. The chips (sensors) used today in cameras regardless of the kind of camera it is (mostly 1/3 inch) can be a life saver when it comes to focus/DoF OR it can kill you. No in between epecially with any form of HD.
It sounds though like you're on the right track but I would play around with it (not on a job of course) and see how deep the DoF goes at various settings of the lens, F/stop and focus point.
HTHs
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Old May 20th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #30
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Re: CMOS vs CCD

Very nice tutorial, thanks Don. The DOF is quite severe with my lenses, and as they pass through the point of focus, it doesn't last long, unfortunately.

I say severe, because it is. A shallow depth of focus is nice in many situations, but for the processionial I would prefer it to be as deeper than is possible with my lenses, as when I stop down enough to make an impact, I lose light, of course. I will make a dry run tonight at the rhearsal, and see how far I can stop down and get good results with a higher ISO.

Thanks again for sharing your experieince, I will be better off for it.
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