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Old March 12th, 2014, 07:12 AM   #1
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4k vs in-camera stabilisation

4k is about all I hear with every manufacturer pushing this new format, from what I have seen and read so far 4K does have some advantages like a sharper picture even downsized to 1080p or the cropmode where you can shoot in 4k but edit in a 1080p project so you can use different parts of the frame to simulate a 2 cam setup.

Currently I also see many challenges, like focusing where I even see experienced people have slightly out of focus shots and 4k becomes very unforgiving then, I have questions about system requirements, will I still be able to edit realtime on my current pc, or cost of media need to capture 4k, how many cards would I need for a typical wedding etc.

To shoot weddings only the cropmode looks like an advantage to me at this moment, nothing else, a sharper image will cause problems with my other camera's as they need to match, none of my clients have hugh 4k tv's and I don't expect 4k wedding requests for at least the following 2 years, even today dvd is still my most requested medium.

I mainly shoot with m4/3 dslr's and like everyone knows that's always a challenge, there is always one or the other important feature missing, no matter what brand you buy, and you always need to find workarounds.

One important feature that is missing from all dslr's I own is proper stabilization on prime lenses, I do have (expensive) stabilized lenses but they are only up to f2.8, none of my fast primes are stabilized yet they are my most important lenses for my eye candy shots, my Olympus 75mm f1.8 is my favorite lens now but try shooting handheld with that one without creating excessive jitter which has to be post stabilized but your resolution takes a small hit but also the image deforms a bit while the NLE tries to filter that jitter out.

I also have used a macrolens to shoot some quick handheld jewelery shots, close up from the rings etc, and that looked horrific, as if there was an earthquake. So often a tripod is needed but as a solo shooter I want to be able to take quick shots and a tripod only slows me down and often there is not enough space to place one during bride prep.

But then there are the olympus camera's and I see they have a new Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera which is about 600 euro body only so pretty cheap and has a 3 axis stabilization (vs 5 for it's bigger brothers the em1 and 5) and I saw below video and I have to say it looks pretty impressive. I was not such a fan of the OM-D E-M5 because the codec was it's weakest point and I often saw codec breakup in high detail scenes, the EM1 seemed to have approved on that part and not sure how the EM10 is like in that department.

What I"m actually am trying to say is that I would take in-camera stabilization on a 1080p camera over 4k without much thought, the idea to put a very fast olympus 75mm or a macrolens during bride prep or for any other rmoment you quickly need to capture some closeups or eye candy very shallow dof shots and do all that handheld which would result in smooth flowing images is my everyday dream :)

Are there more here that are not so 4K convinced yet? Eventhough I know a moment will come only 4K camera's will be available.

Also, is there anyone that has a Olympus OM-D E-M10 and can share experience how it performs?


Last edited by Noa Put; March 12th, 2014 at 12:38 PM.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 08:03 AM   #2
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

Good discussion points Noa.

If you consider how de-Bayering is required for video on single sensor cameras, the advantages of 4K for creating 1080p become apparent. Also, at 4 times the bandwidth, compression down to rates that can be handled by current storage technologies is also a factor in evaluating any 4K pipeline. Then there's 8-bit internal vs 10-bit external ... plenty of room for a variety of implementations that make it less of a strict 4K versus 1080p discussion.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

I'm literally just back in the door from a Philip Bloom seminar on 4K. He wholeheartedly encourages everyone to shoot 4k, even if just for HD delivery.

If I was doing other types of work, I'd be easier convinced. But for weddings.... I'm just not sure. But for the price range of the GH4, I'd certainly keep an open mind.

The stabilisation on this looks great. A friend of mine who is one of the best wedding videographers in my area - has recentlt bought the A7R and has begun shooting most of his work handheld (not on a rig) with his eye to the viewfinder.

This kind of stabilisation could really allow us loads of flexibility not being tied to mono/tripods etc...
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Old March 12th, 2014, 12:08 PM   #4
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

I agree with what Noa says about focusing issues. Soft focus happens all too often with HD material. It stands out much more than it did in SD days. 4K would probably be much worse.

I have an external 22" HD monitor I use on rare occasions. It really helps to nail focus. But it's much too big for most of my shoots.

I would be nervous shooting 4K without a good external monitor due to the possibility of soft focus.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 12:52 PM   #5
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

I also wonder why only Olympus has this kind of useful in camera stabilization, it can't really be rocketsience to implement this, but I can imagine that any cameramanufacturer that has expensive stabilized lenses in their range would shoot themselves in the foot by doing this, otoh I also feel Olympus has some kind of agreement with panasonic not to push their videoline too far, and just focus mainly on photography, everyone has been asking for 25p/50p and a better codec or bitrates yet they refuse to implement it. If Olympus would make a camera on par with the gh3/4 nobody would buy any panasonic stabilized m4/3 zoomlenses anymore since the non stabilized ones are much cheaper.

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Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
He wholeheartedly encourages everyone to shoot 4k, even if just for HD delivery.
I"m sure 4k, once you start working with it will have advantages, but currently I feel I would benefit much more from a in camera stabilization, even if it's not 25 or 50p and not as sharp as downscaled 4k. 4k will have a place in my gear bag for sure but I"m pretty sure now that will take a while and I rather invest in something that will make my life easier for the coming 2-3 years. Wish there was more to find about that omd em10, I don't like to buy blind (like I did with the Sony rx10) to find out missing features that would make shooting video a burden.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 01:37 PM   #6
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I"m sure 4k, once you start working with it will have advantages, but currently I feel I would benefit much more from a in camera stabilization, even if it's not 25 or 50p and not as sharp as downscaled 4k. 4k will have a place in my gear bag for sure but I"m pretty sure now that will take a while and I rather invest in something that will make my life easier for the coming 2-3 years. Wish there was more to find about that omd em10, I don't like to buy blind (like I did with the Sony rx10) to find out missing features that would make shooting video a burden.
I'd take good stabilisation over 4K for weddings and general run & gun.

But for corporate interviews I'd love to have 4K for ease of reframing and shooting with fewer cameras. I'm a 'little' concerned about 4K in post, but not hugely so. I'm more concerned about the ability in low light at this point and I'm eagerly waiting to see what the GH4 looks like once it's in the hands of real people.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 02:16 PM   #7
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

Just thinking that theoretically a 4k image can be cropped much more to give a stabilization plugin more to work with without this having a negative impact on resolution if you end up using it in a 1080p project? Edius has build in quite fast stabilization but I only find it good enough to remove small jitters, any jerking motion results in a image that is distorting, it probably will never look as good as in camera stabilization unless After effects can stabilize better (but probably more time consuming and ofcourse you need the software. Personally I prefer having it right the first time.Just trying to see any pro's and cons here, who knows I might find 4k attractive after all :)
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Old March 12th, 2014, 02:35 PM   #8
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

So far I have used my FDR-AX1 as a fixed full stage view in the way I use my cx700. Yes focus is more critical but in a full wide angle shot at some distance the depth of field is large. Crop and pan have worked well for me using both Edius Pro7 and Vegas Pro12. I think used in this way 4K is useful, my reason for getting the AX1 to give me the options in editing. For me this has worked as I expected. I would love the AX1 to be better in low light but it has been fine so far. I still use the CX700 as a backup now.

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Last edited by Ron Evans; March 12th, 2014 at 11:33 PM.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 04:29 PM   #9
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Just thinking that theoretically a 4k image can be cropped much more to give a stabilization plugin more to work with without this having a negative impact on resolution if you end up using it in a 1080p project? Edius has build in quite fast stabilization but I only find it good enough to remove small jitters, any jerking motion results in a image that is distorting, it probably will never look as good as in camera stabilization unless After effects can stabilize better (but probably more time consuming and ofcourse you need the software. Personally I prefer having it right the first time.Just trying to see any pro's and cons here, who knows I might find 4k attractive after all :)
Noa, I think this depends upon how the stabilization software is written. I put some HD material on an SD timeline in Edius 7 and was thinking the stabilization was going to produce stellar results and the image had that same softness. The best results came from stabilizing on the native HD timeline, sharpening, rendering, then changing the project settings to SD, sharpening some more!

In theory, 4k on an HD timeline should be a benefit to all things, but I did not find this with the built in stabilizer of Edius. I have not tried Mercalli. Maybe it would act as expected.

But to be fair, if there is any rotation in the mix, all bets are off for sharpness. Go into the Layuouter in Edius and change the rotation to the smallest amount and see how soft the frame goes. Must be hard to replicate this movement with square pixels.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 04:32 PM   #10
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

No stabilization plugin can solve the problem of motion blur. Im a 4k advocate but if theres a lot of motion blur theres only so much you can do to hide the problem, 4k, 2k, res doesn't matter.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 09:11 PM   #11
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
4k is about all I hear with every manufacturer pushing this new format...
And just a couple of years ago all you heard from every manufacturer was 3D. Hmmm.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
...from what I have seen and read so far 4K does have some advantages like a sharper picture even downsized to 1080p or the cropmode where you can shoot in 4k but edit in a 1080p project so you can use different parts of the frame to simulate a 2 cam setup.
You like spending a lot of time in post? Because what you are advocating here is a lot of time in post.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 02:42 AM   #12
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

From 3d I knew at the beginning it was not going to last, it probably will continue to be shown on the big screen in the cinema and eventhough many tv's support 3d people are just not interested in it.

About reframing 4k in post, what I was refering to was to have the altar and lectern in one frame when you'd shoot a ceremony in church and just leave the camera rolling, currently I need to reframe the camera each time depending of who speaks where and that is more stressful as I have to operate my second camera as well.
Then in post it would just be a matter of duplicating that file and on one zoom in on the lectern and the other the altar so you'd have 2 different views, you could just leave it like that and have no extra work in post.

But what comes to mind again is that if you would have 2 different exposures (mabe the sun in shining on the altar but not on the lectern which is in the shade) then this set up would not work so only for evenly exposed scenes.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 04:36 AM   #13
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

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From 3d I knew at the beginning it was not going to last, it probably will continue to be shown on the big screen in the cinema and eventhough many tv's support 3d people are just not interested in it.
I've never actually watched a full movie in 3D because [to me] it's so unnatural and it gives me a head ache. I've tried to watch 3D TV and just can't do it. After a few minutes I'm done. That's why 3D is never going to be on my wish list for TVs.

4K is slightly different in that it has the potential for higher quality viewing, but again, I can watch a movie on Blu-ray and be happy, then watch another one on DVD and while I'm not so happy to begin with, once I start watching the movie (instead of the pixels) I'm quite happy watching DVD too. So do I 'need' 4K? No. Will I buy another TV unless it's 4K? No to that one too, I'm only going to buy 4K from here on because to buy anything else would be silly, since that's where everything is going, but it's going to have to be cheaper than today and I suspect that's the position most people are taking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
About reframing 4k in post, what I was refering to was to have the altar and lectern in one frame when you'd shoot a ceremony in church and just leave the camera rolling, currently I need to reframe the camera each time depending of who speaks where and that is more stressful as I have to operate my second camera as well.
Then in post it would just be a matter of duplicating that file and on one zoom in on the lectern and the other the altar so you'd have 2 different views, you could just leave it like that and have no extra work in post.
I think most of us would like to have this situation again, like we did when we first came to HD and only delivering DVD. In fact, I still use it now if I know I'm only ever delivering DVDs and to a more limited extent if I know they only want 720p and I'm filming in 1080p. The little extra flexibility for framing in post is welcome.

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
But what comes to mind again is that if you would have 2 different exposures (mabe the sun in shining on the altar but not on the lectern which is in the shade) then this set up would not work so only for evenly exposed scenes.
This is one time it's not going to work until cameras get a much better dynamic range. Of course, the more pixels they cram in to the sensors, the less likely we are to ever see 20 stops of DR :(
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Old March 13th, 2014, 10:25 AM   #14
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

The few shows I have done with my AX1 have worked better than I was expecting. For a school dance show I do I would use two cameras fixed on the stage . One wide to take in the stairs each side and one just the stage area. With the AX1 I only need the full wide shot taking in more than the stairs and can frame afterwards to what I want. It also managed better than the CX700 or XR500 the different exposures on the stage when scaded down to 1920x1080. This was a typical school dance show with lots of red costumes and flashing lights !!! Set the exposure as I would for the CX700. Shutter fixed at 1/60, gain max 21db and AE shift at - 0.7 EV.

Framing is easy in Edius Pro7 or Vegas Pro12 and I do not think takes me any significant time more than normal.

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Old March 23rd, 2014, 08:54 AM   #15
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Re: 4k vs in-camera stabilisation

Is 4K affecting light sensitivity like HD did coming from SD due to pixel size? So 4K on an S35 sensor will have smaller pixels ergo worse sensitivity than the HD version of the S35 sensor?
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