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


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Old May 25th, 2015, 09:09 AM   #1
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shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

I"m currently editing a dance recital shot with a sony cx730 in 1080p and a ax100 in 4k, to my surprise I"m using the 4K camera for almost all shots where I am editing a 1080p project and I pan and zoom to follow the dancers, I"m using Edius Layouter to keyframe this and use the bezier option to gracefully start and stop any motion, the result is movement which cannot be distinguished from a real cameramovement on a tripod. The ax100 was used as a safety camera and set so the entire stage was in frame.

Actually, my cameramovements are better then from the camera (cx730) that was used to follow the dancers, I used a sachtler ace tripod so movement is very fluid but because in post I can anticipate every move the dancer make before they make it so I can start a pan or zoom just before a group of dancers moves and frame them perfectly when to take position again which makes it look like I already know the choreography.

The IQ of the ax100, even while zoomed in up until it's native resolution in a 1080p project still looks better then the cx730, it makes the cx730 looks slightly out of focus in comparison.

The ax100 also seems to be able to deal a bit better with difficult colors compared to the cx730, see below frame where at the start of a show it was very dark with a very bright purple and blue light shining towards the camera, the cx730 only shows blue while the ax100 is able to show both. (left frame is cx730, right frame is ax100 but I mirrored it to see the difference), I think gain was almost at max on both camera's at that particular moment.

You could literally set the frame of that ax100 wide, set it to record, take a seat and watch the show and do all the work in post, ofcourse it takes twice as long to do it like this and it's not something I plan on using as a permanent workflow but it illustrates what a great camera that ax100 is and how beneficial 4K can be in such an occasion.

Last edited by Noa Put; May 25th, 2015 at 03:25 PM.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 10:31 AM   #2
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

This the sort of thing I set out to do with the FDR-AX1 because I wanted 60P rather than the 30P of the AX100. It works very well. I too have an AX100 and agree that the colours and detail are superior to the NX30U ( similar vintage to the CX730 ) or the NX5U that I have. I am impressed with the AX100 and only wish it had 60P frame rate which I prefer . I too use Edius layouter in the same way. Just need to find a 4K camera with wider latitude and good low light than the AX1 that I can afford !!! The smooth camera movements and precise framing is what using 4K in this way gives. A single camera can look like a multicam project with ease and much more polished camera movements. As I get older I would like to sit down rather than stand up for over 2 hours too.

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Old May 25th, 2015, 03:19 PM   #3
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

I did the same thing using a GH4 for both a dance recital and also some school nativity plays. I'll be doing the same thing in a couple of weeks for another school play.

In fact, I got even luckier with both of these since there were no HD deliveries, it was all to DVD, so I could afford to zoom in past 1080p if needed.

I agree that the results can be better than the manned camera, especially for unexpected events on stage, such as some ad-libbing or things not quite going to plan. It's also good if there is a lot of wide stage events that you weren't aware of.

I'm definitely loving 4K and will not buy another camera that isn't 4K. Just wish the European GH4s weren't time limited.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 05:23 PM   #4
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

I am loving the AX100 too, for the same reasons. The only problem I have with 4K workflows is when you transcode it into ProRes and the file sizes shoot through the roof. Are you all editing using the .mov containers, or are you converting into ProRes or an equivalent file type too?

I only have 4TB on my RAID, so it's difficult to house many projects simultaneously if I shoot 4K.

Shooting a proposal tomorrow with the AX100 as my main camera and the GH4 as my back up / second angle. Going to shoot 4K with both and have a GoPro as my 3rd camera. See how it goes!!!
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Old May 25th, 2015, 10:27 PM   #5
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

I edit with Edius as does Noa, so use native files on the timeline no transcoding.

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Old May 25th, 2015, 11:59 PM   #6
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

I came across the invoice from my pc a few weeks ago and saw it is getting 4 years old in a few months, this just to show that I can edit native 4K without transcoding, I can do multicam with 2 layers of 1080p and one 4k layer without a problem, when I add another 1080p layer I hear stutter in teh sound, when I add a second 4k layer the fun is over :) I could still edit but it stutters a lot.

Edius 8 is supposed to accelerate 4K playback using quicksync and since I have that enabled I might be able to do more then one layer 4k in realtime on my older system, who knows.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 02:49 AM   #7
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

The AX100 is definitely a "benchmark" camera - once you get the shutter speed thing worked out, the 30p just isn't that big a deal, though it would be nice to see 60p in pretty much the same camera!

After sitting down and going through all the various cameras I've got sitting around (spring cleaning time, I guess!) hooked directly to the HDMI input of my cheap-o 4K "monitor", the AX100, RX10's and the RX100M3 are noticeably sharper (yep even at 1920x1080)...The RX's are SHARP and cleaner than any of the "small chippers", which I think will be going to the virtual auction site in the sky... it's not that the smaller sensor cams look BAD, they just don't look quite as good once viewed on a big 4K monitor... I'm finding the same with stills that looked "great" before, but somehow don't "pop" on the 4K, where the RX10 stills DO. Of course the AX100 is still a notch better with fine details!
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Old May 26th, 2015, 04:26 AM   #8
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

I find my perception of what is a good clear sharp image has changed since I've invested in a large 4K TV and a 4K monitor. It certainly sorts the wheat from the chaff when it comes to HD Cameras. I'd be reluctant to invest in any camera below a 1" sensor even if 4K - if only for low light situations.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 05:03 AM   #9
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Are you all editing using the .mov containers, or are you converting into ProRes or an equivalent file type too?
Check out some software called EditReady. It's not that expensive but can make quite a difference for ingesting native files. I now run everything through it. Basically, it takes your native file but transcodes the audio to uncompressed. This allows virtually any NLE to ingest the media instantly (no conforming in Premiere Pro, not copy to Library in FCPX etc) and also helps with playback since it's not decompressing the audio any more.

I'll typically edit in FCPX and with multicam I can easily run 4 - 6 1080p streams or 2-3 4K streams. I'm not using anything special, just a 2013 iMac or 2011 MacBook Pro. I'll tend to go to proxy mode for Multicam since I can generally then edit at 2x or 4x speed.
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Old May 28th, 2015, 07:27 PM   #10
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

Noa, did you want to replace that image?
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Old May 29th, 2015, 01:58 AM   #11
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

Yes, if possible
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Old May 29th, 2015, 03:58 AM   #12
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
The AX100 is definitely a "benchmark" camera - once you get the shutter speed thing worked out, the 30p just isn't that big a deal, though it would be nice to see 60p in pretty much the same camera!

After sitting down and going through all the various cameras I've got sitting around (spring cleaning time, I guess!) hooked directly to the HDMI input of my cheap-o 4K "monitor", the AX100, RX10's and the RX100M3 are noticeably sharper (yep even at 1920x1080)...The RX's are SHARP and cleaner than any of the "small chippers", which I think will be going to the virtual auction site in the sky... it's not that the smaller sensor cams look BAD, they just don't look quite as good once viewed on a big 4K monitor... I'm finding the same with stills that looked "great" before, but somehow don't "pop" on the 4K, where the RX10 stills DO. Of course the AX100 is still a notch better with fine details!
Dave, what do you mean by the shutter speed thing worked out?

Thanks Phil
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Old May 29th, 2015, 06:07 AM   #13
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

We discussed this in the never ending AX100 thread, but it boils down to not letting the shutter speed get too high with 30p...

If shutter is too short, you get a series of "stills", and some stutter and "shimmer" because of the detail levels when there is movement. By using slower shutter speeds you get a bit of motion blur so the results look more natural. My early results with the AX100 had a lot of "shimmer" - then as I experimented with taking the shutter speed down from where the camera was "automatically" setting it, I got FAR better results. I've fiddled with between 30 and around 125 on shutter speed, depending on the conditions. The camera of course can pick higher shutter speeds if left in auto, I didn't like the results... so manual shutter control is preferable once you're trying to shoot 30 (or 24)p. Hope that makes sense!?
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Old May 29th, 2015, 07:11 AM   #14
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

Thanks Dave for the feedback
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Old May 29th, 2015, 07:58 AM   #15
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Re: shooting dance recitals with a 4k camera

Convention would say shutter speed at twice the frame rate so 1/60 for 30P and use ND filters if its too bright. You will still get some judder if you pan though. I still use 1/60 for 60i or 60P as I am always in dark environments and need the extra exposure time.

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